Saturday, November 08, 2008

Burning The Candle At Both Ends

So I've been super busy lately - working the day job, devoting my evenings to rehearsal for Little Women, spending weekends with the family and just generally being crazed.

That said, if you live within a reasonable distance from Brookfield, Connecticut, get your tickets to see Little Women now. The cast is amazing, the voices are tremendous and its a classic story in the form of good, wholesome musical theatre. I'm pretty proud of this puppy, I must say.

LOCATION: The Brookfield Theatre for the Arts (TBTA)
ADDRESS: 182 Whisconier Road (Route 25) behind the Brookfield Library
DATES: November 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 8:00pm and November 16th at 2:00pm
RESERVATIONS: 203-775-0023

In between rehearsals, I worked in two trips to NY to catch a couple shows. The first show being the much anticipated Equus featuring Richard Griffiths, Daniel Radcliffe and Kate Mulgrew. Now, I've seen two separate productions of this show in my lifetime, performed the stable scene in a Florida State Thespian competition and have read the play several times. So I think it's safe to say I'm familiar with the show. Daniel Radcliffe was quite good, Richard Griffiths was palatable but miscast I'm afraid and Kate Mulgrew was stiff and awkward. The actors playing Mr. and Mrs. Strang had horrible British accents and hardly came off as despicable as I think they should.

The set design had its good points and its bad. While the observation deck that hosted onstage spectators looked cool, I don't think anyone that paid full orchestra prices for those seats would say that they were optimal seating. It was very distracting to have the actors moving the boxes around to create the various locales. While I expect (and employ) this method in community theatre, I do not understand it on Broadway. And after the blinding scene, lowering the six wire horses heads from the ceiling was not only hokey but distracting.

So I guess you would say I was underwhelmed.

The other show that I took in was a Joe Iconis & Friends gig at The Laurie Beechman Theater. It was just the right jolt I needed to get me through to December or January. Several classic Iconis tunes were performed and Joe also invited some his favorite emerging composers to share the spotlight. Several of the artists that you see in the "Creative Types" sidebar (Gaby Alter, Nick Blaemire, Jason "SweetTooth" Williams, etc.) were there performing their stuff. There were also a few new ones (Rob Broadhurst, Mike Pettry, Ladystein, etc.). I was particularly struck by the very powerful song "Old Mr. Drew" by Michael R. Jackson. Here's a video from his recent show at ARS Nova:

Yeah - I pretty much fell out of my chair when Molly sang this at The Beech.

The opportunity to take in an Iconis show is becoming more and more available these days. You should check out Things To Ruin at The Zipper for a concert of Iconis tunes performed by some of the finest young talent around, on Broadway or off. Seriously. And if you're lookin' for a more musical theatre kind of venture, Urban Stages just announced the world premiere of Joe's newest mini-musical triple feature, ReWrite. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, see an Iconis show. You won't be disappointed.

And finally - a recent event to be totally stoked about: being able to officially utter the words President Elect Barack Obama.