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Listen to new musical, “For Tonight” in concert at NYMF

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When their parents both die of a mysterious illness that swept through their small Welsh village, surviving children Thomas, Haydon, and Nettie are forced to fend for themselves in a community that has largely shunned them. Thomas has taken control of the household, Nettie is coming into her own (and out of her shell) as a member of the community by selling her clothing she makes and Haydon wishes for something larger than this small town. Inspired by the gypsies who once shared their home, Haydon heads off to Liverpool, guitar in hand, to find what the world has to offer. There he meets Mirela, a beautiful young Romani woman who speaks to his wandering soul. However, when word comes that Haydon that his sister is deathly ill, he is forced to choose between the family and life he left behind, or the freedom and love he has found.

Listen to the show in entirety on Youtube, here. Or click on the videos below.

ACT 1

“Away”

“Keep it In”

“Stay”

“Come Along”

“All This Time”

“For Tonight”

“Wait for the Morn”

“Home”

ACT 2

“Suo Gan”

“Dark and Bright”

“Don’t Go it Alone”

“Don’t Forget Me”

“Will I Burn?”

“Oh Love of Mine”

“Process”

“Suo Gan – Reprise”

“No One Knows”

 
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Posted by on 07/28/2014 in Broadway, Music, News

 

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How Many Shows Have You Walked Out Of?

Broadway 2013-14
For most of my 20’s, I never had the gall to walk out of a movie, let alone a live theatrical event. I was under the impression that even if it was extremely bad I would learn something from it. And sometimes that still rings true, but in the last couple of months, I’ve walked out of two productions at intermission and didn’t feel any guilt nor did I think I was going to miss something that was going to happen in the second act. If it’s bad production then I’m out.

And the weird thing is, it was actually quite liberating… freeing even.

(To be honest, I’d rather be at home watching Homeland or The Walking Dead.) 

I have seen some shows where the second act is markedly better than the first, and I’m very happy that I’ve stayed but both shows that I walked out of had no hope of getting any better and if it did, I’m not really sad that I missed it. The funny thing is both people that I was with didn’t want to ask to leave but when I said I wanted to, they were so relieved, and we were out of there in about ten seconds flat!

For me, the first production I left at intermission wasn’t telling the story. The director had completely forgotten why the audience was there. I was there because I wanted to be taken away on a journey and be in their world! It wasn’t there, so I left. 

The second time I left was because the show was miscast and I was frustrated with the musical direction and  direction to the point that I had no opportunity to connect with the piece. I was annoyed the entire time. It was a complete departure to what I had seen on Broadway and I wasn’t happy.

And so here it is folks: if you don’t have me by intermission, I’m out. I guess my 30’s have given me a sense of owning my time, and I’ve sat through enough bad productions in my 20’s that I’m not wasting anymore time — even if I’ve paid a $100 bucks.

If you’ve left a production at intermission, I want to know why? And have you ever left before intermission?!

Give us the gory details in the comments, I want to make sure I’m not the only one.

 
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Posted by on 11/20/2013 in Broadway, News

 

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Contest: “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812″ CD Giveaway

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Written by David Malloy – Directed by Rachel Chavkin

259 West 45th Street (Between Times Square and Eighth Avenue)

 Featuring: Phillipa Soo, David Abeles, Lucas Steele, Nick Choksi

THE GREAT COMET is the must-see and critically acclaimed immersive musical based on a scandalous slice of War and Peace. In this musical theater experience like no other, audiences rendezvous with 19th-century Russia while dining on fine Russian fare, sparkling wine, and vodka as the music and drama flourishes around them. Now performing at the Theater District’s opulent supper club, KAZINO.

NOVEMBER 7 – DECEMBER 30 

Here’s how you can win a CD of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812:

  • Comment and tell us what your favorite part of the show is. If you haven’t seen it, tell us why you want to! 
  • You’ll be entered more than once if you follow @abroadwaycritic on Twitter and tweet out a shout out about the CD giveaway! (Make sure you tag @abroadwaycritic so I know about it!)

There will only be one winner! You’ll be contacted through email or Twitter (depending how you entered) and will be chosen by Random.org. Winners will be chosen November 25th, 2013.

Pre-ordeNatasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 on Amazon.com.

Good luck!

