February 7, 2019 at 7:44 pm #1202764801
Dates for the San Francisco premiere of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child have been set. Preview performances begin on October 23 with opening night set for December 1. http://www.playbill.com/article/date-set-for-san-francisco-premiere-of-harry-potter-and-the-cursed-childFebruary 7, 2019 at 8:00 pm #1202764825
Julian Sands, who played George Emerson in the film A Room With A View, will now play the role of Mr. Emerson (originally played by Denholm Elliott in the film) in a production at L.A. Theatre Works next month. http://www.playbill.com/article/julian-sands-will-return-to-a-room-with-a-view-for-la-theatre-worksFebruary 7, 2019 at 8:03 pm #1202764831
Two-time Tony nominee Brad Oscar will star in two-time Tony nominee Ken Ludwig’s new play The Gods Of Comedy at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre from March 12-31. http://www.playbill.com/article/brad-oscar-will-headline-world-premiere-of-ken-ludwigs-the-gods-of-comedyFebruary 10, 2019 at 10:27 am #1202767524
Casting has been announced for Riverside Theatre’s production of My Fair Lady, which will play from March 12-31. http://www.playbill.com/article/casting-complete-for-riversides-my-fair-ladyFebruary 10, 2019 at 3:43 pm #1202769293
Barrington Stage Company has announced their 2019 season lineup. http://www.playbill.com/article/barrington-stage-company-reveals-complete-2019-season-including-into-the-woods-and-4-world-premieresFebruary 11, 2019 at 4:05 pm #1202772650
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has announced their 2019-2020 season lineup. http://www.playbill.com/article/hana-s-sharifs-inaugural-season-at-the-repertory-theatre-of-st-louis-features-angels-in-america-the-lifespan-of-a-factFebruary 12, 2019 at 9:04 am #1202773409
The Williamstown Theatre Festival has announced their 2019 summer season.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Uma-Thurman-Jesse-Tyler-Ferguson-and-More-Among-Performers-Set-For-2019-Williamstown-Theatre-Festival-20190212February 12, 2019 at 9:05 am #1202773411
Taylor Hicks & Rachel Potter are both set to star in the Serenbe Playhouse’s upcoming production of Shenandoah.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Taylor-Hicks-and-Rachel-Potter-Will-Star-in-SHENANDOAH-at-Serenbe-Playhouse-20190212February 12, 2019 at 7:05 pm #1202774088
Anthony Warlow and Gina Riley will be starring in two Australian productions of Sweeney Todd this summer at Sydney’s Darling Harbour Theatre from June 13-16 and Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre from June 20-23. http://www.playbill.com/article/anthony-warlow-and-gina-riley-will-star-in-stephen-sondheims-sweeney-todd-in-juneFebruary 12, 2019 at 7:05 pm #1202774090
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, on Thursday, a series of readings of Jason Odell Williams’ play Church & State will be taking place at various university theaters across the country. http://www.playbill.com/article/free-reading-of-jason-odell-williams-church-state-will-be-presented-at-uclaFebruary 13, 2019 at 10:20 am #1202774661
I got to see a local production of Mamma Mia! in my area last night, and here are my thoughts:
If you’ve read my reviews before, you know how I always do my best to critique both the material itself and the production separately. This time is no exception at all because the book by Catherine Johnson is a bit of a mess. I know Mamma Mia! is suppose to be silly fluff, it’s not meant to be taken seriously, I get it. Though the plot itself is still pretty ridiculous. We the audience spend two and a half hours watching Sophie struggle to figure out who her real father is, yet that storyline just (SPOILER ALERT) never gets resolved. It pretty much ends with Sophie being OK with not knowing the truth. There’s also this big plot hole that I just couldn’t get over. The story is supposedly set in the year 1999 because Sophie is said to be 20 years old, and she read in her Donna’s diary that she met the three men in 1979. From the excerpts Sophie reads of the diary, only the first names were mentioned. It’s unknown to the audience if the last names were written in it as well. However, Sophie still manages to find contact information for each of the men, which is very strange given that Donna hasn’t been in touch with any of them for 20 years.
