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  1. I finally watched Sutton Foster's Live From Lincoln Center special. I really enjoyed it. I wouldn't say it's a must-see but if you've got whatever PBS subscription you need to access the archives, I'd recommend it. What sets it apart is that it's a really thoughtful concert. The songs are well chosen, the arrangements are beautiful, and there are really clever mashups. I'm hit or miss on Younger and this concert reminded me of why I fell in love with Sutton. She wasn't a perfect ingenue because she was a young girl with a pretty voice. She was a perfect ingenue because she has always had the ability to convey a sense of optimism. She can truly sell an "I Want" song. And when she has good material, she can act the hell out of it. You can tell she's thought about it but you never see her thinking behind her eyes. She's always 100% in the moment. She also has incredibly bright vocals that border on being sharp/shrill without ever crossing over. She's not a screlter. She just has a voice that can cut through. Even though she's definitely a mezzo, watching this concert did make me think if they lower the keys a little for The Music Man, she can probably sell those songs. It won't be quite the same but she does have a sweetness in her upper register. That doesn't make me think I want to pay for full price tickets but I might see it if they end up discounting even if it's not one of my favorite classic shows.
  2. I saw Oklahoma again tonight. Full OBC, I think. They were filming it for the archives. Rather than review the whole thing I'll just talk about the cast members I didn't see last time. I thought Rebecca Naomi Jones was better than her understudy but still wasn't 100% in the part. She managed the vocals better but I think another actress could have done an even better job. Even with the keys lowered, her belt was kind of off and she was having trouble negotiating the high notes. Sometimes she found them in the belt and sometimes she sang them very quietly. Sometimes it was more like talk-singing and sometimes she sang them more legit. Even with the keys lowered, I don't think she has the range, at least not where she could easily pop up to the high notes. She wasn't one of the actors who figured out how to make the country-style vocals work for her. Actually, having seen her I think it was a choice to have Laurey have less of an accent than the others. There's nothing in the text but it does make her stand out a little as somewhat more ladylike or educated or upper class if there was such a thing. Of course there's nothing in the text to suggest she had an education or that she and Aunt Eller had any more money than the others. I feel like compared to her understudy, she had a much clearer preference for Curly. I was watching very closely and even at the dance, she is dancing with Jud but she doesn't look at him a lot and keeps gravitating towards other partners or making eyes at Curly. I did think a lot of the light choreo made much more sense with Rebecca. It's clearly something she helped develop and/or something that's more lived in for her. I don't know what those reviews about her stomping around being angry were about. The only stomping comes in the dancing. The rest of the time, it's pretty clear that she is attracted to Curly but spurning him because he's too proud to come out and say that he likes her. He's always softpedaling or giving her backhanded compliments. She just wants him to treat her well. I didn't really sense her having bigger aspirations than being pretty and finding love/passion and then settling down to have a family. And when Jud dies, she felt more complicit than her understudy in this production's decision to make it seem like an overt cover up. That goes along with her being less affectionate towards Jud than her understudy. I still found the portrayal of Jud interesting for the same reasons but he was slightly less sympathetic/compelling as a character when Laurey didn't seem to reciprocate his feelings at all. Ali Stroker was good but I don't know why she got a Tony Award. Like Damon and Mary Testa, she really figured out how to negotiate the score using a country twang. But she also has more facility with her upper range than Rebecca. It's more natural for her to belt and still manage the high notes. Credit where it's due, she sang very well. However, her performance was very broadly comedic. I don't think she's really improved as an actress since The Glee Project. It was all very one-note. The other actors were just at a different level. There was more subtlety and depth and sophistication to their performances. It's not just about them having more interesting characters. Her face just didn't register that much, especially reacting to a scene partner. It stood out in comparison to the other actors who have no trouble reacting when they aren't the driving force in the scene and/or have no dialogue. I think I like the other Ali Hakim I saw better. I don't like the character or his songs/dialogue regardless but the other actor was less annoying. I still hate the dance. I talked to another audience member who said this dancer originated the dance. I suppose she was a little more natural but the choreography is still nonsense. It's too unfocused to communicate anything. Every time you think it might be suggesting something, it fails to come to a satisfying conclusion.
  3. I had to come on here and tell you guys about this because no one else will understand what I'm talking about. I had a dream and in my dream I made up an entire TCM movie. It's not that important but in my dream I was in a public venue but I somehow had control of a remote that could rewind and fast forward through the movie. So we were all watching this movie and then at the end, someone asked the title and I tried to rewind back through to find it but that's when I woke up because my brain realized "of course, you can't find the title. This movie doesn't exist." In the opening credits, I remember I said my movie starred Shirley Booth though the actress I made up in my head looked more like Debbie Reynolds combined with Shirley Temple circa Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer. My male lead was a Melvyn Douglas type but looked more like Raymond Arroyo from Fox News. It wasn't him but I'd cast someone with that same semi-balding look. The plot was simple and the dialogue wasn't anything to write home about. They went on a date and came back to her house and they kissed and he said something to offend her. Shenanigans and hijinks ensued as he tried to get her back during the course of the movie. It was just incredibly strange that my brain wrote (almost) an entire TCM movie (I started rewinding 3/4 through to figure out the title) to entertain itself.
