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LOVEMUSIK Reviews

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Wanna Be A Foster
Broadway Legend
joined:1/9/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/9/05
LOVEMUSIK Reviews#1
Posted: 5/3/07 at 6:58pm
Talkin' Broadway is Mixed.

Loves the cast and creative, dislikes the final product.

http://www.talkinbroadway.com/world/

Late in the first act of One Touch of Venus, the 1943 musical comedy with music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Ogden Nash, and a book by Nash and S.J. Perelman, the titular Goddess of Love finally convinces her mortal inamorato, the barber Rodney Hatch, to succumb to her eternal charms. Her song of seduction is the sultry but pointedly realistic "Speak Low," which smokily delineates the fleeting nature with which even the hottest flame burns: "Time is so old and love so brief," she sings. "Love is pure gold and time a thief."

This song, which pulses with passionate urgency when sung by a deity to her human lover, takes on a considerably different tenor when it appears seconds after the curtain rises on LoveMusik, the Berlin-to-Broadway vocal selections of a musical Manhattan Theatre Club has just opened at the Biltmore. Now it's the statement of Weill himself (Michael Cerveris) and his on-again-off-again wife and muse, the actress and singer Lotte Lenya (Donna Murphy), presented as disenfranchised spirits lost amid the uncertain blackness of time. Yes, one of Broadway's finest sensual duets is now the opening statement of one of the least lovely love stories Broadway has seen in ages.

Viva Harold Prince! One of the maestros of the concept musical has at last returned to Broadway, and with bookwriter Alfred Uhry, who's woven songs written by Weill and 12 collaborators into this chronicle of Weill and Lenya's lifelong affair (based on their own letters), has seen to it that LoveMusik lives to its name, and two of mankind's elemental forces spend three hours grappling for control. Who wins? That might be open to debate. But as Weill and Lenya, soon after cooing "Speak Low" in precisely pinched accents, begin their nearly three-hour task of stripping away the song's sentiments to reveal a lumpy core of irony beneath, one can't help but feel that music - sorry, Musik - will eventually win out.

Read on...

Talkin' Broadway - LOVEMUSIK Review
"Winning a Tony this year is like winning Best Attendance in third grade: no one will care but the winner and their mom."
-Kad

"I have also met him in person, and I find him to be quite funny actually. Arrogant and often misinformed, but still funny."
-bjh2114 (on Michael Riedel)
Updated On: 5/3/07 at 06:58 PM
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BustopherPhantom
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/31/06
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#2
Posted: 5/3/07 at 7:10pm
I'd call that more of a mixed-to-negative, really.
"Y'know, I think Bertolt Brecht was rolling in his grave."
-Nellie McKay on the 2006 Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, in which she played Polly Peachum
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Wanna Be A Foster
Broadway Legend
joined:1/9/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/9/05
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#2
Posted: 5/3/07 at 7:14pm
AP is Mixed-Positive.

There's a goose-bump moment right at the beginning of the second act of "LoveMusik," an uneven yet fascinating examination of the highly charged relationship between composer Kurt Weill and actress Lotte Lenya.

The robust pit band segues into a haunting rendition of Weill's classic "September Song" (showcasing violinist Katherine Livolsi-Landau). It breaks the heart and raises spirits at the same time. Sort of like the musical itself.

The show, which Manhattan Theatre Club opened Thursday at Broadway's Biltmore Theatre, has a sterling pedigree. The director is Harold Prince, the man who gave us such high-concept musicals as "Cabaret,""Company" and "Follies," among others. The book writer is Alfred Uhry, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Driving Miss Daisy." And the stars are Michael Cerveris and Donna Murphy, two of the most skillful musical-theater performers on Broadway today.

Yet the production — much of it based on letters between Weill and Lenya — still feels unfinished and uncertain.

It's the story of an unusual marriage, sketchily told in Uhry's episodic adaptation. Prince intersperses biographical material with songs from Weill's musical career in Germany before World War II and in the United States until his death in 1950.

