Summer Roadtrips for Theater

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Broadway Star
Broadway Star
Summer Roadtrips for Theater#1
Posted: 7/19/14 at 9:03am
I just returned from a few days in the Connecticut country and had a wonderful time.

Leslie Uggams was great as Mama Rose in Gypsy at the Connecticut Repertory Theater. Her voice was in strong shape and I found her to be a good fit for the material. I was afraid she'd be too nice in the role but she accomplished setting off my nerves with that relentless pushing that Rose needs to be believable. Her Rose's Turn was not as diabolical as Patti's but was still neurotic enough to please me.

Other standouts in the production were Amandina Altomare as Louise and Luke Hamilton as Tulsa.

I am so glad I went to see this because it's such a good show and the area is gorgeous. A side note: I sat front row on the aisle and 3 minutes before the show started 4 kids came in between the ages of about 9 -15 and sat to my left. Not a single peep, text or tuna sandwich out of any of them! At intermission their parents came to check on them. They seemed to be enjoying the show. When I was leaving the theater, the father who was waiting in the lobby for them, touched my arm and asked "Were my children well behaved? I hope they didn't disturb you?" Needless to say I was astounded by this gents courteousness for asking and for being a good, watchful parent. I assured him that his children were lovely and well behaved and thanked him for checking. I left pleased that I had an interchange with a well-mannered family.

The next day I went to the wonderfully intimate production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Goodspeed Opera House. I can't say enough about how wonderful Adam Heller is in the role of Teyve. He has such a well balanced likable approach that I found completely charming and endearing. Such a strong show in terms of story, music and lyrics. The choreography is such an added treat and executed flawlessly. And that number where the dancers balance the bottles on their heads? Insane. Big hoots. The entire cast is brilliant and so well directed by Rob Ruggiero.

Gypsy closes tomorrow so not much time left. Fiddler runs until September 12th. I heartily recommend both.

Anybody else see these? What did you think?

Have you taken any country roadtrips to theater this summer?
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Summer Roadtrips for Theater#2
Posted: 7/19/14 at 9:49am
Not much of a road trip, just over the bridge for me, but Bucks County Playhouse to see the current production of Vanya, Sonia, Masha, and Spike could be worthwhile -- if not to see Marilu Henner's take on Masha, then to see playwright Christopher Durang playing Vanya himself.
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Featured Actor
Featured Actor
Summer Roadtrips for Theater#2
Posted: 7/19/14 at 10:24am
I just started my summer holidays and am on a roadtrip from Vancouver down to Oregon for Ashland's famous Shakespeare festival. I'll be seeing their productions of Into the Woods and a Harlem Renaissance set Comedy of Errors; as well as a dinner theatre production of Ain't Misbehaving in town. I decided against seeing their premiere of the sequel to All The Way and its performances are all sold out. There seem to still be lots of seats for the matinees of the new musical by Stew titled Family Album, but I'd rather spend my days sightseeing. I am seeing Ain't Misbehaving because the production of the Marx Brother's Cocoanuts has been sold out since April and the only other thing playing that night is Richard III which I don't want to see.

Anyways, last night I stopped in Everett, Washington which is about 2 hours from the border and an hour north of Seattle to see Village Theatre's production of Funny Girl, which I decided to add to my trip after reading a rave review on "the other site." I saw a live production of this 8 or 9 years ago in Vancouver of which all I remember is thinking they made the right changes when they made the film. All of Village Theatre's cast is great and all the numbers pop, even the ones between the mother and Fanny's dancer friend which were all cut for the film. Their Fanny, Sarah Rose Davis, has a PHENOMINAL (yes caps worthy!) voice, though early on I felt like I was seeing too much of a Streisand impersonation in book scenes, perhaps because she lays on a thick, fake New Yoiker accent. But her comedic talents were as spectacular as her voice; in the gloriously staged wedding scene with Las Vegas calibre showgirls in just spectacular costumes she brought the house down as she teetered down the stairs careening into groomsmen. The Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat number was almost its equal with showgirls turned into sexy human bi-planes. Fanny carries the whole show and needs to be funny as well as heartbreaking - I felt like Sarah Rose Davis had the voice and the funny, but maybe did't sell the heartbreak. But, I don't know if I would have enjoyed this as much with someone who could sing and do the drama but couldn't sell the slapstick elements. A really great night and a great start to my trip.

Today I drive down to Portland and am seeing the 2nd National touring company of Book of Mormon - even though I told myself last year that seeing that show once was enough! :p