Monday, May 16, 2022

The Greatest Musical Opening Number Tournament: The Elite 8

This has been one of the most interesting tournaments we've done. Once again, there were SEVERAL surprise eliminations. Anything can happen, so vote and spread the word!


The Greatest Musical Opening Number
Tournament: The Elite 8

Be sure to consider the show & the song, not just the show. It is possible that the best opening number might not be from the best show!  Unlike previous tournaments, every question is not "required," though we hope you'll each one. So if you aren't familiar with a song, you don't have to vote on that pair (but of course you can!).

THE BRACKET:  


HOW IT WILL WORK:

  • THIS WEEK, YOU ARE VOTING TO CREATE NEXT WEEK'S FINAL 4 OPENING NUMBERS!
  • SCROLL DOWN THE POLL TO EACH PAIR. THERE ARE 4 THIS WEEK.
  • THIS ROUND WILL END AT 5PM ON FRIDAY, MAY 20TH.
  • YOU MUST CLICK THE "COUNT MY VOTES" BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM FOR YOUR CHOICES TO COUNT!

Monday, May 9, 2022

The Greatest Musical Opening Number Tournament: The Sweet 16

What musical theater fan doesn't love a great opening number? Our new tournament goes in search of the greatest of them all.

The original 64 candidates - cultivated from YOUR nominations are divided into 4 "periods": The Classics, The Next Generation,Current/Recent/New and Beyond Broadway & Flops. Now, your votes have narrowed them down to The Sweet 16, and this week you will vote again to create The Elite 8!


Once again, there were SEVERAL surprise eliminations - the one I thought would win it all was taken out in week one! Anything can happen, so vote and spread the word!


The Greatest Musical Opening Number
Tournament: The Sweet 16

Be sure to consider the show & the song, not just the show. It is possible that the best opening number might not be from the best show!  Unlike previous tournaments, every question is not "required," though we hope you'll each one. So if you aren't familiar with a song, you don't have to vote on that pair (but of course you can!).

THE BRACKET: 



HOW IT WILL WORK:

  • THIS WEEK, YOU ARE VOTING TO CREATE NEXT WEEK'S SWEET 16 OPENING NUMBERS!
  • SCROLL DOWN THE POLL TO EACH PAIR. THERE ARE 8 THIS WEEK.
  • THIS ROUND WILL END AT 5PM ON FRIDAY, MAY 13TH.
  • YOU MUST CLICK THE "COUNT MY VOTES" BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM FOR YOUR CHOICES TO COUNT!

Monday, May 2, 2022

The Greatest Musical Opening Number Tournament: The Big 32

What musical theater fan doesn't love a great opening number? Our new tournament goes in search of the greatest of them all.

These 64 candidates - cultivated from YOUR nominations are divided into 4 "periods."

Three of them, The Classics, The Next Generation and Current/Recent/New are seeded by date of the show. The fourth, Beyond Broadway & Flops, is paired off to keep the flops separate from the others.


Now, your votes have narrowed them down to The Big 32, and this week you will vote again to create The Sweet 16! As you can see, there were SEVERAL surprise eliminations - the one I thought would win it all was taken out in week one! Anything can happen, so vote and spread the word!


The Greatest Musical Opening Number
Tournament: The Big 32

Be sure to consider the show & the song, not just the show. It is possible that the best opening number might not be from the best show!  Unlike previous tournaments, every question is not "required," though we hope you'll each one. So if you aren't familiar with a song, you don't have to vote on that pair (but of course you can!).

THE BRACKET: 

HOW IT WILL WORK:

  • THIS WEEK, YOU ARE VOTING TO CREATE NEXT WEEK'S SWEET 16 OPENING NUMBERS!
  • SCROLL DOWN THE POLL TO EACH PAIR. THERE ARE 16 THIS WEEK.
  • THIS ROUND WILL END AT 5PM ON FRIDAY, MAY 6TH.
  • YOU MUST CLICK THE "COUNT MY VOTES" BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM FOR YOUR CHOICES TO COUNT!

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Broadway Games: The 2021-2022 Broadway Season Quiz

As the Broadway season approaches its conclusion, here's a little quiz about the 2021-2022 season. Good luck!



