khendo said: "SouthernCakes said: "What are the worse shows you’ve seen? Just curious!(And I agree those moments were cool choreography, but they come back to back which makes it seem like a retread, and honestly the first time it’s used to was just confusing as to what was actually going on.) "The worst show I've seen on broadway was Amelie. I was extremely bored and thought the plot was absolutely ridiculous. I also saw it closing night so you would think that would help it’s case but it did not. I also did not really like be more chill, as the overacting and some of the casting was just such a complete turn off for me."Funny! I loved Amelie and still listen to it! Different strokes!
Markecib said: "It’s currently 1:45 and they still haven’t opened the house. Wonder what issues they’re having or if they were making a change and it took longer."I'm assuming the show went on. Any word on the delay?
I went to the Wednesday matinee, and was on the street, stuck in front of, "Phantom" until 1:40. Many feared a canceled performance (only the third). Rumor has it, they're haggling over cuts. The show is coming in at 2:50.
ACL2006 said: "Markecib said: "It’s currently 1:45 and they still haven’t opened the house. Wonder what issues they’re having or if they were making a change and it took longer."I'm assuming the show went on. Any word on the delay?"The went on. I talked to a few of the staff they said they were working thru a technical issue with the speakers.
Attended the 11/6 evening performance and must agree with Auggie27. By trying to touch on myriad hot button topics the show's energy is diffused and the storyline dissipates. Only about five of the songs really resonate and the choreography seemed almost superfluous. I believe that it is far too late to overhaul the book and the producers should just cut to the chase and release the regional rights ASAP. The show may very well have a second life there.PILL was the second of four shows I attended this past week during my visit from California. I rank it number four after DAVID BYRNE'S AMERICAN UTOPIA, DERREN BROWN SECRET and TINA!:THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL.
A FEW SPOILERSIt's become a difficult piece to discuss, craft-wise, because any naysaying inspires a lesson or two in coolness from the cognoscenti. Apparently, we "just don't get it." I was told elsewhere that "life is messy," and so the show captures the essence of that existential chaos, stacking societal ills upon one another to illuminate the inherent messiness of living. I "get" that as the goal, and rebel against the sledgehammer execution. What is intended to be an assemblage of sociopolitical puzzle pieces to me feels like utmost contrivance. One family must bear a catalog of trauma, or bear witness to it over a few days or weeks. Once these crises pile up, the show cannot decide how to resolve them, or where we should look for catharsis and resolution. And so we get shorthanded turns, and hoary cliches. If you run away looking for your identity, you go to the East Village, because they's where Self Discovery awaits, per "Rent." if you're a kid of color with no racial awareness, plenty of other spots would offer quicker access; but, of course she's a poet, and poets blossom in the Village. When you are a straight white workaholic father who doesn't have time for family, you take up the guitar when your wife is in rehab, and presto, you have Your Priorities Straight. And the biggest catharsis, in the ostensible protagonist (though she is abandoned as such, once the story needs her as an antagonistic scold and thus more obstacle than antihero) happens off-stage, during a 90-day rehab. (News flash: Oxycodin addiction takes 90 days to detox; you then move on to secondary treatment.) The primary color depiction of issues themselves would never be acceptable in movie-of-the-week but we're expected to buy every slapped on happy-enough ending. The bookwriting has flashes of genuine wit, but feels cobbled together in a pressing need to find song cues for stand-alone ruminations on "messiness' that have more potency untethered to cliches about suburban malaise. Trust us, those who shame our dismay over the contrived storytelling: we're cool enough to "get" this material. To "get" the maddening contradictions in a post-millennial culture indifferent to the sources of human suffering. Some of us feel manipulated in all of the wrong ways. Morissette's work is iconoclastic and deserves better. And I write that as a major fan of Cody and Paulus.