  4. Thank God for this thread. Hey, remember Mr. Slow and Easy? I kind of did but not really, which is why I had to dig back to page 38 of this thread. Yeah, the last time we went out was October 2018. I was on vacation during December. While I was away, he sent me this message. My phone says it was sent around 10pm on December 11th but it could have been any time around that time because my phone was being crazy while I was out of the country. I didn't respond because I couldn't remember how I felt about him after our last date.
  5. Ugh. That's the worst. There's a whole thread on BWW about bad audience behavior. I don't remember if I mentioned it, but when I saw Shuffle Along, the woman in front of me was leaning forward like that (and we were in the mezz) and the guy next to me was manspreading. No, MANSPREADING. I was so miserable I complained (which I almost never do) at intermission and luckily there was a seat free in the orchestra. I thought about Medea. Probably by the time I decide to see it, it'll be sold out. I'm seeing Oklahoma! again. There was a cheap ticket and Rebecca is back so hopefully I'll get to see her Laurie. Aside from that it's just a bunch of concerts. I'll report back if the concerts are interesting.
  6. What? What? WHAT? No one is Michael Cerveris but otherwise... I am so interested in this. https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Jake-Gyllenhaal-To-Produce-And-Star-In-FUN-HOME-Film-Adaptation-Sam-Gold-To-Direct-20200102
  7. I already have my tickets for Caroline or Change but this casting has me excited/confused. https://www.roundabouttheatre.org/get-tickets/2019-2020-season/caroline-or-change/ There are two kids from John Mulaney's Sack Lunch Bunch on Netflix. Alexander got the whole song where he danced with Annaleigh Ashford. Jonah has the bigger part as Noah but I don't remember him too much from the Netflix special except in the interviews. John Cariani and Chip Zien are in this... yay! I have heard Tamika Lawrence's name a lot in recent years and I swear I saw her in If/Then as an understudy but I don't know her work well enough to know if she'll be a good Dotty. Caissie Levy as Rose is the most interesting to me. What? She seems young. Though I guess she can't be that old if Noah is her son. And to me, if someone is like: we need a Veanne Cox, it's weird to come back with Caissie Levy both in terms of voice and character type. But I am intrigued.
  8. You'd think 3 seasons in, I'd be able to say for sure what Ruth wants but I don't really know. She seems to want to act and consider any acting work to be valuable. But she also got bored during the long run (though a year-long contract is pretty average for a successful Broadway show). My best guess of the kind of roles she wants to play are Hedda Gabbler and like a female version of Hamlet. For a theater actress she hasn't aged out of those kinds of parts yet. But she doesn't have the pedigree or popularity (to put butts in seats) that would warrant getting cast in those kinds of parts.
  9. My read was that it might also be the only way he can conceive of having a family. He certainly couldn't be married to a man. Not sure about adoption for gay men/couples in the 80's. I don't know if it was just the one time (that's a wild amount of prize money) but yeah, Cherry did say something in the drag ball episode about feeling free of her gambling debt. This season has been weird about introducing heavy topics like Cherry's gambling addiction and Tamme's substance abuse to deal with her pain and then dropping them super easily. I kept expecting his screenplay to come back but it seems he's recognized that hers is better and is fully putting his aside. Maybe he should stop trying to do autobiographical material. First Mothers and Lovers, now Paterfamilias. I feel like in the context of this show we as the audience were supposed to understand that it was all or nothing. To Ruth, she saw the directing she was doing on the TV show as just for fun or to step in and keep this show going where she gets to act in some way. But she's no longer as desperate. She doesn't want to just kind of act as Zoya. She wants to be recognized as an actress. And here is Debbie framing it as an off ramp where Ruth will never again go in for an audition and maybe this time be chosen (insert reference to La La Land here). In the context of this show, Debbie is asking her to give up on that dream. I will note that even if you're doing Chekhov or All About Eve or whatever, being a stage actress means doing the same thing night after night, hopefully for months, possibly for a year or more. I'm not confident that Ruth wouldn't get bored of that the way she got bored of doing Glow. Basically, I feel like we've gotten away from season 1 Ruth who just wanted to act. I think she wants different things now even if she fully hasn't admitted it to herself. Validation, stardom, I don't know. But she's not the same as in season 1.
