Tag Archives: singing

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.

Sad sad

Parenthood, I miss you already.

Your final episode sits in denial on my DVR, as if not erasing it will bring back the series next season.

Could it?

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You Bravermans were that perfectly imperfect clan — often close to imploding but always ending up even closer together.

I’ll miss the endless baseball games and backyard gatherings under the twinkly lights. Everyone singing or dancing for some reason or other. And giving sudiences the first indepth conversation about Asperger’s syndrome on network TV.

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Over your six seasons, my obsession with characters morphed and changed with the storylines.  But I will always love Julia and Joel, and be grateful for the addition of Hank, because Ray Romano is a wonderful dramatic actor (which I discovered in Men of a Certain Age) and I loved what he brought to Parenthood.

I’m rambling because I hate to say goodbye. Let’s just say, “See ya later…”

Because I will be watching again soon.

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.

 

Building bridges

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I attended the final performance of The Bridges of Madison County this afternoon.

I bought my ticket as soon as it was announced.  Such a special show deserved an encore viewing.

It was better than the first time I saw it. Perhaps because the theatre was packed. Or because every word spoken, every note sung was the the last time for the actors and audience alike.

The performances were heartbreaking. There were three standing ovations during the show itself, and the curtain call was thunderous.  Star Kelly O’Hara spoke to the crowd, promising that the show would ‘live on.’

I worried that the final performance might be a bit depressing, but it was one of the most inspiring things I have ever experienced.

Here’s hoping it comes to your town one day soon.

Here comes the smolder

I went to see “First Date,” the new Broadway musical starring Zachary Levi of Chuck and Tangled fame…because it stars Zachary Levi of Chuck and Tangled fame.

Just keepin’ it real.

first date broadway

The show’s premise had potential, too.  Two people set up by friends meet on a blind date, their pasts swirling in the air between them.

I mean literally between them…in the form of five other cast members, who play multiple roles throughout the show — patrons in the restaurant, a waiter, mother, grandmother, sister, best friend, fiancé, father — and help them deal with the issues you face on any first date.

What to order. What to talk about.  What not to talk about.  And how to tell the other person that you just want to be friends.

Oh…that.

With the exception of the opening number — which was a tad bit thin — the show was clever, upbeat and a lot of fun.  I laughed and laughed.  Zachary’s comedic timing was as spot on as ever, and First Date showcases his voice and surprising dance moves.

His leading lady Krysta Rodriguez, who I learned from Playbill was on the now defunk Smash, was equally strong, and the supporting cast all had a chance to shine.

I would love to tweak a few of the jokes that fell flat, but even without my help…

It’s a keeper.

Jump the snark

I finally saw Bring It On the Musical tonight.

I’ve been waiting for over three years to see it…perhaps that’s why I was a little disappointed.
bring it on the musical

No, it was more than that.

The musical is merely inspired by the cult-classic film.  It borrows characters and story lines from the sequel, eliminates favorites and creates still more.

The school uniforms help if you get confused.

The musical also has a completely different tone.  It is very light on comedy.  Gone is the snark that made the original film so much fun to watch.  And somebody in the writers room loves earnest ballads.  I found myself groaning when yet another heartfelt musical number interrupted the dialogue.

But once they got into the heart of the competition, Bring It On really entertains.  If you like watching cheerleading competitions on ESPN, these are just as intense and high-flying…

Plus everyone is singing their lungs out!

Spoiler

How quickly glee can turn into gloom.

Cameron left The Glee Project last night.  Voluntarily.

Even after Ryan Murphy, the show’s creator, met with him one-on-one and asked him to stay.  Told him he could go all the way and win the competition.  That they really wanted to write a role for him on Glee.

Cameron? He just wanted to go home.

I am so bummed.

But if reality shows have taught me anything, it’s that I shouldn’t believe what I am seeing.

While I do think Cameron’s reasons for leaving the show are sincere — especially his clash with directors regarding acting choices he refused to make — I have to wonder if he was later convinced to use his dilemma to add drama to the competition.

A change of heart and surprise reappearance at the eleventh hour would make great reality show fodder.  And Cameron on Glee?

Heck, I cast him weeks ago.

Oh yeah!

Yesterday a friend of mine on Facebook requested that everyone stop posting pictures and videos of fireworks.

“Thanks for your entries, but we get it already,” he said.

I guess it’s not surprising that some 235 years after the first Fourth of July celebration, it feels like nothing too original can be said about Independence Day, even on the relatively new social media.

So why not celebrate the awesomeness that has already been penned about our nation’s brave beginnings?

Now, there are some fireworks I think everyone can enjoy!

Happy Fourth!

Lip service

At first, I attributed the phenomenon to DVR-itis.

I was out Thursday night, and Friday was playing catchup on the NBC comedy lineup.  Even fast-forwarding through the commercials, it seemed like promos for The Voice were on every break.  So I started paying closer attention…

They were on every break.

And pretty much the same one, too…where Adam Levine says “I have to work with you,” and Christina Aguilera throws her arms up in the air and dances around in her big Star Trek captain’s chair.

By the time I finished 30 Rock, it wasn’t a promo anymore — it was torture.  I was ready to talk…about anything.

[A 30 Rock writer even tweeted an apology for The Voice promo overload, but quickly deleted it.  Job security, much?]

Now I read that Saturday Night Live* is being delayed tonight for a full two minutes to give the audience “an early look” at the new singing competition.  Granted, SNL is a rerun this week, but…

COME ON!

There is a fine line between promotion and saturation, and NBC — you crossed it last Tuesday!  I know you guys are excited to have anything new to crow about, but leave the audience wanting more, ya know?

At the rate you’re going, the audience is just gonna leave.

What’s left of ’em.

NBC delayed Tonight Show with Jay Leno Thursday by an astounding 12 minutes to promote The Voice.  While in theory this practice is beyond egregious, I feel in this extremely rare case, NBC did viewers a favor.