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Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024; Broadway in the fall- Page 15

Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024; Broadway in the fall

RippedMan Profile Photo
RippedMan
#350Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/12/24 at 11:26pm

I saw this tonight and loved it. I've never seen the movie so I was asking my friend at intermission what differs, etc. But I was really into it. I agree, though, I think the opening number is stupid. I think waiting until the actual reveals makes more sense because the audience is waiting for the Michelle Williams / Potion entrance, so it just builds excitement. If you give her to us right away then it's kind of a "meh" because we've already met her. I think open with "For the Gaze" and then cushion her song/scene out a bit. I didn't like the song they gave her at her house. So that needs some working. 

And honestly, the momentum of Act 1 was so much fun, I think they could just make this a tight 90 min and call it a day. We don't need Chris' second act number, and there's a lot of filler with dancing and stuff that we just don't really need. I hate this notion in modern musicals that every major character needs a song of their own. They don't. 

The ladies were fabulous. I would go back tomorrow to watch them again. Hilty's number at the Valet was Tony worthy to me. Just insanely hilarious, well acted, well sung, brilliant. Simard was just as equally brilliant. Her bit with "come" to Sieber had me dying. 

I think the show works and the audience I was with was eating it up. And it seems to be selling pretty decently. I think they've got a major hit if they can retool some things. I think making Williams more of a cameo would be smarter. Easier to stunt cast, etc. And I don't think she understood the humor of the Act 2 opening song where she just kept popping up in random places. There was no humor in her eyes like she was in on the joke. 

Also I wanted a bit more physical comedy. I mean the ladies are shooting each other and hitting each other with shovels but it all felt so phony. I want to see more physical comedy. 

jacobsnchz14 Profile Photo
jacobsnchz14
#351Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/13/24 at 12:44am

I’m not advocating for the opening song to be cut, but I feel like if it’s something in the vein of the Little Shop of Horrors opening or something, it could still work a little bit better. It goes a very Beetlejuice route by having a prominent character give us an introduction about the theme and idea of the show, with use of the ensemble to build dramatic choral moments and stage pictures. I still think it could work. Or, it could start with the thunder and lightning and a few of the ominous notes, followed by a Viola voiceover of “I have a secret you would die for”, then a full-length overture to blend itself well into the Gaze number… very akin to the film’s opening theme and main title sequence. If they decide to keep the song, it might actually work a little bit better than the “Siempre Viva” number currently in its place, which is directed to Madeline. That would make the opening number NOW a more uptempo climax song to Madeline, much like a “Poor Unfortunate Souls” moment.

Then, move “Siempre Viva” to Act Two where the Rejuvenation Ball can be a prelude of sorts to the full song? Since there’s already a “Siempre Viva” reprise from what I recall when Viola is demonstrating the option to Ernest. Then maybe they could even keep or add more verses for Madeline and Helen to serenade Ernest?

RippedMan Profile Photo
RippedMan
#352Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/13/24 at 8:23am

I think opening with Gaze is just such a crowd pleaser of a moment and the current opening just doesn’t engage. Williams is just not an actress. A good actress will take the material and elevate it. She does nothing with it. So it all just kind of hangs there. Nicole S. was in the workshops and I bet she’d knock this out of the park. I’ve not seen the movie but got the sense that the character needed like a regal sexy sophisticated vibe. Willams has that but she doesn’t use it. She needs to find her swagger and tongue in cheek. 

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BrodyFosse123
MrsSallyAdams Profile Photo
MrsSallyAdams
#354Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/13/24 at 10:28am

Balcony Club: How much as the score changed over the course of previews? What songs are audiences responding most to? How is the new duet, "Hit Me Like You Mean It" going over?

I think the women need a proper duet in act one to flesh out their relationship. 


threepanelmusicals.blogspot.com

RippedMan Profile Photo
RippedMan
#355Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/13/24 at 11:15am

I thought the score was pretty solid and it all works in the moment. I don't think the songs for William's totally are working but that could be just the whole staging and stuff. But I loved all of Hilty's songs and the duet with them at the end is fantastic. 

inception Profile Photo
inception
#356Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/13/24 at 11:31am

That clip reminded me when I re-watched the movie last week of the line from War Paint about the box & bottle costing more to produce than the contents inside. 


...

