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WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN begins previews TONIGHT!- Page 36

HBP Profile Photo
HBP
Broadway Star
joined:6/2/05
Broadway Star | Joined: 6/2/05
danger: spoilers ahead.

i saw the show tonight (sat, 10/30 evening). i'm going to start off by admitting that my expectations were pretty low, but i was still excited to see this as 'mujeres al borde...' is one of my favorite movies. i am far from an expert - and i have enjoyed many a show that have been torn apart on this board - but as a pretty average theatre-goer, i will say that i had a very good time at 'women on the verge'. though it is a far cry from genius, it really is a creative, fun show and i found myself laughing quite a bit. i really enjoyed most of the performances. i was only annoyed by iván, but i guess that's how we're supposed to feel. i should also add that i found the accents to be pretty terrible. only two - the receptionist's and candela's - sounded anything like a spanish accent.

overall, i was impressed. the sets were, at times, beautiful and they were not super-busy. the projections were far from distracting or ridiculous (a la guys and dolls) but really added to the feel of the show. a while back, someone mentioned that the whole show plays off the vibe of the film's opening credits. i have to agree. and i couldn't stop thinking that.

i actually thought the ending was a bit dull, even though pepa's song was beautiful (but too short!). the bed burning was also cool, the intro (madrid) wasn't bad, and the act one finale/bungee cording was entertaining!

i really disliked the courtroom scene, but patti's song was ok. the real stars were patti/lucía and benanti/candela. their parts were very well written and they did great with them. sherie did her best but they truly did take SO much away from pepa's character. they fleshed out too many ensemble members. i rarely felt for sherie and *SPOILER ALERT* they should not have exposed us to the big reveal so early in the show!! it worked much better in the film, at the airport. not the stupid courtroom.

so, since they will have so much time to rehearse some major changes before opening, i'd recommend the following: cut the accents, cut one of iváns numbers, screw the courtroom altogether and bring back the airport (could look great with the projections) and... uh... write a new song for sherie that makes us feel for her a little more. or at least flesh out her reprise at the end. other than that, it was a very enjoyable night at the theatre - even though the old farts in the balcony were miserable. and loud.

peace.


Updated On: 10/31/10 at 12:56 AM
dramarama3
Stand-by
joined:2/13/09
Stand-by | Joined: 2/13/09
The accents can only be described as 'european'.
Formerly 'dramarama2'
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vodkastinger
Stand-by
joined:8/3/09
Stand-by | Joined: 8/3/09
Oh, I forgot to mentioned:

Bravo to the Shuberts for the Belasco renovation. It looks gorgeous, I was truly blown away.

And...I learned from the Lincoln Center patrons next to me that Sherie also starred in the movie "Women on the Verge" but became famous for that loud musical "Nearly Normal", for which she won the Tony.
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/22/03
Tourists. Everybody knows she got the Emmy for that.
Can you hear me now? Twit: @NamoInExile
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MadonnaMusical
Broadway Star
joined:10/16/10
Broadway Star | Joined: 10/16/10
WOW it sounds like the show is getting better. Those few changes you suggested HBP sound pretty doable. Hope they see them themselves, and change them. How hard is it to get the actors a spanish accent coach or a Spanish accent CD?
HBP Profile Photo
HBP
Broadway Star
joined:6/2/05
Broadway Star | Joined: 6/2/05
well, i actually was being a little sarcastic about the rehearsal time. i don't think any of those changes would be possible unless they pushed back the opening a few days.. though it might not be too much of a push to forget about the accents.
dramarama3
Stand-by
joined:2/13/09
Stand-by | Joined: 2/13/09
I think it's a lost cause either way. The accents are inconsistent and not very authentic/borderline stereotypical. Without them...they're just broadway stars in another broadway show - but for some strange reason...eating gazpacho.

