Category Archives: Stage

Les Misérables -Musical

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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”

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“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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Hamilton 1 – Love at First Lyrics

“Hamilton An American Musical” was not something I “had to see” but became the thing I was compelled to see a second and third time. Is it over for me? “Not yet.” It’s terrific.

My thoughts will inevitably compare New York and Chicago performances, having seen them both. My essential impression is this:
the show is the show.” Continue reading Hamilton 1 – Love at First Lyrics

Hamilton 2 – May I have 20,000 words with you?

Nothing plain about Hamilton, except for the printed ticket.
Note: Ticket PRICE not shown actual size … if you know what I mean!
Ticket to Hamilton

Why was “Hamilton An American Musical” something I had to see a second time in May 2016? Because I “heard” and “felt” far more than I saw that first time in 2015 (Hamilton 1 – Love at First Lyrics). My mental “vision” was obscured by the fun of processing all those delightful words that enamored me while I embraced them. Continue reading Hamilton 2 – May I have 20,000 words with you?

Hamilton 3 – The Third Time and I’m Charmed

How does the musical Hamilton “go on and on, grow into more of a phenomenon?” I ventured to the Chicago production of “Hamilton An American Musical” in April 2017, full of wonder for something exceedingly familiar.

I would be “delighted and distracted” in this third viewing after two in NY (cast contrast later in this post), but more aware of lighting, scenery, costumes, and movements that combine with words I knew well and discussed in previous posts:

Mezzanine seating in Private Bank Theatre differed from orchestra level in NYC, particularly for observation of complex and varied lighting schemes. Spotlights can be squared rather than rounded. Red on the stage can represent blood spilled in battle. A character can be illuminated differently than any other “loyal, royal subject” because every aspect of his appearance is unlike any other role. Continue reading Hamilton 3 – The Third Time and I’m Charmed