Thursday, June 19, 2008

reveling in theatre.

The best part of NY is the theatre. Lots and lots of theatre. It is usually different from year to year, and everything else that we visit (Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Ellis Island, Grand Central, Museums, etc.) we have seen at least 3 or 4 other times. But the theatre...all new.

We saw 8 productions this time. And I thought I should rate and review here. You know, in case you decide to jaunt on over to NYC and see some theatre; you can use my esteemed opinion in making your choice.

  1. In The Heights

    1. I am so in love with this musical. You know, hip-hop dancing, rap, ethnic corner of the world - completely up my alley. If you know me, I'm all about that. The script is a simple story - probably predictable, but that simplicity lends itself to the reality of the feelings behind the music. And witty, witty humor.

    2. Great dancing. Transitions between scenes - dancers come on, they make a dance move as if a complete dance break/song is about to burst out and scene begins. Talk about smooth.

    3. Bonus! My parents (of the baby boom generation) were able to understand the rap. And they weren't offended. That means - family friendly:)

    4. Finally, I love Lin-Manuel Miranda. He wrote the music and words and came up with the concept, and is one of the lead characters. I will repeat: I love Lin-Manuel Miranda. Not in the husband/wife type of love. No....I love him for every other reason. Such as:

      1. He was a 7th grade teacher for a few years - after graduating from college, writing the original draft of the musical, and before becoming a broadway star. I'm partial to teachers.

      2. He is really likeable as the lead, Usnavi. And the lyrics are very witty. He won a Tony for music/lyrics.

      3. To promote the show he re-created the song from High School Musical 2 where Zac Effron sings on the golf course. But he changed the lyrics and filmed it in Central Park. That's right, dance moves and all. Go ahead and watch. I dare you to tell me that he is not likeable.

  1. Jersey Boys

    1. Continual singing and dancing. And the whole time I'm thinking (and everyone else in the audience is as well), how can they still be singing and dancing and sounding so awesome?

    2. Watching all the 40+ yr old audience get into it. Something about reliving their youth? I don't know, but they go crazy for this music.

    3. My favorite moment - a man in the lower part of the balcony stands up and starts dancing at the beginning of Sherry Baby. He then realizes slowly that no one is standing with him. The woman next to him tugs on his pant leg and he slowly sits down. Awe. Some.

  2. The 39 Steps

    1. I'm not a Hitchcock fan - but this was so entertaining. Very theatrical. Minimal props - stage looked like we could see back wall and side brick. 4 characters and only 1 of them played the same character throughout. 3 others played what seemed like a 100+ characters. (including a muddy bog. That's right. One man portrayed a muddy bog.)

    2. One man fell backwards onto his back, his legs flipped up and kept going over his head and he ended up on his stomach. All without padding. Take that Donald O'Conner.

    3. Fun. Ny.

  3. (or 5) Mary Poppins

    1. Story was a bit weak. Why does Mary Poppins leave half way through? What makes her come back so soon after?

    2. Okay - the critics weren't too hot on this, but come on. It's Mary Poppins. Fun music, great dancing.

    3. I am in love with Bert. He is so likeable. I watched him in every dancing number, couldn't take eyes off of him. Did I mention that I'm in love with Bert?

  4. (or 4) Boeing Boeing

    1. Very funny.

    2. Women portrayed were a bit over the top. But funny.

    3. I love you Christine Baranski.

    4. Mark Rylance made this extremely funny. He won a Tony and deservedly so. His character was the strongest part of the show.

  5. Wicked

    1. What's that you say? Number 6 on your list? You are shocked. I can tell. Please note: I have seen it 3 times now. Nothing beats seeing it the first time. And nothing beats seeing Kirsten Chenowith as the original Glinda.

  6. (or 8) Young Frankenstein

    1. 100% innuendo and double entendre. Or, as I like to call it, boy humor.

    2. I just don't find boy humor funny. I don't know why. I don't think it is very witty, an easy joke - and I don't see the humor in it.

    3. Production quality was great.

    4. Igor was hilarious. Hi. Larious.

  7. (or 7) Spring Awakening

    1. Beautiful Music

    2. Staged in the style of Brecht. I love that.

    3. Script was very cliche. Come on. The whole first half is about teenage sexual angst, and the second half turns into Romeo and Juliet-ishness. I understand the turmoil associated with keeping such things secret - but this was taken to an extreme level. A bit overdramatic. A bit high school drama. I thought that I would be changed, moved, feel something. Just when I was feeling that the show was saying something deep/beautiful, the storyline took me out of it.


Bryan Summers said...

Wow, pretty good list. I enjoyed that. I might be going to New York next May. I will be seeing whatever Stoppard play is on.

Jacks said...

Why are you going to New York?

Arianne said...

I wish I could have seen all of them with you...
But I'm glad the ones I saw were in the top half.