Posts tagged ‘theater’
Many of my friends know that after last Saturday (which you read about yesterday), the next time I was going to see Newsies wasn’t until Sunday, July 8 with Gigi (Twitter friends and fellow Fansie). Many of you also know that one little tweet from Jeremy Jordan yesterday changed all of that:
The second I heard Brendon Stimson was going on as Jack, I was ready to run to the theatre, and it was barely 1pm when I found out. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve wanted to see him as Jack Kelly since I found out he was the understudy (not that I don’t love Jeremy Jordan, because I do, but I love Brendon’s acting. When he’s Oscar, I’m scared of him and don’t like his character, but when he’s out there as a Newsie, I’m in love with the adorable Ike. He’s that good). The desire was only heightened a few weeks later when I met Brendon’s mom in Times Square (What are the odds, right?), and got to talk to her about her son and how he would hopefully get to go on as Jack Kelly at some point.
So of course, when I saw Jeremy’s tweet, I knew I was going to need to see the show. And then my twitter feed was just getting filled with more and more comments about Brendon being in the show, and I just kept getting more excited. I got to the theatre around 4:45 and went straight to the lotto guys and asked if I could start the standing room only line. They laughed and said yes, and followed me out to let everyone in the extremely long lotto line know I wasn’t cutting them.
I was anxious waiting there. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to win, but I was also pretty sure that I was going to get a SRO ticket because the show was sold out on Ticketmaster. I just wanted to get a ticket in my hand. While waiting, I think I told everyone about how Brendon was going on as Jack Kelly, and how excited I was about it. Basically, some random 30-odd people who were waiting to get lotto and standing-room only tickets found out that I wanted to see Brendon as Jack Kelly. Some of them even asked if I was worried about hyping it up too much for myself (I suppose they had a point, but I ignored them).
After the excruciatingly long lotto drawing where I did indeed lose, the standing room only crowd got to move forward to buy tickets. As I was at the front of the line, the ticketing guy saw me first, and recognized me. He asked if I’d managed to find Nelson (I had), and gave me my ticket and change, and said to enjoy the show.
I then went outside to catch up with the lotto guys to get a picture with them, since I see them so often, it only seemed right to capture the moment (FINALLY):
As the realization of having a ticket to see Brendon as Jack Kelly hit me, I saw Jack Scott and Kara Lindsay approach the theatre. I asked them if they could stop for a minute because I had managed to track down a copy of his trading card and wanted him to sign it. While that was happening, I told them I heard Brendon was playing Jack tonight, and that I rushed to the theatre to get a ticket to see him.
After they entered the theatre, I let myself react to having a ticket in my hand. I was definitely crying tears of joy, and I could feel all these wonderful emotions welling up inside of me. I had so much energy, I wanted to do some of the Newsies’ dances, but as I can’t dance (quite literally), I settled for walking laps around the theatre’s block for the next hour.
When I noticed Nelson, I went up and gave him a hug and said thank you for Saturday again. He asked if I was seeing the show, and I told him that I heard Brendon was going to be Jack Kelly tonight, so I had to see the show, and then Brady walked by and said that I couldn’t possibly be seeing the show. Once again, I told him I was there to see Brendon.
At this point, you can see that I was in fact truly excited about this. It’s quite possible that I was more excited to see Brendon play the role of Jack Kelly that I was before first seeing the show.
At any rate, my excitement was justified. The show was amazing. Sure there were a couple of mistakes, but I forgot that that wasn’t how the show was supposed to go because Brendon was such a professional on the stage. For example, his first time meeting Katherine, he’s supposed to be fully dressed already. There were some, uh, difficulties getting the shirt on in time, but if you didn’t already know that (and even if you did), you didn’t notice that it was off until you relived the show on the subway ride home. He really did a great job during every single part of his performance.
