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All Heel NPH!!

Hedwig & The Angry Inch
On Broadway
Belasco Theater
Debut Preview Performance
March 29, 2014

hedwig NPH

Neil Patrick Harris put on some make-up, turned up the 8-track, and pulled a wig down from the shelf.  And like that – POOOOF, NPH went from Doogie Howser/that guy from HIMYM/The Tony’s host to Broadway’s newest star, transforming and disappearing behind the East German transgender superstar in his/her own mind – Hedwig

Originally a cult off-Broadway musical, created and performed by John Cameron Mitchell (with music & lyrics by Stephen Trask), and then turned into a cult underloved film (which I know the material from best), Hedwig and The Angry Inch has now been glitzed and glammed up for the Great White Way.  Fans of the musical will have no issue with the super-sized production, but I, a lover of the film, was taken aback by the monologue-y presentation of Hedwig’s tale.  In the film, all the characters Hedwig speaks of are embodied by other actors.  In the original show, and this Broadway version, they are played out by Hedwig.  I fear that any Hedwig virgins who see the new one may get a little lost within the storytelling of her story, and drowned out by the music.  The music still kicks major ass, and the new incranation of Hedwig’s band – the Angry Inch – sound amazing, but the storytelling feels a little cluttered when told thru the songs, especially for someone who doesn’t know this Hedwig from Harry Potter’s owl

STILL, for diehards or even the uninitiated, there’s no denying the power (and sweat – he sweats A LOT) that NPH exudes on stage, giving Hedwig his all, and her all. It’ll make the NPH nobelievers say Doogie who?  The show tears him down, but builds up its audience’s energy and love.  Crank up that midnight radio, for rock and roll will never die

Bonus love goes out to Lena Hall, who plays Hedwig’s drag queen lover Yitzhak, and who makes women with mustaches the new hotness!!!

hedwig stache

NPH 9ever!!!

nph shirt

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Muhammad All Me

Deltron 3030 
Highline Ballroom
October 14, 2013
Buy The Album | Band Website

Dude, you know all about Deltron 3030, right????  They’re like the older brother of the Gorillaz that has always been overshadowed by their younger, more popular broseph.  In 2000, Dan the AutomatorDel the Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala (the first two being Gorillaz album #1 collaborators) formed like voltron and came up with a masterful eponymous concept album about a dystopian future.  It’s basically hip-hop’s Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  9reals, it’s that good (for hip-hop).  And then what?  Nothing, literally NOTHING.  13 years passed and they finally decided to follow-up album #1 with #2 – The Event II, which not only continues on the same bad future theme, but also on the same rAWEsomeness in all around musical craftsmanship + a who’s who of coolness for guest starringness - Damon Albarn, Mike Patton, Zack De La Rocha, Emily Wells, Jamie Cullum, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (and her HEAVENLY voice) + (pointless) interstitial skits from David Cross, Amber Tamblyn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Chang and the Lonely Island boys (theirs is worth skipping every time it plays cause they are unfunny like Nazis)

Don’t remember if the original album was ever toured, but I remember not having the chance to ever see the 3030ers live, and would jump at the first opportunity to do so.  That day finally came, and boy was it well worth the wait.  Supported by a 16-piece orchestra, Dan, Del & Kid took their concepts and put them into overly-good practice.  Kid’s beats were sick, and Del’s voice, clear to hear (a rarity in a hip-hop show), was even sicker, while Dan automated the rawking orchestra by conducting all the madness.  This was a big big big show that deserved an even bigger venue.  The Highline Ballroom juss can’t handle something of this magnitude.  Deltron 3030 should be playing the likes of MSG or Radio City, and if they did, they should do it with a symphony CAUSE THIS SH!T IS SYMPHONIC, YO!!! 

SetlistState of the Nation / 3030 / Things You Can Do / Positive Contact / Stardate / The Return / City Rising From The Ashes / Nobody Can / Mastermind / Melding of the Minds / The Agony (Kid Koala Solo) / Virus / My Only Love / Memory Loss

EncoreDo You Remember / Clint Eastwood (YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!  but why couldn’t they get Damon to show up???)

Buy the albums, and see them when they come to your town

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Fetch Clay, Make Man 
New York Theater Workshop

fetch clay

I know you know who Muhammad Ali is, but how about Stepin Fetchit?????  As a movie buff, it almost pains me to say that I knew NOTHING about the first black man to ever receive a screen credit!  Fetchit (real name Lincoln Perry) was a trailblazer, but also a controversial figure.  The roles he typically played were of a lazy black man.  Those were the only roles Hollywood allowed him to play, and so he went with it, and made a career out of it, until he didn’t have much of a career.  By the time the civil rights movement was in full force, he was basically nothing, and his own people looked down at him for what he had done to further stereotype the existing stereotypes

