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Theatre Talk: In Our Own Little Corner

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Lin-Manuel Miranda, Olga Merediz, Phylicia Rashad, Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Jackson, Laura Benanti, and Jimmy Smits celebrate the pending return to Broadway!

 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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I really dislike Fallon, so I almost didn't watch this.  But...Broadway. And Lin.  And it was annoying at the beginning, but somewhere in the middle, I teared up.  Dammit.  Nicely done by all. 

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Trailer for the movie adaptation of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM!

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Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his feature directorial debut with tick, tick…BOOM!, an adaptation of the autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, who revolutionized theater as the creator of Rent. The film follows Jon (Academy Award nominee and Tony Award winner Andrew Garfield), a young theater composer who’s waiting tables at a New York City diner in 1990 while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical. With the clock ticking, Jon is at a crossroads and faces the question everyone must reckon with: What are we meant to do with the time we have? Starring Academy Award nominee and Tony Award winner Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Tony Award nominee Robin de Jesús, Tony Award nominee Joshua Henry, MJ Rodriguez, Emmy Award winner Bradley Whitford, Tariq Trotter, with Emmy and Tony Award winner Judith Light, and Vanessa Hudgens.

 

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Ooh, that has me excited! The film looks really beautiful, and with his hair all wild like that, Andrew Garfield really does look like kind of like Jonathan Larson. (Do we know much about his singing skills?) RENT was the show that really got me into Broadway and tick, tick... BOOM! introduced me to Raul Esparza, so I have a soft spot for it. The In the Heights trailers have had me all, "Could it be? Could this be an awesome movie musical?", and while it's still early to tell with this one - not enough singing evidence yet - I'm feeling a similar hope. It looks lovely and cinematic, at any rate. Another skill for Lin-Manuel Miranda to check off his list?

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13 hours ago, angora said:

Ooh, that has me excited! The film looks really beautiful, and with his hair all wild like that, Andrew Garfield really does look like kind of like Jonathan Larson. (Do we know much about his singing skills?) RENT was the show that really got me into Broadway and tick, tick... BOOM! introduced me to Raul Esparza, so I have a soft spot for it. The In the Heights trailers have had me all, "Could it be? Could this be an awesome movie musical?", and while it's still early to tell with this one - not enough singing evidence yet - I'm feeling a similar hope. It looks lovely and cinematic, at any rate. Another skill for Lin-Manuel Miranda to check off his list?

 I have generally negative feelings about both Andrew Garfield and Rent but this appeals to me. 

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I for one can’t wait to see NEW shows again so I can stop obsessing about old ones.

For instance, I’m still thinking about that video about Miss Saigon from The Take. I wonder if it’s fair to box Kim in the Lotus Blossom Trope. Yeah, she had a lot of those characteristics, but was a lot more than the demure innocent waif that Chris saw her as (and he only knew her for a few days). Once she had Tam, she wasn’t afraid to do what she had to protect him. And she managed to do that without swinging to the Dragon Lady Trope either. Or am I giving the show too much credit?

Like I said, I’m in desperate need of new shows.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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https://deadline.com/2021/06/freestyle-love-supreme-broadway-reopening-lin-manuel-miranda-1234775840/

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The production’s core performers will include Andrew Bancroft AKA Jelly Donut, Tarik Davis AKA Tardis Hardaway,  Aneesa Folds AKA Young Nees, Arthur Lewis AKA Arthur the Geniusesj, Kaila Mullady AKA Kaiser Rözé, Chris Sullivan AKA Shockwave and Anthony Veneziale AKA Two-Touch.

This makes sense. I think we will see many of these short engagements and concert-like shows which were already becoming more popular prior to the pandemic.

I thought about watching Show of Titles but I think I've fallen off from being excited about theater again. idk... Shakespeare in the Park feels a bit too soon but hopefully I'll be ready by Caroline or Change in the fall.

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Random questions....