Brendon’s performance was so beautiful, I literally cried during the entire show. My eyes were sparkling and I could not stop smiling. He truly commanded the audience’s attention when he was on stage. And his singing was so wonderful! I was surprised to find that I loved him singing “I Never Planned On You.” Normally, I like the song, but I don’t swoon during it. I did some hardcore swooning with Brendon singing that song. Also, his facial expressions were perfect during every single song. “Santa Fe” caused my heart to break. He did such a good job tapping into the emotions there. He matched Jeremy’s skill in that song every step of the way. I loved “Watch What Happens (Reprise),” which I always do, and Brendon definitely brought something a little different to the table with that one. And of course, “Something to Believe In” caused my heart to melt. It was so beautiful and gorgeous. I couldn’t believe it. I was stunned and ridiculously happy and overjoyed.
I’ll definitely be on a high from this show at least until the next time I see it (Sunday July 8!!!). I was so happy and joyful during the stage door experience, and so many people came out (even the elusive Kyle Coffman, who immediately tried to say that he was 2 for 2…it’s 2 for 8, buddy, but since you asked about Jasmine’s video, I’ll let it slide), that it only added to the magic. I got pictures with most of them, which I’ll include below.
The highlight of my night was definitely much simpler than seeing the whole show. It was Brendon’s stage door. He came out, and when he got to me he said “Hey Steph, how’s it going?” He remembered me! Of course, I think I mentioned him in like 20 tweets that night (not really that many), but still. he stopped to talk to me for a minute, and I got a picture with the night’s big star and everything was right in the world. I was officially on Cloud 9, and I don’t plan on getting off anytime soon. Based on Brendon’s tweet, I think he’s feeling the same way:
Basically, the moral of this post is “Brendon Stimson makes a fantastic Jack Kelly, so if you get the opportunity to see him in this role, JUMP ON IT! It’s totally worth it!!!” Oh, and “If you get front seats to see Brendon Stimson as Jack Kelly, I’m ridiculously jealous of you.”
Barnes and Noble does all sorts of really interesting events, and the ones in New York are by far the best! That’s why last Thursday, I had an AMAZING opportunity.
Peter and the Starcatcher (5-Time Tony Award Winner) had recently released its annotated script (which is simply stunning, by the way. I think there should be one for Newsies), and B&N was hosting an event for it. They invited Ridley Pearson (author of Peter and the Starcatchers with Dave Barry, and The Kingdom Keepers) to host the event, and they brought in Director Rick Elice, and the three of the lead stars from the show: Christian Borle, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Adam Chanler-Berat.
The format was pretty simple. Before the even started, twitter followers for @StarcatcherBway were invited to tweet in their questions. Ridley Pearson used those as a jumping block for questions to ask the cast, and he really only needed to ask three or so questions, because they were really good at telling the story of how the script came from a book, through La Jolla, to NY Theatre Workshop, to Broadway.
It was amazing seeing how connected they all are, and how they constantly give credit to each other for the show getting to where it is today. You can really see the camaraderie that defines their show come out in their interactions off stage.
After the question session, they all set up at a table and prepared to sign several copies of the script. They were all wonderful and were excited to hear what their fans had to say. They responded accordingly, and just had huge smiles on their faces the entire time. They are such a funny, warm, and welcoming group of people! It was amazing!
I was really excited to meet Ridley Pearson because he wrote the Kingdom Keepers, which is this awesome book series that my youngest sister and I just absolutely adore! It’s like mystery and adventure and excitement meet Disney.
Christian Borle is phenomenal, I’m surprised I was able to say thank you without stumbling over my words. I was so overwhelmed about being in the presence of such an amazing and impressive actor. I watch him on SMASH too, and I literally am stunned at how fabulous he is.
Celia Keenan-Bolger, big sister to Andrew Keenan-Bolger, is absolutely stunning. Girl has style, class, and an amazing voice. She can act the pants off of anyone. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: She could wear a paper bag and still look gorgeous. I definitely stumbled through my words to her, but man, she is so down to earth, and so kind to everyone.
