Friday, May 25, 2012

Pat's Notes from Broadway

I just returned from New York where Broadway is the most important street in the city. I saw five productions in four days and was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed everything I saw.  As a TONY award voter they expect us to see everything and without a doubt all that are nominated for an award.

Here are my notes about what I saw recently:

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR – The music is the show and has always great. The story isn’t bad either but it always ends the same way, not good.  This production takes on a new high tech staging with a Wall Street ticker tape addition letting you know that you are Jerusalem on Wednesday as the story unfolds and on Thursday you are in the garden of Gethsemane. A novel approach but pushing the point.  And all of the bad guys are wearing long black leather coats and are sporting dreadlocks.

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER was the highlight of the five shows.  Had no idea what it was about and was blown away by the acting especially that of Christian Borle, from the TV show Smash, was fabulous.  Show moved so fast and dialog came at the audience at mach speed. I must see it again.

NEWSIES is a Disney musical and was much better than I thought it would be, since the movie was a flop.  I wasn’t expecting much but thought it far exceeded my pre-show bias. 

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT was excellent. Take Gershwin Brothers, insert a funny story with a fabulous female lead, Kelli OHara, add Mathew Broderick and it’s an enjoyable night at the theater.

Last but far from the least was GHOST, the musical adaptation of the movie with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. The reviews have not been spectacular but I really enjoyed the show and it's another high tech addition to Broadway. I really liked how they had people appear to walk through walls. The opening scene is a film of a  super fast tour over the buildings of Manhattan, sort of like Harry Potter goes for a night out sans the broom.

Going back to NYC on the 31st of May to see what I expect to be the  two TONY award shows one for the revival category – EVITA  and ONCE for best new musical. I think I’m saving the best for last. We’ll see. More later!

Pat Halloran
President & CEO
The Orpheum Theatre

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