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IceDragon
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I haven't seen Wicked live but I've seen the show on YouTube. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Is it the most amazing thing ever? No.

 

I find that there's a difference between a quality show and a fun show. Wicked is a fun show. Very enjoyable and great to see, but it lacks important things, the "substance". I LOVED watching it, but it's not a "quality" musical.

 

Gypsy is a quality show. It shows all emotions, lets you into the characters thoughts and feelings, etc. Personally, I find the show to be just "okay" in terms of entertainment, but in terms of quality, it is excellent.

 

Personally, I don't like much of Stephen Sondheim's work. I absolutely love Rose's Turn, but that's pretty much it. I thoroughly enjoy Gershwin music though. R&H is... okay. Just okay though.

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Gypsy is a classic! What's more, it's one of the few shows with an abundance of strong female roles: Rose, Baby June and Louise, Teen June and Louise, Gypsy as well as the Tessie, Electra, and M'Zeppa. You combine that with a strong score and you have a show that stands the test of time.

 

I find most of the R&H library falls into that catagory as well. Shows that are timeless and don't lose their punch due to cultural references that tend to age certain shows too quickly.

 

What I love about the Sondheim cannon is that his shows work on so many levels both as a theatre goer and as a performer. You will be hard pressed to find a writer that challenges a cast both from a vocal and acting standpoint more than Sondheim.

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^I agree with your statement about Stephen Sondheim. Now, I said I don't like his work that much. Yeah, it's good, but not amazing, but that's just my personal opinion and music taste, so nothing against Sondheim. His works ARE absolutely wonderful and DO challenge the actors. I LOVE that. I hope it doesn't look like I'm contradicting myself or confusing anyone here. Lol.

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^^Not confusing at all! I can completely understand appreciating the complexity of the work while at the same time not personally enjoying it. Plus...tastes change...I know over the year from the time I was in my teens to now I know my taste in shows certainly evolved. As you learn more about the craft you learn to appreicate, listen and view shows differently.

 

A lot of folks would call me a "theatre snob" as I absolutely detest the works of Webber (save for Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar) and tend to loathe mega-musicals.

 

Give me a smaller more character driven show any day!

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^If you're talking character driven, have you seen Next to Normal? It was directed by Michael Greif (Rent), and there's maybe 5 or 6 characters that you follow throughout the show. I watched it on youtube (can't wait to see it live in San Francisco), and it's GREAT! I'd highly recommend it since it really is character and story driven, and not all about spectacle.

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^^I did in fact see Next to Normal with its original cast in New York and while I'll say it isn't a bad show...I wasn't a huge fan either.

 

I thought the way the book deals with mental illness was a little too laid back and cliched and lyrically there is pretty hackneyed material in there.

 

Now from a performance standpoint...I thought the show was phenomenal and Alice Ripley is brilliant. However I think the book really knocked it down a few pegs for me.

 

But that's just me.

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^If you're talking character driven, have you seen Next to Normal? It was directed by Michael Greif (Rent), and there's maybe 5 or 6 characters that you follow throughout the show. I watched it on youtube (can't wait to see it live in San Francisco), and it's GREAT! I'd highly recommend it since it really is character and story driven, and not all about spectacle.

 

Yup. 6 characters, four understudies, for a cast of 10 I know plenty of people who saw N2N in NYC, and Alice Ripley let them take pictures WITH her, which she never does! She also added them on facebook. Too cool.

 

Which version did you see on YouTube? Was Brian D'Arcy James playing Dan? If he was, I'm 95% sure you saw the pre-Broadway run. The show had some tweaks before it transferred to Broadway, so you'll see some differences when you see it in San Francisco.

 

I'm so jealous that you're seeing it. It's not coming anywhere near me. If I happen to travel to see it, that would be great. Alice Ripley is playing Diana on the tour! YAY!

 

Also... The Broadway production is closing in January

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Congratulations! Great show to get to produce. IMhO.

 

Which also reminds me...

 

I miss Judy Kuhn.

 

What has she been up to lately?

 

Anybody know?

 

I did get her cd of Laura Nyro covers, which was great.

And I still have my prized cd of her in the only production of METROPOLIS, I know of.

