Saturday, December 6, 2008
Ticket demand has prompted producers of the new Broadway production of Hair to unveil the show three days earlier than previously announced.
Strong sales and a demand, producers said on Dec. 5, prompted the change in schedule. Previews for the rock musical's revival will now begin three days earlier — on Feb. 10, 2009 — at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. The official opening remains March 5, 2009. (Previews were previously announced to begin on Feb. 13.)
Tickets for the upcoming Broadway production of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, a capacity-crowd, critical and popular hit this past summer at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, will go on sale to the general public beginning Dec. 6, and can be purchased by calling Tele-charge at (212) 239-6200, or on-line at www.telecharge.com.
The musical's producers are The Public Theater and Elizabeth Ireland McCann. Oskar Eustis is artistic director of The Public Theater; Andrew D. Hamingson is executive director.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I bring bad news, so many shows on Broadway are closing, it makes my head hurt.
Some are calling this the worst season ever.
Well, it's sad so many shows are closing, it seems there is never a shortage of new productions on the Great White Way.
The latest show to post it's notice is "Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein".
While this show has had a healthy run of over a year, it never was the critically or financial darling of it's prettier sister, "The Producers". A great article was posted this morning on NYTimes about how many people were turned off by the production because of it's rocket high premium prices and almost arrogance surrounding the show. The producers decided not to post it's weekly grosses, while all shows do. They also shortchanged the cap of how many group sales they sold which is a dagger in any production because so many survive of these group profits.
I am one of the many people who did not see this production, despite the stellar talents of Roger Bart and Sutton Foster.
Speaking of Sutton Foster, she is Fiona in the new production of Shrek the Musical. Oh yes, it is now a musical. It's still in previews but there are many reports of so-so reviews. If the tourists have their way, it's sure to last on Broadway for some time.
What else is going on in the Broaway world. Hairspray is closing in January (with the original Tracy and Edna) and Spamalot is closing in January as well.
What are things to look forward to in the spring to off-set this major bummer season? Revivals include Guys and Dolls, Hair, Waiting for Godot, and the funny Will Farrell in You're Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush.
I wish you all a great Thanksgiving, and come see a Broadway show - or i'll be sad.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I was fortunate to get a last minute student rush ticket ($10!) to Atlantic Theatre Company's Farragut North Saturday afternoon.
It was...a great show. One, that I will probably see again before it ends. The play revolved around Stephen as young and ambitious 25 year old press rep for a governor running to get the presidential nomination. Back door politics ensues along with his career and personal life. Chris Noth (yes him), plays the campaign manager(okay, so when I saw it, I thought he was the nominee, and in the play he dresses rather sloppy, and i was like wtf, why are you dressed so bad) anyway, bad stuff hits the fan, and it gets intense but the play and story never losses its focus. It had me hanging to the edge of my seat. It was so good. So good.
Evening show was Equus with several of my favorite NYC friends. Okay, so going in I knew the central premise, kid obsessed with horses, gets naked. That's all I knew.
What a weird and sick and twisted show this was. I am now terrifed of horses because actual humans played the horses with metal shaped heads and hooved feet and suddenly they were like in sync with each other and it was crazy and my mind was blown.
Dan Radcliffe was pretty good. I mean, he is Harry Potter and adorable, so it was lovely to see him change into this crazy kid. So anyway, it was crazy and I don't know how I feel about it but at least I'm feeling somethng, right?
Holy cow, people.
How is it already November 9th? Almost an hour away from double digits.
And so close to thanksgiving (which means home to my dog!)
I've been slacking in my updates because...I am a slacker. so here we go my precious readers(I know you're out there beautifuls).
October was a busy theatre month for me.
I was fortunate to see [title of show], Gypsy, Speed-The Plow- and In The Heights all in one weekend! And with my mom and bff no less.
Let's start with ............. a little [tos]
Oh dear [tos], i love you.
please come in my pocket and stay forever.
Sadly, as reported earlier, [title of show] ran it's course but let me just say, i adored this production.
Having only heard the cast recording (i almost wrote soundtrack, uhoh, im slacking), i knew the general concept but sitting in the second row was pretty amazing.