Read on...
Associated Press - LOVEMUSIK Review
"Winning a Tony this year is like winning Best Attendance in third grade: no one will care but the winner and their mom."
-Kad

"I have also met him in person, and I find him to be quite funny actually. Arrogant and often misinformed, but still funny."
-bjh2114 (on Michael Riedel)
Updated On: 5/3/07 at 07:14 PM
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courtnyj
Broadway Legend
joined:5/1/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/1/06
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#3
Posted: 5/3/07 at 7:15pm
The "average joes" at Word-of-Mouth were mixed.

One hated it, one loved it and one was mixed.
Word-of-Mouth
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Wanna Be A Foster
Broadway Legend
joined:1/9/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/9/05
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#4
Posted: 5/3/07 at 7:17pm
BustopherPhantom, I see what you mean. Murray did rave about a couple of moments though, but I suppose the overall tone was one of disappointment.
"Winning a Tony this year is like winning Best Attendance in third grade: no one will care but the winner and their mom."
-Kad

"I have also met him in person, and I find him to be quite funny actually. Arrogant and often misinformed, but still funny."
-bjh2114 (on Michael Riedel)
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n69n
Broadway Legend
joined:4/30/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/30/06
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#5
Posted: 5/3/07 at 7:19pm
oy, i read that Murray review...he cited two of LOVEMUSIK's most excruciating scenes (BUDDY ON THE NIGHT SHIFT and THE ILLUSION WEDDING SHOW) as "highlights".

he also called it "anti-romantic"....obviously i'm just a freak because i found the show incredibly romantic (at least all the Lenya/Weill scenes).
i want to make thngs that count
- George, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
Updated On: 5/3/07 at 07:19 PM
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Wanna Be A Foster
Broadway Legend
joined:1/9/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/9/05
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#6
Posted: 5/3/07 at 7:48pm
Variety is Mixed-Positive. Similar sentiments to what the AP had to say.

Emotional ambiguity is almost as characteristic of Kurt Weill's work as the musical discordance that echoes it. It ripples sorrowfully through the melody of the composer's French chanson, "Je ne t'aime pas," and in Maurice Magre's translated lyrics: "For you understand that I don't love you/But don't press my hand or look deep in my eyes." That wounding impulse to abnegate both the love itself and the pain that comes with denial colors every scene of "LoveMusik," an uneven but fascinating portrait of the corrosive relationship between Weill and his wife Lotte Lenya.

While it was developed from the letters of Weill and Lenya by playwright Alfred Uhry and constructed around 27 songs -- both celebrated and obscure -- written by the German composer with various distinguished lyricists, this challenging expressionistic bioplay with music bears the defining creative stamp of Harold Prince.

Returning to Broadway with his first new musical since "Parade" in 1998, Prince has folded performance, design and music into a collage of striking theatercraft that's appropriately Brechtian in its burlesque artificiality. Even when the arty approach feels distancing, the thick German accents muffle the lyrics or the show veers toward melancholic overload, "LoveMusik" is an audacious work that never shies away from taking risks. It remains a beguiling reflection on the complexities of love, unfailingly coherent with its subject matter.

Having worked with the actress, Prince has a history with Lenya. After her return to the stage following Weill's death, she played Fraulein Schneider in the producer-director's 1966 Broadway staging of "Cabaret," which this new show frequently recalls.

Prince as always has surrounded himself with top-notch collaborators. Some are regulars, like lighting designer Howard Binkley, whose dark color palette gives the show a brooding beauty; choreographer Patricia Birch, her musical staging enlivened by its humorous embrace of vintage theatrical styles; costumer Judith Dolan, supplying character-enhancing period garb; and invaluable orchestrator Jonathan Tunick, whose impeccably balanced arrangements of Weill's music for the 10-piece band allow the score to comment on the story without overpowering it.

Read on...
Variety - LOVEMUSIK Review
"Winning a Tony this year is like winning Best Attendance in third grade: no one will care but the winner and their mom."
-Kad

"I have also met him in person, and I find him to be quite funny actually. Arrogant and often misinformed, but still funny."
-bjh2114 (on Michael Riedel)
Updated On: 5/3/07 at 07:48 PM
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munkustrap178
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/18/04
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#7
Posted: 5/3/07 at 8:22pm
http://www.amny.com/entertainment/stage/am-lovemusik0503,0,1392664.story?coll=am-ent-headlines

AM New York.

