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A Room With A View : A New Musical

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rosscoe(au)
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joined:8/20/05
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/8/12 at 11:10pm
Hoping to see this on Thursday at the Old Globe, anyone seen it yet?
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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iluvtheatertrash
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joined:11/9/04
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/9/12 at 10:36am
Wish I could! Marc Acito is a gem. Please post a full report!
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
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EricMontreal22
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joined:10/31/11
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/10/12 at 04:45pm
The real question is, is there a skinny dipping scene?
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SingOutLouise2
Understudy
joined:10/6/11
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/10/12 at 09:30pm
The website says "contains brief nudity".

http://www.theoldglobe.org/tickets/production.aspx?PID=9117
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rosscoe(au)
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joined:8/20/05
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/12/12 at 02:11am
Reviews are starting to come in...

E.M. Forster's 1908 novel "A Room with a View" comes vividly to life this month in a sweeping and playful musical adaptation that opened Saturday in its world premiere at The Old Globe.

Last year, the Globe presented a light, bright musical version of Jane Austen's "Emma," but "Room" digs deeper and more thoughtfully into the novel that inspired it. Acito's book finds the marrow in the story's multidimensional characters' bones and Stock's score is a sophisticated, clever and tuneful mix of styles that smartly and succinctly move the plot forward.

Like all new musicals, this "Room" has space for improvement. The musical's second act is better than the first, many songs could trim a verse and both acts start slow with old-fashioned orchestral preludes and unmelodic exposition numbers. There's also a clunky and awkward time-filler in the second act that needs to go. Still, as a new musical, "A Room with a View" is in tight, polished shape and has a strong multitalented cast to carry it forward.

Director Scott Schwartz, who has directed three Neil Simon plays at the Globe in the past few years, shows he is equally adept in the musical genre. His fluidly paced production is filled with sly theatrical humor and he paints gorgeous stage pictures ---- even if Heidi Ettinger's stylized scenic design of shimmering postcards, paintings and parlors only suggests locales. (For example, the audience never sees the Florentine hotel room view of the title, but judging by the joyful bliss on the actors' faces, one imagines it's spectacular.)

Twenty-year-old Ephie Aardema makes an impressive Globe debut in the lead role of young Englishwoman Lucy Honeychurch, the innocent middle-class daughter of a recently deceased Surrey solicitor who is spending a summer in Italy with her restrictive spinster cousin Charlotte Bartlett.

Lucy is newly engaged to the ultra-wealthy, condescending snob Cecil Vyse, so she tries desperately to douse a fast-igniting romance with a fellow Florence hotel guest ---- free-spirited atheist George Emerson, the moody but sensuous son of a retired Socialist newspaperman. But when fate later brings Lucy and George together again, she must choose between her head and her heart.

Stock's score, musically directed and conducted by Boko Suzuki, is complex and challenging, but Aardema sings beautifully and she believably matures through the course of the two-hour, 40-minute tale.

Aardema also has great romantic chemistry (and some barn-burning kisses) with her George, played by Kyle Harris, a spectacular singer, charismatic actor and very much a contemporary young man (teens and tweens will swoon over his artfully tousled curls and good looks).

Many of the novel's best lines and scenes have made it into the script and score, with each well-developed character given a moment to shine. Schwartz finds comic and poetic ways to emphasize the story's clashes of culture, class, faith and generation. And Judtih Dolan's gorgeous period costumes reflect the restrictiveness and freedom the characters taste at different points of the story.

The first act is set in romantic Florence, lush with provocative sculpture and paintings, lit in warm golden hues by David Lander and inhabited by the passionate, Italian opera-singing servants Italiano and Ragazza (sexy Glenn Seven Allen and Jacquelynne Fontaine).

The second act, set in Surrey, is cool, restrained and rule-bound (a foreshadowing of the life Lucy will have if she marries the frigid Cecil). The sexy Italian pair has transformed into bumbling English servants and Lucy begins to morph into Cecil's cruel protegee.

But when George arrives, l'amore di vita spreads in the most surprising ways, including a well-choreographed badminton contest and a bottom-baring skinny-dip in a pond that opens up at center stage. (The splashy scene's a delight, but the ad-libbed doggy-talk filler while the stage is mopped should be rethought.)

