2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd

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broadwaybaby77
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2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#0
Posted: 2/20/06 at 10:39am
What a day.

First we saw the Pajama Game. The show, as a whole, was very good. I would say that the second act is more enjoyable than the first, though. The choreography for "Steam Heat" is not the original (which made me die a little inside), but it was still great. "Hernando's Hideaway" was another showstopping number. I think that they'll definitely get a costume nomination, because the costumes in that particular number were fantastic. We saw the full original cast, which was very lucky. In terms of performances, they were generally pretty good.

Good performances:
Michael McKean was probably the best out of the big names. Being 15, I haven't really seen him in any of the TV shows or movies he was in, but his comedic timing was perfect. I also loved how his hair just kind of bobbed with every move he made. If you see the show, you'll know what I mean.

Jennifer Cody had such a small role (Poopsie), but she could really make you look at her in any scene she was in. She had such a wacky character, and boy, can she dance!

Joyce Chittick (Mae) was incredible. Her transformation from being that nerdy girl in the back into the sexy "Steam Heat" girl was flawless.

Megan Lawrence (Gladys) was probably my favorite performance in the whole show. In the beginning of "Hernando's Hideaway", it's just her dancing around Harry Connick Jr., and she is great at playing this weird, nasal-voiced secretary.

Side note -
Kelli O'Hara was good, I suppose, but she didn't do anything stand-outish. I think she was better as Clara.

The only not-so-good performance I want to comment on is (please don't kill me) Harry Connick Jr. I know that he's a musician and a vocalist, but an actor.....well, it wasn't that great. Most actors play to the whole theatre, but Harry would just bob his head around and look at the floor. Since I was sitting in the mezzanine, all I saw was his hair. The vocal part of the role was fine, he sang that very well. Just he needs to work more on the acting.

Sweeney Todd!

It was incredible. I absolutely loved the concept, being both a musician and actress myself. It was such a neat idea to blend the two. The simple set was great, and I think they have the Tony for lighting. Every performance was great; I really can't pinpoint the best. Last night we saw Benjamin Eakeley (understudy for Anthony), and it was his first performance AND Broadway debut. I couldn't even tell it was his first time going on. So if you go up to see Sweeney and see his name on the "this role will be played by..." board, don't think of it as a bad thing: he's terrific.

That took a while to write. Enjoy!
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DottieD'Luscia
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#1
Posted: 2/20/06 at 10:47am
I saw the show on Saturday night and loved it. Harry's performance actually surprised me. He seemed relaxed (read, not stiff) and enjoyed himself throughout the evening. I thought he and Kelly had great chemistry.

On a side note, after seeing Jennifery Cody as Cha Cha in the revival of Grease, I would love to see her in the role of Gladys. Don't get me wrong, Megan Lawrence was wonderful, but I know what Jennifer is capable of, too.

This was such a fun night of theatre. The music, the choreography, etc. Hernando's Hideaway was definitely my favorite number of the evening. I hope when they record the CD that the include the dance break as well. It was such and infectious and giddy number.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
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WithoutATrace
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#2
Posted: 2/20/06 at 11:04am
Saturday night was my fifth time seeing the show and I think Harry has greatly improved. He was much more stiff in early previews and I think Kathleen Marshall has given him the green light to let loose do his own thing. During "There Once Was A Man," he and Kelli were having so much fun. Harry's dancing was crazy. That number was so much more subdued in the first two weeks of previews (and I think it is a bit too over the top now) but the audience loved it. He will likely not get glowing reviews, but I hope they are kind. Kelli and Megan should get raves. They are both fabulous. The show opens this Thursday!
Parks
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#3
Posted: 2/20/06 at 11:09am
I saw Sweeney Todd yesterday afternoon--no understudies in.

It was an amazing production--so much talent. The entire cast blew me away.
"If it walks like a Parks, if it wobbles like a Parks, then it's definitely fat and nobody loves it." --MA
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crzyrocket
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#4
Posted: 2/20/06 at 11:09am
re: Benjamin Eakeley

I know that the understudies for Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett play different instruments, but is it the same for Anthony or does he still play the cello?
"The sense that everything's going right is a sure sense that everything's going wrong." -The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?
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muscle23ftl
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#5
Posted: 2/20/06 at 11:11am
I just saw the Pajama Game and it was a lot of fun. Kelli steals the show. She was amazing in Dracula. She was the best thing from The Light in the Piazza, and she does it again!!! I think Kelli will be a Broadway legend in the future. She is a great actress, singer and now i can tell, a great dancer. Harry Connick Jr. on the other hand, sounded great, but i have to agree, it seems like he and Emmy Russom share the same acting teacher. No facial expression!!! Overall the show was very enjoyable, but honestly after seeing The Woman in White i felt like The Pajama Game had no depth.
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
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muscle23ftl
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#6
Posted: 2/20/06 at 11:24am
By the way Norbert Leo Butz and his wife were on the 1st row of the mezzanine, they were blocking my way on the aisle, the show was about to start and i went "ok, guys, move" and he actually moved faster, then i realized it was him, I am even rude to Tony winners!!!
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
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broadwaybaby77
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#7
Posted: 2/20/06 at 12:08pm
crzyrocket,

Since they're still early into the run and this was Ben Eakeley's first time going on, he didn't play the cello, or any instrument, rather. Occasionally he helped Patti LuPone by holding the triangle. They had the Johanna standby, Elisa Winter, playing the cello in the back.
musicnmath
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#8
Posted: 2/20/06 at 1:01pm
"Norbert Leo Butz and his wife"? Did I miss a marriage? ...and why wasn't he at DRS?
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#9
Posted: 2/20/06 at 1:05pm
I saw Sweeney last night as well. Absolutely amazing, to say the least. Benjamin Eakeley was wonderful. I met him at the stage door, and it turns out that his dad knows my dad and that his family is from my small town in New Jersey.

