Stephen Ward Previews

RW3
Broadway Star
joined:7/20/13
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/3/13 at 11:14pm
How is it?
rosscoe(au)
Broadway Legend
joined:8/20/05
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/4/13 at 01:11am
When did they start!
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/4/13 at 04:31am
I'm assuming Frank Rich left during Act I? (I like most of Rich's writing, but surely he would have had some idea before getting a ticket if he could handle the show until at least intermission and not have to leave mid act--unless he was tweeting in the theatre or Act I is very short...)

Frank Rich on Twitter - 13 minutes ago:
First 45 minutes of @SWardMusical at first London preview not easily forgotten. Will consider seeing rest in unlikely event it comes to NY.
Anthony Fremont
Stand-by
joined:6/16/10
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/4/13 at 04:54am
^Aside from that rather cryptic remark, the buzz on Twitter has been pretty solid, from what I've seen.
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/4/13 at 11:46am
I despise people (and especially critics) who treat leaving mid show as some kind of badge of honor. It's disgusting.
That's right! Underscore mother-fu@#ers!
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/4/13 at 12:00pm
Well he hasn't been a theatre critic in a long while, but, I kinda agree.
Parsley
Featured Actor
joined:1/7/06
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/4/13 at 12:05pm
Frank Rich on Twitter - 13 minutes ago:
First 45 minutes of @SWardMusical at first London preview not easily forgotten. Will consider seeing rest in unlikely event it comes to NY.

Well he is just an old, embittered hack with no punch whatsoever anymore. The world has moved on since his "time" and left him way behind.
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/4/13 at 12:28pm
He was the butcher of Broadway, he especially sharpened his knives when it came to Lloyd Webber and hated it when the Brits dominated Broadway in the eighties, that is why he ingratiated Sondheim at every opportunity and I am not comparing the two.

Frank Rich is the most despicable man, who still thinks he is important and relevant.
2014 Theatre: Billy Elliot***** Meet Me In St Louis*** American Psycho**** Tell Me On A Sunday**** Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense* Stephen Ward**** Charlie and the Chocolate factory*** Dirty Dancing** Stephen Sondheim's Puttin It Together*** Candide*** The Lion King***** The Book of Mormon****** Les Miserable***** Stephen Ward**** The Weir**** Fortune's Fool*** Spamalot*** Superior Doughnuts**** Seven Brides For Seven Brothers**** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Finans Rainbow**** The Commitments** Boeing Boeing*** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) The A-Z of Mrs P** Billy Elliot***** Wicked** Good People***** Urinetown***** Spamalot*** The Full Monty**** Other Desert Cities*** Ghosts*** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman*** Stephen Ward**** King Lear**** A Taste Of Honey** Blithe Spirit**** From Here To Eternity**** Spamalot*** Fiddler On The Roof** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Relative Values**** Fatal Attraction*** Matilda*****
sparepart973
Stand-by
joined:4/7/12
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/4/13 at 12:48pm
Can't say it's good. The only good song is Human Sacrifice, and the rest is so generic and forgettable, and simply lacks any energy or soul.

The set is rather simple, except there are projections throughout the show that are projected on what looks like a see through shower curtain.

Joanna Riding pretty much plays an ensemble part, which to me is shocking. She first appears as Keeler's mom, then a diplomat's wife, and finally as Profumo's wife. Out of no where does Profumo's wife becomes a major character to sing a "big song" ("Hopeless When It Comes To You") only to disappear again into the ensemble.

Alex Hanson owns the show and is very charismatic, and narrates the story a la Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard. Unfortunately he is only given that one "Human Sacrifice" song that is of course reprised to death. Even his suicide song is not good enough, and whenever it crescendos and you'd think it would pick up, it deflates yet again for a monologue or incidental music ("Too Close To The Flame"). Charlotte Spencer is actually very good and believable, and Charlotte Blackledge as Mandy Rice-Davies is rather fun, though I was hoping for a power ballad between the two a la "In His Eyes" (Jekyll & Hyde) or "My Own Best Friend" (Chicago).

