Category Archives: dancing

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.

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Deja super vu

Second only to Pete Carroll’s really bad play call in the final seconds of last night’s Super Bowl is Left Shark.

He even has his own hashtag on Twitter.

Don’t know who #leftshark is? He was one of Katy Perry’s backup dancers. And his moves and killer costume earned him, in a matter of moments, his own Twitter account and social media stardom.

But just like his lesser lauded twin, Right Shark, I found Perry’s entire entourage a bit derivative.

There. I said it.

When I turned over to the half-time show, I thought I was watching a repeat of Pee Wee’s Playhouse.

pee wee

Ya gotta admit — the stage show borrowed his color palette.

And #leftshark? I’m pretty sure his ancestor showed up on Saturday Night Live some 35 years ago.

Landshark2So, don’t feel so bad, Pete.

You weren’t the only one who made a bad call last night.

Dance with me

It’s happened again.

I’ve found another ballet-centric book to obsess about.

image

Astonish Me was recently reviewed in Entertainment Weekly. As soon as I read the premise, I put a hold on it at the library.

While I was waiting,  I read Maggie Shipstead’s debut novel, Seating Arrangements,  which was a best seller and won several awards.

It tells the story of a wedding weekend and two sisters who were trying to find their happy ever after.

I recommend it…and I have a feeling I will this new one, too.

Then maybe a trip to Lincoln Center?

Sorry, Charlie

SPOILER ALERT — this blog talks about last night’s shocking elimination on Dancing with the Stars.

In hindsight, it was inevitable.

charlie whiteHost Tom Bergeron and the judges were aghast that Olympic ice dancer Charlie White and professional partner Sharna Burgess were eliminated just one week shy of the finals.

But with his ice dancing partner Meryl Davis also in the competition (paired with popular-bad-boy dancer Maks Chmerkovskiy), Charlie was dead in the water.  The two were bound to split their fans’ votes, and Maks is way more popular than Sharna.

Meryl wins.

The celebs that remain have their unique voting blocks as well.  Candace Cameron Bure (of Full House fame) can’t go a show without evoking Jesus’ name, so she has the conservative right sewn up.  Singer James Maslow of the boy band Big Time Rush has the hottie vote.  And Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy is dancing brilliantly on two artificial legs — artificial! — and paired with Derek Hough, who is popular enough to win with almost anyone.

So yes, strangely enough, Olympic ice dancer Charlie White was the clear underdog.

Baby boy dance party

I loved the musical sketch “Boy Dance Party” when it aired on Saturday Night Live way back in October.  Bruce Willis and all the guys dancing around the living room while the girls were away?

Instant classic.

If possible, it has been made even better with the addition of a very enthusiastic toddler.

baby body dance party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His parents won’t let people embed the video, but you can still enjoy it on Youtube.

(I like the kid way better than them.)

Titleprov

I just learned that improvised dance is called ‘danceprov.’

dance provI didn’t know the art form existed…and certainly wouldn’t have guessed at that name.

So does it follow then that stream of consciousness writing is…’writeprov?’

Spur-of-the-moment shopping is…’spendprov?’

Snacking when you’re bored is…’bingeprov?’

Sketching on a napkin is…’doodleprov?’

Writing your daily blog when you don’t have a topic is…

‘Postprov?’

Acceptance rocks

What a wonderful coincidence that I would see the Broadway musical Kinky Boots on the same day that DOMA was overturned!

kinky boots

Cindy Lauper’s show, which won six Tony awards including Best Musical, is all about accepting people for who they, and makes drag positively mainstream.

And shoes, of course.

But I can’t emphasize enough the impact that Best Lead Actor Billy Porter and his troupe of drag queens have on this show.  Honestly, it started out slow. S-L-O-W.  The opening number or two gave me pause.  It wasn’t until Billy came on the scene that I started to have hope…and a glimpse of what was to come in the second act.

Need I say it ends with a bang?

(And I’m sure, if it wasn’t set in England, they would have slipped in a ‘no more DOMA’ reference.)

Follow the trail of awards to Kinky Boots!