Hunter and Jeff were fantastic and hilarious and endearing. The girls, Heidi and Susan were perfect in their "me" roles. I adored Secondary Characters and What Kind of Girl Is She, and A Way Back to Then. I felt like the first half really really flowed well and the second part, I was left...waiting, if that makes sense. It got kinda heavy toward the end, which I wasn't expecting but I understand as necessary for the journey.
Anyway, I loved it, I left the theatre smiling (partly because my Amtrak was an hour late and I wasn't sure if I was going to make it on time and the other half because I was 10 minutes away from seeing my Mom).
The next night I saw Gypsy. This was my first time seeing the show and I loved it. But Holy Mother of Jones, it was long. I guess that's how it was done back in the day - 3 hour production. Patti Lupone is god, basically. I was fortunate to see her in Sweeney Todd with my other Broadway husband, Michael Cerveris, and adored her. This production was all about her - and the goddess that is Lauren Benanti. I would love to grow up in vaudeville and then become a stripper! Life long dreams people.
Next night, was kind of a toss up. I ended up seeing the Mamet revival of Speed the Plow, last minute. I adore Raul Esparza, as stated in an earlier blog entry. I half expected him to belt out Being Alive, because the show was in the Barrymore, same as the revival of Company. Jeremy Piven can go either way for me. Love him in Serendpity and yes, Chasing Liberty but kind of don't care for him otherwise. I know, not being a very objective reviewer but hey. Elisabeth Moss was cute.
That is my review of Speed the Plow. Enjoy.
Next night was IN THE HEIGHTS. It needed to be capitalized because this show = my life. Except I don't rap and don't go around dancing and proclaiming my latin-ness. Although, I think I should.
Anyway, this was my 3rd time seeing ITH and my mom's 2nd! Two times - watch out!
This was definitely a favorite of mine because our seats were pretty amazing and it was fantastic to see Karen on again (she was out last time), and of course my girl crush Mandy Gonzalez. Oh and Lin, because well, he's like....awesome.
Mom said she loved it much more this time around and my friend, Elisia, loved it too! I love this show for several reasons but one is that it still makes me cry. Breathe, is the song that struck a cord with me back in March when I saw it in previews (cue me crying in the last row, rear mezz without a tissue). Everything about this show I love. Even the awful parent songs (yeah i said it).
I love in the heights! i love the little mexican flag being waved during Carnival del Barrio.
I love home, i like the climax of home, i love the ending of home. I love in the heights!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Lauren Graham, most known for her role as Lorelei Gilmore on the WB's Gilmore Girls will be in the upcoming Guys and Dolls revival. She will play Adelaide opposite Oliver Platt.
The revival will be housed at the Nederlander theatre (the recent home of Rent) on 41st street. The production will open in March with previews starting in February.
Before this casting news, I had no real interest in this production. I mean, Ewan Mcgregor won't be in it (he was in a previous carnation on the West End). I have heard rumors of Cheyanne Jackson joining but that is still up in the air.
As hard as it will be for me to enter the Neder again and not see how it once was when Rent was in house, I think I may have to catch a performance, just to see if Lorelei can be a star on Broadway.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I signed up for a "emerging leaders" mailing for arts presenters and I was passed along this cute song.
The song is for arts administrators, it's their anthem.
Check it out.
Who's that man with the plan for building an audience for the actors?
Who's that gal making pals with those big symphony benefactors?
Sometimes you might see 'em
Strolling around some well-endowed museum.
You'll know sooner or later,
It's an Arts Administrator.
Take any art that cannot support itself on earned income.
They'll bring the smarts and the heart to help you put on the show and then some.
'Cause you know it ain't easy
Running a 501c3.
Still it's sweeping the nation,
It's Arts Administration.
I've seen 'em balance a budget
With a bake sale benefit.
Between the divas and the details
Any average mortal would quit.
Juggling that governing board
Buying things they can't afford
Driving in an old Accord
('Cause they can't buy a new one).
Getting all their goods in-kind
Starting with the end in mind
They're the best when in a bind.
Even if the muses infused your every breath,
Without their kind you might find
That you're an artist who's starved to death.
You'll need one sooner or later,
It's an Arts Administrator
Friend of every creator,
It's an Arts Administrator.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The Bitch Of Living, indeed.
