Category Archives: Stage

Frozen -Musical

Disney delivers a classic with impressive staging.

The Frozen musical began previews when I visited New York City. It was elected (1 in favor, 1 abstention) that I should see the Broadway creation drawn from this modern film classic.

The show began eagerly, with costumed characters taking their positions … in the seats! Scores of children came dressed as Anna, Elsa, and Olaf. Staff passed out booster cushions. “Abracadabra.” There was magic in the air from the outset.

Act 1: The cast had their roles honed.
Act 2: Some roughness showed the necessity of previews.
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Party Face -Drama

Off-Broadway drama cast with characters to savor

    Why see it:

  • Acting!
  • Character(s)

Summary and thoughts:

Dramatic plays have been my favorite stage craft. In this era they are drowned out by musicals, but some digging may uncover a gem.

The shiny object drawing me to Party Face is Hayley Mills, who acquired fame in movies as a child. A handful of partners glow equally under these lights, each a unique character. Six actresses give a solid effort.
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Come From Away -Musical

Those grounded without choice meet those grounded with character.

    Why see it:

  • Entertainment, culture, and history
  • Emotion, energy, and efficiency
  • There, but for the grace of Gander …

Summary and thoughts:

This is a musical to be seen and a story to be known. The non-stop performers wonderfully portray the actions of plain and plane folk under extraordinary stress.

The term “Come From Away” refers to the unexpected influx of 38 aircraft with nearly 7,000 international passengers to Gander, Newfoundland, diverted there September 11, 2001. The Canadian town’s population is only slightly greater than the guest list, but it has one out-sized asset and discovers another.
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Les Misérables -Musical

> > >  humor on  < < <

Paris: The City of Light
-Les Mis tour: Not enough light.

Les Misérables aficionados talk about it “24 / 7”
-Les Misérables fanatics rave about it “2,4 / 6,0,1”

> > > humor(?) off < < <

“Les Misérables” returned to the DPAC stage in early February, more familiar and more reliable than any groundhog (American cultural reference for February). This show is partly spectacle, reminding me that it was the first on Broadway to stun me with its staging. It is mostly classic musical theater, reminding me that I’m not a pure fan of that genre (see below). This night there was much to like.
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On Your Feet! -Musical

Why see it:
The best touring talent I can imagine
-Upbeat entertainment for fans and families
-Broadway on tour, not an imitation
-Not necessary to know their music

Summary and thoughts:

The “Emilio & Gloria Estefan Broadway Musical” roared into the Durham (NC) Performing Arts Center like the winter storm that booked the same week here. But this stage spectacle won’t leave you cold.
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Love Never Dies -Musical

Why see it:
-Soaring music with whispers of “Phantom of the Opera”
-A set that is bigger-than-life and full of moving parts
-The voice of Meghan Picerno as Christine
-Not necessary to be a fan of “Phantom”

Summary and thoughts:

This sequel is set ten years after “The Phantom of the Opera” musical ends. The Phantom now keys a sideshow named “Phantasm.” But rather than living in the sewers below the Paris opera house, our beloved, feared, sartorial, oratorical, organ-playing, full-of-angst villain/hero has become established in a Coney Island, NY, establishment.

He is the hidden face behind a circus-like vaudevillian effort with characters big and small, oddities, monsters, and his featured performer. She is Meg Giry, daughter of Madame Giry, who engineered the post-opera escape from France for this trio to stay together. Meg wants nothing more than to please the one still known to her as “Master.”
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