Biggest disappointment -- the casting of the two young leads in HADESTOWN. They had ZERO chemistry at the performance I attended. I just couldn't imagine anybody, much less our spindly senstive Evan Hansen knockoff Orpheus, going into the underworld to rescue that dreary little Ophelia, played with such zero charisma but a big singing voice by whatshername.
I saw it over the weekend and felt as others have felt -- rather lacking in Shepard's humor, and way too heavy-handed and ponderous, it announced its own importance in every single second. The opening gimmick was certainly spectacular, but it felt too on the nose, too blatant and obvious -- maybe if it had come later in the play, or something.
There just weren't any available American actors in the entire continent ready willing and able to play these three roles. They just had to go with British actors. Is there some kind of Equity deal going on? Or is Eddie Izzard's cache just that strong?
For me the biggest problem with the production, which I saw about a week ago, was the total, utter, absolute absence of anything remotely resembling even the vaguest whisper of an emotional connection between Lear and Cordelia. There was nothing, zip zero zilch -- for the first time in my experience with this story I found myself imagining Cordelia on the throne of France, laughing laughing laughing and suggesting to her husband that there might be some nice real estate in her home coun
I can only echo the praise of Ms. Channing's performance in SIX DEGREES. She really was that good. I remember being disappointed in the film, which couldn't summon the cinematic equivalent of the energy happening on that stage. The film seemed rather earth-bound somehow.
I remember Colm Wilkinson flinching when he lost Best Actor for LES MISERABLES to Robert Lindsay for ME AND MY GIRL. And Mickey Rooney's frozen smile when he lost Best Actor in a Musical for SUGAR BABIES to a visibly surprised Jim Dale for BARNUM.
EDIT -- a quick check of Youtube confirms that I remember wrong -- Colm Wilkinson wasn't shown after Lindsay won.
Pretty dire overall -- a flabby play about annoying characters, I found it impossible to be even remotely interested at all. They'll just put anything on that stage, it seems.
Mileage will vary, I guess. But if you do decide to subject yourself to this thing, be sure to get seats as close to the center as you can. Avoid the side sections -- Jerry Zaks' habit of lining his characters up in a straight line across the stage makes for way too many uncomfortable mo