Some sound-alike songs in the first act could go, but the score's chockablock with winners, including all three of George's passionate numbers "Something Tremendous," "I Know You" and "Let It Rain"; Charlotte's emotional anthem "Frozen Charlotte"; Cecil's snarky put-down of the common folk, "The Trouble with People"; the ragtime-inspired romp "Splash"; and the poignant ensemble number "There Is a Yes." Perhaps best of all is "Ludwig and I," Lucy's soul-baring piano confessional about her suppressed passion (infused with snippets of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Chopin).

Broadway veteran Karen Ziemba's marvelous as the withered Charlotte, who preaches restraint but aches privately for Lucy to find the love she never had. A confident Will Reynolds (seen last year as Frank Churchill in "Jane Austen's Emma") manages to bring heart and humanity to Cecil, a character who could easily become a villainous caricature in the wrong hands.

As the prudish and judgmental Reverend Mr. Beeber, Edward Staudenmayer makes a touching, heartfelt (and, er, revealing) breakthrough in the second act. Etai Benshlomo's boyishly puckish and modern as Lucy's brother, Freddy; Gina Ferrall is amusing as both the sexually frustrated novelist Miss Lavish and the relaxed Mrs. Honeychurch; and Kurt Zischke has some fine moments as George's dad, Mr. Emerson.

There seems to be virtually no such thing as a new idea in the making of modern musicals, so "A Room With a View" joins a bookshelf jammed with shows adapted from other classic novels. But fortunately Acito, Stock and Schwartz have used the best and invented the rest for a fresh take on Forster's sweetly charming story about love and discovery in an Italian room with a view.


Read more: http://www.nctimes.com/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/theatre/theater-review-globe-s-charming-room-musical-a-sweeping-funny/article_e9e43683-fc17-5869-a0c3-1f11646dced2.html#ixzz1osdVoSLk
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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rosscoe(au)
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joined:8/20/05
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/12/12 at 02:14am
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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rosscoe(au)
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joined:8/20/05
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/12/12 at 02:16am
Witty writing, appealing actors, a gorgeous and well-orchestrated score: “A Room With a View” has just about the full monty (and that’s not even counting the naked dudes who plunge into a pool onstage).

For a new musical – particularly one that has come together as quickly as this one – the Old Globe’s world-premiere adaptation of E.M. Forster’s 1908 novel is laudably polished, with an often ravishing look (thanks to Heidi Ettinger’s sets) that matches its sumptuous sound


http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/mar/11/play-review-room-is-beautifully-turned-out/
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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rosscoe(au)
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joined:8/20/05
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/12/12 at 02:18am
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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rosscoe(au)
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joined:8/20/05
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/12/12 at 02:19am
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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rosscoe(au)
Broadway Legend
joined:8/20/05
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/12/12 at 02:20am
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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Scripps2
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joined:1/19/08
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/12/12 at 04:17pm
It certainly looks good but could be difficult to adapt as a musical. I must be one of the few people on earth who find the iconic Merchant/Ivory film unsatisfying and prefer the more recent television adaption.
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newintown
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joined:3/3/10
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/12/12 at 04:36pm
The pictures look like a cross between Where's Charley? and Something's Afoot.
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EricMontreal22
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joined:10/31/11
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/12/12 at 06:09pm
Scripps, so you the the vast changes made from the novel to the ending for the recent Andrew Davies adaption? I thought it had moments, but I just had no idea why they felt they needed to change the tone so much with that.
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Hest88
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joined:6/10/08
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/12/12 at 10:32pm
This is my favorite movie of all time. (Yes, I hated the Andrew Davies version.) And I love the book. I'm always skeptical when any work is translated into another medium, but the reviews seem hopeful. I wonder if I'll ever get a chance to see this.
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EricMontreal22
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joined:10/31/11
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/12/12 at 11:17pm
Oh so the skinny dipping scene is in? I admit I'm intrigued, though something about it makes me think it may be a show that will do well regionally but never make it to Broadway--I admit I know nothing about the songwriters, and that could make a big difference.

