bwayphreak234 said: "The set is dirt cheap and LOUD. The sliding panels that look like they are made out of corrugated plastic loudly grind in and out of place, and are splattered with some of the ugliest projections I have ever seen."I disagree completely. We very much liked the set, particularly the way the illuminated roof and wall edges slid into varying configurations to suggest the respective locations of the scenes. We did think that a bit of mechanical damping would give the movements more grace (a few pieces bumped together), but we did not think they looked "cheap" and we had no problem with the actors moving them.
Lot666 said: I disagree completely. We very much liked the set, particularly the way the illuminated roof and wall edges slid into varying configurations to suggest the respective locations of the scenes. We did think that a bit of mechanical damping would givethe movements more grace (afew pieces bumped together), but we did not think they looked "cheap" and we had no problem with the actors moving them."100% agree with all of this.
GreasedLightning said: "Just came here to mention the just announced 2020 Alanis tour celebrating 25 Years of Jagged Little Pill. Tour dates announced today and tix on-sale next week. Also buried in the press release is a new single (out today) and album release date, May 1st.@Jordan Catalano, hope you’ve seen this! " Yes!!!! I think I have the new song memorized by this point. I wasn’t planning on buying any concert tickets this month but I guess that’s what I’ll be doing. I love this woman so damn much. And I think that’s why I’m so critical of this musical because her catalog deserves so much better.
GreasedLightning said: "Just came here to mention the just announced 2020 Alanis tour celebrating 25 Years of Jagged Little Pill. Tour dates announced today and tix on-sale next week. Also buried in the press release is a new single (out today) and album release date, May 1st.@Jordan Catalano, hope you’ve seen this!"I'm curious if the concert would hurt or help ticket sales for the Broadway musical. I recall last year the Cher Show started off well but struggled later on (and some people think it may be due to the concert tour Cher had at the same time.)
Not a regular here so a little background about myself before my thoughts. My wife and I saw this, Moulin Rouge, Oklahoma, and To Kill A Mockingbird this past weekend (this one specifically on Black Friday evening). We usually see between 4 and 12 shows a year in NYC and over 30 shows a year total between high school, community, small professional, and large professional in the DC area. I also usually do 5-7 shows a year as an actor, music director, or a set designer/builder at the community level. My wife teaches high school theatre and also does 4-5 shows a year herself. I'm 41 so I definitely grew up listening to JLP a lot. My wife had never really listened to any of the music but recognized a few songs from the radio.We both loved it. I can understand the criticism that there may be a lot going on, but for a jukebox musical, I felt it really worked well with the music. Most of Alannis' music has a lot going on in them so it didn't bother me. As a pianist I always love seeing the band so it didn't bother me with them popping in and out, especially as this is a rock show in musical styling and lighting. We sat in dead center mezzanine and the sound balance was fantastic.Both the backwards number (I think it was Smiling) and Uninvited were like anything I had seen staged before. I'll likely see this show again just to see Uninvited again. Watching Elizabeth Stanley literally grapple with her doppelgänger while singing that song felt like a horror movie in all the best possible ways.The sets did feel like a cheaper version of the Dear Evan Hansen sets but didn't really bother me. The entire cast was vocally fierce and you can tell they actually like the show and music they are singing (something I couldn't say about the OK revival and Moulin rouge). The characters felt very real to me as I'm a suburbanite of the DC metro area and have met almost everyone of those characters. Ensemble dancing didn't bother me as it felt very much in the spirit of Alannis' music videos. And I could watch a whole show of I think it was Heather Lang visually representing Elizabeth Stanley's emotions while she sang.The female characters in the show are more prominent and important than their male counterparts, but given that the story comes from a female composter/lyricist, script writer, and director, that doesn't surprise me nor bother me. I feel like the males here do well with what they are given, but they're not the focus. I wouldn't be surprised with a best actress nomination for Elizabeth Stanley or a supporting nom for either Lauren Patten or Kathryn Gallagher. Lauren has the show stopping number, but Kathryn has the more difficult emotional journey for an actress. The show does best when it focuses on Elizabeth's journey.I hope the show does well as it seems like the production is proud of what they are doing, what topics they want to discuss, and how they want to present it. I suspect it'll get sucked into the political vortex that everything does nowadays and have some people who love it or hate it purely for the topics being discussed.But 100 times out of 100 I'd rather see artists trying to make sense of humanity's good and bad through song on stage than stand there and look like a million dollars with nothing really to say (cough Moulin Rouge).
jmaxted said: "But 100 times out of 100 I'd rather see artists trying to make sense of humanity's good and bad through song on stage than stand there and look like a million dollars with nothing really to say (cough Moulin Rouge)."Couldn't agree more. Perfectly put.
I do wonder about these shows coming from these non-profits (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Waitress) because, to me, the staging always feels less than. I don't know ART, but the Public and 2nd Stage both do great work but their actual spaces provide less than stellar spaces to work with. And therefore, seeing these shows in this particular setting makes me feel like they weren't quite worth the $$ I spent. Like, if they had been directed/designed for a commercial Broadway space it might feel different. I felt the same way seeing Jagged. Maybe at ART they couldn't do automation, etc, but what we have now just feels very high school to me and "busy" for the sake of "busy."
You think Hamilton, Chorus Line, Natasha Pierre, Hadestown, Fun Home, the Pippin revival and so many others suffered design-wise on Broadway because they started at non-profits? If the production team feels Broadway offers an op for a rethink, very often they do just that (like several in my list). When they don't, it seems likely because they thought it worked just fine.
I've voiced issues with the show but must say I love "Smiling," one of the two new numbers. It was electrifying in the theater (if anything, it sets a high bar, in content and staging that are not matched.) I've been listening to it on Spotify since the album dropped, and find it haunting. Stanley is at her best here. The lyrics are not easy to follow (even on the album) but we get genuine insight into addiction in this number. It's a beauty, and to me the best thing in the show.
I’ll definitely check Alanis out on tour but the new song “Reasons I Drink” exasperates me. Her music at times is so much literal navel gazing it exhausts me. I don’t sense much evolution from her. It all starts to sound the same to me. It also sounds like she borrowed the opening hook from Emeli Sande’s ‘Next To Me.’
This was heartbreaking. I waited, and waited (and waited) for this show and was expecting it to be this epic masterpiece, but it just didn't do it for me. Agree the album deserves better. Oh well, let's see what happens at Tina...
To your point -- disappointment: When I listen to "Smiling," (see post above; it's haunting), I find myself speculating about what might've been: a show that spends quality stage time mostly with one character, one set of issues, one crisis, one climax, one resolution. MJ's story has all that, potentially. But it's shorthanded, or interrupted and the show wants it both ways: to make her the protagonist, and then turn her into the antagonism in her children's lives, as they surface in a sudden shift toward polyperspective storytelling. We can't access this family easily through everyone; we need a defining POV, to stick with. The show plays fast and loose with access in order to make room for songs. Not a new problem in Juke-ing book shows, but here, arriving with too much and yet too little. So much is good, but so much is also diffused. "Smiling" is evocative, character-specific, and a little mysterious. The show needed more of that.
jmaxted said: "...Uninvited [was not] like anything I had seen staged before. I'll likely see this show again just to see Uninvited again. Watching Elizabeth Stanley literally grapple with her doppelgänger while singing that song felt like a horror movie in all the best possible ways."Absolutely.
JPeterman said: "Jmaxted, thank you for taking the time to write that ... I loved your honest and thoughtful impressions."No problem! I know many here have expressed disappointments of one form or another but just wanted to put another opinion out there.
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