Shows Again, Shows Again, Jiggity Jig!
Sometime in February, a friend from my hometown asked me what shows I’ve seen recently. It took me a very long time to answer because I realized I hadn’t seen a broadway or off-broadway show in months! I have, however, been seeing tons of improv, sketch, and comedy shows, which totally count for something, especially since that’s where I am looking to take my career. In regards to Off-B and B, I have a mental list of things I wanted to see for quite some time; Lion King always being #1 on that list (still trying to nudge my Nana to come to the city and splurge on that one). I really wanted to see Twelfth Night and Richard III and Waiting for Godot but I never got around to it. Much disappointment there.
But the complaining ends here. I’ve been lucky enough to see FOUR shows in the past few weeks! FIVE if you count National Theatre Live’s Coriolanus, which yes it does count but I saw it on a big screen rather than on stage ladonlive like the others – although I would have loved to see it live, why didn’t anyone get me a ticket to see it in London? And while we are talking about theatre in London, I might as well mention that I also didn’t get to see Rupert Grint on London’s West End stage, so I’m mad at all of you for not getting me a ticket to that either. Oh, sorry I said I would end complaining at the beginning of this paragraph… um… I lied I guess?
Anyway, FIVE shows in about a months time. Although I didn’t get to see everything I wanted before it closed, I’m glad I saw these shows.
2/19 – Dinner With Friends by Donald Margulies: an Off-Broadway production from the Roundabout Theatre Company at the LAURA PELS THEATRE.
This is a story about two couples and how they are handling life after long being married with children. One couple falls apart and both parties use the other couple for stability, causing the latter to examine their own marital issues, ultimately bringing them closer together. My mini review of this play is that I think one would have a much deeper connection to it if one has been married or a long term relationship. I have had neither but I was still able to empathize with one of the main characters: the male figure in the stable couple. He was a fine example of humanity, he completely fell apart and could go in either direction: up or down. He chose to rise up and I found that very inspiring. However, the other couple, the one that does fall apart, felt very insincere to me. This was perhaps a directorial choice, but the two actors in the unstable couple felt more like “caricatures” rather than people I would care about as an audience member. That being said, I didn’t care about what happened to them in the end, I was only worried about the stability of the other couple by the end of the play.
2/25 – Aladdin, Music and Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Alan Menken and Chad Beguelin, Book by Chad Beguelin: Disney’s newest Broadway musical at NEW AMSTERDAM THEATRE
I was so lucky to see Aladdin when I did! My good friend Grace helped build the spectacular costumes of this production and brought me as her +1 to see the Final Dress Rehearsal the night before Previews began. It was by chance that I was able to go, but I am so happy I could. Some interesting facts about the production are:
- The production started off with a bad rep for not casting any middle-eastern actors.
- All of the animal characters from the original have been removed and are replaced by “sidekicks.”
- I ABSOLUTELY LOVE James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie but critics disagree. He is black and sassy, not Robin Williams.
- Jonathan Freeman, who originally voiced Jafar in the Disney cartoon, excellently reprises his role on Broadway!
- The show is MAGICAL, extremely spectacular and amazing, but there are some odd setbacks/copouts that make you wonder what the set designer was thinking. Ex. Planets dancing around during the magic carpet ride.
- Princess Jasmine is now a feminist and it’s pretty cool but also really weird.
I DID NOT like the song they added for Jasmine titled “These Palace Walls.” It was utterly pointless, poorly sang, and in my opinion, badly written. So, there’s that. But I did love the production overall. It’s a great story and it’s truly magical.
2/26 – The Correspondent by Ken Urban: a new play presented by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.
The Correspondent is the story of a man whose wife was recently killed being hit by a car. The plot follows the man as he attempts to communicate with his dead wife. All sorts of weird shit happens and the audience is left wondering what it all meant and if it was all real or in this old man’s head. I liked this play because it was supernatural realism, which always fascinates me. It took a few very unexpected turns that left me thinking “WTF” but overall, it’s an extremely unique work of art.
3/8 – Coriolanus by William Shakespeare: An international live Broadcast by National Theatre Live from the Donmar Warehouse.
This production was absolutely breathtaking. It needs no words. I have no words. I laughed, I cried, I felt everything. It was truly amazing and just go figure out how to watch it and see it now. Please. Go. Now. (When you’re finished reading my blog that is)
3/20 Hand To God by Robert Askins: A new Off-Broadway play presented by MCC Theatre at the LUCILLE LORTEL THEATRE.
A hilarious and expertly executed play about a boy who is struggling with the death of his father through the alter ego of his puppet, Tyrone. An entirely unique take on religion and society today. The devil was once an angel too, you know? Perhaps Askins’ goal was to kill humanity by having them all laugh themselves to death. Certainly worked on me if that’s the case.
Now you can all sleep more soundly knowing that I have been seeing shows again! Hopefully you enjoyed hearing about my theater goings-es.
Next on my list is Of Mice and Men starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd. I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE. I WILL NOT MISS THIS ONE. DON’T LET ME. BUY ME TICKETS. And The Cripple of Inishmaan starring good ole Daniel Radcliffe.
Until next time, Peace out!