Printer Friendly - ENCORES! Gala

Posted by wonkit 2012-11-13 10:00:00

DId anyone else go? It was a cut above the usual gala program, even though it only ran about 90 minutes. Highlights for me: Raul Esparza racing nimbly through "Tchaikovsky" from LADY IN THE DARK, and turning "Her Face" from CARNIVAL into a dramatically touching song. Kelli O'Hara and Victoria Clarke singing an exquisite duet from JUNO. Joel Grey demonstrating his decades of stage craft with a timeless version of "Mr. Cellophane" from CHICAGO. But every performer was exemplary. Not a down moment the whole evening. The orchestra (and conductors Rob Fisher and Rob Berman) remind me of the gold standard of Broadway music.

But somebody help me out. They didn't have a set list so I don't know who I should rave about for the amazing tap routine at the end of the show. Fabulous work, and wonderful to watch - who were the performers, and what was the show?

Posted by TonyVincent 2012-11-13 11:17:05

One of the tappers was Jared Grimes, didn't know the other. It was from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

I also enjoyed a number of performances (though Tyne Daly was too sick to perform, and Raul sounded very hoarse). The main problem for me was the amount of content. 90 minutes start to finish, where the first 15 minutes and another 15 interdispersed throughout were speeches about the importance of Encores, presenting an award, etc. That was nice and all, but it felt like a big circlejerk when I paid to see performances. In all, I'd say there was an hour of actual content. Not quite worth the money and effort to get to the theater for not even 90 minutes worth of performances.

Posted by wonkit 2012-11-13 14:43:02

Wow - I actually thought Esparza sounded particularly good last night. I didn't care much for the finale duet but mainly because the song was rather operetta-like.

Oh, and Rob McClure's "Once in Love with Amy" was fun. He had better be careful or people will begin to think his English accent is real.

Posted by TonyVincent 2012-11-14 00:03:19

I was impressed at how well the audience could carry a tune!

I thought Raul's forte notes were strong, but any quieter/gentler parts sounded raspy and lacked clarity to me. Maybe it was just me, but those are the same difficulties I struggle with when I'm slightly under the weather: belting is no issue, but handling piano singing is much more difficult to handle delicately.

Posted by luvtheEmcee 2012-11-14 13:00:01

(Based on the non-existent recording, reporting live from a state that is not New York,) Raul sounded like he might have a cold or something, but mostly fine.

For what it's worth, I saw an early performance of Company when he was sick as a dog and it kind of worked for me, because his vocals were so raw. So I guess that could explain the difference between "he sounded great" and "he sounded meh." Whatever!