Tag Archives: theatre

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!

 

 

 

 

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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.

Because I’m happy

I LOVED Hector and the Search for Happiness.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you will.

hector_and_the_search_for_happiness_simon_pegg_posterThis movie will evoke a very specific, personal response from each and every theatergoer.

When Hector, a London psychologist, feels he is no longer helping his patients, he embarks on a trip around the world to research happiness.

His girlfriend supports his quest and even gives him a journal to record his findings.

A few of these findings really resonated with me, leaving me tearful in the theater and very thoughtful long after I left.  It even inspired a two-hour phone call.

Simon Pegg is well-known for his zombie comedies, but Hector is a big step, I believe, toward bigger and more exciting roles.  He hits it out of the park.

It is rare to not only enjoy a movie but also feel it has so much to say about your own life and experiences.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still talking about this one for weeks to come.

 

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.

Picture perfect

What is your passion?

British photographer Jack Daly is asking people this question, and staging photographs on his website People with Passions to tell their stories.
lamp passion
Simon, lamps

book passion
Rob, books

archery passion
Jemma, archery

I love the simplicity of the images…and I like thinking about what passion I would want photographed if I had the opportunity.  Perhaps movies…or theatre.

What would be your passion?

True romance

I didn’t read The Bridges of Madison County when it was published in 1992 — even though Oprah said I should — and the film of the same name three years later was too schmaltzy for my taste.

(Sorry Meryl.)

So no one is more surprised than I at how much I love — that’s love, love, LOVE — the Broadway musical adaptation that I saw today at the matinee.

bridges broadway

This is one of the most romantic shows I have ever seen performed on any stage.

Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale are simply amazing. O’Hara is a Broadway veteran; we expect her depth of character and beautiful voice.  But Pasquale, who I know from his many TV roles, matches her step for step, creating a relationship that is wonderful to watch.

And his tenor?  Fills the theatre.

The music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown are beautiful; the book by Marsha Norman a wonderful mixture of light and shade.

Did I mention I love it?  I simply cannot wait to see it again.