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FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS

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Pammylicious
Broadway Star
joined:9/13/10
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/30/13 at 12:39pm
Tonight 1/30 marks the first performance of Encores! Fiorello. Seven performances at City Center. Looking forward to seeing what folks have to say.
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SondheimFan5
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/10
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/30/13 at 01:04pm
Tonight is press opening right? Or was the final dress the press night?
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Pammylicious
Broadway Star
joined:9/13/10
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/30/13 at 01:20pm
The 7:30 start seems like a regular opening night. Press is probably included.
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henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/30/13 at 02:13pm
Anyone know if "Where Do I Go From Here?" has been put back in.
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AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/30/13 at 02:18pm
Critics will be seeing the show tonight, but reviews will appear in Friday's papers.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/30/13 at 11:02pm
I love this show, I love this show! Floyd wasn't the only one swept off his big flat feet tonight!

Well, Encores has done it again. I can't concentrate long enough to type a coherent sentence because I can't slow down my mind and stop singing the songs.

I guess the first order of business is to beg for a recording. The OBCR is WONDERFUL, but as it turns out is fairly truncated. I mean, the Entr'acte isn't even on there. This is the perfect opportunity to finally give us a complete recording.

Jenn Gambatese is a delight as Dora. I Love a Cop was so funny and there's a dance break after the song not on the OBCR, as well as a funny reprise with a surprise I won't spoil.

Mitzi really is a tiny role, but Emily Skinner nails her song. The four dancers that finish off the number are more polished than group of dancers you'll find on a Broadway stage.

Erin Dilly is a spunky Marie, and yes she sings the revised lyric in Marry the Very Next Man.

I don't know when I fell in love with Kate Baldwin. I don't remember the crashing chord, but it was long before tonight. This was more a renewal of our vows. She gave me chills all over my body.

As a lover of flops it was a treat to see Danny Rutigliano play Fiorello, who made his Broadway debut as Ralph, the taxi driver who founded Stallion Fields in The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public!! He really was excellent. He carries the bulk of the book, and has a soliloquy-type reprise of The Name's LaGuardia in Act Two. The rough and tough, but also lovable.

The true scene stealers though are the male ensemble and Shuler Hensley. When's the last time a new show let the males sing two songs as brilliant as Politics and Poker and Little Tin Box? Even though each one of them only had a handful of lines they each managed to develop a unique personality. They weren't just a cookie cutter lineup- they were all characters, which is so refreshing to see.

Bock and Harnick have always been a favorite composing team of mine and their score is done much justice here.

Bottom line: Go see this show!!!

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 06:34am
I'm still crushed that we never got an Apple Tree recording, another underrated Bock and Harnick gem.

Fiorello is another favorite of mine. Little Tin Box was one of the songs that I first heard when I was discovering musical theater, and it helped cement my love for the form.
....but the world goes 'round
mamaleh
Broadway Star
joined:5/11/04
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 09:52am
I'm afraid "Where Do I Go From Here?" was not restored; too bad, it's a lovely song. I've liked it ever since that first "Lost in Boston" CD.

I really liked the production, flaws and all. I've loved the OCR since my early teens when I became seriously interested in musical theater, but never saw a mounting of the show until now. Shuler Hensley braved on admirably, seemingly fighting a respiratory infection. But heck, his gravelly voice fit the character of Ben. Jenn Gambatese was delightful in her character numbers, Emily Skinner did a sassy "Gentleman Jimmy," and Kate Baldwin and Erin Dilly soared beautifully.

The ending is surprisingly abrupt, but that's a small quibble. Very glad I went.

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PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 10:29am
I love when Whizzer posts reviews like that.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 11:00am
Well PalJoey, I love when I can see shows like this! How much rehearsal time do these actors get? Two weeks? It's incredible what they do at Encores, and at the consistent rate that they turn out exemplary work.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 11:44am
I'm not sure if it's changed, but the Encores rehearsal period used to be 9 days.

Seeing this tonight. Excited.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
Updated On: 1/31/13 at 11:44 AM
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TalkinLoud
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/09
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 12:21pm
Seeing this tonight. I'm excited!

What was the approximate run time yesterday?
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bwaylvsong
Broadway Legend
joined:7/28/05
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 01:13pm
I don't know about this particular production, but the one I saw clocked in to just under 3 hours, like 2:50 or so.
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WithoutATrace
Broadway Legend
joined:11/27/04
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 01:24pm
The show last night was about 2 hours and 30 minutes, and I have to echo Whizzer's comments. The show was absolutely wonderful. I honestly loved every single minute of it. The Encores series brings so much joy to my life, and this production of Fiorello was no exception.

