Comscore

Pump Boys and Dinettes

iluvtheatertrash Profile Photo
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/15/14 at 09:42pm
Just returned from tonight's dress rehearsal. There isn't much of a show there, but you're still in for a treat. It is utterly astonishing what this cast and crew accomplished in the past week. They play and sing the crap out of those tunes, and there isn't a weak link in the group. Encores has also blessed them with a FANTASTIC, full-fledged, gorgeous set.

The show isn't very much, and neither is the score. But they're having a ball, and that energy is infectious. It ran about 75 minutes with an intermission. Katie Thompson is, as expected, the real highlight of the evening.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
oncemorewithfeeling2 Profile Photo
oncemorewithfeeling2
Featured Actor
joined:4/25/13
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/15/14 at 09:48pm
What was the set like? The one production I saw of the show had a very simplistic set, with a generic "diner" feel to it. I wish I was able to catch this performance--the show isn't a great breakthrough in theater, but if you want a fun, not-so-deep evening, it fits the bill.

And is Katie Thompson amazing or what! She needs her big breakthrough role. Her talent is ridiculous.
best12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/15/14 at 09:49pm
I love a few of the songs, especially "Vacation."
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
iluvtheatertrash Profile Photo
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/15/14 at 10:03pm
Imagine if the ONCE set was covered in fishing tackle, kitschy diner signs and other typical decorations. It's a lot like that. Full wall-unit, and everything! Really spectacular.

Vacation is a real highlight, besty.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
oncemorewithfeeling2 Profile Photo
oncemorewithfeeling2
Featured Actor
joined:4/25/13
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/15/14 at 10:48pm
That sounds really lovely and incredibly fitting for the show. Nice to have a full decorated wall unit.

I've been humming Vacation for about the past hour now :)
A Director
Broadway Star
joined:12/18/07
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/15/14 at 11:24pm
I'm usually not a country music fan, but the score for Pump Boys and Dinettes is great fun with some wonderful songs. In its day, the show was a nice change from the usual Broadway shows. The original production didn't depend on flashy set, costumes or choreography. It was easy to relate to the characters even if you weren't from Georgia. Pump Boys and Dinettes is a small show worth producing today.
A Director
Broadway Star
joined:12/18/07
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/15/14 at 11:24pm
I'm usually not a country music fan, but the score for Pump Boys and Dinettes is great fun with some wonderful songs. In its day, the show was a nice change from the usual Broadway shows. The original production didn't depend on flashy set, costumes or choreography. It was easy to relate to the characters even if you weren't from Georgia. Pump Boys and Dinettes is a small show worth producing today.
haterobics Profile Photo
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/16/14 at 12:15am
75 minutes including the intermission?! Err, why is there an intermission then?
macnyc Profile Photo
macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/16/14 at 06:17am
I was wondering that too!

After hedging on this because I don't love country music, I succumbed to the lure of $25 orchestra seats, and I'm seeing this on Saturday. Now I'm looking forward to it!
newintown Profile Photo
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/16/14 at 09:06am
I remember thinking this show was great fun 30-some years ago down in the village (that tiny theatre is now gone, across the street from the Public). And then it was a staple of stock companies for the next 20 years or so.

It was the first show of its kind (actors are the band) that I remember seeing. The group's follow-up piece, Oil City Symphony, was less successful, although it had really funny moments. And then, of course, came Radio Gals, Cowgirls, and the Smoke On The Mountain franchise.

I don't think I'd want to see it from further than 25 feet away, though - it's a truly intimate piece. I feel for everyone at the back of City Center.

Updated On: 7/16/14 at 09:06 AM
iluvtheatertrash Profile Photo
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/16/14 at 09:39am
I was at the very front of the mezzanine, so had a wonderful view.

I lied, everyone. I'm apparently terrible at math when I'm tired. It was 95 minutes, not 75. I agree about the intermission, though. It really could go. But they are working very hard both playing and singing that score, so I imagine a break is nice for them.

