Wednesday, February 25, 2009

To Bobby With Love

DVD OF THE MONTH (NEW FEATURE): Every month I will spotlight one must see musical out on DVD. This month I decided to spotlight the 2006 Tony award winning revival of COMPANY.

COMPANY: music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth. The original production was done in 1970 on Broadway. The story is about Bobby and his five married friends (couples) and his three girlfriends. The story is told in short scenes were bobby interacts with each of them in no particular chronological order but they are all linked to one event, Bobby's 35th birthday.

The revival was done by director John Doyle (who did the revival of Sweeney Todd on Broadway in 2005). Doyle's signature touch was added to the piece, the actors are also the orchestra (amazing!!!). The cast includes Raul Esparza as Bobby, and Barbara Walsh as Joanne. By the end of watching Company you can not help but fall in love with Esparza.The best song from the musical (in my opinion) is Being Alive sung by Bobby.

The revival of Company was taped by PBS in 2007 during its run on Broadway and is out on
DVD. FYI: If you have netflix you can rent it there. Just this past November I had a Company viewing party. I invited company over, had food, wine, and enjoyed this wonderful piece of art with friends! And let me just say that all of my friends were not disappointed with this modern musical. CLICK HERE TO WATCH A YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE FIRST TEN MINTUES
"To Bobby with love" - lyrics from title song in Company

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ces Soirees la'

In honor of my trip to Vegas this weekend, I have a special blog about theatre taking place there!

Jersey Boys at the Palazzo: It tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Season rise to fame. I saw the national tour three times and LOVE it. I have not seen the Las Vegas production but Erich Bergen who plays Bob Gaudio is an amazing actor /singer (very nice in person too). Even if you have seen the show before stop by and check out the cool Las Vegas inspired merchandise.

The Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian: The classic rock opera has been shorten for the Las Vegas audiences but still will capture your heart. This is a great romantic show to take a loved one too. Its a must see!

The Beatles LOVE(Cirque Du Soleil) at the Mirage: This piece is a colorful and emotional interpretation of the music of the Beatles set to Cirques Du Soleil design and art. Everyone I know who has seen it has said that it is well worth it and would see it again and again. If I win big at the casino this is the show where you can find me at.

Some upcoming show are:
Lion King at the Mandalay Bay: This beloved Disney animated feature takes the stage in May 09. If you have not seen this show then you need to get your booty to Vegas to see it. I have seen the show twice, once in Los Angeles and once in New York and both times i cried, laughed, and was amazed by the beauty of this piece come to life on stage.

Patti LuPone at the Orleans: She will do two nights there in June. As I have mention in previous blogs she will also be at the Ahamanson's in June as well.
"Ces Soirees la'"- song title from Jersey Boys

Friday, February 20, 2009

Side By Side By Side

So there are some great Broadway stars who are going to make guest appearances several TV shows this season.

Patti LuPone (Evita, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd) will be guest staring on 30 Rock on March 5th. She will be playing the mother of Frank. Hopefully she will be asked back and be on more episodes.

Bernadette Peters (Gypsy, Sunday In The Park With George, Annie Get Your Gun) has be guest staring on Ugly Betty through out this season. She will be on next weeks episode (February 26th). She plays a magazine mogul who is Betty's teacher at YETI.

Idina Menzel (RENT, Wicked) will be guest staring on ABC's Private Practice. Her hubby Taye Diggs (RENT, Chicago) is one of the stars of the show. There is no word on when it will air but reports say that her character will be on more than one episode.

Raul Esparza (Company, Taboo, Speed-the-Plow) will be guest staring Law and Order: Criminal Intent. The dates have not yet been announced.
"Side By Side By Side"- song title from "Company"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In honor of the death of Bohemia

The Los Angeles Theatre community suffered some great losses over the past several months. Theatre critics, writers and editor positions have been eliminated from the print medium. Luckily the theatre community has been speaking out on this blow to the culture of Los Angeles!

There was a great letter in the Los Angeles Time written in the Culture Monster (Jan. 16. 2009) which talks about how three theater artistic directors are defending the need for critics. Gilbert Cates (Geffen Playhouse), Sheldon Epps (Pasadena Playhouse), and Michael Ritchie (Center Theatre Group), all have step forth to tell how much the jobs loss will effect the community and how important it is for theatre to have a voice as part of the L.A. culture. They fear that not only are the voices of the arts are gone but it could lead to many theaters closing (cycle effect). They do point out that the theatre community can and will pull through this (after all theatre is one of oldest professions dating back to the Greeks). Click Here to read the whole article.

