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Showing posts from April, 2010

Media Morsels 4.30.10

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American Idiot Media Round-Up
The Idiots opened on Broadway last week and this week they went on a publicity blitz.

They began by kicking off Broadway week at Regis and Kelly; Michael Esper, John Gallagher, Jr., and Stark Sands stopped by to play “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” Thankfully, my DVR worked just as it should have and captured the magic on tape. Or on the digital hard drive...or whatever! In case you missed it, check out the photosand video, now available online.
Rebecca Naomi Jones was featured on Playbill.com’s Cue & A, which asks theatre folks to fill out a questionnaire with personal tidbits, like the fact that, like me, her favorite board game is LIFE.
The handsome Michael Esper spoke to the NY Post about opening the show and the physical demands of Steven Hoggett’s convulsive choreography.
On Tuesday, members of the cast were on hand to officially unveil the American Idiot window display at Bloomingdale’s. Following the window unveiling, the cast came upstairs to …

Bloodsong of Love

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Bloodsong of Love is a romping, stomping good time, compliments of Joe Iconis and his gang of misfits. Billed as “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Spaghetti Western,” this new musical from local theatre mover-and-shaker and singer/songwriter Joe Iconis is playing at the intimate and versatile Ars Nova until May 9. Embrace the Bloodsong now, before it walks off into the sunset.

The story of Bloodsong centers on The Musician (so named because someone so passionate cannot be confined to a name – names are for accountants) and his quest to “find the bastard, get [his] woman back…” And what a fun and campy journey it is. The journey is narrated by Iconis regular Jason “SweetTooth” Williams, who is affable and has a natural voice and tons of charm to spare. Williams also pops up (as do most of the cast members) as ancillary characters here and there. Another Iconis regular along for the ride is Lance Rubin, whose goofy demeanor and lanky body help him strike gold as the lovable and hilarious tambourine pla…

Media Morsels 4.23.10

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American Idiot Rocks on BroadwayOpening Night Coverage
Broadwayworld.com has tons of photos, including: the red carpet, with guests like Ana Gasteyer (who I walked by inside the St James) and Paul Rudd, and creatives like Green Day (with Mike Dirnt rocking a Ramones T-shirt) and Tom Kitt (who I passed on my way into the theatre and congratulated on the show and his recent Pulitzer win!); the curtain call, including photos of the cast serenading us with a special rendition of “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”, with the whole company on guitar. It was beautiful; and the after party, with the best looking cast on Broadway, including Johnny looking a little bit country and little bit rock and roll!

Playbill.com also has some opening night coverage, including brief interviews with the stars and the creatives. And Broadway.com has some red carpet video coverage (and photos) to share, as does MTV.com.

Congratulations to the cast, crew and entire creative team on an awe inspiring and beautiful…

American Idiot Rocks Broadway

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American Idiot on Broadway is truly awe inspiring. I am overcome with emotion when thinking about the fact that the most important record of my generation remains in the zeitgeist and is now the most important show on Broadway. People from all over – and from right here in New York City – can experience this beautiful piece of art, hopefully for many years to come.

After seeing the show in Berkeley and connecting to so many aspects of it so deeply, I was worried that the hype I had built up would supersede the reality. No worries here! American Idiot made a seamless transition to Broadway, losing almost nothing in the process and gaining thousands of more fans. The St. James theatre (which fans have taken to calling the St. Jimmy, in honor of one of the show’s characters) is much larger than the Roda Theatre at Berkeley Rep and at moments here or there I missed the intimacy but the St. James is so shallow that you’re still pretty close to the action no matter where you sit.

I’ve alrea…

Million Dollar Quartet

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words. …But it’s not enough to make a Broadway musical. On December 4, 1956, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis gathered with producer Sam Phillips at his Sun Records recording studio – the only time all four musical legends were together in such a venue. Word got out and a local photographer captured the four of them congregating around a piano and dubbed them the million dollar quartet. It’s a great photo and the session is legendary in the annals of rock and roll, but as a Broadway show, the Million Dollar Quartet falls flat.

The latest jukebox musical to hit Broadway is pleasant and there’s nothing objectionable about it, but it’s a rather dull production and the story that’s been strung together to create the book lacks compelling material. This would work much better as a touring revue rather than a Broadway show.

The cast is talented, if mostly lackluster, and they’re all good musicians. The four men playing the fam…

Media Morsels 4.16.10

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American Idiot
Opening night is just around the corner! Here are a few bits to tide you over until the day of jubilee: John Gallagher, Jr., was profiled by his hometown (Wilmington, DE) newspaper. There are some great bits of info, like the fact that Johnny recorded (for the American Idiot cast recording) “When It’s Time” using one of Billie Joe’s guitars, but there are also some spoilers, so read with caution.Video clips, from MTV.com, of Green Day talking about bringing their album to the stagePhotos of audience members and director Michael Mayer signing the wall at the St James. (This is a fun little ritual brought over from the Berkeley production.)The cast album will be released digitally on April 19 and in tangible form on April 20. Amazon has some samples you can listen to now.Lea Michele took in American Idiot last week, supporting her former Spring Awakening co-stars John Gallagher, Jr., Brian Charles Johnson and Gerard Canonico. Also at the performance was fellow Spring Awake…

Hell-o!

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Well, “Hell-O”! Glee is back! And what a great start to the second half. Sue is back with an hilarious vengeance. Rachel is running into the arms of the lead singer for rival choir Vocal Adrenaline. And Mr. Shuester is bringing sexy back all over town. There were some great performances – but the highlight was probably the premiere of Sue’s “Vogue” video remake. Check it out on Hulu – and remember that next week is the Madonna episode! (While you're on Hulu, check out Glee's page to catch up on full episodes.)

While I had plenty of favorite one-liners, my favorite was this gem uttered by the strapping and intense Jonathan Groff as Jesse St. James: “I’m going to the University of California Los Angeles. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s in Los Angeles.” What was your favorite quote? Share your favorite moments from last night's episode in the comments section, below.

Anyone Can Whistle

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Anyone Can Whistle is a famous flop: It played for only nine performances on Broadway. After seeing the City Centers Encores staged concert version, I can’t say I that share the original audience’s distaste …but I understand.

The loose plot of the satirical show resounds today: Corrupt politicians and townspeople looking for a savior. Early in the show, the mayoress asks her lackees if the plan they just concocted will work. One of them responds, “Of course, it’s unethical!” This little exchange was met with howling laughter from the audience. Too bad it’s true.

The finer plot points aren’t too important in this concert version. If this were a fully mounted revival, the book, by Arthur Laurents, could stand to be retooled and fleshed out. Laurents drew a good floor plan, but now the bricks and mortar (and the other thing) need to be put into place. Lucky for me, it was the concert version and so most of the entertainment came from the musical numbers.

This Stephen Sondheim musical has pl…