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BalconyClub
#357Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/13/24 at 2:56pm

MrsSallyAdams said: "Balcony Club: How much as the score changed over the course of previews? What songs are audiences responding most to? How is the new duet, "Hit Me Like You Mean It" going over?

I think the women need a proper duet in act one to flesh out their relationship.
"

If there are changes to the score, they are seamless, though the killer electric guitar used in the exit music may be new. Sunday night's show was much louder than usual, perhaps to clearly promote wedding sponsor OSCAR MAYER - I wish I was an Oscar Mayer weiner.

In one company front Ensemble moment, the ripple movement from the center that fanned out to either side has been replaced by more unison movement.

Audiences are definitely responding to FOR THE GAZE and the new Act 2 duet HIT ME LIKE YOU MEAN IT.  HIT ME is a fast-paced shovel duet. Mucho fun. Helen was shot a few moments earlier, and costume designer Paul Tazewell will need to figure out how to make sure the holes in Helen's front torso and back torso align.

I could have done without the scream of MICHELLE! Sunday night during one of Viola's numbers.

 
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I don't recall seeing any on-line chatter about Ernest's fall from the rooftop each night. It's one of those very well choreographed moments that shocks a few balcony guests. Every show, I see theatregoers perk up and rise out of their seats to see how and where he fell.

Sieber signals to the production that he is ready for the fall by extending his left arm - the potion held in his left hand.

Viola takes the potion from Ernest, asks him to say hello to Shakespeare, then Ernest falls into the orchestra pit.

 
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The production is NOT using a trap door at the end of Act 1. As body-double Madeline is falling down the steps, Hilty quietly crawls from the wings to behind the couch, covered by an oversized black cloth. She sneaks in during the last 4 steps of the 15 step fall.

 

Updated On: 5/13/24 at 02:56 PM

RippedMan Profile Photo
RippedMan
#358Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/13/24 at 5:06pm

That’s interesting! Thanks!

Also, the “yasss” was coming from the (intoxicated) cast of Mamma Mia up in the balcony. 

MagicalMusical Profile Photo
MagicalMusical
#359Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/13/24 at 5:46pm

I think Madeline should be arguing with Ernest at the top of the stairs and then fall down by accident. That way Ernest isn't a murderer who gets off in the end.

MrsSallyAdams Profile Photo
MrsSallyAdams
#360Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/14/24 at 8:47am

Regarding the stairs.

 

 
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At the performance I saw, Madeline and Helen have an argument while going up the staircase. Then Helen pushes Madeline down them. This lets Ernest off the hook (since, when I saw it, he never officially agreed to help Helen kill Mads) and gives the women more agency.

 


threepanelmusicals.blogspot.com

BalconyClub Profile Photo
BalconyClub
#361Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 12:22am

I did not realize there was an Ensemble member missing Tuesday evening until Act 2. Were they missing all night?

It was one of the two nuns in the final scene. Earlier, the waltz scene was missing a twosome. In one dancing chorus line, there was an empty space. Hope they are ok.

In Act 1, Stephan has earned the scrotum line. “Which one of us is she talking about?” This previously had been an Ernest question. The scene is now played in FRONT of the couch instead of behind.

When we first see Madeline’s mansion, the direction has reversed the entrances of Ernest and Stephan. A few new lines have been added.

Earlier, In Madeline’s dressing room, Stephan adds that Mad’s mom was ok posing with the cutout.

Ernest’s day included an anal bleaching instead of a man boob consultation.

The red boxed gift includes an invitation and a note. In earlier performances, it was an invitation and a card.

The worst line of the show needs fixed. After Viola is escorted down a short staircase, the four, silver candelabras light up, and she says, “You’re Welcome.”

Crickets.

At the hospital, Viola briefly danced with a pair of resuscitation paddles amongst the Ensemble. 

Helen usually drapes her red dress over Ernest’s head at the end of LET’S RUN AWAY TOGETHER, but that move was absent.

Admittedly, I could never place the performer during the bows who acknowledges the audience after Josh Lamon but before Taureen Everett.

I still don’t know the mystery name, but he has a new bow that immediately tells the audience “I’m the one who tumbled down the stairs.”

The sound is top notch for this show. You hear doors creak, Ernest’s yell when he falls, and clear lyrics over the score. Well done.

Little Caesar’s pizza pizza - was tonight’s wedding sponsor.

 

 

MNVeryOwn
#362Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 1:53am

BalconyClub said: "Admittedly, I could never place the performer during the bows who acknowledgesthe audience after Josh Lamon butbefore Taureen Everett.