This is shaping to be a very hard season for Broadway and Broadway fans.
With the closing of Rent, Xanadu, [title of show], Legally Blonde, and the soon to be closed Hairspray and Spamolot, this is a heartbreak season.
Add my heartbreaking to this list, Spring Awakening with end its run on Broadway, January 18.
Spring Awakening has a close place in my heart. I first heard about it when it opened on Broadway December 2006. A few friends had seen it early in its run and blogged their comments and soon, I was downloading the cast recording on iTunes and quickly memorizing the lyrics.
It wasn't until June of 2007 that I was able to see the Original Cast on Broadway do their thing. I remember being so mesmerized by the set and especially the amazing light design.
Since then I have seen it 8 times, the most recent was last May. I suppose the reason I haven't gone back is because the Original Cast has left, so an empty feeling is felt. Although I haven't seen the new cast, I have heard many goods thing along with the not so good things. This shouldn't be the reason why the show is closing its doors. I find it hard to believe that the Original Cast is what brought people into the show. It won 8 Tony Awards and has an amazing pop/rock score thanks to Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater
The show will go on of course. There is a National Tour that recently started this fall. Three Broadway actors are included in this tour, and fresh new faces as well. I most likely won't see the tour until it hits Boston in April.
The news of Spring Awakening's close breaks my heart. Now I won't have a very good reason to walk down 49th street anymore. True story: I took a job working at a summer camp in the summer of 2007 to babysit little kids for two months, just so I could come to NYC to see Spring Awakening. I ended up being lucky enough to see it twice that summer, and many times since then, so in writing this entry, it truly saddens me that many young adults will not get to see this incredible show. What touched me, has affected thousands, much much more. I can't imagine a greater show for our generation, right now, that has the same resonance and heart.
And I won’t let them stray from my heart
Through the wind, through the dark, through the winter light
I will read all their dreams to the stars
I’ll walk with them now
I’ll call on their names
I’ll see their thoughts are known
Not gone –
Not gone –
They walk with my heart –
I’ll never let them go
I’ll never let them go
I’ll never let them go
You watch me
Just watch me
I’m calling –
And one day all will know
Friday, October 17, 2008
Once became popular over the past year thanks to the tune, "Falling Slowly" written by Marketa Iraglova and Glen Hansard who starred in the movie released in May of 2007.
This movie, is a personal favorite of mine. I can remember watching the trailer in the spring of 2007, and hitting my friend sitting next to me how excited I was.
The movie didn't disappoint. I went to see it several times and bought my DVD the morning of its release.
The passion behind this movie is centered with "guy" and "girl" played by Glen and Marketa. The way it was shot, in a documentary style and with the glorious score, this movie has gone on to affect everyone who stumbles upon it.
The producer of the upcoming Broadway show states:
"In a landscape where the American musical must evolve, Once provides a wonderful, unique opportunity," said producer John Hart in a statement. "Those of us who fell in love with it and its score at the movie theater came out singing, and will do so again when it finds its way to the stage."
Is this a good idea?
Is this a bad idea?
Some people are speaking of this movie as if it was a sacred movie/music that can not be touched. If Glen and Marketa give their blessing and their rights, will that give the ardent fans a reason to be joyous?
How do I feel?
My jaw dropped to the floor when I read the headline. It makes sense that a producer would want to try to put this show on the stage. But doesn't the real reason why this movie works because of the people involved the story surrounding around it? Who will replace Glen and Marketa, will they be good enough, will audiences care? But will this expose their music to a greater audience?
Will they ruin the stage show just as they ruined the DVD cover art? They have "guy" and "girl" holding hands on the DVD, which never happened within the movie and dismisses the whole point of their relationship, musical and romantic.
I have heard that Spring Awakening director Michael Mayer declined to stage the workshop, so it will be interesting how this all comes along.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The latest Legally Brown has Cheyenne Jackson on the chopping block. Even if Cheyenne is a beautiful (beautiful beautiful)man, this episode was taken over by Robin DeJesus who had the best line, "And I was in camp." He is referring to a great campy musical theatre camp movie titled, "Camp". (Rent it, it's good!)
I also didn't post episode #4 with Allison Janney, so here it is!