Anywho, as a big man of his time, Fetchit knew boxer Jack Johnson - aka the first African-American heavyweight champion – and newly-minted heavy weight champ, and Nation of Islam convert Muhammad Ali wanted to know Johnson’s boxing secrets – specifically his ‘anchor punch’ – and so he brought Fetchit into his inner circle as a secret strategist, before his rematch with Sonny Liston in 1965  

This is the subject of the mos eggsalad play Fetch Clay, Make Man, a knockout look at the crossroads when a new black identity in America was being forged, with Ali at the forefront, and moving away from the one Fetchit represented in the times leading up to it.  Ray Fisher went all in as Ali, and K Todd Freeman frees Fetchit from his own ghosts, giving the man some depth and understanding.  Supporting, most strongly is Nation of Islamer John Earl JelksRichard Masur (the guy who played a dad in every 80s movie) as Hollywood mogul William Fox

The play ended its run, but it should be turned into a movie cause I said so

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Blue Caprice 
Insight In Sight
Official Website | Trailers & Mo
R | 93 min

blue caprice

You remember the DC Beltway sniper attacks of 2002, right????  Honestly, it’s best to forget about the horrible horribleness that happened, but now I can’t stop thinking about it, after catching the  directed /  written powerful account of how John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo got from point A to the point of no return – senseless murders of innocent people, and terrorizing a region, and in turn, a nation  

What were Muhammad and Malvo’s motivations?  That’s not clearly stated in Blue Caprice (named after the make of car that ultimately became their killing machine), but their motivations were never clearly made in real life either.  And does their motivation even really matter?  What’s done is done, and it’s hard to make sense of any of it  

Muhammad was endlessly bitter about the custodial loss of his children to his ex-wife.  He met a basically abandoned Malvo in Antigua, took him under his wing, and back to America.  He was good for Malvo, until the surrogate father figure turned him into a sniper, bent on creating death and chaos.  Watching the transformation of these drifters into killers, embodied by incredible performances by both  and , is a sight to be seen, and to be feared.  Adding solid support is , and when does he not add solid support in anything he’s in??

Verdictgo: mos def mos def mos def Jeepers Worth A Peepers

 

and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…

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Julie Taymor or Less or MORE???!!!?!!??!!!

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark
Foxwoods Theatre
Official Website | 150 min

Dude, why does everyone hate on Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark?  Do they hate Spider-Man?

Do they hate 12 Spider-Mans?

832881833 spider mans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do they hate seeing Spider-Man like actually fly in front of their eyes, unlike in the movie when a computer is flying Spider-Man in fake computer world???

DUDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PEOPLE, THERE IS A MUSICAL THAT’S NOT SUPER GAY, BUT SUPER EDGE-Y & BONO-Y, AND SPIDER-MAN IS IN IT AND HE’S FLYING ABOVE YOUR HEAD AND YOU’LL FEEL LIKE YER 8 YEARS OLD AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! WHO DOESN’T WANT TO BE 8 YEARS OLD AGAIN, BESIDES THE NOT EARNING MONEY OR HONEYS STUFFSSS!!

(ok,  so the show’s a lilllllll toooo looooong, and the story is muddled, even though they basically juss retold both Spider-Man #1 movies, which really isn’t all that complicated, but dude, SPIDER-MAN FLIES IN FRONT OF YOUR THIGHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Verdictgo: Jeepers Worth A Peepers

and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…

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Eyes Wide Open & Shut

Mademoiselle Anna Held‘s Eyes poster, circa 1898

[via LOC]

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Clown Collage

Cirque du Soleil: Zarkana
Radio City Music Hall
offical site

No, this is not a show about Fareed Zakaria roaming around Texarkana in search of Zardoz, but to be perfectly honest, that makes about as much sense as whatever Zarkana was or is suppose to be

They say it’s about Zark, a magician who has lost his powers – and the love of his life – in an abandoned theatre populated by a motley collection of off-the-wall characters and incomparable acrobats. He runs into the Mutants, four sirens as sinister as they are fabulous, who are determined to divert him from his quest.

We say it’s some crummy musical, led by a guy who looks like a cross between Dave Navarro, Johnny Knoxville and David Johansen, with a story that’s barely a story, but is still totally fun cause it has like French circus clowns, acrobats, hot Asians, and some stuff that coulda been aired on That’s Incredible!.  That stuff was hactually purty darn yumcredible, but that singing stuff was like totally killing the vibe… and there’s also some strange talking larvae cartoon thing, which might hactuallly be worser than microwaved tunafish

This is the very first Cirque du Soleil Moon Frye thingamabob that we’ve ever seen, so we don’t know how on par it is with the usual French circus stufffff they does, but we’d be down to see more, if they promise to get rid of the singing or only use Beatles songs, or had like more French clown madness, which is purty stoopid, but STOOPID AWESOMES!!!!

The show also got us to thinking – what are modern day American circuses like?  Are they like this but like less French and with no dumb singings?  Maybe it’s time to give Ringling, Barnum and/or Bailey another shot.  Is Gunther Gebel still taming it?  Apparently not.  Can they raise him from the dead?

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