From Here To Eternity Review

Rockyfan2000
Understudy
joined:5/15/11
From Here To Eternity Previews
Posted: 9/30/13 at 06:10pm
Previews start tonight. Good luck to all involved!

Anyone from here going?
"It's not where you start, it's where you finish!"
Anthony Fremont
Stand-by
joined:6/16/10
From Here To Eternity Previews
Posted: 9/30/13 at 07:54pm
I went.

In short, a pretty good debut for Stuart Brayson and Bill Oakes; they'll have to toy with the sound a bit before I can comment on Tim Rice's contribution. Solid staging; the sets were attractive and the lighting was incredible.
jaqs
Broadway Star
joined:1/24/08
From Here To Eternity Previews
Posted: 10/1/13 at 06:00pm
Was it busy? Well received?
mitchmagi
Swing
joined:10/28/05
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/2/13 at 06:23pm
From Here to Eternity Musical Review

Just returned from tonight's performance - and if I were Tim Rice and company I'd be worried.

The show is incredibly messy, drags on forever - and ultimately very little happens. It's one drawn out love story - fragmented and uninspiring.

The first half is particularly troublesome - with little to no excitement or dramatic build. To end a first half without any level of impetus or show-stopping "wow" is just poor theatre. I cant recall last when I came out of the first half of a show - and realised that little - if anything - had actually taken place ...

The pace picks up eventually in the second half as we move towards the Pearl Harbour bombing. But even here - the action is all too short ... the projection visuals are fine - nothing mindblowing or spectacular. Music is often reprised to the point that one wonders if they ran out of material ?

Overall - there are a few moments when things start to "click" and a little glimmer of 'possibility' starts to shine through but as a whole - it seldom finds its feet or the energy to sustain interest. The story is mundane and without the focus needed for a 21st century production. The writers would have been better advised to place the spotlight squarely on the Pearl Harbour attack and build the drama from there.

The lack-luster applause at the end speaks volumes. There was no encore. And no standing ovation. The general buzz was not good.

Whilst it is wonderful that producers are trying out new ideas and stories ... I can't see the show surviving in its current form.
Galinda4
Chorus Member
joined:4/26/06
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/2/13 at 07:34pm
I saw the first preview and really liked it. Not a review but a few thoughts..

It got a standing ovation although I guess a lot of the audience would been friends/family/connected with the show so maybe a little biased.

Never seen the film or read the book so no idea how it compares to them but found the story interesting and cared about what happened to the characters. Found the Prewitt and Lorene love story more interesting than Warden and Karen although I guess both were quite predictable. Leads were excellent, Darius probably the one who didn't impress as much as the others. The ensemble were brilliant.

Had quite a few of the songs stuck in my head after.

Agree with the poster who said it dragged a bit, I didn't get bored but think they could shorten it a bit. It will be interesting to see it after opening night to see any changes.

Looking forward to hearing other peoples views on it. The couple sat next to us loved it and others weren't sure and person behind hated it! I hope it does well as good to have a show that isn't a juke box musical for a change.
jd101
Swing
joined:10/2/13
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/2/13 at 08:38pm
I saw the show last night and heres a few thoughts:

I thought it was BRILLIANT. - yes it is in preview stages and stuff need to be chopped and changed but I can say that we have a hit on our hands!!

- sound is a little quiet in some stages but the orchestra is just sublime.
- the story line is beautiful and second act is really not to be missed
- word is that they are still fixing the curtain call so for now it is a silent bow which actually works after the tearful ending.
- there where standing ovations and tears in eyes, especially men.
- great audiences for preview stages on at three levels (and its a big house)
- Rebecca Thornhill as Karen SHOULD get an olivier for her performance and supporting actor should go to Ryan Sampson as Maggio (played by frank Sinatra in the film)
- there are also some incredible songs and ones for the audition folder.

over all. Its in a really good place and with three weeks for changes, I hope it will be a great success!
Owen22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/24/11
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/2/13 at 09:01pm
jd101, Just a hint, as on the American boards its the rule...never join the day of and then post a positive review. It reeks of a "plant" which is someone from the show being told to post a good review on theatre message boards so the buzz on a show begins or remains positive.
jd101
Swing
joined:10/2/13
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/3/13 at 09:05am
Well I'd love to say I was in shows, but this 46 year old man just searched on Google and this came up and I saw the negativity and thought it was a good idea to post some positivity!

Anthony Fremont
Stand-by
joined:6/16/10
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/3/13 at 09:13am
At the very least, they could do without the song 'Boys of '41' during the attack. Pearl Harbor was a moment in history, but that song turns it into a Moment In History.
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/3/13 at 08:53pm
How is the kissing scene on the beach done?
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
Theatrefan2
Chorus Member
joined:2/23/13
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/4/13 at 06:04pm
How is the beach scene handled - very badly. All they do is run around the stage with the Sgt. trying to catch Karen. No big emotional kiss. I was there Tuesday and found it quite dire. When I left I could not recall one song. I found the male leads very weak. Prewitt is the worst. He has absolutely no stage presence. And cannot sing above the chorus. And sadly, the whole of the show revolves around him. Tim Rice was there and after the show no one was going up to him. General applause except for a few who must have known someone in the cast.
mitchmagi
Swing
joined:10/28/05
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/4/13 at 06:09pm
Some of the dialog in the first half was just incredibly cheesy ... along with the dreaded sensation of "now I am going to burst into song for no apparent reason other than to sing these words which I could quite easily be speaking normally"

An audience can't care for characters if they come across as 2 dimensional or forced ... there needs to be real pathos - real connection.