It's one of my favorite novels as well, and I lagrgely love the Merchant/Ivory movie (back at their commercial and artistic peak really). I just had so many issues with ther Davies adaptation, mayvbe if I didn't knwo the novel so well I would likew it more as I tend to like his versions of classic novels usually.
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Hest88
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A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/13/12 at 12:41am
That was partly what was so disappointing about the adaptation; I thought Andrew Davies could do no wrong after Pride & Prejudice and I enjoyed many of his later mini-series including The Way We Live Now and Bleak House. But you could see in those how visual style was starting to take over. As a result, I can't tell how much of what was wrong with Room was due to his writing and how much of it due to direction (the idiotic tacked-on ending notwithstanding).
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EricMontreal22
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joined:10/31/11
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/13/12 at 12:56am
The depressing War ending just seemed so wrong headed to me, I think it's largely erased my memories of the rest of the TV movie, but I was largely disappointed. But I have liked some other recent Andrew Davies adaptations--his miniseries of Alan Hollinghurst's the Line of Beauty, a favorite book of mine, was a near impossible work to adapt and while far from perfect, I think he did as well as possible, and despite a rushed ending, I thought his miniseries of Little Dorritt a couple of years back was a great companion to Bleak House.

On the other hand, he did the film version of Brideshead Revisited, despite a great cast, wsn't just a letdown compared to the classic miniseries, but also greatly altered important elements of the story, and that came out around the same time as his Room with a View--maybe it was a bad year for him...

*Sorry for a bit of an off topic threadjack*
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rosscoe(au)
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joined:8/20/05
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/13/12 at 10:18pm
Variety review...

E.M. Forster's 1908 "A Room With a View," detailing a battle under the Tuscan sun between Edwardian-era repression and the life force, is revealed as remarkably amenable to musicalization at the Old Globe. Librettist Marc Acito distills the narrative into salient incidents with reasonable effectiveness, while the struggle between sensuality and starch deftly plays itself out in Jeffrey Stock's attractive score. Tuner will satisfy audiences craving a heaping helping of passione with their dramatic pasta, though helmer Scott Schwartz's choices drain the piece of subtlety and interest.
Forster, by all accounts a lonely, closeted gay man for most of his long life, knew well the paralyzing effect of social strictures on one's natural instincts. Note the clash of sweet and sour in the very surname of heroine Lucy Honeychurch (Ephie Aardema). Her war with herself is demonstrated by the affinity for Beethoven's thunderous piano works that keeps peeping out from between her simpers, blushes and swoons.

Deepening the conflict, Forster has it that the Honeychurch fortunes can only be repaired through an alliance with the wealthy, supremely snobbish Cecil Vyse (Will Reynolds), even though the siren songs of Florence -- not to mention the charms of poor but vital bohemian George Emerson (Kyle Harris) -- are ever beckoning.

There's never much doubt as to how it'll all turn out, as this production stacks the deck toward la vita bella, beginning with designer Heidi Ettinger's ravishing, picture-postcard-inspired collage backdrops under David Lander's limpid lighting. Only a churl could be immune to this setting's romance. At one jaw-dropping point, a groundcloth is pulled out to reveal the field of violets in which George will give Lucy her first taste of honey (though Schwartz, typically, overstages the kiss).

Stock, remembered for 1997 succes d'estime "Triumph of Love," excitingly weaves Forster's literary themes into his melodic ones. The oompah self-satisfaction of anthemic "Dear Britannia" nicely contrasts with the gorgeous aria "Non Fate Guerra," while a gramophone introduces the American ragtime "Splash" to signal the twentieth century spirit a-knocking. (Tune also underscores the full-monty restaging of the 1986 Merchant-Ivory movie's iconic bathing scene; big points for boldness there.)

Yet Schwartz evidently doesn't trust all this physical and musical extravagance to do the job, so he steers his cast into absurd, ludicrous cutouts of upper-class behavior. The women constantly squeal as if mice were underfoot, the men tromping about as the silliest of John Bulls. This cartoon parade is as unthreatening as it is boring, for how can you stage a tug-of-war when one side won't even grab the rope?

