And the winner is…

Apologies for this post being a few days late! Life gets in the way of blogging sometimes.

The winner of the pair of tickets to Romeo & Juliet is…. Sami! Congrats, lady! Enjoy Bloom and Rashad onstage. They’re both wonderful!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered, and keep an eye out for another ticket give away (to a different show) next week!

So who wants to win tickets to see Orlando Bloom (!!!) and Condola Rashad in Romeo and Juliet sometime next month? I’m totally psyched to go see this as I think both stars are pretty rad

Reblog this, follow me, and tell me what your favorite Orland Bloom movie is, OR what your favorite show that you’ve seen Condola Rashad is. 

Winner will be announced next week! Good luck!

All The Way Back in 2007…

When I was studying abroad during the summer in 2007, I saw a play before I came home called “In Celebration” starring Orlando Bloom. I’d never really been an Orlando Bloom fan in particular, but I thought, how many more times will I have the chance to see Orlando Bloom on stage? Probably not many. 

And I was right.. not many have presented themselves. Until now… this fall a new and re-imagined revival of Shakespeare’s classic, Romeo and Juliet will be playing at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.  Orlando Bloom will (obviously) be playing Romeo alongside Condola Rashad (who killed it in last season’s The Trip to Bountiful) as Juliet. The fantastic Chuck Cooper and Jayne Houdyshell are also apart of the stellar cast. 

I am so, so excited for this revival. For one I’ve never seen a professional production of R&J, and with this cast…. WOW! I’ll be seeing it sometime in September and I wanted to give one of you guys a chance to see it too. In the next week or so I’ll be putting together a post to be tweeted/reblogged/etc!

Until then, I leave with you this picture of the charismatic Orlando Bloom from back in 2007:

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When shall we three meet again?

I love Macbeth. It’s my favorite of Shakespeare’s dramas. I studied it while I was abroad in London. I worked at the last broadway revival starring Patrick Stewart (I watched that production 13 times in all it’s 3 hour and 15 minutes of glory). I was excited but honestly skeptical when I learned it would be coming back again this season.

As a one-man show. That was one act and an hour and forty five minutes long. What?! But the silver lining was that Alan Cumming would be the star. He’d be playing all the characters. Still: the prospect was intimidating.

But yesterday I went to see the recent revival and I was absolutely blown the fuck away.

The premise is that Alan Cumming is a patient in an institution playing all these characters in his padded cell. They make full use of the three cameras and screens watching him. In all fairness, there are two actors in the show with him but they are there mostly to watch over him occasionally and sedate him when necessary.

The concept is truly heartbreaking to watch. Any time Cumming gets a little too into the action he’s imagined, the doctors rush in to sedate and put him back into his bed where he curls up in the fetal position and cries briefly.

Alan Cumming is a force to be reckoned with. He’s incredible. During the curtain call, he seemed very humbled and surprised to be receiving so much attention for his out-of-this-world performance.

I love Macbeth and if you do too, this is a production not to be missed.

Disclosure: My company works on this show, but I am in no way shilling for them. 

So, New York tops the cultural list for theatre, but Broadway is in a dry spell right now. Aside from the long-awaited (seriously, I feel like I’ve been hearing about this show for years!) opening of Bring It On last night and the opening of Mike Tyson’s one-man show Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth in August, there’s nada going on in the theatre district right now.

Besides seeing Last Smoker a couple of weeks ago, it’s been a total dry-spell for me as well. And that’s just depressing. 

End of the Rainbow is closing prematurely on August 19th, despite the cries of Garland fans everywhere, and the premature off-Broadway revival of Rent is closing on September 9th (four years and one day after the original production closed).

But what do we have to look forward to in the fall?  David Mamet’s brand new play, The Anarchist, begins previews at the Lyceum Theatre on November 13th, about a woman pleading for parole after leading an underground anarchist group. Sounds interesting to me! 

Cyrano de Bergerac is being revived yet again, this time by Roundabout. I’m not sure what inspired this revival, but having seen the last one in 2007, I don’t think there was a huge demand for another revival (I’m not saying the ‘07 revival was bad – it wasn’t – just that it’s not a play that people are dying to see all the time). David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross is also being revived this season- for what reason, I have no idea. I saw the last revival in 2005, with Liev Schrieber and Alan Alda. Performances were stellar (from what I remember) through out but again, I didn’t see this play being revived for any reason again in the next twenty years. Well, Mr. Mamet will certainly have a busy fall, that’s for sure.

