(in the state of Broadway)
I had the privilege of seeing Something Rotten on Broadway recently, and it was fantastic. It was more than fantastic, it has probably shot its way up there to become one of my favourite top five shows; mainly due to the fact that it’s a mishmash of fantastic things – a.k.a. Shakespeare and Broadway and jokes! *breathe*
Everything about the show added to the experience of the show. From the set pieces, to the wonderful and often hilarious costumes, to the absolutely remarkable musical numbers – not to mention the numerous mentions of other musicals, the show keeps you enthralled from its first note to the very last.
My favourite number was “A Musical” which was packed with so many references (both visual and audible) that I wasn’t able to catch them all! But, I did find a handy video from WSJ explaining all the references afterwards, and I’m happy that to report that I picked up quite a few of them.
Broadway week is happening right now, so if you do have a moment, I’d highly recommend going to see this hilarious show.
Did I mention it has musical references, fun costumes and Shakespeare?
Matilda: The Musical has a cast of extremely talented kids, a catchy score and a story that will touch your heart.
The first time I felt the urge to see Matilda on Broadway was when I saw the cast perform Revolting Children on the Tony Awards. I did some Youtubing and found some videos of other bits from the show then I did some Spotify-ing and listened to the soundtrack, I was hooked! I had to watch this show.
Finally, I got the chance! The cast is mostly children and they did an excellent job acting and singing. There was definitely a lot of energy to the show and Miss Honey and the Trunchbull were excellent, though I think my favourite adult actor in the show was the Librarian, she was so funny!
The set was decorated with letters and sometimes had some amusing bits (“Soot” in the fireplace). The kids did a lot of the rearranging of the set, moving props on and around the stage. I think my fave part was the school gate when they sang the School Song and stuck the letters in the gates. That’s one of my favourite songs in the show.
I can go on, it really is one of the cutest shows on Broadway. And can I add that they made a Doctor Who reference? Awesome!
[Image from broadway.com]
Something has changed within me, something is not the same. I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game. – Elphaba; Wicked
Rock of Ages was one part unpredictable and all parts spectacular. You don’t have to be a fan of the eighties to love it, but it wouldn’t hurt.
The story follows two young, fame-seeking kids trying to live out their dream on the strip. Drew the singer and Sherrie the actress meet at The Bourbon Room, a place where they both work while trying to realize their dream. There is the usual falling in love and miscommunication that leads to the ultimate breaking apart, followed closely by the realization that they were both wrong. However, the way Rock of Ages presented it is so fresh and fun that it’s easy to overlook this formulaic love story and enjoy the show.
Lonny – the narrator and part owner of The Bourbon Room – is quite hilarious. Regina, a protestor who is trying to save the strip from being torn down by a pair of German developers, also helps to bring a comedic element to the show. Her and Hans were probably my second favourites after Lonny.
The music was great! I loved the way they sung the 80s rock songs, it was edgy, but also a bit classical. The music wasn’t overwhelming, nor did it feel forced. Everyone in the cast did a great job on the vocals and I was blown away by Drew’s voice. I absolutely loved that the band was on the stage and at some points participating in the act itself.
The set was pretty simple, nothing splashy; but I loved the touch they added with the 80s Las Vegas strip memorabilia that hung on the walls.
The ending was the best, make sure you get an orchestra seat because you don’t want to miss the glittering confetti!
Rock of Ages is definitely Broadway’s biggest rock party. Check it out while you still can!
[image via Broadway.com]
I went to see Spider-Man on Broadway and I was not impressed.
Let me explain.
The set was amazing! One of the best sets I’ve seen on Broadway. Think of a comic book panel; now pull that panel out so that it’s three dimensional. Add some lights, some flash, some bang. This was the set for the show. Spectacular! I loved it a lot. The set was impressive.
The acrobatics was breathtaking. Spider-Man (or men, since there were about 9) swinging over the audience was a sight! I can understand why they had so much trouble opening this show and so many accidents, the actors really do swing over the audience just like you see in the movies. The action was impressive.
What almost killed the show for me were the songs. Personally, when I think of Broadway musicals I think of singing and dancing – a memorable score, maybe a nice dance, but mostly wonderful singing. This was greatly lacking in the show.
I do want to point out that the actors could sing, however, the downfall was not their singing as much as it was the songs that they had to work with. The songs fit more into a rock concert setting than a musical. Some of the songs were a little on the low side (scale-wise) and I can only assume that they were played that way to be edgy, however, by doing so it lost its stage appeal.
