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Thursday, 28 July 2005



Light In the Piazza? Spelling Bee? Both new, not the usual, and Piazza at least (I've not seen Spelling Bee yet) is pretty wonderful...


Broadway is a commercial venture. Most of the DC Theatres are non-profits. (Which does not prevent the ho-hum trickle down you speak of, but the point is, OF COURSE Broadway plays it safe.)

My question is not "Why 'Sweeny Todd' again?" (better that than more Andrew Lloyd Webber) but rather, "Why Patti LuPone?" I have never gotten her. The only thing she ever really "owned" was "Evita," and the fact is they should have brought Elaine Paige over from the UK to do it. Or given it to an American who was...better. (I started to make a list of suitable candidates from the 80's onward, but it was too long.)


Maybe that seems harsh.

It's just that I can watch some shows again and again - either new productions of old shows or the same dvd of "The Music Man" with Robert Preston. (I like Matthew Broderick in many things, but what was HE thinking when he did that show?) When it comes to "Seeny Todd" I have enjoyed it with Angela L., Christine B., and our own Donna M.

But some actors, I just don't get at all. Hence the harshness.


I saw the production in London and thought it was amazing: an emotional performance of "Johanna" is one thing...an emotional performance of "Johanna" with Anthony and Johanna playing cello is another. However, I was in the second row in a space that was essentially a black box with 20 rows in stadium seating, and I think being that close that made a big difference. From what I understand, they are retaining the concept, with the actors playing the orchestral arrangements, though I do not know if this means that Ms. LuPone will be playing the trumpet as the "original" Mrs. Lovett did.

Dakota Boy

Hidden among the weeds of Broadway's jukebox musicals and revivals grow some remarkable flowers: Light in the Piazza and The Pillowman to name two. But $$$ rule and if the ticket-buying public wants to hear Lennon, the Beachboys, and yet another revival with some aging star, the producers will serve them up. Producers used to be theater-lovers; now they are dentists trying to make a buck. Although the number of first-class plays and musicals diminish yearly, there are jems to be found among the rubble.


I'm excited to see La Lupone back singing on Broadway in her first B'way musical since "Anything Goes." And while she faltered vocally in the early nineties (have you seen the "I Dreamed a Dream" concert clip?!), her performances on the PBS telecasts of "Passion", "Candide", and, yes, "Sweeney Todd" have been tremendously sung and acted.

What scares me is Michael Cerveris as Sweeney Todd. He was fine in "Tommy" and "Titanic" (missed the "Assassins" revival), but his performances in "Passion" (at the KC and on PBS) were stunningly unintelligent.

Too Old, Too Tired

Read in USA Today that Rosie O'Donnell is joining the Broadway Cast of 'Fiddler on the Roof' on Sept. 20th. The world's most famous Irish-American Lesbian is set to play Golde to Harvey Fierstein's Tevye.

Isn't this carrying non-traditional casting just a little too far?


WHAT?!?!? That is definitely taking non-trad casting too far--Rosie should OBVIOUSLY play Tevye, and Harvey, Golde. Period.


I know this is an old post, but thought I'd ask... have you given in and seen the new SWEENEY yet? It's quite phenominal, actually, and very very very different from any other version of the show. It's so simplified that the lyrics and melodies and STORY are what really stand out. It's not so much about Patti (thought she IS really fantastic in this quieted-down darker version of the role), but it's about this ensemble cast and how interdependent they are. As an audience member, I really felt privileged to be watching it...

Try it! you just might love it...
; )

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