 

Do we know yet what has been changed about Phantom at the Majestic? There was a ton of talk about how Cameron was going to use the shutdown to "revamp" the show in both London and NY to include more elements from his *gag* "brilliant original1!" tour. I deeply hope nothing has changed at the Majestic....but again, I don't know...

 

Do we know if the West End Anything Goes revival - featuring the same director as the last revival Sutton rocked in - will use the same choreography for the title song? I am obsessed with that 6 minute tap number...always wanted to see that...but if Megan Mullally was originally supposed to star in this new West End version, maybe they weren't going to use the tap number...or maybe now that Sutton's back to star, they'd re-integrate it? Or not? Because it's too far along in rehearsals? Tell me what is known please :)

 

 

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I recently found a flash mob promo for a Japanese production of Les Mis shot at a mall a few years back.

 

 

love how Valjean walks out of a bakery with (duh) bread and Javert was at a sushi bar (unless there’s more to sushi than where Javert ends up, like, for example, cops are to sushi in Japan the way they are to donuts here).   

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On 6/12/2021 at 10:22 PM, Spartan Girl said:

I for one can’t wait to see NEW shows again so I can stop obsessing about old ones.

For instance, I’m still thinking about that video about Miss Saigon from The Take. I wonder if it’s fair to box Kim in the Lotus Blossom Trope. Yeah, she had a lot of those characteristics, but was a lot more than the demure innocent waif that Chris saw her as (and he only knew her for a few days). Once she had Tam, she wasn’t afraid to do what she had to protect him. And she managed to do that without swinging to the Dragon Lady Trope either. Or am I giving the show too much credit?

Like I said, I’m in desperate need of new shows.

Chris isn’t that big of an a-hole either.  He looked for her for a year (not long, but it’s never said they were dating before.  She could have been an ex and they got back together, but they never said that, either).  Chris is no Pinkerton who had a Plan with a capital P.  

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2 hours ago, PRgal said:

Chris isn’t that big of an a-hole either.  He looked for her for a year (not long, but it’s never said they were dating before.  She could have been an ex and they got back together, but they never said that, either).  Chris is no Pinkerton who had a Plan with a capital P.  

True, but I still think it was a dumbass move to think he could zip into the embassy and then go back to pick Kim up when Saigon was in chaos and the troops were clearly in a rush to get the hell out of there, instead of just getting Kim into the embassy ASAP. 

He had plenty of White Savior tendencies, but in fairness, he did own up to that (sort of) and admitted he unintentionally did Kim more harm than good. That doesn’t let him and Ellen off the hook for thinking they could just skirt responsibility by “financially supporting” Kim and Tam in postwar Bangkok.

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1 hour ago, Spartan Girl said:

True, but I still think it was a dumbass move to think he could zip into the embassy and then go back to pick Kim up when Saigon was in chaos and the troops were clearly in a rush to get the hell out of there, instead of just getting Kim into the embassy ASAP. 

He had plenty of White Savior tendencies, but in fairness, he did own up to that (sort of) and admitted he unintentionally did Kim more harm than good. That doesn’t let him and Ellen off the hook for thinking they could just skirt responsibility by “financially supporting” Kim and Tam in postwar Bangkok.

So what were they supposed to do?  And I can't help but wonder how guilty ELLEN must feel, being forced to adopt a child that the husband was "responsible" (genetically) for.  It's different from being just another stepmom who knows she's coming into an already-created family.   )  

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Don’t get me wrong, I do feel sorry for Ellen. Chris was the one that should have told her about Kim long before all this, and she didn’t ask to be in the situation. But I couldn’t help feeling that they used Kim as an excuse not to take Tam with them. You don’t want to take a child from their mother, but you don’t want to help both of them become US citizens because you don’t want Kim around to make you feel guilty, even though she wasn’t at fault either?

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10 minutes ago, Spartan Girl said:

Don’t get me wrong, I do feel sorry for Ellen. Chris was the one that should have told her about Kim long before all this, and she didn’t ask to be in the situation. But I couldn’t help feeling that they used Kim as an excuse not to take Tam with them. You don’t want to take a child from their mother, but you don’t want to help both of them become US citizens because you don’t want Kim around to make you feel guilty, even though she wasn’t at fault either?