There were a few songs – mostly the ones Mary Jane sang – that were good, this was because they were in a scale that matched her voice. I’m not sure I’m explaining it correctly, after all I loved American Idiot (a play based on Green Day songs from the album of the same name) but in American Idiot the actors sung the songs in scales and styles that fit their voices as opposed to trying to be a Green Day concert and that made a world of difference. They owned the music, and I didn’t get that feeling from the soundtrack of Spider-Man.
At first I thought it was just me, but I turned to my friends during intermission and we were all equally baffled at the music. If you must see the show, just make sure you’re not going for the music.
My very first Broadway experience was The Phantom of the Opera. Based on a novel by Gaston Leroux (a French writer), The Phantom of the Opera was adapted for the theater by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The one thing that had been burned into my memory about Phantom was the Masquerade scene and I’ve always dreamed about a masquerade after that. Not a costume party, but a ball with elaborate masks and bright colours and it was just as I remembered it when I saw it again this month.
Next to the songs, the costumes were my favourite part of the play; they were all so fancy and beautiful and just as spectacular as the play itself. The story is always such a moving piece, a disfigured genuis living in the tunnels beneath the Opera House. A person who has never been loved before, falling for a beautiful young chorus girl and doesn’t know exactly how to express that feeling. And Christine, the beautiful young chorus girl, infatuated with her Angel of Music until she finds out that he’s the disfigured genius who lives in the tunnels beneath the Opera House. As the madness of the phantom increases with the body count, Christine finds herself protected by her childhood friend, Raoul, and a great and classical love story is born.
One of the charming things about this play is, while it has an air of seriousness about it, it does not lack humour; the diva-ish doings of Carlotta always brought a smile to my face and the comedic timing of Ubaldo left me in gales of laughter.
The Phantom of the Opera is most definitely a classic show, with its shows within a show, its wonderful costumes and its amazing score. If you find yourself in Time Square, don’t miss out on this gem!
** photo via The Phantom NY site.
To love another person is to see the face of God.
When I moved to the United States, I took a few months of high school to finish off my senior year and to take the SATs for university. I started in the beginning of the second quarter and choir was one of my electives.
The Music teacher was working at the school for four years, so he started with my class – then freshmen – and they all had a very close bond. I was the new comer and I definitely felt it.
He had us do a lot of Broadway music and a lot of latin songs, so in our final concert, he wanted the seniors in the choir to do One Day More from Les Miserables and he held auditions for solo parts. I remembered hesitating, after all I’d only been a senior for a few months, but, I liked the song so I tried out for a part. He was definitely hesitant about me being in it, I could tell by the way he treated me compared to the others. I had this stern faced man, waiting for me to riot, while all the others had this jovial, kind-looking man. Finally, he let me be a part of his senior choir’s solo piece, I sang a few lines of Cosette’s part as he wanted to “make sure everyone got a part.” Despite his hesitance, I fell in love with One Day More, the song stuck with me and even though the Broadway show closed while I was in college, I always held out the hope that it would play again.
I’ve seen my fair share of broadway shows, but there was something special about Newsies. The set was simple; metal stairs and platforms that move around the stage and a few tables and chairs where the only props. The costumes were simple – newsboys garbs and fancy suits. What made it stand out was the singing and more importantly, the dancing.
It’s probably one of the few shows I have seen with a substantial script – compared to the number of songs. It follows the story of a group of newspaper boys who sell The World news for their bread and butter. After an unfair hike in the cost of the paper, the kids decide to go on strike. It’s a very heart warming and relatable story; it also has its share of humour. I must say, compared to the singing and the dancing, the acting didn’t shine as brightly, but it was still good.
Script and songs aside, the thing that was most appealing about the Newsies was the dancing. It was amazing to watch, I found myself smiling thought-out the entire thing. What I found fascinating as well, was the fact that Newsies had a mostly male cast. They had great chemistry between them, and the voices blended beautifully together and the dancing – oh the dancing – it was just brilliant.
One of my favourite dance sequence was Sieze the Day, it had me at the edge of my seat, especially the part with the newspaper pages! You can see them perform Sieze the Day on The View. Another favourite was the King of New York sequence.
Overall, this was a fast moving, high energy, excellent show! If you have the chance to go and see it, you should!