The same thing happened on Wednesday. Two people stood in the mezz, and the cast waited. You could feel the sense of expectation, to rouse the house to its feet. It took way too long to feel spontaneous, and only about 35-40% stood, slowly. I take nothing away from the stellar performance, but pushing this O in the middle of the second act defines the problems with the show. It's like "The Miller's Son" or "Doatsy Mae" stopping their shows. The character is important but subsidiary. Giving Jo the best known number was a risk, and though it serves the great performer, it doesn't serve the shape of the storytelling.
This kind of makes me mad, angry, confused. Like you've had an entire year to fix the problems and nothing has happened? I could have told you the straight away "You Oughta Know" should have been the act closer, and it's easy to rearrange the focus to the daughter to make that happen. That said, the show is a mess. There's no clear lead or narrative.
Saw the matinee today and while I do recognize the attempt to make the story tighter compared to the ART tryouts, it still felt quite lacking to me. I echo a lot of what Auggie27 has posted above. Cutting a few of those plot points would have probably helped in reaching a better resolution for the book. For what it's worth, today's matinee audience seemed to loved the whole thing and the standing O after " You Oughta Know" did not feel as forced as some are referring(Personally, I preferred her performance of this song in the ART tbh). My least favorite thing about this show is the new choreography. Aside from a number or two, there was too much movement when I felt like there didn't need to be and it took away from the experience.Overall, the show is still a good time. As someone who grew up listening to this album and Alanis, I quite enjoyed myself and I thought the performances of Stanley and Gooding were quite spectacular. I wish the show had focused on them more.
My own reservations duly noted, I believe this may turn out to be a hit. If not "Spring Awakening," maybe close to "American Idiot," something that draws the Morisette fans, who, as gray_area notes, are rewarded here with strong vocals and a damn good band. I believe the reviews may have liitte impact on its overall box office reception. Someone said to me, "This show didn't need that kind of book, just something to hold the songs together." Though the creative team had far bigger ambitions, that may be true in terms of box office prospects. The title matches the album, the graphics and ad campaign are striking and savvy, and this stands to satisfy many people. The fans will get 22 songs for their money. Today, that often is enough. And it's not a bio show with an exploited catalog, a subgenre that has begun to feel exhausted.
Weren't the majority of the ART reviews raves? If there haven't been many, if any, changes then why would it be any different?
For what it's worth, I absolutely loved the show at ART. BWW message board users also have a pretty solid track record of not liking teen/youth musicals unless it's DEH, so the responses here don't surprise me.
Is it flawed? Sure. All shows are flawed in one way or another, and it's funny to see people bat an eye at some shows and then go head first at criticizing others. It's great for what it is. They do an amazing job at intertwining Alanis' song's and for most audience members of that show... That's all they care about.
YvanEhtNioj said: "Weren't the majority of the ART reviews raves? If there haven't been many, if any, changes then why would it be any different?"No, most said what the majority are saying here: great performances, great score/ orchestrations but the book tried to do to much, therefore not doing anything.And even if they were rave reviews, we know what "works" or is lauded at an out of town, doesnt always translate to bway raves. Will this be a hit? I dont know, but regardless of whether the story revolves around teens or adults, I want a cohesive book along with a terrific score and performances.
YvanEhtNioj said: "Weren't the majority of the ART reviews raves? If there haven't been many, if any, changes then why would it be any different?"There are so many variables that can sway the perceived response of the show (eg who went Boston vs NYC) that you can’t necessarily asume the same response once it came to NY from the out-of-town tryout.FWIW, I did make the trip to Boston last summer and I echo a lot of opinions here.... it’s a great Alanis concert, but the book needed a lot of work. I’ll eventually see it here, but I’m in no hurry and will probably wait for the tourist rush to pass.