Broadway Games:
The 2021-2022 Season

1. The number of musical revivals that opened this season: ____

2. The number of Broadway theaters that are currently empty (as of April 28): ____

3. The first NEW production to open this season was: __________________

4. The only Shakespearean play revival this season is: ________________

5. The number of one-person shows that opened this season: ____

6. The number of Tony-eligible lead actresses in Six: ____

7. Which theaters had 3 different shows in them this season?

8. How many bio-musicals opened this season? ____

9. 9 new musicals opened this season. Of those, how many are NOT based on a previously existing source or song catalog? : ____

10. The number of shows currently running that have won the Pulitzer Prize: ____

Answers to Last Week's
Broadway Games: For Openers

1. 'Til we find our place on the path unwinding (4 words) In the circle, The circle of life 

2. It's the din of old Berlin, You're in the Grand Hotel (3 words)

3. Oh, what a beautiful mornin', Oh, what a beautiful day. I've got a beautiful feeling (5 words) Ev'erything's goin' my way

4. Who am I anyway? Am I my resume? (4 words) That is a picture of a person I don't know

5. Oh my god, oh my god you guysLooks like Elle's gonna win the prize (4 words) If there ever was a perfect couple, this one qualifies

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

NEW TOURNAMENT! The Greatest Musical Opening Number: Elimination Round Two

What musical theater fan doesn't love a great opening number? Our new tournament goes in search of the greatest of them all.

These 64 candidates - cultivated from YOUR nominations are divided into 4 "periods."


Three of them, The Classics, The Next Generation and Current/Recent/New are seeded by date of the show. The fourth, Beyond Broadway & Flops, is paired off to keep the flops separate from the others.


The Greatest Musical Opening Number
Tournament: Elimination Round Two

Be sure to consider the show & the song, not just the show. It is possible that the best opening number might not be from the best show!  Unlike previous tournaments, every question is not "required," though we hope you'll each one. So if you aren't familiar with a song, you don't have to vote on that pair (but of course you can!).

THE BRACKET:

HOW IT WILL WORK:

  • THIS WEEK, YOU ARE VOTING ON "THE NEW AND CURRENT" AND "OFF-BROADWAY AND FLOPS" OPENING NUMBERS!
  • SCROLL DOWN THE POLL TO EACH PAIR. THERE ARE 16 THIS WEEK.
  • THIS ROUND WILL END AT 5PM ON FRIDAY, APRIL 29TH.
  • YOU MUST CLICK THE "COUNT MY VOTES" BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM FOR YOUR CHOICES TO COUNT!


Monday, April 25, 2022

REVIEW: Funny Girl

Review of the Saturday, April 2, 2022 evening preview performance at the August Wilson Theatre in New York City. Starring Beanie Feldstein, Ramin Karimloo, Jared Grimes and Jane Lynch with Peter Francis James, Debra Cardona and Toni DiBuono. Music by Jule Styne. Lyrics by Bob Merrill. Book by Isobel Lennart. Revised book by Harvey Fierstein. Scenic design by David Zinn. Costume design by Susan Hilferty. Lighting design by Kevin Adams. Sound design by Brian Ronan. Orchestrations by Chis Walker. Tap choreography by Ayodele Casel. Choreography by Ellenore Scott. Direction by Michael Mayer. 2 hours, 40 minutes, including one intermission. Grade: B-

Fair or not, the ghosts of Funny Girls past loom large over the revival of Funny Girl which opened on Sunday. Most of the expectation is probably fueled by memories of a stage show that exists for most of us in the form of the Original Broadway Cast Recording (a true classic) with its Tony-nominated star, and for very few fans in the form of the actual show from some 58 years ago. But the specter of the film version, and its Oscar-winning star, will fuel most comparisons.

For what it's worth, I have seen only the stage version, and that was a local dinner theater production in the mid-80s, and have only limited exposure to the OBCR, so I feel like I came into this revival with a pretty clean slate and the desire to see some of my favorite performers. To that end, I wasn't too disappointed - they delivered as expected. Unfortunately, "as expected" in some cases wasn't enough.

First the good news. The hard working, hard dancing ensemble is top notch, recalling Broadway ensembles of yesteryear with skill and fervor. Big smiles, cute period affectations and fine precision abound as this terrific group navigate the challenging requirements of Ellenore Scott's full-out Golden Age choreography.