My little story for this is that i saw Allison once on 8th street walking with groceries.
Cool Story Blogger Girl! (The Soup, anyone?)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
We Will Rock You: Las Vegas ruled my world for a year in 2005.
The show was based on the London hit of the same name, based on the music of the legendary rock group, Queen. Yes, We Are the Champions, I Want It All, Killer Queen, Under Pressure, Another One Bites the Dust and many other classic songs were the score of this musical.
The story is based around Galileo, a boy who wants to revolt against his very strict futuristic town where music is banned (at least dancing wasn't banned, but it should have been, sorry Tony Vincent...just kidding. No one will get that, maybe Amanda, hi!) The rebel meets his match in Scaramouche who is just like him and not the GaGa kids, still with me?
They meet Brit and Oz who are the leaders of the bohemians who want to revolt against the Killer Queen and her henchman, Khashoggi (there was once a time when I didn't have to look up how to spell that word). Anyway, awesome-ness happens and the bohemians rule and KQ goes away, that's pretty much the premise.
On paper, it sounds horrible right? But it wasn't.
Especally when you have the super talents of Tony Vincent as Galileo (and also Jason Wood), Aspen Miller as Scaramouche (now Aspen Vincent and Kacie Sheik as well). Patti freakin Russo as Killer Queen and Douglas Crawford as Pop(now on Broadway in Jersey Boys..yay!) and the talents of Carly Thomas and Ty Taylor as Oz and Brit.
Okay, so let's talk why this show didn't do so well in Vegas.
You'd think this fun show would have had a long run, especially when you were allowed to bring drinks into the theatre and pretty much get up and dance at the end if you cared to do so. The price of a ticket was around $120, less if you had AAA and remembered. The show ran a little under 2 hours, if that.
Then came the cuts Mid July. Audience members were given comment cards on the state of the show, I remember something about how I put in all caps to keep the show the way it was. My comment was not taken. Anyway. The show got pretty level reviews, people who saw the show enjoyed their time. But how do you get people in seats to see a musical? Even if it is Queen? And at that, why was Mamma Mia! doing so well down the Strip at the Mandalay Bay hotel? What was so fascinating about Abba that Queen didn't have?
I don't have the answer but I do know Broadway West (as it was coined at the time) was not doing so hot. Hairspray opened up at the Luxor a little after WWRY closed in November. Unfortunately, it didn't well either. These shows were the condensed soup version of their Broadway or West End counterpart. How can they cater to the attention span of Vegas tourists? Does Broadway need to be in the desert, available for the drunked herds of the Strip?
Disney thinks so!
Surprise, The Lion King was announced this week that a production will be placed at the Mandalay Bay. In the Playbill article, it states no major cuts will take place, so basically an incarnate of the Broadway version. Brava Disney! Kill for that money! I have seen The Lion King at Gammage, and while visually stunning, nothing that great. In my opinion, of course. But this show sells more money than most shows out there. Mainly touring shows. So, it is a huge benefit for Disney and Manadaly Bay to strike a deal to present this show. Money money money.
But let's think on the other end. Will Vegas tourists want to sit with other families and watch this Disney show? Don't most adults go to Vegas to well...gamble and drink. How many families out there will go out of their way to see this production? I'm guessing a fair amount. If marketed right and the prices are not too extreme this show will be a hot ticket. Actually, strike that, people will give up their children to get a ticket to this show.
Other Broadway shows that landed on the Strip included Avenue Q(closed), Spamalot(still running? not too sure), Mamma Mia(ends its run in January) Phantom (the shortened version of The Phantom of the Opera, still running), The Producers(closed), Hairspray(closed) and my beloved We Will Rock You(closed...sigh)
Does Broadway belong in the desert, especially a place like Las Vegas were it's already a big spectacle. Is Vegas the new Broadway West?
PS-Bring We Will Rock You to Broadway. Seriously, the powers that be, do it!
I didn't intend to write a blog on the recent revival of Company but it's something about listening to Raul Esparza sing "Being Alive" that can't be dismissed.
My first encounter with Company was during a semester at Scottsdale Community College. I was taking a History of American Jazz type of class. For some reason I was allowed to do my report on Stephen Sondheim (I don't know how I got to that either) but I researched all of Sonheim's shows, to be honest, not really that familiar with most of his work.