Technically the show is simple, though some scene transitions could happen faster, quieter and smoother. Nothing that can't be ironed out during previews, and very early on.

The book is just fine, and the story is told rather clearly considering its complexities and multiple characters. The only problem with it is its rather trite score and lack of any emotional depth. I usually can depend on ALW to at least chug out a few good tunes, I even loved Love Never Dies and saw it several times. I could swear that one song, (maybe it was Freedom Means the World To Me, but not sure), was a rehash of "Rainbow Tour" from Evita.

Missed opportunity.
rockyhorrorfan
Stand-by
joined:3/8/11
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/5/13 at 11:48am
Andrew Lloyd Webber rehashes so much of his music (obviously the most blatant was the title number from the awful Love Never Dies).
AlfredColo
Swing
joined:11/22/13
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/5/13 at 03:57pm
I agree but ALW also thinks he is number one when he is not
rockyhorrorfan
Stand-by
joined:3/8/11
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/5/13 at 07:02pm
Don't think he's been number one for a while.

If anyone's interested he's on The Graham Norton Show tonight (6/12, with exclusive footage).
Musical-Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:6/19/08
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/5/13 at 07:03pm
I went to the preview on Wednesday 4th December. I went in with an open mind with a friend and some friends behind me. All 6 of us were open minded about ALW new show. for us lucky few, Don Black, Christopher Hampton and Richard Eyre were in.

As a theatregoer and young musical theatre student all I can give is my opinion. Im not a theatre critic but this is what I got out of stephen ward

I only remember 2 tunes from act 1. both had been played at the press launch. the set was fairly non exsistant. some horrible looking curtains with some projections on sometimes ( sometimes you couldnt tell what was being projected onto them it was that bad) few larger set pieces but nothing special. could have been slicker and better but nothing special.

Lighting and sound was ok.

The book in my opinion is flawed and didnt make much sense. i felt like it was all happening too quick and left a lot out after reading the time line in the program i understood the story a lot more then

my friend turned to me at the start of the interval to see a confused look on my face. I was unsure of what I had just sat through my friends were also on the same wave length as me.

act 2 was a little better but not much.felt sorry for Stephen ward when he overdosed no one deserved to go like that.

Stunning performances from alex hansen and the cast! felt Jo riding was underused and this very much upset me. but the cast were the best thing about the show

The music is dismal, uninspiring and very forgettable, the lyrics are ok and book is flawed.

It is not a show I will want to see again and don't think it will last long.

The best bit about the show was leaving.I am still confused now. It was awful I am afraid

This is just an opinion :) I am not a critic just a humble musical theatre actor who enjoys theatre
No Doubt Our Paths Will Cross Again ! Matt
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/6/13 at 03:36am
"He was the butcher of Broadway, he especially sharpened his knives when it came to Lloyd Webber and hated it when the Brits dominated Broadway in the eighties, that is why he ingratiated Sondheim at every opportunity and I am not comparing the two. "?

He was? He championed Sondheim (and gave him some really damning reviews, as well) from 1971 on--long before the "British Invasion." Compared to Clive Barnes, or Brantley,I would hardly call him the Butcher of Broadway. How absurd.
mallardo
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/04
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/6/13 at 06:03am
Yes, the condemnation of Frank Rich is ludicrous and ill-informed. He's no longer a theatre critic but he is a popular and well-respected op-ed page writer and political commentator and probably enjoying more success than at any other time in his life. Hardly a has-been.

And, having just seen Stephen Ward, I can't blame him for departing at the interval. It's not good.

Faced with these Loreleis, what man can moralize!
Updated On: 12/6/13 at 06:03 AM
Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/6/13 at 06:40pm
It'll probably run a year to 18 months at best although its only booking until March but I reckon it'll extend unless sales are really bad.
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/7/13 at 08:19am
I standby what I said about Frank Rich, the bloke only really cares about his own superiority, he done nothing for British theatre, except try and destroy it, you don't pass judgement on a first preview, the blokes a leach.