The major supporting cast members are each wonderful in their own ways, while maintaining old school music comedy style with such uniform gusto it feels nostalgic, not cringe-y. Jane Lynch, long a favorite personality of mine, does not disappoint. She manages to make the role of Fanny's mother fuller than the dialogue of Isobel Lennart/Harvey Fierstein's book provides. Sure, she uses her patented acidic line delivery throughout, but she also skillfully mixes in a warmth and a protective sincerity that helps ground the show when things get otherwise emotionally extreme. As her two partners in crime, Toni DiBuono and Debra Cardona are perfectly paired with her. They rule the neighborhood roost with wit and wisdom; I'd love to be a fourth in their poker games.


With this show, Jared Grimes will, I hope, finally become the major triple-threat star he deserves to be. A veteran of several shows as both dancer and choreographer, Grimes is an amazing tap dancer -  which tap choreographer Ayodele Casel brilliantly uses to the show's advantage. The man oozes charm in such volume that he steals every scene he's in - I couldn't help but watch his every move.

The other big find in this production is leading man Ramin Karimloo as shady good-guy Nick Arnstein. What an absolute delight to see his charisma in full effect and up close! The aw shucks grin and dimples combined with a soft-spoken voice and suave delivery are swoon-worthy, and he makes it easy to see why Fanny falls for Nick instantly. With this performance, Karimloo has set his career on a path to include not just the Jean Valjeans and Phantoms, but also traditional musical comedy leading man roles. He's funny and dramatic and is a terrific dancer. (Guys and Dolls revival, anyone?) Even with all of that, perhaps the most significant hallmark of his winning performance is the palpable chemistry he has with his leading lady.

Which brings me to Beanie Feldstein. The good news here is that her charismatic charms seen on film are just as evident live on stage. There may not be a harder working actress on Broadway today. Maybe some of that is the demands of the part - an imposing mother of a role. And probably some of that may also be that early preview way actors have of worrying over hitting all their marks and beats while letting it become muscle memory. But, at least when I saw it, she was working way too hard, overselling at every turn, pushing for every laugh. Feldstein is game for pretty much anything, be it broad physical comedy (rolling off furniture, for example), boffo comedy dances surrounded by lithe chorines, or going toe-to-toe with her mother. That is definitely in her wheelhouse, and I suspect (hope) that with a few months under her belt, she'll be more at ease and it'll flow like butt-ah. 

All of that said, it is her singing that brings down an otherwise (potentially) winning star turn. She can carry a tune, and do character voices just fine, but when it comes to the biggies - and let's face it, they are why we are all there - she tries valiantly, but doesn't hit the target. Her high school ingenue singing voice comes across as adolescent Shirley Temple with "People," and that nasally, pinched nose tone makes "Don't Rain On My Parade" fizzle. The de rigueur screams and cheers at the start of the song were somewhat less appreciative as the song ended and the act one curtain fell. Inexplicably, her act two reprise was considerably better. Why didn't she bring that the first time? It wouldn't be fair to expect anyone to be as iconic as the role's originator, but I find it hard to believe they couldn't find someone who could bring the whole package to the stage.


Still, this is a handsome, sturdy production with Susan Hilferty's gorgeous period costumes and Follies couture, and David Zinn's ever revealing, ever revolving set, and the kaleidoscope of colors provided by Kevin Adams' dazzling lighting. Director Michael Mayer's direction is tight, if unremarkable, and keeps things moving at a pace that makes the show's two hour, forty minute running time seem like much less. At the beginning of the show, as Fanny remembers her life, figures from her past float in and out Follies-style. Would that more of that kind thing happened to create something a little more interesting to look at.

I think it is fitting that this revival has opened on Barbra Streisand's 80th birthday. Not only does she loom large over the show, but she's a living reminder that you can be older and still be a risk-taker. As good as this Funny Girl is, it might have been even better with a few more risks. It feels more 1964 than 2022. Not a bad thing necessarily, but a dash of modernity would have made something this good, great.

📸: M. Klein, M. Murphy

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Broadway Games: For Openers

In honor of our brand new Greatest Musical Opening Numbers tournament, this week's game asks you to complete the lyrics from these musical openers. Good luck!




