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Theatre Talk: In Our Own Little Corner

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It looks like the weekly ALW shows are just what's already available on BroadwayHD so I'm guessing Cats is next. People can debate whether that's better or worse than Love Never Dies! 

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7 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I thought of you when I saw that LND was announced as the next show and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry for you!

LOL that's okay, part of me knew it was coming. I don't have to watch so its all good. 

I did watch Lindsay Ellis' Phantom videos and was pleased that she ripped Love Never Dies. It was brilliant.

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So low point today, I was listening to Broadway Sirius XM on my way home from the last time I can do the office mail for the next two weeks because I'm laid off, and "Til I Hear You Sing" comes on and I start bawling. Because even though LND is a garbage fire, that fucking song sums out just how lonely and cut off I feel from everything I love during this stupid pandemic.

My mom is going to watch. No idea why but as they say, you do you.

You know the irony is that there was potential for a good story with the Phantom bonding with a child and pursuing redemption. Too bad it all got overshadowed by assassinating everyone's character and basically throwing everything that happened in the original show out the window. But if this is the shit AWL needed to get out of his system to do School of Rock, then whatever. But I wish he'd post that show instead. Or literally anything else.

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If you haven't watched Take Me to the World (a tribute to Sondheim on his 90th birthday), "aired" on YouTube, you should.

In the event my response to the program is of interest to you, here's what I wrote to some friends:

It struck me as I watched last night that I was experiencing not just a magnificent musical tribute but the creation of a new art form—perhaps a new form of theatre. 

If (as someone smart once said) all art is based on limitation, the creators of this show turned limitation into great art. I tried to imagine what this show would have been had there *not* been a pandemic forcing all of us into our own homes. It would have likely been akin to the dozens of other Sondheim tribute concerts that have happened over the decades. Performers on a stage, accompanied by orchestra, pit band, or combo. Venue audience of hundreds shouting bravo every five minutes. Yadda yadda yadda. Instead, necessity mothered something a thousand times better than that. The intimacy of performers in the comfort (and personality) of their own spaces, communicating directly to us, with superb mostly-piano-only accompaniment, driving attention toward the deepest meanings of our moment.

If something this good had aired in the fifties, we would rightly be hailing it now as evidence of the Golden Age of Television. It would be as legendary as Peter Pan or The Ford 50th Anniversary Show with Mary Martin and Ethel Merman. I think it will become that legendary.

Our society may be evolving in such a way that this becomes the “new normal” of musical theatre. But unlike most instances the phrase is used—with a hint of disparagement and despair—it may be that *this* new normal is a giant leap forward for a theatre that works for the 21st Century.

I am in awe of the creators.

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Bravo, Milburn Stone! You're so eloquent!

I came here, on Saturday night, looking for commentary on this amazing evening of music  from, and tribute to, probably my favorite creator of theatre in my lifetime. I was transported by this benefit, and loved spending my evening with it! 

My 84-year old mom is in an assisted living facility, fortunately only ten minutes away from me, and we're on the West Coast, so I went over to her just before 5:00 pm, to help her watch it on her SmartTV. With technical difficulties, I went home and came back to get it going for her, but we both thoroughly enjoyed every moment. We're also planning to watch it, again.

I hope Mr. Sondheim (I've never met him, I don't feel privileged to call him, "Steve") was able to see it and feel the love!

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This weekend’s free performances (sorry, some of these are not embeddable so you will have to click the links to watch)

SF Ballet’s 2015 production of Romeo & Juliet (available for one week)

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 2001 production of By Jeeves (available until Sunday morning)

The King and I 

https://www.broadwayhd.com/movies/AW2GtQ1Zpx3F9_4AqeuR

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

New York City Ballet’s Concerto DSCH (choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky)

https://youtu.be/JGyDkiXwuK0

 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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32 minutes ago, Spartan Girl said:

I don't have Disney+

Sad Season 4 GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

You can do the free trial that week. 

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43 minutes ago, scarynikki12 said:

You can do the free trial that week. 

And if you're a Verizon customer with an unlimited data plan, you can still get Disney+ for free for a year.

I saw no reason to add Disney+, even for free, so I hadn't added yet but did today.

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Next week, the stars of the NBC musical drama series will reunite virtually for a special one-night-only streaming event: Bombshell in Concert. The event, announced by The Actors Fund in association with PEOPLE, features the never-seen sold-out live performance of Bombshell in Concert that electrified Broadway at the Minskoff Theater in New York City in 2015, as well as a massive cast reunion at intermission.

The concert and reunion will stream Wednesday, May 20, beginning at 8 p.m. ET, exclusively on PEOPLE.com, PeopleTV and PEOPLE social platforms (Facebook and Twitter) and benefit The Actors Fund, which has been helping artists in need amid the coronavirus crisis.