Mixed, but gives it 3 stars. Doesn't say all that much.
"If you are going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy." -Charlie Manson
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Wanna Be A Foster
Broadway Legend
joined:1/9/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/9/05
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#8
Posted: 5/3/07 at 8:24pm
The NY Sun is Mixed.

Raves for Cerveris, Murphy and the Orchestrations. Lukewarm about the complete musical.

Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya married, divorced, remarried, and appeared headed for a re-divorce right before Weill's death at the age of 50. The two frequently lived hundreds of miles apart. Weill had a mistress for six years; one of Lenya's many lovers took advantage of the chaos in 1930s Germany (Weill, a Jew, had already fled) and ran off with her money. Early on, when she complained to Weill that she felt ignored, he answered, "You know you come right after my music!"

Depending on their taste for perversity, anybody looking to turn this unlikely love story into a Broadway musical is either sitting on a gold mine or destined for trouble. Or perhaps both, as is the case with "LoveMusik," the ambitious but schizophrenic effort by director Harold Prince (who directed Lenya in 1966's "Cabaret") and book writer Alfred Uhry. Using some two dozen of the composer's haunting songs and eliciting superb performances from Michael Cerveris and Donna Murphy, "LoveMusik" comes tantalizingly close to explaining how the son of a cantor and a former child prostitute formed one of the 20th century's most curious romances. Ironically, though, the project is foiled by the very thing that made it so tempting in the first place — Weill's own versatility.

On a professional level, the symbiotic nature of their collaboration proved complicated: Lenya found great acclaim in Europe singing Weill's music in the 1920s and '30s, but her difficulty at adapting to a more "American" sound led to virtual obscurity during her first two decades in America. This did no favors to their already tempestuous relationship, especially juxtaposed with Weill's relative comfort in acclimating himself. While nobody would confuse "The Threepenny Opera" with later works such as "One Touch of Venus," Weill's brand of woozy astringency remained fairly consistent even when he parted ways (bitterly) with Bertolt Brecht and adapted to Broadway's glossier demands.

The Brecht collaborations have so overshadowed Weill's career that it's easy to forget just how many other collaborators he had. Any discography that includes lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, a 29-year-old Alan Jay Lerner, and Ira Gershwin stands out even without including Brecht. Now toss in Ogden Nash and Howard Dietz. Oh, and don't forget his "Street Scene" lyricist, Langston Hughes.

This embarrassment of lyrical riches stymies Messrs. Prince and Uhry, who are left with a stylistic smorgasbord that continuously wriggles free of any unified tone and leaves the complexities of the Weill-Lenya relationship unexplored. (Any cohesion in the "LoveMusik" score comes primarily from Jonathan Tunick's superb — and mercifully synthesizer-free — orchestrations.) Too many selections are less notable for furthering the narrative than they are for representing each major Weill work. While "LoveMusik" is technically a jukebox musical, this sort of inclusion-by-obligation makes it feel more like a checklist musical.

Read on...
New York Sun - LOVEMUSIK Review
"Winning a Tony this year is like winning Best Attendance in third grade: no one will care but the winner and their mom."
-Kad

"I have also met him in person, and I find him to be quite funny actually. Arrogant and often misinformed, but still funny."
-bjh2114 (on Michael Riedel)
Updated On: 5/3/07 at 08:24 PM
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songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/31/06
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#9
Posted: 5/3/07 at 8:32pm
these are all pretty luke warm to say the least.
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
RockabyeHamlet
Broadway Legend
joined:7/1/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/1/05
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#10
Posted: 5/3/07 at 8:33pm
The Word of Mouth review made. me. want. to. HIT. something...