 
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Posted by on 11/19/2013 in Broadway, Contest, Music

 

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“Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark” is Flying into Las Vegas (Like it Should Be)

Spider-man Turn Off the Dark New Broadway Poster After all the crazy that has happened, Monday night the Wall Street Journal confirmed that Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark will be closing early January 2014. The $75-million production is not even close to recouping it’s initial investment but has taken in $203 million dollars since opening in 2011 according to The New York Times

Clearly all of those naysayers didn’t get it completely right, because $203 million dollar is something and a lot of their investors did get their money back though not all of them. But, let’s be honest: Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark never belonged on Broadway, and even Julie Taymor knew that. It was mentioned in the new tell-all book, The Song of Spider-man, that Taymor never wanted the show to be a Broadway musical, but rather a circus-rock-concert-drama. She was adamant about that.

So why did the producers push the show in New York when it should have flew into Las Vegas from the beginning? The spectacle, the music, the “feel” of the show fits in with all of the Vegas-type-Cirque shows which all capitalize in the hundreds of millions of dollars (not even close to what Spider-man cost). Maybe this question is answered in the book (I haven’t finished the entire thing yet), but it seems pretty logical to produce this in Las Vegas and a lot better idea than New York. (Though 42nd Street in New York is looking more and more like Las Vegas every time I walk that block.)

I’m not too sad that this is happening, since I hope to cover the opening of Spider-man: Turn off the Dark 3.0 in Las Vegas, but it will mean that I will miss Spider-man: Turn off the Dark 2.0 since I was planning on seeing 2.0 in February 2014.

Hopefully, the producers will get it right this time, and they will “rise above” all of the drama and put on a good show in Las Vegas — a more completed version of the circus-rock-concert-drama that Taymor envisioned years ago.

Or not.

I’ll still be there.

 
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Posted by on 11/19/2013 in Broadway, News

 

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The Broadway Critic Blog Quoted in “Song of Spider-man”

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Last week, I received a tweet from a friend, Jeffrey Miele saying this: “@abroadwaycritic any chance you were at the 1st preview of @SpideyOnBway? If so you’re quoted in #songofspidermam (pg 189)”. I tweeted him back and asked what it said, and lo and behold, it’s true — The Broadway Critic Blog was quoted in Chapter 11 in the new book Song of Spider-man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History written by the show’s book writer, Glen Berger.

I instantly bought the book on Amazon.com and waited for it to come in the mail. I went to pg. 189 and sure enough, there it is (pictured above)! Berger has quoted my writer, Sean O’Conner, in his review of the first preview. You can read the entire review here. What you don’t see in the picture above is Michael Reidel’s quote saying how much he loathed the production right underneath mine! Obviously, two very different opinions.

And there you have it… I know some readers weren’t very happy that I posted a “review” of the first preview of Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark, but now it’s a part of Spider-man’s history. I just kinda wish that the quote actually came true… 

I do have tickets to see Spider-man 2.0 in February 2014. Since I’ve only “reviewed” Spider-man 1.0 in the past I’m looking forward to seeing the changes that were made between the two versions (if I can even remember the original).

Hopefully the book is as interesting as the drama that has surrounded Spider-man over the last three years… I hope to read it this weekend.

I only wish they wrote “The” before “Broadway Critic Blog”, but it’s okay – I’ll take the quote where we can get it!

Have you read it? What are your thoughts?

 
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Posted by on 11/15/2013 in Broadway, News

 

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Top 5 New 2013-14 Broadway Musicals I’m Excited About

Broadway 2013-14

There’s a few shows this Broadway season that you can not miss! Here are my top five:

5. After Midnight

“The band takes the last bow in “After Midnight,” the sparkling new jazz revue that opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theater… This may be unusual for Broadway, where the players are normally in the pit — and the music often sounds as if it could have been piped in from Hong Kong — but it’s entirely as it should be.” – New York Times Review This review alone got me interested in seeing After Midnight. It’s not on the top of my list, but I definitely think it is something that I’ll see (eventually). I would love to see Fantasia live and I love this idea of rotating singers in and out of the “lead” but not as a “replacement” but as a convention. It does sound like that the band is the main reason to check out this production.

4. Rocky

Oh Rocky! What can I say: I’m intrigued? I’m always intrigued in shows that writers take an unusual subject matter and put in on the stage. It’s even more interesting when the unusual subject matter is boxing, and they are supposed to sing about it. I mean, come on, Rocky singing? Will it work? I don’t know… I can’t wait to find out. The producers are hoping it’s going to be a huge blockbuster success after moving Mamma Mia out of the Winter Garden Theatre, and replacing it with Rocky. The best part about all of this — I can finally say I went to the Winter Garden Theatre. Finally.

