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OCTET at Signature Theatre

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ColorTheHours048
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/4/08
OCTET at Signature Theatre#51
Posted: 5/5/19 at 5:39pm

Sauja said: "Annoying seating question—apologies. I’m claustrophobic and always need to know how close the nearest exits are. Since the Linney is flexible, I never quite know what to expect. Are there aisle seats that would allow a hasty, undisruptive exit (possibly through the mezzanine level if the stairs are open all the way to the top as they sometimes are? I have almost never had to leave a show, but it calms me immensely if I know it’s merely possible. Thanks!"

If you sit in the mezzanine, you’ll have no trouble exiting if needed. If you sit downstairs, you’ll enter through the door on stage that is closed off during the show, but there are two exit aisles to the left and right of the center seating section with exit doors at the back of the audience.

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Sauja
Broadway Legend
joined:1/7/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/7/07
OCTET at Signature Theatre#52
Posted: 5/5/19 at 6:06pm
Thanks so much, Color the Hours!!
Ledaero
Stand-by
joined:11/20/14
Stand-by
joined:
11/20/14
OCTET at Signature Theatre#53
Posted: 5/5/19 at 9:03pm

ColorTheHours048 said: "I was there last night. I really wish I had enjoyed it more, but I mostly found the subject and repeating of said subject ad nauseam irritating and more than a little condescending. It tries to absolve itself from calling people stupid for engaging with the internet for 2 hours by writing a sweet little song about the hope of truly connecting with people online right at the end, but it felt too late.

I think it's unfair and incorrect to say that the show is calling people stupid for using the internet. The main thesis of the piece is to explore the idea that technology has recently advanced so rapidly that humans have been unable to keep up with it, and because of that we now suffer from an addiction and lack of knowledge of how to use the internet to its best purpose. Yes, it advocates for people getting off of the web, but it comes from a place of "I too am addicted and let's talk about this problem we all have." I think of a lyric near the end of the show that is something like "This ugly thing let's me sing so beautiful" and I think that really captures the core paradox that Dave Malloy is trying to explore.

I saw the show yesterday and absolutely loved it. As someone else on here said, it's the best original musical all year, and one of the most fascinating pieces I've ever seen. I'm a huge fan of Dave's work, and his genius only seems to become more apparent with every piece he writes. 

For those on the fence about seeing it, know a few things. The structure is nothing like Dave's other work. If anything it's very similar in structure to A Chorus Line, a now-standard book structure looking at each character one by one with small scenes between each character. Of course his music is crazy and experimental, but on the foundation it's a very straight forward structure.

The music is by no means "a cappella" in the way that a lot of people are thinking. Please don't disregard it for that reason. It's not Pitch Perfect or In Transit, it's fully flushed out chamber pieces that are so grand you don't even notice there aren't instruments. Dave wrote a lot of the voicing based off of world styles where voices imitate instruments, so it feels very full and rich. And there even are some "instruments" in it too! Every song is a totally different style and it always feels fresh from beginning to end.

Dave's music is hypnotizing and jaw-dropping in this show. His harmonic structures are unheard of and listening to the extremely talented actor/singers perform it is a marvel. Everyone and everything in this production is at the highest caliber, and the messages and ideas that Dave is exploring are crucial to the future of, frankly, mankind in our relation to something as impossibly large and overwhelming as the internet.

With that said, it's not a perfect show by any means. Dave wrote this thing over the past 6 months or so without any previous drafts or ideas, so it's still in an incubator of sorts. Talking to him and the cast, they are and will be making large changes throughout all of previews to shape it into its best form. 

I'll be back to see it again once it's locked after previews, and I encourage any and all to take the chance and catch this piece. It's unlike anything out there today and has serious value both to the canon of musical theatre and to cultural discussions today.

Updated On: 5/5/19 at 09:03 PM
schubox
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/16
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/16/16
OCTET at Signature Theatre#54
Posted: 5/5/19 at 9:22pm
I just got out of this and I loved it. Agree that it went a bit off the rails with Little God (a guy walked out in the middle of it), but I thought it was incredible. Loved the music.

Also apparently is was Malloy alumni night. Dave was at the end of my row taking notes, and Phillips Soo, Amber Gray, and Or Matias were all on the audience.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
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joined:
6/5/09
OCTET at Signature Theatre#55
Posted: 5/6/19 at 12:35am

 "it's fully flushed out chamber pieces that are so grand you don't even notice there aren't instruments."

 

From the comments that preceded yours, it's evident that people did indeed notice, myself among them.

 

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ColorTheHours048
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/08
Broadway Legend
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4/4/08
OCTET at Signature Theatre#56
Posted: 5/6/19 at 8:48am
I don’t think it’s unfair or incorrect to say the musical spends too much time calling us stupid for engaging with the internet. There are multiple occasions where we’re called stupid, idiots, dumb, morons, etc. I’m glad it didn’t rub you the wrong way, but it did me and my husband so clearly it bugs some people.
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DuoSonic
Chorus Member
joined:3/16/19
Chorus Member
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OCTET at Signature Theatre#57
Posted: 5/9/19 at 11:00am

A trailer for the show with some music:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxNnLvcB5OH/

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ALittleFallofRain
Swing
joined:1/30/17
Swing
joined:
1/30/17
OCTET at Signature Theatre#58
Posted: 5/9/19 at 12:24pm

Thanks for the thoughtful response, Ledaero! You got me even more excited to see it. :) I've been following Annie Tippe's work for a while now and love it. I wasn't the BIGGEST Great Comet fan, but I'm fascinated by the themes Malloy is exploring and can't wait to dig in more.

