The Tale of Despereaux, based on the popular children's novel, is the latest show from PigPen Theatre Co., a group of guys who met at Carnegie Mellon as freshmen in 2007 and are probably best known for The Old Man and The Old Moon, which I haven't seen. Despereaux premiered at the Old Globe in San Diego last summer and the Berkeley Rep is its latest stop. Based on the cast and the involvement of co-director Mark Bruni (of Beautiful fame), I ass
This thread got particularly contentious, but I'm bringing it back because I didn't want to start a new one just to whine a bit.
Here's my problem: I read about and hear clips from the new collection of jukebox musicals and it's kind of depressing. I'm not adamantly opposed to jukebox musicals - shoot, I liked Head Over Heels and have seen my share - but the overload just seems too much.
I haven't seen the show, it's early, but a question for those who have seen successful Malloy shows (most obviously Great Comet, another adaptation of a difficult classic): Did they start "messy" too? Malloy and Chavkin are higher profile now, so a lot more attention is paid to early tryouts of what seems like an impossible, sprawling musical at this stage.
Jesse Green gives the show a lot of credit for improvement on its previous incarnation in the Times review, and for centering the show around Elizabeth Stanley. It's not a glowing review but it is a positive one. (I'm not counting the "Critic's Pick" designation, because most shows get that.)
I'm noting the recommendations. Probably not seeing the musical this month, because it will be around into January and I'm seeing The Tale of Despereaux at the Berkeley Rep this weekend and Head Over Heels at the New Conservatory later in the month.
Kitsune, I don't think you should feel bad about not standing. Enthusiastic applause while remaining seated is just fine. The cast is going to get to know you well by the time the run is done.
It's possible the guy behind you was not complaining about how close he was to the stage (it's a small venue, as you point out) but the actual seat itself. I like the San Francisco Playhouse but some of the seats could use a little work.
The Orpheum/Golden Gate audiences tend to give standing ovations for pretty much everything. At smaller theaters in San Francisco (and the Berkeley Rep and other theaters in the SF Bay Area), that's not an automatic response, esp
In the musical, Satine elects to be with the Duke to save the Moulin Rouge and her friends. There is an implication that the Duke has gotten violent in the past, but there is no direct threat made. Satine ultimately chooses a life of comfort over love; a pragmatic decision over an emotional one. Then Christian again makes his speech to her, but this time adds a threat of suicide if she does not go with him. This violent threat is what
I'm trying to put myself in your shoes (albeit with my own biases). You seem to want to see Hadestown again primarily (though not exclusively) for the chance to see Eva Noblezada and - ideally - the entire cast. But who knows who will be out the night you would go? Maybe everyone's there. Maybe Noblezada is out. Maybe someone else is out. The odds seems reasonably high that someone will be out in early January after the grueling Christmas to New Year's week (in a show tha
I'm not much help here but I'll give what thoughts I can.
As I recall, you liked Hadestown a lot. It's a terrific musical, a fact I've been reminded of since I got the cast recording. Eva Noblezada was wonderful when I saw the show, but as mufish points out, hers is the least essential role to see a particular actor play. My daughter would disagree with me on this; she thought Noblezada was amazing - and she is. I'm just not sure I would decide on seeing
These aren't in any particular order. I'm probably leaving out one or two shows, and I also ended up leaving off some shows even from my honorable mention list that I tossed into a "Memorable Shows" category. My list is biased towards tours and regional productions, because I don't live anywhere near New York City and spent 1993 through 2016 not going there. So my list is heavy on more recent productions.
I need more of you to see this so I can decide whether to see it. We almost saw this on Broadway during the final days of previews, but while I'm a fan of the film, I have been pretty meh on the songs I've heard. Plus, I usually don't like movie-to-musical adaptations unless I don't know the film at all. My wife is a skeptic too. But I do usually like SF Playhouse musicals (La Cage Aux Folles, Sunday in the Park With George, Cabaret).
It's a fascinating article, especially for someone like me, who only knew of him by reputation. (I wasn't following theater, much less theater criticism, until much later.) I spent last night reading his blog, a recent entry (praise for some shows that are still running and, surprisingly, The Prom), and an appearance on the Dick Cavett show from decades ago.
Simon seems like a caricature, for whom - as the saying goes for a certain political figure - the cruelty was th
I'll add a contrary view. I own (and like) the Hadestown and Oklahoma! cast recordings quite a bit. I don't agree with all of the complaints about the Hadestown cast recording, and I've seen more than a few. It's not perfect but it's quite good in my opinion and makes me want to see the musical again. The reworked, countrified Oklahoma! score is a terrific example of taking something wonderful and doing a memorable cover.<
I haven't see Tina though I was very impressed with Adrienne Warren in Shuffle Along, so I'm not surprised at the raves for her.
Ain't Too Proud seems to fit the bill for what you're describing. I saw it at the Berkeley Rep, its first stop, and can tick off a list of flaws (which you can find in my old review). But the choreography and Ephraim Sykes, in particular, are both excellent. My wife and daughter really enjoyed it.The show is kind of a generic
Ledaero said: "bear88 said: "I'm the sixth or seventh person to say Great Comet."
I know this has already been discussed earlier, but I would like to bring up the question again: What constitutes a flop in this conversation? I don't think financial flop is a good enough definition because the majority of shows don't recoup in general nowadays. Take for examplea show like the Great Comet:by any fiscal definition this show was a MAJOR
I'm the sixth or seventh person to say Great Comet. It flopped for a long list of reasons, including the fact that not enough people found it as wonderful as I did. It's the musical I wish had lasted for 2 or 3 years, and toured, so I could have seen many times - instead of just once.
Honorable mention: I saw it in out-of-town tryouts, but Head Over Heels was great fun. Yeah, the musical was flawed but its charms were enough to get me to see it twic
I've never seen Evita but was scrolling through this thread seeing all the yawns about the casting and thinking, Solea Pfeiffer? You people must have never seen her. (I caught her in Hamilton's first go-round in San Francisco as Eliza a couple of years ago.)
So I'm not surprised at all the praise she's getting.
I got the CD a couple of weeks ago. With one minor exception (the conclusion of Eva's part on the "Wait for Me (Reprise)", I didn't notice anything that felt inferior to performances I've seen (different yes, but not worse). And even that only felt a little disappointing because I'd seen it live. What's gained is a crystalline, layered sound and a reminder of how many terrific songs t
There are only two shows I've seen five times or more. One is a local production of A Christmas Carol at Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont, California (south of San Francisco) - where I live. Except for the first year, it was the Menken/Ahrens version. Aside from an opening night gala, it was a free show. All anyone was asked to bring were gifts that were donated to local charities. I probably saw it a dozen times. It didn't hurt that I always had friends or their children