"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
newintown Profile Photo
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/16/14 at 09:44am
But it's always had an intermission - I recall that it's part of the structure, isn't it? They'd have to do a re-write to cut it.
iluvtheatertrash Profile Photo
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/16/14 at 09:54am
That's true. They sing a little ditty about taking a break.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
haterobics Profile Photo
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/16/14 at 11:26am
95 minutes is a bit healthier of a run time with an intermission, heh.

"I don't think I'd want to see it from further than 25 feet away, though - it's a truly intimate piece. I feel for everyone at the back of City Center."

Good, I'm in the front row.
iluvtheatertrash Profile Photo
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/16/14 at 11:28am
They've cut most of the stage's depth, so you won't feel that far.

And yes, sorry, hateorobics. I was tired and I'm terrible at math.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
RippedMan Profile Photo
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/16/14 at 11:37pm
Remember when this was going to be on Broadway directed by John Doyle? hm.
AntV
Leading Actor
joined:12/23/12
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/17/14 at 07:02am
That sure is quite a set for an Encores production. Seems like they still may be planning on bringing this to Broadway.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/17/14 at 07:56am
I saw this last night and thought it was alright. The performers were all strong, but there's not much to the show. I've maybe listened to the cast recording once and this production isn't going to change that. The songs are pleasant enough, but for someone not all that crazy about Country music they go in one ear and out the other.

There's not a lot to say about this one, but hey, at least it was better than Faust!
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
newintown Profile Photo
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/17/14 at 09:15am
It's true, Whizzer, there's no real "show" here; the charm in the original production those 30-some years ago was largely due to the enthusiasm of the cast who were also the creators. I've also seen that charming enthusiasm from amateur or regional actors in productions; seasoned pros, I imagine, could be a bit too slick or hard for this fragile thing.
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/17/14 at 09:24am
I adore this show and score and wish I could see it at City Center. With a strong and talented cast, I find it completely charming and delightful. Growing up in the south, I guess I just find it easily relatable and familiar.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
haterobics Profile Photo
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/18/14 at 10:36pm
Hard to complain about a $25 ticket (although I know that has never stopped people on here before, heh), but yeah, there isn't a heckofalota show to this show. I wish I'd've gone to the title.of.show. thing beforehand with Susan and one of the boys in the lobby, but I didn't want to miss them dimming the lights to Elaine, so I went to Studio 54, and they didn't even dim them?! Oh well... still a fun night.
Broadway Local Profile Photo
Broadway Local
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/05
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/19/14 at 10:42am
Haterobics: Susan Blackwell and Jeff Bowen talked for maybe 25 minutes about the creative process that led to [title of show], how they began working together on a management consulting project, then teamed up with Hunter Bell to do weird Broadway-centric skits they embedded amongst the avant garde programming at Dixon Place, then how they raced to make the NYMF deadline with their show about making a show in which they starred.

Jeff mentioned a kind of first-show anger that seeped into the composition of [tos], how they were then turning 30 and felt frustrated that they hadn't yet gotten their turn in the spotlight. Susan suggested a more "just do it" attitude towards the creative process, encouraging people to overcome their doubts and fears of failure. And they mentioned they once did a full performance of The Tony Award Song that was cut from [tos] (did anyone, um, document it?).

One audience member asked them if they were still haunted by the vampires that destroy their confidence, and they said they're still there, but much smaller and easier to deal with now. Another attendee scolded them for making fun of the avant garde scene downtown (they had mentioned one act featuring a half-hour electric accordion solo), for which they apologized.

And with that, the pre-show was over and the house was open.
O-ho the Wells Fargo wagon is a-comin' down the street.
Oh please let it be for me!
haterobics Profile Photo
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Posted: 7/19/14 at 05:21pm
Cool, thanks for the update. Sounds like it was interesting. I was planning to go until Elaine's light dimming happened at the same time...

 
Advertisement