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The Theatre
#41
I saw Pump Boys and Dinettes earlier today, and as a play it almost wasn't a play. It's about the workers at a gas station-slash-diner in a small town, but it's pretty much just a string of random songs, some of which sort-of connect together, but most of which don't (One song is about the waitresses at the diner's talking about how they want big tips for their work, and another is one of the gas station workers singing about the time he saw Dolly Parton in concert).

The performances themselves were great, it was a good cast, and there was an interesting rockabilly vibe to most of the music, leaning a little bit more heavily into country/western at certain points. The cast also played their own instruments, there was no orchestra, so it was almost like seeing a concert. It just would have worked better as a production if the story had been a story.

I stayed afterwards for a Q&A with the cast, they all seemed like good people.
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#42
I remember seeing TV commercials for that when I was a kid. (The Broadway show.)
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." --Thomas Jefferson

“Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” --Benito Mussolini
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#43
I saw West Side Story today, and it was a heck of a play.  I'd only seen the movie before, this was my first time seeing the original stage performance.  The story as a whole is indistinguishable one to the other, and the changes they did make in the screen adaptation (Altered lyrics to America and switching the locations of Cool and Officer Krupke) were the right choices for the movie, but this was still a very distinct animal.  Powerful performances for all the roles, and really impressive dance moves and choreography.  There was this one section in Mambo where the Jet Girls are essentially just walking from one side of the stage to the other, but the steps they took even looked impressive given their heels and coordination and loooong strides.

The assault on Anita in Doc's was disturbing to watch, and I'm not sure if this was in the movie but I noticed that Anybodys is actually cowering in a corner as it happens.  It managed to capture the disgusting embodiment of terror that comes with such a violation.  At  the close of the play, when Tony is dying in Maria's arms and Maria is asking Chino how many bullets are left in the gun so she can make sure to save one for herself, I was honestly growing misty-eyed and gulping my breath.  This close to tears.

I'll admit to not caring much about Tony and Maria themselves for most of the story.  Maybe because I was seeing it live, but I was struck by just how stupid the two of them were to fall in "love" after a single dance and expect the entire social/ethnic/economic tensions between their factions to just magically vanish.  I believe love can conquer hate, I do, but there isn't a magic wave that causes it to happen, and to just say "That's it, the gang war is over" is stupid.  At least Riff and Benardo could see what was happening around them, Tony and Maria just expected everybody to fall in line.  When it all fell apart around them, and they seemed to realize just how moronic they'd been, that is when I started to feel for them.

Really powerful stuff.



Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#44
I've never actually seen the play (just the movie), but West Side Story is my favorite Broadway score of all time.
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." --Thomas Jefferson

“Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” --Benito Mussolini
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#45
It's definitely amazing music, so much energy and passion and hope and hate and bitterness. Plus, it manages to do what a lot of musicals can't, and have the lyrics and music actually tell part of the story on their own. At times, when the Jets and Sharks are going back and forth, their accompaniment is fighting right alongside them.
Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#46
I haven't been to the theatre for nearly 25 years and that was the first time I went...
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#47
Like Weeto, I haven't been to the theatre in a long, long time which is honestly a shame since Montreal has tons and tons of them.
Always be true to yourself.

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#48
(06-26-2016, 08:27 PM)Lady_Hawkeye Wrote:  Like Weeto, I haven't been to the theatre in a long, long time which is honestly a shame since Montreal has tons and tons of them.

So does Glasgow.

Glasgow is really well served with comedy shows and variety acts. My Dad used to go to the theatre a lot years ago and he went to see a lot of musical and comedy acts. In the UK, it was very common to go to a theatre and see top musicians, comedians, novelty acts and so on all in one night.

My Dad used to go to see a lot of comedians though and he told me a lot of stories about Lex McLean and Andy Cameron and guys like that who often appeared in theatres. No surprise that those two guys were Rangers crazy as my Dad is a big fan of that football club too, as am I.

My Dad was telling me some of the people he met at theatres and it was a pretty varied lot and he knew the likes of Lulu and Jeanette Tough, better known as Wee Jimmy Krankie, who was later part of a husband and wife double act (the Krankies) who were regularly on TV from the late 70s to the early 90s and drew a lot of viewers on TV and still appear on stage. Jimmy Krankie was meant to be a boy around 10 years old and Jeanette Tough is actually really small, around 4'8" or so, which helps her play a young boy.

