Tag Archives: musical

No debate

I love a Craig Ferguson show, and his new series on History Channel, Join or Die, is no exception.

  • join or die

Craig along with three celebrities from various walks of life debate different topics and, with the studio audience’s assistance, crown a champion. Recent topics have included greatest unexplained phenomena, greatest gangster, history’s dumbest mistake, you get the idea.

This week they tackled history’s best founding father. The panelists were actor Fred Willard, comedian Jo Koy, and journalist Joel Stein. The founding father choices? George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

Now, I don’t expect the panelists to do excessive research in preparation for the show, but the dismissive comments they made about John Adams’ contribution to the founding of this country made me realize…

They hadn’t even watched the movie or stage version of 1776.

Take away their citizenship. Right. Now.

George Washington won, by the way. Shocker.

So filling

I saw the new musical Waitress on Wednesday.

waitressA lot has already been written about that particular performance, since they had to stop the show twice to deal with scenery malfunction…but no one was complaining.

Sara Bareilles was the entertainment during the break.

It’s not the first time I have experienced stoppages like this on Broadway.  When I saw Harvey starring Jim Parsons from “The Big Bang Theory,” they too had pesky set pieces that simply would not move.

That’s what you get when you go to early previews.

And with Waitress, you get a wonderful, heart-felt, truly hilarious take on one of my favorite films.  Kudos to the casting director, because every role was spot-on — especially the male supporting characters, who stole the show every time they stepped out on stage.

Drew Gehling as Dr. Pomatter — a role originated by my man Nathan Fillion in the movie — has big shoes to fill and does it with unique comedic timing and fantastic chemistry with star Jessie Mueller.  But the biggest ovation at curtain call — rightly so — went to Christopher Fitzgerald, who chews up the scenery (or should I say pie?) as the quirky Ogie the Elf.

The music is wonderful, and ya gotta love any set that features a cherry pie curtain, even if the darn thing doesn’t work all that well.  Because the show?

Sweet!

 

 

 

 

One life too many

Cats is coming back to Broadway this summer.

image

Even the article announcing the news wondered why.

When the show originally opened,  the Great White Way was struggling. Cats helped revive the musical and Broadway.

Both are flourishing now.

I think the current generation is okay experiencing this show elsewhere.

I know I certainly am.

The day the music died

american-idol-judges-feb-26-2014-ftrAmerican Idol is being canceled?

I feel such strong emotions  — or I’m trying to, anyway — so I must breakout into song, like any decent musical would:

(My apologies to “American Pie.”)

Denial, denial,
American Idol

You are leaving
I am grieving
in a ugly rage spiral

Sure, I’ve spent my nights
watching your network rival, singing —

I’ll tune back in for the big final.
I’ll tune back in for the big final.

So long, AI.  (Harry, you were my fav.)

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.

I’m a Veronica

I bought a ticket to see Heathers: The Musical in late March.

I finally got to use it tonight.
heathers the musical

Is it as dark as the movie? Definitely.

Is it funnier than the movie? Definitely.

Does its soundtrack feature some of the wildest lyrics I have heard on a stage to date?

Most definitely.  (We’re talking blue balls, ‘sword fighting’ — yes, you should take that in a dirty way — and a salute to ‘my dead gay son’ that rocks the house.

If you’re a fan of the movie, you will love it.  If you have never seen the movie — like my friend Beth, who joined me tonight — you will love it.  And if you love great parody…

You’ve probably already seen it.  Go again.  You deserve it!

 

 

Oh, what a beautiful morning

I started my Sunday morning cleaning the apartment while watching Les Miserables on HBO.

It was my third viewing.

I obviously love the film, but I know there are many naysayers who poo-pooed the movie adaptation — because of changes made to the story and perceived imperfections in the songs because they were recorded live on set.

How dare emotions choke their voices.

But for those who question Hugh Jackman’s pipes in Les Miz, take a gander at his performance in the 1998 Royal National Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!” in London’s West End, for which he earned an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

‘Nuff said.

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!

Alien encounter

A spaceship crashed in Manhattan last night.

You didn’t hear about it?  I did.  I was in the theatre that it hit.

That’s the back story of the off-Broadway musical Voca People playing now at New World Stages.

I hadn’t heard much about the show until Jimmy Fallon gave it a rave review.  Then it seemed like everyone was talking about it.

The eight performers — residents of the planet Voca performing to gain ‘life energy’ for their spaceship so they can return home — act as alien as they appear.  When they first walk on stage, they can’t even speak English; however, linking hands with an audience member quickly engages their ‘universal translator.’

Space age gimmicks aside, the vocals and harmonies of Voca People are — forgive me — out of this world.  The entire act is a capella; they create every note with only their mouths and microphones.  While I could have done without the narrative, the song selection, quality of performance and sheer energy made me an instant fan.

Seriously — they do a rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that is worth the complete price of admission.  And their interaction with audience members is an endearing combination of awkward and awesome.

So, if you’re near the theatre district and see a UFO…

Run towards the light.