Anyway I was at Stephen Ward tonight, I walked into the theatre, 5 minutes before the show and noticed someone sitting in my seat, I was ready to get the usher to move the person on and had to do a double take, it was Andrew Lloyd Webber, the usher found be another seat 3 seats away from the 'great' man, naturally Richard Eyre, Don Black and Christopher Hampton was there, also Tim Rice was in, interestingly he never spoke to Andrew Lloyd Webber that evening, what I can make out.

I seemed to be at a different show tonight and this is no admission the show isn't perfect and there is plenty of work need to be done, the score was hit and in places miss, the closer for act 1 (1963), is dreadful, but I really liked Human Touch, I'M Hopeless When It Comes To You and This side of the Sky were all wonderful and a couple of other songs were very good too.

As others pointed out there is nothing to speak of, of a physical set, the use of the three circular curtains were clever and the use of projections were smart and didn't overshadow the show like it did the Woman in White, the court scene seemed to go on too long though.

I thought Alexander Hanson and Joanne riding were fantastic, Charlotte Spencer has just came out of acting school and is very green and it showed. her performance didn't come across as natural and more structured as they teach in acting school, this is down to inexperience. I thought Ricardo Coke-Thomas and the rest of the cast were spot on.

Richard Eyre has his work cut out, opening night looming too soon?
2014 Theatre: Billy Elliot***** Meet Me In St Louis*** American Psycho**** Tell Me On A Sunday**** Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense* Stephen Ward**** Charlie and the Chocolate factory*** Dirty Dancing** Stephen Sondheim's Puttin It Together*** Candide*** The Lion King***** The Book of Mormon****** Les Miserable***** Stephen Ward**** The Weir**** Fortune's Fool*** Spamalot*** Superior Doughnuts**** Seven Brides For Seven Brothers**** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Finans Rainbow**** The Commitments** Boeing Boeing*** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) The A-Z of Mrs P** Billy Elliot***** Wicked** Good People***** Urinetown***** Spamalot*** The Full Monty**** Other Desert Cities*** Ghosts*** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman*** Stephen Ward**** King Lear**** A Taste Of Honey** Blithe Spirit**** From Here To Eternity**** Spamalot*** Fiddler On The Roof** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Relative Values**** Fatal Attraction*** Matilda*****
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/7/13 at 03:11pm
Never had much use for critics in general especially the vendetta they have against anything Wildhorn. Some I actually respect , Rich was never one of them as he seem to revel in ripping a show apart.

Mr Rich is a legend in his own mind.

Mary had a little lamb : The PC signature line.
Updated On: 12/7/13 at 03:11 PM
Stewart A
Understudy
joined:11/21/12
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/8/13 at 06:24am
I saw the show on Thursday so it was only the third preview and there's probably still work to be done on it.

It was more of a play with music and there weren't very many memorable songs other than the ones that I'd already heard - Human Sacrifice, This Side Of The Sky, You've Never Had It So Good and Hopeless When It Comes To You. However, these were nothing original and very reminiscent of other ALW songs. Some of Don Black's lyrics felt quite clunky at times and didn't even rhyme.

Alexander Hanson, as Stephen Ward, was superb and he held the show together. He also acted as narrator to explain what was happening which was helpful when the plot wasn't always totally clear. I did feel that the show dragged at times and not a lot seemed to happen in some of the scenes. Joanna Riding was seriously underused and I'm surprised that she took such a small part and played more than one character but she did get the best song of the show with Hopeless When It Comes To You.

No doubt ALW will plough money into this show to ensure it has a respectable run but it's definitely not one of his best musicals. Without ALW's name and financial backing I'm not sure this show would have even got off the ground in the west end. The theatre was maybe three quarters full at best but there wasn't much applause throughout and I think the applause at the end was more for the actors than the show itself.
dgjbear
Featured Actor
joined:3/1/05
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/12/13 at 12:37am
I agree with a lot of what has been said here. I went to see it last night.

