Tag Archives: Broadway

I Love That Patti LuPone Called Out the Audience Member for Not Wearing a Mask

When Covid-19 came onto our shores more than two years ago, we all expected that it would be a short-lived experience. We would return to our normal lives within days or weeks as if nothing had happened.

As I write this post, it is May of 2022. Many who have done everything they could have done to not get sick have gotten sick. One million Americans have lost their lives to this virus.

During a talkback after a performance of the Broadway musical Company, star Patti LuPone yelled at audience members who were not wearing masks. The video of this incident quickly went viral.

I’m not a huge fan of hers, but props to LuPone for saying what we are all thinking. Anyone entering a Broadway theater as an audience member must be masked. As of now, this rule is in place until the end of the month.

What we have to remember as audience members is that while this is entertainment for us, this is a job. If there is another shutdown, no one involved in the production gets paid. Over the last two years, I have become acutely aware that while I had the luxury of working from home. There are still and were many people who did not have that option. Wearing the mask is about respect not just for ourselves, but for the people around us.

I know that we are all tired of masks and the hoops we have to jump through just to get out of the house. But until this disease is either conquered or toned down to the point of non-existence, this is what we have to do to stay alive.

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Birthday Candles Play Review

It’s amazing how quickly life goes by. One minute you’re a teenager with your whole future ahead of you. The next thing you know, you are holding your first grandchild.

This is the premise of the new Broadway play, Birthday Candles. Written by Noah Haidle, it tells the story of Ernestine (Debra Messing). The audience initially meets her as a starry-eyed seventeen-year-old and then follows her throughout the years, ending when she is one hundred and seven. As she goes through the various stages of life, she bakes a cake for each birthday. Among those who come in and out of Ernestine’s life is Enrico Colantoni (Just Shoot Me), who plays her long-time neighbor, and John Earl Jelks, who plays both her husband and grandson.

I’ve been a fan of Messing since Will & Grace. She was the reason I wanted to see the play. I was impressed with not just her performance, but the performances of all of the actors. Instead of aging via prosthetics and makeup, they rely on posture, changes in costumes, props, and wigs. It is a magnificent narrative and a treatise on life, family, and relationships.

My only problem is that the end of the play could have been cut down a little bit. Other than that, it is a piece of theater that is remarkable and worth every second.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely. It is also 90 minutes without an intermission.

Birthday Candles is playing at the American Airlines Theater in New York City until May 29th, 2022. Check the website for tickets and showtimes.

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Filed under Broadway Play Review, Life

Flashback Friday-Grease: You’re the One That I Want! (2007)

Reality television has a way of worming itself into every niche of the television world that it can.

In 2007, it made it’s way to Broadway. Grease: You’re the One That I Want! aired for one season. The purpose of the program was to use the reality show format to cast another revival of Grease. Using the competition show as a backbone, the format was not unfamiliar: the contestants would perform every week. One by one they are eliminated until the winners are cast as Danny and Sandy.

At the time, it was good television. Looking back I can see that it was not that good. It was not completely lifeless, but it was one of the shows that was only destined to last one season.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Music, Television, TV Review

Another Fiddler?

Last month, in my review of Something Rotten (which was excellent and I highly recommend), I wrote that I believed that there was a dearth of new ideas in Hollywood and on Broadway. I had hoped that Something Rotten would be opening the door to new ideas and new stories instead of the same revivals year after year.

Then I saw that Fiddler On The Roof was coming back to Broadway.

My heart sank a little.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Fiddler On The Roof. I’ve long since memorized the songs and the screenplay. ¬†While it is set in a specific time and place with a specific group of people, there are elements within the story and characters that can be applied to any place and time.

I just wish that instead of another revival that only returned to Broadway eleven years ago, that a new voice with a new story to tell might have been given the opportunity to see their vision become a reality.

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Filed under Broadway Musical Review, History

See It More Than Once- Once Musical Review

Today I ventured back into the world of musical theater to see Once, The Musical.

It is based on the 2006 movie of the same name.

In one eventful week, a musician who believes that his dream is dead meets a woman who by the end of the week, sees the beauty and the potential of his music. Their love is mutual, but life may tear them apart.

I did not have the opportunity to see the original cast, but the more recent cast with Arthur Darvill and Joanna Christie.

It’s not the typical musical, which makes it stand out among the cornicopia of musicals currently on Broadway. It is also un-typical is the audience is allowed to walk up to the stage and order from the bar. Most shows have a fourth wall, which is only broken after the show. Before the show starts, while the actors are warming up on stage, the audience is allowed to walk on stage and order from the bar, as well as going up during the intermission.

What I enjoyed was unorthodox and informal staging of the show and un-Hollywood ending.

I would definitly see it again.

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Filed under Broadway Musical Review, Reviews

Talley’s Folley Review

Talley’s Folley is a one act, two character play set in Lebanon Missouri, 1944 in a dilapidated Victoria era boathouse. Written by the late Lanford Wilson, it is about an immigrant attempting to rekindle a romance with a woman fighting her own insecurities.

It is in short, one of the most brillant, simplest, well done plays I have ever seen.

Salley Talley (Sarah Paulson) is the daughter of an old money Missouri family. At age 31, she is presently single with little hope of marriage. Matt Friedman (Danny Burstein) is 42 and a Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Europe. They had a brief romance the year before, Matt has returned to Lebanon to extend the relationship.

Their chemistry is just palpable. These are two damaged people, finding a refuge from their pasts in each other.

I didnt expect this play to be as brillant as it is, but it blew me away. Good writing, whether it is a book, a movie or a play stays with you, this play will stay with me for a long time.

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Filed under Broadway Play Review, Reviews

Desire Still Runs Hot

A Streetcar Named Desire has always been one of my favorite plays and Blanche Dubois is one of my all time favorite characters.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing the latest revival of the classic Tennessee Williams play staring Blair Underwood, Nicole Ari Parker, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Wood Harris.

Needless to say I was very happy when I walked out.

To the uninitiated, A Streetcar Named Desire is about a faded southern Belle, Blanche Dubois (Nicole Ari Parker) who comes to visit her sister, Stella (Daphne Rubin-Vega) in New Orleans. Blanche clashes with Stanley (Blair Underwood), Stella’s working class husband and is attracted to Mitch (Wood Harris), Stanley’s friend.

The play is hot and steamy and everything A Streetcar Named Desire should be. I had the pleasure of seeing the last revival several years ago with the late Natasha Richardson as Blanche and I look forward to the next revival.

The show is running on a limited engagement, I would highly reccomend seeing it.

http://streetcaronbroadway.com/

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Filed under Broadway Play Review, Reviews