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2009 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!

Princeton2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/1/08
2009 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!#1
Posted: 12/21/09 at 8:05am
Just wondering what peoples highlights and lowlights of 2009 theatre were?

THE GOOD
Zorro - Such a surprise fun and feel good show, steller cast, vast improvements from the touring version. Deserved a longer run!

Phantom of the Opera - Ramin Karimloo, Gina Beck and Simon Bailey, made up one of the strongest casts ive ever see in Phantom. Completely freshened up the show which had started to look tired and dated.

Avenue Q - First time seeing it since opening. Great cast and still as hysterical as I remembered it!

Streetcar Named Desire - STUNNING!!! Amazing acting from all concerned (especially Rachael Weisz), and a gorgeous set design

Sister Act - Great fun and worth seeing alone for the star making performance of Patina Miller.

Woman In Black - First revisit after a few years, still a great bit of theatre and a unique show in the West End.

Billy Elliot - Another revisit (its been a year of that) and its still in great shape. A bit overlong, but still something quite special

Hairspray - Brian Conley, while too slim, was a good Edna, and the whole cast proved what a great show it is even without Michael Ball

Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep) - Brilliant cast, great set design, admittedly only 'ok' music. Great festive show though, Birmingham Rep have done it again!


THE BAD
Priscilla Queen Of The Desert - Just lacked the feel good factor for me, and felt a bit lazy with no heart. Tony Sheldon does deserve awards for his performance though and its nice to see Oliver Thornton finally get a role he is suited for.

Oliver - 'Bad' is possibly too stronger a word, but although the visual design is stunning it left me cold. No real standout performances either. It sort of just happened in fron of my eyes, but I never felt I cared about any of the characters etc.



THE UGLY
Forbidden Broadway - Managed to raise a smile once or twice, but otherwise it felt like id seen it all before. Also felt the jokes about Elton John and his Billys were in poor taste and near the mark. Good cast though.
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tommyslim
Broadway Star
joined:5/8/06
Broadway Star
joined:
5/8/06
re: 2009 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!#2
Posted: 12/21/09 at 8:45am
for me there are lots but I shall highlight a few here:

The good:

Sister Act - Suprising show. Wasn't expecting great things, but each time I have seen this show it has improved. The cast are stellar... Patina Miller a guaranteed success for the rest of her career. I hope this show continues well into 2010 regardless of current sales.

Priscilla - The campest thing I have seen on a stage since I saw John Barrowman in Anything Goes. From start to finish a fine example of how a screen to stage transition musical should be done. Amazing cast, amazing choreography, amazing costumes.

Hairspray - Proven that even without MB, this show is still bloody brilliant!

Warhorse - Unique, fresh, invigorating - THE play of 2009. I await the film version with great delight.

The Shawashank Redemption - Ok so this wasn't the best transition ever seen, but the cast made this show what it is. Multi talented, every role was played with complete conviction, and they made an average script fantastic. such a shame it didnt get the success it deserved.

The bad -

We Will Rock You (tour) - Just plain awful. there's no other way to describe it for me. the worst 3 hours i've ever spent in a theatre since GWTW.

Grease - Sorry, but just no. Ray Quinn playing Danny?? Ok he wasn't that bad but come on you've got a 19/20 year old playing the lead, then a supporting cast with an average age of 30. It just isn't believable. and i can go with ALOT.

Talent - Didnt like it one bit. bored from start to finish.

The Ugly -

Too close to the sun. never again should it darken any doorway.

La Cage with John Barrowman - thankfully the original cast have returned to end the show on a high. he may have made good sales. but he certainly didn't make a good character! he played himeslf! eugh.

and that is all darlings
x
"Lateness is a choice" - Sir Trevor Nunn
Dantes
Broadway Star
joined:10/11/09
Broadway Star
joined:
10/11/09
re: 2009 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!#2
Posted: 12/21/09 at 9:18am
The Good

La Cage Aux Folles - I was never that much against the recent Broadway Revival....until i watched this, amazing cast and directed with heart, something the revival lacked.

Flashdance - Wanted to hate this show and had the knives out, then it goes and turns out to be pretty bloody good....damn you flashdance.

Next To Normal - Just simply one of the best new musicals in many many years. Moving and haunting with a performance to die for.

39 steps - Seen it a few times now but the show is brilliant, i always leave feeling like ive had one hell of a night.

Reasons To Be Pretty - I can't believe this did not run longer in NY. A brilliant play with a cast that lit up the stage.

Hair - Phenomonal, Will Swanson and Gavin Creel were outstanding, as were the whole cast of this pitch perfect revival.

'M' - Erm just because i wrote it lolol, oh and ther critics and udiences loved it...so there lol


Bad

Priscilla - Whilst not a bad show it is over hyped nonsense, great cast and costumes but it all git a bit repetetive after awhile.

We Will Rock You - Having to sit through this crap fopr 3 months when i was working at the Palace made me almost give up on musical theatre all together. However Alex Gaumond was sensational in this.

Mary Poppins - Over long musical with not much to say or do. The tricks look good, the performances were fine but the book is a mess and the score tends to stop the action dead a lot of the time.

Will post more when i have more time
former sadm2 (wink)
peachesr
Stand-by
joined:9/30/09
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joined:
9/30/09
re: 2009 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!#3
Posted: 12/21/09 at 11:55am
The Good

Spring Awakening; Possibly one of the best theatre experiences I've ever had. Wonderful cast and a great energy, shame it closed so soon.

The Light in the Piazza; Well worth the hike to Leicester. Gorgeous, sumptuous production, such a shame it never came into London.