Adam Chanler-Berat was adorable. Literally, I cannot explain him any other way. He’s funny, charming, and sweet. I was so impressed by how humble he is too! Everyone was trying to say that bringing him into the PATSC world brought the magic that was missing, and he was all bashful and shy about it, trying to credit them with the magic too. He is a winner in my eyes!
Meeting Rick Elice was almost too much for me to handle. By the time I got to him, I was already overwhelmed by all of the greatness and gratitude, and I feel like I made a fool of myself in front of him, stammering over words and sentences like none other.
Anyway, I also have some pictures from the event to share with you guys. Click on the images to make them larger!
Here’s a list of some favorite things that happened during the Tony‘s last Sunday. Theses have kept me laughing, crying, smiling, and remembering all week!
Favorite Awkward Moment:
The Newsies cheer on Christopher Gattelli’s victory! Newsies gets the Tony for Best Choreography. (Thanks to the Book of Mormon crew for filming it!)
Because this performance was so early in the show, my tears started early. I love Newsies so much!
Favorite Speech, more serious:
Steve Kazee made me cry. It was seriously the only time (when Newsies wasn’t on stage/mentioned) that I cried.
Favorite Speech, more comic:
Nina Arianda is one of those people I wish I actually knew. “You were my first crushHope you enjoyed! Share your Friday Favorites in the comments below!!! Thanks all!
Last night, the Tony Awards were presented. I felt like they were pretty predictable for the most part, which was sort of a bummer. It might have been fun to see a couple of bigger upsets, but that’s okay.
Bold text is the winner of the category. Italicized text is who I wanted to win. Orange text is my thoughts, if I had some to share.
Author: Bruce Norris
Producers: Jujamcyn Theaters, Jane Bergère, Roger Berlind/Quintet Productions, Eric Falkenstein/Dan Frishwasser, Ruth Hendel/Harris Karma Productions, JTG Theatricals, Daryl Roth, Jon B. Platt, Center Theatre Group, Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons
Other Desert Cities
Author: Jon Robin Baitz
Producers: Lincoln Center Theater, André Bishop, Bernard Gersten, Bob Boyett
Peter and the Starcatcher
Author: Rick Elice
Producers: Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Greg Schaffert, Eva Price, Tom Smedes, Disney Theatrical Productions, Suzan & Ken Wirth/DeBartolo Miggs, Catherine Schreiber/Daveed Frazier & Mark Thompson, Jack Lane, Jane Dubin, Allan S. Gordon/Adam S. Gordon, Baer & Casserly/Nathan Vernon, Rich Affannato/Peter Stern, Brunish & Trinchero/Laura Little Productions, Larry Hirschhorn/Hummel & Greene, Jamie deRoy & Probo Prods./Radio Mouse Ent., Hugh Hysell/Freedberg & Dale, New York Theatre Workshop
Venus in Fur
Author: David Ives
Producers: Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove, Jon B. Platt, Scott Landis, Classic Stage Company
I feel like this was really predictable. Everyone was either talking about Clybourne v. Starcatcher or Clybourne v. Desert Cities. I wish Starcatcher had won. Their story and work seems so much more exciting and creative.
