Category Archives: Music

Irony?

image

I’ll check with Alanis Morissette.

Laugh it off

I didn’t watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2015 with Ryan Seacrest, so I missed Idina Menzels’ performance of  the ubiquitous “Let It Go.”

idina-menzel-responds-to-critics-of-let-it-goRumor has it she botched the final high note.

(Haters on Twitter made sure that everyone knew.)

So Idina went on Twitter and defended herself, saying she is ‘more than one note.’

I can understand wanting to stand up to the backlash, but laughing at the sour note might be more effective.  Audiences love when people in the public eye can be self-deprecating.

Plus, why give nameless, faceless trolls the satisfaction of seeing you rattled?

Let it go, Idina.

 

Scare tactics

I saw the movie Whiplash last night, and found it extremely compelling.

Are you planning to see it? Here are a few things you should know.

Whiplash-5547.cr2

 

  1. It’s not about jazz.  They play music, sure…but the selected songs — even the title track — are simply vehicles for the story.  The film could have just as easily taken place in the world of sports or the culinary arts.
  2. It is about abuse. The relationship between a music student and his no-holds-barred instructor — portrayed with gut-wrenching intensity by Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons — is difficult to watch. Teller is attacked emotionally and physically at every level, and like a hostage in a kidnapping incident, has a twisted love/hate relationship with his captor that boggles the mind.
  3. It’s hard to watch. In the theater where I saw the film, there were several horror movie trailers that preceded the feature presentation.  I found that odd until I saw the film.  There are definite similarities.

 

Whadda I have to do

I love the sitcom About a Boy on NBC.

AboutABoyIt has the pedigree of the great Hugh Grant movie of the same name. The cast is quirky and funny, the writing fresh.

And last night they used the Violent Femmes’ ‘Prove to You’ as the soundtrack for a montage of Marcus and his crush.

Any sitcom that uses the Femmes deserves an automatic renewal.

I’m pretty sure that’s a rule of broadcasting.

Constructive criticism

Feedback — we have to give it and receive it, sometimes daily depending on our jobs.

That doesn’t make it any easier to hear.

Tim Minchin, the Olivier-award winning and Tony-nominated songwriter of Broadway’s Matilda, once received a very bad review that he couldn’t really shake off.  How did he deal with it?

He wrote a hilarious song about it.

I’ll have to try that sometime…

Note — Minchin is currently workshopping a new musical in London based on the movie Groundhog Day. Can’t wait to hear those lyrics!

Cross that bridge

Some weekends have a theme.  Mine?

The Bridges of Madison County

steve pasquale tick tick boomMy Facebook friends already know that Friday night I had a chance encounter with Steven Pasquale —

We bumped into each other leaving Tick Tick Boom at City Center.

More accurately, my friend Dan helped me grab him for a quick hello, “you were wonderful in Bridges,”  and a photo.

So totally worth it.

Then last night, Dan suggested we see a late-night show at 54 Below — Lindsay Mendez and Derek Klena.

klendezAnd it turns out Derek (far left) played Francesa’s son in Bridges!

I fully expect to see Kelli O’Hara at the market today buying juice.

 

Then what

sliding doorsWhen I read the premise of Idina Menzel’s new musical If/Then (currently in previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre), it sounded exactly like the Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle Sliding Doors (1998).

In Doors, Paltrow loses her job at a swanky London PR firm and rushes to catch the tube back to her apartment. The movie shows — in two parallel realities — how her future love life and career are changed depending on if she does (or doesn’t) catch the subway.

I saw the matinee of If/Then today, and it didn’t change my mind. While the choice that sends Menzel’s character on two potential paths takes place in Central Park, the two stories share more plot similarities than even I expected.

if thenBut I think If/Then could learn a thing or two from its movie doppelganger.

For one, the musical doesn’t focus on one character’s life in two parallel realities. Instead, it attempts to explore how Menzel’s friends, played by LaChaze and Anthony Rapp, also make their own unique choices.  (Now, I did love seeing Rapp back on Broadway, and his character is a bit of a Rent callback in many ways.)

But going back and forth between three story lines in two realities — and giving each character closure in both of those realities — takes time. Too much time.

Doors got ‘er dun in 99 minutes.  If/Then took over an hour more.

Today’s Playbill didn’t list the musical numbers; I’m sure that’s because the show is in previews, and some cuts may be made before the March 30th opening.  I highly recommend it.  While many numbers were amazingly heartfelt — a couple with language blissfully blue — others felt simplistic, like a rhyming dictionary set to a bouncy beat with awkward American Idiot-like choreography.

All that being said, the cast is wonderful, their voices worthy of Menzel. By opening night, I hope the show is worthy of her.