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1984
Hudson Theatre
101 Minites
now through October 8th

1984 – the book is usually required reading for all high school students.  I personally consider it an essential read for all human beings.  In fact, although I have only read it once, it remains the best book I have ever read (that isn’t Chicken Soup With Rice).  The new 1984 play on Broadway isn’t required or even essential viewing, but it never hurts to take a fresh look at the material, regardless of how painful it is to do so.  The play is both fresh, and painful.  I’m sure you’re asking – where do I sign up??

To me, plays are usually a too stage-y and static for my enjoyment.  I prefer musicals cause the songs keep the pace going, in between the slower talking expositiony bits.  Well, there is no music in 1984, but there’s nary a lull or dull moment.  If you somehow find yourself napping during the show, the constant yelling, sirens and blackouts will jolt you back into the surreality being performed on stage

1984 isn’t a happy place or time, but you know this cause you’ve already read the book (or seen the underloved film).  If you haven’t, I don’t think you can sit through the play and appreciate Orwell’s text.  You may get the message, but you won’t get the details.  Also, you will be served a Winston Smith that wasn’t really to my liking.  Don’t get me wrong, Tom Sturridge gives it his ALL in this adaptation, and I actually feel for him that he has to endure the fake pain he encounters night in and night out on the Hudson Theatre stage, but there was something totally off about his interruption and diction of the character.  He sounded like a bro that was rad + cool, and not a radical brother.  Maybe I just picture Winston to be more like the stoic, and recently departed John Hurt, which hurt Sturridge’s chances of being my new Winston Smith

But Sturridge isn’t alone.  I didn’t really care for Olivia Wilde’s Julia (she didn’t get naked), or Carl Hendrick Louis as whomever he was, or Robert Duvall’s cousin (who doesn’t seem very Duvallian) loud loudness.  I did care for Reed Birney and Cara Seymour‘s work, and all else that went into the production.  The staging in the early parts was pretty fixed, but as things got more fcuked up in the story, so did everything else with it.  As Winston got stripped down, so did the production.  As the tension mounted onstage, it did the same for its audience.  And you know your play is working its intended magic when the lead has his teeth pulled, spits waterfalls of blood from his mouth, and your wife turns to you and says ‘this is the worst play I’ve ever seen!‘  She didn’t say anything like that after the show was over, but I’m sure she was thinking that she was happy to live in a society that wasn’t 1984 (no matter how many of you Trump revilers think we are)

that’s some goodthink right there, so to newspeak

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Willkommen In Me Pants

first look at Emma Stone as Sally Bowles in Cabaret

emma stone cab

this, again and 9ever. PRAISE PEABSUS!!!

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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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