Exceptions to the overdone acting notably include Harris -- a powerful singer/actor and a real find -- who incarnates George's transition from despair to hope in one of Stock's best numbers, "Something Tremendous." Etai BenShlomo is fresh and engaging as rascally brother Freddy, and Gina Ferrall brings distinction to two roles she easily could have caricatured.

But by going the stock, imperious Lady Bracknell route, Karen Ziemba completely misses chaperone Charlotte's terror of impropriety which is supposed to set the main plot complication in motion. Two gents in drag turn Forster's gracious old-school matrons into idiot biddies. With Acito unwisely conflating two clerical characters into one, Edward Staudenmayer must strain to juggle an impossible dichotomy between affability and bigotry.

The love story is even less well served. Lucy lacks dignity and mystery. Panting and dashing as if off her Ritalin, Aardema can barely scrape up a single emotionally authentic moment, while Reynolds bestows a palsied tic on Cecil in case his inappropriateness as Lucy's intended isn't obvious enough. Never for a second do we feel she is forced to this marriage socially, psychologically or financially; she seems downright demented for even considering it.

"A Room With a View" is beautiful, but this first production does itself in by its refusal to raise the stakes and treat traditional authority's power as something to be taken, and confronted, for real.

Sets, Heidi Ettinger; costumes, Judith Dolan; lighting, David Lander; sound, Jon Weston; orchestrator, Bruce Coughlin; musical arrangements, Stock; music director, Boko Suzuki; musical staging, Michael Jenkinson; stage manager, Anjee Nero. Opened, reviewed March 10, 2012. Runs through April 15. Running time: 2 HOURS, 30 MIN.
With: Glenn Seven Allen, Etai BenShlomo, Gina Ferrall, Jacquelynne Fontaine, Edward Staudenmayer, Kurt Zischke. Musical numbers: "Preludio," "Dear Britannia," "Dear Britannia" (Reprise), "A Room With a View," "Good to Have a Guide," "My George," "La Vera Italia," "Something Tremendous," "Ludwig and I," "Dearest Lucy," "A Carriage and Driver," "Non Fata Guerra," "Finale Act One (Let It Rain)," "Prelude Act Two," "Sixes and Sevens," "The Trouble With People," "Splash," "I Know You," "Departures," "Frozen Charlotte," "There Is a Yes," "Finale Ultimo."
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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Hest88
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A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/13/12 at 10:29pm
"On the other hand, he did the film version of Brideshead Revisited, despite a great cast, wsn't just a letdown compared to the classic miniseries..."

Ugh, Eric, I didn't even bother watching that one. The mini-series is one my husband and I revisit often, and the reviews of the new movie just convinced us to run far away. I haven't see The Line of Beauty but I'll check it out.

Back on topic...rosscoe, thanks so much for posting the review.
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canmark
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A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/13/12 at 10:39pm
This sounds very interesting. Reviews are positive and images look great. I love the Forster novel and the Merchant/Ivory film. I hope the show is successful and someone will bring it to Broadway.
Coach Bob knew it all along: you've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. You have to keep passing the open windows. (John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire)
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EricMontreal22
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joined:10/31/11
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/13/12 at 11:27pm
Yeah, interesting review. Variety can be hard on regional productions, but I have to admit I don't think too much of what I know of Schwartz' directing, and it seems misguided to have even lesser characters played in drag for Forster. But it at least makes me want to hear the score, and it sounds like it could have a healthy life, somewhere, with a few changes.

