Memories.

Oh, Cats. I spent most of my teenage and young adult years mocking this musical. It was my first musical in 1993, when I was 7, but I didn’t remember much about it except that a ‘cat’ walked past me across the front of the mezzanine and I thought that was SO COOL. I also definitely rolled my eyes when I heard it was being revived. But I bought my mom tickets for Christmas and we went in mid-January. And I really enjoyed it, as did she. 

So there’s really, truly no story being told, but a vague plot about a bunch of stray cats that come together on one night every year. Then there’s a former glamorous cat that is old and ragged, Grizabella, who I felt really bad for. There’s a small white cat, who I remember was my favorite back in the early 90′s. And there’s Mr. Mistoffelees, the magical tuxedo cat! He was, obviously, my favorite. Lastly, there’s the large old cat who is basically the sage, Rum Tum Tugger, the role Terrance Mann originated on Broadway (yes, that’s what I associate with this role). 

All of the cats have backstories and I felt so bad for all of them. Because I am a bleeding heart for stray cats now. I’m a crazy person. Anyways, the choreography was really phenomenal. So was the cast. 

I will totally admit that I had to eat my hat because I loved Cats and I’d definitely go see it again. I probably won’t, but I enjoyed it enough that I totally would. 

Sticking It To the Man at 30

My parents wanted to do something other than just take me out for brunch for my birthday this year (because I’m turning 30) and I suggested we go see School of Rock. I’ve been slow on my show-seeing this season and my mom agreed that it was a good idea. We sat in the second row on the left side last Saturday and I was looking forward to it. The movie was meant to be turned into a musical and Andrew Lloyd Webber knows how to write a good score. At the very least, it was bound to be good.

I was disappointed that Alex Brightman (Dewey) was out but seeing how his standby Jonathan Wagner looked exactly like him, I knew I probably wasn’t going to mind (after all, I had nothing to compare him to). Sierra Boggess was in though, so there was that.

The pre-show announcement is made by Webber himself and states that yes, all the kids are playing their own instruments. Good to know because I found myself wondering that as they shredded through the score! Holy shit, those kids are talented. 

The score is great and it follows the movie almost to a T. Everyone in the cast is very talented and I walked away humming the score (which usually never happens). The staging and sets were great and the choreography was effective. Jonathan Wagner also didn’t disappoint. My 30-year-old ass definitely walked away singing “Stick It To The Man.” 

If you like the source material (ie. the movie) and musical theatre, get yourself over to the Winter Garden Theatre immediately. School of Rock won’t let you down if you’re looking for a good time. 

To say that I had mixed feelings about seeing The Phantom of the Opera again last Wednesday night would be an understatement. When I received the invite, I RSVP’ed only because I wanted to see Norm Lewis and Sierra Boggess together.

Our seats were lovely, Row N in the orchestra. I could see the Phantom wherever he happened to pop up without craning my neck.

And do you know what else was lovely? The show. I really enjoyed it. Having not seen it in a good 8 years combined with having been in the middle of reading 50 Shades of Grey made it a whole new experience for me. When I was younger I never quite caught on to the explosive sexuality if the show, but since I was expecting to be bored, this was a refreshing surprise.

Lewis and Boggess were jaw-droppingly amazing. Their chemistry was fantastic and their voices were flawless. My two reasons to revisit the show after so many years were well worth the trip. The rest of the cast was great too, but Boggess and Lewis stole the show (as they should).

If you’re thinking that you want to see these two in their roles but are dreading sitting through this tourist favorite again, fear not! Just go. It’ll be worth it.

Tickets were provided by the production.

I’ve been very excited for this revival of Evita since it was announced many months ago. Evita is a fantastic score that I’ve been familiar with since the movie adaptation in the mid-90’s starring Madonna, although I’d never seen a stage production before. On a side note, I revisited the movie recently and discerned that Madonna was, in fact, awful in the role (a large part of the score was lowered for her). My friend Kristen and I ended up in side orchestra seats and we were both excited. Christina DeCicco, the Evita alternate, was on, but everyone else was present and accounted for, including Ricky Martin and Michael Cerveris.

The production is beautiful; the sets, costumes, and lighting are all perfect. The cast is talented through and through. The problem is the theatre. The Marquis Theatre is a hard theatre to fill, to get energy across. That was the only problem, the energy, or the lack thereof.  I’d hoped for a deafening “Requiem,” but it was rather tame. The sound barely reached the 6th row where we were sitting. The audience seemed unenthused and as a consequence, the company onstage seemed the same.

Rachel Potter, who portrayed Peron’s mistress, was a beautiful break to DeCicco’s powerhouse belt with her number “Another Suitcase in Another Hall.” She was demure and had an absolute beauty of a voice.  Cerveris portrayed a fine Peron, vocally and acting-wise. I wish they wouldn’t have put him in a wig though; it looked odd. Martin has a beautiful voice but he would probably benefit from a few acting classes.

I’d like to assume that it was an off night, both onstage and off, at the Marquis. This revival of Evita is beautiful sounding and looking. And definitely  worth a night in the theatre.