Last weekend my friend invited me to Atlantic Theatre Company’s main stage in Chelsea to see Marie and Rosetta. It was about Rosetta Tharpe, a guitar playing musician who brought some swing into gospel music, and when she auditioned Marie Knight, a young singer she saw performing in a church. I was interested mainly because Rebecca Naomi Jones was playing Marie, but I also knew the vocal tour de force Kecia Lewis as Rosetta would not disappoint.
The set was a simple funeral parlor, because black singers in that part of the south weren’t really welcome and they took what accommodations they could get. Through out the 90 minutes, the two performers continually get more comfortable with one another and practice different arrangements of Rosetta’s music. Once Marie sheds her church-girl facade, the two performers sync up and the music flows naturally.
I really loved seeing Jones perform again, having not seen her onstage since Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She’s just such a natural talent. I really enjoyed Kecia Jones, too, with her booming voice. The two were a badass duo.
Marie and Rosetta is playing through October 16th and totally worth seeing, even if you don’t know their music.
Do you like The Last 5 Years? Of course you do. You’re not stupid. A couple of songs from the film version were released. Read about it here.Adam Kantor and Betsy Wolfe, who starred in The Last 5 Years at Second Stage, will reprise their roles in San Francisco for three nights.
John Cameron Mitchell is starting this week in the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. This is, by far, the most exciting to happen to Broadway since… well, it’s been a while.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s newest musical, Hamilton, started previews at The Public tonight. Apparently it’s amazing. I hope I can score tickets somehow.
And Clinton the Musical is coming to the stage off-Broadway at New World Stages. I’m very excited for this one. Will it be amazing? Probably not. Will it be a helluva good time? I’m predicting YES.
I think that’s it for tonight.
I got really lucky and I was able to see Andrew Rannells in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at his second to last performance yesterday. I hadn’t see Hedwig since it was in previews in April and I was stoked to go back. I was administering a survey for The Broadway League and we talked to the House Manager for a bit beforehand and she is by far the coolest House Manager on Broadway. She has a long history with Hedwig, to the point where she begged to manage the Belasco when it was returning, and loves it just as much as anyone. We had to stand as the show was sold out but I was fine with that since I never really stop moving during the show and it’s probably really annoying to sit next to. (Sorry, not sorry.)
Andrew added a bunch of little things that Neil Patrick Harris hadn’t, but he was also really, really buff. I thought that NPH looked better as Hedwig, but Andrew probably sang and acted it better. He got down to the heart of the character, deeper than NPH. Lena Hall rocked it, duh. As did The Angry Inch band members.
Hedwig is just an incredible show, an incredible journey to go on, with a kick-ass, skull-rattling score. I will never tire of it. Best of luck to Michael C. Hall, who has big shoes to fill.
This article, about Jessie Mueller, was really adorable. I highly suggest you read it. I’m sure she was totally excited to do this interview this morning after partying all night at the Carlyle 😉
The top moments from last night:
A Gentleman’s Guide winning Best Musical. Obviously. (Full disclosure: my current office of employment works on the show so we were all incredibly happy.)
Hedwig’s performance. it was the best (GGLAM following a close second!). Hedwig is going to be sold out for their entire run soon. Mark my words.
Lena & NPH winning their much deserved awards.
Bryan Cranston and All the Way winning. Love that show.
Jessie Mueller’s acceptance speech. She was so sincere.
Let’s see, last night’s WTF moments were as follows:
The Wicked performance. That was the best they could do? Come on. Idina Menzel was in the house – throw her $10k to perform Defying Gravity. She’s a single mom now, so she could probably use the extra money, right? (No, I’m just being an asshole and I’m completely kidding. I think she makes upwards of $20k/week for If/Then, she’s fine.) This performance was a waste of time and a dishonor to a show that’s been on Broadway and selling out for 10 years.
The Music Man rapping. WHAT WAS THIS? Everyone at the party was speechless. We had no idea what was going on.
Nikki James in Les Miserables. Jesus christ. When is she scheduled to go on vacation because I cannot sit through a production of Les Miserables for three hours where Eponine sounds like a, and I quote, bag of dying babies. Miscast, indeed.
Celia Keenan-Bolger and The Glass Menagerie losing. WHAT? This was not supposed to happen. Wires got crossed somewhere.
The opening number. Look, I get it, I read online today why Hugh Jackman was hopping, but even if I’d gotten the reference when I was watching it, it was still incredibly boring. It was one of the most lackluster openings in a while.
It wasn’t the best Tony’s, but it had it’s moments. I was exhausted and made my way home around midnight. It’s always worth the exhaustion.
I’ve seen a bunch of shows in the last month. Unfortunately it’s been the week leading up to the Tonys/I’ve been a bit lazy so I haven’t had a chance to write about them yet.
