Tuesday, July 20, 2010

#30: The Best of times is Now, I promise.

If you recall, I mentioned that I was going to New York again. It was the typical cram-as-many-shows-as-humanly-possible in three days trip. I started off in Pittsburgh and stayed with my friend Kate, waiting for my friends Rach and Lyds to show up so we could journey to New York together. I know you're just dying to hear what I saw and what I thought, so without further adieu, my reviews:

I did see A Little Night music...again, since I've already written a review on it I'll make this brief: I did not care for Bernadette Peters as Desiree Armfeldt *ducks flying objects* Now before you chomp my head off, please let me defend myself. I had seen the production before it came to Broadway and it became one of my favorite Sondheim musicals, granted it wasn't as grand as it was on The Great White Way but it was still an excellent production; plus my best friend kicked ass as Desiree. When I saw Catherine Zeta-Jones she was absolutely exquisite; charming, seductive and vulnerable: everything that Desiree should be. Bernadette did an okay job, but there were several points in the show where I felt that I was just watching Bernadette Peters play...herself. Which is a huge no-no when you're acting, you're supposed to embody the character from the time the curtain comes up, to the time the curtain comes down.

Now that I've discussed that...lets move on to the other two shows I saw:

Following Night Music, I saw the revival of Promises,Promises. I have to admit, the only reason I was interested in seeing it at all was the simple fact that I had never seen Kristin Chenoweth live on stage. I was surprised by how much I liked it, granted there were some songs I was like "Okay..this seriously doesn't need to be in here." But for the most part it was a much deeper show than what I thought.
Sean Hayes really surprised me, I had a feeling he was going to be good but I was not prepared for the brilliant stage presence that he had, nor the amazing voice. He was positively brilliant, able to be absolutely hysterical and incredibly serious with ease.
Kristin was everything I expected her to be and more. She's a powerhouse in a tiny package, she is able to sing as delicate as a lullaby then, without warning, she's belting out those notes like it's nothing. She seemed to really enjoy being back in her element, in case you'd forgotten she got her start on Broadway; she's well known for playing Glinda in Wicked, but she's played several other amazing roles.
Katie Finneran was positively amazing. She was only in a few scenes in the second act but she literally stole the stage the minute the lights went up. I can see why the Tony committee thought her worthy of the Best Featured Actress Award because you literally were swept away in a sea of laughter the second she opened her mouth.

While the rest of my merry troupe went to see Memphis, some for the second and third time, I went to see La Cage Aux Folles. It has become one of my favorite shows of all time. Douglas Hodge was absolutely amazing as Albin, I don't think I have seen a performance that amazing in a long time. Kelsey Grammer was a fine choice for my first Georges, he had a great voice and amazing stage presence. I have to briefly mention an amazing talent, Elena Shaddow. She played Anne, which isn't a large role but she had such a presence that I was absolutely captivated every time she had the stage. Just the smallest gesture of her hand or the tilt of her head was absolutely charming, plus she's absolutely adorable.

I apologize if they weren't as in-depth as you thought they would be, I tend to run on and on when I review shows so I have to cut them rather short ;]