The performance will be introduced by two-time Academy Award winner Renée Zellweger. During intermission, Julie Klausner of Difficult People will host a live reunion with the show's original cast members including Christian Borle, Jaime Cepero, Will Chase, Brian d'Arcy James, Jack Davenport, Ann Harada, Megan Hilty, Jeremy Jordan, Katharine McPhee, Andy Mientus, Debra Messing, Leslie Odom Jr., Krysta Rodriguez, and Wesley Taylor.

https://people.com/tv/smash-reunion-bombshell-in-concert-livestream/

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Alanis Morissette and the cast of Jagged Little Pill are doing a benefit concert on Tuesday

Dubbed “You Live, You Learn: A Night with Alanis Morissette and Jagged Little Pill” and taking place from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. EDT on the Jagged Little PillFacebook and YouTube pages, the event will benefit the Actors Fund’s COVID-19 relief efforts. 

The event will also feature performances and interviews with members of the Jagged Little Pill cast, as well as appearances by many of those responsible for adapting Morissette’siconic 1995 album for the stage. Confirmed participants include writer Diablo Cody, director Diane Paulus, choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and orchestrator/arranger Tom Kitt.

Fans have an opportunity to participate, as well. They can submit covers of Morissette’s songs via the Broadway show’s website, with select performances to be featured during the livestream. There will also be a chance to enter to win “special surprises” ahead of Tuesday’s event.

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Well, damn. Frozen is closing permanently on Broadway due to the pandemic. I guess it would have been too much to juggle three Disney musicals at the same time, but still!

At least they still have the tour. 

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Broadway theaters to remain closed through at least September 6

"While all Broadway shows would love to resume performances as soon as possible, we need to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who comes to the theatre -- behind the curtain and in front of it -- before shows can return. The Broadway League's membership is working in cooperation with the theatrical unions, government officials, and health experts to determine the safest ways to restart our industry," said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, in a press release.

[...]

There is no official return date for Broadway shows, but ticket refunds and exchanges will be offered for all shows through Sept. 6, the release states. Thirty-one Broadway performances, including eight new shows in previews, have been suspended since March 12, the Broadway League said.

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This weekend’s free performances:

SF Ballet - Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming by Justin Peck

NYCB - Pulcinella Variations by Justin Peck (not embeddable so click the link to watch)

https://youtu.be/bmVVtH6Iog0

Andrew Lloyd Webber - Cats (with Elaine Paige)

And not technically theater but theatrical as hell - Prince’s 1985 tour!

 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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Well, damn. Frozen is closing permanently on Broadway due to the pandemic. I guess it would have been too much to juggle three Disney musicals at the same time, but still!

At least they still have the tour. 

I'm not that surprised. In spite of people lumping Frozen in with the big moneymakers (Lion King, Hamilton, Wicked, etc.) that probably had enough in the coffers to survive the pandemic closure, Frozen was struggling for a while before the pandemic. Disney has enough money but it doesn't make sense to save it when they're more focused on other parts of the brand besides Disney theatrical. I am disappointed that Ciara Renee only had a short run because that was interesting colorblind casting and that Ryan McCartan only had a short time to play Hans. Sweet/sympathetic but also capable of a sinister turn seems like his comfort zone as an actor. I was planning to see the show with the new cast.

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PBS releases 20 additional Broadway musicals, plays, and concerts for free streaming for just two weeks

Rogers & Hammerstein's Carousel (Kelli O’Hara)

Annaleigh Ashford in Concert

Megan Hilty in Concert

Leslie Odom, Jr. in Concert

Cynthia Erivo in Concert

Sutton Foster in Concert

In The Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams

A Broadway Celebration at The White House

Celebrating Sondheim

Pipeline

Macbeth (Patrick Stewart)

RED

Doubt

Buried Child

Incident at Vichy

Old Hats

The African Mean Girls Play

Uncle Vanya

The Nance

Act One

 

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So Dear Evan Hansen got postponed to August 2021 at Wharton, and our tickets will be good by then.

Wharton also announced its 2020-2021 season lineup and I hope to God things will be better by then: Mean Girls, Cats, Frozen, Pretty Woman, and Jesus Christ Superstar.

I only just found out Once On this Island ended its tour because of this fucking virus. I really wanted to see that, so that sucks.

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Some theater videos that have been made during quarantine:

Alexander Hamilton - Hamilton (OBC)

You Will Be Found - Dear Evan Hansen

All I Ask Of You - Phantom London Orchestra

Masquerade - The Phantom of the Opera

All That Jazz - Chicago cast

Bring Him Home - Les Miserables (Alfie Boe, Ramin Karimloo, John Owen-Jones, David Shannon, Alistair Brammer, Fra Fee and Rob Houchen)

Do You Hear the People Sing? - Les Miserables (West End)

One Day More - Les Miserables (casts from 1987 - present)

Mamma Mia (West End)

For Good - Wicked

From Now On - The Greatest Showman (West End)

Ex Wives - Six the Musical

 

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Lincoln Center is sharing past performances on YouTube.

