Advertisements

Gettin’ The Band Back Together: Pics, Videos, Review

From its first moments, Gettin’ The Band Back Together feels like the tackiest show  on Broadway, an impression advanced by its lazy plot,  uninspired garage rock score, dopey jokes, and clichéd characters.  Yet, for all its obvious mediocrity, there is an odd and grudging realization by the show’s last moments: Gettin’ The Band Back Together is kind of fun.

What makes it so are the performers who portray the band members, each of whom gets at least one number that shows off a depth of talent that transcends the caricatures in which the show has trapped them.

Full review on DC Theatre Scene

Click on any photograph by Joan Marcus to see it enlarged.

Advertisements

Pretty Woman: Photos, Video, review

Vivian (Samantha Banks) is a hooker, Edward (Andy Karl) is a killer corporate raider who meets her on Hollywood Boulevard, and if the ensuing romance is no less a fable than it was in the hit 1990 movie, there are fewer charms and almost no surprises in Pretty Woman The Musical.

Full review on DC Theatre Scene

Click on any photograph by Matthew Murphy to see it enlarged.

Watch Aladdin, Frozen and The Lion King at Disney Bryant Park Concert

This week’s Broadway at Bryant Park was an all-Disney concert, with cast members from three Disney musicals on Broadway — Aladdin, Frozen and The Lion King — performing 10 songs from the shows, beginning with “Circle of Life” from The Lion King, and ending with “Let It Go” from Frozen, sung initially by Caissie Levy and Patti Murin, but then joined by the performers from all three shows.

Watch videos of six of the numbers below, and the complete set list.
Read more of this post

Head Over Heels: Review, Pics

“Head Over Heels” is a mash-up that sounds weird and unworkable: It’s a jukebox musical using 18 songs by the 1980s all-female L.A. punk band The Go-Go’s. But it’s also a loose adaptation of Arcadia, a 1580s work of literature by Philip Sidney, a contemporary of Shakespeare.

Dressed in Elizabethan doublets, ruffs, crowns and long gowns, the performers speak in iambic pentameter when they’re not singing lyrics like “We got the beat/we got the beat/yeah we got it” and dancing the Cool Jerk.

This is silly, but the show doesn’t pretend otherwise, and, given the right mood, one can revel in its silliness. “Head Over Heels” is happy to be a musical comedy that winks at us, while under Michael Mayer’s fast-paced direction a ton of talented performers energetically deliver the songs, the shtick and the story in 19 colorful and sometimes off-color scenes.

But the musical also attempts something more beneath its busy surface

Full review on DC Theatre Scene

Click on any photograph to see it enlarged

Straight White Men: Review and Pics

“Straight White Men,” a thought-provoking play by Young Jean Lee with a terrifically entertaining cast of Broadway newcomers including Armie Hammer, Josh Charles and Paul Schneider as rowdy brothers, might to some theatergoers seem designed initially to mislead, and ultimately to befuddle. By its title alone, one could assume – incorrectly – that the play will be an acid satire. This impression is fortified by an unusual prologue….What follows, though, is more or less the same play that I saw at the Public Theater in 2014, a sympathetic and straightforward look at a family of four adult men, gathered together to celebrate Christmas. Each has adjusted to the world, and their privileged place in it, in different ways.

Full review on DC Theatre Scene.

Broadway Photographs from the Museum of the City of New York

The Theater Collection at the Museum of the City of New York contains over 190,000 objects that document theatrical performance in New York City from 1785 on. These include more than 30,000 photographs, documenting over 5,000 Broadway production, which are currently in the process of being put online. Below is a sample, including Sarah Bernhardt in an 1880 production of “Adrienne Lecouvreur,” and “New Faces of 1952” featuring Eartha Kitt and Paul Lynde, as well as Lunt and Fontanne, Katharine Cornell and Basil Rathbone, Fanny Brice and a Fanny Brice female impersonator, Paul Robeson, Patty Duke, Celeste Holm, Lillian Gish, Tallulah Bankhead, Glenda Jackson. Click on any picture to see it enlarged, and read the caption.

Broadway Poll: Favorite Fall 2018 Show

Choose the show that you are most looking forward to. The list below is for shows that have opening dates on Broadway between now and the end of December 2018, as of this writing, and they are listed chronologically by opening date.

For more information about any of the shows, read my Broadway 2018-2019 Season Preview Guide

Read more of this post

Broadway 2018-2019 Season Preview Guide

The new Broadway season is shaping up into something familiar — lavish revivals, jukebox musicals, musical adaptations of movies, a musical about a diva and about a giant ape — but also some serious plays – two about racism, two that involve homophobia, two about journalism – and some eclectic offerings not as easily classified

Below is a list of Broadway shows in the 2018-2019 season, with each title linked to the shows’ websites when available. This list is organized chronologically by opening date and only includes shows that as of now have an opening date and a theater. More is to come; much will be changed.
Read more of this post

What Broadway Shows Should I See? Top 10 Suggestions

Now is the time when interest in Broadway is at its peak, piqued by the annual three-hour TV commercial for Broadway known as the Tony Awards broadcast.

I regularly get asked for recommendations, especially from out-of-towners planning a trip to New York. When I try to explore the person’s tastes, they typically say to me “I just want you to pick the shows for me.” So here are ten, Read more of this post

2018 Tony Award Winners — Who Should Win

Below are my preferences — not my predictions — for the 72nd Annual Tony Awards. See my article in DC Theatre Scene for an explanation for each of my choices.

Best Musical

Nominated:

The Band’s Visit
Frozen
Mean Girls
SpongeBob SquarePants, The Broadway Musical

My preference: The Band’s Visit

Read more of this post