If you are on the fence about seeing this, do not hesitate to buy a ticket. The balcony was very full last night, so I do hope it is selling well.

Congrats to all involved!
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WestVillage
Broadway Star
joined:7/20/05
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 01:29pm
I saw it last night too, and was less than impressed. I just don't think it is that great of a show. Emily Skinner is wasted, Kate Baldwin kept going in and out of an Italian accent, Danny Rutigliano was not very interesting and didn't make Fiorello seem like a compelling enough character to have a musical written about him. Choreography was basic without an ounce of excitement. Just thought it was bland and charmless.
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Lefou
Understudy
joined:7/13/07
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 01:42pm
Going to have to agree with WestVillage on this one...The cast they assembled is stellar (save for Danny Rutigliano who got lucky since they couldn't find anybody else...)

The production value was weak and that choreography was seriously just terrible! I think it's a very charming show, and is nice to bring Encores! back to its roots, but I feel like this fell really flat. Shame, really.
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 10:02pm
"I'm afraid "Where Do I Go From Here?" was not restored; too bad, it's a lovely song. I've liked it ever since that first "Lost in Boston" CD. "

It's prob my fave song from any of the Lost in Boston releases--but I think it would be hard to restore--the role was cut.

I saw a production of this at the Edmonton Fringe last Summer put on by a pretty good (with two great leads) group who puts on lesser heard musicals. I loved the show--I loved the score. But I have to agree with Ben Brantley on these points:

"But there’s one other trait that makes “Fiorello!” ideal Encores! fare and that makes me happy it’s come around a second time, since I missed the 1994 staging. Unlike Encores! presentations like “Chicago” and “Wonderful Town,” “Fiorello!” isn’t apt to skip over to Broadway and settle into a long run. It exudes an idealistic peppiness, especially regarding its white knight of a hero, that confines it to the era whence it came.

That doesn’t mean that “Fiorello!” is without distinctive charms, starting with its bevy of buoyant songs by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, who would go on to the greater glory of “Fiddler on the Roof.” "

But I would definitely agree that in a way--like Pipe Dream last year, it's a nice change for Encores which lately seemed to be focusing more and more on producing shows that they wanted to show *have* the potential for a major commercial revival.
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matineeidol2013
Leading Actor
joined:6/20/09
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 1/31/13 at 11:51pm
Saw the production tonite and was quite charmed by it. Cast was uniformly strong and the direction was very clear and well paced. Unlike above comments I thought the choreography was spectacular. And who can resist that full, gorgeous orchestra?? Do yourself a favor and buy a ticket!
I'll take the wind and soar.
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henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 2/1/13 at 12:11am
Eric, who was the character "Where Do I Go From Here?" was written for? I assumed it was Marie's song. I just checked wikipedia and it says it was for Marie in Act l.
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 2/1/13 at 01:23am
I saw it tonight and really wanted to like it more than I did. A nice score with some of the most bland Encores staging I've ever seen in my life. I think I would have enjoyed it more just listening to it at home.
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NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 2/1/13 at 10:03am
“Fiorello,” a musical about the beloved LaGuardia’s pre-mayoral career and love life, might be close to the perfect musical for the Encores! series, although it is far from the perfect musical. The good match is not just because “Fiorello” launched the series or because Mayor LaGuardia is the reason why City Center still survives ... “Fiorello” is close to the perfect musical for Encores! in part *because* it is far from the perfect musical — something that wouldn’t really work as a long run on Broadway anymore....
Fiorello Review
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Rainbowhigh23
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/12
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 2/1/13 at 11:52am
"I saw it tonight and really wanted to like it more than I did. A nice score with some of the most bland Encores staging I've ever seen in my life. I think I would have enjoyed it more just listening to it at home."

So it's worth it to just get the cheap balcony seats and forget the binoculars then?
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 2/1/13 at 11:55am
Yeah about that - those cheap balcony seats are now $60.
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Rainbowhigh23
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/12
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 2/1/13 at 12:00pm
Aww crap, I missed the $24 Theatermania blast
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macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 2/1/13 at 12:06pm
I'm in the mezzanine for $62, but I don't know if any more seats remain at that price. That is more money than Cotton Club Parade (which was only $30 for roughly the same location), and $89 for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (using a discount code). TDF also had Fiorello seats available earlier.
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Pammylicious
Broadway Star
joined:9/13/10
FIORELLO! at City Center REViEWS
Posted: 2/1/13 at 12:11pm
I'm going tonight....got row G in the mezz for $24 two weeks ago.

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