Again, putting myself in Ellen's shoes:  I see her as some insecure type who worried that he would leave her, especially when she realized that he was in love with Kim as much as she was in love with him.  I don't think Ellen is all that mature, either.  And to be honest, if she's, like, 25 or so, then yeah.  I was a bit insecure at 25 too.  

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On 6/20/2021 at 10:41 AM, Spartan Girl said:

Don’t get me wrong, I do feel sorry for Ellen. Chris was the one that should have told her about Kim long before all this, and she didn’t ask to be in the situation. But I couldn’t help feeling that they used Kim as an excuse not to take Tam with them. You don’t want to take a child from their mother, but you don’t want to help both of them become US citizens because you don’t want Kim around to make you feel guilty, even though she wasn’t at fault either?

And let's be real - sure, it was the 70s when some (definitely not all) people were more open minded about things like interracial marriage, transracial adoption, etc. but realistically Ellen and Chris didn't want the embarrassment of having a kid who looked like neither of them and having to explain that Chris knocked up a prostitute while he was in Vietnam to their friends, family, Tam's teachers, etc. every time someone asked if he was adopted or asked why Tam didn't look like his dad. It was easier in every way to tell themselves that Tam belonged with his mother far far away in another country where no one that Ellen or Chris knew would ask questions and that sending some money every month would make everything okay. That way they got to tell themselves that they were doing the right thing without having to inconvenience themselves or feel awkward when people inevitably asked questions.

They saw Kim and Tam as part of the past and they wanted to leave them there, as in out of sight, out of mind, so that they could have their own little white picket fence life. Ellen initially refused Kim's request to take Tam back with them by saying that she and Chris wanted kids of their own, which seemed especially shitty to me, as if taking Tam to the United States to live with them would automatically ruin the idea of having kids that were biologically both of theirs.

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Spot on @ElectricBoogaloo. Chris said he felt terrible that he left Kim in Vietnam, but when he actually had the chance to make up for his mistakes, he squandered it. He and Ellen didn’t want even try to see if they could bring both Kim and Tam to the USA because they didn’t want Kim around to make them feel guilty. 

1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Ellen initially refused Kim's request to take Tam back with them by saying that she and Chris wanted kids of their own, which seemed especially shitty to me, as if taking Tam to the United States to live with them would automatically ruin the idea of having kids that were biologically both of theirs.

SERIOUSLY. Pretty sure Tam would be more than happy to have siblings!

I wonder if Miss Saigon might not be so problematic if instead of being an remake of Madame Butterfly it was had been a more realistic, less romanticized tale that focuses Kim and Tam’s post-Vietnam struggle, with Kim making the painful choice to send Tam away to Chris and then vowing to do everything possible to get to America herself so she could to find him again. It would have been more true to the heart wrenching photograph of the Vietnamese mother and child parting at the airport that supposed inspired the creators in the first place. Not to mention give Kim the more hopeful ending that she deserved.

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Whelp, I got my Music Man tickets.  Happy 75th, mom!

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2 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

And let's be real - sure, it was the 70s when some (definitely not all) people were more open minded about things like interracial marriage, transracial adoption, etc. but realistically Ellen and Chris didn't want the embarrassment of having a kid who looked like neither of them and having to explain that Chris knocked up a prostitute while he was in Vietnam to their friends, family, Tam's teachers, etc. every time someone asked if he was adopted or asked why Tam didn't look like his dad. It was easier in every way to tell themselves that Tam belonged with his mother far far away in another country where no one that Ellen or Chris knew would ask questions and that sending some money every month would make everything okay. That way they got to tell themselves that they were doing the right thing without having to inconvenience themselves or feel awkward when people inevitably asked questions.

