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WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN begins previews TONIGHT!- Page 37

MimiJudith Profile Photo
MimiJudith
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/05
Broadway Star | Joined: 12/7/05
Is there any info on how the creative team feels about the show's negative buzz? Will they still be opening this week? It's just so quiet about it now -- even Michael Riedel hasn't, as far as I've seen, said anything about this (except when it postponed previews, I think).
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MimiJudith
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/05
Broadway Star | Joined: 12/7/05
Wait, I just realized...isn't this opening tomorrow night??? Oh boy.
givesmevoice Profile Photo
givesmevoice
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/07
Broadway Legend | Joined: 12/2/07
^ I was just going to say that it's a bit late to postpone opening night now.
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
Roscoe
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/15/03
They can't have terribly high expectations at this stage.
"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/
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Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/16/05
There is not a real vested interest from Michael Riedel on this because its a limited run, subscription based Lincoln Center production. Riedel's glee really is in the back and forth banter with the producers of commercial Broadway productions where the stakes are much, much higher.

Regardless of what negative things critics might say, WOMEN ON THE VERGE will play out its run. It may then disappear into the lexicon of other never to be heard from again Lincoln Center musicals like MARIE CHRISTINE and THOUGH SHALT NOT, but from a gossip column stand-point, outside of the talent involved, its not really a fun project to dig your nails into.
matty159 Profile Photo
matty159
Broadway Legend
joined:3/30/07
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/30/07
I finally made it to the show on Saturday night. And...well...everyone has pretty much been spot on in their assessments. I am going to refrain from going on about it other than to say it is just one big missed and misguided opportunity. A shame, really.

And...although I may be taking the statement out of context, I was standing by Bart Sher by the stage door after the show and he was telling a friend "Well, it was better than what it was." He seemed most vexed and beaten down when I saw him then AND as we were entering the theater. Again, he may have been referring to something else, but my hunch is that he was not.
ljay889 Profile Photo
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/4/04
everyone has pretty much been spot on in their assessments. I am going to refrain from going on about it other than to say it is just one big missed and misguided opportunity

Well that has not been everyone's assessment. sooo....
Bettyboy72 Profile Photo
Bettyboy72
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/31/06
I think the majority have been negative and "it's ok" which I think Matty was agreeing with.

I agree with the idea that WOMEN is a misguided farce. Pedro's film is a kinetic and frenetic enjoyable comedy. The show just keeps stopping and starting and stopping and starting. They never seemed to nail the seamlessness or the frantic pacing necessary to propel the piece.

It keeps grinding to a halt over and over. The overlapping never seemed to work well.
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
matty159 Profile Photo
matty159
Broadway Legend
joined:3/30/07
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/30/07
Sorry for overgeneralizing, ljay. I was going with the overwhelming sense of negative and "meh".

I really wanted to like it and for it to be vastly different than what people on this board had said about it. The movie has a special place in my heart and it was disappointing to see it so broken. I enjoyed several of the performances a lot...especially Ms. Benanti and Mr. Guarini. Further, I actually liked the set. What was missing for me was mainly in the music. It was disjoined, not memorable, and blah. I don't think I could hum a bar of it now if I tried.

In the words of Miz Michael Kors..."I'm underwhelmed."
Bettyboy72 Profile Photo
Bettyboy72
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/31/06
It stinks that the most entertaining song in the show, "Model Behavior" could never be sung out of context of the musical. It wouldn't make sense. That's a huge problem for anyone trying to market the show on television. It would be near impossible for Benanti to perform that song on a talk show and the rest of the music is a snooze fest other than the "Madrid" number which is the exact opposite-would play well on TV, but makes no sense in the context of the show.
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
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dshnookie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/15/07
Broadway Legend | Joined: 9/15/07
I'm finally seeing the show this Saturday evening - I told myself I'd wait after opening to see the finished product.

Despite the reviews here, it's still my most anticipated show to see this fall. I'm still debating my 2pm show - perhaps BBAJ (since I fear for its shelf life).
kyle4
Leading Actor
joined:10/9/10
Leading Actor | Joined: 10/9/10
mattywhits you seem very nice.
WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO KNOW?!!!!!
Joey. Profile Photo
Joey.
Stand-by
joined:10/23/10
Stand-by | Joined: 10/23/10
Dear Kyle,

Please stop making me hate looking at Joe Dallesandro's beautiful face.

Best,
Joey
MimiJudith Profile Photo
MimiJudith
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/05
Broadway Star | Joined: 12/7/05
I admit I didn't know who Joe Dallesandro was but I was intrigued by Kyle's avatar. Then I looked up Joe Dallesandro on Wikipedia and saw how he looks now. Whoa.
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/3/10
Alas, poor Joey D - the very definition of the ruthlessness of time...
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Sleeper2
Leading Actor
joined:2/8/06
Leading Actor | Joined: 2/8/06
To the folks who have seen WOMEN in the past few days --

does the set now finally "work" or is it still experience technical difficulties and hanging up the flow of the show?
kyle4
Leading Actor
joined:10/9/10
Leading Actor | Joined: 10/9/10
dear joey

i can't make you do anything! your feelings are yours to choose and experience!

love

kyle

WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO KNOW?!!!!!
beautywickedlover
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/07
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/28/07
After seeing the footgae from the show and reading what people have to say it looks like the musical will turn out to be like the 2010 film "Valentine's Day." That film had nearly every A-list film actor you you could think of, but critics panned it. This musical has almost every A-list Broadway actor you could think of, but it looks like critics won't like it.


dave1606
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/07
Broadway Star | Joined: 12/8/07
Saw the show again tonight (Final Preview), and don't know if this has been discussed, but there were changes again. Shoes from Heaven was out again.

