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The Theatre
#61
I guess it needs to be hip-hop to succeed now. That's all people want to hear, god knows why.

I'm going to see Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit" this weekend. By a summer stock company that's very good. Only their theater isn't air conditioned, so this weekend is a good choice.
"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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#62
I'm actually not surprised it never took off, it didn't really wow as a hole. Apart from "Welcome Home" none of the songs stuck with me, and when I saw it it had some problems with bringing up story points and not doing anything with them.

I wonder if they managed to fix those problems before Broad way run?
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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#63
I saw Groundhog Day yesterday, the very last performance before they closed.

It was a good show, but I definitely didn't enjoy it as much as the people around me did.  My mother and sister were calling it 10/10 and one of the best shows they ever saw, but for me all I can give it is a "pretty good".

The story is fundamentally identical to the movie, with weatherman Phil Connors reliving the same day over and over again as he covers the Groundhog Day festival in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

They had some great special effects and staging in the play, with good use of miniatures and lighting.  When Phil first decided to exploit his loop and drunkenly drove around town and was chased by the cops, they used model cars and houses to portray an overhead view of the car chase for the audience.  When they had a montage of Phil committing suicide in various ways, they actor would reappear in his bed for a new loop literally the second after he killed himself elsewhere on the stage (After the first few times I deliberately started to look for the body switch and was able to catch when "Phil" was actually somebody else so the actor could sneak back to the bed).

I think the problem for me, and what kept it from being great, is that they had to find ways to give all the characters song numbers and it didn't always fit.  There's a section in the first act, where Phil is running through his different options of seducing Rita, where she has this continuous song about how she's not waiting for a man to come into her life to make it worthwhile.  Except that (A) The whole story is about how Phil becomes the kind of man that can make her happy and (B) there was nothing in the play up until that point to set up the "You can't count on a man to make you happy" song.  No reference to a failed relationship or history, so it was completely out of place.

Ned Reyerson also has this melancholy song about the inevitability of death -- and it's actually my favorite song in the whole play, so I'm not critiquing the song itself -- but he's an otherwise comedic character.  It feels like they said "We need to have Ned sing something, so let's give him the overlay on when Phil can't save the dying homeless man". I get the connection since Ned sells insurance, but it's still weird.





There were a few very good extraneous songs, though.  Act II opened with a song by Nancy -- the attractive woman that Phil conned into sleeping with him and then tossed aside -- about how she's always "collateral in a man's story".  That was a great commentary on the role of women in fiction, where they're often the target for a man to aim for and a reward for him when he pulls it off, and not given agency of their own.  Especially since the originally movie never addresses the way Phil uses her, even in the later loops where he's doing good deeds.  Although the play did later shoot itself in the foot on this account by having Phil help Larry hook up with her at the end, where she has no dialogue and no story apart from "Loser cleans himself up and gets the hot babe".

So, like I said, a good show, but to me it wasn't great. Everybody else seemed to love it.
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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#64
(09-18-2017, 02:24 PM)JBK405 Wrote:  I saw Groundhog Day yesterday, the very last performance before they closed.

It was a good show, but I definitely didn't enjoy it as much as the people around me did. My mother and sister were calling it 10/10 and one of the best shows they ever saw, but for me all I can give it is a "pretty good".

The story is fundamentally identical to the movie, with weatherman Phil Connors reliving the same day over and over again as he covers the Groundhog Day festival in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

They had some great special effects and staging in the play, with good use of miniatures and lighting. When Phil first decided to exploit his loop and drunkenly drove around town and was chased by the cops, they used model cars and houses to portray an overhead view of the car chase for the audience. When they had a montage of Phil committing suicide in various ways, they actor would reappear in his bed for a new loop literally the second after he killed himself elsewhere on the stage (After the first few times I deliberately started to look for the body switch and was able to catch when "Phil" was actually somebody else so the actor could sneak back to the bed).

