Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Broadway Binge

I love seeing live shows, whether it's comedy, music or some other type of performance. I especially enjoy theatre (plays and musicals).  I've been to New York five times in the last two years, and the reason for the trips is solely to indulge in Broadway shows (and some off Broadway, too).  This time around, I saw four shows in two days (2 matinées and 2 evening shows).  

I think I'm getting tired of formulaic, clichéd musicals.  I can handle thin storylines, and I can live with predictability.  But what I disliked about this (and other recent "must-see" musicals) is the music - particularly the lyrics.  The lyrics were repetitive and seemed to be exclamation points for a theme or emotion.  I kept thinking "Yeah, I get it, move on already..."  The songs didn't seem to advance the narrative - or at least not enough to justify the length of a given number.  There were some funny lines though, and the actor playing Lola was delightfully over the top.  

Cranston was great, but the play itself was meh... Maybe it's hard to build suspense and to sustain tension when you already know the ending (will LBJ get elected???)  I kept looking at my watch.

I really liked this one!  I got a last minute rush ticket to see it.  I've never seen the movie and had no expectations about the musical (I'd not read any reviews or anything...) Terrific!  Zack Braff does a great job in the lead.  The actress playing Olive was a hoot, and Cheech was wonderful.   The story, music, set design, acting, costumes and the rest were really good.  A lot of fun - go see it if you get a chance!!!!

Another last-minute ticket purchase, and again, I had no idea what to expect...  "The music is Tupac, the story is now" - great slogan, but I don't know (didn't know) Tupac's music.    

This was great!!!!  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  Holler If You Hear Me was edgy, angry, hopeful, honest... It's about inner-city gang bangers trying to turn their lives around. It's quite a departure from the usual Broadway offerings - definitely worth seeing if you're in NYC.  An all-round talented cast.  

I should also note that Holler doesn't rely on fancy-schmancy costumes and zillion dollar set designs.  It's raw and simple, and that's part of what makes it so compelling.  It's simply a talented cast telling an interesting story set to great music.  Check it out.  

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