Also came out with a great article about this same issue taking place in Los Angeles, written by James Sims. James was a theatre critic out in L.A. but now works in New York for as the West Coast Senior Editor-Video Reporter. Sims was sadden to hear of the jobs cut and the great loss it is for the community. But he also points out that art is meant us to make is talk about issues, move us, celebrate life, and have fun. So it that, what we should continue to do within the theatre community and celebrate these great critics for all they have done for us. Click Here to read the whole article.

"In honor of the death of Bohemia "-lyrics from song La Vie Boheme from RENT

When The Sun Goes Down

In my entry about Lin-Manuel Miranda's last performance as Usnavi, in the musical "In the Heights", I told you about Nicholas Dayton. Dayton is a young boy who is the "In the Height's" number one fan. The cast saw Dayton's YouTube videos of himself performing the songs in his bedroom and they invited him to come and perform the closing number with the cast as Usnavi (Miranda's character). Dayton recently posted a new video thanking Miranda and congratulating him on his last performance. Watch below.

" When The Sun Goes Down"- song title from "In The Heights"

Monday, February 16, 2009

How Do You Document Real Life

RENT will be in Los Angeles in ten days but who's counting... If you are a RENTHEAD like me then you should know that many of the cast members have been documenting there experiences while on tour on the web.
Check out is Adam Pacal and Anthony Rapp on NY PIX news blog where they are getting interviewed about the tour. Click here to watch!

The official blog . Gwen Stewart, Adam Halpin, and Lexi Lawson as well as many other cast member have been writing entries and posting videos. You can also get the RENT Widget. They also have all the links to each cast members own personal website/myspace. Check it out!

Telly Leung who plays Steve(and others) has been the one in charge of filming the tour videos for the Everything is RENT YouTube account. They have videos on were the eat, the theatre they are currently in, the stage door, backstage madness, and much more. (click here to see the latest)

Don't forget to join the RENT facebook page. They send you RENT updates every Friday!

"How do you document real life"- Lyrics from song RENT

With My Freeze Ray I Will Stop The World

So I can not take credit for finding out about this (thanks Allyson) but if you have not already then you need to check out Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog! This blog stars the ever soooo cute Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible out to rule the world. His nemesis Captain Hammer, played by Nathan Fillion, tries to stop Dr. Horrible at all costs. Then there is their love interest Penny, played by Felicia Day, who gets in the way.

I do not want to tell you more in case you have not seen it yet. It is cute and the music will be stuck in your head for days. It even won a People's Choice Award for "Favorite Online Sensation". You can click here to watch it on-line or you can buy the DVD (with extras) or even get the music off of itunes.
"With My Freeze Ray I Will Stop The World"- My Freeze Ray from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Aww Gee, I Don't Wanna Show Off

Sutton Foster's first solo album will come out this Tuesday February 17th, entitled Wish. Sutton Foster won a Tony for her performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002. Since then she has stared in such musicals as The Drowsy Chaperone, Young Frankenstein and s currently playing Fiona in Shrek. She is also known for her guest role on Flight of the Conchords first season where she played Bret's girlfriend Coco.

The new CD is her first solo project. The CD is being released on Ghostlight Records label and is has a mix of songs, from Jazz, to Pop, to even Cabaret. I can not wait for it to come out! If you want to see her talk about her new album with click here!

"Aww Gee, I don't wanna show off."- from song "Show Off" in The Drowsy Chaperone.

Make 'Em Laugh

Some of my favorite funny Broadway YouTube clips:
  • Raul Esparza performing Defying Gravity from Wicked:
  • Broadway cast of Spring Awakening trying out for Grease:
  • Cast members from Avenue Q perform Wicked’s” Popular”:
  • Cubby Bernstein video (too gay), starring Nathan Lane and Xanadu star Cheyenne Jackson backstage:
  • Sutton Foster sings Gimme Gimme madlibs style:
  • John Gallagher Jr.’s and Jonathan Groff’s (from Spring Awakening's Original cast) most embarrassing moment:
  • Rent in Five minutes by Diego and Derek (a 2 minute version was submitted for’s RENT finale contest ad got an honorable mention for their work by original cast member s and judges Daphne, Adam and Anthony):

"Make 'Em Laugh"- from Singing in the Rain

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I'm home!

Congratuations to Lin-Manuel Miranda! He will be taking is final bow tomorrow February 15th as Usnavi in the Broadway production of "In The Heights". Miranda wrote the music and lyrics along side Quiara Alegria Hudes who wrote the book. It tells the story of a New York city Dominican-American neighborhood in Washington Heights set in present day. The Tony award winning best musical of 2008 is a mix of hip-hop, salsa, merengue, and Latino music. The musical is rumored to be planning a national tour to start this fall and a movie is in the works with Universal Pictures for a release in 2010.