OF COURSE ITS NOT OKLAHOMA!! *breathes*

I'm sorry, but I just think that was an asinine comparison.
"I wouldn't let Esparza's Bobby take my kids to the zoo...I'd be afraid he'd steal their ice cream and laugh."- YankeeFan
"People who like Sondheim enjoy cruelty."-LuvtheEmcee
Updated On: 5/3/07 at 08:33 PM
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n69n
Broadway Legend
joined:4/30/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/30/06
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#12
Posted: 5/3/07 at 8:43pm
Wanna Be A Foster: Raves for Cerveris, Murphy and the Orchestrations

i can agree with that.
the show itself may not be built to last but people will be talking about Murphy & Ceveris for a long time.
i want to make thngs that count
- George, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
Updated On: 5/3/07 at 08:43 PM
RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 2/15/05
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#13
Posted: 5/3/07 at 9:48pm
Phyllis, from word-of-mouth, looks like she's been through some things!

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ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/2/05
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#14
Posted: 5/3/07 at 9:50pm
She REALLY got on my nerves, and the other girl who couldn't like the play because of the German accents *eye roll*
The only reason I had to put up with it was because of the nice clips they tend to show.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
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SueleenGay
Broadway Legend
joined:6/9/03
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/9/03
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#15
Posted: 5/3/07 at 9:50pm
To be fair about the Oklahoma comment, she was saying that the songs in LM stopped the action to comment on it and did not further the plot. She actually seemed like a rather intelligent person who knew a bit about the theatre.
PEACE.
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BustopherPhantom
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/31/06
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#16
Posted: 5/3/07 at 9:54pm
TO SueleenGay:

THANK you! Finally - someone who isn't afraid to say something nice about Word of Mouth!
"Y'know, I think Bertolt Brecht was rolling in his grave."
-Nellie McKay on the 2006 Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, in which she played Polly Peachum
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Mr. Tuttle
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/17/03
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#17
Posted: 5/3/07 at 9:56pm
This will be one of those artsy flops.
Ignorance is temporary. Stupidity last forever. Watch out BWW... HE'S BACK.
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ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/2/05
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#18
Posted: 5/3/07 at 9:57pm
So far I just get the general feeling that critics seem to agree that the show would have benefited from an out-of-town try-out, from what I've read in the critics' review the show is a gem-in-the-making that's not there yet. Oh well...awaiting impatiently for Brantley's review.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
BSoBW2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/8/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 12/8/04
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#19
Posted: 5/3/07 at 10:07pm
I should never get my hopes up for a show again.
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songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/31/06
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#20
Posted: 5/3/07 at 10:09pm
so many people on here have been predicting tonys and smash hit for this show.

Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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wickedfan
Broadway Legend
joined:12/25/03
Broadway Legend | Joined: 12/25/03
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#21
Posted: 5/3/07 at 10:12pm
While im sure the show isn't horrible, many posters poo poo-ed me when I said that an amazingly assembled team does not always create a spectacular product.
"Sing the words, Patti!!!!" Stephen Sondheim to Patti LuPone.
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Heybeenfood
Broadway Star
joined:5/15/06
Broadway Star | Joined: 5/15/06
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#22
Posted: 5/3/07 at 10:15pm
Updated On: 5/3/07 at 10:15 PM
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somethingwicked
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/27/05
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#23
Posted: 5/3/07 at 10:29pm
Brantley, like everyone else for the most part, raves about Cerveris and Murphy and conceeds to the underwhelming show around them.
Tonya Pinkins: Then we had a "Lot's Wife" last June that was my personal favorite. I'm still trying to get them to let me sing it at some performance where we get to sing an excerpt that's gone.
Tony Kushner: You can sing it at my funeral.
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miss pennywise
Broadway Legend
joined:4/7/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/7/04
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#24
Posted: 5/3/07 at 10:35pm
I stopped reading Brantley's review because I see LOVEMUSIK next week and he was giving away too much about the show itself. He loves Murphy and Cerveris, which is the consensus here, so I know what to expect. Weill's music, two luminous performances--plus a well-liked turn by Pittu--are enough to make me happy.

And we always have this:

re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews
"Be on your guard! Jerks on the loose!"

http://www.roches.com/television/ss83kod.html

**********

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Julian2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/10/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/10/06
re: LOVEMUSIK Reviews#25
Posted: 5/3/07 at 10:38pm
So the question is, are these reveiws good enough to get that coveted forth spot?

I think so, I certainly hope so.
I have several names, one is Julian2. I am also The Opps Girl. But cross me, and I become Bitch Dooku!