Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for the ‘Broadway/Off Broadway Shows’ Category

Reviews of the shows that I have seen

Lots of Great Shows…

Posted by xneverwherex on July 9, 2007

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.


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So, Im slow…

Posted by xneverwherex on February 8, 2007

So, I’ve been more than a bit slack on this. Thanks Luke for reminding me. I assure you very soon pics will be posted from this show. So the new year has been off like a bang. I didnt post a write up on Ra Ra Riot, who with time are really making their songs sound perfect and still closing the show with Kate Bush’s “Hounds Of Love”. My only complaint, we all know (or should know) they are going to play it, so please for the love of god, stop yelling it out. Annoys me to no end. I suppose it could be some people’s first time seeing them, still no excuse. Man, I’m getting mean with old age (no comments needed please).

Also at that show was Vampire Weekend, who is friends with one of my closest friend’s kid brother. Kinda cool, looking over and thinking ‘uhh I know that guy’. And turned out indeed I did. Vampire Weekend is entertaining and I’m not sure I thought that musically they were that great, but when the crowd loves them, its hard to not catch on to them. Born Ruffians, from Toronto, were a tight band. The three guys rocked, and the lead singer who couldnt have been a day over 18 (pushing it at that) had quite the voice. The bassist, incredible! As far as talent, these guys have got it. And the last band, lets just say very forgettable. I wont name names, mostly because I already forgot, but how the hell they were headlining the show, Ill never know. The crowd really came out for Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot, and it really showed. This unnamed band, reminded me of a really BAD version of The Presets, but can I say REALLY bad!

Oh I have also seen The Color Purple again. This time there was a Q&A with a 9 News anchorwoman after the show. It was really interesting to see the actors outside of the roles they played. Some I just couldn’t believe were the same person. And I really learned a thing or two about the way the theater works. Especially with the stand-ins, and all these other great terms I have already forgotten. For those interested, for the month of February each Tuesday night performance, will have this at the end of it. I really encourage everyone to stay around for it.

In that time I have also seen The Affair, Les Sans Culottes (a faux French band from Brooklyn, that sings entirely in French), pure entertainment! And their music is beyond that catchy French music. Their cover of “These Boots are Made for Walking” in French is great. The best part about it, none of them are French, and none of them speak French fluently. What next, eh? 

Spent a night or two at cakeshop and saw a friend’s band play there. I should really plug this band, because I really liked them, but for the life of me I am drawing a blank. There are probably other things that I am missing, I havent even gone into the movies I have seen, and other shows, but alas, Ill try and get my arse in gear.

 Next post… Nights in White Satin.. curious, I’ll betcha!

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Toxic Audio

Posted by xneverwherex on January 22, 2007

So this weekend ended up being pretty chill for me. I didn’t get out to do much, but it was nice indeed. It has been SOOOOOOOOOO cold in New York. And no, I’m not just saying that. I reckon 28 degrees to lower, with ice and some snow would mean cold.

 So last night, my friend Annetta and I headed over to the New World Stages, home of the aforementioned Bubbles Show, to see Toxic Audio. Now I hadnt heard of them before, but it sounded entertaining. And like I say, its only $4. I mean the worst thing is, I walk out of there thinking what a waste of 4$. But, Netta had seen the show before and assured me I’d love it. So I took her word and went out on a cold Sunday night. Luckily for me its just a block and half (long blocks) to walk up there. So if I move to the East Village, well it will suck that I wont be walking to all of my shows.

So here’s what you should know. I would give this show easily 5 stars. There are 5 performers in Toxic Audio, 2 women and 3 men. They perform all their music in a capella, and for those that aren’t entirely familiar, its literally all vocals that are used to make all of the sounds that are heard. There are NO instruments. And it is amazing what these people can do with their voice. It started out with Til Tuesdays “Voices Carry” and what a great way to show off the talent of each of the performers. Rene, the bass, tackles the low notes so pitch perfect. Paul, who is extremely talented, is the human beat box and does a kick-ass Michael Jackson performance :). The whole cast is incredibly talented.

Some of the highlights of the nights include – singing to an audience member on stage in the Love Songs part. 3 chairs and a record player. Naturally the record player skips, sounds like the chipmunk, gets louder/softer and Paul performs each part like you were really listening to a record player. Unbelieveable. 

Without divulging the entire show, I strongly suggest people get out there and see this. Its very entertaining and will leave you blown away. For more go to  Toxic Audio

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I met him in a crowded room

Posted by xneverwherex on January 20, 2007

I met him in a crowded room
Where people go to drink away their gloom
He sat me down and so began
The story of a charmless man

Charmless Man – Blur

I’m sorry for those who come by to realize how lazy I’ve been. Lots of shows on the horizon, and surprisingly (or not really) I’ve seen lots of shows. I have also just started my own meetup group. Indie/Britpop Fans United Oh yeah! It should be cool once its really up and running. I have had one event and sadly only one person RSVP’ed yes, oh wait. 2 I take that back. And one showed up. 50% not bad.