People are in tears at the end of Les Miserables - they feel for the characters. No such thing happening here unfortunately.
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/4/13 at 06:43pm
Some movies do not translate well to a musical especially classic ones.

This appears to be one of them.
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
Anthony Fremont
Stand-by
joined:6/16/10
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/6/13 at 09:04am
^Though, technically speaking, this is based on the James Jones novel.
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/6/13 at 10:05am
Will there be a cast album on this?
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
Anthony Fremont
Stand-by
joined:6/16/10
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/6/13 at 10:14am
^No word on a cast album, but producer Tim Rice will probably get one out.
Rockyfan2000
Understudy
joined:5/15/11
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/11/13 at 01:13pm
Anyone been lately? Level of interest seems to be extremely low.
"It's not where you start, it's where you finish!"
Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/12/13 at 06:57pm
Saw this tonight, I loved it!

Score is very strong, great to hear a lush original new score sung by a large cast.

Very powerful ending to both acts, particularly act two.

Go with an open mind. It's not the best musical you'll ever see, but its a very enjoyable night out.
2012 Shows!
The Railway Children, The Lion In Winter, The Comedy of Errors, Richard II, Pippin, The Ladykillers, Absent Friends, Shrek, Masterclass, Jersey Boys Rock Of Ages, Legally Blonde, Hay Fever, Singin' in the Rain, Abigail's Party, What the Butler Saw, Ragtime. [Booked] London Road, The Last of the Haussmans.
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/12/13 at 07:29pm
I saw it tonight and agree with Mark on hole, I am sucker for Tim Rice anyway, so the odds are on that I would love this show, not his best score, no surprise there, he is in my opinion the best wordsmith there is, he has such a effervescent way with words, but makes them simple.

Surprised how many empty seats there was for a Saturday night, the back of the stalls were mainly empty. The audience could of moved on, where I am stuck in the eighties, just hope the critic haven't moved on.

The huge cast worries me, for the longevity of the show.
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Theatrefan2
Chorus Member
joined:2/23/13
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/13/13 at 07:51pm

I thought it was boring. Why on earth would there be a cast album. Just because its a show. I doubt it will be open for 6 months. The leads have no charisma and the score was totally forgetable. It seems there is no middle groud with this show, you either love it or find it a waste of time.


TBFL
Featured Actor
joined:2/1/11
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/14/13 at 06:28pm
They have been making big changes over the last few days, but it's still dull. The characters are so underwritten, you just dont care about any of them and therefore the show has no impact. Alot of the songs just didnt go anywhere and because of the bad sound, you cant hear much of the lyrics anyway. I did enjoy the choreographed opening in the barracks and i am still humming the tune 'In G Company' but i fear the curse of the Shaftesbury Theatre has struck again.
sparepart973
Featured Actor
joined:4/7/12
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/15/13 at 10:22am
More like From Here to Mediocrity. The staging is fantastic. It's slick, and the choreography is not half bad. Great male ensemble. However, it's quite dull and boring. The music is mostly bland, and at times the songs are so forced, or at times some of the decent tunes are too chopped up to serve a scene.
mallardo
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/04
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/15/13 at 12:57pm
Disagree about the staging which I thought was god-awful. That beach scene - yikes! The choreography was much better.

But the score.... It's set in 1941. Couldn't the music reflect that just a little? Apparently not.

Faced with these Loreleis, what man can moralize!
Updated On: 10/15/13 at 12:57 PM
mrkringas
Broadway Star
joined:9/28/05
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/15/13 at 06:27pm
I don't think I can fully compose my thoughts on this show until I've slept on it.

Initial reaction was one of sheer glee.

I have waited years for a show like this. London, its been a while but maybe we have something to rival productions I have only read about.

Yes it appears this generation has a chance to collect their very own "Fields of Ambrosia".

The cast are nothing short of wonderful. Really what troupers to deliver this material with the direction and scene pictures that demanded of them. Darius is fabulous. Ditto Rebecca Thornhill and the young lead. Also obvs Ryan Sampson chewed up the entire stage. Brilliant.

I'm not being sarcastic. This is a production that may well live on infamy.

I would not hesitate to see it again and will be recommending to all my friends. So many shows have promised to deliver what I saw tonight but not since .. well I struggle to recall something I've seen in London on a large stage.. have my hopes and dreams come true.
DeNada
Broadway Star
joined:7/7/07
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/15/13 at 06:41pm
Did you see Too Close To The Sun? That is the true Fields Of Ambrosia of the 21st century thus far (along with Behind The Iron Mask, perhaps).

I've not seen this and nor am I likely to, but it strikes me that Ryan Sampson chews the scenery in EVERYTHING and always gets great reviews for being something of an enormous ham. More power to the man, I guess!
mrkringas
Broadway Star
joined:9/28/05
From Here To Eternity Review
Posted: 10/15/13 at 07:04pm
Alas I missed that Icarus ride though have been unfortunate to listen to the cast album.

I'd say given the scale of this production and completely superfluous female ensemble that this is in the epic scale of campness that a small cast musical just can't compete with.

There is also a fantasy sequence near the end that makes me want to see it again.
And yes Ryan Sampson is deliciously outrageous with this part but god bless he doesn't give half measures.

Amazing dialogue and delivery between Darius and Rebecca Thornhill during their clap scene.
I think I need to go stump up for a program and write up a blow by blow account.

But then I think sod it - the review from West End Whingers will do everything I want to say anyway. Heck even Quentin Letts may finally write something so lacking in self-awareness that will add to the deliciousness of this experience.

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