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WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN begins previews TONIGHT!- Page 5

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givesmevoice
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/07
Broadway Legend | Joined: 12/2/07
^ I always wonder the same thing. What did the actors see in the script or through workshops that's missing on the stage in front of the audience?
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
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TimesSquared
Featured Actor
joined:2/2/10
Featured Actor | Joined: 2/2/10
So sad to read these disappointing first impressions. WhizzerMarvin and Michael Bennett are usually right on the mark IMO.
Sounds like that terrific photo shoot and radio commercial may have been as good as it gets.
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Play Esq.
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/09
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/10/09
Each reader be damned should they take WhizzerMarvin as gospel. To begin, her/his writing isn't exactly the model of thoughtful criticism (nor very interesting writing, but whatever). To be frank I find it unsupported and callow. I will be there tomorrow and address it as it is: a very early preview.





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ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/4/04
Thanks!!!!!!! I knew Alma would probably cover patti.
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americanboy99
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/27/06
I'm glad someone mentioned tone.

That's what this show is missing. The tone is way off. It has its moments. There are a few scenes that- if sharpened and honed- can be gold. The actors have to figure out their timing, and things should be okay.

Laura Benanti walks away with the show. Her song is truly the only memorable song there. Patti's act two wannabe "Rose's Turn" called "Invisible" is the second best in the show, but even that seems so out of place and so not what it COULD and SHOULD have been. A very, very uninteresting score.

The book is so jumbled and messy. Only two real, fleshed out characters on that stage- Candela and Lucia. It shows.

Sherrie Rene Scott- God help her- is left with no real character. She whines the entire first act, makes a big announcement before intermission, whines for the entire second act, has a big "revelation" which begs for a power ballad moment but doesn't get one, then recalls that big act one announcement for a quick second before singing a completely unrelated, out-of-left field finale number. It's a shame. Not to mention, she's never given a song to showcase her range. Not one. Every one of her songs sound the exact same, even "Island" which should, in a moment of very nice stage craft, should have brought down the house. We get more elevator music.

Brian Stokes-Mitchell is given the worst material by far. Both of his songs are laughably bad. I still have no idea what that whole microphone business was all about.

How did Nikka Graff Lanzarone get that part? She's truly awful. So unlikable, so unmemorable. And those sleeves! Good God, those sleeves!

de'Adre Aziza fairs no better in an absolutely thankless role.

Guarini is fine. I had no idea what Peil was even doing on that stage. I wonder if Sher had any idea either.

Burstein gets maybe five or six laughs. He's passable in a horribly written role. The taxi scenes are unbearable awkward and his act two opener is completely unneeded. If he's going to become the narrator in the second, use him in the first as well.

The choreography is laughable. Even if the ensemble had known their steps (tragically obvious mistakes in each number), the dancing is so unnecessary. I want dance that erupts. This was decoration.

This is really just a sad, sad waste of talent.

Shall I give advice?

Cut the accents. Only Benanti makes it work.

Clarify what Patti is doing in that black wig in act one. No one could possibly understand what was going on.

The timing/pace have to be picked up very, very intensely.

Cut one or two of Scott's rambling ballads and give her something a little heftier.

Rewrite the role of Ivan. He has to be somewhat charming. It's crucial. Stokes Mitchell has never sounded better, but why does it matter when he's singing such crappy "tunes"?

Replace Nikka Graff Lanzarone.

Rework all choreography.

Quiet down those damn conveyer belts.

Tone down the projects/ LCD screen. It's terribly distracting and not at all effective.

Steer Patti away from playing a Spanish Mama Rose. I felt it way too much.

Find a character for poor Sherrie Rene Scott. It's the lead and she has NOTHING to work with. Absolutely nothing.

Give Aziza something to do... an actual character would work.

Rework the ending/ finale. Absolutely atrocious.

Cut Pepa's long "let me sit down and explain my past to you while there's crazy madness happening around us" monologue in act 2.


Maybe I should say some good things about the show. I'll give a little round up:
Benanti. LuPone, for the most part. Brian Stokes Mitchell's vocals. "Model Behavior." The costumes. The act 1 finale- "On the Verge."

Oh, I almost forgot! Why is the "On the Verge" melody not used a thematic melody throughout the entire show? Yazbeck has created such a completely uninspired compilation of songs. It's dreary.

God, I had such high hopes.

I feel lucky to have seen some of my favorites of the stage out there tonight. I hope to God this show can get it together. They have an INCREDIBLE amount of work to do. I'll keep the in my prayers.


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ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/4/04
So Patti does wear the blonde wig in act 2?
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americanboy99
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/27/06
Wow, I apologize for all the typos. It's so very late.