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Mike Barrett
Broadway Legend
joined:4/13/13
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4/13/13
OCTET at Signature Theatre#59
Posted: 5/9/19 at 1:16pm

Anyone know if this has any sort of chance of transferring? Having this on broadway next season with all the jukebox musicals would certainly be refreshing. 

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Mike Barrett
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joined:4/13/13
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OCTET at Signature Theatre#60
Posted: 5/9/19 at 1:16pm

Anyone know if this has any sort of chance of transferring? Having this on broadway next season with all the jukebox musicals would certainly be refreshing. 

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DuoSonic
Chorus Member
joined:3/16/19
Chorus Member
joined:
3/16/19
OCTET at Signature Theatre#61
Posted: 5/9/19 at 2:28pm

Dave already has another show lined up for Dec-Jan (http://www.playbill.com/article/dave-malloy-and-rachel-chavkins-moby-dick-musical-six-more-set-for-american-repertory-theaters-20192020-season), and he also has two more shows to do at the Signature in the next 5 years (the Residency 5 is three shows in five years) so I'm wondering if he'd even have the time to develop something for Broadway soon.

Ledaero
Stand-by
joined:11/20/14
Stand-by
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OCTET at Signature Theatre#62
Posted: 5/9/19 at 4:38pm

Mike Barrett said: "Anyone know if this has any sort of chance of transferring? Having this on broadway next season with all the jukebox musicals would certainly be refreshing."

There is a 0% chance of this show transferring to Broadway. Dave Malloy was never aimed for Broadway and his pieces have never been suited for it. It was a miracle that Great Comet made it as commercial as it did. But after Comet’s fallout, Dave has expressed bluntly that he plans to never have a show on Broadway again, stemming from his anti-commerce views and need for extreme artistic liberties. One can hope that Octet may have more runs at other off-broadway or regional houses, but like most theater this will probably be the only production outside of future licensed runs. Fingers crossed for a cast album!

schubox
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/16
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joined:
5/16/16
OCTET at Signature Theatre#63
Posted: 5/9/19 at 7:01pm
Yeah, even without Dave’s views, Octet just wouldn’t work on a broadway stage. I really do hope there is a cast recording though. This run extended and seems to be pretty much sold out. So here’s hoping
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AndreyIsntHere
Swing
joined:1/3/18
Swing
joined:
1/3/18
OCTET at Signature Theatre#64
Posted: 5/9/19 at 7:34pm

I just saw the May 4th matinee and loved every second. Of course, I went in EXTREMELY biased - Dave Malloy is my favorite composer, I am very starved of acapella musicals, and internet addiction is a topic that interests me. I also loved most of the cast already, the only exception being the ones that I wasn't familiar with.

That being said, it isn't for everyone. If you aren't into Dave Malloy's whole ~experimentally weird genre~ it may not be your thing (although it is less experimentally weird than, say, COMET or GHOST QUARTET or BEOWULF). On a similar note, if the subject matter and/or acapella style isn't your thing, this may not be your first priority.

But overall, I do encourage people to try and see it. Tickets are pretty cheap right now, and even once they increase from $35 to $65 that's still affordable to some degree for most people. 
It's a small theatre so there's no such thing as a seat that's too far away. I sat in the first row (across from Dave himself, oddly enough) but I feel as if I would've been just as satisfied anywhere else.
The cast is extremely talented in both singing and in acting, and the plot does very much keep you engaged. If you're worried about the message it may send out, there's very little of a "the internet is bad and you should feel bad" agenda going on. Only a few moments made me want to roll my eyes, and they were all heavily overpowered by all of the great things that went down.

I know some people are also concerned about the running time, but two hours with no intermission wasn't too bad for me. The show didn't ever really drag on in my opinion, and I was actually pretty surprised when it ended, and I wanted more. The show isn't really sung-through by any means, but the scenes flow back-to-back with the songs so well that it almost felt sung-through if that makes sense? 

wolfwriter
Featured Actor
joined:3/16/15
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3/16/15
OCTET at Signature Theatre#65
Posted: 5/12/19 at 12:04am

Dave Malloy is a genius.

If you can score a ticket to Octet, do yourself a favor, turn off your cell phone and go.

I've seen almost all of them and this is the best musical of the year.

How anyone can sit down and write an acapella musical about technology and internet addiction and make it thoughtful, interesting, profound and wildly entertaining, is beyond me.

I think it may be best to go into this as cold as possible. Don't let the acapella deter you. You really don't notice there aren't instruments.

The cast is wonderfully talented. Somebody write Margo Seibert a musical, please.

The subject matter is timely, relevant and thought-provoking. 