  10. This is a weird problem to suddenly introduce with Tex. Slightly patronizing? Sure. But he also has a fair point. If she's concerned he's underbidding then she probably won't like the ruthless way he sometimes does business. See: Pretty Woman's explanation of corporate takeovers to sell companies for parts. LOVED Geena Davis' poinsettia sequin top. So pretty. It seems a little neat but whatever. Sure, Debbie has an amazing head for business and will extract Bash from all his Vegas commitments. Yay, Keith is back! I don't know if they're great candidates for adoption but whatever. I can excuse it since it's a good compromise. Cherry was worried about working and her body. And she had complicated feelings after the miscarriage. It seems like they both want a family though. (I swear to God, GLOW, if you introduce that Cherry doesn't like children and break them up again, I will riot.) It's easy to be mad at Bash for pulling his money from Rhapsody but the show was already losing money. There wasn't audience interest. Getting an angel investor to keep a dying show afloat isn't something you're entitled to. As much as I'm not invested in Ruth and Sam is how much I'm invested in Justine and Sam. When this show is over, I'm going to miss Melrose's outfits. Debbie looked great at the end of the episode. Very Murphy Brown. I'm sure there will be discord in this "Eden" but I'm excited for this plan for season 4. Unless the real actors got other jobs, Ruth and Carmen will be back.
  11. I'm coming at it from a slightly different angle. They're both wrong. She's wrong for thinking she was going to get the part and wrapping that up in her feelings for Sam and for thinking that just because she got lost in the desert and then saw a psychic that her life is going to be turning around. Yes, he did the right thing by telling her she wouldn't get the part before going back to his place. But he did the wrong thing by making her drive out there to audition when he should have known she was wrong for the part. Even if he had blinders, Justine basically told him as much. And it was a little weird for him to ask her out for drinks. Right after the audition, Ruth could read into that. And Ruth is allowed to be upset. He kept trying to get her to still come over. Maybe she's in love with him. Maybe she isn't. But he just gave her some devastating news. She probably doesn't want to come over and have sex anymore. That doesn't make her a bad person. That doesn't invalidate whatever feelings for him she might have. But it's an obvious mood killer and Sam was wrong to try and coerce her into it and get frustrated when she wasn't going for it. Basically what @Danny Franks said. These are two troubled people who are mismatched and I have no idea why I'm supposed to be rooting for them.
  12. I still don't get the point of Bobby. He's not a good impressionist. I don't know why he's a character on this show. I don't know that he really helped Sheila. They should have put more of that onscreen if it was significant. I guess he's there for Bash. I don't know. Are they doing Sam and Ruth or not? I don't want it but I also don't need to be jerked around like this. Do it or don't. They could be spending time on other characters. Tex is surprisingly unproblematic so far. Again, Sheila is fine. But not some kind of acting genius. WHOA. I figured something would go wrong with Rhonda's plan but I was not expecting that. I was surprised there was no resistance from Bash or Melrose's guy. Like, there was no bluster or pretense. Sometimes this show moves so slowly and sometimes it escalates super quickly. I naturally thought Bobby would be the closing act. I wasn't expecting Geena Davis at all. Was she wearing a chest plate? It was distracting that her face, arms, torso, and legs were four different colors.
  13. I just finished Fosse/Verdon before starting this show. Justine said the movie is based on her life but then she pivoted to talking about the AV Club. I hope Ruth just plays a teacher or something and not a version of herself who is in a relationship with the movie version of Sam like Ann Reinking in All That Jazz.
  14. I didn't love the beginning. It feels like the kind of thing someone thinks is artistic but just gets tedious very quickly because it's not communicating information well. Melrose is still seeing the prostitute!?! And paying him??? I really wanted to see Carmen's date. Cherry's in for $5000? How much does she make in the show? I don't like Shepard anyway but is it just me or was that scene from True West not impressive? I don't think Sheila is a great actress. Maybe we were supposed to see that but from my perspective, it just seems like Ruth was looking for a reason to be discouraged immediately, not like Sheila is some savant. Rich rancher's wife Debbie is mildly interesting. Not sure the point of the mud wrestling but at least we got some wrestling again. So Bash hasn't had sex with Rhonda for 2 months. I guess he thought he'd act the part and then drop it once she felt comfortable. But Rhonda is proving to be more clever than he gave her credit for. She hasn't been distracted by the money and the things. Everything seems to be leading Ruth to Sam. Still find it boring.
  15. Watching Rhonda/Birdie and Randy running away from Debbie, it was suddenly like I was watching 80's movie plots. Birdie isn't so bad. I'm not sure how to take Sam withdrawing from Justine when he was having a heart attack. Debbie's plot continues to be the least interesting but I'm curious about how JJ/Tex might play a role in the future.
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