d_trektone_w: (acl)
Just got home from the Stephen Schwartz event. Got in line an hour beforehand and there were still 30 people ahead of me. The "conversation" was moderated by Carol de Giere, who runs Mr. Schwartz's website and wrote his biography they later signed.

It was kind of an "Actor's Studio" with music. I like process talk, even though some of seemed rehearsed. Some I'd read about before, but a lot I hadn't, like his emulation of Laura Nyro's style in his early days.

There was a good amount of music, which was mostly quite enjoyable. The "not" parts were when I started tearing up, sometimes expected and other times kind of surprising. A running joke was the out-of-tune condition of the piano where Schwartz sat. When he hit the first measures of "No One Mourns the Wicked," though, I almost immediately choked up. Fortunately, he went on to demonstrate the middle section. Interesting! Going into his construction of songs with motifs, I knew "Defying Gravity" was going to get to me, and it did.

As the conversation moved to his earlier work in both theatre and films, he performed "Corner of the Sky" in its entirety and I was dabbing my eyes throughout. He did a bit from "Godspell" - "All Good Gifts," maybe? - and that got me, too. His finale, after the Q & A session, was "For Good," which I liked as a solo performance. Sniff.

The autograph session was relaxed and Mr. Schwartz was very friendly. I got the bio and also had him sign my "Grimmerie" (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] singular_girl!):

d_trektone_w: (acl)
This event on Monday night, 1/26, isn't too far from where I work, so I think it'll be fun to go. I guess it's to bring more attention to Wicked's return to San Francisco (open-ended run) and to sell a new biography about him. Still, seeing and hearing about the process, however canned his speech, should be fun.

http://www.theschwartzscene.com/blog/2008/12/19/schwartz-2009-events/


If anyone is interested in attending, let me know and I'll try to hold a space in line (Museum of Performance & Design, 4th floor, 401 Van Ness Avenue). The venue contact said they expect to let ~100 in for seating, and possibly more for standing room. There's no charge, but it's a "get in line early" event and I'll probably go to dinner nearby (last resort: Max's Opera Plaza Cafe) and then be there by 6:15pm for the 7pm start. I'll likely get a copy of the bio and will bring my Grimmerie, too, just in case.
d_trektone_w: (acl)
Hmmm, since the show will be returning for an open-ended run, maybe they'll have half-price tix after the first few months. Will have to check.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/09/DDC91007TR.DTL&type=performance

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/116634.html
d_trektone_w: (acl)
"Young Frankenstein" opened on Broadway:

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/112585.html


I need to see the movie again. I recently rented "Hostel: Part II" and Roger Bart (who plays the mad scientist in the musical) had a juicy part (oooh, rhyme-time!).
d_trektone_w: (acl)
Overall, I enjoyed it. Though we were in the mezzanine (chosen for bf2007's comfort as that row was supposed to have the most legroom in the place), we had a great straight-on view of the stage and could easily see everything, except some of the facial movements of the non-puppets. The sound was good and mostly clear. The cast was high-energy, though the actor doing Princeton and Rod didn't always make a clear distinction between the two, at least to me. I'd forgotten how creepy and fun the Bad Idea Bears were, especially due to their minimal participation in the songs, so they're not particularly evident in the cast album.

I'd read that the version of the show [livejournal.com profile] singular_girl and I saw in Las Vegas a couple of years ago had been trimmed, but I didn't notice any major differences. One lyric change Andrea alerted me to (she saw it last week) was from "Korean deli" to "Chinese restaurant." It didn't bug me too much. :)

This viewing reinforced for me the feeling that Avenue Q is about the stage show and much less about the songs themselves. As I'd been listening to the CD in recent weeks, when a song I thought was not particularly good came up ("I Wish I Could Go Back to College," "Special," "The Money Song," and others), I was often pleasantly surprised by the performance. In a couple of cases, like "My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada," really not. "You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want" is, of course, all about the puppet sex. Hee!
d_trektone_w: (acl)
I think John Travolta looks like a much creepier Edna Turnblad than either Divine or Harry Fierstein. Maybe as creepy as Bruce Vilanch, whom I saw as Edna in the Broadway touring company "Hairspray."
d_trektone_w: (acl)
Reuters (a summary of reviews)

Talkin’ Broadway

New York Times (full review requires log-in)

New York Post

Variety


I'd still see this production again. Album coming, but dang it, it appears extra songs may only be available (for now) via download at iTunes or Rhapsody.
d_trektone_w: (acl)
I'm looking forward to seeing ACL again (this time with [livejournal.com profile] singular_girl) at the end of August. Or sooner if my schedule and credit cards are willing. Don't know if the show will do well on Broadway, but it's still one of my favorite musicals.


San Francisco Chronicle

San Jose Mercury News
d_trektone_w: (acl)
A Chorus Line (Sunday, 7/23/06)

A Chorus Line )

The theatre's website has a podcast.

