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Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......

Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......

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ken8631
#1Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 6:55am

Bought the tickets basically to see him last night.  Anyone know why hw was out?  The understudy was great though!

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TotallyEffed
#2Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 7:37am

“The understudy” was Gavin Lee, who was excellent.

 

Not sure why Raul was out but it was a great, high energy night.

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TaffyDavenport
#3Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 7:49am

*Tony nominee Gavin Lee

BETTY22
#4Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 8:03am

I saw the show Saturday. I thought I loved this show but looking at it in 2023 is a very different experience.

The child abuse and domestic violence made it very difficult to watch. 

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ken8631
#5Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 8:10am

Was Raul in on Saturday?

amiyagi
#6Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 8:22am

ken8631 said: "Was Raul in on Saturday?"

Not sure about Saturday night, but he was in the Sat matinee (source: was there). He sounded fine vocally if a little garbled. I'd have been stoked to see Gavin Lee. 

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ken8631
#7Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 8:56am

Gavin was excellent.  Wife (who is a big Raul fan - that's why we bought tickets) thought that the role wasn't exactly a Raul role after seeing it (she compared it to his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang role) and that Gavin was perfect for it....... 

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TotallyEffed
#8Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 9:03am

No offense to Raul whatsoever, but I have a hard time imagining him being a better fit than Gavin for this.

ImAProphet
#9Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 9:17am

amiyagi said: "ken8631 said: "Was Raul in on Saturday?"

Not sure about Saturday night, but he was in the Sat matinee (source: was there). He sounded fine vocally if a little garbled. I'd have been stoked to see Gavin Lee.
"

Raul was in Saturday night. He was pretty gravelly but it wasn't so bad that I attributed it to anything but a creative choice.

yyys
#10Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 9:52am

He was in the sunday matinee.....I suppose he wanted to give his understudy a chance to perform since it's a limited run? 

ken8631 said: "Bought the tickets basically to see him last night. Anyone know why hw was out? The understudy was great though!"

 

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ken8631
#11Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 9:58am

It was about 7:10 that someone came out in front of the curtain to announce that two understudies were to be performing that night.  The first was someone in the ensemble, then the Raul understudy.  The theatre was full from what I could see.  Was disappointed at first after hearing that, but Gavin was excellent - he did remind me of the Thenardier character from Les Mis...... 

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bdn223
#12Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 10:05am

yyys said: "He was in the sunday matinee.....I suppose he wanted to give his understudy a chance to perform since it's a limited run?

ken8631 said: "Bought the tickets basically to see him last night. Anyone know why hw was out? The understudy was great though!"

"

Friends who were at the matinee said Raul did not look or sound good and Gavin made a whole joking "Although I will almost not set foot on stage I have somehow managed to end up slapbang in the middle of the cast list at the Front of House!!" 

This was definitely due to Esparza being sick, it would be extremely unprofessional for him to call out just to let his understudy perform. Its a 2 week run where there is literally only a 12 day rehearsal If I had to guess Lee only had a put in rehearsal or even an actual rehearsal besides observing as soon as Raul called out sick on Sunday. 

 

MemorableUserName
#13Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 10:36am

bdn223 said: "
Friends who were at the matinee said Raul did not look or sound good and Gavin made a whole joking "Although I will almost not set foot on stage I have somehow managed to end up slapbang in the middle of the cast list at the Front of House!!"
 

He made that post last Tuesday though, so I doubt it indicated anything: https://www.instagram.com/p/Crvs9ihLQtE/

He also posted last night that he had a two hour understudy rehearsal on Friday and a half hour put-in yesterday, so definitely sounded last minute and unexpected after Raul had to call out: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cr98UOgghiS/

 

Updated On: 5/8/23 at 10:36 AM

JSquared2
#14Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 11:38am

bdn223 said: "yyys said: "He was in the sunday matinee.....I suppose he wanted to give his understudy a chance to perform since it's a limited run?

ken8631 said: "Bought the tickets basically to see him last night. Anyone know why hw was out? The understudy was great though!"

"

Friends who were at the matinee said Raul did not look or sound good and Gavin made a whole joking "Although I will almost not set foot on stage I have somehow managed to end up slapbang in the middle of the cast list at the Front of House!!"

This was definitely due to Esparza being sick, it would be extremely unprofessional for him to call out just to let his understudy perform. Its a 2 week run where there is literally only a 12 day rehearsal If I had to guess Lee only had a put in rehearsal or even an actual rehearsal besides observing as soon as Raul called out sick on Sunday.


 

Although it does sound like Esparza was sick -- it is entirely possible (even likely) that the over-qualified Gavin Lee only agreed to be an u/s if he was guaranteed a performance.

 

 

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
#15Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 11:51am

Anecdotally there seems to be a lot of stuff going around the city and different casts right now (be it allergies or colds or Covid or some combo of all). Hope Raul is ok and able to finish out the run, though they're certainly lucky to have a u/s as capable & credentialed as Gavin Lee!

