Tag Archives: Broadway

Wasted on the young

After my friend Kathy saw the Broadway play This Is Our Youth a few weeks ago, she quipped on Facebook:

Well, this isn’t my youth.

After seeing the show myself yesterday, I agree and disagree.

The pre-show literature had warned of some drug use in the show, which centers on 24 hours in the lives of three privileged kids on New York’s Upper West Side in the early 80’s. What it should have said is it’s about drug use. And drug dealing. And stealing for drugs. And selling your possessions for drugs.

Not my youth at all.

But the friendships and budding (and then dying) romance between the characters is very familiar and well-acted by the cast, which includes Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and newcomer Tavi Gevinson.

They may have been fumbling around onstage in a fake stoner haze, but I’m not sure I was anymore self-assured as a clear-headed teenager back in the 80s.

That was my youth.

I’m still laughing

It’s Only a Play, which is currently in previews at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway, has an embarrassment of stars in its cast.

F. Murray Abraham. Matthew Broderick. Stockard Channing. Rupert Grint. Nathan Lane. Megan Mullally.

it's only a play

And the book by Terrence McNally is hilarious — as topical as this week’s headlines and taking swings at every celebrity in Hollywood (including a few on stage).

The laughs just keep on coming.

But if you are lucky enough to experience this hysterical evening, the real star is the one face you don’t recognize in the photo — newcomer Micah Stock, who makes his Broadway debut amongst this group of A-listers. His deadpan delivery, spot-on timing and musical number (that is a perfect send-up of Broadway itself) brought down the house and the actors on stage.

It’s Only a Play, but it’s the best one I’ve seen in years.

Lottery winner

It’s hard to believe that it has been three and a half years since I first saw The Book of Mormon in previews on Broadway.

I was in the audience twice in the first two weeks in case it closed…but luckily the critics and New York audiences agreed.

It was the musical of the century.

image

I won front-row tickets on Twitter for tonight’s show. The faces have changed, and possibly some nuances of the staging, but it was just like seeing it for the first time.

But better.

I made eye contact with the cast, said hello to the conductor and got spit on.

Spit on.

Family business

The broadcast and online media outlets have all gone gooey-eyed over the way NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams announced his own daughter Allison’s casting in the plum role of Peter Pan in the network’s upcoming live action production –

No tears here.

I demand that the full investigative reporting resources at NBC News be hurled at this story, which reeks of nepotism, entitlement and…dare I say, piracy.

J.M. Barrie said it best:

“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you your daddy will sacrifice everything else for it.”

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!

Little green men

You see a little bit of everything here in New York City. I’ve always chalked it up to our open-mindedness and the spirit of creativity that is so much a part of this, the greatest city in the world.

Turns out — it could be aliens.

Did you know that that the state of New York ranks #5 in the Top 10 states reporting UFO sightings?  It’s true.

There’s a chart:

UFO sightings

So, if you’re celebrating World UFO Day, NYC potentially has a lot to offer.

Plus Broadway.

All hail Hedwig

I approached yesterday’s matinee performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch with my share of doubts.

Not about Neil Patrick Harris — he can do anything.

But drag performers are the latest rage on Broadway. Last year’s Tony-winning Kinky Boots gave them both their entrance and their legitimacy. The decision to put up the revival of Hedwig now seems a bit like ‘joiner’ behavior.

Not gonna judge it sight unseen, though…especially with Neil at the helm.

HedwigThe first few numbers are fast and fun and full of Neil’s familiar charm and humor, so it’s easy to think you’re just watching him do  fantastic drag.

Then Neil simply disappears as Hedwig’s story takes center stage, one filled with loss and love, pain and power, disfigurement and metamorphosis.

Neil is supported on stage by a great rock band — one guy is from Lexington, Kentucky! — and Lena Hall, who also won a Tony for her drag performance.

But the show is all about Neil.  All about Hedwig.

He is mesmerizing.