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I saw Taboo last night......

leeinlondon
Leading Actor
joined:5/22/03
Leading Actor
joined:
5/22/03
I saw Taboo last night......#0
Posted: 2/6/04 at 9:32am
All the cast were in and Rosie was there - great to see her.

Well I am basicaly here in NYC because I had to see the latest version of Taboo being a big fan of the London production.. That version or versions as it turned out was far from perfect but it was very entertaining and it held together as a good platform for the fantastic songs..I really can't say the same for the Broadway version I saw last night. I didn't want to see the London version reproduced here since I was very excited about seeing something new using a few of the same characters and the same songs I loved...

The first act is bloody awful in my opinion but thankfully the second act works much better. The only reason I stayed for the second act at all was to hear Raul sing Petrified and Liz sing Talk amongst yourselves.. I honestly felt so let down by the interval.

I am not going to kick the show whilst it is very down but thankfully the great songs are mostly intact and mostly performed extremely well. I had the added bonus of loving one of the new songs Come on in from the outside which I thought an excellent addition to the score.

I didn't like Sarah as Nicola at all during the first act... that nervous fan act all screachy voice and wobbling vowels would have been more at home in Hairspray than here.. I hated Jeffrey Carlson as Marilyn, As with the Broadwway Philip I accept that they went in a new direction for the charactisation but it didn't work for me and he does not have a good voice at all. This will get me shot here but I only thought that Raul was okay.. he sang Petrified very well but I didn't like his Phillip.. I didn't warm to him at all really and he certainly didn't ooze the charisma of Paul Baker in the role.

I did like Euan of course, such an excellent voice but a shame he was lumbered with pages of awful dialogue. George was MUCH better here than he was in London.. I guess the nerves have gone and his acting has improved massively.. he is not Al Pacino of course but he handeled the book scenes very well and had the audience in the palm of his hand. I loved Liz as Big Sue and her performance of Talk amongst Yourselves was a highlight of the evening for me.... Cary Shields sang the arse out of I see Through You and I liked him very much as a performer..

I can't help but feel very sad that this opportunity to finally provide a decent book for George's songs was so badly screwed up. Well done to Rosie for trying but this version of Taboo is not a good musical, it is a collection of excellent songs well performed but it is far from being a convincing cohesive whole.
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Rob
Team BWW
joined:5/3/03
Team BWW
joined:
5/3/03
re: I saw Taboo last night......#1
Posted: 2/6/04 at 10:21am
Thanks for the comparitive review Lee. What else are you seeing while you're here?

Watching the London DVDs a few weeks ago, it looks like they improved some parts, and made others worse. An interesting set of transfer choices to say the least, but still an entertaining score.
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Maggie
Broadway Star
joined:5/21/03
Broadway Star
joined:
5/21/03
re: re: I saw Taboo last night......#2
Posted: 2/6/04 at 10:56am
Hey, I saw it last night too!!! I didn't see Rosie but I knew she was there because I heard the applause as she took her seat. I was up in the mezz and couldn't see down to the orchestra seating. Nobody clapped for me when I took my seat!
Anyhow, I did enjoy myself last night. I really wasn't expecting it to be so funny!
Euan gave me the chills...I loved him! I thought Raul was fantastic. He was hysterial and his voice was strong...I do agree about Nicola....she was annoying in the first act.
Liz McCartney as Big Sue blew the roof off the house during "Talk Amongst Yourselves"...she's got some pipes that girl! I also agree with Lee about Cary and Boy so I'm not going to repeat what he already said.
I'm sorry to see it close but I am glad I got the opportunity to see it.
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scooter38432
Broadway Star
joined:6/19/03
Broadway Star
joined:
6/19/03
re: re: re: I saw Taboo last night......#3
Posted: 2/6/04 at 11:19am
I felt the same way about TABOO, and I, too, thought I'd get shot on this message board as a result.

Ewan was fantastic. No doubt about it. But you're dead on, Lee when you write of the terrible script. His ballads, however, were gorgeous and touching. Raul didn't thrill me at all, especially since hearing so much about him in this show (and others). Overacted! He turned the audience off (at least this member of the audience) right from the start more than endear them to him. Granted, he's not a very likeable guy anyway, but you can tell that he's going to be a narrator of sorts, and if you don't like him from the get-go ... well you know.

I missed seeing Liz, which is a shame because she's a colleague from our high school days. Her understudy was waaaayyy out of her league on that stage. You could just tell that she didn't have too much experience. I figured that her big song would be the reason she got this role, and I figured correctly. The song was very well done.

I thought Marilyn was entertaining, except of course, for her opening number. That was just noise.

I didn't like Nicola at all, either. I just kept thinking ... "with all the actors in this city and beyond?.......").


It's all about Ewan (Euan?).


Am I too harsh? Perhaps.
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