They saw Kim and Tam as part of the past and they wanted to leave them there, as in out of sight, out of mind, so that they could have their own little white picket fence life. Ellen initially refused Kim's request to take Tam back with them by saying that she and Chris wanted kids of their own, which seemed especially shitty to me, as if taking Tam to the United States to live with them would automatically ruin the idea of having kids that were biologically both of theirs.

Plus they lived in the south.  Not that they couldn't move.  And Chris has PTSD.

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23 minutes ago, PRgal said:

Plus they lived in the south.  Not that they couldn't move.  And Chris has PTSD.

I'm pretty sure that Kim had PTSD from watching her parents die, seeing her village blown up, being desperate enough to work as a prostitute, being beaten by the military on her cousin's orders, having to flee to Bangkok as a refugee, killing her cousin to protect her son, and being under the engineer's thumb.

I don't remember Chris and Ellen specifically living in the South but they can move a lot more easily than Kim could. If she left Bangkok to seek work elsewhere, she didn't have a lot of options. Chris and Ellen, on the other hand, could easily move anywhere else in the United States.

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2 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I'm pretty sure that Kim had PTSD from watching her parents die, seeing her village blown up, being desperate enough to work as a prostitute, being beaten by the military on her cousin's orders, having to flee to Bangkok as a refugee, killing her cousin to protect her son, and being under the engineer's thumb.

Which is exactly why Ellen’s line “You don’t know how (Chris) needed a new start” was just as shitty as her “we want kids of our own” excuse. Not that it’s a trauma contest, but he needed a new start?! Really?! At least he had a home to go back to!

3 hours ago, bosawks said:

Whelp, I got my Music Man tickets.  Happy 75th, mom!

That’s great! I would have to see Hugh Jackman perform it in person.

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2 hours ago, DisneyBoy said:

Is Sutton still doing Music Man?

All signs point to yes. 

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5 hours ago, DisneyBoy said:

Is Sutton still doing Music Man?

 

2 hours ago, GussieK said:

All signs point to yes. 

She's going to be a busy girl for the rest of the year! Anything Goes in the West End and then The Music Man on Broadway. I got tired just thinking about doing those shows back to back.

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23 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Which is exactly why Ellen’s line “You don’t know how (Chris) needed a new start” was just as shitty as her “we want kids of our own” excuse. Not that it’s a trauma contest, but he needed a new start?! Really?! At least he had a home to go back to!

That’s great! I would have to see Hugh Jackman perform it in person.

The kids of our own line is something a lot of people, particularly those from Chris and Ellen’s generation or older use when they talk about kids not connected to both, sadly.  I caught my mom referring to my son’s donors (he is thanks to a donor embryo) as “mom and dad” a few times when he was younger. 🙄

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That was fantastic. The Jennifer Nettles numbers (Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat) were unexpected but now I'm even more excited to listen to her album. Journey to the Past was so different and the choreo was very fun. I also enjoyed Come to My Garden, A Whole New World, Times Are Hard for Dreamers, On My Way, Sunday, Defying Gravity, and the Big River medley. I'm glad they recorded Michael McElroy stepping down from BIV. It was a beautiful concert. He has a gift for arrangements. Curious what he'll do going forward. 

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Oh, I saw it on Sara's instagram so I thought it would only be for that month. I wonder if they'll call another former Jenna to fill the role the other three months or try to switch it up to pull in more of an audience. I don't know if this is a role people are clamoring to play and it's not as easy as stepping into Chicago. My wish is still for Jennifer Nettles. 

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How is everyone feeling about things opening back up? I haven't felt brave enough to try for any of the concerts happening recently or to go to the little off-Broadway shows that have started popping back up. (Part of it is going out at night as much as covid concerns.) 

But Caroline, or Change has started selling tickets. And I'm getting emails from the Metropolitan Opera. And those are especially tempting because I already have credits from cancelled tickets so I'm technically not spending "new" money on them. 

I'm not ready to start seeing everything again (concerts and plays are way down on the list) but I would really love to go out at least a couple of nights and hear live singing again.

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I got Music Man tickets but not until January.

However, I haven’t rescheduled my Assassins tickets yet, but I’m thinking December.

