Comscore

Faust at Off-Center Encores

StageStruckLad Profile Photo
StageStruckLad
Featured Actor
joined:3/13/13
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/1/14 at 08:44am
Very much looking forward to this tonight. I love the recording, although I have to admit I have no idea how the songs connect into a story. Hopefully we'll find out this evening.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/1/14 at 09:03am
I JUST realized that Vonda Shepard was in this! Wow. I'm considerably more interested in this than I was before.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
PianoMann Profile Photo
PianoMann
Broadway Star
joined:5/12/11
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/1/14 at 10:25am
I'll be there and cannot wait! I'm a huge fan of Randy Newman, and am excited to see Michael Cerveris, too. I don't know if Randy has ever performed this role on the stage before in its previous mounting, but if not, than this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Scarywarhol Profile Photo
Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/1/14 at 10:51am
I love a lot of the score; I'll be there tonight as well. Can't wait!
StageStruckLad Profile Photo
StageStruckLad
Featured Actor
joined:3/13/13
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/1/14 at 11:17am
I was surprised to discover that Michael Cerveris is not playing God. He's playing Angel Rick, a character who only has one song on the CD (the one sung by Elton John). Hope the show has been revised since then to give him more to sing.
haterobics Profile Photo
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/1/14 at 02:00pm
I'm going tonight, although I have absolutely no clue what I'm seeing, what the songs are like, or what it's about.
ScottK
Chorus Member
joined:12/13/12
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/1/14 at 04:05pm
I hope you all LOVE it as much as I did when I saw the original run in CA. At the time, I couldnt wait for it to transfer to Broadway, with the cast intact. When the "star-studded" disc was released, instead of the original cast, I had "boycotted" the CD. ENJOY!
ENJOY! ENJOY!
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/1/14 at 10:23pm
Oh dear Lord! This thing was truly AWFUL! I don't know what to say. It was an incoherent mess with little plot (certainly next to nothing resembling any Faust telling I know), and characters that were a big zero.

I think it's up there in the top 10-15 worst professional shows I've seen.

A friend of mine, who fled at intermission, said the thing he thought it most resembled was Truckload. Truckload!

It's hard to pinpoint the worst aspect of the show, but think it would have to be the lyrics, which were generic and banal. Plus, the same lines were repeated over and over and over. If a song was 4 minutes long, there might have only been a few lines of lyric for the singer to work with.

I couldn't have liked it less.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
jawjuhh Profile Photo
jawjuhh
Understudy
joined:5/29/11
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/1/14 at 10:36pm
NYCC has not really been doing it for me this year, haha. I am lukewarm about both tick tick and this, but similarly I am glad I went if only for the female leads. Laura Osnes has the voice of an angel. Randy Newman was incomprehensible and I was disappointed that Michael Cerveris had so little to do.
PianoMann Profile Photo
PianoMann
Broadway Star
joined:5/12/11
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/1/14 at 11:17pm
I'm surprised by the negative reaction thus far, I thought Faust was great! The audience seemed to be smitten with it, too!

My friend and I thought it was extremely funny (probably the most important element of Newman'a interpretation) and mostly enjoyed the score, though it's certainly has its faults... The book definitely left a lot to be desired as well, but the Encores program does say the original libretto was significantly truncated for this mounting, for whatever reason. Michael Cerveris did a fine job as the de facto "narrator," but I agree it would have been great to see him sing more!

I can certainly understand why some would be dismayed by Randy's voice if you've never heard him perform live (I've seen him live twice very recently, so I knew what to expect), but seeing the composer perform his own material was a tremendous pleasure for me, and he was clearly having fun with it. It's certainly a once in a lifetime experience to see, as I doubt he'll ever take on the part again.

Laura Osnes and Vonda Shepard were great as well; "Feels Like Home" received huge applause, and is one of Randy's most beautiful songs!

Count me as one who thought this was a delight!
haterobics Profile Photo
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/1/14 at 11:37pm
I think this is supposed to be more of a thematic Randy Newman song cycle than a solid standalone show? I will say that was what I went in expecting and had a good night of it, especially as I've wanted to see Randy live for a while now. But, yeah, there was a lot of underutilized talent onstage, and it certainly made me hope Tony Vincent gets cast in something again soon.
iluvtheatertrash Profile Photo
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 07:09am
Randy Newman was not in strong voice? Sounds like another recent performance at Encores.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
PianoMann Profile Photo
PianoMann
Broadway Star
joined:5/12/11
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 07:27am
I wouldn't say Randy was in poorer voice than he usually is; he sounded just like he always does, in that unpolished, crooning grumble!.

He certainly wouldn't be cast in the role under any other circumstances than a concert version like this, but it seemed to me like most of the audience was there to see him perform!
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 07:38am
"Randy Newman was incomprehensible "

Too bad he couldn't have been inaudible as well, his music, lyrics, and dialogue too.

