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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS)

cjmclaughlin10
Broadway Star
joined:6/26/15
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #1
Posted: 1/16/20 at 3:22pm
Previews for the new Duncan Sheik musical begin tonight! Early reports are appreciated as always

A bittersweet comic take on the sexual revolution in which the suavely conventional lives of two successful young couples, all friends, are both stirred and shaken when they open their minds to the changing attitudes around them. Jonathan Marc Sherman (Book), Duncan Sheik (Music, Lyrics) and Amanda Green (Lyrics) evoke both the confusions of the time, and the hard timeless lessons of marriage and emotional commitment, inspired by the brilliant and irreverent Oscar-nominated film.
Hamilfan2
Leading Actor
joined:12/28/15
Leading Actor
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12/28/15
Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #2
Posted: 1/16/20 at 11:29pm
Saw it tonight and overall thought it was good but not great. Runs about two hours with no intermission and it definitely feels it’s length at times. It’s more of a play with music than a full out musical and many of the musical numbers feel more like interludes. The music never propels they plot forward in any meaningful way (truth be told, you could get rid of the music entirely and the show would lose nothing). The music isn’t bad, it’s enjoyable enough, I just wish the lyrics weren’t so surface level. I wanted more songs that dug into the character’s minds and motivations but we never got that.

The performances were good across the board. Joel Perez in particular stood out to me, he is really great in this show. If you like Michael Zegen in Mrs Maisel you will like him in this because he is giving the exact same performance as he gives as Joel Maisel. That being said I really like him as Joel Maisel and so I really liked him in this. Jenn Damiano I thought was just okay.

The woman playing the Band Leader was not off book and reading her lyrics and lines out of a binder for most of the show. Presumably this is because Duncan Sheik departed the production fairly recently and she only joined a week ago, I’m sure this will improve as she gets more familiar with the role. And the way the character is staged and utilized it didn’t really detracted from the show so I didn’t mind as much. She had a lovely voice.

The book was strong at times and when it works it really works. There is a scene with Ted and Carol in bed that was a standout for me. Very well written and performed. But the show is overly-long and as a result it drags a lot. I also found the characters to be under-developed and couldn’t really tell you much about them. As a result it made it hard to feel invested in their relationships.

Final thoughts, it was enjoyable but I can’t say I’d recommend anyone go out of their way to see it. There are some great moments in the show but they are interspersed with scenes and moments that really drag. If you are sitting in the front row on the sides of the stage prepare for some audience interaction, as these audience members were frequently brought on stage to be a part of a couple of scenes (all voluntary, a couple of people declined). It’s fun but kind of unnecessary.
ArtMan
Broadway Legend
joined:9/10/08
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #3
Posted: 1/16/20 at 11:40pm

Hamilfan2, I'm not sure if you know, but the woman playing the band leader is Suzanne Vega.  She had a couple of hit songs in the late 80's - early 90's.  The most popular and heavy sampled was Tom's Diner.

Updated On: 1/16/20 at 11:40 PM
The Other One
Broadway Star
joined:4/1/08
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #4
Posted: 1/17/20 at 8:23am

ArtMan said: "Hamilfan2, I'm not sure if you know, but the woman playing the band leader is Suzanne Vega. She had a couple of hit songs in the late 80's - early 90's. The most popular and heavy sampled was Tom's Diner."

Suzanne Vega is in this?! Reason enough to see it, though I have no idea if she can act. 

Hamilfan2
Leading Actor
joined:12/28/15
Leading Actor
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #5
Posted: 1/17/20 at 9:17am

The Other One said: "ArtMan said: "Hamilfan2, I'm not sure if you know, but the woman playing the band leader is Suzanne Vega. She had a couple of hit songs in the late 80's - early 90's. The most popular and heavy sampled was Tom's Diner."

