Tuesday, April 26, 2005

My review of TheatreWorks' "Crowns"

Is here.

A Brit's take on Broadway...

He's not being patronizing, not at all. Just ask him.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

My review of "Tapestry"...loved the performers anyway :)

So a commenter said I should write a mini-review of Tapestry over at AMTSJ, and I already have published my review over at my Personal Blog.

I didn't immediately post it here because I felt a little bad. I really liked the performers and really did not like a lot of the directorial decisions.

So, I know it comes across as a pretty bad review.

So, let me repeat again: I really liked most of the performers, including James.

Here's the review. Might want to wear your safety glasses.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

James Iglehart's current production at AMT

I'm looking forward to seeing James this Sunday night in Tapestry at AMT in San Jose.

He's one of six singers, all local, in the show. I know the cast also includes Molly Bell, Annemarie Martin and more.

It's completely lame, though, that the AMT web site has all pictures from some other theatre's production. Couldn't they at least throw up the pictures of their cast members, like they are in the newspaper ads?

While I myself have not minded that AMT brings in more tours now, their general audience begs to differ. Their general audience likes to see local and familiar talent. That is why they are making some changes for the coming season, right?

Their web site acts like we're going to care about this production in, where is it, Phoenix? And doesn't even give us a clue as to who the "terrific" six singers in the show are.

Bad marketers, bad!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Interesting Chron article on the aging Sondheim

Steven Winn takes a look at what Sondheim has been up to in his "golden" years, and decided...not much.

Interesting, particularly, that it is obvious that if Sondheim and his genius came along today, he'd probably never make it to Broadway at all.

It's sad to imagine we'll have no more great works out of Sondheim. And I know Jay thinks that the the heavy weight of our expectations for any Sondheim work doesn't help much.

Anyway, if you're a Sondheim fan (an really, who isn't) check it out.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Martin finds another "Sweeney" review

The Beadle himself ferreted out another review of Sweeney, from the AisleSaysite. It's a bit heavy on the synopsis, rather than review side, but it is pleasingly positive.

Check it out.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Full Brigadoon casting info

Thanks to impending Harry Beaton, Steve Edlund, for providing the hotline number that I didn't have:


If you call that number you can listen to the entire cast of Brigadoon. Lots of new names for me...although some Foothill stalwarts, like Bill Erenata, Beverly Hansberry, Robyn Winslow and others are definitely involved.

I hope Steve enjoys playing one of musical theatre's "angry, young, dancing men"! Harry Beaton seems like a sort of precursor to the youthful, masculine, aggressive dancing later seen in West Side Story.

As I shuffle through my memories of golden era musical theatre it seems to me that emotional expression through dance was reserved for either dainty female characters, or perhaps romantic characters. If I think of the great anti-heroes or even antagonists, like Jud Fry, Billy Bigelow, etc., they're not the dancing type.

Harry Beaton is, and later the Jets and the Sharks aren't so different.

And there is my 2-minute, 10-cent theatrical analysis for the day.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Speaking of Sondheim: "Passion" at Lincoln Center

Got home late last night, but couldn't resist watching the first 20 minutes or so of Live from Lincoln Center's production of Passion starring Audra MacDonald, Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone.

Thrilling! Really.

I saw the original production and found it challenging. Soaring and beautiful in parts, hard to believe and frustrating in others. But what stood out then and stands out now is hearing three singers at the top of their form tackle those intricate Sondheim melodies.

MacDonald is a worthy successor to Marin Mazzie in the role of Clara. They share that voice that easily traverses up, down and around where most women find a "break."

Michael Cerveris outshines my memory of the original Giorgio.

And Patti LuPone? Well, I stayed up until after 1am to see her first big number, and she was amazing. Her voice is cast-iron...no signs of age or wear. And her passion, commitment, intensity: reminded me of watching Bernadette Peters singing "Rose's Turn" in Gypsy a couple of eyars back. You're watching this Broadway icon, but you find yourself forgetting everything you ever knew of them or saw them do and getting swept into their moment. Hold-your-breath stuff for me.

Can't wait to watch the rest!

Oh, and Here's the NY Times review.

Brigadoon Casting News

I sang in a cabaret evening last night with Tim Reynolds, and he filled me in on a little bit of the casting from Brigadoon:

Tim himself is playing the romantic lead, Tommy. He told me a great story about his previous experience with the show:

Some years back Saratoga Drama Group did the show and knew that their Charlie Dalrymple couldn't perform on Opening Weekend. They called up Tim and asked if he would understudy the role and perform Charlie that opening weekend. And he did. Then he went home and forgot all about Brigadoon...until he got a call weeks later on the Friday afternoon of the show's Closing Weekend.

The Tommy had fallen ill and they asked if Tim could step in and do the role. "With a script" he volunteered. And so they brought him in, gave him his pages, his blocking and ran through as much as they could. He went on and performed the role for the next couple of eprformances, script in hand.

I think that defines "trouper."

Tim also filled me in on the following casting:

Karen DeHart (Adelaide from Guys & Dolls a couple of years back) is playing lusty, busty Meg.

Ray Renati (in both Ragtime and Sweeney in the last year) is playing comic sidekick (and the object of Meg's affection) Jeff.

I don't think I know the woman playing Fiona, Her name, according to Tim is Michelle Johnstone, not to be confused with Michelle Johnson who was in Sweeney.

I'll update you if I get more info.

(Somehow the old hotline numbers aren't working for me...anyone know the new number?)

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