So – lately Ive been fortunate enough to see some brilliant shows on Broadway (off broadway too). and stuff that I’d really not recommend. For the stuff I wouldn’t recommend, I won’t even post it on here as the play has left the building
So – lets see – going back about 2 weeks ago (yes, Im really slow yet again), I saw the musical 110 In The Shade over at Studio 54. First off, I have been to Studio 54 and had seats in the mezzanine when I saw Three Penny Opera (another brilliant musical). But this time, for HALF price, I had these amazing seats in row H center orchestra. This has got to be the best venue to see a show. A stage that is nothing short of impressive, hardwood floors and comfortable seats. Truth be told, I’m in love with the theater.
Secondly, Audra McDonald is nothing short of phenomenal. Her voice is amazing and she can sing. She is a 4-time Tony winner, and this production shows why. The other actors (with a few well known names) are also equally as good, but Audra is the show. Although Starbuck comes close to stealing the show.
The story follows Lizzie (McDonald) in the 1930′s in a Texas town. She has just returned home and is worried she’ll become an old maid. She has a secret crush on the Sheriff, but her world is turned upside down when Starbuck enters her world.
This is a must-see performance and its closing at the end of the month.
The next show – another must see – is Inherit the Wind, starring Brian Dennehy and Christopher Plummer. This is a limited engagement and is closing this coming week. One of the main reasons to see this play, is to see the show-down between these two genius actors. They are superb in this scene, and throughout the entire play.
The play is the loose story about the Scopes “Monkey” Trial that took place in Tennessee, in which Scopes went on trial for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Surprisingly, what is best about this play, is that it’s still so relevant to this day.
Mr. Dennehy plays the role of attorney Matthew Harrison Brady (based on William Jennings Bryan), and Mr. Plummer plays attorney Henry Drummond (based on Clarence Darrow).
This play moves quickly and with a running time of 2 hours (with an intermission), its soon the intermission before you even realize how much time has lapsed. Its hard to not love a play that can engross you for 2 hours and when you come out its nice to see everyone so impressed. Easily a 5 Stars.
The last musical I saw (last night 7/8), was In The Heights. This is a small little off-broadway musical, that has done so well that it will be on Broadway very shortly. The music, which is very mainstream as it is rap, hip-hop and everything combined, keeps the story to this day.
The story is about life in Washington Heights. At the top of Northern Manhattan, three generations of people are living together in Washington Heights. This is their story over three days, showing the hardness of trying to make a living there, and just the every-day living of life in the heights. And it probably helps if you know a bit of Spanish, as some of the musical is in Spanish, but they do make a habit of letting everyone know what is being said.
My only complaint about this musical (which will I’m sure only get better on Broadway), is that because for the most part every word in the musical is sang, if you miss some of the words to the songs, sometimes it feels like you miss a bit of what is going on. Its hard to have to try and pay attention to every word, but the meaning does come through.
Regardless, I’m sure it will be a hit on broadway. And unfortunately, Broadway needs to have some great stuff come out.
Oh – and before I forget – saw Spamalot on the 4th of July. And for lovers of Monty Python, this is a blast. Its a completely over-the-top story with music and dancing and bringing together everything a Broadway show is known for having. Great numbers and great costumes with songs that are outrageously funny. For a good laugh, this is a musical to be seen.
And I still love “The Knights who say ‘nee’”. This will always cause a big laugh for me. I will admit some of the stuff is so ridiculous, but its hard not to laugh at the silliness of it all. Granted if you love Monty Python, there is no reason that you wouldn’t love this.