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My New York & London trip - my views on the shows

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bob8rich
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/19/03
Here are my comments on all the shows I saw in New York recently plus the show I saw in London the night before my flight:

FLASHDANCE****:
Hugely enjoyable show - though the book’s a little thin, the set is great, the performances all excellent and the songs (much to my surprise!) were really good. And Victoria Hamilton Barritt was awesome!

MEMPHIS****:
I thought I would hate this and I absolutely loved it. There is so much energy in the choreography and the performances and I loved the score (Colored Woman and Memphis Lives In Me especially are GREAT songs). Although I found the plot-line a tad pretentious, DiPietro’s writing is so good it still worked superbly. Montego Glover’s vocals were outstanding and Chad Kimball’s performance was utterly charming.

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC****:
I still found Nunn’s production somewhat lacking compared to other versions of the show I’ve seen but it is such a wonderful piece it’s impossible not to be both moved and entertained by this show. Stritch showed she has not lost her immense stage presence - though she did struggle with remembering some
of her lines (but if and when I get to 84 I doubt I’ll be able to remember anything lol so I won’t criticise her for that). And, great as I thought Catherine was in the role, Bernadette Peters took things to a whole new level. Her comic timing was extraordinary and her “Clowns” was breathtakingly brilliant.

[TITLE OF SHOW]*****:
Took the train down to New Brunswick NJ to see this and it was more than worth the effort! Hilariously funny book, brilliant score, superb production and four great performances - with the fantastic Lauren Kennedy the absolute pick of the bunch.

SONDHEIM 80TH BIRTHDAY CONCERT AT CARNEGIE HALL*****:
An awesome night. Obviously full of genius Sondheim songs - and the great man came on stage at the end. But also the atmosphere at Carnegie Hall made it a very special night. The soloists (Alex Gemignani, Christiane Noll, Kate Baldwin, Aaron Lazar & Marylin Maye) were all great - the absolute higlights being Noll/Gemignani’s SO MANY PEOPLE, Noll/Baldwin/Lazar’s GETTING MARRIED TODAY, Lazar’s BEING ALIVE, Noll/Lazar’s MOVE ON & the entire company (including an 80 strong choir) singing SUNDAY. And I had a lovely chat with Aaron afterwards - not only a stunning singer but a really nice guy. (and he’s recorded a song from my show After The Turn that everyone can hear on the album MORE WITH EVERY LINE due for release on December 6 ! - gotta get the plug in LOL)

WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN*****:
THIS SHOW IS FANTASTIC! It is by a mile the best new musical I have seen this year. The book is perfectly crafted, weaving the stories of its multitude of characters together quite brilliantly and it is very funny, a constant barrage of rapid-fire comic one-liners and I laughed so much I was literally aching. To add to this the set is pretty stunning and it has a Yazbeck score to die for - I can’t wait for a cast album to be released coz I want to listen to these songs over and over. And, of course, the entire all-star cast are superb - and if Laura Benanti does not win a Tony for this it will be criminal injustice! Cannot find enough superlatives to describe how much I loved this show other than to say again THIS SHOW IS FANTASTIC!


WEST SIDE STORY****:
A GREAT CLASSIC Broadway show and the staging and dancing are simply brilliant. But still I felt there is something missing from this production that prevents it from showing off the show as the masterpiece it is. Can’t quite put my finger on what
it is that is missing though LOL - possibly the fact that most of the lead performances were pretty ordinary - not bad but just nothing special either - apart from Matt Hyzdik who was outstanding as Tony.


THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS*****:
One word - brilliant! A genius Kander & Ebb score, superlative Susan Stroman choreography & staging, stunning performances from the entire cast - and the piece strikes the perfect balance, by powerfully projecting the heartbreaking story of the injustice imposed on the Scottsboro Boys and linking it to Rosa Parks and the commencement of the famous Bus Boycott that led to the instigation of the Civil Rights movement - and never once making it feel either pretentious or “preachy”. And the small-minded, invertedly bigoted protestors outside the theatre really need to go see the show before condemning it as “racist” - it is in reality the exact opposite.