Leap of Faith
Producers: Michael Manheim, James D. Stern, Douglas L. Meyer, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Annette Niemtzow, Daryl Roth, Robert G. Bartner, Steven and Shanna Silva, Endgame Entertainment, Patricia Monaco, Debi Coleman, Dancap Productions, Inc., Steve Kaplan, Relativity Media, LLC, Rich/Caudwell, Center Theatre Group, Michael Palitz, Richard J. Stern, Melissa Pinsly/Celine Rosenthal, Independent Presenters Network, Diana Buckhantz, Pamela Cooper, Vera Guerin, Leading Investment Co., Ltd., Christina Papagjika, Victor Syrmis, Semlitz/Glaser Productions, Jujamcyn Theaters
Producers: Disney Theatrical Productions, Thomas Schumacher
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Producers: Scott Landis, Roger Berlind, Sonia Friedman Productions, Roy Furman, Standing CO Vation, Candy Spelling, Freddy DeMann, Ronald Frankel, Harold Newman, Jon B. Platt, Raise the Roof 8, Takonkiet Viravan, William Berlind/Ed Burke, Carole L. Haber/Susan Carusi, Buddy and Barbara Freitag/Sanford Robertson, Jim Herbert/Under the Wire, Emanuel Azenberg, The Shubert Organization
Producers: Barbara Broccoli, John N. Hart, Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo, Brian Carmody, Michael G. Wilson, Orin Wolf, The Shubert Organization, Robert Cole, New York Theatre Workshop
Of course I would want Newsies to win here. I mean, I am a fansie. But I didn’t want Once to win, even though I knew they would, because not once during the show (no pun intended), did I feel like it was a musical. It was a play with music. The music was all diegetic. I think that in a musical,
some of it most of the music should be non-diegetic. Every time they sang in Once, they knew they were singing. It was a play about music. I think Newsies did a much better job incorporating a storyline with music, mostly non-digetic, and amazing dancing. And I felt like the scenes actually moved from location to location, rather than all happening in the same pub (ONCE!).
Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Producers: Scott Rudin, Stuart Thompson, Jon B. Platt, Columbia Pictures, Jean Doumanian, Merritt Forrest Baer, Roger Berlind, Scott M. Delman, Sonia Friedman Productions, Ruth Hendel, Carl Moellenberg, Scott & Brian Zeilinger, Eli Bush
Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
Producers: Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, INFINITY Stages, Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Barbara Manocherian/ Michael Palitz, Kathleen K. Johnson, Andy Sandberg, Ken Mahoney/The Broadway Consortium, Fifty Church Street Productions, Larry Hirschhorn/Bennu Productions, Patty Baker, Paul Boskind and Martian Entertainment, Wendy Federman, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Cricket Hooper Jiranek, Stewart F. Lane & Bonnie Comley, Carl Moellenberg, Harold Thau, Will Trice
Producers: Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove, Max Cooper, Maberry Theatricals, Marks-Moore-Turnbull Group, Ted Snowdon
Producers: Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove
Best Revival of a Musical
Producers: Hal Luftig, Scott Sanders Productions, Roy Furman, Yasuhiro Kawana, Allan S. Gordon/Adam S. Gordon, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Gutterman Fuld Chernoff/Pittsburgh CLO, Thousand Stars Productions, Adam Blanshay, Adam Zotovich, Robert Ahrens, Stephanie P. McClelland, Carole L. Haber, Richardo Hornos, Carol Fineman, Brian Smith, Warren & Jâlé Trepp
Producers: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, David M. Rubenstein, Michael M. Kaiser, Max A. Woodward, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Adrienne Arsht, HRH Foundation, Allan Williams
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Producers: Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Rebecca Gold, Howard Kagan, Cheryl Wiesenfeld/Brunish Trinchero/Lucio Simons TBC, Joseph & Matthew Deitch, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Terry Schnuck, Freitag Productions/Koenigsberg Filerman, The Leonore S. Gershwin 1987 Trust, Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Ken Mahoney, Judith Resnick, Tulchin/Bartner/ATG, Paper Boy Productions, Christopher Hart, Alden Badway, Broadway Across America, Irene Gandy, Will Trice, American Repertory Theater
Jesus Christ Superstar
Producers: The Dodgers and The Really Useful Group, Latitude Link, Tamara and Kevin Kinsella, Pelican Group, Waxman-Dokton, Joe Corcoran, Detsky/Sokolowski/Kassie, Florin-Blanshay-Fan/Broadway Across America, Rich/Caudwell, Shin/Coleman, TheatreDreams North America, LLC, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Best Book of a Musical
Douglas Carter Beane
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Bonnie & Clyde
Music: Frank Wildhorn
Lyrics: Don Black
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Jack Feldman
One Man, Two Guvnors
Music & Lyrics: Grant Olding
Peter and the Starcatcher
Music: Wayne Barker
Lyrics: Rick Elice
I would have been okay if Bonnie and Clyde had won this, but there was no way. Everyone knew that it was Alan Menken’s turn to get a Tony.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