What’s also worth noting is that there are 22 ABBA songs incorporated into the plot, yet most of them are placed in areas where they have nothing to do with the plot at all. It appears to me that Catherine Johnson only tried to come up with some good excuses for the characters to perform favorites like ‘Thank You for the Music’, ‘Dancing Queen’, and ‘Take a Chance on Me’. While they are all well performed renditions, the way each of those songs are placed just make it hard for me to get invested in them. For example, when we first meet Donna, she sings about her dreams for a better life with the song, ‘Money, Money, Money’. Yet, that storyline never seems to go anywhere. Near the end of Act One, Sophie is having a bachelorette party when her three possible fathers accidentally walk in on it. This then leads to an awkward moment with Sophie’s young friends trying to persuade the three older men to stay.
Though with that being said, there are actually some songs that I thought worked quite well with where they were placed. ‘Chiquitita’ works as a song where Donna’s friends, Tanya and Rosie, try asking what her problem is. You can definitely feel that from the actresses, Stephanie Pope and Lulu Picart. ‘One of Us’ and ‘S.O.S.’ both work in a subplot involving Donna’s previous relationship with Sam Carmichael (who also happens to be the most sane character in the whole show). Charlie Brady not only does a charming job in the role, but he proves to be quite a crooner with the ABBA catalogue (which is refreshing given that he’s taking on a character that previously won a certain somebody a Razzie Award). ‘Our Last Summer’ works as another one of Donna’s former lovers, Harry Bright, recalls their time together from when they first met. Gary Milner does a good job selling the emotions in that song. ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ probably offers the most heartfelt moment in the whole show as Donna helps Sophie get ready for her own wedding. Through that song, we get to hear the emotions going through Donna’s mind as her only child is about to get married. Lauren Kennedy and Mary Mattison (who does give a very sweet performance overall) both share such great on stage chemistry to the point that I was easily able to buy the two of them as mother and daughter. Also getting to watch (and hear) Kennedy perform ‘The Winner Takes It All’ is an absolute highlight.
Overall, Mamma Mia! is far from being a great musical by any stretch of the imagination, though it definitely has its moments. There’s no denying the countless energy (some of which should be credited to choreographer Monica Kapoor) up on stage. I’ll also say that the best part of the whole show happens to be the curtain call, and not because it was all over, because of the encore. The entire company performed a megamix consisting of ‘Mamma Mia!’, ‘Dancing Queen’, and ‘Waterloo’. It would’ve been real easy to have done a whole show like that instead of trying to create an original story where certain songs would have to fit in, yet this is what we end up with.
February 13, 2019 at 9:00 pm #1202775395
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Jeffrey Kare.
Patchouge Theatre for the Performing Arts will be staging Into The Woods: In Concert on March 8 and 9. Casting so far includes Melissa Errico as the Baker’s Wife, Constantine Maroulis as Cinderella’s Prince and the Wolf, Ali Ewoldt as Cinderella, Alan Muraoka as the Narrator and Mysterious Man, Ayla Schwartz as Little Red Riding Hood, Tyler Jones as Jack, Darren Ritchie as Rapunzel’s Prince, Alexandra Imbrosci and Megan Gallagher as Florinda and Lucinda, Julia Bain as Cinderella’s Stepmother, Jonathan Fluck as Cinderella’s Father, Amy Jane Finnerty as Jack’s Mother, James Schultz as the Steward, and Madison Wyatt as Rapunzel. Casting for the Baker and the Witch will be announced at a later date. http://www.playbill.com/article/melissa-errico-constantine-maroulis-ali-ewoldt-more-cast-in-long-island-into-the-woods-in-concertFebruary 13, 2019 at 9:01 pm #1202775399
Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom, Jr., Nicolette Robinson and Abigail Spencer have signed on as producers of Witness Uganda. http://www.playbill.com/article/cynthia-erivo-leslie-odom-jr-nicolette-robinson-and-abigail-spencer-sign-on-as-producers-of-witness-ugandaFebruary 13, 2019 at 9:02 pm #1202775402
Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. has announced their 2019-2020 season lineup. http://www.playbill.com/article/shakespeare-theatre-company-season-will-include-works-by-branden-jacobs-jenkins-james-baldwin-lauren-gundersonFebruary 18, 2019 at 7:34 am #1202780324
Berkshire Theatre Group has announced their summer 2019 season lineup. http://www.playbill.com/article/berkshire-theatre-group-plans-edward-albees-the-goat-and-thornton-wilders-the-skin-of-our-teeth-for-summer-slate
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