Glasgow had a notorious tough theatre scene, where many top acts were mauled for poor performances but would receive massive acclaim for good performances. The likes of Frank Sinatra claimed that the Glasgow crowds were the toughest in the world to play for but probably the best for applauding those they liked. Top English comedians were often knocked back to earth, especially at the famous Empire theatre on Sauchiehall Street, which closed in the early 1960s. Famous act Morcambe and Wise were lucky to get out of there alive on their first appearance there. In the 70s and early 80s their TV shows often drew over 20m viewers!
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#49
If you want the real West Side Story experience, you need to see Cher's one-woman rendition.



Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#50
I'm going to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime tonight.
Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#51
Ah, that play is cursed. A theater in London collapsed during a performance of it.
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." --Thomas Jefferson

“Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” --Benito Mussolini
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#52
The show was absolutely nothing like I expected, partly because I knew very little going into it. All I had was the brief story synopsis "A boy is blamed for the death of a neighbor's dog and tries to find out who is really responsible," so I expected a wry comedy as we followed him 'investigating'; stories about neighbors amd family living and commentary on society. What I actually got was a disturbing drama about a (probably) autistic teen dealing with a dysfunctional, abusive homelife and almost unable to function after the play opened with him discovering the neighbors dog dead with the pitchfork still sticking out of him.

It was....it was heavy.

The play had a very interesting and immersive method of presenting the sensory and information processing issues of autism. Loud noises, bright lights and constantly shifting video imagery directed at the audience to help us understand when the main character himself was being overwhelmed.

However, I did some research afterwards and apparently the story is actually unpopular (Very unpopular) amongst people who actually are autistic. The author of the original book didn't do any research about autism before writing it, and according to reviews the main character comes across as much more unlikable in the book than the play and embodies several of the more cliched and negative stereotypes of autism. I can't speak to this subject myself, but generally speaking when somebody says "I am offended by this", somebody not in the offended group doesn't have the right to say "No, you're not."

It was still a very powerful play.
Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#53
I saw The Producers on stage yesterday, which included several members of the Broadway cast (Including the original stage "Hold me, Touch Me").  It was a great production, but...wow.  Even having seen both movies and being intimately familiar with the content, actually seeing "Springtime for Hitler" was unnerving as hell.  I can't imagine what it was like for the performers to actually be dancing a swastika.



Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#54
(10-23-2016, 11:09 PM)JBK405 Wrote:  I can't imagine what it was like for the performers to actually be dancing a swastika.

How did they do an overhead formation shot in a stage play?
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." --Thomas Jefferson

“Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” --Benito Mussolini
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#55
Raised mirrors.
Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#56
I just saw The Bodyguard: The Musical, and the show was actually pretty good.

Instead of original music they included a lot of songs from Whitney Houston’s catalogue integrated throughout the show. She had a lot of powerful songs, so the show hit a lot of emotion. A lot of it was also framed as a concert as ‘Rachel Marron’ performed, so we got the usual aspect of a musical play with the stage aesthetics of a concert (Costumes, background dancers, special effects, etc.).

I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t see Deborah Cox in the lead role (She was out for this performance), but the fill-in (Naomi C. Walley) did a Grade-A job in the part. The final song of the show was, of course, “I Will Always Love You”, and Walley was in a full glittery dress and stood on a podium that elevated right as she hit the belting portion, and it was classic old fashioned showmanship that carried.





After the curtain call they did a final song-and-dance number of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (Which had been sung earlier as well) and it was a blast as everybody cut loose. I was bobbing and singing along as it seemed like the cast had a blast as well.

The biggest problem with the show was the fact that the bodyguard was actually a really shitty bodyguard. Just incompetent. I’d complain that he was so bad that it was ridiculous that he didn’t let anybody die, but somebody actually did die, so I’ll just leave it with “he’s such a bad bodyguard that he couldn’t stop the bad guy from killing somebody even when he was in the literal next room”.
Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#57
I'm going to see West Side Story tonight, almost a year after seeing it last time.
Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#58
As the curtain falls on the still bodies of Riff and Bernardo, it’s a powerful scene.

Especially since the curtain came down SO slowly, accompanied by the slow steady clanging of a clock. It was like listening to their final heartbeats.
Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#59
Just like last time, I nearly lost it at the end. When Maria is cradling Tony, and then takes the gun from Chino...whoa.
Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#60
(10-19-2015, 03:36 PM)JBK405 Wrote:  The final song of the play, "Welcome Home" (performed during the contest), was amazingly powerful and I began to get a little moist.  Most of the other competitors sang happy songs glorifying the war or talking about abstracts concepts, but their song talked about just what they brought back from the war.  How they're 'home', but still not back.

Bandstand has finally made it to Broadway...and apparently it's not doing so well, so it will soon be leaving Broadway.

Sad that it didn't resonate with audiences, but with an official cast recording you can finally access the songs.



Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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