The Realistic Joneses: Final Dress Rehearsal Pass Give-Away!

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So, as you may or may not have read recently, the cast of The Realistic Joneses had their ’greet the press day’ last week. Starring Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, and Marisa Tomei, previews will begin on March 13th. Did I mention its being directed by Sam Gold? Yeah, he’s kind of awesome. The show is “an outrageous, inside look at the people who live next door, the truths we think we know and the secrets we never imagined we all might share.”

I’ve teamed up with the fantastic folks at The Realistic Joneses to give you guys the opportunity to win two passes not to see a performance, but the final dress rehearsal. For those not in the industry, the final dress rehearsal is always the night before previews begin (usually) and is “invite only” for producers, writers, friends of the cast, etc. 

Well, now one of you guys can go too! As you could probably guess, the invited dress is at the Lyceum Theatre on March 12th. So, if you’re around that night, you could be one of the lucky ones to go and check this show out before anyone else.

To win: All you have to do is follow my blog and reblog this post, OR tweet this post and why you should win.

Winners will be chosen via a random name generator on March 8th. Good luck!

My Top 13 Theatre Moments (or Shows!) of 2012

I was going through my theatre-related posts of this year and I couldn’t pick just 10. Since this is my blog and I make the rules, I decided to do 13. 

1. Bring It On: I had my doubts and reservations about this musical, and maybe I’m a little biased after working on it for a few months, but I loved this show. It was visually stunning, fun, and not totally void of meaning. It had a good meaning overall: Life goes on after high school. I love this show, I’m sad it closed yesterday, and I will definitely miss it.

2. Merrily We Roll Along @ Encores: I went to the final performance and it was my first time having seen it – though I’d heard the music before. The cast was fantastic, as was the material. The atmosphere was also electric. Everyone was so excited to be there.

3. The Other Josh Cohen: This was just a gem of a show. I’m so glad I got to see it.

4. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? revival: I had reservations about this too, having seen the last revival with Kathleen Turner, but upon being offered a free ticket, who was I to turn it down? It ended up being pretty incredible. It was probably one of the best things to open on Broadway this fall.

5. Harvey @ Studio 54: A supposed allegory for homosexuality in the mid-20th century, Jim Parsons killed his roll and this show. Loved it.

6. The Bad and the Better (by The Amoralists): I love The Amoralists. This show was a complex story with many layers and a huge cast. It was pretty epic. I don’t know how they afforded to do it, but they definitely did.

7. James Corden in One Man, Two Guv’nors: I loved this play and I probably loved it because James Corden was so goddamn funny. He absolutely killed onstage. He deserved his TONY Award.

8. The Lyons: I saw this play off-Broadway and loved, and saw it twice more on Broadway. I loved it every single time. Probably because Linda Lavin reminded me of my late Jewish grandmother. And… Michael Esper.

9. Once’s Transfer to Broadway: I think the producers transfered this show well. Not much got lost in the bigger space in the Jacobs Theatre and the spirit of the show remained intact. I loved it off-Broadway and it made me cry (twice) on Broadway. I wasn’t sure whether transferring this show was the right thing to do, but I’m happy that they’re doing well ($1 million+/week).  

10. Tribes: This was an off-Broadway show not to be missed. It deserved every bit of praise it received. I loved it a lot possibly because the lead was hearing-impaired so it made it that much more believable, but who knows. It had a healthy run at The Barrow Group and is now going to LA. 

11. Carrie: A cult classic that only existed in bootleg form before MCC revived it. It was cheesy and the music wasn’t so stellar, and I wished there’d been more blood, but it was an experience to be had and seen. I’m definitely glad I paid $20 to sit in the second row. 

12. Jesus Christ Superstar‘s Resurrection: The revival in 2000 wasn’t so good – except for Tony Vincent, duh – but I loved, loved, loved this one, which transferred from the Stratford Theatre Festival. It felt like a digital update, but the incredible rock score was still the intact and the cast was incredible. I don’t care what anyone says, Josh Young was an incredible Judas. I saw this revival twice and my only regret is that I wished I’d seen it again!

13. Assistance: I was an assistant when I saw this so I definitely related. It was hysterical, vulgar, and exaggerated (though I’m sure it’s not so exaggerated for some people). The ending also wins for ‘most unrelated and random ending ever.’ Also: Michael Esper.

That’s my run-down for 2012. There were a dozen or more shows that I saw and didn’t write about (because I suck sometimes), but I’ll try to be better about writing about EVERYTHING in 2013. What were your top theatre moments in 2012? Happy new year!

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, part deux.

You know you’ve been seeing theatre for a long time when you start seeing multiple revivals of shows on Broadway. Today was Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee. One of my favorite American plays, without a doubt. Below is a photo of the page in my scrapbook in 2005 when I saw Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin in that revival. 

I studied …Virginia Woolf? in multiple classes in college and seeing it onstage was and is incredible. There are hardly words to describe it. I had mixed feelings about seeing it again this time around. The last time I’d seen it, Kathleen Turner was Martha… and how could you possibly top that? Well, as it turns out, you can’t, but you can have a 100% excellent production regardless of whether or not Turner is available. 

This 3+ hour play that spans three acts is confusing, amusing, and will shake you to your core (especially the third act). Tracy Letts and Amy Morton, as George and Martha respectively, give it their all and are obviously solid in their craft. They go at it like an old couple that has grown to resent one another, and amuse and scare the audience simultaneously.  Carrie Coon and Madison Dirks, as the unsuspecting victims of the night Honey and Nick, also give believable performances.   

I enjoyed every minute of the performance today and I was speechless leaving the Booth Theatre afterward. If you want to see one of the greatest American plays being performed live with a stellar cast, get thee to the Booth Theatre.   

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.