Chances of Caissie Levy Led NEXT TO NORMAL Coming to Broadway?- Page 2

Chances of Caissie Levy Led NEXT TO NORMAL Coming to Broadway?

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#25Chances of Caissie Levy Led NEXT TO NORMAL Coming to Broadway?
Posted: 7/4/24 at 1:40am

I have to disagree that Ripley especially wasn’t a ‘tough act to follow’. I think many have followed successfully: Marin Mazzie and C Levy my two favourites. But Ripley’s vocal timbre is so unique and fitting for the role. It’s kind of like Bernadette’s vocals in Sunday, Kelli’s in Bridges, Patti in Gypsy or Ebersole in Grey Gardens. The voice is one of the most important sounds that defines the score. 

As much as I love C Levy’s truly exceptional, clean sounding Diana - it will be Ripley’s voice that always feels like the real one to me. And coupled with her odd ticks and acting style it all just came together perfectly. Because it kind of felt Ripley wasn’t acting but playing herself. Whereas people like c Levy and Marin Mazzie in theory were/are probably running circles around Ripley in terms of their technical vocal ability and acting but ultimately it doesn’t matter because Ripley’s style felt very much like the character. 

It was particularly special to see Ripley in the ‘immersive’ Barcelona production of next to normal a couple years ago because it was like sitting in a rehearsal room with her as it was a tiny box everyone was sitting on little box chairs sitting together. Adam Pascal video ‘dialing in’ as the doctor (pre recorded) - and a stunning performance of ‘light’ with colours projected all over the walls. Ripley’s vocals were stronger than on tour, but she didn’t even attempt the high notes of ‘so anyway’ anymore and they made an octave lower. 

Of course what is on at the donmar/west end now is 1000 times more professional, polished and satisfying than what they did in Barcelona. But I believe they were trying to tour Ripley around Europe and London and it never eventuated. I do wish it could have been seen by more people. 

"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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#26Chances of Caissie Levy Led NEXT TO NORMAL Coming to Broadway?
Posted: 7/6/24 at 2:33pm

Levy sings it too cleanly and it's too pretty. I really don't get that much depth from her performance.

Jamie Parker acts her off the stage. I'll see if it any different at the Wyndhams in a few weeks.

#27Chances of Caissie Levy Led NEXT TO NORMAL Coming to Broadway?
Posted: 7/7/24 at 2:34am

That was my big takeaway too. Levy sounds nice, but I didn't really feel that much from her. At least in comparison to when I saw Ripley do it. 

Parker on the other hand ripped my heart out. And I was surprised how much I liked Wolfe.