Edited by bosawks
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3 hours ago, aradia22 said:

How is everyone feeling about things opening back up? I haven't felt brave enough to try for any of the concerts happening recently or to go to the little off-Broadway shows that have started popping back up. (Part of it is going out at night as much as covid concerns.) 

But Caroline, or Change has started selling tickets. And I'm getting emails from the Metropolitan Opera. And those are especially tempting because I already have credits from cancelled tickets so I'm technically not spending "new" money on them. 

I'm not ready to start seeing everything again (concerts and plays are way down on the list) but I would really love to go out at least a couple of nights and hear live singing again.

We’ve already ordered theater tickets for Wharton Center’s season, which starts in December. I’m nervous but I want to see Hadestown so bad it hurts. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

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We went to see Steve Earle in concert on Wednesday.  I wore my mask through the evening (except when I was eating and/or drinking).  I was a little nervous, but it was a great time.  

When he started talking about "Coal Country", I realized that one of the last shows I saw before it all went to hell was "Coal Country" (which was practically Steve in concert - he was the best part!) and the fist show back was Steve in concert.  I'm not sure what that means, but it made me smile.  

That said, we've got tickets to another concert (in an outdoor venue this time (and we are going to baseball games regularly now)) in September but I'm not confident enough about the way things are going to buy any more tickets to anything just yet.  We'll see. 

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Yeah, I'm also more comfortable getting tickets from Roundabout and the Metropolitan Opera given how they were about refunds/credit originally (the opera moreso) vs. just jumping on tickets for Company right now. I will also add in Intimate Apparel. Of course, I have the luxury of not having to book a trip as part of seeing a show. I kind of want to see the Broadway version of Hadestown (I saw it at NYTW) with some of the original cast but delta maybe hitting a high in mid-October is not making me very enthusiastic about early fall plans. I'm willing to cancel everything if I don't feel good about it when the time comes. 

I feel like I keep having waves of thinking things will be okay and then falling back into pessimism. Like, Flying Over Sunset, Tina, Six, and Girl from the North Country have taken a sharp decline from confident maybes to eh... do I really want to take that risk? in just a week or so.

I wish we knew more about heating/cooling systems and theater protocols and what has been done (if anything) and what will be done going forward to keep people safe. Like, the Met has super tight seating (at least in the Family Circle) but it's a big house with multiple tiers. The Mitzi Newhouse has a sharp rake. Does that make things a little safer? Does it not matter? 

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Speaking as someone who worked in a Broadway-style house for a hundred years, redoing the HVAC is next to impossible.  Redoing the seating and even the bathrooms would be easier. 

Also, Girl From the North Country is wonderful. 

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Right now my tentative (not yet booked) plans are 4 operas (2 winter, 2 spring), Caroline or Change twice, Intimate Apparel, and Company. If I stick to it, I know that's already more live theater than most people see in a year. 

I hope anyone who does feel comfortable seeing a show in the 2021-2022 season comes back to share their thoughts here. One of the things I miss is that post-show conversation.

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I have 3 Broadway shows booked for Christmas.  All 3 -  through Telecharge - can be exchanged or cancelled.  I'm not sure this policy is specific to Telecharge or if all shows are doing it.  They also all say "we reserve the right to impose whatever Covid protocols we want - masks, tests, proof of vaccine, etc". By Christmas, we'll know whether there is any concern about transmission in theatres, or we might be in another wave, or who knows what might be happening in the world.  If I'm not happy with the protocols (for the record, the more precautions the better), I'll just cancel.  

But it gives me something to look forward to. 

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8 hours ago, aradia22 said:

Right now my tentative (not yet booked) plans are 4 operas (2 winter, 2 spring), Caroline or Change twice, Intimate Apparel, and Company. If I stick to it, I know that's already more live theater than most people see in a year. 

I hope anyone who does feel comfortable seeing a show in the 2021-2022 season comes back to share their thoughts here. One of the things I miss is that post-show conversation.

Same!

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