Yes, Patti goes back and forth between her blonde and black wigs.
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/4/10
Thank you so much for that detailed review americanboy!
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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WhizzerMarvin
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/26/05
Play Esq- I have never encouraged anyone one this site to take my opinion as gospel (I know you didn't imply that, but just to clarify). I have also never professed to be an English major. My goal in these review threads is simply to share my thoughts. Sorry that you finding what I have to say so uninteresting.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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TimesSquared
Featured Actor
joined:2/2/10
Featured Actor | Joined: 2/2/10
Ignore him, WhizzerMarvin. Personal attacks on this board are such a bore.
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B3TA07
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/28/05
This will certainly be a fun month.
-Benjamin
--http://www.benjaminadgate.com/
heo1128
Broadway Star
joined:7/9/08
Broadway Star | Joined: 7/9/08
Updated On: 9/25/16 at 02:32 AM
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amoni
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/04
Broadway Star | Joined: 5/17/04
"Ignore him, WhizzerMarvin. Personal attacks on this board are such a bore."

Yes, personal attacks should only ever be aimed at actors, directors, producers and crew, of course.
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thetinymagic2
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joined:8/12/07
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jamiekennywicked
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joined:1/25/09
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/25/09
Can someone post a picture of the show curtain and briefly describe Laura Benanti's character please?
''With the number of people I ignore, I'm lucky I work at all in this town'' - Helena Bonham Carter
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ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/4/04
SHOCKINGLY the reception on ATC is more positive than here!! wow.
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/70
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/1/70
Wow...people here are Dou**e bags!!!!!

Tonight was fantastic, if a little...hesitant...for a first preview...I very much admired the score and the performances...specifically, I enjoyed Sherie and Justin WAYYY more than anticipated...

Laura stole it, sure, but she had the best material NOT the best performance...

LuPone was rock solid, as was Stokes Mitchell...

These negative reviews are coming from dork-os who don't know better, but this is a terrific show -

There are SEVERAL kinks to work out...which they will in previews, i'm certain...

The older gal (Peil?), and Danny B's characters need a bit more clarifying, and we need to know WHY LuPone is "narrating" in the beginning, and yet can interact with folks at the end...and WHY is Burnstein "narrating" in act II?

Other than that, I followed it all easily, and don't see why in the world people are calling this a "Disaster"...did they SEE Addam's Family??

xo

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ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/4/04
I'm feeling a bit more optimistic now. This sounds fixable. Sher does a lot work in previews. Songs can be cut and added. We just need to wait and see.
Updated On: 10/9/10 at 05:18 AM
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bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/19/06
For example we find out in an early book scene ***possibly spoiler (for the movie, but not really the musical I guess)*** that Lucia is the mother of Carlos, and he is Ivan's son.

This was in the press release announcing the characters/cast MONTHS ago.
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wickedfan11
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joined:6/17/06
Broadway Star | Joined: 6/17/06
Who sings each song?
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quizking101
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joined:12/25/09
Broadway Legend | Joined: 12/25/09
Did anyone do the stage door? Who comes out?

(YES, I had to be THAT guy)
Check out my eBay page for sales on Playbills!! www.ebay.com/usr/missvirginiahamm
ZiggyCringe
Leading Actor
joined:5/16/05
Leading Actor | Joined: 5/16/05
Yikes!

I had really high hopes for this one, and am seeing it next week.

From reading the the first preview reviews, apparently Benanti is terrific, that is the concensus.

But how is the score? No one talked about that to any degree. I've read that Patti has no part, Sherri is floundering, and that Benanti is terrific. The song list was interesting, but what did you think of it?

How is the score?
Updated On: 10/9/10 at 08:26 AM
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adamgreer
Broadway Legend
joined:3/18/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/18/05
This will certainly be a fun month.

This was my thought as well. I'm not seeing it until the 24th, so hopefully in the next two weeks they'll get things straightened out!
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WhizzerMarvin
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/26/05
bjh- Sorry, I was not aware they said that in the press release. I assume most people in the audience over the course of the run didn't read that press release though. The reason I labeled it a spoiler is because later on in the phone booth scene Lucia throws all that stuff out the window near Pepa. She sees the photo with Ivan and Carlos, on which Ivan has written an inscription saying "To my son." This is the first time Pepa learns he has a son (and in the movie the first time the audience learns). We are able to experience the shock of discovery with Pepa, rather than just watch her learn revealing information we have already been privy to.

I would say most Almodovar films that I've seen have an element of mystery about them. I found the musical to be missing this because they took out any element of surprise with the plot throughout.

I agree with most of americanboy99's comments. I think he is pretty spot on.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
heo1128
Broadway Star
joined:7/9/08
Broadway Star | Joined: 7/9/08
Updated On: 1/22/18 at 09:11 AM