Tag Archives: Broadway

All in the family

Turns out you can’t judge a musical by its poster.

Fun-Home-1

The only thing I knew about the Broadway show Fun Home before I saw it last night was a) the critics loved it and b) the Tony voters did, too.

It scored 12 nominations earlier this week.

I didn’t know the soundtrack or the book upon which it was based. I walked in the theatre about as clueless as a person could get.

So imagine my surprise when the show wasn’t the singing, dancing Partridge Family parody that I had cooked up in my head.

If you too are in the dark (and wish to remain so), stop reading now.

Have they left?  Okay.  So the rest of you know why my mind is a bit blown right now.

The musical’s narrator is a lesbian cartoonist. (Yeah, this show’s no Cinderella.) With the help of her very young self and college-aged self — two incredible young performers — she tells her life story.  With captions.

(‘Cause she’s a cartoonist.)

Fun-Home-2How her father was a part-time teacher and part-time funeral director — FUN HOME was the family nickname for the funeral home — and a closeted gay man who slept with lots of boys and committed suicide while she was away at college.

Yeah.

But that’s not to say there weren’t moments of humor and laughter.  Her first girl-on-girl experience in college inspired “Changing My Major to Joan,” one of my favorite songs in the show. And the kids did do a little Partridge Family at one point, so the graphic designer gets to keep his job.

The cast is all-around amazing. I do wish I had seen the show off-Broadway before they were plopped down into this in-the-round venue. It has led to a lot of ‘singing to the audience’ staging that seems amateurish for a story of such complexity.

It is quite a ride.

Lottery deja vu

It’s hard to believe that it has been three and a half four 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.”

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

Only better.

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

Spit on.

I got to take my friend Derek for his first-ever viewing.

This blog was created with a little help from my post last August, when I won the BOM Twitter lottery the first time.

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!