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The October Broadway Vacation

After a long discussion with Delta, I finally secured my very inexpensive tickets from San Jose to New York City for October. I had tickets this past Spring to New York City, but an unexpected health issue arose and I wasn’t able to make it. Luckily, (or unluckily) I was hospitalized and because of that I was able to keep my unused Delta tickets without any fare change fees. I still have $200 left (maybe another quick get away this Winter when more shows have opened).

While, I’m not totally certain of my itinerary, these are the shows that I would like to see if I can score tickets to all of them.

MUST SEE:

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown @ Belasco Theatre - With the cast they announced this week – Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Sherie Rene Scott – I will not miss this one. Currently, it’s only slated to run until January 23rd, 2011, so you don’t want to miss this one. Plus, I love Yazbek!

From Playbill.com: “In Madrid, the intertwining lives of a group of women with relationship issues lead to a tumultuous 48 hours of love, confusion and passion.”

The Scottsboro Boys @ Lyceum Theatre: This started Off-Broadway to great reviews. I’m really interested in seeing this one! I hope it lives up to all of the hype. I’m going to try to see the first preview.

From Playbill.com: “In rural Alabama in 1931, nine young African-American males are arrested and tried for a crime involving two white women. Performed as a minstrel show, the musical gives voice to the persistent theme of justice in America.”

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson @Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre: An emo-rock musical? Yes, please. I’m there. Yet, another brand new musical, that’s transferring from Off-Broadway that I will not miss.

From Playbill.com: “Rock star Andrew Jackson (also our seventh president) encores after busting up the Public Theater last season. Starring the charismatic Benjamin Walker.”

WANT TO SEE REALLY BAD:

Playbill Cover

A Little Night Music – Walter Kerr Theatre: So I missed the Tony Award winning actress, Catherine Zeta-Jones and the incredible Angela Lansbury, but now, I get to see Bernadette Peters and Elaine Strich. I’m also really excited to see this particular production of A Little Night Music as I’ve never seen the show before.

La Cage Aux Folles – Longacre Theatre – Everyone has been talking about this production for a long time it seems – first in London and then on Broadway. All I’ve seen is great reviews from everyone.  I’ve never seen La Cage Aux Folles so it’s the perfect time for me to check out this revival.

SUNDAY EVENING:

Next to Normal @ Booth Theatre: It’s a no brianer that I would pick this show to see on Sunday evening when the only other options are Billy Elliot and Rock of Ages. I’m very excited to see the new cast. Of course, I’ll miss Alice Ripley and the rest of the original cast but I’m also excited to see the differences the new cast brings to the show.

MONDAY EVENING:

American Idiot @ St. James Theatre: I saw this show three times in it’s own-of-town tryout at the Berkeley Rep. I absolutely loved it. It’s energy was so infectious that I had to keep coming back for more. I’m really interested in seeing all of the changes and see Stark Sands perform (whom I hear great things about)! Also, there’s no other shows on Monday night that I even remotely want to see!

DEPENDING ON SCHEDULING:

Promises, Promises @ Broadway Theatre: If for some reason I can’t get into any of the above shows, then this show is the next one I really want to see. I would love to see Sean Hayes and Kristen Chenoweth in this, but I’m not dying to see it. It’s a great alternative and if I stayed one more day (or if they had a Sunday or Monday evening show), I’d be there.

The Addams Family @ Lunt-Fontanne Theatre: I’m not really a huge Addams Family fan, so I’m not dying to see this. I think it would be kinda cool to see Nathan Lane perform, because I’ve never seen him live, but there’s too many other shows that I want to see before this one. Again, if it performed on Sunday or Monday evening, I might be there.

NOT TO MISS: (Still deciding)

I just realized that I’ll be in town during the New York Musical Theatre Festival 2010. I know, one thing for sure, that I’ll be seeing Anthony Rapp’s “Without You”. I hope to see a few others as well depending on schedules.

Without You: Anthony Rapp presents his turbulent journey through the convergence of two life-changing events: the early days of Rent – including the untimely passing of Jonathan Larson – and the illness and death of his own mother. Based on his New York Times best-selling memoir, Rapp uses a mix of original music and songs by R.E.M. and Larson in a stunning one-man show about grief, hope, and triumph.