I stumbled upon Company and was confused. So this guy, Bobby/Robert, a bachelor in NYC, turning 35.
The show didn't catch my eye until the summer of 2007. (I became ardently obsessed with Sweeney Todd up until then though) I was forunate to see the Broadway revival of Company during it's final week. I didn't know much of the music but I was excited to go. I purchased student tickets that morning and was able to see the matinee...in the front row.
I don't think I've ever been that emotional after a show. I don't mean crying or saddness, I mean, feeling and experiencing different emotions. I remember calling my friend Amanda after the show and telling her, I don't know if I should cry, vomit, laugh, dance, run, or do other activities. I was such a smorgasbord of emotions afterwards but all in a good way.
While in no way am I a 35 year old bachelor in NYC or in a marriage like many of the characters, I still connected with the show.
I'm going to devote this next blub to Raul Esparza who is just phenomenal in all aspects of the show. I remember sitting there with eyes wide open and smiling like a weirdo just drinking in his amazing vocals and acting. In my humble opinion, he deserved that Tony. I didn't see Curtains, so I have no real view on David Hyde Pierce's performance but I'm pretty sure I threw things at the TV when Raul lost. (and again last June for The Homecoming. He pretty much deserved an award just for his reactions during Xanadu's performance...anyone anyone?)
So to conclude this rambling entry, Company was amazng. I recall one of the actresses at stage door talking to her friend saying, "Look at how these kids [the students who rushed for front row were all at the stage door] identify with this show. It's not just for adults." It's one of those overheard quotes that has always stuck with me. And absolutely true.
If this for some reason has caused you to want to view this production - you can! PBS filmed it, and it is now available on DVD. Netflix it, buy it, love it! Enjoy.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Watching the first YouTube video of Legally Brown: The Search For the Next Piragua Guy is like a jolt of energy that tickles your funny bone and makes you want to do a happy dance.
This playful series written and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of In The Heights, is a spoof of MTV's summer snooze, Legally Blonde: The Search For the Next Elle Woods (omg, that takes forever to write out, you're correct Seth Rudetsky).
For Brown, instead of looking for the next Usnavi or Benny, they dig deeper, who can be the next Piragua guy, the scene stealing belter who sells the ensemble icees throughout the show.
I love how you can tell Seth is cracking up while playing the piano.
Matthew Morrison, Boricua Bad Boy
Definitely my favorite of the videos. haha
At the beginning, my vote was for Mathew Morrison because well, come on.
But as events unfold, only the best man who can serve the icee with ease, agility and spanish will win, stay tuned to see who becomes...the next Piragua guy!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
West Side Story has a homecoming date and residence. The revival will open on March 19, 2009 at the Palace Theatre, the current home of Legally Blonde. This production will be directed by the librettist Arthur Laurents (who recently mounted the Encores! and Broadway production of Gypsy with Patti Lupone).
"This show will be radically different from any other production of WEST SIDE STORY ever done. The musical theatre and cultural conventions of 1957 made it next to impossible for the characters to have authenticity. Every member of both gangs was always a potential killer even then. Now they actually will be. Only Tony and Maria try to live in a different world" said Arthur Laurents.
The producers are the team Seller and McCollum, among others. They're the ones who brought you In The Heights, Avenue A and Rent.
The production will have a try out in Washington D.C. before heading north for Times Square.
Okay, let's face it: I'm excited. Partly, because I have never seen a live production of this show and hopefully this will be really killer and authentic. Will Puerto Ricans really be Puerto Ricans on stage? Does that matter to the audience? As long as they can sing the Bernstein and Sondheim score?
For me, it's as long as the mambo dance scene is epic.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Another day, another closure.
This time it's for the blondes.
Legally Blonde opened spring 2007 and will officially close on October 19. The show plays at the Palace Theatre in the heart of Times Square. While I have never seen the production, I did watch the MTV broadcast as well as the "Search For The New Elle Woods" show this summer.
I have heard rumors that the new production of West Side Story is eyeing the Palace Theatre when it returns to Broadway in the spring. We shall see.
Bend and Snap people!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
We have Shrek.
