Make me a Song!

December 19, 2007

“Make Me a Song” is a gorgeous kaleidoscope of about 20 individual songs and some musical vignettes from a number of William Finn’s most well known musicals and from a newer project yet to be produced.  It should prove to be an extremely exciting experience for those who are familiar with Finn’s work and a wonderful exposure for others.  Furthermore, my own knowledge of William Finn has been greatly enhanced by seeing this show.  It is filled with wonderful material about interpersonal relationships, often within families, and love relationships between women and men, and between men and men.  It also powerfully examines with the realities of illness, death and loss.  The songs in “Make Me a Song” express life experiences that are extremely sophisticated; sometimes surprising; often hilarious; sometimes tragic. Among the themes of the songs presented are: memories of family gatherings long since past along with somber remembrances of so many family members no longer living (“Passover”), one of the most powerfully moving pieces in this show called “Anytime (I Am There)” is a song in which a dying mother tells her children that no matter what they do or where they are, she will always be there with them.  While some of the themes may perhaps seem difficult or challenging to potential audience members, I feel that this aspect is what gives Finn’s music so much power.  There are some joyful songs too, especially the opening songs, “Make Me a Song,” and “Heart and Music,” which are very upbeat and heartfelt.  There are four performers, two men and two women, who are fine singers, and who can also act, which is extremely important for songs such as these, that express a myriad of human experiences and feelings. I do highly recommend it!

By Sae na Park (Korea)

Another “Chicago” review

December 4, 2007

When I went to Broadway to watch certain shows and saw quite empty theater, I had my doubts that the strike was still affecting the shows on Broadway even though they are presently back with a vengeance. However, it wasn’t really on my mind when I got to the theater that was hosting the ever popular musical, “Chicago.” There was a huge crowd, no empty seats, and a storm of applause when a piece of music was finished. I was worried about other shows having small audiences, but after watching “Chicago,” I finally agreed that there are always reasons as to why large groups of people tend to gather in certain places.
After lighting a fine light on the stage, an actress started dancing and whispering slightly under the light, under her breath. My heart also started running wild while they were singing. It’s funny how the beginning of every play/musical can make your heart go: pitter, patter, pitter, patter. Finally, all the performers came up to the stage and danced and danced, like there was no end to life, no end to this show. You can see the love for dancing in their eyes, their love for performing. Every action happened at the same time. They were always together, in perfect unison; never letting the real vision out of sight.
By the middle of the show, I suddenly thought, “hey, they could be some of the top actors in the world and I was watching them!” Just thinking about this fact made my blood run cold, and I couldn’t even hide my feelings, I was so excited. The story is so famous, I don’t think I need to make a subject of it. However, I must say that no one should miss the great stage effects and the wonderful music. Of course, the actors and actresses should not be missed either ☺
For two and half hours, I was not myself. I focused on them so strongly that I was exhausted by the time I left the theater. Now the music is floating in my head and around my ears, I really can’t get it out of my system. No one should doubt that “Chicago” is one of the best show on Broadway, but I want to add my recommendation to the reputation as well and remind people not to miss it when they come to NYC!

By Monica Kim (Korea)

CHICAGO

December 4, 2007

“All that Jazz,” her hands still bloody from killing her husband and sister after catching them together. Roxie (Michelle Dejean) who dreams of being a star, sees Velma’s act at the club and later that night kills her lover. Both women find themselves in jail awaiting trial and competing for headlines under the arrogant gaze of their corrupted lawyer Billy Flynn (Bernard Doston). Several song and dance numbers appear in Roxie’s daydreams as she waits for her big moment to perform at her trial.

Michelle DeJean’ character Roxie is a pleasure to watch. Dejean’s finest musical moment comes in Roxie when her delight in her new found celebrity is thrilling, comic and touching all at the same time. By contrast, the desolation which threatens to swamp her when, at the end of the show, it all looks set to slip away is heartbreaking. Here is a performance which goes way beyond the character’s obvious, purely comic potential and gives the show real heart. Like Brenda Braxton, she is not the best dancer to have played the role and their Hot Honey Rag finale loses some of its impact as a result. But, by this point, the audience is so won over by the charm of both performers that it hardly seems to matter.