What are your thoughts? Any shows that I’m missing? What shows would you see? Let me know what you think!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on 07/29/2010 in Broadway

 

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New Broadway Cast Recordings: Summer 2010 Releases – Part 1

Promises, Promises – Broadway Theatre

“Based on the 1960 Academy Award-winning Billy Wilder film The Apartment, PROMISES, PROMISES tells the story of the Consolidated Life Insurance Company and Chuck Baxter (Sean Hayes), one of its charming young employees. In an effort to advance at the company, Chuck lends executives his apartment for their extramarital romantic trysts. But things become slightly complicated when Fran Kubelik (Kristin Chenoweth), the object of Chuck’s affection, becomes the mistress of one of his executives.”

Show Dates:

Performances from 27 Mar 2010
Opening 25 Apr 2010
Closing Open-Ended

Performance Schedule:
Tuesday @7pm
Wednesday – Saturday @8pm
Wednesday and Saturday @2pm
Sunday @3pm

Reviews:

New York Times Review: “”For a bunch of desk jockeys, the boys from Consolidated Life are surprisingly athletic. In Rob Ashford’s revival of the 1968 musical “Promises, Promises,” which opened on Sunday night at the Broadway Theater, the male members of the chorus demonstrate that wearing skinny suits needn’t keep corporate executives from playing leap frog, turning cart wheels, bouncing off desks or frugging like, well, mad men.”

More reviews here

Buy CD: (Available June 21st, 2010)

Amazon

iTunes

Listen to:

“Say a Little Prayer”

“Turkey Lurkey Time”

“Whoever You Are, I Love You”

The Addams Family – Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky — and now they’re on Broadway. A dream cast takes on the quirky characters in a new and original Addams Family tale.

Show Dates:

Performances from 08 Mar 2010
Opening 08 Apr 2010
Closing Open-Ended

Performance Schedule:

Tuesday @7pm
Wednesday – Saturday @8pm
Wednesday and Saturday @2pm
Sunday @3pm

Tickets:
Pricing: $51.50 – $136.50
Box Office: Ticketmaster: 212-307-4100/800-755-4000 (toll free)
http://www.ticketmaster.com

Reviews:

New York Times review… “Imagine, if you dare, the agonies of the talented people trapped inside the collapsing tomb called “The Addams Family.” Being in this genuinely ghastly musical — which opened Thursday night at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater and stars a shamefully squandered Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth — must feel like going to a Halloween party in a strait-jacket or a suit of armor. Sure, you make a flashy (if obvious) first impression. But then you’re stuck in the darn thing for the rest of the night, and it’s really, really uncomfortable. Why, you can barely move, and a strangled voice inside you keeps gasping, “He-e-e-lp! Get me out of here!””

More reviews here

Buy:

Amazon

iTunes

Listen to:

“When You’re an Addams”

“The Moon and Me”

“Move Toward the Darkness”

Fela! at Eugene O’Neill Theatre

Show Dates:

Performances from 19 Oct 2009
Opening 23 Nov 2009
Closing Open-Ended

Performance Schedule:

Tuesday @7pm
Wednesday – Saturday @8pm
Wednesday and Saturday @2pm
Sunday @3pm

Beginning September 6: Tuesday @7pm
Wednesday – Friday @8pm
Saturday @2 and 8pm
Sunday @2 and 7:30pm

Tickets:

Pricing: $59 – $127
Box Office: Telecharge: (212) 239-6200

Reviews:

The Broadway Critic’s review… “Prepare yourself for an experience unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Go. Now! Feel Fela’s passion, power and energy in this new revolutionary ”musical”.”

Read other reviews here.

Buy:

Amazon

iTunes

Listen to:

“Zombie”

“No Poi”

Kare Kay (Act II)

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 07/22/2010 in Broadway, CD Review, Music

 

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Five Shows You Should See on Broadway – #3

I get asked this question a lot: “What shows should I see on Broadway?” I get asked from friends who are visiting New York City for the weekend, teachers who are taking their students on an extended field trip and even friends who live in the city. Now, I usually try to answer that question, keeping in mind, what my friends or students would be interested in seeing – making sure its content and style appropriate.

Back in November, I posted my top five favorite shows and since then two have closed and the other three have significant cast changes. Then back in March, I posted my new list, but that was before all of the new Broadway shows had opened and there have been several that have opened but it’s still a very similar list.

