LEMPICKA Previews

Ensemble1704909160
#100LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 12:56am

BETTY22 said: "This is a very good sign. I saw an early preview but will with hold thoughts until I see the show again in a few weeks.

Let's hope they don't stop with just the opening number......
"

They added the opening scene and song from La Jolla before they start our time, it's now Tamara looking back on her life. 

They also added the finale from Williamstown. Rafaela and Tamara talk on the bench instead of Tamara and Lizette. 

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Melissa25
#101LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 1:57am

So many of you had me nervous but I loved it.  There are so many excellent songs, sung so well with heart and passion.  There is much to see and appreciate from a design perspective. The lighting and projections were an art show alone.  I loved the fresh costume design by Paloma Young.  I liked the (newly added) opening scene as I think it helps set the scene and gives you a little history about Tamara’s life.  All the performers were excellent.  Eden and Amber should easily get Tony noms.
 

TDF had me in row C right mezzanine and I missed a lot due to heads blocking my sightline.  I already have tickets in the orchestra to return in a few weeks.  
 

An honest to God real book musical!

 

NiceWork2
#102LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 5:07am

Was that prominent one liner with profanity added back in? Is the run time now 235 with the extra scene?   Also, does anyone know what role producers play when additional material is inserted that adds to the shows run time and cost? I would think some would balk; of course r chavkin probably has enough clout to make her own independent choices. It was already a beautiful show, even better now apparently. Just wondering about the creative decision making process

kingjames2
#103LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 6:50am

The show is still under 2:35 with intermission, and I believe the line is back in. 
 

re: adding to running time and cost, the cost of adding a number (assuming the only effect is to make the runtime longer, as opposed to adding scenery or tech elements) is negligible. The show costs the same to run whether it’s 2 hours or 2 hours 55 minutes. Once you break the 3 hour mark, things get trickier, especially with an orchestra. But as long as the crew and orchestra are walking out before the top of the hour, it’s time the producers have already paid for. 

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Pasunepomme
#104LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 3:20pm

EDSOSLO858 said: "I will say that Eden had one of the more iconic opening lines of dialogue in recent memory in the La Jolla iteration, and I’m disappointed it was cut for NY."

I saw the first Saturday preview and was bummed by a lot of the changes they made to Act 1. I don't think any of them were an improvement. Thrilled the LJP opening and ending are back.

Updated On: 3/26/24 at 03:20 PM

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Pasunepomme
#105LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 3:29pm

terrilovesNY said: "Could anyone in attendance comment on seat locations? Wouldthe first few rows be too close and considered a partial view? Thoughts on mezzanine or orchestra? Thanks!"

I sat Orchestra Left, Row G, seat 10. It was a slightly limited view (could not seem most of the projection screen on stage right that tells you where the show is in time), and Eden was hidden from view for a little bit of the wedding song at the beginning. To me, it was a fair price for being close, but I would not have wanted to be any deeper to the sides.

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Pasunepomme
#106LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 3:54pm

somecheapfrenchthing said "I also partially agree with the poster who mentioned feelinglike something might've gottenlost along the way from Williamstown to Broadway... can't exactly put my finger on what it is, but I don't get the same chills from this current version that I got my first two viewings at Williamstown. For that reason I'd love to see some of the old stuff reworked and reinstated."

I saw the LJP production and was left feeling the same after seeing the first Sat preview. I even missed the marionettes, although I am apparently the only one LEMPICKA Previews

 I am glad they've restored the earlier opening and hope that sticks. I think it frames the story better. May they will see their way to giving the Baron and Baroness their Act I number back, too. I thought it was very sweet and helped the audience invest in them individually and as a pair, so you care about them once the end of Act II rolls around.

My wife who also saw the LJP production didn't mind the changes at all. Gotta love art.  I am rooting for everyone involved and hope they continue to make good use of the previews.

Updated On: 3/27/24 at 03:54 PM

Mitch101
#107LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 6:42pm

Does anyone remember the musical version of “Metropolis” with Judy Kuhn? The bombastic new musical at the Longacre has more in common with it than might seem obvious.

Machines over people, as a theme.

Art Deco design (or is it futurist?)

Synthetic 80’s pop music with deafening electronic orchestrations.

A leading lady not quite able to carry the show.

An inept script that makes it very difficult for the audience to care about anyone or anything.

Let me cut to the chase… Lempicka is sadly a failure of epic proportions. Much like Metropolis was. 
What can be said is Amber Iman is astonishing with a terrible costume and inane lyrics.