Whats up next for Miranda? REST no way, he has just finished helping Stephen Sondheim translate some lyrics into Spanish for the upcoming revival of "West Side Story" which is almost ready to hit Broadway after its test run in Washington D.C. He also is working on the revival of "The Electric Company" for PBS (click the title to see a sample of the show its so cool for kids).

I will leave you with a video. Nicholas Dayton is a young boy who is the "In the Height's" number 1 fan. The cast saw Dayton's YouTube videos of himself performing the songs in his bedroom and they invited him to come and perform the closing number with the cast as Usnavi (Miranda's character). This kid is amazing!
"I'm home"- lyrics from song Finale from "In the Heights"

Friday, February 13, 2009


Upcoming Season Just Announced!
(Ahmanson Theatre)
  • As I said before An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin will be kicking the season off. This limited engagement will take place from June 23 through 28, 2009.
  • Now for something completely different: "Monty Python's Spamalot," will play July 7 through September 6, 2009. The cast will be lead by John O'Hurley as King Arthur.
  • From September 8 through October 18, 2009 the Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production of "August : Osage County"will take the stage. This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play that tells tale of a dysfunctional Oklahoma family.
  • Disney takes over with " Mary Poppins". It will run from November 13, 2009, through January 10, 2010. The best part is that Ashley Brown and Gavin Lee who originated the roles for Broadway and London productions will lead the cast to bring this classic to life.
  • Dream Girls will follow with a run from February 24 through April 4, 2010. This will be a brand-new production of the rags-to-riches story of a R&B girl group in the sixties made famous by the 2006 movie.
  • Then the "South Pacific" will roll in from June 29 through August 22, 2010. This classic Rodgers & Hammerstein's story will truly enchant us all.
"Supercalifragilistic"- from musical Mary Poppins

One short day in the Emerald City

OK, Wicked and Pushing Daises fans! Kristin Chenoweth will be in town for one night only and you got to put up some real dough to see her. The event is taking place on February 23, 2009 at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA. This is a benefit concert, where a portion of your ticket purchase is tax-deductible and supports Reprise's productions and outreach programs

Kristin is a Tony award winner and Emmy nominee with an amazing voice! So if you can afford it go, looks like an outstanding show!

"One short day in the Emerald City"- from the musical Wicked

All shall know the wonder of purple summer...

Spring Awakening fans! Duncan Sheik will be in town Thursday February 19th at the Echo in Los Angeles. He is currently out on the road promoting his new CD Whisper House. He will be joined by Lauren Pritchard who played Ilse in the original cast of Spring Awakening. The show starts at 7pm and tickets are $37.50 general admission.

"All shall know the wonder of purple summer"- lyrics from Spring Awakening's song "Purple Summer "

Celebrate Your Community

There is a great show currently running over at the Kirk Douglas Theatre called Taking Over. It written by Danny Hoch who also stars in this one man show. The play deals with gentrification in Brooklyn, NY. Gentrification refers to changes in demographics in an urban area due to development and revitalization of the community. These changes lead to a change of culture and character within the neighborhood. The play takes at deep look into how these changes in a neighborhoods effects all its residents and leaving some feeling displaced in within own communities.

It funny, its honest, and Danny Hoch does such a good job telling so many different sides of the story. Check out his website The play runs until February 21st, so hurry out to Culver City and see it!

"Celebrate Your Community" comes from a scene in the play where one of the characters grabs the mic at a community event to talk about how he feels about the changes in his neighborhood.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Putting it Together

Mark your calendars! An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin with Paul Ford as Musical Director is in the works. It is set to hit Los Angeles June 23-28th. A little bird told me it might be at the Ahmanson theatre.

"Putting it Together"- Song from Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George (PHOTO by Brigitte Lacombe)

Goodbye Love

Yes, RENT closed on Broadway this past fall 2008 but the story still lives on. Sony Pictures has just released RENT Filmed Live on DVD and Blu-ray. This DVD features not only the full stage production on film but tons of extras such as the Wall (which I signed), the last lottery, final days of RENT, and much more. The final cast is amazing and most of them were the cast that I saw when I saw it on Broadway this past May. The stand out performers that I loved were: Adam Kantor as Mark Cohan, Renee Elise Goldsberry as Mimi Marquez, Eden Espinosa as Maureen Johnson, and Tracie Thoms as Joanne Jefferson. It is a must buy for any renthead!

Also do not forget that RENT is currently on a U.S. national tour with original cast members Adam Pascal and Anothony Rapp. I will have much more on the tour after I see their stop at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles which starts on February 26th and runs until March 8th.

