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Showing posts from March, 2010

Media Morsels 3.26.10

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American Idiot on Broadway Update
Well, dear readers, the day finally arrived: American Idiot is now playing in New York. While it won’t officially open until April 20 (tickets are still not on sale to the public – but I’m trying!) it is currently in previews. The first preview was Wednesday night and I was there, rocking along with all the other Idiots. I’m waiting until after the official opening to post a review of the Broadway iteration, so for the time being check out what I had to say about the Berkeley production.

Before previews began, the Idiots had their final sound check and tons of press people were there to capture the awesomeness. Check out videos, photos and a report from Rolling Stone. Also, take a look at this video from Broadway.com and this one from Broadwayworld.com, both featuring clips of the show and interviews with Green Day, director Michael Mayer and stars John Gallagher, Jr. and Rebecca Naomi Jones. (...all of whom wonderfully articulate the brilliance and imp…

Next Fall

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Next Fall is a must-see this spring. Direct from a thrice-extended off-Broadway run, this Naked Angels Theatre Company new, original play is now playing on Broadway at the Helen Hayes theatre and it gets my whole-hearted recommendation. At the center of Next Fall is the struggle between faith and logic, and what those two (sometimes opposing) forces mean in terms of relationships. The non-linear story is told through a series of flashbacks interspersed between the present day, much like many of my favorite Aaron Sorkin series’ episodes. For my theatre-going experience, this parallel to Sorkin’s work is not insignificant, but more on that later. When the play begins, we are in a hospital waiting room, and meet five of the six characters - the sixth character, Luke, is the off-stage patient, whom we’ll meet in the first flashback. Gathered for Luke’s vigil are his mother, father (the two are divorced), a friend, a friend/co-worker and his boyfriend. The thing is, his parents, his father…

Media Morsels 3.19.10

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Billie Joe: Out and About
Check out this article from Out magazine, profiling Billie Joe Armstrong and his journey with Green Day (along with insights from director/collaborator Michael Mayer) from Berkeley to Broadway. Glee Scoop
More Glee
Riding high on the success of the first 13 episodes and recent Golden Globe wins, Glee creators have announced that the second season will be longer than a standard season, that is it will be 25 episodes instead of 22. Yes! And, creator Ryan Murphy says that he’d like to have the McKinley High misfits visit New York for some competition. New Directions, you’re welcome here anytime!

Stars Shine on Glee
Some rumors won’t die. Once again, the internet is hopefully buzzing at the possibility of Julia Roberts doing a guest spot on Glee. Murphy, who recently directed Roberts in the film adaptation of Eat, Pray, Love, (watch the just-released trailer) says Roberts is a fan of the show and that this just might happen. I’ll keep you posted!

Second-half Spoilers
EW…

They Got Life, Too!

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The new Hair Tribe has taken over the Hirschfeld. I got to see them play their sixth performance and despite my attachment to the previous Tribe, I must say that this one’s got life, too. In my opinion, there’s still room for improvement but this new Tribe is definitely off to a great start.

One of the problems with my seeing this new Tribe is that I’m so familiar with the old one – I did experience their be-in 11 times, after all! As I watched this company, I had to keep reminding myself that it was okay – and actually a good thing – that they weren’t giving carbon-copy performances. These actors were making their own choices, and even though I loved the original Hippies so much, it didn’t mean that the new Hippies were wrong or bad – just different.

That said, I didn’t like all the choices this cast made. Diana DeGarmo, for example, seemed like she hasn’t fully fleshed out Shelia, lacking motivation behind her actions. I also find her voice to be too nasal for my taste, but that’s jus…

Media Morsels 3.12.10

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New American Idiot Video
Visit the official website for American Idiot on Broadway to check out this brand new video chronicling the story behind American Idiot’s journey to the Great White Way. The video features interviews with Billie Joe Armstrong, director Michael Mayer, composer Tom Kitt and actors Johnny Gallagher and Rebecca Naomi Jones. (It also features clips of Mayer’s, Kitt’s and Gallagher’s Tony wins!) And, as if I needed more reasons to adore Tom Kitt, in this video he echoes everything I’ve said with regard to how important this piece of art is and what it means that it is becoming part of the American musical theatre canon. I’m so in love with this show and everyone involved in it – can’t wait for March 24!

More Award Shows
Speaking of American Idiot being awesome (and when am I not?), the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle (SFBATCC) nominations were announced this week. American Idiot leads the field with 12 nominations. (View the entire list of SFBATCC nominat…

The Miracle Worker

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The Miracle Worker is an engaging and hopeful play and the current revival (its first ever on Broadway) boasts a good cast and serviceable direction. Brought back to Broadway on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, The Miracle Worker tells the true story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. This main storyline is entirely compelling and alternately heart-wrenching and funny. The play stumbles a little when it veers off course, sometimes to explore the relationship between Captain Keller, Helen’s father, and his son from a previous marriage, James, and sometimes to provide a bit of Annie’s back story. Nevertheless, the play moves at a quick clip and despite knowing the ending, the play’s climax is thoroughly moving.

Alison Pill and Abigail Breslin are great as Annie and Helen, respectively. Pill’s Annie is spunky and determined, despite all the roadblocks set before her. (Annie, herself, was blind as a young girl and regained her sight after a series of surgeries.) Little M…

Oscar 2010 Wrap-Up

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82 down, many many more to go. Last night was the 82nd annual Academy Awards. The ceremony (and corresponding telecast) clocked in at just over three and a half hours, ending moments after midnight on Monday morning. There were few surprises, although the last three awards weren’t a lock for anyone heading into the night, but that didn’t mean that the dresses, tuxes, speeches and schmaltz weren’t fun to watch.

Here are the biggies, in case you missed it: Christoph Waltz, Mo’nique, Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock all took home top acting honors and Kathryn Bigleow and The Hurt Locker put the hurt on Avatar, winning the Best Director and Best Picture awards. I’ll discuss these and other winners a little later, but for a full list of winners, visit the Oscar website.

Before all the awards, of course, there was the red carpet. Thespis was in the house, as in the beginning of the two hour pre-show it started to rain. Just Thespis’s way of instilling humility in us all. (Gotta love those mis…