Friday, November 30, 2018

Looking Forward to Winter: December 2018 - February 2019

Why am I always so shocked when December rolls around? The older I get, the faster time goes by. Ah, well. At least I have a lot to look forward to as the holidays approach (and fly by) and we settle in for the cold months of the new year. There are 6 shows opening between the start of December and the end of February: one new musical, one holiday special, one play revival and three new plays. And that doesn't even include off-Broadway shows!

Before we look ahead, let's review what we got to see in the fall. I'd say it was hugely successful: Passion (Signature Theatre, Virginia): A, The Band's Visit (re-visit): A+, The Waverly Gallery: A+, King Kong: C, and The Prom: A+. (And I'd still recommend King Kong - it is fun and spectacular.)

So this is what we have coming up during the next three months. As you can see, it'll be a busy few months.

Torch Song (on Broadway at the Hayes Theatre)

Left over from the fall, I'm looking forward to seeing this as a fan of playwright (in this case) Harvey Fierstein, Michael Urie and especially Mercedes Ruehl. Also, this play, along with the recent The Boys in the Band and Angels in America represent major works of gay theater. Supporting that and learning from it is practically a civic duty these days. I'm very excited about seeing this revival.

The Cher Show (on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre)

I'm not sure which thing draws me more to this show - the cast (Stephanie J. Block, Matthew Hydzik, Emily Skinner, and my favorite ensemblist, Charlie Williams, among others), the costumes, or the music (I love Cher, of course...). I suspect it's a little of all of those. Even though I'm getting a little tired of bio-jukebox musicals, I have high hopes that this will at least be fun.

To Kill a Mockingbird (on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre

Like most people, I grew up loving this book. (I've never seen the movie.) And I respect the work of writer Aaron Sorkin and of director Bartlett Sher. Then again, there's the cast. I've long enjoyed Jeff Daniels, and look forward to seeing many of my stage favorites like Celia Keenan-Bolger, Gideon Glick, Frederick Weller and Stark Sands. Word of mouth on this has been extremely positive, and I've been looking forward to seeing it ever since it was first announced.

Puffs (off-Broadway at New World Stages)

In preparation for Cursed Child, we've been watching the films (and Mike read all of the books - I read them when they came out). To get us in a lighter mood before the epic event, we are seeing Puffs! It looks like a lot of fun. Add to that we both took the "official Sorting Hat quiz" on Pottermore and found out that we are both Hufflepuffs. I have a feeling this will be a great laugh and a lark.

Hamilton (on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre

This will be our second visit to the room where it happened. Previously, we had the honor of seeing the original cast. We both thought it was quite good, if not quite the revelation of musical theater everyone says it is. I have a feeling we suffered a case of show hype let down. That said, we look forward to appreciating the show for what it is not what we were hyped to believe we'd see. Plus, we are both fans of Daniel Breaker, Euan Morton, James Monroe Iglehart and Denee Benton. Here's hoping they are still with the show in early February!

Don Giovanni (Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center)

This will be my second opera at The Met, the first being The Death of Klinghoffer. Mike is a big opera fan, and he's teaching me an appreciation for the form. This time, we are seeing a traditional classic. I know nothing about it, other than a synopsis I read. The pictures look interesting.  I am looking forward to expanding my base of knowledge. And the opera house is pretty amazing just to be in!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (on Broadway at the Lyric Theatre)

We have had tickets for this since they day they went on sale, so the waiting has been torture. (I'm a little irked that better seats than I have seem to pop up all the time, but that's for another time...) Still, our seats are good, and we will be completely prepared by the time we see it. Everything I've seen and heard about it makes me excited to see it at last. Both of us are trying not to suffer from show hype let down (see Hamilton above). And I'm holding out hope that the original cast will still be there... No matter what, I look forward to an in person return to the Wizarding World!


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