I still don’t know the mystery name, but he has a new bow that immediately tellsthe audience “I’m the one who tumbled down the stairs.”


That’s Warren Yang.

BalconyClub Profile Photo
BalconyClub
#363Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 8:54am

That’s Warren Yang."  

Aha! Thank you.

BrodyFosse123 Profile Photo
BrodyFosse123
#364Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 8:58am

BalconyClub said: "That’s Warren Yang."

Aha! Thank you.
"

Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024


OhHiii
#366Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 10:15am

By all accounts it seems this show is in quite good shape except for Michelle. So hopefully they take stock of that and find someone more suitable. She isn’t a bankable name and if they’re set on Viola opening the show, it needs to be a slam dunk delivery. And even with a couple weeks under her belt, doesn’t sound like she’s elevating the material.

EDIT: per the press release, she’s confirmed for Broadway so nevermind lol

Updated On: 5/15/24 at 10:15 AM

Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
#367Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 10:18am

Again, I say it REALLY isn't Michelle that's the problem, it's her material. The character is way too overwritten and I know they're not going to cut it down but they really should. 

 

bigbelterbaby
#368Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 10:21am

Michelle Williams is certainly more well known to general audiences than Jennifer Simard or Megan Hilty. She’s already signed her Broadway contract so she will not be replaced. 
 

The real question is are the creatives going to continue trying to listen to feedback and make this a great show or get lazy and decide what they have is good enough. 
 


Hesione Hushabye thinks it tastes like ashes.

RunnyBabbit
#369Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 10:31am

jacobsnchz14 said: "DEATH BECOMES HER Will Open at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre This Fall (broadwayworld.com)"



They didn’t waste any time. I already got an email with the presale info.

I really love that they’re making changes every day, but I do think they probably could have probably waited an extra few months and done a bit more work. That said, I’ll definitely go see it again in NYC (and I’m trying to figure out if I can make it back to Chicago before it closes).

It’s too bad they aren’t able to get a different Viola. Michelle sounds amazing, but the acting just isn’t there. The material for Viola needs some work, but I don’t think anything will help her. Love the rest of the cast though and I’m excited to see it after they’re even more settled into their characters.

Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
#370Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 10:34am

bigbelterbaby said: "The real question is are the creatives going to continue trying to listen to feedback and make this a great show or get lazy and decide what they have is good enough.” 
 

They’ve been making changes to this practically every show, so nothing says they’re going to stop trying to perfect it. 

RippedMan Profile Photo
RippedMan
#371Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 10:36am

Jordan Catalano said: "Again, I say it REALLY isn't Michelle that's the problem, it's her material. The character is way too overwritten and I know they're not going to cut it down but they really should.

"

I totally disagree. She’s not a good actress and she can’t play “sexy” and she can’t walk in heels. It’s a pretty simple role. She’s just not able to elevate what she’s given. I think they’d be smart to cut her part down and just make it a cameo. Don’t have her open the show. I think her act 2 opening song works. But she doesn’t seem in on the joke in anyway. But maybe by the fall she will have mastered walking in heels and it not looking awkward. 

Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
#372Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 10:40am

Whether we agree or not that she’s awful or “not that bad” doesn’t really matter since she’ll be coming to New York with the show. But yeah we do agree that opening needs to be axed and that role severely cut down. It’s really the only thing (besides Sieber’s basement song with singing paint cans) that just doesn’t work at all. 

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Call_me_jorge
#373Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 10:45am

This is first solo outing for Universal Theatrical Group on broadway. No co-producers, no outside investors. I think there’s a lot riding on that and Universal definitely wants what Disney has, perhaps even their own space on broadway. Hopefully this is a success for them. They originally wanted to bring in Prince of Egypt as their first solo venture, but that flopped in London. 


In our millions, in our billions, we are most powerful when we stand together. TW4C unwaveringly joins the worldwide masses, for we know our liberation is inseparably bound. Signed, Theater Workers for a Ceasefire https://theaterworkersforaceasefire.com/statement

DaveyG
#374Hilty & Simard to lead DEATH BECOMES HER in Chicago spring 2024
Posted: 5/15/24 at 10:48am

Curious to hear from BalconyClub: have there been any more substantial changes in the score besides the one new song? 

Updated On: 5/15/24 at 10:48 AM


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