Eden sings flat about 50% of the time. 
Andrew sings the heck out his songs, and when he and Amber ever sing with Eden, Eden’s pitch problems are only more pronounced. 
The less said about the set, the better. Once again, projections are used as short hand to carry us through this Wikipedia musical of Tamara’s entire life. 
After a very chic and cool 30 second overture, we are dumped right into the banal present with an aged Tamara telling us how awful America is, how awful Holkywood is…what any of this has to do with the story we then see is anyone’s guess. The sheer ineptitude of the book after 15 years of development is baffling. It is clearly in service of historical fact and not emotional truth. There is about 20 minutes in Act Two when I found myself wondering “Has anyone been paying attention? Now this is interesting!” It’s right around when Amber sings “Stay” and ends around the time of the big musical argument sequence between the leads. As soon as Beth Leavel appears, well, we’re back to inept storytelling.

I was never bored. If you’re going to miss, miss big. Chavkin does everything she can to distract us. She swings big. She misses big. 
The musical commits the #1 cardinal sin- it doesn’t know what it’s about or what the lead character wants. 
How has no one involved never noticed this?

The stage manager makes a short speech before the show. I suggest the authors listen to what he says and how the audience reacts. You have everything you need right there. 
And for Gods sake… write an ending!!!

 

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inception
#108LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 7:47pm

Sigh....after reading so many pans here & elsewhere I'm wondering if this show, which looked so cool on paper, even makes it to July?


...

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meyerd584
#109LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 7:51pm

It's 7:50 and we are still currently in line for the 8:00 p.m. I've heard they are delaying opening the door until 8:00 or 8:10 either because of illness or stage malfunctions. 

 

Luckily the dulcet tones of the random Shakira concert in Times Square are keeping us company. 

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CoffeeBreak
#110LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 7:55pm

Updated On: 3/27/24 at 07:55 PM

newzoftheworld69
#111LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 9:06pm

Updated On: 3/26/24 at 09:06 PM

BorisTomashevsky
#112LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 9:52pm

Thank you for that write up Mitch, it was very interesting to read. I’ve heard about Eden’s pitch from others as well. 

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ColorTheHours048
#113LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 11:36pm

Okay, so first, full disclosure: I went into this knowing I probably wouldn’t like it. Everything they’ve released as a preview so far - from demos to actual show footage - has been a headscratcher. I try not to go into shows blind, and rarely see things I know I probably won’t like. But something about this show has intrigued me since it was announced. Maybe I’m just starved for genuinely original musicals not based on anything, maybe the subject matter is interesting, maybe I wanted to experience a flop before it’s gone. Who can say?

But what a flop it is. I promise I was doing my best to engage with it on its own level, but it really has no idea what kind of show it wants to be or why it even exists to begin with. Many will say to give it its preview period to settle - and Rachel Chavkin was sitting directly in front of me with her assistant taking copious notes - but it is baffling from its very conception. I don’t even really know where to begin. Set, lighting, costuming, score, book, performances (most), direction… all absolutely, mind-bogglingly-meltingly bizarre in relationship to each other. Have these creatives even been in the same room together? Do they talk about what show they’re doing and why it should be in front of a paying audience?

The only person who walks away from this looking even remotely good is Amber Iman, who has at least one song (okay, two) that represents the show I wish I had seen. Her song near the end of act one is genuinely excellent, and her duet with Andrew Samonsky in act two is giving “There’s Always a Woman” in a really interesting way.

Elsewhere, Beth Leavel is absolutely wasted and given a snoozer of an 11 o’clock number (over the leading lady?! WHAT??!!); Andrew Samonsky is as stiff as a cardboard cutout, but with the voice of a Disney prince; and Eden Espinosa is… there, her voice simultaneously strong as steel and flat as a board, and her acting as exciting and dynamic as reading Lempicka’s Wikipedia page.

And the less said about the score and choreography, the better. What even…? I felt like I was going insane with the juxtaposition of treacly sentimentality, power ballads, and FIERCE HUNTY.

Does it sound like I hated it? Because I did. But let me tell ya: If you’re a fan of a reeeeeeeaaaaaal good flop, get your tickets before this inevitably shutters. My condolences to this poor cast.

Updated On: 3/27/24 at 11:36 PM

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Jordan Catalano
#114LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/26/24 at 11:55pm

“Have these creatives even been in the same room together? Do they talk about what show they’re doing and why it should be in front of a paying audience?”

This is exactly what I walked out wondering. It’s such an incohesive mess I honestly would believe the creative team didn’t actually meet each other until the first preview. 

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ColorTheHours048
#115LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/27/24 at 12:31am

Also, shout out to the writers for inexplicably copping Vanessa Carlton’s “Ordinary Day” and using it as a recurring musical motif. I do love that song and it was nice to hear it repurposed.