This is the current (and final?) list of songs:
Act 1
Madrid
Lie to Me
Lovesick
Time Stood Still
My Crazy Heart
Model Behavior
Island
Microphone
On the Verge

Mothers Day
Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Today
Tangled
Invisible
Island (reprise)
Marisa/The Chase
Talk to Me


I will post more thoughts tomorrow after I have had some sleep, but my instant reaction is that this HAS improved, but not enough to really save it.

ljay889 Profile Photo
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/4/04
I was also there tonight for my third time.
I'm not sure "Shoes From Heaven" ever really returned. Maybe people assumed "Talk to Me" was it. Ivan's "Lie to Me" reprise also made its way back in, though it isn't listed in the playbill.
Lots of changes since the last time I saw the show. I think there were major improvements, including changes to the book. I really don't get how any could think this is a disaster. But we all have opinions, and I really like the show! And I'm not afraid to say it.
I brought two friends tonight and both enjoyed it a great deal. One friend loved it so much they want to go back as soon as next week.
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CockeyedOptimist2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/10/10
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/10/10
I'm seeing it Friday and I'm excited. Thanks for the positive thoughts, ljay. It's nice to see that it's a show that some people enjoy!
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theatreguy
Broadway Legend
joined:7/31/03
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/31/03
I was there tonight as well (for the first time). Overall I found it enjoyable. The jokes were funny, the songs were tuneful, etc. but I was disappointed because I think it could've been so much better. These are some thoughts I had while watching the show:

- Madrid is a fun opening and sets up Danny Burstein as the Taxi Driver to be our guide for the evening. But the only other time he acts as a narrator is a third of the way through act two. I don't think he needs to introduce every scene, but having him pop up every now and then (maybe singing a bit of Madrid?) during transitions or something could help keep the show moving along.

- Related to the above, Almodovar mentions in the Lincoln Center Review that "the theory propounded by the script is that life is a celebration. There's just one problem: men abandon and cheat on women." It would be great if that idea could be incorporated into Madrid, and that could be a good way to introduce all the leading characters before we meet them within the actual story.

- Why do Pepa's neighbor and the motorcycle guy sing in My Crayz Heart? Let Carlos and Marisa (the characters we actually know and need to care about) sing it alone, and if you want more voices just add the whole ensemble.

- Why are there two men dressed as women in The Microphone? I couldn't tell if it was intentional and supposed to be funny (in which case Carlos and Ivan need to have bigger reactions to them) or if they just ran out of chorus girls.

- Why is Lucia apparently a ghost haunting Pepa's penthouse? I would have her in her own spot singing to herself OR have the Taxi Driver sing the "welcome to the verge" section as part of his narrator/guide/whatever duties. Then, once we move into fantasy-land of having the ladies on wires, add a verse to get Lucia onstage.

- We need more of a build-up to the end of the act. Just a key change and then another chorus or so of "On the Verge" with the women up in the air would help build it more. And the button needs to be bigger/louder. It doesn't sounds like the end of the act.

- My main thing with the second act is that it needs to MOVE. It starts out well with the first scene and Pepa's song Mother's Day is fine, but after that it needs to be non-stop until the end.

- Yesterday, Tomorrow and Today should be cut. We learn nothing new about Ivan here and we don't need to because it's not his story - it's Pepa's. Let him sing a little bit of The Microphone to seduce Paulina and then get on with it.

- The courtroom scene needs to be cut WAY down. This was the main section where it felt like the audience was getting restless. Lucia's speech should be much shorter - the magistrate should interrupt her once, MAYBE twice but we need to get to the verdict ASAP. Also, Invisible should be cut. I thought it was a gorgeous song, LuPone sounded fantastic, it's an appropriate song for that character at that moment, but it slows things down too much. Again, it's not Lucia's story - it's Pepa's. Let her sing a short reprise of Time Stood Still, maybe incorporating some of the lyrical ideas from Invisible, but keep it an up-tempo and keep it MOVING.

- The reprise of Island sounds wonderful; Scott, Guarini and Benanti's voices blend beautifully but, again, it slows things down when we need to be going full speed ahead. Again, keep the same idea but make it an up-tempo. Even if Benanti and Guarini sang something upbeat (it would be great if he had more musical material - he sounds great and is very charming) while Scott sings Island in counterpoint.

- The little "dream ballet" with Marisa needs to go. This was the other section where you could feel the audience go "there's MORE?" Of course, it's a pretty short bit before the chase section starts, but that's no really what you want your audience to be feeling. She should answer the door, talk with the repairman about this being a dream, have him quickly seduce here and then roll them off the stage so we can get back to Pepa.

- I thought the end of the show was perfect. I loved that after all the madness of the last two hours we end quietly and back with Pepa. Unfortunately, this moment is undermined by the fact that too many of the songs preceding it have been ballads as well. I think more craziness earlier will give them a much bigger (albeit quiet) pay-off later.

I know lots of these things just wouldn't ever happen (who would want to tell Patti LuPone that her big song was being cut?), but I think there's definitely a workable show here. It just needs to be constantly moving and, especially, needs to always be coming back to Pepa.
kyle4
Leading Actor
joined:10/9/10
Leading Actor | Joined: 10/9/10
its a work in progress!
WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO KNOW?!!!!!
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adamgreer
Broadway Legend
joined:3/18/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/18/05
Kyle4, will you be keeping your promise and leaving tonight, after all of the reviews are in?

Today is your last day on the boards!!!
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MimiJudith
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/05
Broadway Star | Joined: 12/7/05
theatreguy, I really enjoyed your review of this show. Your suggestions are really terrific. I think you're hired!

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