I think the problem for me, and what kept it from being great, is that they had to find ways to give all the characters song numbers and it didn't always fit. There's a section in the first act, where Phil is running through his different options of seducing Rita, where she has this continuous song about how she's not waiting for a man to come into her life to make it worthwhile. Except that (A) The whole story is about how Phil becomes the kind of man that can make her happy and (B) there was nothing in the play up until that point to set up the "You can't count on a man to make you happy" song. No reference to a failed relationship or history, so it was completely out of place.

Ned Reyerson also has this melancholy song about the inevitability of death -- and it's actually my favorite song in the whole play, so I'm not critiquing the song itself -- but he's an otherwise comedic character. It feels like they said "We need to have Ned sing something, so let's give him the overlay on when Phil can't save the dying homeless man". I get the connection since Ned sells insurance, but it's still weird.





There were a few very good extraneous songs, though. Act II opened with a song by Nancy -- the attractive woman that Phil conned into sleeping with him and then tossed aside -- about how she's always "collateral in a man's story". That was a great commentary on the role of women in fiction, where they're often the target for a man to aim for and a reward for him when he pulls it off, and not given agency of their own. Especially since the originally movie never addresses the way Phil uses her, even in the later loops where he's doing good deeds. Although the play did later shoot itself in the foot on this account by having Phil help Larry hook up with her at the end, where she has no dialogue and no story apart from "Loser cleans himself up and gets the hot babe".

So, like I said, a good show, but to me it wasn't great. Everybody else seemed to love it.

Did you have something of a sense of deja vu with Groundhog Day? Wink
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#65
I definitely felt like the woman next to me had done it all before. She was laughing and clapping before the jokes had even been finished.
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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#66
Did ya’ll know there was a The Honeymooners musical play?

It wasn’t bad.
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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#67
I unexpectedly saw Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story tonight, after my father got a second ticket last-minute. A jukebox musical – where all of the songs are performed as part of concerts and shows within the framework of the story – it follows Buddy Holly and the Crickets from their start as a small-town band to Buddy’s death in the plane crash that also claimed the Big Bopper (J .P. Richardson) and Ritchie Valens (Purely coincidentally, just yesterday I downloaded the film La Bamba, which is the story of Ritchie Valens himself).

The show was actually quite good, and the lead actor really came across like a great portrayal of Buddy Holly. The music was good in and of itself, like seeing a real band, so the whole production was like seeing a play and a concert combined. The only problem with the production as a story is the narrative in the start of the second act, where the Crickets break up as a band: There is absolutely no lead-up or hint that there’s a growing rift between the members. It is literally one scene with them happy together, then the scene of Buddy getting married, and the next scene the Crickets are drunk and fighting and breaking up. Other than that the story carried everything rather well.

Since this is something of a focus of mine with the birth of rock and roll – which was recently prodded by an execrable episode of Legends of Tomorrow – I paid particular attention to how the show handled the racial history of the genre, and I think they actually handled it well enough. It’s not the main focus, but the play still addressed that rock and roll came out of the black communities in America.

It was explicitly stated that rock and roll is already an existing style, Buddy Holly is not inventing or perfecting the genre, and it is a “colored” (black) music style. That includes being looked down upon because it is regarded as black music, especially in the Texas town where the Crickets started out. At the climax of the first act, when they are booked at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, the drama comes from proving themselves worthy to be playing for the black audience: Everybody there already knows rock and roll, the show thankfully doesn’t try to say that the white guys from Texas introduced rock and roll to Harlem, it’s up to the Crickets to prove that they get it.





I also loved that at the show’s climax, the show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake just before the plane crash, they had the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens also perform. I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t have the same emotional connection to the Big Bopper as I do with the others – his music just hasn’t been a huge part of my life – but being able to see “La Bamba” be performed live on stage, even if it’s only by a Ritchie Valens impersonator, was fantastic.





The show itself was closed out with a great rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”.

A good show.
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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#68
I’m going to see Angels in America on this upcoming and following Sunday, a two-day presentation of the entire production.

Yay!

Although when we were talking about it my mother tried to explain to me who Roy Cohn was, and I reminded her that I actually played the role in a college production. Plus, y’know, I have a history degree.

She was gracious enough to let me have the ticket anyway.
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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#69
Yesterday I saw the new musical theater version of The Sting, and it was really good.  The original movie is a classic, and they used it as a great foundation for the show.

The show had a great ragtime/jazz sound to its music, building off the film's famous use of "The Entertainer".  A lot of tap dancing to go along with the energetic song repertoire, and great choreography.

The story was adapted almost one-to-one from the movie, which surprised me a bit.  There were some changes of course (Instead of pretending to paint to telegrapher's office they pretend to be government inspectors, and there's only one test bet at the fake bookie's instead of two), but those are hardly worth mentioning.  I expected at least some divergence (Mainly wondering if they would have the gumption to keep the Salino storyline), but all of the actual storypoints were retained.

The one thing they did change actually managed to slide into the story quite seamlessly despite being pretty fundamental:  Johnny Hooker is black instead of white, and instead of using the low-level anti-Irish history with Lonnegan they delve slightly into the anti-black racism of the time.  You'd think this would require changing the story rather significantly, but it really didn't.  It actually helps the in-story con make more sense than in the movie: One of the weakest points of the con in the movie is that they never really established why 'Kelly' hates 'Shaw' so much, instead relying on Lonnegan not thinking about it very much since he's been purposefully infuriated.  By putting in just a few lines about how 'Daniel' can't place the bet himself because 'Shaw' doesn't allow colored betting in his bookie joint it creates a whole history of racism between the two of them that explains where this resentment comes from.

Harry Connick, Jr. was the celebrity actor for this run, playing Gondorff, and he did pretty good.  Since he's a traditional musician and not a song-and-dance man his role was relatively tame when it came to the choreography and dancing (there was a talkback afterwards and they mentioned that he had never tap danced before this role), but he was game for what they gave him and carried his own part.

The ensemble was amazing, and particularly the actors playing Luther and Hooker.  Great chemistry and great song-and-dance ability.

I hope it goes to Broadway.



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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#70
First row for Angels in America.

I'm going to see Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield's spit.
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.
Quote
#71
Seriously, first row for a show like Angels in America is transformative. They’re talking to you.

When Louis and Joe are sitting off the edge of the stage for their heart-to-heart I could have literally reached out and picked up a hot dog. I could have spoken to them.

I don’t want to say that I got lost in Lee Pace’s eyes, but…dude, I got lost in Lee Pace’s eyes.
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.
Quote
#72
Oh dangit. Episode six of Carmen Sandiego reminded me how I’ve been planning to see Carmen – the original opera – for a long time, and I just checked and there is actually a residency going on right now with a performance this coming Saturday…that I can’t go to because just yesterday I promised to help somebody move next weekend.

Double dangit.

Maybe I’ll try for the one after work on Monday or Tuesday instead. It’d be much later at night, but I’ll deal with that the next morning.
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.
Quote
#73
Oh snap, apparently there's a live broadcast of RENT tomorrow.

I am watching that.
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.
Quote
#74
(01-27-2019, 02:14 AM)JBK405 Wrote:  Oh snap, apparently there's a live broadcast of RENT tomorrow.

I am watching that.

One of those CBS event things?

Gonna have to be a censored version.
"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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#75
I'm hoping they might go whole-hog since it's Fox, and they broadcast sex and violence all the time anyway.
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.
Quote
#76
Will Vanessa Hudgens use a prosthetic butt when she moons Mr. Grey?
"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
Quote
#77
Huh, apparently the Fox network is having technical difficulties.

There's a few conclusions to draw here.
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.
Quote
#78
Roger broke his foot in dress rehearsal.

Who knew Musetta's Waltz was so dangerous?
"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
Quote
#79
Whelp, I just bought tickets to go see RENT again. It's about time.

(01-28-2019, 03:14 AM)AndrewCrossett Wrote:  Roger broke his foot in dress rehearsal.

Who knew Musetta's Waltz was so dangerous?

Aye. What they just finished broadcasting was apparently the recording of that same dress rehearsal, they went Live for the Finale and Roger was propped on a table with his foot in a cast.

For all the quibbles I'm running around in my head now, it was goddamn magical seeing the original cast sing together at the end.
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.
Quote
#80
From what I hear they did indeed censor the crap out 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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