Legally Blonde; Exceeded expectations, hopefully will be around a while.Really good fun show without being a bloody jukebox musical!

Enron; Totally bonkers, genius piece of theatre.

Next to Normal; Just simply brilliant, worth the flight to NY alone

Warhorse; Brilliant, brilliant brilliant. Made me cry buckets!


The Bad;

Priscilla; I have never and would never walk out of anything but I came so close with this. I'm all for camp fun but would rather have gone back to La Cage for that!

Hello Dolly; Found myself praying for rain half way through as an excuse to leave. Just got bored.

The Ugly

Hamlet (Jude Law); Wanted to love it, found it dragging, way too hyped. Preferred David Tennant.

Madame De Sade; Looked stunning but even Dame Judi couldn't save it.

West Side Story; Wanted so much to love it, my fav musical of all time. The Spanish didnt work, Arthur Laurents needed to admit defeat.

Shrek; Just no.
Princeton2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/1/08
re: 2009 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!#4
Posted: 12/21/09 at 3:19pm

THE GOOD
Sound of Music UK Tour - Quality production (despite slightly dodgy mountain) of a classic musical.

Little Night Music - It was overlong and a little slow at times, but overall I enjoyed it.

Light In The Piazza (Leicester) - While I think the musical as a piece is over hyped, the production itself was visually beautiful. Caroline Sheen and Matt Rawle I wasnt 100% convinced of, but it was a quality production

Evita (UK Tour) - Best Kenwright show in ages, Rachael Wooding giving a star turn. In my view better than the recent West End revival

In The Heights (NYC) - AMAZING, thought id hate it, but AMAZING

Little Mermaid (NYC) - So many problems yet I had a really great evening in the theatre with a brilliant score and cast.

Mary Poppins (NYC) - More I see this show the more I warm to it, great to see a Brit being amazing on Broadway - Scarlett Strallen is a star!

Blithe Spirit (NYC) - Could easily be in the 'BAD' catagory but its saved by Angela Lansbury.



THE BAD
HSM2 On Stage - I actually quite like the second HSM film, but it was surprisingly dull on stage. Did like the swimming pool set though!

West Side Story (UK Tour) - Nice set design, otherwise I couldnt engage with this production, just lacked any edge or sparkle. Cast were ok but nothing outstanding, and hard to believe anyone could be a gang member

THE UGLY
Shrek (NYC) - Bland, boring, music added nothing, and Sutton Foster being very annoying

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bob8rich
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/03
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joined:
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re: 2009 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!#5
Posted: 12/21/09 at 6:04pm
There have been SO many "Goods" in 2009 so I've limited my list to those that were incredibly good:

GOOD:
Next To Normal (twice!) - Brilliant beyond words - far and away the best musical of the entire decade.
Spring Awakening (3 times!) - again Brilliant beyond words.
A Man Of No Importance (Union Theatre) - a beautiful production of a beautiful piece of musical theatre.
Spend Spend Spend (at the Watermill) - a breathtaking production.

BAD:
Shrek - pure torture.

UGLY:
The Thornbirds, the musical - horrendous beyond words. Possibly the worst musical of any decade LOL. (I did not get to see Too Close To The Sun, however.)
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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Phantom of London
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joined:3/26/08
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joined:
3/26/08
re: 2009 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!#6
Posted: 12/21/09 at 7:33pm
THE GOOD

Sunset Boulevard - This more intimate staging, made a beautiful sunset, Katherine Evans was sublime.

A Little Night Music - Just brilliant, I know others had issues, but I am a night music débutante, so don't know any different.

La Cage aux Folles - What can I add, what nobody has not said already?

Sister Act - I was one of the doubters, how wrong was I, a brilliant show, with a couple of warts.

Spring Awakening - Great little show, deserves to be in the West End now, plus a couple of years more.

Next to Normal - Great little show, understand why Alice Ripley got the Tony.

South Pacific - Stunning revival.

THE BAD

Priscilla - Be a good show, if it had a story.

Oliver - Did not live up to its expectation, even though Rowan Atkinson was excellent.

Shrek - Was that bad, I even enjoyed this more than I thought.

Rock of Ages - A story that has been done many times before, but rehashed with rock music.

THE UGLY

Hello Dolly - I simply did not get on with this, not my genre of musical.

Wicked - One hell of a green mess, great effects, staging, a couple of good songs, no story, I do not comprehend what all the fuss is about.

Hair - Same as Hello Dolly, did not get into this, however I will see this again, when show opens in London.

Grease - Who spiked my drink? To make me go and see this again.
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bob8rich
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/03
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joined:
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re: 2009 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!#7
Posted: 12/21/09 at 7:47pm
Phantom - I agree with you about the brilliance of Sunset, La Cage and South Pacific - but I didn't include them as I saw them at the start of their runs in 2008.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
AnythingGoes2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/30/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/30/08
re: 2009 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!#8
Posted: 12/22/09 at 5:50am
Good -
Night Music
Priscilla
Sunset
La Cage (better than Good!)
Phantom (cast as of Oct - brilliant)

Bad -
Sister Act

Ugly -
Too Close to the Sun
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jaqs
Broadway Star
joined:1/24/08
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joined:
1/24/08
re: 2009 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!#9
Posted: 12/23/09 at 2:59am
Good

sister act
three days of rain
new boy
legally blonde
once on this island
priscilla
Waiting for Godot

so much and so hard to remember what was this year.

bad
dreamboats and petticoats - still can't get over the severe shoehorning of songs.
Madame de Sade - what a blot on the otherwise great season.

Ugly
The disasterous way spring awakening was transferred.
Updated On: 12/24/09 at 02:59 AM