Broadway Games:
For Openers

1. 'Til we find our place ___  ___ ___ ____ (4 words) In the circle, The circle of life 

2. It's the din of old Berlin, You're in ___ ___ ___ (3 words)

3. Oh, what a beautiful mornin', Oh, what a beautiful day. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ (5 words) Ev'erything's goin' my way

4. Who am I anyway? ___ ___ ___ ___? (4 words) That is a picture of a person I don't know

5. Oh my god, oh my god you guysLooks like Elle's ___ ___ ___ ___ (4 words) If there ever was a perfect couple, this one qualifies


Answers to Last Week's
Broadway Games:
A Musical Mash up!

This is what happens when two musicals collide. Figure out each word based on the given clues, then rearrange the "red" letters to win the game!

C O M E   F R O M

A W A Y 
  
W E   G O !

HINT: It's what happens when you arrive in Gander and fly to old Oklahoma!

It’s the spectacular spectacular!

M O U L I N R O U G E !

The Six queen who sings “I Don’t Need Your Love.”

C A T H E R I N E P A R R

When most midweek matinees occur.

W E D N E S D A Y

Three sailors on leave in New York…

O N T H E T O W N

The Who’s musical that is due for revival soon.

T O M M Y

Where Albin plays Zsa Zsa - it’s the “Jewel of the Riviera.”

L A C A G E A U X F O L L E S

Monday, April 18, 2022

NEW TOURNAMENT! The Greatest Musical Opening Number: Elimination Round One

What musical theater fan doesn't love a great opening number? Our new tournament goes in search of the greatest of them all.

These 64 candidates - cultivated from YOUR nominations are divided into 4 "periods."


Three of them, The Classics, The Next Generation and Current/Recent/New are seeded by date of the show. The fourth, Beyond Broadway & Flops, is paired off to keep the flops separate from the others.


The Greatest Musical Opening Number
Tournament: Elimination Round One

Be sure to consider the show & the song, not just the show. It is possible that the best opening number might not be from the best show!  Unlike previous tournaments, every question is not "required," though we hope you'll each one. So if you aren't familiar with a song, you don't have to vote on that pair (but of course you can!).


THE BRACKET:


HOW IT WILL WORK:

  • THIS WEEK, YOU ARE VOTING ON "THE CLASSICS" AND "THE NEXT GENERATION" OPENING NUMBERS!
  • SCROLL DOWN THE POLL TO EACH PAIR. THERE ARE 16 THIS WEEK.
  • THIS ROUND WILL END AT 5PM ON FRIDAY, APRIL 22ND.
  • YOU MUST CLICK THE "COUNT MY VOTES" BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM FOR YOUR CHOICES TO COUNT!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Logo Review: Funny Girl (2022 Revival)

I'm old enough to remember when Microsoft Word Art was new and all the rage. Who knew it was making a comeback in the world of Broadway show art and advertising? 

Logo Review: Funny Girl (2022 Revival)


Having seen the current revival of Funny Girl, I won't spoil the show for those who have yet to see it (review will post when appropriate), but I can verify that the images that appear on the poster and various other bits of merch do, in fact, resemble what is seen on the stage at the August Wilson Theatre these days. How good they are may depend on your threshold for pictures that range from accurate to insulting. 

This should be on the poster

Even accounting for the stylized faces, one has to wonder who thought these were a good idea. At least all of the skin tones are equally frightening - Jane looks like Caspar the Friendly Ghost and the Joker joined forces; the less said about Ramin, the better. And Jared looks, um, subservient - hunched over and grimly grinning. 

Beanie is the star of the show, and certainly deserves to be prominently featured on any and all advertising. Did she get any kind of approval rights? I'll leave it at that. But I do have a couple of questions. One, what with that hideously large yellow bow? She doesn't wear one in the show (at least not as of the early preview I attended). Two, why is she on a cell phone? Fanny Brice was multi-talented, but I think we'd have heard if she was a time traveler. (Spoiler alert: the show is pretty much in period.) 