What a fiasco.
StageStruckLad Profile Photo
StageStruckLad
Featured Actor
joined:3/13/13
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 08:31am
Fiasco? That certainly wasn't the show I saw last night or the reaction of the audience that was cheering at the end. The show definitely has book problems (like many other Encores productions), but a lot of people clearly love the score. I'm one of them. I'm guessing that some of the posters here aren't as familiar with Randy Newman's singing style, but I actually thought he was in better voice than on some of his more recent recordings. And there was no faulting the singing of the rest of the cast, especially Laura Osnes and that lively choir. I've loved the album for 20 years, and it was thrilling to see Newman and cast perform it live last night.
dave1606
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/07
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 10:03am
I was there last night. I am somewhere between StageStruck and Whizzer. I think as a musical, Faust is truly awful. The material plays like a bad sitcom from the 90s.

As a special one-night only with a decent cast, it wound up being ok enough. Randy Newman was a big part of my child hood, and I can't help but be a bit endeared to the man. It was a treat to see him perform live.

The second act was definitely much better than the first with Vonda Shepard getting some nice moments a long with Laura Osnes. I thought the opening choral arrangement of act 2 was beautiful.

Overall I think this is perfect for Encores. It is a show that should never EVER see the light of day as far as the book scenes go, but I may find myself listening to a few songs from the show down the road.

haterobics Profile Photo
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 10:09am
The immediate standing ovation is always a tip off that the audience is just distracting the performers from the mess they just created...

I never heard those songs before last night, and while it may not be my favorite thing ever, it would seem strange to fault it from sounding like a bunch of Randy Newman songs, sung by the author in what is pretty much his signature style. I mean, if you don't like the way Randy Newman sings... that seems like something you could have easily sorted out before buying a ticket to his show.

Even a positive story about the show being staged called it "a few of his old-fangled rags, croaked out in his signature bluesman-on-Novocain voice."
wonkit
Broadway Legend
joined:9/30/08
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 10:46am
Having seen CRADLE WILL ROCK get a standing ovation last summer, I am guessing it isn't for the work as much as the idea (a good one) of putting up things that are not suitable for more extensive productions. I also imagine the rehearsal time is pretty short, so there is no time to work out the kinks. I thought CRADLE was a raging bore - even though every one of the performers was excellent.
PJPan
Understudy
joined:5/6/13
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 11:07am
I had no high expectations for this - I love Randy Newman, but I'd never heard the album before. I love his concept album of "Good Old Boys" and admire his storytelling ability. Being completely unfamiliar with the music, I was pleasantly surprised throughout to hear some tunes with that old-school-Randy biting sarcasm and world-weariness. I didn't realize how popular "Feels Like Home" and was not surprised. Vonda Shepard and RN gave a beautiful rendition.

The show itself is flimsy, and it works here as a concert. I'm not sure it could be successful as a full piece. If there was one thing I was let down about, it's how Michael Cerveris was used, or not used. I expected him to have much more to do.

I love RN's style of singing so that has never been a roadblock to my enjoyment. It was such a joy to see him sing his music live, and also to see him come out in that cape and horns. All in all, glad that I went and I discovered some new songs that remind me why I'm such a fan of his.
A Director
Broadway Star
joined:12/18/07
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 01:05pm
>Randy Newman was not in strong voice? Sounds like another recent performance at Encores.

I tend to ignore the opinion of people who think it's a good idea to revive Moose Murders.
A Director
Broadway Star
joined:12/18/07
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 01:05pm
>Randy Newman was not in strong voice? Sounds like another recent performance at Encores.

I tend to ignore the opinion of people who think it's a good idea to revive Moose Murders.
No Leg Room
Swing
joined:12/5/11
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 01:26pm
Not that happy with this concert last night. Granted there are fans of this show nut after last night you can count me out.The lame story line and mediocre score seed endless.
PianoMann Profile Photo
PianoMann
Broadway Star
joined:5/12/11
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 07:58pm
Isherwood weights in and is positive, with kind things to say about all of the performers and the score:

"If the Devil were as endearingly funny as Randy Newman at the piano, a season in hell might not be so painful."

"But the surprise of 'Randy Newman’s Faust' was how consistently the songs revealed the sincere feeling beneath Mr. Newman’s wiseguy attitudinizing. The song that received the warmest reception, “Feels Like Home,” was a straight-up love duet for Mr. Newman and Ms. Shepard, who played the rather vaguely conceived role of Margaret’s friend Martha."
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/03/theater/randy-newmans-faust-with-the-composer-on-hand.html?ref=theater&_r=0
Borstalboy Profile Photo
Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
Faust at Off-Center Encores
Posted: 7/2/14 at 09:31pm
From Adam Feldman's Twitter:

Heard at intermission of Randy Newman's Faust: "Tony Vincent captures a certain jejune Millennial tonality." I feel like I'm in Annie Hall.
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry

 

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