Suzanne Vega is in this?! Reason enough to see it, though I have no idea if she can act.
"

The way she is used in the show she doesn’t really need to act.  She mostly stands upstage on a podium has an omnipotent narrator.  It’s definitely a role crafted for a music icon like her, it requires very little acting ability and is a great showcase for her voice and musicianship (she plays a bunch of instruments throughout the show as well).  That being said I thought she did a great job with the acting material she was given!  Especially given how quickly she’s had to learn it all.

I am ashamed to say I was not aware of her before this, I didn’t realize she was such a big deal!

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
Broadway Star
joined:9/20/18
Broadway Star
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #6
Posted: 1/17/20 at 9:38am

Ducan Sheik himself was originally going to be playing the Suzanne Vega role, but it's probably a wise choice to have the composer in the house and not on stage for a new musical. (Yes, LMM is the big exception.)

SouthernCakes
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/19
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #7
Posted: 1/17/20 at 10:41am
I love Sheik, but his music ever really propels the plot forward - with the exception of Bees.
OhHiii
Understudy
joined:4/30/16
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #8
Posted: 1/17/20 at 10:56am

ErmengardeStopSniveling said: "Ducan Sheik himself was originally going to be playing the Suzanne Vega role, but it's probably a wise choice to have the composer in the house and not on stage for a new musical. (Yes, LMM is the big exception.)"

I’d say this SHOULD apply to LMM too, be we know he loves to write himself a vehicle. 

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Bettyboy72
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joined:3/31/06
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #9
Posted: 1/17/20 at 1:07pm

SouthernCakes said: "I love Sheik, but his music ever really propels the plot forward - with the exception of Bees."

I agree with this. He seems to just insert songs into a narrative. Spring Awakenings made the most sense, but not always. 

I'd go see this for Vega alone. Maybe she'll be at a podium and reading the whole run. Is it intentional? Didn't she play Carson Mc Cullers in a solo musical she wrote. She must have some acting chops. 

 

"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
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Ledaero
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #10
Posted: 1/17/20 at 2:47pm

Duncan Sheik and Suzanne Vega have been developing theatre together for at least a decade now. I saw them in concert together back in 2012 and they talked about how they were collaborating and even played some songs from their various shows. Vega definitely has had experience in theater, and if I recall correctly she used to go to a summer camp for theater when she was a kid. I'd guess her not being off-book yet is due to last minute notice and her brain not being used to memorizing material quickly.

InTheBathroom1
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joined:10/6/18
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #11
Posted: 1/18/20 at 4:47pm
Saw this today and I have to say I think it was the strangest musical I’ve ever seen but I think I really liked it. Performances were all around pretty great with Michael Zegen and Ana Nogueira being standouts. Very impressed with Suzanne Vega. This was definitely a mood piece and not everyone in the audience appeared to enjoy it but it was certainly different and I appreciated it for taking the risks, even if not all of them paid off. It did feel long at times but overall was glad I went.
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forgetmenotnyc
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joined:1/29/09
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #12
Posted: 1/23/20 at 1:30am

What a DUD! The person I was with didn't know Vega & thought her an amateur. (Had about half her part memorized & was reading off her notes because she is clearly not connecting with the material.) This is just b-o-r-i-n-g! Sheik needs collaboration w/lyricist. A vague pastiche but not feeling relevant.

LightsOut90
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/14
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #13
Posted: 1/26/20 at 11:07pm

this was painfully bad with a tone approaching parody at times
possibly one of the worst shows I have seen in the last ten years and another dud from The New Group which desperately needs a new artistic director

Updated On: 1/26/20 at 11:07 PM
jbird5
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joined:12/20/15
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #14
Posted: 1/27/20 at 3:10am
I must have seen a different show because I really liked it. Is it perfect? No. Is it a musical? No, it’s a play with music (seems to be a trend). Maybe being a child of the sixties helps. It’s like the song says (Hot Tuna) “she wants to be a bad girl but she just don’t know how”. There’s a certain prudishness here that’s refreshing. There’s no sexual fluidity, just square, straight people grappling with the sexual revolution. I was too young to see the movie, but that poster certainly made an impression.

