Book of Mormon
I laugh and cringe the whole way through; laughing when the audience is laughing and even when they’re not, because the inside jokes abound. Once in a while, I glance around me at the faces, as they sit in surprised stupor, and then laugh some more. It’s a complete giggle fest. For all its lampooning, it never feels mean spirited. In fact, there is an abundance of affection and good will towards these young, idealistic missionaries. Calling out the naivete, yet at the same time appreciating the sincerity, is a wonderful mix. I can’t help but see the benefits of this attitude towards oneself too. When owning the flaws, don’t forget to recognize the qualities too. And as the play so well illustrates, it’s better to laugh about it all, than to cry.
“Turn It Off” is the best song of the night (and the show is full of great songs) and the best song of all the musicals I see this week. It captures a real cultural mien which is almost impossible to express and does so with sharp accuracy, but instead of allowing the pain to get too far, it tap dances its way into good feelings. What a stroke of genius.Groundhog Day
Two-word intimidation when it comes to adapting the film -- Bill Murray! I was skeptical whether the story would work without him and even more so if it could be made into a musical. Same songs over and over again? Is there any musicality in weather reporting? Does anything even rhyme with Punxsutawney?!
I shouldn't have been concerned. This is Broadway after all. By the time this show got here, it had been work shopped to death and had a trial run at the Old Vic in London. So even if it didn't turn out great, it would still be pretty great. Outcome? It's great, really great.
About 7 minutes into the play, I forget all about Bill Murray. No disrespect, Mr. Murray! You know I love ya. It's just that Karl makes the part his own and becomes the lifeblood of the show. Technically, this show is like traversing a land mine! I heard that Andy Karl hurt himself last week during the last of the previews and had to finish the show using a cane. It doesn't surprise me in the least, because he is everywhere all at the same time, maneuvering around set pieces and moving stage parts. He came back to perform opening night and is trading off with his understudy, so he can heal. I'm sure his understudy is capable, but I really do believe Karl is the reason this show shines.
The other really shiny aspect is that Tim Minchin wrote the music and lyrics. He is the one who did the same for Matilda the Musical
, with such skill and heart and here he pulls off a difficult range of songs, from arrogance, to debauchery, to suicide, to metamorphosis. Nicely done! The movie moves me. The play moves me to tears. Come From Away
Canadians are the best! You done did good, Gander, Newfoundland! Talk about tears. Can a cast of 12, with a folk rock band at their side, represent a whole town and the nearly 7,000 airline passengers who were diverted there on the morning of September 11th? The answer is yes and they do it with grace and respect and needed humor.
This is a quieter, smaller production in the middle of Manhattan, but it's what theatre is made for -- to tell stories, and this one is a doozy. Small town doubles in size over night, with culture and language barriers to be bridged and fears and anger to be soothed and humanity to be celebrated. I found this show to be charming and cathartic.Amelie
Yeah, my skepticism reared its ugly head again, pre-curtain time. When am I going to learn my lesson? This is such a sweet musical. It's quirky and full of heart, capturing much of what the film did. Yet they are different mediums, so they each bring something the other can't. And that's okay. Having the shy girl's inner feelings sung, is musicals at their best. Having a shy girl melt into a puddle, is cinema at its best. I want both versions.
Not having $2000 dollars to shell out for Hamilton
, getting to see Phillipa Soo on stage here is a pretty great consolation!The Price
Gosh, I don't know what to say about this except to say, what a coup! Here I was, minding my own business, walking down 42nd street and I look up and right above me is a small marquee with Ruffalo, DeVito, Shalhoub and Hecht written on it. What? When? It turns out to be an Arthur Miller play. A parlor drama. I'm good with those! And yet, it could have been them reading laundry lists and I'd so be there! I run into the box office and buy up the three remaining seats and can't believe my luck that there is a box seat in the mix. I keep that one for myself!
It's a slow burn, taking its time, but when the interaction is between these consummate actors, I soak up all the dialogue and wish for more. Miller is great with psychological studies and the actors take the material, escalate the drama, send the emotions through the roof and I'm floored by the pain conveyed. When the dust settles, I see each one clearly and know why they are the way they are and see myself a little clearer too. It's good theatre.