Thank goodness it’s Friday, which usually would mean a movie review, but this Friday, I thought I’d take a bit of a detour and throw a theater review in the mix.
First, some insights: Any and all visitors to this site can tell 2WC has an affinity for film, but our first love is theater. Particularly musical theater, but for various reasons, we simply can’t see enough theater to populate this blog with it as much as we’d like. That, and as much as I love it, a part of me hates reviewing it.
Why? I’m completely and totally biased, even the most horrible of theatrical performances will still hold a special place in my heart. Perhaps it’s the immediacy, the intimacy, and the vulnerability of a live performance.
Seriously, a show would have to be overtly offensive, cruel, and physically abusive/harmful for me to hate it…that doesn’t mean I can’t see faults in a show.
So, you can probably see where this is headed—my review of the Broadway-bound tour of Jekyll & Hyde. It’s a show with a history (that involves David Hasselhoff, so take that as you will). Some love it, some hate it, and now it’s returning to the Great White Way.
Personally, it’s a show I’ve listened to for years and always wanted to see. Here’s what I thought:
It’s Tony night once again. Time for the best of Broadway to celebrate the best of theater from the past season, and the rest of us to anxiously sit on our couches, and proudly state our opinions on shows that we have yet to see (for the most part).
This year’s line-up includes a bunch of musicals based on movies, some musicals without music (plays) and, of course, Neil Patrick Harris.
Who will win? Well, who knows. True, we haven’t seen any of the nominated shows (we did see the movies…does that count?), but that won’t stop us from weighing in.
So, without further ado, our picks for tonight’s top awards:
…are you sensing a theme? We’re holding out for a surprise duet with Christian Bale…
Zer- “Peter and the Starcatcher”
Stephanie- “Peter and the Starcatcher”
…we’re suckers for a good Peter Pan story…
Best Revival of a Musical:
Zer- “Porgy and Bess”
Stephanie- “Porgy and Bess”
…Audra McDonald is one of the best things you will hear…ever…
Best Revival of a Play:
Zer- “Death of a Salesman”
Stephanie- “Master Class”
…complete guesses…slightly influenced by Andrew Garfield (for some)…
With that we leave you to agree or disagree (respectfully so of course) but definitely share your thoughts with us and tune in tonight…it’s culture, it’s good for you…
More on the Story: Tony Nominees
…just for fun:
What can we say…we’re Disney kids at heart…
…because we mentioned…
It’s finally here (sort of), the Tony Awards’ nominations were announced this past Tuesday, and you know 2WC has to weigh in.
For those of you who thought that awards season was long over, well, you’re probably not theater fans (prepare to be converted).
Since it’s Sunday, and it’s been a while since we’ve split up our writing duties, we’ll dish in traditional 2WC style:
Zer- Okay, I admit it. The only show I really cared about this year was “Newsies” (nominated for ”Best Musical”). So, I kind of glossed over the other nominations. Although, it is nice to once again see a not too Hollywood heavy list of nominees (with the exception of “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play”). While I’d like to see Jeremy Jordan (Jack in “Newsies”) and “Newsies” pull a sweep, let’s face it Neil Patrick Harris is hosting, it’s going to be a good show.
Stephanie- As Zer made very clear, the unquestionable headliner this season, assuming you are a child of the 90′s with a strong Disney upbringing, is “Newsies.” Is it the only show worthy of praise, or worth seeing, or worth humming along to. No, but what can I say, 2WC (myself included…obviously) are suckers for nostalgia. If you haven’t seen this cult-classic movie, you should. It is the reason why many of us are secretly hoping Batman (Christian Bale) will burst forth in song in “The Dark Knight Rises.” It could happen.
A woman doesn’t know how precious her voice is until she’s been silenced…
~Ursula, The Little Mermaid on Broadway
It’s a good quote right? Say what you want about the show being “bloated” or “less than witty” …critics’ words, not mine.
Personally, I thought it was cute. No, it wasn’t groundbreaking theater, and I believe it could have been. But it was cute, and Disney, and that’s nice sometimes, but this isn’t a review.
I have a bone to pick with an old friend…but first, a love letter for them, my Muny.
The Muny is why I love theater. Located in St. Louis, MO, it’s the world’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theater.
I was five the first time I experienced live musical theater. The show was Peter Pan.
Of course, by this point, I’d already seen the Mary Martin version of Peter Pan and was well on my way to theater “dorkdom”, but I’ll never forget the magic of that first show.
Of course we’ve had our rough patches (you know what you did with Grease), but the Muny is where I learned theater. It made me the musical encyclopedia that I am today.
We live in Chicago now, but the Crusaders still make it to one or two shows a season. I can’t imagine a summer without the Muny. It’s an impossibility.
Which brings me to a tough conversation…I think bullet points will help.
The Show: The Muny Production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid
The Role: Ursula
The Casting: it doesn’t matter who he is, the point is a man was cast in this role
The Problem: I get it. I do. You were putting your stamp on it. I admit I was initially confused and angry.
In truth, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I saw the cast list.
Then I came around to the idea and was sort of excited that you’d made a bold choice with your production.
Then I saw the show. The quoted portion from above almost made me fall out of my chair.
Was it supposed to be ironic?
The show was so male heavy I could hardly believe it. Ariel and Flounder were the only principals played by women (and adorable girls…loved Flounder). That left us with Eric, Triton, Sebastian, Scuttle, Ursula, Flotsam, and Jetsam all played by men. Throw in Grimsby and Chef Louis and it’s a sea-worthy boys club.
In a show called The Little Mermaid, you’d think there’d be more girls.
I studied theater and I know that female roles are in the minority as is. So to take a rather fabulous one and give it to a man is baffling to me.
This is not a comment on his performance, he was fine, and kudos on the make-up and wig. He can’t help that the part was written for a woman.
My problem isn’t with a man playing a woman. I know it’s been done, and it has worked, but I need a reason for it. There has to be a point. I didn’t see it.
What I did love about the show is that it empowers Ariel, even if it is a rushed empowerment. She saves herself.
Why couldn’t you have saved this role for a woman?
I’ve said my piece. I hope we can still be friends.
Now, speaking of overlooked women. The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team is playing for the World Cup today. You should be watching.
Can you feel electricity in the air? Do you have a sudden impulse to start doing a jazz square, and maybe throw in some jazz hands just for some extra pizzazz? Do you find yourself using words like “pizzazz”?
Don’t worry, you’re not having a stroke (probably), you’ve simply contracted a case of Tony fever.
Now, for those of you who religiously tune in for the Tony’s broadcast, you may notice something a little different this year.
Assuming that you’re not distracted by all the show tunes, stage smiles and Neil Patrick Harris (hosting again), you might notice that the surroundings are a little different.
The awards usual home, Radio City Music Hall, had a bit of a scheduling conflict. They forgot to tell Cirque du Soleil (began performances Thursday) that they would need the hall on the 12th (whoops).
Despite this minor goof up, the show will go on tonight at the Beacon Theatre.
In addition to chorus lines, overly dramatic acceptance speeches and those awards for musicals without music (plays), the Tony Awards brings with it something else here at the Crusade–video clip onslaught.
A video montage of what you can expect to see on tonight’s Tony Awards:
If you think the number of videos in this post is excessive, you should know that this is the edited version. Hope you enjoyed.
All you need to know about the 2011 Tony Awards: Broadway.com