A show that is geared for anyone that wants to see what a real New York musical is about. Chicago should be seen by anyone who loves musicals, theater or just a great night out. It is funny, charming, stirring and invigorating and a reminder of how, quite simply, no other art form offers so much pure entertainment value as the Broadway musical at its finest. Exploring greed, corruption, adultery, deception, dishonesty and everything else that is considered lucrative in this business, Chicago is the perfect musical about real life adventures. The production also replays repeated viewing with each set of performers bringing their own individual talents to bear on such sensational material and with such varying, and consistently superb, results.

I have now three PLAYBILL programs as proof that I have seen CHICAGO for the third time, and I still love it. For those who have never seen it, you need to see this production. But if you’ve seen it before, it still deserves a second or third viewing. It’s still that good!

By Sae na Park (Korea)

New information from : ilovenytheater.com

Free Concert Celebrates Broadway’s Return!

Shows Resume Normal Performance Schedules on Thursday, November 29

Free concert set for November 30 with all shows set to participate

Broadway theatres light their lights once again on Thursday evening, November 29. Enter site for performance schedules, show descriptions, official websites, and ticketing links.

To celebrate Broadway’s return, the theatre community is presenting a Free Concert at noon on Friday, November 30 at the Marquis Theatre. The event will include performances and special appearances by cast members from all current Broadway shows, many in costume. There will also be special performances by Angela Lansbury; Bernadette Peters; The Color Purple’s Fantasia; the Tony Award&reg-winning creator of The Drowsy Chaperone, Bob Martin; and others. Featuring full orchestra led by Seth Rudetsky.

Free Concert
Marquis Theatre
1535 Broadway at 45th Street
Friday November 30 – 12:00 noon
Doors Open at 11:30 a.m.
Performers and appearances subject to change
Admission is free, first come first served.

Broadway is also welcoming back its fans with an array of special offers, Times Square restaurant deals, a sweepstakes, and more. Keep checking back for details.

Click here for information about refunds/exchanges for canceled performances.

On behalf of all of us on Broadway, we wish you a happy holiday season–see you at the theatre!

logo2.gif

Day in and day out I get asked if Broadway shows are still on strike. The answer sadly is, yes, they are still on strike. And no word as to when this will be over until their next meeting on Nov. 25th. Until then we ask that visitors help support the business that are being affected by the strike such as restaurants within the theater district. Throughout the whole week, restaurants will be offering a 15% discount on meals at over 25 restaurants.

Another way to help is to be a part of a “team-raiser” for Broadway Cares or to be a single participant and donate to Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights Aids. Around this time of year is when the Broadway shows raise money by donation of the theater patrons. Unfortunately, due to the strike, over $350,000 per week is being lost. Revenue is also raised from the in-theater appeals, which makes up 20% of the annual budget for charity is also being lost.

This year’s “Gypsy of the Year” competition is coming up in a week and they have announced that with the amount of money being lost, they will not be able to award the usual grants to the various charities they are affiliated with this year. If you are a theater patron that usually donates or if you want to simply be a good samaritan and help out for a good cause through on-line fundraising, please visit Broadway Cares to find out how you can participate as an individual or to be part of a team. Whether you are a company or just a tourist or a local, your company website or even your blog can also be a link and a way to help out this organization raise some money for charity.

Thank you for your time in reading this blog entry and more importantly thank you for your support and keeping NYC lively during this dark time. Be sure to check this blog or visit our NYC Pocket website for list of events and attractions that are open and available to do during the holiday season.

Thanks to the Times Square Alliance   Times Square

Diners Will Receive 15% Discount on Meals at Over 25 Restaurants

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, NYC & Company and the Times Square Alliance today announced Dining in the District, a special weeklong dining program intended to attract New Yorkers and visitors to restaurants in the Theatre District area that have been affected by the Broadway stagehand strike. The program, which kicks off Saturday, November 17, and runs through Sunday, November 25, will offer a 15% discount on lunch or dinner to all patrons at more than 25 participating restaurants:

