Monday, March 28, 2011

Go West

Priscilla Queen of the Desert is the latest stage musical to hit the stage! While I was in NYC last week, I kept running into advertisements for this musical all over town. I must admit had no idea what the show was about but it looked like a blast of fun. Another thing I could tell from all the ads was that it was filled with well-known dance pop songs as the score! The book was written by Australian film director & writer Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott and is a stage adaptation of Elliott's 1994 cult film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The story centers around a drag queen named Mitzi Mitosis who's "real" life named Anthony "Tick" Belrose. He who lives in small town in Australia an wants an road trip adventure. He convinces his two friends and fellow drag queens (Bernadette Bassenger and Felicia Jollygoodfellow), to join him for that journey on a large tour bus, they called "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert". I am very interested of hearing from you all on your impression of the new musical. Does it look like a good time or an over the top drag show? Check out the videos below of the cast of the Broadway musical "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", Will Swenson, Tony Sheldon and Nick Adams.

"Go West"-song from Pricilla Queen of the Desert

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Make Me Stronger

Memphis= so/so So I just got back from a week in New York City! I was a chaperon for my niece's dance team while they traveled to NYC for a dance competition. Usually I head into the town to see as many shows as I can squeeze in but this trip someone else picked the show, Memphis. The dance teams coach chose Memphis for two reasons: 1 it just won the Tony for Best Musical and 2nd one of the dance teams alumni who know lives in NYC suggested it a a must see for the dance numbers alone. I must admit that seeing Memphis was at the bottom of my list of shows to see but I put my feelings aside and went in with as open a mind as I could.

What is Memphis you ask? Memphis is a musical with music and lyrics by David Bryan, additionally lyrics and book by Joe DiPietro. The story is loosely based on a real life Memphis disc jockey named Dewey Phillips, who was one of the first white DJs to play black music back in the 1950s. Mr. Phillips falls in love with Felicia Farrell an African American Rock and Roll singer and the story falls their roller coaster relationship. It has big dance numbers, soulful gospel numbers, and marvelous costumes and set's that make you feel like your are really in the hear of Memphis.

Overall I would have to say "I liked it but I did not LOVE it". The dancing and talent of all the actors on stage was nothing a showcase of Broadway's best and featured name of the original cast members such as Chad Kimball as Huey Calhoun, Montego Glover as Felicia Farrell and Derrick Baskin as Gator. But I had a problem the overall story lacking an connect with the audience. I felt the book was Hairspray for adults but without the happy ending. Don't get me wrong not every story does not have to have a happy ending, come on two of my favorite musicals are Next to Normal, and Spring Awakening (not happy endings). But I left seeing Memphis feeling nothing, no emotional change or enlightenment. I feel a musical happy or sad should leave you with an understanding yourself or new view of the world (whether big or small). When looking back at the 2010 season I do not understand how this show could win Best Musical over the mind-blowing American Idiot (talk about a show that makes you re-think what Broadway is). In the end is Memphis a good night of theatre, yes. Is it a must see of the Great White Way, no.

"Make Me Stronger"-song from Memphis

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Take Me To Heaven

It's about time that Sister Acts the musical comes to the Great White Way!
Sister Act the musical is written by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, with fantastic lyrics by Glenn Slater and music by Alan Menken. The hit 1992 film was turned into a staged musical for the West End production in 2009 and ran until October 2010. The show actually has roots in So Cal as the 1st production of the piece was performed in 2006 at the Pasadena Playhouse and had a two month run. Whoopi Goldberg who stared in the flim is signed on a producer of the stage show. Check out the video from the rehearsal room of the show set to start preview on March 24th and open April 20th.

"Take Me To Heaven"-song from Sister Act

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fly Fly Away

Based on the 2002 Film, Catch Me If You Can is currently in Previews on Broadway! Set to open on April 10th this show is sure to be a hit. The show had a short run in Seattle in th summer of 2009 and did so well that they took it to Broadway. The show features Aaron Tveit as Frank, Norbert Leo Butz as Carl Hanratty, Tom Wopat as Frank Sr., and Kerry Butler as Brenda. Jack O'Brien and Jerry Mitchell are the director and choreographer of the show; with iconic 60's scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by William Ivey Long, and lighting design by Kenneth Posner this production is sure to make a splash.

"Fly, Fly, Away"-song from Catch Me If You Can

Monday, March 7, 2011

School for Monsters

AVENUE Q:LOVED IT! So every time this show rolled into town I have tried to catch a performance but never did. But when the show came into town last week for a short run at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, I made sure to finally see it! This show beat out WICKED for the 2003 Tony Award for Best Musical and also picked up Best Book, and Best Original Score! I must say that this play is genius! Who would have thought to take puppet's and put them into adult situations with fun song and Gary Coleman would be a hit on Broadway? Apparently Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx did. The two conceived the show and based the story on their own experiences straight out of college. Lopez and Marx also wrote all the music and lyrics with the hit song such as "It Sucks to Be Me" , “Everyone's a Little Bit Racist”, "The Internet Is for Porn", "You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Makin' Love)", and "If You Were Gay". Add in the direction of Jason Moore and a laugh out loud book written by Jeff Whitty, the show is a knock out. At the core of the musical is a charming coming-of-age tale about a group of friends dealing with the anxieties of adulthood. The show, though adult, still plays with references to children's television programs such as PBS's Sesame Street and reinvents how you will ever look at puppets again. I was very impressed with the tour cast members especially Ashley E. Bucknam who payed Kat Monster and Lucy. 1st of all she has an amazing voice and made each character her own all while making you forget that the same actress is playing multiple characters on stage. Overall this play is an A+, Number 1, and all around good night of theatre. SEE IT! Click here to go to the Avenue Q website. "School for Monsters"-song from Avenue Q