Clinton, The Musical

Clinton, The Musical

As I was sitting in theatre 4 of the New World Stages waiting for the show to begin, I noticed that Oval Office set for Clinton, The Musical included portraits of Presidents but more intriguingly, nestled inside those portraits, in heart-shaped frames, where pictures of their mistresses.

Read more

Porgy and Bess on Broadway


Tonight I saw The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.  (I posted on it earlier. See this link http://nycurbanlife.blogspot.com/2012/01/porgy-and-bess.html)

Its going to be hard to give this show justice in words….I’m not sure what the reviewers watched, but I LOVED it. And I don’t LOVE shows very often; I am discerning after many years working on Broadway.

Audra McDonald was the talent you expect – a huge range of emotion and a powerful voice to back that up. And Norm Lewis….was…amazing, and that’s a weak word, but I just can’t think of anything more superlative right now. I would imagine that he’d need a massage after every performance, probably aching from how he contorts his body to portray crippled Porgy. I’d volunteer for that task.

After the show we (Spence-Chapin Adoption Services) were treated to a cast talk-back and were honored with Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, Trevon Davis, JD Webster and Roosevelt Credit.

I would gladly buy another ticket to see it again, and probably will.

Norm Lewis, Audra McDonald
Trevon Davis, J.D.Webster
Norm Lewis

Porgy and Bess

The
highly anticipated opening of the much talked about re-envisioning of George
and Ira Gershwin’s
Porgy and Bess takes place this Thursday.  Very
exciting!
Back on
Broadway for the first time in over 35 years, in a new staging, the production
is led by Tony Award® winner AUDRA
McDONALD, Drama Desk nominee NORM LEWIS and two-time Tony Award®
nominee DAVID ALAN GRIER. Early
buzz is “you’d be hard pressed to find a more user-friendly P&B.” 
On Thursday February 2 Spence-Chapin Services for Families and Children will be hosting a night at Porgy and Bess.  The evening’s proceeds
will support the organization’s mission to find adoptive homes for infants and
children who need families.
When
you purchase a ticket, you can support their work AND be included in a 
Spence-Chapin only cast talk-back after
the show
.  

Nice extra for theater fans!!!


Jan 19. Update – new footage of Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald!

Bonnie and Clyde on Broadway

Bullet-riddled, blood-oozing bodies slumped over in a Model-T – that was the opening scene at Thursday’s opening night performance of Bonnie & Clyde, now playing at the Schoenfeld Theatre (236 West 45th Street).

Since we all know the ending to this crazy story, it was appropriate that we start there, then we could move past the expected and focus on the story of how these two came to be. Growing up in poverty during the Great Depression, both dreamed of fame and glory – Bonnie’s on the movie screen, one day taking Clara Bow’s place as the next “it girl.” Clyde’s dreams started and stayed violent, idolizing Billy The Kid as a boy, and as he grew older, dreaming of replacing Al Capone as the nation’s most notorious gangster. With no hope to achieve the promise of the American Dream through hard work during this time of a downward spiraling economy, their path led to robbery and murder.

I learned that Bonnie had a penchant for prose, and wrote about the couple’s life on the “lamb’ foreshadowing their ultimate end in The Trails End

They don't think they're too smart or desperate
they know that the law always wins.
They've been shot at before;
but they do not ignore,
that death is the wages of sin.

Some day they'll go down together
they'll bury them side by side.
To few it'll be grief,
to the law a relief
but it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.

The show used projections of real photos of the couple and clippings of the papers of the day to help back the story line and illustrate just how notorious the two became. That, coupled with a solid score by Frank Wildhorn, enhanced my enjoyment of the musical, and, in my eyes, the low key ending of the two driving off towards their inevitable demise seemed the right way to go. It was refreshing to have a musical restrain from the formulaic big closing musical number, and offer something realistic to support the story line.

Clyde and Bonnie met when he was 20 and she was 19. What is amazing and disturbing, given the trail of bloodshed they left behind them, is how madly in love these two kids were and how connected they were to their families.

Definitely worth a night at the theatre. Go – you’ll be happy you did.

Hugh Jackman – Back on Broadway

“The impossibly talented, impossibly energetic Mr. Jackman is a glorious dinosaur among live entertainers of the 21st century: an honest-to-gosh old-fashioned matinee idol who connects to his audiences without a hint of contempt for them or for himself.”
I am sometimes conflicted with Mr. Brantley’s theatrical reviews but he got it right in this one.  Hugh Jackman’s one-man show on Broadway is a joyous celebration of musical theatre. Mr. Jackman admits that he is happier on stage singing and dancing than he is making movies, and you can see that its true. Impossibly good-natured and always positive, you can’t help but love every moment of the show – at least I couldn’t. I had the pleasure of seeing this show in Toronto during the summer and not much has changed. A few more show girls but the feel of the show was consistent, thank goodness, because I loved it then too!
So now I have a confession.
My husband worked with Mr. Jackman on A Boy From Oz and A Steady Rain. They have developed a great friendship and they stay connected. We attended opening night, last night, and were seated in the house left box. My husband was immediately concerned, and it turned out with good reason.
Mr. Jackman starts the second act from the house left/stage right box as the persona of pan-sexual Peter Allen (A Boy Form Oz ), dressed in gold lamé from head to toe. When he entered the box he immediately sat on my husband’s – Rodney – lap, flirting and pulling him into the act. Poor Rodney was mortified but played along, silently grinning.  I, however, thoroughly enjoyed the good-natured spectacle being created!  If my husband thought the experience was over when Mr. Jackman left the box, he learned quickly how wrong he was. Throughout the second act he folded Rodney into his monologue and even his end of show “thank you’s.”

 

As it turns out, all of Rodney’s colleagues knew Mr. Jackman and his team were plotting this encounter days in advance.

What are friends for, if not to get good mileage out of embarrassing you from a Broadway stage…!!?!