And LA 'Sunset Blvd.' And 'Chess' too, lol.

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I'm getting a strange sense of deja vu

 

In light of that, I'll report that I saw Tell Me On a Sunday on (ironically, LAWLZ!1!) Saturday evening - Andrew Lloyd Webber's one-woman, one-act show from 1980. It was a slow-burner, but eventually pretty enjoyable - ignoring the expected difficulties that come with having only one set and one woman (with one vocal range, style, personality, occasionally very quiet voice..you know the drill), and no book (standard ALW up to Phantom, I think) - and the 'hit' songs from the show, Unexpected Song and Take That Look Off Your Face were pretty..what's that word?..fierce.

 

Of course, it's ALW, which opens a whole other can of worms; I'm not sure how much it lingers in the memory of the US theatre fandom, but I know Bernadette Peters had something to do with a Broadway version, which apparently ruined the show by 'Americanising' it.

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Webber is is slippery slope.

 

While he does have a couple of quality shows, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, the rest of his body of work tends to lean towards the catagory of 'style over substance'. Which is all well and good but so many of those eye candy shows have scores that just get so repetitive that peronally I just can't deal with them.

 

He's also got some real stinkers...Starlight Express, Whistle Down the Wind, By Jeeves, and Cats are all just awful in my mind.

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My favourite is probably Starlight Express! Perhaps just because I saw it like 50 times or so. I grew up close to where it is playing in Germany and we went there often 10 minutes before it started and asked for left over tickets and so we got in for less than 10 Euros.

 

Guys, what do you think is the better musical, The Lion King or Tarzan? I want to give a friend tickets for her birthday and both of them are playing in Hamburg and I don’t know which one is better. I just read that “Sister Act” starts soon in Hamburg as well. Does anybody know how it is? (sorry, I didn’t read the whole treat here, so don’t be mad if you already wrote something about this)

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^^Without a doubt The Lion King blows Tarzan out of the water. There simply isn't any comparison. The Lion King is a Julie Taymor directed masterpeice while Tarzan comes off as a big budget them park show with lack luster music.

 

Oh and Sister Act isn't very good at all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am musical daft! I play the guitar, Clarinet, a bit of Drums and love singing.

 

Some of my favourites are: Les Miserables, Avenue Q, Wicked, Joseph, Blood Brothers and Chicago.

 

I recommend that you go to see Les Miserables as it is by far my favourite musical for it's music, talent and story.

 

Visit Les Miserables website and book tickets at a theatre near you!

 

Enjoy!

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I was recently involved in an interesting production. It was an English translation of Pauline Viardot's Cendrillon...the French version of Cinderella, basically.

 

In this operetta version of the story, The prince does more than stand around and look good. He actually starts off walking around a neighborhood disguised as a beggar, and Cinderella is the only one who shows him any kindness. It's because of that, Cindy's family gets invited to the ball. Also, the night of the ball, the Prince switches places with his Chamberlain, to see which woman will love him for what he really is, as a person.

 

My character was the Step FATHER (No stepmother in this version, but still stepsisters. My mom played one of them in this production!) He calls himself a Baron, but he's actually a grocer who struck it rich, and only makes himself look like a Baron...and he feels miserable for it, secretly. You can see pics of me as my character in my facebook photos.

 

Also, it is insinuated that the fairy godmother is actually the spirit of Cindy's real mother, and that she not only loved the Baron in her former life, but the Chamberlain as well. Oh, how French.

 

Anyway, I wish you guys could have seen it. We had a great time putting it on.

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Our local community theatre (which I'm on the Board of Directors) is working on putting together our 2011-2012 season so we can announce it in early 2011 (our seasons run from Sept. to July). We're thinking of doing Godspell, and so I've been listening to it a lot. Love, love, love it. Watched the movie for the first time this week. Victor Garber was so young and scrawny! I almost didn't recognize him. But he did an awesome job as Jesus.

 

I'm putting my name in to direct Zombie Prom in the same season.

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Zombie Prom is a funny little show!

 

Oh and another show along the same lines...having that "Little Shop" feel would be Return to Forbidden Planet. It has that fun 'B movie" feel with a rocking score.

 

Godspell is a personal favorite show as well. I love the score and love how free form the show is.

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