I really like the music too. It’s groovy. And I think it works. I’m tired of over singing and gratuitous belting. I also think sheik repurposed of my favorites from AP (The Hamptons).

The performances are pitch perfect. It’s interesting that Joel Perez who resembles Elliot Gould is playing the Robert Culp role. And the women seem to be reversed too. Suzanne Vega also works because of her persona. Whatever short comings she has, she is a natural performer and a skilled musician. It’s interesting that she’s the only one listed with an alternate- the drummer who looks like Hagrid from HP. It would be interesting to compare the show with him doing the “narration “.

This show is a lot of fun. Lighten up and just dig it man.
LightsOut90
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joined:5/2/14
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #15
Posted: 1/27/20 at 3:47am

this might as well be called Ok Boomer The Musical

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macnyc
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #16
Posted: 1/27/20 at 10:47am

I saw the show last night with a friend, and both of us deemed it so-so. I fail to see why so much money, time and effort were spent in bringing this show to an Off Broadway stage. I'm thinking it was a corporate decision to monetize the property.

In the Playbill is an insert with the cast names, etc. I glanced at it and compared it to what was printed in the Playbill, and I didn't see any major differences except that Jill Mazursky has been added as a consultant.

On the other side are credits for Paul Mazursky, who co-wrote the screenplay and directed the film; Larry Tucker, who is also credited with the original screenplay; Columbia Pictures, for holding the underlying rights; and Jill Mazursky, consultant. That sounds pretty corporate to me, but I'm just speculating.

 

 

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Mark Waltz
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #17
Posted: 1/27/20 at 2:42pm

I saw the Saturday matinee and while I didn't think it was horrible, felt that it seemed like something that would have been tried on Broadway in 1983 and quickly died. Being Off Broadway for a limited run in 2020, it was a painless 2 hours (even without intermission), and having seen the movie about a year ago, felt it did have the heart of the film which I recalled through my IMDb review as very sweet and surprisingly full of heart. Yet, it seems pointless, but I did start to sway a bit with the music that had a Burt Bacharach feeling to it. The best moment came from a woman in the audience who was pulled onto the stage to be an airline passenger. Her adlibs were delightfully droll with perfect timing, and the audience gave her a big round of applause after she was escorted back to her seat.  

One Grecian Ern
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little_sally
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #18
Posted: 2/3/20 at 11:18am

This was a big miss for me. The music all sounds the same and does nothing to propel the plot along (it really is a play with music) and the whole just made me ask, "why?" Why musicalize this movie? Why now? The cast is very good and it's better than Alice By Heart but I can't recommend this.

A little swash, a bit of buckle - you'll love it more than bread.
LxGstv
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #19
Posted: 2/18/20 at 1:34am
Guess I’m in the minority, but I really enjoyed it. I felt transported and fully immersed in this late 60’s vibe they had going, the story was enjoyable, the acting was really good. Suzanne Vega was a standout for me, great with the comedy and her voice is just so soothing and amazing to hear!

Was it an amazing or ground breaking musical? No, I’m not even sure I would call it a musical. It felt more like a sitcom with a running theme music throughout. But I still enjoyed it, it was kinda jazzy and relaxing, even if it came a bit too close to elevator music at times.

The lyrics were sometimes a bit forced, but not the worst I’ve heard. It made up for it in the comedy department. Overall it was just a funny and fun night at the theater.
LightsOut90
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Bob & Carol &Ted &Alice (PREVIEWS) #20
Posted: 2/22/20 at 3:50am
so did Duncan totally withdraw from this project? according to a recent video on the new group Facebook page Amanda Green said she was brought in as a co-lyricist only five days before they started rehearsals this also lines up with them announcing Suzanne Vega taking over as the narrator from Duncan..