Friday, April 23, 2010

Been Gone Too Long

Sadie is not including a scale in this blog because there are too many reviews. But just so you remember:
Show Time Sadie’s, “What’s in it For Me” Scale
1. It was boring, or ordinary, or ho hum, don’t waste your time.
2. It was entertaining, but dinner would have been good too.
3, It changed my life in some miraculous way
Briefly, What's been happening around town? It's Spring so tourists are arriving en masse but it is still possible to get a discounted seat. And briefly: "American Idiot" has opened. If you like GreenDays music-- or is it "GreenSleeves" or maybe it's GreenWay, whatever they are called, it seems to be a hit. If you like GreenDays the band or are under 30, you will love the presentation and the score. The book was interesting to Sadie because she was amazed that they treat the military with such respect. (You'll have to go to find out about the other characters and their issues). The choreography is deliberate and repetitive -- and it works. The people flying around are unecessary and in a way, out of place. They simply didn't have to spend that kind of money for something that appears extraneous. All the performers were energetic and their voices were spectacular, but as an ensemble cast (and they knew it), no one was noticibly better than anyone else.

"Looped" closed April 11. My understanding is that it had no audience in NY but it will travel -- and if you have a chance, it is worth seeing. Despite anything you may have heard, Valerie Harper was incredible. She was funny and pathetic and mean and loveable. And although the show was basically a vehicle to showcase what a bitch Tallulah Bankhead was supposed to be, it was well written and, Sadie thought, quite entertaining and creative. Yes, it was a one woman show with three people and all the characters were worth visiting. What else?

One of the most beautiful and touching plays on Broadway is "Next Fall". A story about a family struggling with life style, and understanding choices. It is beautifully written and acted. Sadie saw in on and off Broadway and was moved to tears on both occasions. The play moves from moment to moment and character to character-- seamlessly. The story revoles around two men, one older, cynical, and more doubting/cautious than hos than his partner, who is more personable, naive, and guilt ridden about who is is with regard to his family. Unlike so many shows where the these is homosexuality, "Last Fall" never hesitates to preach or judge. It simply unfolds. It is Tony material for sure. With every element working in concert to present a painful story about real people and real lives.

"Fela" never stops moving --physically or emotionally. It is political without having to be politic. The choreography is splendid and the score is vibrant and rythmatic. By the end of the first act you wonder if the cast will have the energy to return to the stage for the end. Sadie thought it was terrific and the fact that it was a benefit and the room was celebrity filled--she would ave enjoyed it even ifshe was sitting with just plain folk.

Rock of Ages is a joy because it has no pretense about what it is trying to be. It's just a fun filled evening of entertaining music and dance with, like, "Mamma Mia, a plot that fits all the music you will hear. If you're looking for a life changing experience--this is not for you. But if you want to sit back, relax and laugh, this is the ticket to buy. Constantine Maroulis, the shaggy former "Idol" contestant -- who didn't win, plays the male lead. He is a wanna be rock and roll star in love with a the sweet, adorable Kerry Butler (who is the only actor in her forties still playing a believable star smitten teenager. James Carpinello, Mitchell Jarvis and Adam Dannheiser work beautifully together as bar owner, staff, and rocker--all of whom have some comedic impact on the lover's lives. Great music, good dancing and you get a little itty bitty flashlight to help light your way through this musical journey.

When people ask Sadie if she liked "Memphis", her answer is yes, but with a caveat or two -- like the book and the end which, for a show that is real "Broadway", is disappointing because you wanted better. The show is costumed and colored brilliantly. The choreography is terrific and the writer Joe DiPietro, is well intentioned but the story simply isn't as compelling as it might be. The actor, Chad Kimball and Montego Glover are talented performers who seem never to connect with one another or the story. Where it is lively and thought provoking, it left Sadie with the feeling that she really liked it but all that had to do with it's "big show" aspects as opposed to any real depth.

Easily the funniest show on Broadway is the black comedy, "A Behanding in Spokane". All Christopher Walken has to do is walk o stage and open his mouth and Sadie is on the floor. While she was expecting a bit more violence, she was happy that the blood and gore were limited and absolutely necessary to move forward. The story is unexpected but never anything less than brilliant and hillarious. Sadie often wonders, (when a book is that good), how the writer ever got from one place to another in their head and then on paper. It is not family entertainment but Sam Rockwell Anthony Mackie, and Zoe Kazan are a remarkably talented supporting cast. This play is soooo not to be missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment