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Imelda Staunton Hello, Dolly starts tonight!
 Jul 12 2024, 01:59:23 PM

I'm in that sliver of the theatergoing public that doesn't find stagedoor behavior Exhibit A in measuring an actor's generosity of spirit or even attitude toward a fan base. We live in a post-Covid world, and intimate contact with anyone is a personal decision. But even before the pandemic, pausing at a stage door is not required to serve a show or embrace its admirers. Terse, perfunctory exchanges can happen when actors have reason to rush on. They do, as everyone does leaving a

Imelda Staunton Hello, Dolly starts tonight!
 Jul 7 2024, 12:36:33 PM

Just a question, so don't beat me up if you disagree strongly: But doesn't an older Irene raise the stakes and the poignancy? This is a story of two successful businesswomen who have made period-specific sacrifices to hold onto agency. They had no vote, likely had trouble with banks and small business startups (unmarried American woman got credit cards in their names in the 1970s; seriously, not unrelated). These are fascinating contemporary issues. Irene wearing ribbons down her

Titanic at City Center
 Jun 22 2024, 07:39:37 PM

I was there this afternoon. Rapturous. I must second Nyadgal's take on Eddie Cooper's Etches: for me, a standout in a company that had no weaknesses. These vocals - separately and together - are so elegantly handled, they raised the bar.  But Cooper's work, played differently from the sublime Allan Corduner, turned Etches into a front and center major player, which changed the dynamic in every scene he was in: Cooper brings an unexpected agency - as if the show found a n

THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL to close on June 23
 Jun 18 2024, 12:30:02 PM

I still believe the problem here the absence of a target audience. It clearly didn't have Carol King or Neil Diamond crowds. And lack of a star(s). The era of the music covers both boomers in their late 20s/early 30s in the 80s (yes, we watched MTV, too) and Gen X. Yet Lewis isn't a high profile enough figure to push the decade's nostalgia buttons (See The Wedding Singer) nor an influencer earning a theatrical look. Maybe a big TV star in the lead would've s

The 77th Annual TONY Awards Performances
 Jun 18 2024, 09:44:25 AM

I thought Water for Elephants and Merrily came off best because they looked like, you know, musical numbers from Broadway musicals. It's still a critical stylistic necessity: show us pieces of shows. Elephants rushed the splice but recovered and wisely focused on its catchiest melodic hook. Merrily was an actual scene from the show. I loved Illinoise in the St. James, but moving the singers down to the floor (likely required) made the

This past weekend of understudies
 Jun 18 2024, 09:29:27 AM

A minority opinion: Mendez's was straddling two categories, leading and supporting, and it made her win in either a challenge this season. Arguably from a storytelling perspective, Mary is a leading player - it's always been a show about three people tethered to one another, as the last heartbreaker of a scene makes clear. Gussie and Beth are the supporting female characters in Merrily. But in relegating Mendez to supporting - one of the most competitive c

 Jun 6 2024, 12:13:34 PM

The show was in gorgeous shape at yesterday's matinee. This is one of the hardest working companies on Broadway, the trio of young characters all at the top of their game. I've become a major fan of Paul Alexander Nolan's, the production's MVP indeed, a musical theater machine as the force of antagonism. Gustin has grown, as has - at least to my eyes - Edelman. The divided/shared character seemed especially moving in the second act yesterday. Obse

Your thoughts on the 2010 Promises, Promises revival
 Jun 6 2024, 11:55:25 AM

As a longtime fan of the OBC - I saw it tryout in DC when I was a senior in high school (fall of '68) - I was majorly disappointed. The show is about a nebbish-in-a-crowd and a naif, two young cogs in a dehumanizing corporate wheel, the strength of the storytelling the ways these relative kids are exploited. Hayes wasn't entirely wrong, but his comic self-awareness was at odds with the everyman-ness of Chuck. Hayes was something Chuck can't be: cute. And aware of his cut

 Jun 5 2024, 09:26:31 AM

To my surprise, I'm actually returning two months later, thanks to TDF, seeing the matinee this afternoon. Since my initial exposure, I've kinda fallen for the dropped score on Spotify, and believe much of it is the real deal. It's a rare show nowadays that doesn't depend on a succession of pop power ballads. If the second act numbers offer fewer hooks ("Wild" aside, which is both sweet and hot), the music here - evoking the best of Bright Star

Broadway Grosses: Week Ending 6/2/24
 Jun 5 2024, 09:21:32 AM

In the "why the Tonys?" I'm remembering the lengthy Ghost performance, which included the interpolated pop hit from the film. Didn't Ghost only have nominations for set, lighting and new Oscar winner Da'Vine Joy Randolph? And she wasn't invited to perform. 

THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL Opening Night Critics’ Revies
 May 31 2024, 11:19:34 PM

Not to overthink the target gen, but don't write off boomer as "parents" of the H. Lewis crowd. When the show's title song premiered in 1983 I had just turned 31. MTV was new, and we were not exactly old farts watching Lawrence Welk. I knew the entire HL songbook. Not everything that conjures nostalgia is from the audience's teen years. We mistakenly presume that high school ends an investment in top 40. Not true, and when MTV began, it was decidedly pitched to all

 May 29 2024, 08:57:53 AM

I'm decidedly his admirer when he's in a musical theater role. Yet the signature Platt tic, the closed eyes on proudly achieved high notes, which once seemed tethered to a singularly troubled adolescent character, has endured in his concert persona. Outside of a book show, he’s a gifted but mannered performer that can be an acquired taste.

Thursday and Friday night performances remain on TDF as of 9 a.m. Wednesday. For fans, quite a good deal.

THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL Opening Night Critics’ Revies
 May 27 2024, 12:20:20 PM

I have friends - fellow boomers - "baffled" by this show not catching on. And yet, the target audience has likely experienced an overload of juke shows, and Lewis's body of work doesn't immediately conjure enough nostalgia or resonate as reason enough to fork over Broadway prices. It needed a box office star, and Cott simply isn't that guy, no matter how respected his work (and I certainly thought he was persuasive, both acting and singing, in Bandstand

ILLINOISE Original Broadway Cast Recording Thread
 May 22 2024, 08:53:38 PM

I completely agree. These songs are examples of poetic world building, so fully realized in the arrangements, we're transported. 

APPROPRIATE Transferring to the Belasco
 May 22 2024, 08:39:25 AM

I sat in partial view seats at the Belasco for Goodnight, Oscar and have no complaints. I went to the closing Sunday afternoon performance, tickets available the day before on TKTS, and was pleased indeed. 

 May 20 2024, 02:24:04 PM

If these boards were the influencers some characterize them to be, they would play a discernible role in marketing and product enhancement: "A consensus of commentators on BWW and ATC agree: it's a revolutionary theater!" hasn't been elevated in press or media. Those of us who have been here for decades - 21 years for me - know how enjoyable this site is: intellectually stimulating, dish-creating, niche peer group establishing (if infamously, um, capr

Mayer-helmed GALILEO musical and more part of Berkeley Rep season
 May 20 2024, 02:02:52 PM

I haven't seen a money review among the more respected publications, or at least from traditional production-moving media sources. The Variety pan seems the industry's blow that the show didn't need. The blog-ish reviews are rather generically enthusiastic and read like small town papers. A lot of these positives note the solid vocals and impressive productions elements; neither in a vacuum would inspire a Broadway move. 

Does anyone kn

Favorite lines of dialogue written to excuse or make sense of a lyric?
 May 18 2024, 10:21:22 AM

Perhaps the syndrome in reverse. I've always thought the baldly stated dialog leading into "You Must Meet My Wife" is unnecessarily literal: oddly untrue of the rest of the libretto of A Little Night Music. 

Fredrick: "Well, I think it's time to talk about my wife, don't you? 
Desiree: "To boast or complain?
Fredrick: "Both, I expect."

The lines steal the subtext of Sondhei

Mayer-helmed GALILEO musical and more part of Berkeley Rep season
 May 17 2024, 10:48:02 AM

The Chronicle pan - performances aside - is rather startling. No effort was made to see the glass half full, or to in any way acknowledge the value of a story with thematic parallels; on the contrary, she finds the effort to find relevance strained. Having not seen the show, I'm in no position to dispute her take, but must cavil anyway on one point: the incidentals in this slice of history are not as well known as she opines. Most theatergoers will arrive with a ru

Mayer-helmed GALILEO musical and more part of Berkeley Rep season
 May 16 2024, 08:00:29 AM

There's a fairly detailed discussion of previews on Reddit (posted below), if anyone wants to check out early reactions. The comments are split between enthusiasm and ennui, the score coming under some fire for repetition/lack of variety. The biggest structural criticism seems to be that the foundational science vs faith theme lacks urgency, sufficient emotional suspense for a full evening, i.e., the dialectic between a scientist and a skeptical, threatened church doesn't have a dramatic enough outcome to keep us engaged for 2.5 hours. Others disagree. 

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