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Manhattan Concert Productions to do "Scarlet Pimpernell" next year! - Page 7

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bwayphreak234
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#151
Posted: 2/18/19 at 11:25pm

Wow. This was a really special night. Top notch performances all around. Laura Osnes was an absolute dream in every sense of the word. Tony Yazbek killed it both vocally and with the humor. Norm Lewis was fantastic. The orchestra and choir sounded fantastic. I did miss “Vivez” and “Only Love”, but I wasn’t really expecting them to make the cut. I really don’t have much else to say other than BRAVO to all involved! 

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Updated On: 2/19/19 at 11:25 PM
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Wick3
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#152
Posted: 2/18/19 at 11:57pm

This is the first production of Scarlet Pimpernel I have ever seen but I still remember back in middle school in the late 90s listening to the Scarlet Pimpernel CD. I totally mouthed (no sound though) the words to "Into the Fire", "When I look at You", & "Where's the Girl". hehe

First, off I really enjoyed Tony Yazbeck's performance as Percy! Not bland at all and totally owned the role. I'm really glad he was able to pull it off! :)

Secondly, I would have loved to hear Laura Osnes sing "Only Love" but alas not meant to be.  Laura beautifully sang her solos though. Love her!

I'm really glad I bought a ticket to see this one night only production. Ok am off to bed.

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bwaylyric
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#153
Posted: 2/19/19 at 12:08am

My biggest problem with the concert was the sound design. It reminded me of Rent Live with the orchestra drowning out the singers. Tony sounded muffled in the first act. They seemed to have fixed the issue in act two but it still wasn’t perfect. 

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Scarlet Leigh
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#154
Posted: 2/19/19 at 12:28am
I will have much more to gush over when I reach home with my full keyboard but what a great night. Osnes was astounding. Is there anything she can't sing? They threw in a hilarious bit to show off Yazbeck's dancing. Tap shoes vs. Sword, so great. The song added, "Caught in the Middle" really was just a glorified Riddle reprise with some changed lyrics. I really missed her having a real solo number in action two but more on my full feeling after I am done traveling home.
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#155
Posted: 2/19/19 at 12:51am
Sometimes the sound got muddy, but I had such a great time. I was in the third tier, for what it's worth.

I'd forgotten what silly fun it was, along with a call to arms to do what's right (you could call it timely... or timeless). I hadn't seen the show in at least 10 years and never kept up with the changes in each version. Anything significant felt seamless to me.

It was a little weird that they seemed to only rent costumes for Percy, but oh well. I LOVED that Tony Yazbeck got to dance and that part of his talent wasn't wasted. The dance break in the swordfight was hilarious.
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JayElle
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#156
Posted: 2/19/19 at 12:53am

Thank you Bwaylyric. I had the same problem with acoustics and orchestra drowning out the singers. They almost echoed with no vocal clarity except for slow songs. Even dialogue sounded awful. I thought theater was too large for these vocals. I was disappointed. 

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Scarlet Leigh
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#157
Posted: 2/19/19 at 1:26am
I was in the second tier and really didn't have any issues with the sound other than they didn't turn some mics on fast enough of turned them off too soon. Caused a few lines to be repeated.
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CATSNYrevival
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#158
Posted: 2/19/19 at 2:04am
How was the new finale? Did they use the full Entr’acte for the concert or the shortened version?
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#159
Posted: 2/19/19 at 2:39am

CATSNYrevival said: "How was the new finale? Did they use the full Entr’acte for the concert or the shortened version?"

The new finale was fine. Nothing super amazing but nothing that was super offensive either. It took a bit more time with Marguerite and Percy to kind of reconcile with one another and their relationship that lacked in other finales used in the past. But I can't say I left with any real impression of it lingering behind in my mind. It still finished on an reprise of Into the Fire on the bows so that's the last impression at the end. And it was the shortened Entr'acte. And as mentioned before, the "new" song for Marguerite in act to, "Caught in the Middle," really is just a solo version of the chorus of "The Riddle" where she thinks about what she is going to do, give up the Pimpernel or not really. It's not a good replacement for EITHER of her songs that previously resided in Act 2.

