Broadway shows, a trip report

We did a whirlwind East coast tour, in fact, I’m in NYC right now, still on a high from an amazing show we just saw tonight.

Anyone who has the means, get to NYC and see Sutton Foster as Violet. I’ve had the Off-Broadway cast recording of this show for a long time, and love it, and know it by heart, but to see her performance tonight was just… I can’t praise it enough. A Tony nom for sure.

Josh Henry as Flick was also fantastic, another stand out in a stellar cast. Jeanine Tesori’s score is gorgeous, and Brian Crawley’s lyrics are PERFECT, clear and spare and moving:
“You’ve got to give yourself a reason to rejoice
'Cause the music you make counts for everything
Now every living soul has got a voice
You’ve got to give it room
And let it sing…”

The show ran first off-Broadway in 1997, and is being revived by the Roundabout Theatre, who do some great work popularizing little-known works. Thanks!

Last week, we also saw Pippin, which won the Tony for best revival last year. It was great fun, a deserving winner, and a wonderful cast, especially Terrance Mann as Charlemagne. I’m not the Pippin geek in the family, so I’ll leave it at that, and if MaxTheVool wants to add more, well, he’s welcome to do so.

So… anyone seen any other neat shows? We decided not to get tickets for Matilda, since we know we’ll see it on tour in SF next year. I also considered If/Then, the new Idina Menzel vehicle.

I’m going in the fall so I’m looking for ideas for shows to see. I need to get tickets now!

I tend to go to plays rather than musicals, since they’re cheaper and you can jump the line at TKTS. Most recent was No Man’s Land with Picard and Gandalf. It’s a play that requires great acting to work, and it certainly got it here.

In the past few years I’ve seen Book of Mormon (twice), Kinky Boots, Matilda, Pippin, Wicked & Anything Goes.

It’s tough when the first musical you ever saw is Book of Mormon. I’ve seen it twice now and still love it. The songs have stuck with me and I listen to the recordign now and then. I feel like nothing I ever see will top it.

That’s probably why I think Wicked and Kinky Boots, while very good, are kind of “meh.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed them but I couldn’t tell you the name or hum the melody of a single song from either of them. Nor would I spend money on the recordings. I really liked Pippin with the Cirque theme. I tried watching the taped TV version from the 70’s with Ben Vereen and couldn’t get through more than 20 minutes of it. I liked the performances in this production and knew a couple of the songs already.

I liked Matilda better than Wicked or Kinky Boots or Pippin. The girl that played the lead the night I was there (Milly Shapiro) had such an interesting face and she did a nice job. The parents and Miss Trunchbull stole the show though. If I could re-write the book I’d get rid of Miss Honey entirely! My only complaint about Matilda was that it was hard to understand the singing at times.

In May I’ll be seeing A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I’d also like to see Here Lies Love (a musical about Imelda Marcos by David Byrne & Fatboy Slim) but I haven’t decided whether to see it in May or chance it still being there on a later trip. I tried to get tickets last October but I only found out about it after I got to town and it was sold out.

We don’t get down to Broadway for musicals, but we do get national tours. I just saw The Book of Mormon a couple of weeks ago – definitely a great musical.

But the best show this seas on War Horse. Breathtakingly good, especially the horses.

Another great one was Michael Bourne’s version of Sleeping Beauty, which came her a month or so before it opened in New York. Even if you don’t think you like ballet, let me tell you one thing that makes it worth thinking about: It has vampires. (And they actually are quite appropriate to the story.)