Hest, the Brideshead mini is one of my fave, well fave things, ever--I used to watch it at least once a year as a teen. To be fair to Davies, he's one of two authors credited for the screenplay, and I read unsubstantiated reports that he did an earlier screenplay for British TV that was then adapted by someone else for the film, so the weird changes from the novel (including things like a bisexual kissing scene that tries too hard to spell out one element of the novel), may not be his... But yes, best to stay away (it doesn't help that they use the same building for Brideshead...) *anyway*
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rosscoe(au)
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joined:8/20/05
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/14/12 at 12:29am
Theatre mania:


E.M. Forster's 1906 novel, A Room With A View, takes place in passionate Florence, Italy and the bucolic countryside of Edwardian England in the same year. And while the beloved 1985 film version perfectly captured the clashes of disparate cultures, the brand new musical version of A Room With a View, now at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, just proves pleasant enough, especially thanks to the show's first first-class production under Scott Schwartz's direction. Still, it remains less successful than the book or movie.
The show's creators, Jeffrey Stock and Marc Acito, haven't presented an overriding imperative for their musicalization. The characters and plot deviate very little from the source material, and, for the most part, the songs don't add any distinctive enrichment.
The action begins with the arrival of the spirited but middle-class Lucy Honeychurch (Ephie Aardema) and her cousin and chaperone Charlotte (Karen Ziemba) at an English pensione in Florence only to discover their rooms don't have the view as advertised. The socialist Mr. Emerson (Kurt Zischke) offers to switch his and his son George's (Kyle Harris) rooms with the ladies -- and Lucy eagerly accepts to Charlotte's dismay.
Lucy's reputation is further compromised when she witnesses a murder in the streets, faints, and is rescued by the unconventional George. An outing in the countryside and a rainstorm further embroil the young couple until Lucy flees to the safety and protection of her stuffy, upper-class fiancé Cecil (Will Reynolds) back in Surrey. While planning for her wedding, however, Lucy discovers her attraction to George is still an impediment when he and his father unexpectedly show up because of Cecil's prank on the priggish vicar, Mr. Beeber (Edward Staudenmayer)
more info Stock's songs are melodic, but at times derivative of better musical theater numbers. For example, "A Carriage and Driver" calls to mind Sondheim's "A Weekend in the Country," while the Italian "Non Fate Guerra" (beautifully sung in a rich, full-bodied voice by Glenn Seven Allen) evokes memories of Adam Guettel's The Light in the Piazza. Meanwhile, Acito has a tendency at times to get too slapstick in his approach to the book's comic moments, throwing off the tone of the material.
The standout number is the ragtime melody "Splash," in large part due to the spirited performances by Harris, Staudenmayer, and Etai BenShlomo (as Freddy) as they rambunctiously cavort nude in a country lake. Aardema makes the most of the baroque "Ludwig and I" and Harris' impassioned rendition of "Let It Rain" ends Act One with a real bang. Ziemba is finally given a chance to belt the 11 o'clock number, "Frozen Charlotte," and she knocks it to the rafters.
Heidi Ettinger's scenic design perfectly sets the piece's mood, with sliding set pieces and traps rising up with pianofortes and benches or opening to reveal watery playgrounds. David Lander's painterly lighting bestows a romantic glow to the Florence scenes, while Judith Dolan's period costumes are picture-perfect. Musical Director Boko Suzuki leads a 14 piece orchestra and the lushness of the score is perfectly pitched in Jon Weston's superb sound design.
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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devonian.t
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A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/14/12 at 06:57am
I'm very excited by this!
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henrikegerman
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joined:4/29/05
A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/14/12 at 01:14pm
The reviews make this sound like a great new musical even if the production needs some work. Exciting. And very good news for us Triumph of Love fans to see Jeffrey Stock's score getting great reviews and with a potential hit on his hands.
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Wicked Fanatic
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A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/14/12 at 02:00pm
Seeing this a week from today and looking forward to it after all the reviews posted here. Thanks for posting them.
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EricMontreal22
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A Room With A View : A New Musical
Posted: 3/14/12 at 02:04pm
That's how I feel Henrick. I admit, things like the two roles in drag do seem too slapstick/farcial for the comedy I associate with the material. Although I think combining Beebe and Eager makes theatrical sense, myself. I really truly loathe the idea of Charlotte Bartlett getting an "emotional anthem." That seems slightly too "musical theatre cliche", and not remotely fitting for the character--it also randomly reminds me of the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice which gave a big "Don't judge me Lizzie!" scene to Charlotte which completely seemed to not get the novel, but I digress...

I've always meant to check out Triumph of Love's score--a lot of people I respect seem to at least have loved the music, despite the show closing early.

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