The very best part of the key art is the Ziegfeld-style staircase with the variety of Follies girls on them. Each one represents a different number, and the images hint at the beauty of the costumes. Would that the stars of the show got similar treatment here. I'm just throwing it out there, but why not have a tuxedo-clad Nicky Arnstein, or a tap dancing Eddie for example? And why not do a stylized Beanie as Fanny in a costume she actually wears? They could vaguely resemble the actors, and save a lot in new key art when the stars leave the show (if it runs long enough). True, it seems they have already saved a good chunk of change by using the aforementioned Word Art for all of the text. 

Grade: C-

Monday, April 11, 2022

Broadway Show Art: GOAT Tournament: The Championship!

THIS IS IT!

Thank you, show art lovers, theater fans and all of you fantastic readers! After more than two years, more than 500 logos, and thousands of your votes, we have reached the end of our search for The Broadway Show Art GOAT!

That's right. We have crowned 8 Best Show Art works, spanning plays, musical revivals and 6 decades of original productions. Now we pit the best of the best against each other to crown The Greatest of All Time!

And now there are 2: Cabaret and Wicked are still in the running to be the best of the best!

Thanks as always for playing along!

WHAT IS THE GREATEST BROADWAY LOGO OF THEM ALL?

BROADWAY SHOW ART 
GOAT TOURNAMENT: 
THE CHAMPIONSHIP!
(THE ACTUAL SURVEY IS BELOW THESE FULL-SIZED VERSIONS)
HOW IT WILL WORK:
Each week, we'll open the voting for a different segment of the bracket, and you will select your favorite from each pairing.

Your selection should be based on the logo/window card ONLY. We are NOT looking for your favorite show! 

It is possible to like a logo more than show!
We will provide pictures of the full window card above each week's ballot, then you scroll down and make your selections. 

You MUST click/tap the "Click Me to Count Your VOTES" button at the bottom of the survey.

REMINDER: Due to the large number of images used, the poll will take a few extra seconds to fully load.

PLUS! NOMINATE UP TO 5 OF YOUR FAVORITE MUSICAL OPENING NUMBERS (NOT OVERTURES!) FOR OUR NEXT TOURNAMENT! 
Any STAGE musical counts - Broadway, Off-Broadway, West End...

THIS ROUND WILL CLOSE ON FRIDAY, APRIL 15TH AT 5 PM!

Here we go again! May the best logo win! BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE FULL LOGOS BEFORE YOU VOTE! THE ACTUAL BALLOT IS BELOW THE FULL-SIZE LOGOS/WINDOW CARDS!

CHAMPIONSHIP PAIR:


Friday, April 8, 2022

Broadway Games: A Musical Mash Up!

Broadway Games:
A Musical Mash up!

This is what happens when two musicals collide. Figure out each word based on the given clues, then rearrange the "red" letters to win the game!

____ ____ ____ ____   ____ ____ ____ ____

____ ____ ____ ____   ____ ____   ____ ____ ____

HINT: It's what happens when you arrive in Gander and fly to old Oklahoma!

It’s the spectacular spectacular!

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

The Six queen who sings “I Don’t Need Your Love.”

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

When most midweek matinees occur.

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Three sailors on leave in New York…

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

The Who’s musical that is due for revival soon.

___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Where Albin plays Zsa Zsa - it’s the “Jewel of the Riviera.”

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Answers to Last Week's Broadway Games:
True or False

This week's game is pretty straightforward. Which statements are true and which are false?

1. KPop will star an actual KPop star. TRUE

2. The Plaza Suite website includes a "Meet Neil" tab that honors the playwright Neil Simon. TRUE

3. On Twitter, Kelli O'Hara is already lobbying for a role in Bartlett Sher's revival of Camelot. For the role of Arthur. FALSE

4. Ben Platt wants to return to Broadway in a revival of I Do! I Do!, but only if Beanie Feldstein will co-star. FALSE

5. Funny Girl's first preview occurred exactly 60 years to the day after its original opening night. FALSE


6. Ben Levi Ross is the only actor to do a return engagement as Evan Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway. FALSE

7. Company employs a tattoo designer. TRUE

8. Audra McDonald has said that if she wasn't an actor, she'd work at an elephant sanctuary. TRUE

9. Aaron Tveit now has a caricature in Sardi's. TRUE

10. The Phantom of the Opera will be closing this summer, but will re-open on its 35th anniversary (January 26, 2023) in an all-new Chicago style production. FALSE

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...