For that reason, I say keep the accents, but just fine-tune them.
Formerly 'dramarama2'
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Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/16/05
The characters in the musical of WOMEN ON THE VERGE apparently exist somewhere near the same land of strange, geographically untraceable accents as the characters in the NIGHT MUSIC revival.
ljay889 Profile Photo
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/4/04
Well Deborah Hecht IS the same dialect coach for both Verge and ALNM.
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/22/03
Proving language is a virus.
Can you hear me now? Twit: @NamoInExile
Roscoe
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/15/03
"Language is a virus from outer space, and hearing your name is better than seeing WOMEON ON THE VERGE."
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
kyle4
Leading Actor
joined:10/9/10
Leading Actor | Joined: 10/9/10
so this thing FINALLY opens on thursday?!!!

lord!
WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO KNOW?!!!!!
tommyboy
Broadway Star
joined:12/21/06
Broadway Star | Joined: 12/21/06
Note to Kyle -- You are a new-bee here. Don't tug on Superman's cape.
kyle4
Leading Actor
joined:10/9/10
Leading Actor | Joined: 10/9/10
have no idea what that means! i will be old and outta here soon enough!!!
WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO KNOW?!!!!!
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aasjb4ever
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/09
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/29/09
jeez good riddance
kyle4
Leading Actor
joined:10/9/10
Leading Actor | Joined: 10/9/10
not gone yet... after opening... then closing!

what does spiderman's cape have to do with anything?

WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO KNOW?!!!!!
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givesmevoice
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/07
Broadway Legend | Joined: 12/2/07
I know the first rule of message boards is not to feed the trolls, but I'll do it anyway. What is the fun in obsessing over a show you don't like? Doesn't it make you happier to obsess over shows you like? Did you learn nothing from watching Monsters, Inc? Laughter is thousands of times more powerful than screams.
When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
kyle4
Leading Actor
joined:10/9/10
Leading Actor | Joined: 10/9/10
never saw monster, inc...

i was VERY excited to see the show, i am a big fan of broadway and of the film... when they announced the cast... i was so excited... then came the justin guarini announcement and i went into denial.... hoping that there was a good reason for that...

then i saw the show... i was SOOOO shocked by how bad and poorly conceived and wrought it was.. that it stunned me and actually mildly depressed me...

i have stayed around because i was shocked by people's NEED to defend. it.. i saw the second preview... but people were defending the production INSTANTLY... they had not even seen it...

i believe in the truth... it is the only thing that can set us free... i also believe that we should stand up ADAMANTLY against lazy displays of art like this...

i feel terribly for this cast... i know they read this.... so i am cool with the slings and arrows... as long as THEY know that someone is AWARE of what they are going through... someone feels it is wrong.... and someone feels bad...

i WANT this over... THEY DO TOO...

thursday marks the beginning of the END of this horrible circumstance!!!

it cannot come soon enough!!!!

WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO KNOW?!!!!!
WestwardHoHo
Chorus Member
joined:8/2/10
Chorus Member | Joined: 8/2/10
Kyle sounds like an idiotic turd.
kyle4
Leading Actor
joined:10/9/10
Leading Actor | Joined: 10/9/10
your id is westward ho ho ....
WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO KNOW?!!!!!
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dshnookie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/15/07
Broadway Legend | Joined: 9/15/07
with all of these pointless posts, you'll be a Broadway Legend in no time, kyle4.
Updated On: 11/3/10 at 12:31 AM
PReeves2 Profile Photo
PReeves2
Leading Actor
joined:3/20/10
Leading Actor | Joined: 3/20/10
i was never really interested in seeing this show but now after reading some of these 'wonderful' reviews i might have to try and see it.
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/4/10
Kyle- We all know you did not like the show. You are entitled to your opinion. That also means other people are not entitled to like it. Your opinion of the show is not the only one!
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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mattywhits
Understudy
joined:5/30/10
Understudy | Joined: 5/30/10
I saw the show twice so far. Once at the infamous "You want a tomato? No? Let's play charades instead." performance, and once this past weekend.