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TaffyDavenport
#16Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 11:57am

I know it's semantics, but Gavin Lee is Raul's standby, not his understudy.

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Plannietink08
#17Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 12:08pm

Jeez, I’d have been over the moon to find out “the understudy” was none other than Gavin Lee! Would absolutely love to see his take on a role like Fagin.


"Charlotte, we're Jewish"

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musikman
#18Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 12:36pm

Raul definitely sounded a little ..winded? Hoarse? Something? on Saturday night.  He was still

terrific, but you could definitely tell something was off. 


-There's the muddle in the middle. There's the puddle where the poodle did the piddle."

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binau
#19Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 1:37pm

Would someone like Donna Murphy in Anyone Can Whistle or Dear World have had an understudy/standby? I always wondered what would happen...


"You can't overrate Bernadette Peters. She is such a genius. There's a moment in "Too Many Mornings" and Bernadette doing 'I wore green the last time' - It's a voice that is just already given up - it is so sorrowful. Tragic. You can see from that moment the show is going to be headed into such dark territory and it hinges on this tiny throwaway moment of the voice." - Ben Brantley (2022) "Bernadette's whole, stunning performance [as Rose in Gypsy] galvanized the actors capable of letting loose with her. Bernadette's Rose did take its rightful place, but too late, and unseen by too many who should have seen it" Arthur Laurents (2009) "Sondheim's own favorite star performances? [Bernadette] Peters in ''Sunday in the Park,'' Lansbury in ''Sweeney Todd'' and ''obviously, Ethel was thrilling in 'Gypsy.'' Nytimes, 2000

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fashionguru_23
#20Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 1:39pm

"Although it does sound like Esparza was sick -- it is entirely possible (even likely) that the over-qualified Gavin Lee only agreed to be an u/s if he was guaranteed a performance"

I don't think he was guaranteed a performance, I think that even despite it being Encores, and a 2 production, I think the producers thought why not have a standby for one of the leading roles. I'm sure its done more often than we know. If I were Gavin the chance to be a part of this show for (what? 4 weeks tops?) was probably a fun experience, a fine paycheck, and a set of fond memories. 

 


"Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok. Have you guys heard about fidget spinners!?" ~Patti LuPone

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
#21Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 1:49pm

binau said: "Would someone like Donna Murphy in Anyone Can Whistle or Dear World have had an understudy/standby? I always wondered what would happen..."

Def not for ANYONE CAN WHISTLE. Encores never had strong coverage plans pre-Covid, hence Christine Ebersole performing APPLAUSE with the flu, or Christian Borle doing LITTLE ME with an injury sustained in rehearsal. Donna had an understudy for DEAR WORLD who I'm sure could have got through a performance if needed; some people would have asked for refunds, some would have stayed.

Coverage is a necessity nowadays (in a long run, ideally 3 people who could cover each principal role + some swings), and that isn't going to change anytime soon. A gig's a gig and standing by for a short contract like this shouldn't be below someone like Gavin Lee. Hiring ~4 covers as insurance is far cheaper than having to cancel the performance because you don't have a cast. The show must go on, whether it's with the announced cast or not.

If Gavin were guaranteed a performance, that date would have been announced in advance - not the day of.

Updated On: 5/8/23 at 01:49 PM

JSquared2
#22Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 2:02pm

binau said: "Would someone like Donna Murphy in Anyone Can Whistle or Dear World have had an understudy/standby? I always wondered what would happen..."

 

Into The Woods at City Center had understudies -- that's how Jason Forbach went on for Jordan Danica for most of the run.

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binau
#23Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 2:03pm

Interesting. Who was Donna Murphy's understudy in Dear World? 


"You can't overrate Bernadette Peters. She is such a genius. There's a moment in "Too Many Mornings" and Bernadette doing 'I wore green the last time' - It's a voice that is just already given up - it is so sorrowful. Tragic. You can see from that moment the show is going to be headed into such dark territory and it hinges on this tiny throwaway moment of the voice." - Ben Brantley (2022) "Bernadette's whole, stunning performance [as Rose in Gypsy] galvanized the actors capable of letting loose with her. Bernadette's Rose did take its rightful place, but too late, and unseen by too many who should have seen it" Arthur Laurents (2009) "Sondheim's own favorite star performances? [Bernadette] Peters in ''Sunday in the Park,'' Lansbury in ''Sweeney Todd'' and ''obviously, Ethel was thrilling in 'Gypsy.'' Nytimes, 2000

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MarilynMonroeSmash
#24Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 2:11pm

Kathy Voytko is listed on City Center’s website as the Countess Aurelia cover.

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ken8631
#25Esparza out of Oliver! on 5/7 7PM show......
Posted: 5/8/23 at 9:22pm

Funny that you mentioned "Anyone Can Whistle"....  Last time we were at City Center it was for that play, but with Raul Esparza and Sutton Foster......   It was great!!   One of her favorite actors and one of my favorite actresses!