I’m going to my company TONY party tonight with my lovely (semi-still new, I suppose?) coworkers and crossing our fingers that our shows take home all the awards.
This year the TONYs are such a toss up. I think Hedwig is a lock for revival and NPH is a lock for Best a Leading Actor, but who knows.
I’m also ashamed to admit that I’ve only seen one musical that’s nominated in the Best Musical category! I’m seeing After Midnight on Wednesday though so there’s that.
I’m sitting in a spa chair getting a long overdue pedicure in an admittedly weird lime green orange (for GGLAM!) from Essie. Then I’m going to watch a couple of episodes of Orange is the New Black, rest, do my hair, and get going to the party.
1) The amount of happiness that I have inside for when I do stupid little things like take out multiple bags of trash, hang out clothes, or unload the dishwasher is unbelievable. I hate doing these things so much but not doing them drives me insane too. Sometimes I think I was better at adulting when I was in college.
2) I start my new job tomorrow. I’m not really nervous – more excited than anything else – and I’d like to keep it that way! This is the first time I’ve ever transitioned between jobs. Usually layoffs occurred, or an internship ended, but I’ve never had the privilege (or stress) of saying thank you for everything but I’m leaving to one job and starting a new one. I’m still going to be working advertising so I think I’ll wear a black dress with my teal blazer. I would’ve gone to TJ Maxx when I got back to the city but they closed for the day.
3) Happy opening to The Cripple of Inishmaan tonight! I’ll be seeing you on Tuesday night with a friend that I haven’t seen in way too long.
4) I think I’m going to have to go see Hedwig again very soon (or you know, attempt the lottery again soon). The original off-Broadway cast recording has been bringing some tears to my eyes lately. (Read my review from last weekend here.)
Hedwig and Angry Inch is probably as close to a religious experience as I will ever get. It’s a feeling that’s similar to when you leave a really amazing rock concert. Kristen and I saw a matinee of Mothers and Sons yesterday and played the 5pm lottery for the 7pm performance of Hedwig. We were semi-sad when we didn’t win because that would mean hanging out for another couple of hours and not being home by 10pm. But then we won the 8pm lottery for the 10pm performance and we realized that there was little-to-no-chance that any tourists from Oklahoma would be waltzing in by accident so the show would probably be the most risque it could be. Our seats were great – the Belasco being a teeny tiny house and all. We went and put glitter on our eyes at Sephora (because, well, obviously.) and then returned to the theatre to be rocked out of our brains.
Let me backtrack for a second: A friend sent me a copy of the off-Broadway cast recording in 1999. I was almost 13. Being that I was 13, I didn’t really get it. But fast forward to a couple of years later and I’d fully immersed myself in the scores of shows like HAIR and The Rocky Horror Show, so I was now 100% on board with Hedwig. I knew pretty much every word. Which is an odd thing for a 15 year old to be able to boast especially when their friends in Suburbia, USA have never heard of glam rock or John Cameron Mitchell.
It’s a rock concert from the second Yitzhak introduces Hedwig. I probably would’ve been really annoying to sit next to if not for the fact that everyone in the audience was pumped as could be to be there. The lights, minimal set, and animation for Hedwig were beautiful and overwhelming (in a good way). Lena Hall was the perfect mix of tough and vulnerable with a beautiful, crystal clear voice to match. The Angry Inch band tore it up every second.
And last but most certainly not least, Neil Patrick Harris never once made Hedwig… into The NPH Show and was an amazing Hedwig – vocally and physically. I will never understand how he jumps around the set in 6" platform heels for 100 minutes with ease.
And thank you, NPH, for calling out the latecomers: “It’s a 10 o’clock show! How could you be late?!”
The entire cast onstage pours their blood, sweat, and tears into the show and it’s amazing the watch. Also: not one cell phone went off during the performance which was a refreshing change from the matinee of Mothers and Sons where 4 cell phones went off in 90 minutes. At least not that we could hear over the score. I don’t know how the HIMYM fans will react to seeing NPH onstage but I’m curious to find out. And although I’ve seen him in person before, saying hi and thanks to John Cameron Mitchell afterward was fun too.
I was absolutely wire after the show. It was really difficult to fall asleep. Oh well, totally worth it. I will definitely be back to Hedwig and the Angry Inch again. And soon. It’s not about Neil Patrick Harris (he’s great, but I’m not a diehard fan), it’s about the music and the energy.
This makes me incredibly excited since I missed the show Off-Broadway. I remember getting a copy of the original cast recording from a friend when I was eleven. I was like, ‘What the hell is this?’ and tossed it aside.
Only to fall in love with it a couple of years later.