James Earl Jones, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
Frank Langella, Man and Boy
John Lithgow, The Columnist
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nina Arianda, Venus in Fur
Tracie Bennett, End of the Rainbow
Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities
Linda Lavin, The Lyons
Cynthia Nixon, Wit
Can I just say I’m glad I was wrong here. Nina Arianda brought me to tears and laughter with her speech, and I totally want to go see her performance! Plus she’s stunningly gorgeous and she seems wonderful. I’m so glad she told the Tony music off. “WHOOOAA, hold on, I might never get to do this again.” Best line ever.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Follies
Jeremy Jordan, Newsies
Steve Kazee, Once
Norm Lewis, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Ron Raines, Follies
I love Newsies. I love Jeremy Jordan. Ergo, I wanted Jeremy Jordan to win. Also, Steve Kazee was good, but he is not as cute in real life. He always looks so adorable in pictures and in video/TV format. But in real life, I was kinda disappointed.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Jan Maxwell, Follies
Audra McDonald, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Cristin Milioti, Once
Kelli O’Hara, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Laura Osnes, Bonnie & Clyde
Honestly, I would have cried tears of joy if anyone other than Audra had won. I felt like it was so obvious she was going to win, I was really rooting for Cristin, Kelli, and Laura. But it wasn’t meant to be.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Michael Cumpsty, End of the Rainbow
Tom Edden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Andrew Garfield, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Jeremy Shamos, Clybourne Park
This couldn’t go any other way. Christian Borle is amazing.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Linda Emond, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Spencer Kayden, Don’t Dress for Dinner
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Peter and the Starcatcher
Judith Light, Other Desert Cities
Condola Rashad, Stick Fly
Celia Keenan-Bolger is amazing. She is absolutely fantastic. Enough said.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Phillip Boykin, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Michael Cerveris, Evita
David Alan Grier, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Josh Young, Jesus Christ Superstar
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Elizabeth A. Davis, Once
Jayne Houdyshell, Follies
Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Jessie Mueller, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Ghost the Musical
Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, Other Desert Cities
Daniel Ostling, Clybourne Park
Mark Thompson, One Man, Two Guvnors
Donyale Werle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley, Once
Rob Howell and Jon Driscoll, Ghost the Musical
Tobin Ost and Sven Ortel, Newsies
George Tsypin, Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark
Best Costume Design of a Play
William Ivey Long, Don’t Dress for Dinner
Paul Tazewell, A Streetcar Named Desire
Mark Thompson, One Man, Two Guvnors
Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Follies
ESosa, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Eiko Ishioka, Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark
Martin Pakledinaz, Nice Work If You Can Get It
I actually didn’t care who won this category. At all.
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Jeff Croiter, Peter and the Starcatcher
Peter Kaczorowski, The Road to Mecca
Brian MacDevitt, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Kenneth Posner, Other Desert Cities
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Christopher Akerlind, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Natasha Katz, Follies
Natasha Katz, Once
Hugh Vanstone, Ghost the Musical
Best Sound Design of a Play
Paul Arditti, One Man, Two Guvnors
Scott Lehrer, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Gareth Owen, End of the Rainbow
Darron L West, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Sound Design of a Musical
Acme Sound Partners, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Clive Goodwin, Once
Kai Harada, Follies
Brian Ronan, Nice Work If You Can Get It
I was just really against Once winning everything.
Rob Ashford, Evita
Christopher Gattelli, Newsies
Steven Hoggett, Once
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
I swear, if anyone else had won this, the Tony’s would suddenly become the biggest joke of an award. The Shmazies would suddenly take over as the most important award to get in theatre. Christopher Gattelli’s choreography is pure genius. It’s new, different, and exciting while still incorporating classic elements of dance. It’s freaking fantastic!
Best Direction of a Play
Nicholas Hytner, One Man, Two Guvnors
Pam MacKinnon, Clybourne Park
Mike Nichols, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, Peter and the Starcatcher
In addition to being partial to Newsies, I’m also a Starcatcher fan.
