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Daily Threads / Re: 3 February 2024 Snowy Satu...
Last post by scenicdesign71 - Feb 04, 2024, 03:14 PM
Thursday night I went with some friends to see Harmony, which closes this evening; I guess they were papering the house for the show's final week, since we were comped by a colleague.  It was a more or less watchable -- but sometimes frustrating -- mix of not-bad and not-so-good, with Chip Zien, Sierra Boggess, and Julie Benko fighting to elevate mediocre material.

One of my companions, unaware of the show's 26-year history, opined that it needed a few more months out of town.  I'm tempted to wonder, conversely, whether it hasn't been stewing for too long by now; to be honest, I'm just not sure there is a universe in which this show was ever going to successfully cohere into anything great.

It did leave me mildly curious about the real Comedian Harmonists, whose story has previously been told in a 1976 documentary; a 1997 movie; and in another, even shorter-lived 1999 B'way revue.  And even mild curiosity might be counted as a point in the Manilow musical's favor -- but then, it's also worth mentioning that I emerged from the Barrymore the other night with little real understanding of who these guys were, or of the times they lived through, beyond what could easily be summarized in a very short blurb.  While a great deal of talent, intelligence and showmanship have been invested in Harmony, I came out with essentially the same curiosity I'd brought in, largely unaffected by the show's version of these people and events, which I couldn't help suspecting had been Broadway-ized beyond plausible recognition.

Daily Threads / 3 February 2024 Snowy Saturday
Last post by KathyB - Feb 03, 2024, 01:59 PM
It has been snowing all day except when I first took the dog out for a walk early this morning, when it was rain that was just turning into snow. Neither one of us wanted to be on that walk, and one of us didn't poop. Since then, it looks as if we've gotten about three inches of accumulation. I have nothing to do today, although the laundry is looming. Next Saturday I'm going to see a play called Cebollas, about a road trip from Albuquerque to Denver. Then on the 27th, I'm seeing a play called Rubicon, about espionage.

I think I may head back to bed and snuggle with the dog.
Musicals / Re: FUN HOME at TheaterWorks H...
Last post by KathyB - Jan 28, 2024, 05:13 PM
Fun Home at Vintage Theatre, Aurora, CO, 2024

(I don't want to start a new thread when there are already several devoted to Fun Home.)
I saw this production last night and thought it was amazing, fantastic (add several synonyms here). 
The theatre space is very small--about 100 audience members in three rows of seating, and the front row is basically up against the stage. I thought that maybe there wouldn't be amplification for the actors, but they did have microphones so they could be heard over the four-member orchestra, which turns out to be louder than one would expect because it's in such a small space.

The set at first consisted of a bunch of drop cloths covering all the furniture, which were pulled off to reveal Big Alison's working area, then sofa, chair, piano, bookcase and casket, all of which were painted to look like they came out of the graphic novel. Other props, such as bags, sketch pads and books, got the same treatment.

I'm not sure how the original production was directed, but this one had Big Alison on stage for the entire 90 minutes "directing" the action, which must be tiring for the actor. The performances were all excellent--it's difficult to pick out specific performers. Christian was cast as both the oldest Bechdel and a girl, which didn't affect the show at all.

(Stupid question alert! When someone says their pronouns are "she/they," when does one use "she" and when "they"? The director is "she/they" and the music director is "he/they.")

I would love to see this production again, but tickets are now hard to secure because of the tiny house size. They have extended the run an extra week.
The Work / Re: Gyllenhaal's Sunday transf...
Last post by scenicdesign71 - Jan 24, 2024, 02:25 AM
In consolation for the transfer that never was (but we can still hope), here is a full-length slime tutorial from Sunday's 2017 two-month limited B'way run:

Saturday at beach with Steve

(...coy titles being an abiding hallmark of the slime-pedagogical métier).

Taken from the extreme house-right front mezz, the videography isn't topnotch, but it's still quite watchable.  Come for the wonderful Gyllenhaal, stay for the trippily anachronistic Chromolume (starting about 1:29:15 in the video).

Daily Threads / 23 January 2024 Fun(?) Tuesday
Last post by KathyB - Jan 23, 2024, 04:34 PM
I got a filling today. That was the super-exciting part of my day. The good news was that it only took about 15 minutes, so I decided to go to McDonald's and get some Chicken McNuggets and a large Coke. I do not know what was going on with the drive-thru line, because it was completely stopped for quite a while--I'd guess about seven minutes. I was kind of smushed between two cars at a weird angle. Eventually it sorted itself out. 

