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The last musical of the 2009-2010 Broadway season in Orlando was Chicago, a musical that I rather enjoy. I wanted to see it when I was in Vegas lo those many years ago, but the person I was with didn’t want to see it, so I had to skip it. So when I heard that it was coming to Orlando, I eagerly snatched up a ticket.

When we were walking up to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center, there was an older woman there that was telling us about the musical and how she knew the actor playing the prosecutor. And we asked her if she thought the musical was better than the movie (which is usually the case), but she told us that the movie was better. I thought, she must be wrong. I mean, the movie was great and all, but how could it be better than the real thing?

And as I was watching the musical, I had to agree. The actors, though wonderful singers, felt like they were bored with their characters. There was no life in them. They did all the moves, but it’s like watching Brittany Spears in the 2007 MTV music awards. It just didn’t feel quite right.

And oh my goodness, were there slow bits. There’s one scene where Roxie Hart is touching herself. One of the youngish girls (they could have been teenagers or college freshmen), one of them asked, “What is she doing?” The other one said, “I don’t know.” I was going to lean over and tell her that she’s pretending to be turned on, but I couldn’t stop giggling. I had actually zoned out and was thinking about the lunch I had. (A very good sandwich called Momma Ling Ling’s Thanksgiving at Pom Pom Teahouse and sandwicheria.)

And the final dance number was lackluster. I couldn’t wait for them to finish. At least the movie knew to pull out some tommy guns and play off their notoriety as murderesses. But no, there was nothing in the musical remotely close to that.

I’d totally skip this musical and rent the movie. It’s totally not worth going to see.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I generally don’t watch new musicals because some of them tend to be really really bad. I sat through a new opera once that not only made no sense, but had horrible music. It was, unfortunately, written by a fairly famous composer.

So I went in to Spring Awakening with a bit of trepidation.

The story is based on a book called Spring Awakening: A Children’s Tragedy, a fact that I did not know when I went to see this. The music is by Duncan Sheik. The story is set in 1891 Germany, but the music is modern.

The story deals with teenagers, about teenage sex, homosexuality, the pressures of success, and suicide, all things that still pertain to us today. The music is strong and the acting superb. The subject is not for the faint hearted, however. People who don’t like L&O:SVO will definitely not like this musical. I should also mention that there’s a bit of booby and man-butt, so the prudish amongst you should turn away during that scene.

This particular cast played it with such enthusiasm that I bought the original Broadway recording.

This musical’s original cast included Lea Michelle and Jonathan Groff (who people will know as Rachelle and Jesse St. James from Glee). Usually, the original cast is always ten times better than any other cast that comes after it. But perhaps it’s because the actors preferred to play the characters differently than the original cast, or perhaps the musical eventually grew into it’s own after the recording, but the traveling cast that I saw was much better than the Broadway cast. The Broadway cast seem to be more melancholy than anything, whereas the traveling cast seem to have more nuances in their performance.

In any case, I suggest you go see this musical if you have a chance. It’s definitely one worth seeing.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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On Saturday, we went to see Phantom of the Opera! Chris had never seen it, but like many of us, knew a lot of the songs. We were way up in nosebleed seats. I think we were in the fifth to the last row on the right balcony. To say we had an obstructed view is an understatement. We couldn’t see much that was happening at the back of the stage. Like when the Phantom came down the stairs during the masquerade scene. I couldn’t see him initially. But that’s ok. It was still awesome.

Phantom is one of the few musicals where I know all the songs. That and Les Mis and Cabaret. I know, it’s all the favorites from your geeky high school days!

At one point, I thought everybody loved Phantom, but I was wrong.

Eileen hated it. She said that she could have lived without seeing that musical. I said, “Don’t say that so loud!” I thought she was going to get jumped by people around us. Who goes to Phantom and doesn’t like it? She said the sign language people were more interesting than the musical.

….

I was speechless. It’s Phantom! It’s a classic!

And then she said Grease was much better than this.

….

Seriously?!

The singing is way better in Phantom! And the songs! ugh. There was no convincing her.

It was so good!

Kelly said that this Phantom seemed to be nicer than previous Phantoms that she’s seen. I didn’t notice, personally, but I haven’t seen that many Phantoms. Then again, I’ve always had an affinity for the gargoyles.

Chris said the first act was better than the second act. And that’s mostly because all the good songs were in the first act. The second act only has about two really great songs. And he also said that it was all Christine’s dad’s fault. If she hadn’t told her that he’d send down the Angel of Music when he went to heaven, she wouldn’t be having all these problems!

And then he said something about how it must stink in the sewers where the Phantom lives. And I said, he doesn’t live in the sewers! He lives in like an aquifer. You know, like the people in Dune! They live in caves! And he said, “That explains the buttresses.” Buttresses? I didn’t see any buttresses! But then, my vision is bad.

Next time this show rolls around, I’m splurging for like third row seats. I want to see it close up!

It’ll be playing in Orlando for a couple more weeks and there are still a few seats left, so I definitely suggest that you snatch up those tickets.

Unless you’re Eileen.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

Grease

Sep. 3rd, 2009 02:36 pm
ling: (Default)

Grease

A bunch of us went to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center to watch Grease, a musical and movie that I wasn’t familiar with.  All I remembered was that Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta was in the movie and there were tight leather pants and dancing in it.  And it was during the 60’s.  The movie never interested me, so I never went to watch the musical.  E had tickets fro $21 and I thought, why not?  It’s something to do and it was her birthday.

After watching it, I still don’t get the fascination.  Why is Sandra more interesting after she wears the leather pants?  I mean Danny seemed to like her just fine in the summer.  I don’t see why he’s so much more interested after she’s become a little slutty.  I think Danny should be the one that changes.  He should realize that it doesn’t matter what his friends think.  He should like her for who she is.  But what do I know?  The people in the packed theatre LOVED it.  Just absolutely screamed every time the song was over.

The only song that I liked was “Hopelessly Devoted To You”, but I think it’s because I recognized it from Pushing Daisies and Kristin Chenoweth was singing it.  Love Kristin Chenoweth.

Also, Taylor Hicks is touring with the Grease cast.  I didn’t know who he was.  I didn’t even know if Taylor was a girl or a guy.  I mean, Taylor Swift is a girl, after all.  But I soon found out who he was after we arrived at Bob Carr.  His photo was everywhere and it was somewhat hard to miss.

He played the Teen Angel that popped out of a giant ice cream cone.  He hammed it up for a good five minutes before he popped back in to the ice cream.  He sang “Beauty School Dropout”.  At the end of the show, he came out and sang another song from his album and then he trotted himself out to whore himself, I mean to sell albums and sign them.

I won’t be going to Grease if I had the chance again.  We have tickets to Cats, which I haven’t seen either.  Only song I know from that is Memories.  Chris has seen it, though, but he wont’ be going.  Hell, the tickets are $21.  Why not?  We’ve also got Phantom of the Opera in the lineup.  Unfortunately, Wicked isn’t playing in Orlando this year.  They’ll be in Tampa.  I have to decide if I want to go all the way out there to watch it.  I mean, it’s Tampa.  There’s nothing to do there.  Anyway, that’s it for today.

Ling

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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