Best Direction of a Musical
Jeff Calhoun, Newsies
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Diane Paulus, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
John Tiffany, Once
William David Brohn and Christopher Jahnke, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Bill Elliott, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Martin Lowe, Once
Danny Troob, Newsies
Well, that’s how the awards ended up. Once got 8 awards, but Newsies got two of the ones that really make a musical worth going to (I mean, really what is a musical without a score and without choreography? oh, that’s right…it’s a play!). Don’t get me wrong. Once is good. It’s just not my preferred style of a musical. As I said in my review of Once, I would go see it again if someone I knew would really enjoy the show wanted to go see it with me. I know a lot of people who would like Once, and will be sure to recommend it to them. It just was not my thing.
- ‘Once’ tops Tonys (variety.com)
- Tony Awards 2012: List of Winners! (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- All Last Night’s Tony Performances And Complete Winner’s List: VIDEOS (towleroad.com)
- Tony Awards: ‘Once’ And ‘Peter And The Starcatcher’ Dominate [Full Results Inside] (inquisitr.com)
- Tony winners in progress (variety.com)
- Tony awards 2012: Once scoops nine awards on night of upsets (guardian.co.uk)
- ‘Once’ crowned best musical at the Tony Awards (tv.yahoo.com)
- Musical ‘Once’ Jumps To Early Lead At 66th Annual Tony Awards (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Tony awards 2012: full list of winners (guardian.co.uk)
- ‘Once’ leads Tony Awards with 8 wins (todayentertainment.today.msnbc.msn.com)
I finally saw Once the Musical. It was the only show nominated for the Best New Musical Tony that I hadn’t seen, and I was going to be so upset if I didn’t get to see it. But I have!
I ‘ve been wanting to see Once since I first started to hear about it, even though from what I was hearing, it didn’t sound like my “style” of a musical. I knew that it was going to be competition for the Best New Musical Tony Awards, and was I right! The show got 11 Tony nominations!
I finally got the chance to try to rush Once on May 17. I was incredibly unsuccessful. I got there around 9am, and let me tell you, that was WAAAAAYYYY too late. I barely made it halfway through the line before they sold out of tickets. I tried again on May 18, getting to the theatre around 7:30 am. I was still too late, but this time I made it up to the door before they ran out of tickets. At that point, I no longer had opportunities to rush in May. I was left with the first two Saturdays in June as my last chance to see the show before the awards. I made a plan.
Saturday June 2, we would leave the house by 5:30 am. Taking into account the changed MTA Subway schedule, we would get to the theatre around 6:30. We would get tickets!
And so bright and early on Saturday morning, I made sure Kenny and Chris got up, and we headed out…without Chris. He would meet us at the station since he had to get ready for graduation later that morning.
We all jumped on the Subway train, and we did indeed get to the theatre around 6:30am. And we waited in line for the next 3.5 hours. The shocker? There were easily 10-15 people in front of us. How early do you people get there!?!?!
10am came, and went. And then tickets were in our hot little hands! We did it! We won!!! It was really exciting and Kenny and I rushed to the subway to get home as quickly as possible…we were gonna need some rest to stay up for the show after such an early morning.
We all met up again in front of the theatre around 7:30, and we watched everyone get into line to enter, and finally joined them after we met a really awesome guy who had a SRO ticket.
We stopped at a bar on our way in, since the stage looked super crowded, and settled into our seats to enjoy the show. The nice thing about Once is that they all play music on stage during the half hour before the show actually starts. The bad thing about that is that you can’t really tell when the show is starting, except for the fact that the ushers run up and down the aisles shouting at people to put away their phones and sit down, because the show is starting. I’ll be honest. This put the show into a bad spot for me. It was extremely difficult to listen to the music while the ushers were talking to people, and it was distracting that you could see everyone who had come in late get seated because the house lights were still up. In fact, the house lights stayed up until halfway through the third song, Steve Kazee singing “Falling Slowly” (hear the song here) when they finally dimmed down.
