Casa Valentina Previews

broadwaybelter
Broadway Legend
joined:11/26/04
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 12:35am
Previews start tomorrow. I would love to hear you thoughts.
choitoy
Broadway Star
joined:12/12/07
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 07:33am
If anyone is seeing this, could you please post the running time for the show? I was going to put this on my short list of possible shows to see during my vacation, but I can only fit it in a Matinee slot before a 5:00 showing of "Here Lies Love", so I would need this to be two hours or less to be able to see it.
Xanadu! Can't cry on cue!
LaCageAuxFollesFan
Stand-by
joined:1/22/05
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 10:59am
I'll be there this evening and report back.
dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 11:30am
Keep in mind that they may be making cuts during previews, so choitoy, keep checking here and hopefully as people see the show they might be keeping tabs on the run time. (I've got no idea how long it is, for the record.)
LiveLoud22
Chorus Member
joined:1/18/11
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 12:28pm
I will also be there tonight! Really excited. Will also report back.
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 12:31pm
I'm seeing it this evening, and am very excited.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
PrinceCaspian
Swing
joined:1/9/13
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 12:48pm
I got a ticket for next Weds on TDF. Can't wait to hear what everyone thinks!
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 10:16pm
I just returned. I adored it and think it's a tremendous effort from Fierstein. It will only get better with time and polish. A few bumps with lines tonight from some of the older veterans, but that happens. They carried through like troopers.

It runs 2.5 hours. I imagine that will be trimmed by 15 minutes.

Patrick Page is doing wonderful work. But it's Reed Birney who is truly astonishing. He completely disappears into "Charlotte". It's a tour-de-force performance.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 10:41pm
Is this a possible late contender for Best Play, do you think? The category is fairly weak this year.
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 11:09pm
I think it's a strong possibility, and a certain nominee. But I am not sure that it would win in a stronger year.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
LaCageAuxFollesFan
Stand-by
joined:1/22/05
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 11:56pm
Harvey, clear your mantle. He's been a Tony contender for Newsies & Kinky Boots In recent years, but Casa Valentina is the best work you've done in quite some time and this gem is the far and away the best new play on Broadway this season. Sure, it's a weak season, but this play resonates deep. There could not be a better ensemble gathered than what is onstage at the Friedman right now. Patrick Page, Mare Winningham & REED BIRNEY give the most fully realized performances, but it's Reed who fully envelops and loses himself into the world at CASA VALENTINA. I smell a featured actor Tony for this truly indelible performance. Every single character has been given a through line, and a purpose and each ensemble member embraces their difficult tasks, what these men are doing and the story they've been asked to tell, isn't easy. Some people will be shucked that this world even exists. It's not Za Za or Lola that Harvey has written, but a unique world in the 1950s that in this fascinating. He's had a long career, but as Greenberg was to Take Me Out or McNally was to Love! Valour! Compassion! Fierstein is to Casa Valentina. It just feels like that kind of an evening in the theatre. Credit must also be given to Joe Mantello for staging that has touches of sincereity and clarity.

It ran 2 and a half hours tonight exactly. I could maybe see 5-10 minutes being shaved, but it's truly worth the price of admission...and it's the only time I've felt that for a straight play this season. Velocity Of Autumn is the last play I will be seeing this weekend for the current season, but CASA is the play that left me most satisfied so far. 4.5 stars out of 5. Bravo!
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/1/14 at 11:59pm
"...and it's the only time I've felt that for a straight play this season."

Nothing about this show sounds like it's that straight of a play.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
NotTheComfyChair
Chorus Member
joined:3/19/13
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 12:13am
Glad to hear the good reports. It sounds like Harvey has been wanting to explore this subject for a while. According to reports, he tried to explore it in KB but the Lola he wrote was hijacked and transmogrified.
BroadwayBaby6
Broadway Legend
joined:10/25/04
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 12:53am
How was John Collum? The man is a living legend.
"It does what a musical is supposed to do; it takes you to another world. And it gives you a little tune to carry in your head. Something to take you away from the dreary horrors of the real world. A little something for when you're feeling blue. You know?"
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 06:23am
Collum has the smallest role and struggled with a few cues. But I am sure he will find his footing very soon.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 07:10am
I think actually that the men are straight, right? (I haven't seen it yet.)
LaCageAuxFollesFan
Stand-by
joined:1/22/05
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 07:54am
Indeed macnyc, that's the entire specific crux of the play and a rather important one. I can't venture to say many who will see this work will probably have spent much time thinking about its themes in everyday life, which is why it' will resonate much deeper than on first glance.

There were a few minor line struggles from a couple of the actors, but that's quickly forgiven seeing as how it was the first time this play was ever being done in front of a full audience.

John Cullum has the look of a gentile older woman. The costume, make-up, hair design on everyone is authentically vivid.
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 08:34am
Can't answer that without spoiling the play for you, Mac.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 08:59am
"John Cullum has the look of a gentile older woman"

cutest typo in a long time.... I presume.
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 09:03am
I assume he was going for "genteel".
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
PJPan
Understudy
joined:5/6/13
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 09:11am
Good lord, Reed Birney absolutely becomes Charlotte...if I didn't know any better, I could've sworn it was an actual woman. I spoke with the hair and makeup artists after the show and they said it had taken multiple tries to get that look down.

Page is fantastic, as was Tom McGowan. Gabe Ebert is so adorably awkward and his arc is one of the most painful. Was so happy that Nick Westrate's Gloria turned out to be a more fully realized character than I thought upon her intial entrance. John Cullum steals his scenes (he looked just like any a great-aunt I have), and I'm sure he and Larry Pine will become much more solid as the show continues on.

Mare Winningham really has some wonderful material and never forces any histrionics, instead grounding Rita in her never-ending task of being both wife and "mother" to her husband and their friends.

All in all, a very entertaining night of theater and an interesting look into the culture at that moment in time.
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 09:17am
Isn't Reed Birney just astonishing? I'll be rooting for him come Tony time. He is extraordinary.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 09:18am
His big second act monologue is especially jaw-dropping.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
musicalman2
Featured Actor
joined:5/7/08
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 09:34am
I love Reed Birney. I was not aware of him as an actor until the last couple of years. so powerful.
theaterfan862
Featured Actor
joined:5/10/10
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 10:34am
Wow! I am even more excited about this show! I hope to see it next week!
LaCageAuxFollesFan
Stand-by
joined:1/22/05
Casa Valentina Previews
Posted: 4/2/14 at 11:57am
Ha! Yes, I meant "genteel" and yes, Reed Birney is doing marvelous work, as is the entire cast really, but there's something fully realized and effortless about Reed's work.

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