Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Broadway "Take Aways" 2013-2014

Sitting with my mouth agape at the end of a show usually means I am stunned by what I see, and in the very best way.  Pippin, as a whole show, had me open-mouthed throughout.  But what I really remember from that is "The Manson Trio," Matthew James Thomas bare-chested in a moving cage, and the subtlety of Andrea Martin's Tony-winning turn. Sometimes, though, my jaw is dropped as the result of seeing something so stunningly bad, I can't believe what I've seen.  It is difficult to narrow down all that was so incredibly bad about Scandalous.  I'll never forget the cheap, huge and ugly set, or how much it didn't matter that Carolee Carmello was working her ass off.  But what I will forever take away from that show is how a boozy Kathie Lee Gifford schmoozed and worked the crowd before the show and during intermission, oblivious to the fact that they cleared the mezzanine in order to make the orchestra seat more full.

So what were my "take aways" from the shows I saw this season? Here they are, in the order I saw them.

  • First Date: Zachary Levi oozing charm and talent from every pore.  The levitating restaurant check - I keep waiting for it to happen to me.  It never does. 
  • Soul Doctor: The cheap wooden doors that looked like they would fall over every time someone opened them.  And the dancer that looked like Jimi Hendrix, who thought he was the star of the show.  He wasn't even close. (He's the guy in red, above.  See what I mean?)
  • Big Fish: What a lousy part Bobby Steggert had!  And the river over the orchestra pit.  And the underwhelming daffodils.  Why were they the logo?

  • The Glass Menagerie: Zachary Quinto from start to finish. Cherry Jones' accent. The adorableness of Brian J. Smith.  And Celia Keenan-Bolger's entrance and exit and everything she did in between. Oh, and the moon in the water...
  • A Night with Janis Joplin: The light tubes that surrounded the stage. The woman who sang "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess.
  • After Midnight: The guys who danced unison very close together.  And Adriane Lenox killing it every time she took the stage.

  • Twelfth Night: The cast getting dressed before the show right below me (I sat on stage).  Paul Chahidi being an amazing woman. Mark Rylance gliding around the stage.  And Samuel Barnett being simply amazing in every way.
  • A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder: How perfectly the set fit the show.  The door scene.  And the very funny chorus numbers that were too short.
  • Beautiful: That Carole King skipped two grades and graduated high school early.  The moo moo that Jessie Mueller opened and closed the show in.  And what a waste of potential for an interesting story about a living legend.

  • The Bridges of Madison County: The stunning score, conducted that day by a passionate Jason Robert Brown.  Kelli O'Hara in a bathtub, and later a slip.  Steven Pasquale's body, and singing a long section of a song a capella, and his body.  And watching Derek Klena shoveling fake (I hope) shit.  (From that list, you might not guess that it was my favorite musical of the season, but it really was.)
  • Rocky: The noisy sets, as seen from the best seats I have had in ages.  Witnessing the birth of a star, Margo Seibert. Andy Karl finally becoming the star he was meant to be.  And how small the stage is when you are on it.  (I bet you thought I'd talk about the final scene.  That goes on a list of All Time Take Aways!)

For the rest of the season, click HERE.


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