Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DVD Alert! 25th Anniversary LES MISERABLES Concert

Heads up folks!  On March 6th, PBS will air the 25th anniversary concert of LES MISERABLES.
This concert will feature Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Lea Salonga as Fantine, Nick Jonas as Marius, Norm Lewis as Javert, Matt Lucas as Thénardier, Jenny Galloway as Madame Thénardier, and Katie Hall as Cosette.
This concert will also be available on DVD today!

Happy viewing!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

MACBETH • The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Ooo… Shakespeare's MACBETH
Nothing like a play that opens with witches and prophecies!

MACBETH is such a highly revered play by such a highly revered playwright that as excited as I was to see it, I was a little intimidated at the thought of blogging about it.  But then, a really cool thing happened:  This production removed a lot of the "mystery" of Shakespeare for me.  Let's face it, as eloquent as he is, Shakespeare can be hard to understand.  (It's good to read a little synopsis first…)  There's all this decorative language that our ears aren't that used to hearing.  If you're not that familiar with his stuff, you kind of have to aggressively pay attention to what's being said.  But once you get used to it, you have the realization that his plays aren't all that mysterious.  They're plays that were written to entertain everyone from Kings to the common folks who just wanted to drink a ton of beer and see a show.  They deal with themes that are as old as time.  Shakespeare just uses iambic pentameter a lot…  This is one of the reasons I really loved this production -- it brought me that realization.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

9 TO 5: The Musical • The Fox

In case you didn't know, this 1980's movie was adapted for the stage a couple of years ago, and now this girl-powered "little guy gets the better of the boss" musical has punched in at the Fox.

The show follows the movie pretty closely with only a couple of exceptions (Violet gets a love interest and you know... people sing and dance) and is drenched in a 1980's vibe.  Even the show curtain displays all sorts of images from around that time -- Jimmy Carter, the Muppets, Rubik's Cubes, Charlie's Angels...  I would have taken a picture of it, but I didn't because well… that would be illegal.

For those who've never seen or heard of the movie (both of you…) the show centers around Violet Newstead (Dee Hoty) -- the competent, qualified, but disregarded office manager, Doralee Rhodes (Diana DeGarmo) -- the busty secretary who's assumed to be the office floozie, the newly divorced and trying to make it on her own Judy Bernly (Mamie Parris), and their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss, Franklin Hart, Jr. (Joseph Mahowald).

Many of the iconic scenes and lines from the movie are included in this production.  Everything from the girls getting stoned at Violet's place, that wacky hospital scene, Hart's… "confinement", the girls' fantasy scenes of how they would "off the boss" and of course the office lush Margaret (Jane Blass) who gets a lot a laughs.  "Atta Girl!".

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

TRUE WEST • HotCity Theatre

Why is it that so much interesting stuff always seems to happen in the kitchen?  This is where the sibling rivalry of HotCity's first offering of their 2011 season, Sam Shepard's TRUE WEST, takes place.

There are these 2 brothers -- Austin (Scott McMaster), is a screenwriting family man who's watching his mom's house while she's on vacation in Alaska.  Then we've got Lee (Kevin Crowley), Austin's older brother, a wandering burglar who has dropped in to… "check out the neighborhood".  Austin is trying to put the finishing touches on a screenplay that he's scheduled to present to Saul (Alan Knoll), a fancy Hollywood producer, and Lee's visit is unexpected, and he's a bit in the way.  As Lee alternates between Pabst Blue Ribbon and Jim Beam, he antagonizes his little brother and his "white picket fence" life, while Austin is just trying to pacify the more intimidating Lee, while at the same time, trying not to piss him off.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yes, this is a Rambling on Contrapuntal Goodness • CURTAINS

Okay, so here's a bona fide rambling -- but I can't help it.  It's about counterpoint!  You guys know I love this stuff.

Contrapuntal moments are something I get chills over.  There's a beauty in a show called CURTAINS that I've been listening to lately.  

I saw this show in April of 2007.  Just a word of advice to anyone seeing a show in the Big Apple -- after checking out the theatre discount websites (my favorite -- broadwaybox.com), also try to check out the box office in person.  I went by the box office for CURTAINS and the first words out of my mouth were, "what discounted seats do you have?".  I ended up with a seat in the first row, just left of center for 57 bucks.  The seat was discounted because it was considered "partial view" -- a couple of times during the show, the conductor was elevated on a little platform to have a little dialogue with the actors onstage.  I swear I could have reached over and tapped him on the shoulder -- it was great!  The stage was a little high though…

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