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The Official TDF Thread  Feb 16 2024, 12:21:59 PM

Wine and Roses is back with a slew of dates for next week into March, including (my favorite; with dependably better seats) Wednesday matinees. When I saw the show, I got 7th row center. 

DOUBT 2024 Previews  Feb 15 2024, 08:50:46 AM

Cherry Jones had a lively, charismatic take, and her smile - if a nun's performative one to glide over many a difficult way - was the first thing she reached for in her tool box. And it worked. Jones, who I saw twice, knew that tyrants are often more winning without vulgar displays of power; she used her honeyed voice to score unexpected points, so that her lobs were often surprises, the content doing the heavy lifting. I am reminded of what I sometimes say about singers and lyrics -

Aaron Tveit, Sutton Foster will next star in ‘Sweeney Todd’  Feb 11 2024, 08:50:30 AM

I love this thread.

I've been posting here since 2003, and this classic discussion is precisely why most of us return: it's thoughtful, it's larded with specifics to back up general take-aways, and it's infused with instructive content, particularly about voices, keys, and composer/authorial intention or absence thereof. In only two days worth of posting, we have a range of responses, all detailing the challenges in the roles and how they're met. I read strong d

APPROPRIATE Transferring to the Belasco  Feb 10 2024, 10:15:48 AM

Since Mary Jane has been raised... I saw it several years ago, in its brilliant first iteration with Carrie Coon. Anyone else? Will be it treated as a new play? I have the published script. It's a small beauty, the original staging one of the most evocative and yet theatrical in the last 20 years, realism with a particular heightening element. I wish the new star well, but wish Coon could've recreated her performance. She was heartbreaking and dazzling. 

Aaron Tveit, Sutton Foster will next star in ‘Sweeney Todd’  Feb 10 2024, 07:30:16 AM

I agree; it’s the Lansbury head voice, or an approximation. Can’t decide if it’s successful or not without hearing another number. But in places it feels, um, uncomfortable for her. I saw Lansbury six times and she achieved that signature effortlessness In performance every time, even a Sunday when she returned after a Saturday off with a cold. There’s one wince inducing moment here where it feels so overly characterized, rather like Jean Stapleton's Edith Bun

APPROPRIATE Transferring to the Belasco  Feb 9 2024, 04:51:31 PM

It's the only thing this season I haven't been able to afford (yes, those prices are mostly prohibitive), so I'm hopeful that we'll get reasonable options at the Belasco. It's moving from about 597 seats to just under 1100. I'll be keeping my eye on the weekday matinee. 

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES - Opening Night Critics' Reviews  Jan 28 2024, 08:30:55 PM

I haven't rooted for a show on this board for a few years, but this is one that I'm pulling for. It's haunted me since I saw it ten days ago, my full immersion into the world-building of the meticulously specific, evocative score enabled a full experience, one that I can't shake. I'm hoping for some career high notices for Guettel. And for my money, there aren't enough prizes to award O'Hara. It's the role of her career, and a performance that folds everything

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES Previews  Jan 25 2024, 12:16:43 PM

No one can convince another that a piece of music is memorable. Yet I find myself baffled by those who insist this show completely lacks melody. I'd invite anyone to listen to "First Breath," "As the Water Loves the Stone," and the soaring "Forgiveness" and insist they lack haunting melodies. Guettel writes character, and here employs a musical lexicon that gives voice both to the ineffable -- the inexpressible internal emotional life -- and circumstantial co

Best new musical of the season  Jan 19 2024, 08:37:27 AM

Having just seen Days of Wine and Roses, I agree with the post above that asserts it's underappreciated so far. Let's see how a new set of reviews frames the piece and the production. I thought it fit beautifully into Studio 54, but I had a superb seat (on TDF), 7th row center; others upstairs find the show too small for the space.  The case: a jazz-tinged at times nearly operatic score that (to my ears) requires space. O'Hara's vocals are simply stunning, and wh

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES Previews  Jan 15 2024, 11:57:43 AM

Okay, you don't find the title song to the film sentimental. But since you haven't yet, do listen to this musicalized iteration of the story, the way it's been composed (mostly) without traditional melodic lines, and perhaps you'll understand why the two styles of music - Mancini's lush midcentury pop stylings and Guettel's jazz-infused dissonance - are polar opposites. That's my ultimate point, picking up on the number of posts here and in the initial summer threa

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES Previews  Jan 14 2024, 10:42:58 AM