Here’s my top 5 that you should check out this summer in New York City:

1. Next to Normal at Booth Theatre – Next to Normal continues to be #1 on my list for a number of reasons, even with the new cast changes. Husband-and-wife actors Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie will join the cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical in July. Next to Normal is a breath of fresh air, especially when comparing it to such shows as Billy Elliot or even Disney’s Mary Poppins (which I happen to love).

Tom Kitt’s beautifully crafted rock opera deals directly with heartache in a way that’s never been presented in musical theatre.  With the difficult level of the score, intensity of the acting and fiery energy that the actors bring to the show every night, I thought that it might actually get “tired” as the run went on. My friend saw it last week and said it was the best he’s ever seen it! (It was his 5th or 6th time seeing it.) You have till July 18th to see the Tony-winning performance by Alice Ripley.

It’s my all-time favorite show I’ve seen on Broadway. Don’t miss it!

WebsiteTickets

2. American Idiot at St. James Theatre – American Idiot didn’t win the Tony Award for Best Musical, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see this show! It did win the Tony Award for the lighting and set design (which were well-deserved). I saw it four times at Berkeley Rep in it’s out-of-town try-out and I can tell you it will blow your mind. It was the musical that actually inspired me to start this website.

“Finally, someone has come along and given musical theatre the electro shock therapy it has needed for so long. While Tom Kitt’s newest musical, Next to Normal, deals directly with the affects of electro shock therapy, American Idiot is electro shock therapy for the audience. It screams independence and acceptance in a way that is nothing short of brilliant.” You can read the full review here.

WebsiteBuy tickets

Playbill Cover3. A Little Night Music at Walter Kerr Theatre: I actually gave up my ticket to see this to see the closing performance of Finian’s Rainbow.(Read the full story here.) I’ve only heard fabulous things about this production and that Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta-Jones are exquisite in their roles. Zeta-Jones did just win the Tony Award for Best Actress on Sunday.

In the New York Times Catherine Zeta-Jones is said to be, “…drop-dead gorgeous in David Farley’s wasp-waisted period dresses, Ms. Zeta-Jones brings a decent voice, a supple dancer’s body and a vulpine self-possession to her first appearance on Broadway.” This is your last week to see Miss Zeta-Jones and Miss Lansbury as their final performance is on June 20th. But on July 13th, you’ll have a chance to see two other theatre legends take over the roles: Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch. I have a feeling that this is a show you won’t want to miss!

Website | Tickets

4. La Cage aux Folles at Longacre Theatre: First off, you have to congratulate La Cage aux Folles for being the first musical in history to win “Best Musical” or “Best Musical Revival” three times! Talk about a huge triumph and making musical theatre history! The Menier Chocolate Factory’s acclaimed revival hits the Broadway stage, starring Douglas Hodge (Olivier Award and Tony Award) as Albin, a drag performer with a heart of gold, and Kelsey Grammer as his partner Georges.

I haven’t seen this production yet, but from what I’ve heard, you don’t want to miss it – the Cagelles are worth the price of admission. (Did you see them on the Tony Awards? Talk about fierce!)

Website | Tickets

5. In the Heights at Richard Rodgers Theatre – In the Heights won the 2008 Tony for “Best Musical” and has been a hit on Broadway ever since. I caught the In the Heights tour in San Francisco last month and absolutely fell in love with the show all over again. (Read review, here)

I took 35 theatre/music students to this production on Broadway in March ’09 and they absolutely fell in love with it, just as I had when I saw it for the first time. The infusion of Latin/Rap/Pop music into musical theatre isn’t groundbreaking or new, but Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrics are. The end of Act I, when they sing “Blackout” — fireworks literally and figuratively go off on stage. It’s electrifying!

Website | Tickets

Shows I hope to see in August:

  • Promises, PromisesI can’t resist seeing a show with Kristen Chenoweth, Sean Hayes or Katie Finneran (who won the Tony for Best Supporting Actress) all in it! If you have time for one more revival, then this one should be on your list!
  • Next to Normal: It’s one of the rare shows that’s open on a Monday night and I can’t wait to see the new replacements: Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie.
  • American Idiot: Yes, I know – with all of the shows that I haven’t seen on Broadway that are open, why see a show I’ve already seen four times! Well, I haven’t seen it on Broadway yet! And I want to see the changes and new discoveries they have made since Berkeley Rep.
  • La Cage aux Folles/A Little Night Music: It’s basically going to come down to which one will I be able to afford tickets to! I have never seen either show in any production, so I’m looking forward to seeing at least one!