Bits of Act 1 are awful. The staging of You Never Had It So Good is embarrassing (it's a shame as the tune and title is probably one of the few songs that you remember immediately on leaving). I think it would have been much better for this song to be a comment on class by people below stairs rather than the 'Toffs' themselves as they just appear to ridicule themselves which doesn't make sense. And some of the lyrics are excruciating in many of the songs (but Don Black is no Tim Rice). At the end of Act 1 I was disappointed.

However things picked up immediately in Act 2 and it became far more grown up, political and a comment on class. The Police interrogations and the court scene are too long, but I was gripped by the action and this compensated for the slowness and banality of bits of act 1. Alex H and Jo R are fantastic. And the ladies that play Mandy and Christine I thought were good as well. I empathised with all their characters.

I can't see it mentioned here, but they were selling the Original Cast Recording at the theatre last night. It is limited edition in a cardboard folder without a lyric booklet. But it is the full score. It is numbered, I appear to have number 210 or 300 (but don't think they were being sold in order). It was 10.
bob8rich
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/03
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/12/13 at 04:57am
I booked to see the matinee on Saturday January 4 while I was in London last weekend. Having now seen the clip on the Royal Variety Show, I fear I may live to regret it lol
THEATRE 2014: Seasons Greetings**** Suessical**** Stephen Ward* Meet Me In St Louis**** A Christmas Carol***** Kiss Me Kate**** Brent Barrett (cabaret)***** Shakespeare4Kidz Macbeth**** Jersey Boys**** Liz Callaway (cabaret)***** From Here To Eternity**** Putting It Together***** The Wit And Wimsy Of Alexander Bermange**** Kerrigan & Lowdermilk concert***** Fame**** Urinetown***** Finian's Rainbow**** Tom**** Songs In The Key Of Streisand***** Shona White (cabaret)***** Run, Fatboy, Run (concert)***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman!***** Molly Wobbly***** Bouncers (Swansea Grand)**** Ushers**** The Beautiful Game***** Tom**** Wicked (WMC Cardiff)*****
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/12/13 at 05:26pm
Why is the end of act one disappointing? Is it disappointing musically or disappointing because there's no falling chandelier or something exciting to that effect?
That's right! Underscore mother-fu@#ers!
DeNada
Broadway Star
joined:7/7/07
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/13/13 at 07:00am
That's not dgjbear was saying. He was saying that "by the end of Act 1 I was disappointed" i.e. Act 1 wasn't very enjoyable - not "the end of Act 1 was disappointing" as in just that moment.
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/13/13 at 10:22am
Thats right, I bought a special preview CD for 10, however when I put it on my computer there is no listing available.

Listened to the CD today on the way into work.
2014 Theatre: Billy Elliot***** Meet Me In St Louis*** American Psycho**** Tell Me On A Sunday**** Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense* Stephen Ward**** Charlie and the Chocolate factory*** Dirty Dancing** Stephen Sondheim's Puttin It Together*** Candide*** The Lion King***** The Book of Mormon****** Les Miserable***** Stephen Ward**** The Weir**** Fortune's Fool*** Spamalot*** Superior Doughnuts**** Seven Brides For Seven Brothers**** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Finans Rainbow**** The Commitments** Boeing Boeing*** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) The A-Z of Mrs P** Billy Elliot***** Wicked** Good People***** Urinetown***** Spamalot*** The Full Monty**** Other Desert Cities*** Ghosts*** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman*** Stephen Ward**** King Lear**** A Taste Of Honey** Blithe Spirit**** From Here To Eternity**** Spamalot*** Fiddler On The Roof** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Relative Values**** Fatal Attraction*** Matilda*****
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/13/13 at 11:32am
So jealous right now.
That's right! Underscore mother-fu@#ers!
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Stephen Ward Previews
Posted: 12/13/13 at 11:57pm
How is the opening staged? Is Stephen Ward a talking wax figure or it he just there in the museum observing?
That's right! Underscore mother-fu@#ers!

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