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 Post subject: Broadway report
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:16 pm
Posts: 4824
Location: Charlotte, NC
Early March: Saw Hamilton, can die now. Also saw Come From Away during previews. It is a sweet, short show about the residents of Gander, Newfoundland, who took in 38 planes' worth of people diverted from US airspace on 9-11. The band is on stage, and it has a folky, Celtic-y flavor. The 12 actors play multiple roles of plane people and townies, putting on a jacket or glasses and accent to let us know who's who. 100 minutes, no intermission, hardly any spaces for applause.

This week's trip: The highlight was Sara Bareilles CRUSHING her own songs in Waitress. Mom, Kay and I saw Jessie Mueller in this show last year, but there are new nuances and funny bits that make the whole thing way more likable (Mueller's version of Jenna was more broken, while Bareilles' version is more sassy). Christopher Fitzgerald is back as the comic relief, and Dakin Matthews is still there as the curmudgeon (he gets one wonderful song at the end, and that may be all his voice is up for because they challenge him with some high notes!).

Spamilton is a very funny critique of Hamilton and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Broadway (it's by the same people who do Forbidden Broadway). It was scheduled for 18 shows last summer, and just keeps getting extended. If you go, ask for the $25 back-row deal. The theater is so small there is no need to pay for more.

Dear Evan Hansen is very good on many levels, but the main story is based on a well-intended lie that gets out of control, so I was never really behind it (it was like too many TV sitcom plots). Ben Platt will deserve his Tony as the lead, though I don't care for his vibrato (which I am glad he did not break out all the time). If Rachel Bay Jones wins for one song as his mom, that will be OK with me, though I am also rooting for Come From Away's Jenn Collela. I mean Jones sings more than that, but the one song near the end was the only time I might have misted up a tad. Everyone else was just bawling the whole show (but I have yet to cry during any episode of This Is Us, so ...).

OK, the last one from this trip was Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (otherwise known as The Great Comet). This is the one drawn from 70 pages of War and Peace that has Josh Groban as the lead for another month. It is a spectacle of the highest order: the ensemble is giving you pierogis and shakers, they are dancing and singing up in the balcony with you, the lighting is frenetic (there are strobes a couple of times, which they warn you about), the music is ... pop-opera? Josh is who is selling tickets but it is really Natasha's story, and Denee Benton is excellent in the part. They do not meet until three songs from the end, though they are in the same social circles. It is so hard to explain, and not that easy to follow. Pierre fights a duel, Natasha is engaged but falls for another guy, and then stuff happens. They racked up 12 nominations, and will win a bunch for lighting and orchestration and all that stuff. Any other season, Benton would have a shot, but Bette Midler won this Tony months ago when they announced when Hello, Dolly! would open (we're seeing that one in August).

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If you fail to pilot your own ship, don't be surprised at what inappropriate port you find yourself docked. - Tom Robbins
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At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you. - attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.


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