Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The verdicts are in for the new production of Grease...

...and it ain't pretty.

You can start with the NY Times review:
"The effect is rather like one of those makeover shows in which everyday people are dressed and groomed to resemble red-carpet regulars and wind up looking like game but uneasy impostors."

but NewYorkology has compiled an entire list of bad reviews to choose from.

The scorn isn't reserved only for the two leads...chosen via reality TV talent show earlier this year. Just about everything about this show is not up to snuff, apparently.

I watched the show where the two leads were chosen, and they waited until the very end of the show to bring out the other, already cast, cast members on stage with the new Danny and Sandy.

At that moment you knew the show would be bad. Those other "kids" looked like your typical musical performers (includingbit being anywhere close to high school age) while the two competition winners looked like the slightly bewildered teenagers they actually were. Together? It looked like one strange mess.

And the reviews seemed to indicate it remained so!

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

My review of Foothill Music Theatre's Carousel

I saw Carousel last weekend, but only had the time to sit down and record my thoughts just now...sorry about the delay, especially given the show closes this weekend.

The review is here over at my personal blog, where I do all my reviewing.

And I will give you the same warning about bias with which I kick off the review:

Bias to the positive: I know the two leads and the director, and am inclined to like them and their work.

Bias to the negative: Carousel is on my list of "shows I never have to see again", and truth be told I saw this precisely because of bias to the positive listed above. Moreover, I'm not even a Rodgers & Hammerstein fan in general. They have two other shows on my aforementioned "never have to see again" list. [Sound of Music and South Pacific, if you must know.] Oklahoma! is my favorite R&H, but I'm not sure it would even make my top ten list.

Meanwhile there are plenty of people who think Carousel is one of the greatest musicals of all time. I could say "what do they know?" And they could say the same about me!

There is no accounting for taste, and you should bear that in mind when reading my review which, to be honest, rambles on a lot more about the show itself than about this production. (A pet peeve of a least one friend of mine...who hates when reviewers do that.)

Caveat Lector :)

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Merc's Avenue Q review...how about yours?

We all know I loved Avenue Q when I saw it in NY. Here's the Merc's review of the current tour that is playing up in SF.

Key excerpt (and one with which I wholeheartedly agree):
Still, the real magic of “”Avenue Q'’ is not the dexterity of the puppeteers nor the wicked-cheeky dialogue. It’s the fact that we actually start caring (gulp!) about our felt-covered friends and start to see our own travails through their eyes. When a broken-hearted Kate Monster launches into her torch song, the show not only finds its heart but comes perilously close to stealing ours, as well.

So, have any of you seen the SF version? Thumbs up? Thumbs down? And did you see the NYC version, and how would you compare the two?


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Foothill alumni in the world: Katie O'Bryon

Katie O'Bryon, a Foothill Alum from Annie Get Your Gun and Pippin, also does work behind the curtain.

Currently she is the choreographer for Peninsula Youth Theatre's production of Sweet Charity, which runs for another weekend at Mountain View Center for Performing Arts.

Katie says:
If people have never seen a PYT show, they shouldn't let the "youth" scare them off-- the teenage cast is extremely talented and they've all worked really hard on the Fosse style choreography. (During rehearsals they were begging to practice "The Frug" even after practice had ended for the evening -- I've never seen kids this age be so motivated!) It's a terrific show and I'm hoping some more people will be able to get out to see it.

According to Katie, there are half-price tickets on artsopolis now, and there's also more information on the PYT website at www.pytnet.org.

So, if you've got a yen to see some good Fosse-esque choreography (and who really, whoe doesn't?) get on over to PYT for Sweet Charity.

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