This really was a fantastic night. And the audience was loving it. A few songs got long lingering applause. "Into the Fire," "When I Look at You," "Creation of Man," and "She Was There" all held. I admit I didn't expect to be wowed by Yazbeck but really color me surprised. His vocals didn't start off strong, a few notes in "Prayer" were lowered (yet then strangely the last long note was taken up) but after he warmed up he was killing it. "She Was There" was amazing. He held his own with the comedy as well. And the added tap dancing was so great. Oh so perfect. I thought they they added a bit of dancing to "Creation of Man" that that would be the nod to his dancing for the night but then the duel happened and..... if the girl in Box 10 that I saw whip out her phone at that point is around her, share with the world please cus a tap dance off between Tony Yazbeck and Norm Lewis needs to be seen by the world.

Laura Osnes was just dazzling. She was the deciding factor to buy a ticket for me when the casting was announced and she was worth my ticket price alone. Her voice soared and gave such emotion to this score. Ugh... why does she not have a Tony yet. Can someone give her a role that will get her back on Broadway and to that Tony already?

Drew was a surprise standout in the secondary roles. A total scene stealer in every one of his roles. I loved how he played the prince just as foppish as Percy and his men were acting.

Unpopular opinion here I am sure but personally I found Norm Lewis sing perfect buuuuut almost to perfect. There is a difference between singing something technically perfect as it's written on the page and singing it with perfect and believable emotion. I understand he was not as rehearsed as the rest of the company was being he only arrived a few days ago post his Music Man run, but he was just far to attached to his script and was by the book. Also, zero chemistry with Osnes which made believing that 'yeah maybe she could still be into her ex and turn back to him cus her husband is a dick to her' impossible.

Hearing "Believe" back in the show was great. Especially since it always creeped me out that they turned the sibling song into the lovers song in the revised versions. To have them separate once more was needed. 

And the last thing was more a personal preference I finally figured out for myself. And that's what song I think works best in the second act. Seeing "You are my Home" returned to it's original home..... made me wish that I was hearing "I'll Forget You" instead. I LOVE "You Are My Home" as a song, do NOT get me wrong, but having the sort of snippet in act 1 of it like a preview of what was to come took away from the song when it did arrive and also I find that without "Only Love" the second act severely lacks a moment for Marguerite to reflect on her relationship with her husband. I missed that moment of her thinking of him as she awaits her death. I don't know if there will ever be a perfect way to make act 2 work because all three of the songs are GREAT songs but likely only one of them could survive in any capacity.

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CATSNYrevival
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#160
Posted: 2/19/19 at 3:19am
I saw it with “I’ll Forget You” the first time I saw the show and I love that song but I love “You Are My Home” as well. It’s a tough choice to make. I don’t like the idea of a “prequel” to the song in the first act either. Version 1.0 didn’t have a song for them at that point. I think the reason “You Are My Home” was eventually reworked as the wedding song was because the song had been a hit single prior to the show opening and the new producers probably had the idea of introducing the song earlier in the evening. I’ve never liked the lyrics for the wedding version. Does Marguerite NEED a solo in the second act? She still gets “You Are My Home,” the “Storybook” reprise and the finale. Did it feel unbalanced without an act two solo?
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#161
Posted: 2/19/19 at 8:14am
The only version of the show I'm familiar with is 4.0, and I never felt like it was unbalanced in terms of what Marguerite gets to sing. The 6.0 version they did last night certainly worked for me, and I imagine there were a number of us there who don't know every version (but if you did, I understand being able to pick out all the changes)!
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Anshel2
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#162
Posted: 2/19/19 at 8:36am

I was in First Tier and the sound throughout the night was awful.  It improved slightly half way through the first act, but Tony Y's audio was absolutely the worst.  You figure after all the shows that are staged in that venue, sound wouldn't be an issue.

And, what was with the audience made up of mommy and daddy needing to take pictures of their little bubbela on the stage in the chorus??  This isn't a high school sing-a-long!  I didn't pay $200 to have my enjoyment of the show lessened because Mommy needed to take a thousand pictures of her angel on the stage.  Said something and the issue went away.  

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#163
Posted: 2/19/19 at 9:38am

I'm sorry to hear about Norm, this kind of role is his wheelhouse so that's surprising, but we're all only human. And yeah I'm not shocked at Vivez and Only Love. Vivez is literally dead in the universe that is this show, once it was gone, it was gone forever, but Only Love has made some appearances throughout the various productions of the show's history. Some regional productions added it back in, I have no idea how in terms of logistics OR legality, but it's a great song that I'm sad hasn't really stayed with the show. I'm pretty sure Pimpernel went through more rewrites and versions than Jekyll and Hyde.

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#164
Posted: 2/19/19 at 9:57am

I sat in the center orchestra and didn't have issues with the sound. A few friends who sat in the 2nd and 3rd tier did comment on having sound issues up there. 