Then, when we were going on our afternoon walk, I got the mail and inside was a check for $92 from some class-action suit against Apple. After I post this, I'm going to look up the case on Google because I have no idea what it is, but I guess I opted into it however-long ago, and I could really use the $92 because the filling cost $two hundred-something. (And the McDonald's cost $4.80.)
The Work / Re: HERE WE ARE
Last post by scenicdesign71 - Jan 18, 2024, 11:07 AM
Quote from: Naveen Kumar, Variety, 22 October 2023(FULL REVIEW HERE)

...Though Sondheim made light sport of critiquing bourgeois mores in shows like Company and Merrily We Roll Along, here the rich are served hot like a bottomless buffet.

And let's cut straight to the sweet stuff: Performances from the pinch-me-this-can't-be-real cast are like a Broadway gourmand's fever dream.  Whatever else this deeply strange and Frankenstein-ed musical delivers — which is a lot — the production's outrageous lineup of stars are as delectably odd as they've ever been (yes, even Denis O'Hare).  By the time David Hyde Pierce makes a late act-one entrance as a martini-swilling bishop who covets designer heels, the needle on one's pleasure odometer simply snaps off.

Never truer than last night.

Daily Threads / Re: 17 January 2023 Slushy Wed...
Last post by scenicdesign71 - Jan 17, 2024, 11:28 PM
Third time out, Here We Are was more delightful than ever — but the weather less so, even at a clear, dry twentyish degrees (feeling, to us at least, more like ten).  The oblique viewing angle was indeed exciting: not far enough over to cause any sightline issues, but enough to pop the thrust design and staging into dynamic 3D.  Sound is still just imperfect-enough to be mildly frustrating (fewer missed words tonight, but still sometimes harshly overamplified and unclear where voices are coming from).  But everything still looks great, and the performances have settled into a marvelous groove.  I really wish this would run for longer and/or be captured for TV/streaming — and I'm more excited and curious than ever for the cast recording, which, given the show's relatively few actual songs, ought hopefully to include generous dollops of Ives's dialogue and all of Tunick's underscoring.

Daily Threads / Re: 17 January 2023 Slushy Wed...
Last post by DiveMilw - Jan 17, 2024, 05:05 PM
May be an image of dog and text that says 'READY FOR YOUR WALK? CHECK BACK IN ANOTHER 30 DEGREES & tngs'
Daily Threads / 17 January 2023 Slushy Wednesd...
Last post by KathyB - Jan 17, 2024, 03:37 PM
It is 46°F outside, and we are getting all kinds of melting. I'm not sure that the dog likes going out in slush any more than she likes going out in single degree temperatures. I think I'd rather go out in the cold than worry about every step, and if it's going to be solid enough to step on. This morning, I almost slipped on a couple patches of ice, and by now they are ice with a top layer of water and slush.

Compared to the past few days, it's like a sauna. I don't think it got above ten degrees any of those days.

I got chicken and broccoli for late lunch today.
Daily Threads / Re: 14-JAN-24 Sunday Freezing ...
Last post by scenicdesign71 - Jan 16, 2024, 01:34 PM
[Tue 16 Jan]  It is a balmy 29º here (feels like 21º), climbing toward a blistering 30º by dinnertime.  It started snowing yesterday evening and, after many hours of gentle flurries but only an inch or so of accumulation, turned into some kind of freezing-rainish situation, which has persisted all day and left the sidewalks coated in a deceptively thin layer of slush and ice.

I pondered canceling my mom's doctor appointment today, but ended up Ubering us there, and afterward we decided to brave the (luckily not busy) midafternoon subway back, with one transfer and a two-block walk home -- taking our time to dodge a few worryingly slippery patches with, thankfully, no disasters.

Tomato soup makes being home again extra cozy.

I'm spending my $72 in box-office credit at the Shed to go see Here We Are one last time tomorrow evening with some friends before it closes on Sunday.  Sixth row, well to the right this time, the viewing angle looks to be roughly 45º off centerline (guessing from their probably-not-to-scale seating chart).  Having seen it twice before from very central eighth- and second-row seats, I'm actually wondering if the staging might be even more interesting from an oblique angle; the set is quite square, frontal and symmetrical-ish, with a deep 3/4 thrust, and those kinds of designs can sometimes be especially satisfying from vantages other than the "perfect" center seats.