It looks like, I might just have to return sometime in October to catch a few more…

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 06/15/2010 in Broadway

 

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Broadway News/Blog Round Up #19

Each week, The Broadway Critic will be featuring the news that you don’t want to miss! A lot has happened since we posted about Everyday Rapture and Memphis possibly becoming a movie musical.

  • If you haven’t heard already, the Tony Award nominations were released on Tuesday, May 4th. You can see the full list here. I usually don’t agree with Michael Reidel on much, but this time I think he hit the nail on the head: “You guys [the Tony committee] did more damage in one day than the critics did all season.” The main damage being that Enron is closing on Sunday with a four million dollar loss. I’m still pretty upset about American Idiot not getting more nominations and if Memphis actually wins the Tony for “Best Musical” I will know, for a surety, that the Tony Awards are a sham. I’m just going to say it: I hated Memphis (and it looks like some people agree with me). Get all of your Tony Award news here.
  • The other big news on Broadway was the unsuccessful car bomb — CNN.com has the latest news – “The Times Square car bomb suspect sensed authorities were closing in on him in the hours leading up to his arrest, law enforcement sources told CNN on Wednesday.” Apparently, Lucy Lui was scared and called out that night – which I don’t blame her at all.
  • Time Stands Still is coming back to Broadway in the fall. I absolutely loved this play. I went on a whim back in January and I’m so glad I did — apparently the Tony Awards committee loved it as much as I did. It received two 2010 Tony nominations for Best Play and Best Actress in a Play (Laura Linney). Read my review of it, here.
  • According to Playbill.com “Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning book writer and lyricist Brian Yorkey is collaborating with Grammy-winning rocker Sting on a new Broadway musical.” To be honest, I’m not that surprised. Who’s next? Pray, that it’s Lady Gaga. Can you imagine the costumes?
  • Photo Call: Remembering Lynn Redgrave. Rest in Peace — very sad news.
  • The Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle announced their winners. You can see the full list here. Just to note, Theatreworks production of Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues won over American Idiot at Berkeley Rep. I didn’t see Theatreworks production, but it still kind of baffles me. Thoughts on this?


Broadway Blog Round Up:

  • Sarah B. gives a shout out to the darling Kate Baldwin. She also mentions she’s seeing her in Paradise Found in London next month. So will I! Are we going to be there on the same day?
  • Chicago Theatre Blog is a little bit upset that the premier of Little Miss Sunshine is happening at La Jolla Playhouse next Spring. He writes, “Truth be told, with Chicago’s known affinity for new plays, we seem like a much better fit for just such a debut.  But being that Lapine has worked with La Jolla on previous premiers, it makes sense that they landed the gig.” I’m glad that it’s only a 5-hour drive away instead of a 5-hour plane ride!
  • Some great Tony news on Grace Notes.
  • Gratuitous Violins gives her take on the Tony Award nominations. On the same note, Steve on Broadway gives his. And one more: Pataphysical Science gives her initial recations. (Clearly, we are an opinionated bunch!) My favorite take on the Tony Awards goes to Chris Caggiano – read here
  • Another review of Promises, Promises from one of my favorite bloggers: The Andy Gram. Here’s what he had to say, “While I really wanted to love this, I felt let down by the piece itself.  There’s not much of anything the producers or director could have done about that, short of picking another show.  Mr. Hayes is a talented man.  My hope is that we will get to see him in more Broadway outings (no double-entrende implied).”
  • Theatre Review: Slasher at SF Playhouse on Idiolect.
  • The Producer’s Perspective has a new iPhone app. Very cool stuff! I just downloaded it. You can download The Broadway Critic’s iPhone app here.
  • Stage Rush reviews the Tony-nominated Everyday Rapture. “Interestingly, Michael Mayer directs the show, which meansEveryday Rapture share most of its creative team with that of American Idiot. It’s strange how one director’s production like Idiot could make me feel so much, and his other make me feel so little.”