This definitely ranks among my favorite theatrical experiences, despite its flaws. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and while I definitely recognize and can agree with some of the negatives brought up here (the book can be messy at times, things are wrapped up rather quickly at the tail end of act 2, etc. and perhaps some of this will be tightened throughout previews), I was able to overlook them and fall in love with the show and plan on making a few return trips. I know many friends and coworkers I have spoken to feel the same, which could lead to this being a hit whether or not the reviews are lukewarm.Of course, being that it showcases some of my favorite people and uses the songs of one of my favorite albums, perhaps I'm a little biased. But I do think this show is a lot more enjoyable than people are giving it credit for. :)
Whoever above tried to lay this at the feet of those who dislike "youth" shows hasn't seen this piece. The protagonist is a mother in her mid-to late 40s. Her crises are parental and addiction-specific in nature, not the woes of "youth." The arc is hers, the cathartic scene is hers, and the resolution employs a device that's entirely hers and frames the show. She is our point of access and our point of departure, though there are subplots -- oh, are there subplots! -- that digress. For the record, I'm a die-hard fan of "Spring Awakening," (just listened to it on Spotify Saturday afternoon) and saw "Rent" four times. My problem with this show isn't my own age-dictated barrier to the topics; it's the show's craft and inability to measure up to its ambitions. This is more of that "cool enough to get it" angle, which I discussed above. We're cool enough. We get it. It's what's "got" that is being discussed. .
Well I found this show to be absolutely awful. It starts out okay, I suppose, but very quickly devolves into an absolute mess of a multitude of conflicting plotlines and issues. There is so much going on, and so many important issues weaved into the fabric of this show that none of them are handled with the nuance or depth they deserve. While it's admirable to see a new musical want to deal with subjects such as rape or drug abuse or racial issues, it becomes insulting to see how thinly and simply those subjects are ultimately dealt with. It feels like every 2 minutes we're off to another character and their problems, and thus everything because awash in a sea of archetypes and cliches and buzz words with no meaning or impact or genuine feeling. By act 2 I found myself cringing and rolling my eyes. It's embarrassing.The cast is not untalented. There are some good vocals, and to the point that the material allows them to find anything meaningful or interesting to do, Elizabeth Stanley and Lauren Patten stand out. Talented folks like Derek Klena are positively wasted. The choreography is interesting and unlike what we typically see, but the juxtaposition between it and the songs and tone doesn't work. The set is deathly cheap, and Diane Paulus's direction is turgid and bland. I have no idea why she re-used her bit from Waitress with the band rolling on and off the stage throughout the show. As I left I heard many people praising the show. I have a feeling it will be a hit with general audiences as they think they are seeing important theater. But for me it was a thinly constructed and borderline offensive mess with nothing interesting to say. Trying to turn pre-existing songs into a cohesive narrative rarely works. This is proof of that right here.
Jarethan said: "Before reading this feedback, I didn’t think I’d like this show...I don’t love the album (I have always liked it, but only listened to it rarely), and it sounded so busy and dreary, based on reviews I read in Boston. After reading these posts, I don’t think I’d see this if I was offered free premium seats...even free, why waste a slot. I wonder if the will be the average (Not obsessed with the album) theatregoer’s view after the reviews come out? "The "average theatregoer" likely doesn't read reviews or this board, so probably not.
From what i've heard from friends, coworkers, etc..the average theater patrons are loving it. A lot of my friends have actually raved about it, but still pointed out the flaws. I work across the street from the show and sometimes go watch the crowds leave the afternoon performance, and all I hear are positives thoughts for the most part.
Jarethan said: "Before reading this feedback, I didn’t think I’d like this show...I don’t love the album (I have always liked it, but only listened to it rarely), and it sounded so busy and dreary, based on reviews I read in Boston. After reading these posts, I don’t think I’d see this if I was offered free premium seats...even free, why waste a slot. I wonder if the will be the average (Not obsessed with the album) theatregoer’s view after the reviews come out? "The average theatregoer most likely doesn't read these boards or reviews. I'm far from the average theatregoer and I couldn't give 2 figs on what people think about the show and don't read reviews. I have my own brain and can form my own opinions.
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