BWW Walter McBride took some awesome photos!  

https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Photo-Coverage-Tony-Yazbeck-Laura-Osnes-Corey-Cott-and-More-in-Action-in-THE-SCARLET-PIMPERNEL-Concert-20190219

One of my favorite photos was the one taken during the sword/tap dance duel: here is Norm doing his tap dance while Tony observes...

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MCfan2
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#165
Posted: 2/19/19 at 10:02am

Thank you so much for these reviews, everyone! I wish I could have been there, but I so appreciate the descriptions from those who were!

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#166
Posted: 2/19/19 at 10:22am
I really didn't mind Norm's lack of chemistry with Laura; she had enough with Tony and it wasn't like Norm was a brick wall. I'd love to see him in a more fully fleshed-out production.

I do think he might've suffered the most from bad audio — when he turned upstage, I thought he'd forgotten a line in Falcon in the Dive, but a closer friend was pretty sure it was just his voice being swallowed up.
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dfrillsnedit
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#167
Posted: 2/19/19 at 10:31am

I was also at the concert last night, and it truly was a treasure to behold! I haven't seen the show since I was 8 years, back during the 2.0 Broadway run, and watching this was like getting to reconnect with an old friend. 

I can't say I've kept up with all the different versions, aside from the nostalgia I have for the cast album. But from what I vaguely remember/have seen in some random YouTube videos, this seems like one of the better versions of the show thus far. 

Highlights:

- Tony (like a few have mentioned) REALLY surprised me. I've only seen him in On The Town and a few random concerts here and there, but he really got Percy down to a science, especially when it came to the comedy. I haven't laughed that hard in a theater in quite some time, and a big part of that was due to his performance. BRAVO, my dude - I never thought I'd love anyone other than Sills in this role, but I'd love to see Tony as Percy again and again! 

He also was particularly amazing in "Prayer", which was a song I always thought should have ended on a high note, which Tony delivered on and made me tear up a bit. And further more, I'll never forget that Tap Dancing fight for as long as I live - what a hoot!

- Laura, of course, is a star. She was perfect in every way, and was one of the few cast members almost completely off book (with only needing the script during a few scenes near the end of Act I.) This woman deserves so much more credit and respect than she gets, and I'm still in awe of her. Also, CAN WE PLEASE get more opportunities for her to play badass, sword fighting roles? That was thrilling!

- Drew Gehling was the biggest surprise of them all for me. I've never seen him in anything before, but he was a show stopper in almost every scene he was in - particularly when he plays the Prince of Wales. 

- The Act II finale fight scene was one for the ages. Tap Dancing, Laura being a badass with a sword, and brilliant comedic/action timing. 

- The water "effects" and quick change during "Into The Fire" was simple yet brilliant, as was the staging of the Guillotine scenes. Also this is the best use of the kid choir so far - with them wearing masks and throwing props - it really added a sense of scale and power to the show. 

Issues/Super Dumb Nitpicks:

- Like a few have mentioned, Tony and a few other cast members suffered from some technical sound issues. It was a shame that a portion of his and other's performance in the first act were hard to hear (I was located in the First Tier), especially poor Alex Newell, who seemed to get completely drowned out in "The Creation of Man". 

- A few have mentioned this, but I think casting Norm (though he is one of my favorite performers on the planet) was a bit unfortunate in the sense of his busy schedule. He sounded incredible as always, but seemed to be somewhat sleep walking through the role and not truly embodying Chauvelin. I wish he had had more time to prep, especially since him holding onto the script for dear life at times took me out of his performance/the story a bit - especially during "Where's The Girl?", where he didn't seem to be into Laura/Marguerite at all. 

Overall, this was a concert I'll always remember and cherish. 21 years later, this musical (regardless of its version) still means so much to me, and I can't wait to see what MCP has next up their sleeve. 

PS: There's also a little part of me that would love to see them tackle Jekyll and Hyde one day, especially since that's one of my favorite Wildhorn score's, but I think because it had a Broadway revival (that was awful) not too long ago, that is pretty unlikely, at least for the near future. 

But my big wish list choice? I want Kiss of the Spider Woman next, so bad! 

Updated On: 2/19/19 at 10:31 AM
JennH
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#168
Posted: 2/19/19 at 10:55am

https://www.broadwayworld.com/videoplay/BWW-TV-Watch-Highlights-of-Tony-Yazbeck-Laura-Osnes-Norm-Lewis-More-in-THE-SCARLET-PIMPERNEL-20190219

FINALLY...This looked like a ball to see. I would have given so much to see that sword/tap break, we all know  it's only there to show off Tony's dance skills, but it seems like it was seamlessly added! 

