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Showing posts from September, 2010

At This Performance of American Idiot...

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I just got home from seeing Billie Joe Armstrong make his Broadway debut: All this week he's playing the role of St. Jimmy in American Idiot. It was an incredible experience, to say the least.
To say a little bit more: The house was full (as was surely the plan) but moreover it was full of fans, not just people who were curious or happened in off the streets. This kind of house is always more fun because they are 100% into it; they're energetic and they feed their energy to the cast who recycles it right back to them, all for the price of admission.
And the cast was so pumped, if you'll excuse the understatement. All the Idiots were giving about 1700% tonight and I can only assume that that energy will carry over throughout Billie Joe's one week stand and beyond.
I loved watching Billie Joe play with the cast - giving a loving squeeze here and a quick kiss there. And he made sure to have fun all by himself, too, as he let out an extra yelp whenever the spirits moved hi…

City Ballet: Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Namouna: A Grand Divertissement and Estancia

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Last week, I once again headed over to the State theatre for the second week of City Ballet’s 2010-2011 season. Upon arriving on this warm fall night, the Lincoln Center Plaza welcomed me with a beautiful fountain show. This is one of my favorite places in the city, especially on a nice, clear night. The halls are all lit up and the fountain shoots into the air, as if in celebration of your arrival. What a way to start!

On Thursday night’s program was “Stravinsky Violin Concerto”, “Namouna: A Grand Divertissement” and “Estancia”. Only “Namouna” was new to me but as you might guess, dear readers, I was most excited to get to see Christopher Wheeldon’s “Estancia” once again. More on that later. As usual, we’ll start with the first piece.

I first saw “Stravinsky Violin Concerto” last May, and enjoyed it quite a bit. This time, the ballet was performed by almost the same cast, with one exception: Instead of seeing my favorite, Robert Fairchild, dance opposite Sterling Hyltin, as in May, on …

Media Morsels 9.24.10

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American Idiot in the Media
After a fun week of talk back sessions, most of the Idiots had a low-key week – just the usual eight shows! But the American Theatre Wing has a new video on its site in which they go behind the scenes with Idiot’s musical director, Carmel Dean. Learn what a musical director does and how Carmel got involved in this rockin’ show.

Bloody Bloody Bits
Populists rejoice! Big Block of Cheese Day finally arrived on Broadway: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson began previews at the Jacobs theatre this Monday night and I was on hand to experience the rapturous revelry. It seems that little has changed from the Public to Broadway, which is good since it was so spectacular downtown this spring. I am very glad to report that designer Donyale Werle’s fantastic theatre dressings transferred to the Jacobs. Like at the Public, the feel of a local dive bar envelops you the moment you walk in. And with lighting rods shooting out and up into the balcony, it gives the feel of a small in…

City Ballet: Interplay, Opus 19/The Dreamer and The Four Seasons

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Dust off your pointe shoes and get those leotards out of your drawers: The 2010-2011 New York City Ballet season has begun! And it’s off to a great start. City Ballet had a full week of “kick-off” events to welcome patrons to the new season, and particularly to their first-ever fall season. When I went on Thursday night, there was a lovely jazz duo playing in the promenade inside the State theatre and patrons could lounge on plush, oversize ottomans while enjoying the music. Or, like one couple, you could have shown off your own dancing skills and taken a twirl around the promenade. It was a very nice way to start the season, and a great way to transition from day- and work-time to nighttime fun!

First up on Thursday night, an all Robbins-night, was Interplay, which was fun, fun, fun! At first, I thought that if NY Export: Opus Jazz conveys the exuberance of teenagers, then Interplay conveys the wonderful playfulness of pre-teens. (In fact the costumes were similar: A mix of black pant…

Media Morsels 9.17.10

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My dear readers,
I’m so sorry for the lack of Morsels last week. I was having technical difficulties. Please enjoy this week’s edition, with little bonuses left over from last week.American Idiot in the Media
The cast of American Idiot has been working overtime! Last Monday (on Labor Day), the talented bunch flew out to LA to tape a performance for the competition series America’s Got Talent, which aired on Wednesday. The Idiots were incredible, obviously. Playbill.com has the video of this cast that most definitely has talent. This was promptly followed a terrific performance on Monday Night Football. The Idiots performed with Green Day at Giants Stadium during the Ravens-Jets game. While ESPN didn’t show the entire performance, because apparently whatever Chris Berman has to say is much more important than thrilling musical performances, the full performance did air later that night on Jimmy Kimmel. To close out this week, the ladies of American Idiots (the Idiettes, if you will) visi…

Heathers: The Musical

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Greetings and salutations! Heathers is back, so dust off your croquet mallet and find your big red scrunchy.

On Tuesday night I was delighted to attend a staged concert of Heathers: The Musical at one of my favorite venues, Joe’s Pub. Before I even get to the show, I have to name drop for a moment. While waiting in line to go in, I gathered from the others gathered that the crowd was full of family and industry types, not just theatre rats like me. And, lo and behold, I turned around and Billy Porter was standing right there! (Porter is a theatre vet and absolutely hilarious in The Broken Hearts Club.) No sooner was I seated on my comfy couch in the Pub than I spotted Victor Garber sitting at the table next to me. And as if that wasn’t neat enough, before the show began Mr. Garber was joined by some friends, including Ms. Meg Ryan. So that was the pre-show!

And now on to the actual show. This concert version was just a concert: While the director read some stage directions and the actor…

Me, Myself and I

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Me, Myself and I is an Edward Albee play; that’s both a fact and a fairly consummate descriptor. At moments it’s absurd, then heartfelt then wildly funny and then over-the-top cartoonish. This made for a mostly pleasant theatre going experience, if not a thoroughly enjoyable one.

In his latest work, Albee introduces us to OTTO, one half of an identical twin duo. His brother is otto. (No, those aren’t typos.) His mother is Albee-crazy, which means she’s demented but has lucid moments and discoveries that make us question our acumen. OTTO and otto are 28 and Mother can’t tell them apart. The Doctor has been living with them (staying fully clothed – in a navy pinstripe suit – in bed) all these 28 years, ever since OTTO and otto’s father left the family. At rise, OTTO tells us he’s decided to get rid of his family and then proceeds to tell his mother and the doctor that his twin brother no longer exists – sending everyone, including otto’s girlfriend who firmly believe otto exists, into an…

Media Morsels 9.3.10

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American Idiot in the Media
The incomparable Idiots went into the AOL Sessions studio recently to try to capture on film some of the magic of the show. It’s a beautiful thing, and for now it’s the closest you can get to having the Idiots perform in your living room. (A gal can dream, right?) Check out the entire American Idiot Sessions section for six (6!) musical performances, including those amazing, fierce and inspiring women singing "Letterbomb"; pictures of the cast; a “behind the sessions” video; and a video Q&A with Michael, Rebecca, Tony, Libby, John, Christina and Stark.

The talented (and handsome) Michael Esper recently invited Broadway.com into his dressing room to capture some of his favorite decorative items, including an “I want to cuddle with you” card from some very special supporters.

Sesame Street Gets Some Visitors
Sesame Street turns 41 this year. The seminal show from the Children’s Television Workshop will return to PBS for its 41st season on September…