I didn't see this telecast live, so it's great to be able to have an online version of a local tv station's short segment about the show.

Can't wait to see it again!
d_trektone_w: (Default)
I've got a load of wash in, so I think it's okay to take a break.

As some of you may have noticed, I like musicals. I was looking forward to the Lord of the Rings musical which was very conveniently playing while I was in the Toronto area last week. As I mentioned back when the first of Peter Jackson's movies came out, I never loved the books. I read them, once a decade or so to see if I'd eventually get a clue, but they didn't take. Enjoyed The Hobbit much more. One of my best friends, Chris, was a die-hard fan from the time I met him in the late '70's it (and he constantly reminded me LOTR was really one book). Likewise, I know many folks here on lj (hi [livejournal.com profile] allisona ! hi [livejournal.com profile] jhayman!) love the Marching and Fighting and Gollum, oh my!

Avoiding reviews was the name of the game. Part of me wanted to read them, of course. Hearing impressions of the show from con-goers at FilKONtario, though. (During one of those conversations, [livejournal.com profile] unclechristo mentioned how much he enjoyed the version of "Hair" that opened in Toronto. Maybe next year?)

During the convention I wore the t-shirt and cap from the musical, "Lestat" (that was not so good) hoping ick vibes from that show pulled away any from LOTR. ("Lestat" btw started previews on Broadway in late March, with late April opening, pushed back from the original dates, new songs and retooled first act and all.)

Anyway, on to the show.

Spoiler? I guess, if you want to be surprised by the production ... )

One final "hee hee" -- the scene in the Prancing Pony where Strider says he goes by various names, which made me think of Sib's song ... again.

All that said, if it was convenient I'd see it once more.

Now I can read all those other reviews.

Lestat

Feb. 3rd, 2006 03:05 pm
d_trektone_w: (spider)
Here's an article about recent happenings, now that the musical has ended its San Francisco run.

The songs, particularly in the first half, had a sameness even though different characters were singing. The acting was okay, but the presented plot covered a long period of time. The second half moved better and the songs had more variety, and one in particular was nicely sung by the lead playing Lestat. Some of the visuals were interesting but many seemed, well, cheap and uninspired. Some costumes were beautiful and others were no big deal.

Of the four of us -- [livejournal.com profile] debmats, [livejournal.com profile] herefox, [livejournal.com profile] singular_girl, and myself -- none loved the show, which was kind of sad. Still, it was an interesting experience.

And I got a show cap, t-shirt and magnet, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] singular_girl. Yay. She and I had dinner earlier that evening at Cortez and the food was good. Too bad there was more adventure in the meal than the musical.
d_trektone_w: (Default)
Last Thursday I saw Wicked, the musical. Took my sister and she really liked it, too. Oh, yeah, there were a bunch of other people I knew there since [livejournal.com profile] debmats and I did the group tix thing.

My thoughts on the pre-Broadway version of Wicked from two years ago.

In that time Wicked has become a successful and popular (hee!) Broadway show. While it received mixed reviews when it opened and lost out to Avenue Q in many of the Tony Award categories, it's still running and there's the touring show as well as a Chicago company.

While I cherish the memories of Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel in the main roles, there was much to like about the post-Broadway version. In general it seemed better paced, though "No Good Deed" still seemed long, but less so than the first times (I spoke with [livejournal.com profile] herefox, who pointed out there's more physical movement by Elphaba now, but I still think the song was shortened). While I don't think "Dancing Through Life" is a significantly better song than its predecessor, "Which Way is the Party?" (I think that's what it was called), I was pleased with Derrick Williams as Fiyero, yummy vocals and other parts. Wished he did more dancing/movement. Or just standing on stage close to where I was seated in the fifth row.

The dancing was still excellent as were the amazing costumes -- I think there were more scenes with men in dresses this time -- but there were fewer non-dancer body shapes in the ensemble than before, which saddened me. Maybe I was too close to the stage, but I didn't like the choreography of "What is this Feeling?" nearly as much as the first times. It seemed a jumble whereas before the groupings of people seemed to come together in fun combinations more cleanly.

I cried and cried during "Defying Gravity."

This Glinda was a bit more cuddly and less shrill. [livejournal.com profile] cadhla (belated Happy Birthday) found her more believable as a girl-becoming-a-woman than what she'd seen of Chenoweth, but I prefer the latter. This Elphaba, while lacking Menzel's fire and power, was good, too, and I believed the on-stage chemistry between her and Fiyero in the main romantic moment more than Menzel with Norbert Leo Butz. Okay, maybe I was projecting myself into the scene as the green girl. Anyway ...

The "big names." Carol Kane as Morrible was decent, and David Garrison as The Wizard was probably better than Robert Morse. Now I really wonder what Joel Grey did with the role.

Glad to have seen the show! Yay for winged monkeys!
d_trektone_w: (Default)
Hmm, Brent Carver as Gandalf.

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/94185.html


Convenient that I might be in the area to see this little production ...
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