For anyone that sees Sweeney and sees Benjamin as Anthony, he was incredible, so don't worry. re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd
"A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing." - Thomas Jefferson
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#10
Posted: 2/20/06 at 1:19pm
I'm DYING to see "Sweeney Todd" with understudies!! Do you know if Benjamin E. will be on for more shows next week?
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broadwaybaby77
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#11
Posted: 2/20/06 at 1:29pm
BroadwayChica,

He might be. Ben Magnuson (sp?) was sick yesterday, and he might want to take a few days off to recover.

Guitargeek, what side of the barricade-thingers were you on? I was in the front on the side farther away from the theatre.
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WithoutATrace
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#12
Posted: 2/20/06 at 1:58pm
Norbert was not at DRS because there is no Sunday evening performance of DRS. As far as I know, he and Michelle Federer are not married. Hope they enjoyed the show!
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sanda
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#13
Posted: 2/20/06 at 2:03pm
They do Sunday evening perf in DRS now. They do two shows every Sunday and don't show it on playbill.com. I went to the lottery on Sunday and was told it's already done because it's 2 pm instead of 3pm show.
Updated On: 2/20/06 at 02:03 PM
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WithoutATrace
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#14
Posted: 2/20/06 at 2:29pm
Really? Why did they switch the schedule? That seems odd.
Yankeefan007
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#15
Posted: 2/20/06 at 2:34pm
They did a Sunday evening show this week, to make up for the lack of Wednesday evening performance.
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singtopher
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#16
Posted: 2/20/06 at 2:51pm
Okay, hold the phone...

What is this about Mae dancing in "Steam Heat"? Is this something they changed in the revival? Can someone clear this up for me?
"If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it." -Stephen Colbert
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#17
Posted: 2/20/06 at 2:57pm
"Guitargeek, what side of the barricade-thingers were you on? I was in the front on the side farther away from the theatre."

Facing the stagedoor, I was behind the left barricade. I was the one with the desired black permanent marker that everyone kept using. re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd
"A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing." - Thomas Jefferson
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WithoutATrace
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#18
Posted: 2/20/06 at 2:58pm
In the original production, Gladys dances in "Steam Hear," however in this revival, Mae is in the number. Some people do not like the change. I think it works beautifully.
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azeller
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#19
Posted: 2/20/06 at 3:03pm
I saw the show on Friday night and really enjoyed it.

Someone mentioned a cast recording of it. Does anyone know if/when this will be done? I wasnt sure since it is a limited run.
"Let's admit one thing right upfront: With the possible exception of Bernadette Peters, not everyone stays young and cute forever." (NYPost 2/2/05)
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#20
Posted: 2/20/06 at 3:14pm
It has been confirmed that there will be a cast recording, but no mention of when has been discussed...probably closer to the end of the run I would guess, but who knows...
The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will give away his energies and his life just to make sure that one note follows another... and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world. ~Leonard Bernstein~
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#21
Posted: 2/20/06 at 4:23pm
as WOT said it was a 7.30pm show...oh...i should have said Leo Butz and his GF. She is pretty by the way. What is she doing with him???!!! -joke-
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#22
Posted: 2/20/06 at 6:24pm
I'm going to NYC next week and I can't wait to see Sweeney Todd.........HOWEVER, is it true that the only ticket price for Pajama Game is $95????

That's a little steep for me and I can't believe that that's the only price listed!
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#23
Posted: 2/20/06 at 7:01pm
I saw Sweeney Sunday night, too. Loved it so much I'm probably seeing it next weekend or sometime in the next couple of weeks. I thought Benjamin Eakeley was magnificent (and so funny helping Patti LuPone with the triangle!) that I'm almost worried about seeing it with Benjamin Magnuson. Of course, I've heard nothing but good things about Magnuson and I'll probably love him, but it's a testament to how good I thought his understudy was.
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re: 2/19 Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd#24
Posted: 2/20/06 at 7:33pm
Saw Sweeney for a second time sunday afternoon (just couldn't wait to see it again..) and if magnuson was sick, i never would have noticed. he sounded just as solid as the first time i saw it. His 'Joanna' is so moving, he adds so much character and brings so much more life into the part than i've ever seen it played. he is by far the best anthony i've ever seen, so never fear Keaton, i assure you that you won't be dissapointed.

as for the rest of my comments about the production.. will post in a more appropriate thread.

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