Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday's Bits and Pieces for 09.18.2009

The fall season is in full swing! More and more is happening in the theatre scene, so let's get to it!


YouTube, move over! You want to see vintage performances from decades worth of Broadway musicals? Try! They have bits from The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tony Awards, movie musical scenes, and any variety show/musical special you can think of! I've enjoyed such things as Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur singing "Bosom Buddies" on the Tonys, a scene from Baby and Chita Rivera recreating "The Shriner's Ballet" from Bye Bye Birdie on a Ballet Theatre special from the 80's.

TOP 3 COMPLETE CAST RECORDINGS (meaning I listen to the whole thing through, time permitting):
  1. next to normal - The Original Broadway Cast
  2. Bye Bye Birdie - The Original Broadway Cast
  3. West Side Story - The New Broadway Cast Recording
TOP 5 CAST RECORDING SINGLES(meaning I listen to these tracks over and over):
  1. "Superboy and the Invisible Girl" from next to normal
  2. "Who's Crazy?/My Psychopharmacologist and I" from next to normal
  3. "An English Teacher" from Bye Bye Birdie
  4. "Around Here" from 9 to 5: The Musical
  5. "How Lovely to Be a Woman" from Bye Bye Birdie
Jeremy Piven needs to get over himself. He left a show in a lurch, and even giving him the benefit of the doubt about the disease he suffers from, he could have exited in a nicer fashion. Now, it seems the "star" can't take his lumps like a good sport, having his "people" get a cease and desist order to prevent the presentation of The Piven Monolgues at The Public. Boo Hoo! A show made up of reactions to his actions sounds interesting and even fun. Last I heard, The Public has not cancelled that performance!
WHY?? Part One
La Cage aux Folles, one classic musical if ever there was one, was one of the life-changing shows I ever saw back in 1984. Heck, I remember details from that performance that took place 25 years ago, and can't remember what I had for lunch today. Then there was the revival that played Broadway a few short years ago, and Tony wins or not, it was hardly a success. So, news of another revival coming this season makes me ask WHY!? I understand the production and star being imported from London is a fresh take, so I'll reserve judgement beyond my disbelief for now... but, really? We need this like another revival of Gypsy.
WHY?? Part Two
Full disclosure: Recognizing I will likely go to theatre hell for admitting this publicly, I will anyway: I think The Phantom of the Opera is one of the worst, most boring, overrated musicals ever produced, and I am disgusted every single time it makes a new milestone - 9,000 performances...great. But then comes the official announcement that the SEQUEL, tentatively called Love Never Dies just makes me want to barf. Apparently Sir Andrew didn't talk to the producers of Bring Back Birdie or Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge (aka Annie Warbucks). I've said it before and I'll say it again, I will never wish a new production ill (outloud), but this one has me very close.
Color me as surprised as anyone that the closing night of Avenue Q wasn't really the closing night. For those of you living under a rock, the producers announced from the Golden stage that, in fact, Avenue Q was just changing addresses (and ticket prices and overhead costs) by re-opening off-Broadway at New World Stages! Exciting! So whenever I feel blue or need to re-find my purpose, I don't have to pull out my CD...I can see the show! And rumor has it there will be at least one significant change: Gary Coleman will be played by a man this time around!
Have a great weekend!


  1. So the fact that Jeremy Piven put up with all the lame joke for over a year now and never said 1 word only that David Mamet's line about his illness was good. OR the fact that he won the lawsuit that the producers filed against him doesn't matter either. Now you are saying he needs to be a good sport and takes his lump. How much long will this go on. Until I guess the sore loser producers finally get money they don't deserve.

  2. Thanks for writing, tszaj! You know, I can totally see your point. Maybe I didn't look at the bigger picture, or more of it from Mr. Piven's side. I'll bet there is A LOT more to BOTH sides. Perhaps I should have suggested that it is time for both sides to let it drop.


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