NEXT TO NORMAL*****:
My 4th time seeing this and it still blew me away - the quality of the writing is staggeringly brilliant. Regarding the three new cast members I have not seen before: Megan Fahy was an excellent Natalie and Jason Daniely was vocally the best Dan I
have heard. Marin Mazzie was excellent as Diana and certainly drew far more humour out of the role. But I did find her performance rather clinical compared to Alice Ripley’s - Alice totally inhabited the role and I really felt that she WAS this housewife with bi-polar disorder and I cried with her and for her each of the three times I saw her in the role. I didn’t feel quite that way with Marin. And, though Marin was overall
fantastic vocally, I didn’t think her “I Miss The Mountains” even came close to Ripley’s. But still, as I said, I was blown away by the show yet again and it is definitely in my list of the top half dozen musicals I have ever seen in 40 years of
going to the theatre. I hope it eventually makes it across the pond as I would love to see it yet again.



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***
Updated On: 11/25/10 at 11:39 AM
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mallardo
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/28/04
Glad you like Memphis, Bob. I keep telling people that the show is SO much better than the OBCR.

Disagree with you about Marin Mazzie. Not taking anything away from Alice Ripley but I thought Marin gave one of the greatest performances I have ever seen.
Faced with these Loreleis, what man can moralize!
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kc2
Understudy
joined:5/6/10
Understudy
joined:
5/6/10
I'm so happy to read such a glowing report of WOTV. I'm going over next month and have tickets to see it (along with Next to Normal, A Little Night Music & The Merchant of Venice. Hoping to squeeze in Scottsboro Boys too as it seems like a not to be missed kind of show I will kick myself if I don't see, lol). After reading the scathing comments over on the main board a while back I was starting to feel a little apprehensive about it being a let down but this has cheered me. Either way I'm glad I have my tickets.

Glad it was a successful trip!
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bob8rich
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/19/03
Mallardo - guess everyone's opinions re Alice & Marin will vary. I've always been a huge Marin fan sver since I saw her in Ragtime but I honestly didn't feel for her Diana - it just seeemed as if she was "walking it" - maybe she just had an off night. But the three greatest performances I have ever seen are the three times I saw Alice Ripley in N2N. Her performance made me cry every time.
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***
Holbee
Featured Actor
joined:8/3/05
Featured Actor
joined:
8/3/05
thank you for the Women on the Verge love. People need to see this show, tell people how good it is so we'll get an extension AND a cast album.
sgv123
Broadway Legend
joined:8/16/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/16/06
^There will definitely be a cast album. They are for presale at the theater
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SoonerOrLater
Broadway Star
joined:8/1/08
Broadway Star
joined:
8/1/08
Thanks for the reviews! Given me some definate contenders for my January trip. And of course very jealous you got to go to the Sondheim concert!

Am actually considering WOTV.. now, even though Miss Patti is not my cup of tea!
Maybe I'm on nobody's side http://phdconfessions.blogspot.com/
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bob8rich
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/19/03
Do not miss WOTV. Even if you're not a Patti person, Sherie was wonderful, Brian Stokes Mitchell was golden voiced as always, Justin Guarini was a revelation and I can't find superlatives sufficient to describe how great Laura Benanti was.
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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luke-h***
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/4/06
Hooray positive Women on the Verge Review! Fantastic! My New York & London trip -  my views on the shows
This has excited me further for my NYC trip...did not think that was possible!
THEATRE 2016: Grey Gardens; SwkPlayhouse, Cats; London Palladium, Into the Woods; Royal Exchange, Show Boat; Sheffield Crucible, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Prsicilla Queen of the Desert; UK Tour, Narrative; RWCMD, Mojo; RWCMD, The Barber of Seville; WNO, Rabbit Hole; Hampstead, The Marriage of Figaro; WNO, Figaro Gets a Divorce; WNO, Tom: The Musical; UK Tour Upcoming: Anything Can Happen; RWCMD, Cysgy'n Brys'ur, Long Day's Journey Into Night; Bristol Old Vic, Only the Brave, The Caretaker; The Old Vic, People Places and Things, Blue/Orange; Young Vic, Bernadette Peters, Carole King, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II