The book was quite good. I think I’ll be laughing at the “I’m always serious. I’m Czech.” joke for quite some time. Oh, and “let’s make a whole f***ing album.” There were several fun and entertaining moments in the story, and many of the characters were wonderful. I think it felt weird that some of the ensemble characters were given names as the story progressed, but Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti both remained “Guy” and “Girl,” but it did help that most of the names were not really memorable.
I didn’t like that the scene changes relied so heavily on the book. Most of the time, I wasn’t convinced they ever left the bar, except for something they said. The only scene that really felt like it wasn’t in the bar was when Guy and Girl are out looking over Dublin. Though it felt like they were in the bar for most of the show, the lighting was awesome. They did such a great job with the back lighting and focusing the audience’s attention on what was happening. The lighting was just fabulous, especially in the Overlooking Dublin scene. I think they deserve the lighting design Tony for that scene alone. It was really amazing how suddenly I felt like I was overlooking the town, with the water nearby, and the little city lights twinkling in the evening. As for the other scenes, I think that if a few of the sets moved up a foot, or a foot and a half, with the combination of the lighting, it would have felt more like they left the bar. I think that seeing the backdrop of the bar with all the mirrors was my scene change issue. The only time choreography really came into play was in the scene changes, and they did a good job with it, but I don’t really think it’s Tony Award worthy. I think it was unique, and a little different, but I didn’t find it overly impressive.
The music is good. I did enjoy many of the songs, and they really do a really phenomenal job with the harmonies. It’s not the typical sound of a musical, and for some people, that makes all the difference. However, I didn’t feel like the music was moving the story along. To me, it felt more like a play with music than an actual musical. This idea, however, definitely comes from my preconceived notions of what makes a musical. I never really consider something about music to be a musical unless there are significantly more songs that move the story than there are ones they perform (if that makes any sense). Basically, I felt like a lot of the music was being performed by the cast for people in the cast, and it wasn’t out of place (like Newsies singing in the streets. Let’s be honest, we know that never really happened, but that’s sort of what makes it a musical).
The cast did a great job expressing emotions, and their accents were spot-on. They are all extraordinarily talented and I loved that they were the orchestra too. It really was phenomenal. Even better was greeting them all at the stage door afterwards. They were really friendly, and asked questions of the fans out there. I was excited to meet Steve Kazee because his #SIP (Saturday Intermission Pictures) are some of the best, which I assure you, I told him. We got to talk about it for a little bit. If you have any doubt about his #SIP pictures, look below:
He is really amazing! I was also excited about getting to meet Cristin Milioti because a) she is amazing and b) she went to high school with one of my really good friends (Sara Linton). In fact, she remembers Sara, because they did some shows together in high school, and She said that Sara is an amazing woman (she is! She is one of my inspirations and mentors!). I think this means that Sara needs to come to NYC and see the show so they can have a little reunion!
All in all, Once the Musical is not your typical musical. It’s good, and I think there are a lot (seriously, A LOT) of people out there who would really enjoy it. Even though I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be my favorite musical (hello, I am a FANSIE! That honor will always go to Newsies), I still thought it was a good show, and I knew it would be a good one to drag Kenny to (he loved it). I’ll definitely make sure to recommend the show to everyone who, like Kenny, might not go see a show, but will love it (heck, I’ll even recommend it to people who might like it, too). I probably won’t go see it again, unless someone really wants me to go with them, because I’m a volunteer and can’t really afford a full price ticket, and that early morning rush is way too early for me. At any rate, I’m glad I got to see it once.
- Perez Reviews: Once! (perezhilton.com)
- ‘Once’ more, as best musical? (csmonitor.com)
- Once, the Musical (brooklynvegan.com)
- ‘Once’ A New Musical: Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre – Broadway (Review) (popmatters.com)
- Theater Review: ‘Once,’ With Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti, at Jacobs Theater (theater.nytimes.com)