Broadway Flash: we agree. I'm not seeing the show until Wednesday, but I can't shake its power, revisiting the numbers in performance sequence on Spotify. By the third full listen, I was completely sold on the score as an exquisite piece of world building. It has that unique quality of nailing both time and place and tone of the prism on the familiar (to Boomers perhaps) story. No, this is not sentiment-driven (like Mancini, whose iconic theme some people seem to miss; so wrong for th

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES Previews  Jan 13 2024, 11:47:41 AM

Preparing to see the show this week, I've continued to explore the score. Ambitious, uncompromising in its refusal to resort to sentiment, and by any definition, challenging. "Forgiveness" is the obvious standout, both iterations gorgeous and heartrending. But the show has at least one exquisite melody, "As the Water Loves the Stone." To those who have seen the show: does it land as exquisitely as it does on the album? Its ravishing melody and the instrumentation, oddl

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES Previews  Jan 8 2024, 06:53:13 PM

The album dropped and the score is mesmerizing. And there’s no denying the power in “Forgiveness.” Both performances of the song, even out of context, wring tears on a first hearing. That clutch in the expressed emotion reminds me of “The Call” in Floyd Collins. O’Hara’s “Underneath” astonishes.

Going via TDF in 10 days. This sounds unmissable by any standards. 

MERRILY 2023 Broadway Revival Cast Recording dropping 11/15 at midnight!  Nov 15 2023, 09:11:26 PM

It's wonderful, its greatest attribute its utter commitment to intimacy. You can hear the relationships in the songs, the singing actors playing the story in this production's signature, a smaller insular world. I still find the newer material - "Growing Up"* - less intriguing. But I'm an old school Merrily fan, having seen the last Thursday that James Weissenbach played. And talked about the show on 52nd street because sites like this didn't exist. The internet

HARMONY previews  Nov 11 2023, 05:07:56 PM

This discussion is almost archetypical BWW: "I admire the ambitions, yet had specific problems with {musical theater craft point X} and {staging issue Y}" is rebutted with "But this is the most significant topic of this particular moment in history, so take a seat with any of those nitpicky reservations!" 

This syndrome has occurred repeatedly, usually around one show per season (the failed Paradise Square invited it, to

HARMONY previews  Oct 21 2023, 08:44:48 AM

To my surprise, the show hasn't turned up yet on TDF. I had presumed during the summer that its previews, particularly weeknights and midweek matinees, would need boosting (And I saw such hits a Doll's House and Hadestown , from good seats, on TDF; my assumption wasn't naive). I'm guessing it has a bigger advance than I unfairly presumed.  Also, this season's launch is is by the standards of the last two years since the re-opening, a somewh

Jordan Fisher will be the new Orpheus in HADESTOWN  Oct 10 2023, 10:37:26 AM

I'm a dissenter here about Carney, whose vocals I found stirring and soulful. Just listened to "Wait for Me" on a playlist last night and remembered how touching his plangent rendition was in the Kerr in early August. I saw Fisher his last week in Sweeney, and his light pop instrument, though probably competent amid lesser voices in a different company, just barely served with the current cast. I can't imagine the first act of Hadestown's crescendo

INFINITE LIFE at Atlantic Theater Company  Sep 9 2023, 11:18:12 AM

I am the first to say: I won't talk you out of your rave, so don't talk me out of my reservations. Mentioned because this play seems to provoke a certain amount of "You just don't understand Baker, particularly her silence." I do understand both the Baker oeuvre and her reliance on pauses.  I'm a fan of silence in the theater, particularly when so much direction seems presentational, characters cheating down and out performatively (which I thought overcooked

GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY National Tour  Sep 3 2023, 08:41:08 AM

As an unapologetic fan of the show - I saw it multiple times, thanks to TDF and those empty Wednesday matinees the first challenging fall after Covid - I am especially happy to see Blood continue in the Winningham role. She was the first Elizabeth I saw, and though I am a huge admirer of Mare's work and its considerable contribution to the show's texture and emotional weight, I'd say Blood is closer to the model for the character in the UK, Canada, and Australia. She was sensation

I saw her Sunday -- it was a surprisingly muted performance all around...  Aug 30 2023, 07:24:46 PM

1) Does anyone genuinely believe that versions B and C of the Streisand performance were so reductive that audiences were cheated? She cut sections yet sang an iteration of the full score 8 times a week for damn near two years. If it was abridged she she did the musical play, and clearly sustained.

2) Does anyone think relitigating the Feldstein era of this run produces useful new insights? It was by multiple yardsticks - including the one that counts, advance sales - an unsuccessful p

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