3. Bridges of Madison County

Jason Robert Brown’s new musical, Bridges of Madison County, has me all excited for numerous reasons. One, I’m interested in hearing how Jason Robert Brown’s music has morphed since Songs for a New World and The Last Five Years – both shows that shaped my love for musical theatre. Second, it has Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale in the production. I saw both in Playwright Horizon’s production of Far From Heaven and they were phenomenal together. To be honest, I’ve never seen the movie but I’m interested and have tickets for the second week of previews. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it! For now, I’m content to listening to the above track over and over.

2. Les Miserables

All I have to say is: Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean. Frankly, that’s all I have to say. It’s his Broadway debut. And I’ll probably see this multiple times because of him. I have a man crush on this guy — one of the most unbelievable voices of this century.

1. If/Then

A few of my favorite things are in this cast: RENT alum: Idina Menzel & Anthony Rapp, Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey wrote the piece and it’s directed by Michael Grief. It tells the story of a 40-year old woman named Elizabeth who moves back to New York City for a fresh start. I’m excited for new musicals and I’m definitely interested in this one. I hope it’s as fantastic as I hope it will be. I need a new Next to Normal in my life. I have high expectations.

What musical are you most excited to see this upcoming season? Be sure to take the poll below.

You can read past top 5’s here:

 
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Posted by on 11/13/2013 in Broadway, News

 

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Pinewood School Produces First High School Production of WHISPER HOUSE

Whisper Postcard Big

 

Pinewood School’s Performing Arts Department is proud to announce the high school and regional premiere of Whisper House, written by Obie Award winner, Kyle Jarrow (book & lyrics), and Grammy and Tony Award winner, Duncan Sheik (music & lyrics), opening on November 8th, 2013 in Los Altos Hills, CA.

It’s 1942 – at the height of World War II – and Christopher, an imaginative young boy, is sent to live with an aunt he has never met: Lilly, a reclusive woman who serves as the keeper of a remote lighthouse. Not yet comfortable in his surroundings, Christopher begins to hear strange music no one else can hear seeping through the walls. It does not take long for him to suspect the lighthouse may be haunted, and these ghosts tell him that Yasuhiro, a Japanese worker that Lilly has employed, should not be trusted.

Is Christopher’s imagination getting the best of him? Or are these ghosts warning Christopher about the very real dangers that lie ahead? Whisper House is a touching and beautiful story about how we should embrace, rather than fear, the unknown.

Whisper House is a piece that both Duncan and I love, and we couldn’t be more excited to have it produced at Pinewood,” book writer Kyle Jarrow said. “One of the original (adult) actors from the San Diego production of Whisper House, David Poe, had the chance to go up to Pinewood School to do a master class and see these young actors at work. Poe was blown away by their talent, excitement and smarts.  Coming from a world of professional theater that can sometimes be exhausting — and like all professional arts, very much business-minded — it’s refreshing to know high school actors are sinking their teeth into the show with enthusiasm and awesome commitment.  Thanks Pinewood for doing our show!”

Talmage Wise (Male Ghost) and Annie Whitacre (Female Ghost) lead this ghostly story with Rachel Brenneman (Ghost chorus) and Carolyn Ehrlich (Ghost Chorus) by their sides. This small cast of nine also includes Dariya Smith (Aunt Lilly), Justin Stangenes (Christopher), Carson Robinette (Yasohiro), Ben Montrym (Sherriff Charles), and Andrew Yaholkovsky (Lieutenant Rando).

“It’s been wonderful to be able to connect theatre professionals, such as Duncan, Kyle and David, with the educational world,” says Spencer Williams, Producer and Performing Arts Department Chair. “When original cast member David Poe came to Pinewood to do a master class with the cast, the students were so invigorated by his comments and praise. It was such a wonderful moment to see the two worlds colliding – one of my favorite moments in my professional career.”

Williams, an associate member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (www.namt.org), is also incredibly proud of the opportunity to have high school students produce new musical theatre. “It’s so exciting that my students get the opportunity to take on new characters – a very rare opportunity for them. Usually, that opportunity only comes in at the professional level but as a writer/composer and teacher, I feel it is necessary to start creating new musicals at this level if musical theatre wants to continue to gain new audiences.”

Whisper House is directed by theatre teacher, Mr. Doug Eivers, and musically directed by music teacher, Mrs. Shenelle Williams.

Tickets for Whisper House are available at www.pinewoodarts.com.  Whisper House opens on November 8th and runs until November 16th, 2013. All performances are at Pinewood School – 26800 Fremont Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022.

 
 

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