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.