I scored a comp to Roundabout’s production Therese Raquin, by Helen Edmundson, on Wednesday afternoon and I decided to go despite having no idea what about and having not really heard any super positive buzz about it. I like Kiera Knightley and I love Judith Light, so how bad could it be?

I’m happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised. Therese Raquin (Kiera Knightley) was about a 21-year-old girl in the mid-18th century in Paris. Raquin was orphaned and being raised by her aunt (Judith Light) and when Raquin and her cousin (Gabriel Ebert) are twenty-one, they oblige the aunt’s wishes to marry. Wouldn’t you be unhappy if he was coerced into marrying your cousin? Yeah.

What I didn’t expect was the thriller aspect of the play. The second act was the deterioration of Therese’s mental state as what her and her new husband (who’s also her former lover, played by Matt Ryan) did starts to haunt them. Knightley didn’t disappoint and was extremely impressive as Therese. Ebert, Light, and Ryan were also effective in their roles. Ebert’s portrayal of Camille, Therese’s cousin, reminded me of the his portrayal of Matilda’s father in Matilda

I never found myself bored or checking my watch during Therese Raquin. If you like a good thriller, it’s worth a trip to midtown. 

even if you’re little you can do a lot

A little over a week ago, the company I work for had their annual ‘offsite company meeting’ down at the Crosby Hotel. We reviewed the last year and looked ahead to what was coming during the next theatre season. We reviewed the beginnings of the company and how far we’ve come. I say “we” carefully because I’ve only been there for 8 months.

At the end we were shown a slide show that ended with the above graphic as a closer. It’s a quote from one of our shows with the names of all the shows the company has worked on in the last 3 years and all of our names lettered over (under?) it.

We all got copies and then we had champagne in the next room. It was pretty cool.

It was pretty awesome to feel apart of a company that’s done so much in such a short time, with some awesome people. 

Something else Broadway related: You have a few days left to enter to win tickets to Romeo and Juliet… starring Condola Rashad and Orlando Bloom! Follow here and reblog this post

So I finally got to see Kinky Boots last week. My friend grabbed two standing room tickets which were totally fine, view-wise. I’d heard many great things, like choreography and cast, and that this is the show that might beat Matilda for Best Musical. So I had an open mind.

Full disclosure: I’m incredibly, incredibly biased with regards to the Best Musical this year, I know. I think Matilda is the best thing since Rent (that’s an awful comparison, I know).

Verdict: I thought it was a well- written musical. Some of the music was very catchy and the cast was phenomenal. It had moments of serious boredom though. And I spent the entire first act waiting for the amazing choreography. The only amazing choreography was in the act one finale and the show finale.

Stark Sands is incredibly endearing and of course has an amazing voice. Annaleigh Ashford is hands down hilarious, with an incredible voice (and her character is definitely paying a bit of homage to Cyndy Lauper for sure).

And Billy Porter. MAN. I’ve always been keenly aware of his immense talents but he just blows the roof off the Hirschfeld with his performance. I think Porter and Ashford might reason enough to see this show.

The themes behind it, as directed by the brilliant Jerry Mitchell, are a tad confusing. Maybe a bit convoluted too. It’s partially about a drag queen coming to terms with his difficult relationship with his father but at center of that journey is a heterosexual relationship? Maybe it’s not meant to be analyzed in such a way.

I really did enjoy it. Do I think the choreography is competition for the likes of Matilda and Pippin? Certainly not. Will it win Best Musical? I’m nervous there’s a chance, purely for the fact that Lauper’s name is associated with (she did write the score, after all).

So I’m glad I saw it (so I can have an educated opinion about it and all that) but I’m still crossing my fingers for Matilda.

So, here are a few fun facts about Matilda the Musical:

  • There are eighteen (18!) kids in the show.
  • They never had an invited dress, so one Matilda wouldn’t get the praise above the rest.
  • The role of Matilda is the largest role ever written for such a young (and small) person (she carries about 90% of the show).
  • There were no stops at the first preview tonight.
  • The performance lasted two hours and forty minutes (and this is including the fact that they started a bit late too).
  • The score (which I heard for the first time tonight) is still in my head. (This never happens.)

I’ll post my more formal-ish review after opening night. But for now: just go buy your tickets. You’ll thank me after it opens and tickets are no longer available, like what happened to The Producers (except this is way better – The Producers, IMO, was garbage).

The Beginning of a Rainbow

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Well it’s been a busy couple of weeks. Mostly with work, which I love regardless of the fact that I work 50-60 hour weeks now. I literally have no complaints. That also means that I get home at 7:30-8pm and crash (or crash after a yoga class at 9). So that hasn’t left a lot of time for show-going.

But that all changes this week and I’m stoked! On Thursday night I’ll be seeing Zosia Manet in MCC’s “Really Really.” I love Girls so this is super exciting in my mind. I’m excited to see what she can do onstage, even though I’ve read a synopsis of the play and I’m assuming her character will be pretty similar to the one on Girls

Later this week on Saturday, I’ll be trekking up to Hartford with some good friends to see the non-equity tour of American Idiot. It’s been about a year since I’ve seen the show live, so I’m looking forward to this treat. A reputable source claims that the Johnny on tour is the best he’s ever seen, so it should be good.

The trip to Hartford is far, and long. But to experience 90-minutes of punk rock bliss, it’s worth it.

Lastly: I’m going to either the second or fourth preview of Matilda next week. I’m REALLY stoked. Considering that this is THE show that will most likely (you heard it here first) sweep the TONYs, I’m so excited. 

So, let’s pray for a low-stress work week and lots of awesome theatre.