The Performer begins previews at the Longacre Theatre on October 23rd. Described as “when sex, love, and Barry Manelow intersect,” it should be interesting. Ari Graynor and Daniel Breaker, along with a few others, lead the small cast – another reason to check it out.

Besides Cyrano, Roundabout is producing The Big Knife and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (with an awesome cast!). Whilst Manhattan Theatre Club will be busy with productions of shows like An Enemy of the People and The Other People.

Lewis Black will be performing on Broadway for a week in October in Running on Empty – “a politically charged and cathartic one-man show.” I will be there.

Another show being revived for (at least) the second time in my life time is Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Having seen the last revival in 2005 with Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin, I’m afraid there might be no going back.  However the logo for this production is certainly amazing, and it’s the 50th anniversary, so I suppose…. why not, right?

The shows I’m most anticipating are Matilda (based on the book, and by all accounts, the raves from London are certainly earned), Rebecca (after having been postponed last season, hopefully it will open this season), and Chaplin (based on the life of Charlie Chaplin and there’s been a fair amount of buzz surround this piece).

There’s also the revival of Annie, Golden Boy, Grace, and The Heiress opening, but I haven’t heard much about any of them. Besides casting news for Annie, of course. But does anyone really care which 8-year-old gets to play the belting red head for the third Broadway mounting? Nah, I didn’t think so. 

In 2000, family friends took me to see the revival of Jesus Christ Superstar for my birthday. Tony Vincent and Maya Days were in it (as Judas and Mary, respectively), and being a Renthead at the time, I had to see it. Vincent and Days were the only redeeming qualities of that production. Though JCS has a fantastic score, the show, or at least that staging of it, left a ton to be desired.  It could’ve been my lack of enthusiasm for Christianity, the bible, or Jesus in general that left me cold too (it should be noted that I still share that lack of enthusiasm).

When I’d heard that the production at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival was great and transferring, I shook my head and silently wondered to myself, Why, oh, why are bringing this back? Hasn’t Broadway suffered enough recently? But thankfully, I can eat my hat, because I saw this most recent revival tonight and I really enjoyed it.

This production is incredibly different from the last revival which was basically glam rock. This production, though still heavy in electric guitar, the voices are much less hard and more pure musical theatre. The set is simple, and looks like the remnants of the set from Taboo plus a giant shining cross and two moveable staircases, but it works. There are a fair amount of projections (that set the day, time, place, etc) but they all work and add to the production in a positive way. The choreography is original and fitting (except for the erratic and distracting movement in What’s the Buzz – that should be fixed ASAP). The costumes are all appropriate to the time during which the show is set – unlike Vincent’s black leather jacket and jeans in the 2000 revival (for example).  The whipping scene is much LESS bloody than in 2000 and the song Superstar is staged incredibly differently – but it’s really, really fun to watch.  

But like I originally stated, every single voice on the stage of the Neil Simon Theatre is incredibly strong and gorgeous. Josh Young (Judas) sings (and looks like) Josh Groban but with a slight edge, and he is absolutely fantastic. He doesn’t rip a high note before the final verse of Superstar but I got over that (forward to 2:29 on this video to see what I mean – oh, hell, just watch the whole thing – it was the only reason to see the last revival). Paul Nolan (as jesus) may have had an even stronger voice the Glenn Carter did in 2000 and he looked a bit younger, which I thought added to the idea that Jesus was naive, because he was young.  Chilina Kennedy (Mary) had a beautiful voice and I thought she acted the role quite well.  

Other stand-outs in the cast include Tom Hewitt as Pontius Pilate – he doesn’t do much in the first act but he has tons of attitude and wears a crushed purple velvet suit in the second act which more than makes up for his lack of presence in the first act. Bruce Dow as King Herod is a totally different type of flamboyancy from his 2000 counterpart Paul Kandel but it works just as well, if not better. I also really enjoyed Mike Nadajewski as Peter.

What else can I say? Jesus Christ Superstar has an amazing score (probably my favorite of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s). The first act flies by in 55 minutes, and the second act is a tad shorter (although it feels a bit longer) and you’re out by 10pm. This newest revival is definitely worth seeing, even if you didn’t particularly enjoy the last revival (ahem). They have (student) rush tickets for $27 available the day-of, so you really have no excuse not to see it.

(photo credit: joan marcus)