So Thursday night was Popscene. And for those who dont know me well enough, I used to go to Popscene in SF quite a bit. I used to love that place (well still do) and met some great friends. And funny how in SF we used to ALWAYS see each other at the same concerts. Lots of good fun. So now Jeremy has opened Popscene in NYC at Club Midway – 25 Ave B – yes this is more promotion. The music was awesome, and he played the Dandy Warhols for me. I so love you Jeremy. Any way, met a really cool guy here and although it really wasnt a crowded room, I so wish he’d just say something to me again. The story is much longer I assure you, but nothing that Id like to share with the entire public. Or wait, isnt that the point of this. Well maybe one day.

So alas, its me here on a Saturday afternoon. Well I should be getting ready to head into queens for another meetup group, but feeling _very_ tired and I think I’m headed out to Tonic tonight. DJ Anton (im wondering if thatd be one anton newcombe? of BJM, naturally) will be spinning disco/psychedilia stuff. Its free too!

Anyway I saw the amazing bubbles show last night. WTF you are saying. I kid you not. Its over on 50th at the new world stages. i love the theater because a) its close to me and b) the art work (read photography) is amazing. lots of warhol shots and other famous people, and c) most importantly the theater is in great condition. I assure you this show is worth about all of $4. Fan Yang? I think that was his name really blows bubbbles and lots and lots bubbles for kids throughout the show. Trust me, there were a lot of adults. I think I should have dranken some black vodka from the evil dead show. i couldnt stop laughing, and i assure you i wasnt drunk. oh the silliness of it all. it was cute, and the end reminded me of slava’s snowshow, but just so not worht the money. better than the stuff ive been seeing lately over on 42nd street. there has been some downright bad stuff. time to save my $3 and find something good to see.

oh can i say the color purple – $3 – oh yeah! for those interested in learning how you too could be getting $3 tix for some of the worst and best off b’way and on b’way shows, drop me a line. ok i must run to the post office. im getting some new music! oh yeah! am i too californian in new york. me thinks so, and trust me, its not a bad thing!

in the meantime, my best friend from Cali had called and left me a voicemail that had the line ‘you remind me of Lily Allen.’ I think I’ll take that as a compliment 🙂

and i will say – he wasn’t a charmless man –

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Ash x2

Posted by xneverwherex on October 6, 2006

Strange that I just realized the title really does refer to two things:

1. I am seeing Evil Dead (the Musical tonight). (hence the name Ash 🙂 )

its only $3, so for $3 I’m sure ill think its awesome, and its right down the street from me. 🙂 even better.

2. I saw Ash last night. Last night was a bit of drama (as if my life never has any). I had an interview last night, and it went quite long. then i raced home (more like anthony picked me up while i was walking down the street) so I could see the band Cities. So took a super quick shower, went down to the knitting factory, and learned that a) cities was sold out and b) the show wasnt an 8pm show, it was 10:30. so i was pissed. but instead went to 1@1 an irish bar. must have been an irish sorta night. got pretty trashed with one drink (anthony and i both decided it was pure alcohol) his margarita was so strong, the tequila wasnt helping either. anyway then found out couldnt get into the club till 11 – Ash was coming on at midnight – so walked around the lower east side and found some really cheap bar. got a beer till we left about 15 mins later. was a pretty cheesy bar, but if i had gotten any more drunk i swear id have been on the table singing those really bad 80’s songs. think – boston (more than a feeling), and lita ford, ac/dc.

Anyway, The Annex (club where it was in the lower east side) was pretty packed just around 11:15/11:30. Wide mix of people and lots of older people. Ash came on pretty close to midnight. Tim looks pretty shaggy. Sad that I forgot the other 2 guys names in the band. They played a short 40 min set or so. Their new stuff is what most stood out in my mind. Sounded very well rehearsed. I found it amusing that they could nto play “jack names the planets” as a 3-piece band. they said they hadnt rehearsed it. they did play girl from mars, burn baby burn, petrol, and quite a few other songs in between. was a good set. Tim sounds great, and the guitars were sounding really good. As a 3-piece like before they still sound great. Although I must say I do miss Charlotte. It was lots of fun. Im sure we could have met the band, as we went down some wrong stairwell and it turns out that was where the band was hanging out. In the downstairs part of the club. Tim did comment on how much fun that he was having that he could have played another 2 hours, but didnt know any more songs. Too funny. Anthony got some good shots, while I left my camera as I just didnt feel like taking it. My cell phone pics are probably nothing all that great.

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