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#169
Posted: 2/19/19 at 11:06am
dfrillsnedit, thank you for mentioning Drew! I hadn't seen him since Jersey Boys (in Las Vegas) and it was such a treat to see him in this. Every time he was on stage I was hoping he'd have more to do.
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JayElle
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#170
Posted: 2/19/19 at 11:14am

"I was in First Tier and the sound throughout the night was awful.  It improved slightly half way through the first act, but Tony Y's audio was absolutely the worst.  You figure after all the shows that are staged in that venue, sound wouldn't be an issue."

Thank you Anshel2. I was 8th row on orch right. Sound was awful throughout. Like watching an outdoor concert. Music played as if no one was singing. I complained to head usher who proceeded to tell me about the spectacular acoustics. I responded the lyrics could barely be understood bc it was so loud.  

At first, I wondered if the production was using its own speakers since they rented the theater. I told her every bway musical the voices are crystal clear without echo and peripheral noise. She claimed that is because bway use electronic music. I responded Bull. Norm's Music Man had an onstage orch and he and Jesse Mueller were as clear as if it was music won a CD. Mean Girls has a live orch. And none of the currently running shows have that issue. I also assume it was the enormous size of the theater contributed to the problem.  

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#171
Posted: 2/19/19 at 11:21am
Wow, I bet you were that usher's favorite patron last night!
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JayElle
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#172
Posted: 2/19/19 at 11:25am

Scarlet Leigh, did the vocals sound with the same clarity as if it on a CD or at a bway show. Wasn't for me. Had I not known the songs, I would've been at a loss to know what the sang. I've seen Yasbeck in just about everything he does as well as Norm and Osnes. The beauty of their voices were diminished with the lousy audio.

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#173
Posted: 2/19/19 at 12:10pm

JayElle said: "Scarlet Leigh, did the vocals sound with the same clarity as if it on a CD or at a bway show. Wasn't for me. Had I not known the songs, I would've been at a loss to know what the sang. I've seen Yasbeck in just about everything he does as well as Norm and Osnes. The beauty of their voices were diminished with the lousy audio."

Maybe I was just in like the prime acoustics box in the second tier cuz I had no issues at all with the clarity of anything. Some volume and balance issues that were fixed as if the sound tech realized thethey had to boost someone or as I mentioned be fore missing a turn on or turn off of a mic, but most people were pretty clear to me. Norm was the only one that was a tad bit hard to understand at times but I was chalking that up to him reading fast off his script and not being as familiar with the material as the rest.

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Wick3
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#174
Posted: 2/19/19 at 12:22pm

JennH said: "https://www.broadwayworld.com/videoplay/BWW-TV-Watch-Highlights-of-Tony-Yazbeck-Laura-Osnes-Norm-Lewis-More-in-THE-SCARLET-PIMPERNEL-20190219

FINALLY...This looked like a ball to see. I would have given so much to see that sword/tap break, we all know it's only there to show off Tony's dance skills, but it seems like it was seamlessly added!
"

Thanks for this JennH! I saw the cameraman on the house left tier 2 section area. So glad parts of it was recorded and made public!

Updated On: 2/19/19 at 12:22 PM
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#175
Posted: 2/19/19 at 12:28pm

CATSNYrevival said: " Does Marguerite NEED a solo in the second act? She still gets “You Are My Home,” the “Storybook” reprise and the finale. Did it feel unbalanced without an act two solo?"

I wanted to reply to this before but got distracted. I think this question is the key reason it's hard to pinpoint what song is best to have in the second act. The Storybook reprise is kind of a throw away. It felt like a scene when It was the full song in version 1, but it's more just a way to get the plot where It needs to be fast. And if she needs a solo and which one really depends on what part of the story you want to tell. Without one of her solos, there is a kind of void of how she feels about her husband in act two. It's kind of like she just forgets he exists for most of it. But then that is a choice as well, that when her brother is in danger she DOES forget her husband and risks everything for her brother. It feels like..... If you are going to have You Are My Home, you also need Only Love to balance her out a bit and show she cares for both her husband and her brother. Or if you really want to focus on the romance, you need I'll Forget You as a sign that now that she as risked her life for her brother, she sort of realized what she gave up for that choice. She doesn't regret her choice, but she reflects on the cost of it.