We have Mary Poppins.
We have Dr. Frankenstein and his monster.
We have flying witches.
What else does Broadway need?
Oh but of course.
Grumblings around the Broadway community this past summer have heard casting calls for the new Julie Taymor musical....Spiderman!
Now, when I first heard this news....cue the....eye roll.
But learning that Julie Taymor is attached could make this all very interesting. This could potentionally go in the way of The Lion King or into the direction I am sure many would not like, The Times They Are A-Changin.
But let me ask the question - does Broadway need this show? Are there target demographics out there that have yet to be touched by the already broad spectrum of musicals on Broadway? My answer would be yes and no. This, to my knowledge, is the first an actual superhero will be attached to a musical. Although there aren't many "guy shows" on Broadway (although High Fidelity came to as close as that), will the knowledge of a Superman musical really put men in the seats? Will this be the first show where a man will turn to his spouse or girlfriend or partner and say, "Oh boy! Let's shell out $120 a ticket to see this spectacle on Broadway!"
Oh yes, the music. Who is doing the score....none other than Bono and the Edge of U2. Do they rank higher on the cool factor than say Elton John and Tim Rice (thank you very much Aida)? Will having Bono's ultra cool name attached to this project boost the interest of that male target? As usual, we will have to wait and see how they plan to market....oh yeah and stage this monster of a show.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The Broadway musicals, [title of show] and Xanadu are set to close on October 12th.
Xanadu opened July 2007 and had a healthy run, with four Tony nominations. I had the pleasure of seeing the show in October 2007 (where a petite Barbara Walters sat in front of me) and laughed my arse off for 90 minutes. I remember not knowing what to expect from the show, having never seen the infamous movie, but curious about the show due to its hot pink advertisements outside the Helen Hayes Theatre (I'm not joking). I've been wanting to see it again, for the pure fact that's it's just a fun show. Kerry Butler is amazing, and I was crossing my fingers for her at the Tonys back in June. Oh, and Cheyanne Jackson, yeah, I think everyone agrees when I say, most deserving of a Tony nom.
Moving onto [tos] as it's affectionately called by its fans. I recall hearing about this show back in it's off-broadway run, having a few friends who had been smitten by it. It's opening this July generated a lot of online buzz. Unfortunately, that didn't seem to cross over into the Lyceum Theatre (where I saw Is He Dead? ...amazing!). I had been planning on seeing the show as soon as I figured out my fall schedule but times are rough, even on Broadway, and the producers posted notice of its closing next month. See me....dashing to Broadwayoffers.com to pick up an orchestra seat for October 2. My first and only time but I truly hope, a memorable one.
According to an article I read last week, there will be 22 new productions this Broadway season. I don't have the stats on last year's season but that seems to be quite a lot. I hope Broadway can handle our current economic crunch and audiences will still flock to see the new and old on the Great White Way. When "little musicals that could" like, [title of show] and Xanadu close, it makes me wonder if the bigger shows like, A Tale of Two Cities and the up and coming Billy Elliot, are a few factors that crush the little guys. Would [tos] still be playing if it was on the west side of Broadway and in a smaller house? Did they need more print advertising? And most importantly, will Cheyanne Jackson be in the tour of Xanadu and wear those short shorts?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
My birthday was this past Monday and there was no better way then spend an evening listening to lovely music.
I've been a fan of John Gallagher Jr. even before I was able to see Spring Awakening over the summer of 2007. I listened to Old Springs Pike and then in turn, Johnny's solo music.
I never had the honor of watching him perform his own music, until this past Sunday at the Highline Ballroom in NYC.
His music is pretty incredible; of the heart.
His lyrics are beautiful; rhapsodic.
I can't wait to see the play Farragut North in November at the Atlantic Theatre Company. A political thriller drama....sounds good!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
as of June 2009
Hello, Dolly! (with the one and only carol channing)
The Phantom of the Opera (3)
Thoroughly Modern Millie (2)
The Sound of Music
We Will Rock You; Vegas (8)
Les Miserables (4)
Kiss Me, Kate
The Lion King
Sweeney Todd (3)
The Drowsy Chaperone
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
tick, tick...BOOM! (2)
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Chita Rivera: A Dancer's Life
Jesus Christ Superstar
Altar Boyz (2)
The Light In The Piazza
Spring Awakening (8)
Is He Dead? (Play)
In The Heights (5)
South Pacific - Bway Revival
The Wedding Singer
My Fair Lady
[title of show]
Gypsy w/ Patti Lupone
Next To Normal
Thursday, September 11, 2008
With the recent smash success of HAIR, presented by the Shakespeare in the Park this summer it was a no-brainer that it would transfer to a Broadway house soon. Spring 2009 will see the revival with casting, dates and house to be announced.