I admit, I was totally with it until the first half of Little God , where I got a bit lost......then, it hit me.

Every story and song up to and following that point were about the people on the 'user' end of technology. Through the character of Marvin, the scientist, however, we have the 'creator' of the technology. The song/story could be shortened and made a little less convoluted, but I think it was a clever idea to include this point of view.

I loved every minute of this and the time flies. If I can get a ticket, I'd love to go back.

 

Updated On: 5/12/19 at 12:04 AM
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blaxx
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/28/05
OCTET at Signature Theatre#66
Posted: 5/12/19 at 1:37am

Synecdoche2 said: "After Eight said: "Willed wrote:

"Of the three reports, the only one who didn’t love it was After Eight, who hasn’t had a good word to say about theatre in 30 years."



Just this past week, I had a very good time at the play Caroline's Kitchen, at 59E59.

Good theatre receives my praise and gratitude.

Bad theatre deserves neither.
"

Speaking as a reader of your comments,I would really like hearing more from you on this board about the work you enjoy, as from experience you tend to comment on the work you don't like then only bring up the work you like as a rebuttal to accusations that you don't enjoy theatre. You certainly have more theatergoing experience than most on this board and I think I among others would take recommendations from you very seriously.
"

 

There's a big difference between disliking something and spreading poison and hate all over it.

Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
LightsOut90
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/2/14
OCTET at Signature Theatre#67
Posted: 5/12/19 at 1:42am

if they can just figure out little god I think this easily gets short listed for next years Pulitzer, it is phenominal and the arrangements are just so absurd and a real feat.

and the show is running closer to an hour 40 now (we got out about 9:50 this evening)

hoping for a cast recording. 

After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
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6/5/09
OCTET at Signature Theatre#68
Posted: 5/12/19 at 7:54am

"You really don't notice there aren't instruments (okay, After Eight noticed, but the rest of you won't)."

 

I don't know how you can make such a claim, when people other than myself also noticed, and said as much here. Did you not read their posts?

After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
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OCTET at Signature Theatre#69
Posted: 5/12/19 at 7:57am

"if they can just figure out little god I think this easily gets short listed for next years Pulitzer,"

 

Why would that not surprise me in the least?

wolfwriter
Featured Actor
joined:3/16/15
Featured Actor
joined:
3/16/15
OCTET at Signature Theatre#70
Posted: 5/12/19 at 8:46am

After Eight said: ""You really don't notice there aren't instruments (okay, After Eight noticed, but the rest of you won't)."



I don't know how you can make such a claim, when people other thanmyself also noticed,and said as much here. Did you not read their posts?
"

It was intended as a good-natured jab since you tend to receive such vitriol on this board. I shouldn't have mentioned you, at all.

Ledaero
Stand-by
joined:11/20/14
Stand-by
joined:
11/20/14
OCTET at Signature Theatre#71
Posted: 5/12/19 at 11:43am

LightsOut90 said: "if they can just figure out little god I think this easily gets short listed for next years Pulitzer, it is phenominal and the arrangements are just so absurd and a real feat."

In contrast to others on this forum, Little God was easily my favorite number in the show. I don't think it's so much that the number is complicated, but rather it's so absurd that it's hard to think of it as a reality of something an audience would be expecting to think about. Which is also the entire point of the song/monologue. I was invigorated by Little God beginning to end and my brain melted away. I get that it could be trimmed down since it's a pretty long section, but it didn't feel too long at all and, like the rest of the show, I only wanted more and never wanted less.

 

Updated On: 5/12/19 at 11:43 AM
Ledaero
Stand-by
joined:11/20/14
Stand-by
joined:
11/20/14
OCTET at Signature Theatre#72
Posted: 5/16/19 at 3:56pm

Just saw Octet again yesterday. They’ve made a few changes since I saw it two weeks ago. Mostly just some simple lyric cuts and small line changes, but they’ve added a nice element of lighting design that helps the narrative a bit. Really, this is one of the best pieces out there right now. I hope everyone gets the chance to see this and takes the risk of checking out Dave Malloy’s work.

After Eight
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joined:6/5/09
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OCTET at Signature Theatre#73
Posted: 5/16/19 at 9:25pm

Ledaero wrote: "Really, this is one of the best pieces out there right now. I hope everyone gets the chance to see this and takes the risk of checking out Dave Malloy’s work."

 

If it's as wonderful as you say, what "risk" would there be in checking it out?

VanillaIceCream2
Understudy
joined:4/6/14
Understudy
joined:
4/6/14
OCTET at Signature Theatre#74
Posted: 5/17/19 at 8:14am
Anyone try the standby line lately?
Ledaero
Stand-by
joined:11/20/14
Stand-by
joined:
11/20/14
OCTET at Signature Theatre#75
Posted: 5/17/19 at 11:12am

If it's as wonderful as you say, what "risk" would there be in checking it out?"

It becomes a risk when others on this chat forum, like yourself, have expressed distaste in the piece. If you look back at the beginning of the thread, a lot of people were thinking about skipping it because it's "a cappella," or that they have mixed feelings about Dave's work because it's very atypical. All I mean is I hope people overcome any hesitations they may have to give the piece a chance.




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