‘21’ Club – L

Bangkok House Restaurant – D

Barbetta – L/D

The Blue Point – L/D

Bombay Palace – L

Bond 45 – D

Brazil Brazil Restaurant – L/D

Brooklyn Diner–Times Square – D

Broadway Joe Steakhouse – L/D

Charley O’s – L/D

El Azteca Mexican Restaurant – L/D

Etcetera Etcetera Restaurant – L/D

Firebird Restaurant – L/D

Kyotofu – L/D

La Rivista Ristorante – L/D

Le Tre Venezie Restaurant – D

Metro Deli & Ranch 1 – L/D

Murals on 54 – L/D

Nocello – L/D

Osteria del Circo – L/D

Pergola Des Artistes – D

Rene Pujol Restaurant Cooperative – L/D

Restaurant Charlotte – L/D

Scarlatto Restaurant – L/D

Sofia’s Restaurant – L/D

Trattoria Dopo Teatro – L/D

ViceVersa Restaurant – L/D

L = Lunch

D = Dinner

L/D = Lunch & Dinner

 

“Dining in the District is a great opportunity for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy some of the best restaurants in the Theatre District,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “While we hope that an agreement will be reached as soon as possible, I encourage New Yorkers and visitors to take advantage of this great deal and help support restaurants that have been affected by the strike.”

“NYC & Company’s Restaurant Week has become a mainstay of New York City’s restaurant scene,” said NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan M. Tisch. “It’s great that we were able to react quickly to local businesses in need of support, and we’re pleased to bring together more than 25 great restaurants in the Theatre District area for a similar dining program that will provide a boost to the neighborhood.”

“We are pleased to join with the Times Square Alliance to create Dining in the District,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “New York City is home to many wonderful restaurants, and we hope that this partnership will encourage both residents and visitors to explore the fantastic dining options in the neighborhood.”

“Every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case it’s the chance to get a great deal at some great Times Square restaurants,” said Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins. “Come on down, and afterwards stop by any one of the many live entertainment venues still open – jazz clubs like Iridium, comedy clubs like Carolines and live performance halls like Town Hall, the Nokia Theatre, BB King’s, Hard Rock and Roseland, to name a few.”

Dining in the District offers a 15% discount on a lunch or dinner bill at more than 25 restaurants from November 17 to November 25; the offer will not be available on Thanksgiving Day, November 22. Participating restaurants are located between 41st and 55th Streets and between Fifth and Ninth Avenues, including all of Restaurant Row on 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

A list of participating restaurants is available HERE. Information is also available at the City’s Official Visitor Information Center, located at 810 Seventh Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets and at visitor kiosks in Harlem (253 West 125th Street), the Financial District (26 Wall Street), City Hall Park (Broadway at Park Row) and Chinatown (at the intersection of Canal, Walker and Baxter Streets) as well as at the Times Square Information Center on Seventh Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets. In addition, hotel concierges will have information on the program to disseminate to visitors.

 

Have a delicious Thanksgiving in NYC!

 

 

Many people in New York City, whether they be tourists or residents, have been seeing Off-Broadway shows. In recent events, the “Strike on Broadway” has definitely boosted ticket sales for Off Broadway shows, making for packed houses, producing new fans for smaller shows. This was the case last night at the Westside Theatre for My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, & I’m in Therapy.

In this one-man-show, developed by Steve Solomon, and preformed by Paul Kreppel. The character is waiting for his therapy appointment to begin when he goes into a long story about his life. He tells the story of an unconventional, and multicultural upbringing. To many people this upbringing would be considered, completely normal. Hey, this is New York City, nobody’s parents are from the same culture!

The audience was full of older people, who all looked like my grandparents. With every small joke, the audience bursted into laughter. The show hit just about every crank possible that has to do with the old time Jewish people, and of course, the Italian people. If I was twenty years older, this show might have struck a stronger chord with me, but I know my elders would have loved it! If you have no interest in cultural bashing, humor, or pointing out flaws of multiple religions and cultures, maybe this is not the show for you.

The successful Off-Broadway show currently in NYC and San Francisco was thought to be closing very soon, but it is NOT closing… If you were planning on seeing it, go to see it now anyway!

The theatre is very small, being the downstairs of “I Love You, Your Perfect, Now Change” at the West Side Theatre. The show feels very long, as there is no intermission, but Paul Kreppel’s voice fills the room and is exchanged with huge laughter, which makes it a good time. After (or before) the show, you are left on the famous 9th Ave, where you can eat at some of the best restaurants in the world. So if your Broadway show was canceled this weekend, go see My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, & I’m in Therapy.

-Written by: Stephanie Weingart

Add to Technorati Favorites Web Page Hit Counter

Recent Readers

View My Profile View My Profile View My Profile View My Profile View My Profile
View Entire Community Provided by MyBlogLog