The current show is San Francisco Ballet's Romeo & Juliet with Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan:

Some future shows:

  • Saturday, May 30 at 2 pm EDT: Ballet Hispánico in "Carmen.maquia" and "Club Havana"
  • Saturday, May 30 at 8 pm EDT: NYCB in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1986)
  • Sunday, May 31 at 8pm EDT: ABT at the Metropolitan Opera House (1978) - Natalia Makarova and Fernando Bujones in the Act III pas de deux from Don Quixote; Michel Fokine's Les Sylphides, starring Rebecca Wright, Marianna Tcherkassky and Ivan Nagy; Fokine's Firebird; and Balanchine's glorious Theme and Variations, led by Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov
  • Monday, June 1 at 7 pm EDT: School of American Ballet Virtual Workshop Performance Celebration - Balanchine's Scotch Symphony from 2017, Justin Peck's In Creases and Jerome Robbins' Circus Polka from 2018, and Balanchine's Agon pas de deux from 2019
  • Tuesday, June 2 at 8 pm ET: NYCB in "Coppélia" (1978)
  • Wednesday, June 3 at 8 pm EDT: NYCB in "Tribute to Balanchine" (1983)
  • Thursday, June 4 at 8 pm EDT: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: "Chroma, Grace, Takadame, Revelations"
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This weekend’s free performances:

Royal Ballet - Cinderella

SF Ballet - Bound To by Christopher Wheeldon


Les Trockaderos de Monte Carlo - Swan Lake (Act 2)

Kevin Kline in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter

https://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/noel-cowards-present-laughter-full-episode/7618/

NYCB - Christopher Wheeldon’s Liturgy and Carousel (A Dance)

https://youtu.be/Kf6JL9VhotU

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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I got to see Kevin Kline in Present Laughter a couple of years ago.  It was great fun.

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In case you missed Bombshell in concert to benefit the Actor's Fund last week:

The accompanying Smash reunion (which is a bunch of Broadway stars):

 

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The Young Vic’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson, Vanessa Kirby, and Ben Foster

 

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Disney Sing-Along: Susan Egan (with Broadway Princess Party guest stars Laura Osnes, Courtney Reed, Benjamin Rauhala, and Adam Levy) - I Won't Say (I'm In Love) from Hercules

 

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15 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Disney Sing-Along: Susan Egan (with Broadway Princess Party guest stars Laura Osnes, Courtney Reed, Benjamin Rauhala, and Adam Levy) - I Won't Say (I'm In Love) from Hercules

 

Susan looks and sounds as great as ever!

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14 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Susan looks and sounds as great as ever!

I saw her live last year and she was fantastic!

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Can I be honest about something? I appreciate all the content that's been made available for streaming but I've stopped watching most of it. The pressure of trying to watch something in 24 hours or even a week is stressing me out. I don't want to have to make a schedule to keep up with everything being released. And that livestream/zoom call energy was making quarantine feel worse, in hindsight. 

Right now I'm much happier watching a movie or TV show on Hulu/Netflix/Amazon Prime. It feels more normal than tuning in at a specific time... probably because I haven't watched TV shows live (when they aired) in years. 

I think it's great that all of these resources are available to keep people entertained and distracted and to raise money during this difficult period. But it's not for me. At least not right now.

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This weekend's free shows!

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn
https://www.broadwayhd.com/movies/AW2GuKCQpx3F9_4Aqev4

Hairspray (2016 NBC Live version)

SF Ballet's Snowblind by Cathy Marston (based on Ethan Frome)

Royal Ballet - The Cellist by Cathy Marston (based on the life of Jacqueline du Pré)

Lincoln Center - NYCB's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1986)

NYCB’s final free performance: Easy by Justin Peck, Bartok Ballet by Pam Tanowitz, Voices by Alexei Ratmansky, Conposer’s Holiday by Gianna Reisen, The Runaway by Kyle Abraham, The Times are Racing by Justin Peck, and Altromare by Mauro Bigonzetti
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1ze0ckoU_Q

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Ruin a Broadway Musical by Changing One Letter highlights from BWW

Quote

Mime = Mame

Grand Motel = Grand Hotel

The Fridges of Madison County = The Bridges of Madison County

Next to Norman = Next to Normal

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamgoat = Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Wicker = Wicked

Tuna = Tina

Olives! = Oliver!

