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Showing posts from February, 2012

Assistance

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Much like anyone who’s worked in an office can simultaneously cringe at and appreciate Office Space, anyone who’s been an assistant can commiserate with the poor office hacks in Leslye Headland’s acerbic new play, Assistance.Headland’s sharp, efficient writing is in full effect in her keenly observed play, one in a series exploring the seven deadly sins. (This one is about greed. Bachelorette—so good at Second Stage Uptown a couple of summers ago—focused on gluttony, and has been adapted for the screen.) It’s seven o’clock on a Friday night and Vince (Lucas Near-Verbrugghe) and Nick (Michael Esper) are still at work. Nick is staying to cover the late shift and train the new girl, Nora (Virginia Kull), who has been waiting in reception for four hours. They all work for Daniel Weisinger, a VIP (whom we never meet) with the worst and most oversized egotistical demands and expectations. (Meaning: he’s the most important person – ever, and he wants exactly what he wants—nothing more, nothi…

Oscar Wrap Up

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Well, we have another Academy Award show and film award season under our belts. It's been a good year, with several terrific films and performances to consider (even if all of them didn't win or weren't nominated for Oscars).
But really, there are two things people care about when watching award shows: fashion and fashion. (Oh, and sometimes people care about the awards.) So, let's get to the fashion. (Visit E! Online for tons of photos and other red carpet coverage.)

There actually wasn't anything too remarkable on the red carpet - nothing terribly bad and nothing wonderfully incredible.
I thought Emma Stone and Natalie Portman looked grown up yet fresh in red. Stone was wearing a Jean-Baptiste Grenouille dress that was glamorous and included a red-carpet-only bow atop a beautifully rich red gown. And Portman was sporting a rather old, matronly silhouette, but the polka dots on her dress made it fresh and modern.


Um, and other than that I don't have too much to …

Media Morsels 2.24.12

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Peter and the Starcatcher
Star stuff is coming to Broadway. As we've known for several weeks now, Peter and the Starcatcher, which was magical last year at the New York Theatre Workshop, is heading uptown for a Broadway engagement at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. The show unveiled its new website this week, which comes complete with a priority pre-sale discount! Visit peterandthestarcatcher.com to order tickets for as little at $59. Also on the site: a video about crafting the show's poster (at right) and a FAQ sheet so you can enjoy every last bit of star stuff! Previews begin on March 28, and they're ready: they just announced the full cast!

The Lyons
If you hear some roaring in the theatre district, it's probably coming from the Cort Theatre, where, it was announced this week, The Lyons will take up residency. The superb Nicky Silver play, which ran at the Vineyard Theatre last year (I loved it), is making the leap to Broadway this spring, opening sometime before the A…

Merrily We Roll Along

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Having seen the Encores! production of Merrily We Roll Along, I feel as if I’ve gone through a musical theatre lover rite of passage. I had known of the show and was vaguely familiar with the plot and score but there’s nothing quite like seeing a top-notch production of a show to really hook you.

Merrily We Roll Along is an inspirational cautionary tale that follows three “old friends” on their journey from wide-eyed dreamers to hardened, jaded adults – but it’s told in reverse. When we meet Franklin Shepard (Colin Donnell), Mary Flynn (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and Charley Kringas (Lin-Manuel Miranda), they are showbiz and publishing veterans in their forties and they can barely stand to be in the same room with each other. Years of professional infighting (Frank is a composer and Charley his lyricist; Mary is a writer) have given way to the dissolution of what seemed to be an unbreakable bond. It’s an absolutely devastating story, and by telling it in reverse, Stephen Sondheim and George …

Media Morsels 2.17.12

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Grammy Wrap Up
As expected, The Book of Mormon took home the prize for Best Musical Theater Album. (Watch Trey Parker, Bobby Lopez and Stephen Oremus's acceptance speech on Broadway.com.) The Boss performed a rousing rendition of the lead single "We Take Care of Our Own" from his forthcoming album, Wrecking Ball. The Foo Fighters performed twice (!!!), and then Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl joined Sir Paul McCartney on stage for a rock and roll jam session to finish the broadcast. But my favorite part was Dave Grohl's speech upon accepting one of the five Grammys he and the Foos won:

"The human element of making music is what's most important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that's the most important thing for people to do. It's not about being perfect; it's not about sounding absolutely correct; it's not about what goes in a computer. It's about what goes on in here (points…

How I Learned to Drive

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I remember seeing a production of Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive at a community theatre in South Florida when I was in high school. (Fun side note: the woman who played the lead showed up as my substitute drama teacher a month later.) From that production on, I have been fascinated by the play. I mined it for monologues for auditions and classes; I delighted in revisiting it for play analysis classes in college; and, every now and then, I think of “A Mother’s Guide to Social Drinking” when I’m out on a date. So I was excited to see Second Stage’s production of this modern classic (which comes complete with a Greek chorus), and my friend and I agreed that it lived up to our expectations. The play is told in “reverse gear,” down shifting and changing lanes as necessary, as Li’l Bit (Elizabeth Reaser) tells us how she learned to drive – which is ultimately the story of how, beginning at age 11, she had a sexual relationship with her Uncle Peck (Norbert…

City Ballet: Interplay; Seven Deadly Sins; Vienna Waltzes

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After the amazing all-Wheeldon evening a couple of weeks ago, I knew nothing at the ballet would compare. Still, I was looking forward to heading over to the State Theatre on Friday night because there were things I liked about or was intrigued by for each of the three pieces. Turns out that what drew me to this program met my expectations, though not much more.First up was the Jerome Robbins classic, Interplay. This fun and mostly light-hearted ballet was Robbins’s follow up to the frolicking Fancy Free, and is a wonderful precursor to my favorite Robbins ballet, New York Export: Opus Jazz. (Remember: you can watch a great film adaptation of that ballet; City Ballet company members conceived, produced, directed and starred in this take on youth exuberance.) I’ve seen and written in detail about this piece before so here I’ll focus on Friday night’s performance. Soloist Sean Suozzi (one of the Opus Jazz film co-conceivers) led the group in the first movement, “Free Play.” I was disapp…