This very exciting news to hippies and non-hippies alike. Three extensions of the current version of HAIR, a recent outing in September 2007, and the Actor's Fund Benefit in 2004, what has taken Broadway so long to embrace the epic show? Is it midtown's lack of accessible theatres, location, talent, money? It seems, hopefully, all will fall in place next Spring and a new generation will be exposed to a classic.
Will Jonathan Groff reprise his role as Claude, or will Christopher Hanke take the reins, perhaps a new casting choice? Will Caren Lyn Manuel, Karen Olivo or another actress belt the role of Sheila?
On Sunday, September 7, the final curtain was called on Jonathan Larson's RENT.
I start my Broadway blog, Midtown Utopia, with this poignant event. To say that RENT changed my life would be quite the understatement. I went to see the Benny Tour in Tempe, AZ in March of 2000 on a Sunday. The matinee had me sitting in the first tier of Gammage Auditorium eagerly waiting what I was about to watch. I had no idea what to expect or what, almost 9 years later, would do to my life.
There are only a few moments of that very first show that I can clearly remember. I recall telling my friend at intermission, as we were eating peanut M&Ms that Angel was my favorite and that I couldn't wait to see how it would all pan out. After, my mom purchased the cast recording and I soon had the cd in constant rotation. So much, that it became scratched and would have to be replaced many times. I can recall sitting on my bed, leafing through the the libretto, reading the names of the cast members and picturing how it would look on stage at the Nederlander on Broadway. How intimate the show must feel in such a small house, on such a small stage. How the energy must be bouncing off the walls during La Vie Boheme, how I'll Cover You: Reprise must bring the house down every night, how people must be exclaiming how much they enjoyed the show as they spilled out on 41st street.
As I said earlier, almost 9 years later, and I have been very lucky to see many incarnations of my beloved show. So many different casts, so many different takes on one single line, one single laugh, one single melody, had really taken over how much I enjoyed live theatre. Before RENT, I only had a few shows under my viewing belt. I knew The Phantom of the Opera, I had been able to see Carol Channing in Helly, Dolly but with RENT, it was special. It was different. It was life. It was death. It was funny. It was sad. It was me. And I could not wait to be a part of it somehow.
Since moving to the east coast for school I have been lucky enough to see many new shows open on Broadway. Yet in a way I feel like I've always neglicated that green building. I had only seen RENT in October with Anthony Rapp (Adam Pascal was out that matinee and I was able to see Luther Creek, amazing btw). I guess what I'm getting at, is that is my real regret. I know I'm supposed to "Forget, regret or life is yours to miss." But if I could turn back the clocks, I would have loved to have seen more performances, espcially would have loved to seen Caren Lyn Manuel as Mimi or Maureen. (love love love her!)
So to know that I had tickets to attend the last performance on Broadway was suprisingly bittersweet. Going into the theatre, I had mini spazz attacks because I kept noticing people left and right. And these people I had never seen before in person, these people were my Broadway idols. To know that they appreciated the life and work and integrity of the show meant everything. To be in attendance was just flabbergasting. I am so thankful for everything.
So to come to a close on my first entry, thanks for reading. I'm not sure what to expect from this blog but who knows. The gentleman sitting in front of my friend and I on Sunday turned around and told me I should start a blog. No joke. So here I am. Starting my first Broadway blog. Enjoy!
ps- If you are wondering why I choose to call this blog "Midtown Utopia", I do have a reason. Junior year in high school, we were asked to bring in something that reflected what we felt was our "Utopia". At the height of my RENT craze, I brought in a plywood board, of Midtown New York City. I had styrofoam buildings with the logo of the show on them and in correct position as they are in real life...my utopia.