"Goodbye Love"- song title from RENT

My Junk

So I am a big fan of the Tony award winning musical Spring Awakening, with music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater and based off on a play written by Frank Wedekind. It is a rock musical about teenage angst, suicide, sexuality, abortion, and abuse. Though it deals with taboo issues in the life of a teenager it does have a lighter side as well. The US national touring cast, headed by Blake Bashoff and Kyle Riabko, has been having a blast promoting and sharing their experiences of being on tour with it's fans via the web.

First there is tour's BLOG: Totally Trucked! This bog has been documenting the cast since rehearsals in NYC back in the Summer of 2008. The blog has allowed the cast to interact with their fans and even spotlight some of them. The blog features photo's of each stop of the tour as well as a map of where they have been so far and where they are off to next. It also has information of casting calls and upcoming events. The website also hosts a youtube channel by the same name. Here is one of their video's:

Second is Extended Run! This is a youtube channel created by cast member Perry Sherman. He wrote and directed a series of videos featuring the casts "fictional adventures" while on the road.
Here is the intro to the series:

Thirdly there is Steffi D's Video Blog's. Tour Cast member Steffi D, who was a finalist on Canadian Idol, has her very own youtube channel. I love her because she is crazy (in a good way). Here is an example of one of her video's.

On a sad note the Broadway stage production has closed but the tour is currently in St. Louis MO, for tour info go to the SpringAwakening website. The show is also currently opening productions around the world.
"My Junk"- song title from Spring Awakening


Review of Minsky's:
As I mentioned in my last entry (well first entry), I recently saw Minsky's which is currently playing at the Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles until March 1st. This new musical is full of excitement, fun dance numbers, laughter, and boobies!

The show is about a Mr. Minksy (played by the wonderful and very talented Christopher Fitzgerald) who is the owner of a burlesque theatre during the Great Depressions; who's business is in the can. His right hand gal and choreographer Maisie (played by TONY award winner Beth Leavel who I love) tries to guide Minksy to do everything in his power to keep the theatre open even if it means jeopardizing his relationship with Mary Sunner ( played by Katharine Leonard). Mary's father is trying to close the show down because of its adult themed shows. This new musical comedy also stars SNL alumni Rachel Dratch, as Beula the producers talent-less daughter trying to fit into theatre life, and Cheer's famed George Wendt, as Randolph Sunner Mary's father. The two are great in their roles but are a bit distracting from the rest of the cast.

I would have to give this show a 7 out of 10 sadly. I went in with high expectations especially being a fan of Casey Nicholaw (director and choreographer) and Bob Martin (Book) from their work in the Drowsy Chaperone. The "girls" were amazing in their dance numbers and looked great in costumes designed by Gregg Barnes (loved the bananas)! I did enjoy both Fitzgerald's and Leavel's stand-out performances and vocal abilities. But I did not care for Leonard as Mary. I felt she was trying to hard to be like Sutton Foster and she took too long to say her lines.

So go see the show if you are out in LA before it's limited run is over. The next stop for the show looks like Broadway in the Fall of 09'!
"Bananas" : Is the title of one of the songs from Minsky's and my favorite number of the show.

From here on in, I shoot without a script, See if anything comes of it, Instead of my old shit

Hello and welcome!

My name is Krystal and I made this blog to share upcoming news and fun trivia about the theatre world. This is a West Coast perspective on theatre since that is where I reside. My goal is to see as many shows as I can on my limited budget and share my experience with you all here.

I must give credit you my theatre Buddie Allyson! This blog was her idea and I am just the one bringing it to life. It all started last night. The two of us (along side our friends Rose, Courtney, and Pam), attended a 8pm showing of Minsky's at the Ahmanson theatre in LA. At the end of the show Allyson asked me if I liked the show. I said "I liked it" with which she responded "You didn't like it". I corrected her and said that did enjoy it but it was hard to say that I did because I wanted to Love it. A couple of minutes later when we meet up with Courtney and Pam, Allyson proceed to tell them that I did not like the show. I then said " I liked it but I didn't LOVE it". Allyson then told me that I should start a theatre blog with that as my title (If I was going to be so critical). I thought it was a funny idea at first but then I started thinking... I really would enjoy writing my own blog about the very thing that I am soooo passionate about. So I couldn't shake the idea and on a whim here I am.

So this blog is here as a way for me to speak to my fellow theatre friends and with that said there are some things I would like to make clear:
1) I am not an expert on theatre what so ever. I am just a BIG FAN.
2) This a BLOG; it is not a news outlet. So please do not take things as Fact. (though my posts will be fact driven and I will make sure to correct myself if I am wrong)
3) I am not a writer so I will Misspell, have grammar mistakes etc. (get over it)
4) Also I invite feedback and guest bloggers!
5) I plan to start each BLOG with a musical song lyric or a line from a play (this entry's title is from RENT; Tune Up 1, by Jonathan Larson)

So wish me luck and keep coming back for more!