Here's my thing: I'm a 22 year old actor who took a couple of courses specifically catered to the "farce" genre at NYU. While that doesn't make me a critic, a farce specialist, or anything else other than an actor who loves seeing theatre (and doesn't love tearing it apart), I have one major thought about the show that I don't believe anyone else has really touched (if I'm wrong, I'm sorry, and please let me know otherwise):

Why are some of the creators concurring with Almodovar (and most reviews I've read of the original film) that this is a "farce" if it isn't being treated as one? It's a really DIFFICULT, specific form of comedy- it requires a very specific sense of humor and timing- and frankly, I didn't believe that Sherie, Justin, Nikka, or D'Adre had much business being cast in that type of show, because they aren't really RIGHT for it. They are all clearly so talented in their respective ways, but the only people who I felt really upheld the pace and sense of FARCE throughout this (which, based on the film, I felt couldn't really have made as much of a successful film without having had the farcical pace and ideas, because of the many characters and many different purposefully comical situations...sorry for the run-on sentence) were Patti, Laura, and Brian. While I liked Sherie (and personally, for reasons unrelated to anything in this thread so it doesn't matter, I don't usually like), I just felt like she couldn't hold together that sort of story. Justin did a great job with what he had, but just didn't have the energy or enthusiasm to match that level of farce. And Nikka and De'Adre (who I felt were meant to be the "straight" men of the show) just weren't acting in the same style as anyone else- even the "straight" characters in farce have to be in the same style as the more "over-the-top" characters in order to form a cohesive show. While I love the idea of using all of these talented performers in one show, it just wasn't the right show for all of them- and I don't know that there IS a show for all of them to do together, because they are all so DIFFERENT as performers.

If there's anything I've learned from five years of auditioning and working in NY, it's that casting a show really depends on finding a "company". It just didn't seem like anyone was doing the same show here, either time I saw it (even with all the changes in the past couple weeks). Even shows like "Mamma Mia", which I know isn't thought of too highly on these boards, knows that when they recast Donna, they usually have to recast Sophie (which, unfortunately for the Sophies, means that most Sophies' contract lengths are dependent on whichever Broadway star they get to play Donna at the time). With a FARCE, it really requires that the whole cast is on the same page- it's too specific a genre. I imagine it's the same reason most "broad" comedians rarely do dark comedy- they require different things. I just felt like the casting was so scattered to fill the cast with "credits" (de'Adre is usually accompanied in print by the fact she was a Tony nominee, Justin usually accompanied by his AI fame, etc. to match Lupone, etc) that it wasn't about casting a uniform cast.

I know at this point there's nothing to be done about this, but I'd just like to see the script and score as written (which I know are not perfect) receive some proper edits or something in the future (because I think there IS a show here, with THIS creative team even) but they got too hung up on writing roles for Broadway favorites rather than writing for the show and the characters as they were imagined by Almodovar.

I also could be completely wrong and will probably get 500 responses as to why I'm an idiot (many of this board doesn't seem to like anyone whose opinion differs from theirs) but whatever. I love theatre and every time I go see a show, I try to find the best in it and constructively criticize it rather than tear it apart- being rude and catty doesn't do anything to help ANYONE in terms of creating a musical- and I just hope that WOMEN finds a way to make a cohesive production that entertains or provokes or whatever the authors intended, rather than hoping it fulfills my own expectations.
Updated On: 11/3/10 at 03:21 AM
heo1128
Broadway Star
joined:7/9/08
Broadway Star | Joined: 7/9/08
^Great points. I think you're on to something, in that they were focused on finding a cast of names rather than a cohesive company. The only thing that I'll point out, which is still a little perplexing, is that apparently Almodovar had a big hand in the creation of the show from the start and was quite involved in the casting process as well. So (I assume) these characters are how Almodovar imagined them. Clearly something got lost in translation. Honestly, I just think what this show needed was to go out of town.

Updated On: 11/3/10 at 03:33 AM