Updated On: 3/27/24 at 12:31 AM

Peronista
#116LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/27/24 at 2:01am

OMG - "Metropolis"!  I looked up the bootleg and holy sh*t, you are so on target.  That's it exactly!  2.5 hours of screaming at the top of their ranges for ... nothing.  It all means nothing.  These lyrics make Sunset Blvd sound like Shakespeare.  There is no story here.  "Sunday In The Park" took a painter and carved a story so universal it has little to do with painting and everything to do with life lessons in just about everything you can think of.  This...? I don't know... ummmm, maybe something about sexuality?  And I find it impolite to pile on about Eden's pitch.. wait, I just did.  Sorry.

It's astounding to me that people are just seduced by the design. Yes, the automation is amazing.  The projection work is cutting edge.  But so what?  It's like... "Squirrel!!"  

With each passing project, Rachel reveals herself to be someone who can create very pretty stage pictures and little else.  There is no skill in shaping a clear and important story in her latest work.

Updated On: 3/27/24 at 02:01 AM

Listener
#117LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/27/24 at 2:54am

Yikes. Y'all are great writers and yet your words are difficult to enjoy.

Sounds like unless there are serious rewrites (which likely would have been attempted by now) all they can do is rearrange deck chairs.

Poor Eden. Poor Beth.

Fingers crossed this comes together somehow. When is opening night?

BorisTomashevsky
#118LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/27/24 at 6:46am

Sounds like this might sink kinda spectacularly, and something about those Instagram reels tells me the composer (especially) won’t take “No” very well at all.

Methinks the naming of ‘Rachel Chavkin Way’ was a little premature. 

Updated On: 3/27/24 at 06:46 AM

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bwayphreak234
#119LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/27/24 at 6:52am

Peronista said: "It's astounding to me that people are just seduced by the design. Yes, the automation is amazing. The projection work is cutting edge. But so what? It's like... "Squirrel!!""

Not sure if this is directed at me... However, to be fair, while I admired the design a great deal, there were other things in the production that I enjoyed a lot as well that I highlighted in my initial review. For me, it was not just a "Squirrell!!" reaction (to use your own words). This show is certainly not without its flaws, but I found more good than bad. Different strokes I guess... Literally in this case - ha!

 


"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "

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Hum a tune
#120LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/27/24 at 7:18am

My husband and I saw the third preview. At intermission, the guy beside us said "I wonder how long she lived? I'm going to look it up." We asked him not to say it out loud because we didn't want to know. After a week of seeing shows with an older version of the lead character looking back (The Notebook, Water for Elephants, A Beautiful Noise, and even Tommy somewhat), we were happy this show allowed the added suspense. Even though I haven't seen it again with it, I'm disappointed that they have added it back in. Also, we saw lots to admire in this show and hope it does well.

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RippedMan
#121LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/27/24 at 8:36am

I feel like some people hated the design and some loved it? What makes it so cutting edge? I've watched all the released material and it looks somewhat steampunk? Which seems odd given this is an actual person. 

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ColorTheHours048
#122LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/27/24 at 8:40am

RippedMan said: "I feel like some people hated the design and some loved it? What makes it so cutting edge? I've watched all the released material and it looks somewhat steampunk? Which seems odd given this is an actual person."

Absolutely nothing about it is cutting edge. It’s stairs with light strips on the railings, and the projections are just on shards of drop-in paneling. The projections track with the paneling, so maybe that’s what people think is cutting edge? I don’t know. And there’s a platform that rolls on and off with different pieces of furniture. If you’ve seen clips they’ve posted, you’ve seen the whole set. Nothing interesting or new happens.

Thankfully, they have gotten rid of those stupid projected lyrics during “Perfection”.

DaveyG
#123LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/27/24 at 9:54am

I left very disappointed. The book and lyrics are so banal it undermines the whole enterprise. I liked some of the music and thought the orchestrations were quite good, but it all feels leaden because the text weighs it down. Eden was having pitch issues when I saw it, but maybe she just needs to build up stamina. The role is massive. Amber was the highlight for me. When she's onstage, you can feel some electricity.

I'd be surprised if the critics embraced this, but after the response to Water For Elephants nothing makes sense anymore.

Updated On: 3/27/24 at 09:54 AM

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TheatreFan4
#124LEMPICKA Previews
Posted: 3/27/24 at 10:13am

BorisTomashevsky said: "Sounds like this might sink kinda spectacularly, and something about those Instagram reelstells me the composer (especially) won’t take “No” very well at all.."

I saw him out front of the theatre at the third preview. He seemed intense and a little pissed off...


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