Until next week…

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 05/06/2010 in Broadway, News

 

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Broadway News/Blog Round Up #18

Each week, The Broadway Critic will be featuring the news that you don’t want to miss! A lot has happened since we posted about Brian D’Arcy James starring in Next to Normal and American Idiot opening on Broadway.

  • Everyday Rapture released the new cast recording on Tuesday, digitally and in stores. You can check out some great photos on Broadwayworld.com. It opens on Broadway today, Thursday April, 29th. I’m super happy that Sherie Rene Scott gets this chance to shine on Broadway again! (Thank you, Megan for making that possible.)
  • Memphis is possibly becoming a movie musical. Really? I’m not happy about this one. There are so many other shows that I would rather see as a movie musical. But, I’m thinking – if done correctly – the movie could be much better than the Broadway version and maybe they’ll have time to fix that ridiculous ending. Or, it could just end up like the dismal, Nine. Thoughts?
  • Playbill.com interviewed Rebecca Naomi Jones (star of American Idiot) and found out that she wants Ben Fold’s music to be in a musical. Read some other great answers here.
  • Hunter Foster weighs in on this year’s Broadway season and talks about the lack of new Broadway scores. Interesting read.
  • Rumor Alert: Sutton Foster might be returning to Broadway next season in a new revival of Anything Goes. I’m really a fan of anything that Foster does, but I will say that “Sutton Foster/Cole Porter” combined seems like absolute bliss to me.
  • Last but not least, it’s Broadway Week with Regis & Kelly. More info on who’s performing, here.

Broadway Blog Round-Up:

  • Read all about Sarah B.’s adventures seeing a ton of Broadway shows, going to Sondheim’s birthday party and running to other fellow theatre bloggers in her “Catching up on some adventures…” post.
  • “Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals” finally weighed in on Next to Normal winning the Pulitzer Prize this year. “Is it possible for a show to be worthy of a Pulitzer Prize yet still espouse a viewpoint that I find questionable at best, dangerous at worst? Well, that’s free speech for ya. At the very least, Next to Normal provides the opportunity to create some dialog about the topic of mental illness.” Read and comment here.
  • Broadway Across America announced their next season in Boston and Gratuitous V covers the pros and cons about their decision. Read here.
  • Musicals in L.A. interviewed Erin Quill (Avenue Q) and talks about her new show, The Mikado Project.
  • Read Pataphysical Science’s view on American Idiot. She thought “Good Riddance” was cheesy. Do you agree? I don’t.
  • Stage Notes reviewed the new revival, Promises, Promises that’s starring Sean Hayes and Kristen Chenoweth. She seems to agree with all of the critics: “Katie Finneran is the surprising break out star who comes out of nowhere in this story as Marge McDougal. She is hilarious! She’s a genius with physical comedy and we were in stitches with her every line. What a natural!”
  • “But one thing stands out above all else, that is that Stephen Sondheim is a prolific genius, the likes of whom we may never see again.” – The Andy Gram reviews Sondheim on Sondheim.
  • Steve on Broadway celebrated four different milestones: 1. 4th year SOB blog anniversary, 2. Saw 200 shows on Broadway, 3. Seeing all of this season’s Broadway shows and 4. Interviewed Alicia Silverstone – his first formal thespian interview. Read here.
  • The Producer’s Perspective writes a great post about the how Broadway houses sell their house tickets. I think there needs to be a change as well. I’ve stopped buying my tickets ahead of of time because I hate all of the extra fees. They are ridiculous.
  • Stage Rush interviews the understudy, Charlotte Maier, of God of Carnage. Funny thing: my costume designer for The Wedding Singer – the show I’m directing and choreographing at my school - is Maier’s sister-in-law. Don’t forget to watch Stage Rush’s  video of Green Day showing up to the performance and playing an encore number on the night Stage Rush went to review American Idiot.

New shows that are starting previews, opening  and/or closing on Broadway in the next couple weeks:

  • 4/28/10: Collected Stories (opening)
  • 4/29/10: Everyday Rapture (opening)
  • 5/04/10: TONY AWARD NOMINATIONS
  • 6/13/10: The 64th Tony Awards
  • 8/28/10: South Pacific (closing)

Until next week…

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 04/29/2010 in Broadway, News

 

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