A Strange Poop = A Strange Loop

Sweeney Toad = Sweeney Todd

Cars = Cats

Rant or Tent or Lent = RENT

Beauty and the Yeast = Beauty and the Beast

 

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So, I'm watching through the 10th anniversary concert of Les Miserables for the first time, and as the little girl is singing Castle on a Cloud, there's clearly a gunshot sound and she jumps about a foot, but continues singing like a total Pro.

WTH happened? Did one of the prop guns go off backstage?

And on a separate note, I am so happy Hairspray Live went up this weekend. I was just looking for clips of it last week. I totally love the live version. The movie is pretty good but the cast in the live version is so much better, with Derek Hough instead of James Marsden being the only exception.

Edited by DisneyBoy

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5 hours ago, DisneyBoy said:

the cast in the live version is so much better, with Derek Hough instead of James Marsden being the only exception.

Ha, even without having seen the live version, I agree with this. 

James Marsden >>>>>> Derek Hough

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Dutch National Ballet - Mata Hari

Dutch National Opera - Das Rheingold (Der Ring des Nibelungen part 1)

Dutch National Opera - Die Walküre (Der Ring des Nibelungen part 2)

Dutch National Opera - Siegfried (Der Ring des Nibelungen part 3)

Dutch National Opera - Götterdämmerung (Der Ring des Nibelungen part 4)

 

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On 5/25/2020 at 2:47 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The Young Vic’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson, Vanessa Kirby, and Ben Foster

I saw that in the cinema via NT Live six years ago, and it was phenomenal.  I didn't re-watch this time, as watching it by myself on my TV would pale in comparison and I also just wasn't up for the emotional intensity and resulting exhaustion.  But it was a truly stellar production.

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22 hours ago, DisneyBoy said:

So, I'm watching through the 10th anniversary concert of Les Miserables for the first time, and as the little girl is singing Castle on a Cloud, there's clearly a gunshot sound and she jumps about a foot, but continues singing like a total Pro.

WTH happened? Did one of the prop guns go off backstage?

I vaguely remember there were balloons dropping at the end of the concert in celebration, and there was speculation from the fans that one of the balloons accidentally popped.

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On 5/30/2020 at 8:02 PM, DisneyBoy said:

And on a separate note, I am so happy Hairspray Live went up this weekend. I was just looking for clips of it last week. I totally love the live version. The movie is pretty good but the cast in the live version is so much better, with Derek Hough instead of James Marsden being the only exception.

I watched Hairspray last night and I agree that the cast was great. I'm not a Derek Hough fan. He was fine but I still stand by my statement that James Marsden >>>>>>>> Derek Hough.

One of my favorite things about this version was how much more subtle Dove Cameron made Amber's dancing bad. In the movie version, it was a little too obvious.

I liked Maddie Baillio in Dumplin' so it was fun seeing her here. And I saw Ephraim Sykes in the pre-Broadway run of Ain't Too Proud so it was great seeing him in Hairspray. Both of them were great dancers!

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I didn't get to see Anna Deavere Smith's off Broadway show Notes from the Field when it was at Berkeley Rep, but HBO adapted it into a film and is showing it for free on their youtube channel:

 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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On 5/31/2020 at 3:49 PM, Bastet said:

I saw that in the cinema via NT Live six years ago, and it was phenomenal.  I didn't re-watch this time, as watching it by myself on my TV would pale in comparison and I also just wasn't up for the emotional intensity and resulting exhaustion.  But it was a truly stellar production.

Aw dang. Wish I saw it 😞 Totally missed the stream....

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On 6/1/2020 at 3:35 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

One of my favorite things about this version was how much more subtle Dove Cameron made Amber's dancing bad. In the movie version, it was a little too obvious.

Dove is amazing. She not only sings phenomenally (keeping up with Cheno and outshining Grande!) but adds all these little flourishes to Amber even when delivering dialogue. She was so comfortable in her performance. I hope she does more musicals and films. I'd like to see her outside of the Disney channel stuff.

I just watched the finale of the movie and outside of Michelle and Marsden, who are perfect, the rest is so leaden and off...Shankman's cinematography and direction are weak and kill the energy and that cast...! Walken and Travolta!? Yikes. Awkward. Amanda Bynes is lousy too once she has to dance and sing. And there's so much autotune. And the costumes are bad.

It's like the Live version had 300x the budget, which I'm sure it didn't. They slayed it though. Hopefully it has a long long life and the movie is forgotten.

Edited by DisneyBoy

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This week's free Lincoln Center performance is four pieces by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Chroma, Grace, Takademe, and Revelations

Dance Theatre of Harlem's free performance is Creole Giselle

 

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This weekend's free musical is The Wiz (2015 live version)

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo - Giselle

The Royal Ballet's production of La Fille Mal Gardée

SF Ballet’s Bjork Ballet

 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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