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)

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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!

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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.

Another Xanadu Review!

November 12, 2007

Xanadu? Yes, Xanadu (pronounced Zan-ah-do) as in the old Olivia-Newton John roller-disco movie that is now on Broadway. Yes, it’s very 80’s and skates are still essential, but after youtubing some old clips of Xanadu with Olivia, I think the Broadway production of Xanadu was much more livelier and visually more attractive than the movie. xanadu_l.jpg

Let’s face it. In this decade, hair is much more tame and the costumes actually copy Greek sparkling robes as supposed fringed poofy white dresses bought at a nearby popular vintage shop. Although the stage might be a bit small for skating, it still works with beautiful lighting and audience participation. The singing was absolutely wonderful making me enjoy the classic 80’s song all over again. What made me love this production the most was that they took the cheesy 80’s element of the original movie and gave it a facelift with jokes semi-bashing the movie, fake Australian accents and updated it with the slang languages of today.
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All of the actors played their parts well from the love struck to the divas and let me not forget the best two evil cackling sisters I have seen by far. From the song “Evil Woman” to the most cunning of lines, they really were the best of the show. Every spoof was worth every laugh (example: centaur and medusa) and yet, I still didn’t catch on to some of the other jokes since I did not see the entire original movie. Regardless of the lack of knowledge of the original Xanadu, I think you are better off not knowing it at all and gearing up your skates, leg warmers and disco balls for the newly fresh revival of the 80’s era that makes you truly miss that time. Well, we can all do without the bright colorful wardrobe and bandanas, but the music and even the songs of Xanadu will definitely stay with you for all time.

By: Jasmine Bermudez 

Xanadu on Broadway

November 9, 2007


How does one even begin to describe “Xanadu? Finally a stage version of the 1980 movie “Xanadu” arrives Off Broadway. Xanadu is a remake of the classic 1942 film “down to earth” starring Rita Hayworth. Updated and revamped to give it a very late 70’s feel, this new version still holds true to the classic tale of a muse who comes to earth to inspire. The 9 sister Goddesses from the ancient greek myths are rulers of the arts, song and dance. Their purpose is to inspire. This was everything that I knew about “Xanadu” by searching internet after my supervisor gave me tickets. However, we have similar story in Korea so it was not strange to me.

The 90-minute show, which started the new season last night at the Helen Hayes Theatre, is a grand little piece of smart dumb fun. Every shows get fans, but the Xanadu was special. Some fans fly in from as far away as California. Even one married couple are so smitten that they’ve seen it more than 70 times. After show, I would become repeat customer. During show, I sit there with a smile on my face from beginning to end, it’s infectious. There are multiple reasons for affection: an uplifting script, a built-in movie fan base, familiar songs, the warmth actors.

My favorite thing was a small, intimate theater that lets audience members sit on stage for as little as $41, glow sticks included. It’s fantastic to have an hour and a half to just laugh and not worry about everything else that’s going on. It’s something that anybody can come in and enjoy the music, the dancing and just the energy of the people performing. Especially I loved those songs, so I’m sure that I’m going to humming them for the next several days. If you have not seen that musical yet, absolutely go see it without a doubt.

By: Sae Na Park (Korea)

Here is another Review: 

It’s not easy to watch a show on Broadway these days because the theaters have been on strike since a few days ago. However, there is a tenacious little show in spite of the situation. It’s called “Xanadu.”
It’s about the love between a muse and a guy who loves dancing and is trying to make a disco lounge in a vacant spot, which belongs to another middle aged guy. As you can imagine, there’s nothing different about this story other than it’s like every other love triangle out there. However, why is it that people keep on seeking out this particular show continuously?
Firstly, the heroine of the show has such a beautiful voice that there might be no one that can resist falling into a trance when she sings a song. She is already very famous for her abilities in the theatrical/musical world, and may be one of the most influential women on Broadway.  In addition, she is also very beautiful, beyond comparison of others.
Secondly, I was very satisfied with not only the beauty of her but with the efforts of the other characters. Everything about the show is composed firmly and the characters are well-trained. As the show goes half on its way, the cast becomes more rhythmical and powerful, and audience also becomes excited along with them.
Finally, the atmosphere is filled with a home-like feeling. The theater and stage are not much too big, and the tickets are also reasonably priced.  To me, people become one during the show because I can feel each other’s enthusiasm.
While big and famous shows are on strike and have been damaging to many visitors’ schedule and money, my little Xanadu still remains there and is doing what it does best, and well; I might add.  If someone wants to enjoy their time in New York City  and dance with their shoulders moving up and down without any pressure, I strongly recommend – Xanadu.

-By Kim Hyo ryeong (Korea)

Avenue Q on Broadway

November 6, 2007

Can you imagine? If you go to Sesame Street, make a sharp turn in any direction, keep on going for 35 years or so, and you’ll get to Avenue Q.


Avenue Q is a Tony-winning musical and an irreverent parody of Sesame Street. The puppets portrayed diverse characters. This play was more fun for adult-friendly content even though Sesame Street is a popular TV program for children.
As the play begins, Avenue Q’s reality immediately sets in with an animated Sesame-style segment informing us “it’s a lovely day, a perfect morning for a kid to play,” but the inhabitants of Avenue Q have “lots of bills to pay.” In fact, the characters live there because they’re broke – and they’re not getting any richer. While Sesame Street presents a sunny story about the successes of the American dream, Avenue Q is about its failings. The puppets on Avenue Q have to deal with getting jobs, paying rent, and relationships. The tone is light and irreverent, but the messages can be serious.
The basic premise of this musical is that Princeton is searching for his purpose. Most of the other characters are grappling with some life issues too. Kate Monster wants to open a school for monsters. Rod doesn’t want to come out of the closet. The big Trekkie Monster who lives upstairs reckons the Internet is only good for one thing.

The show is clever, but in a sophomoric way. The puppets are funny and the live actors as well as the puppeteers who act along with their puppets are versatile and personable.
Before entering into the theater, I could see a lot of older couples taking pictures with smiles on their faces. Maybe they are remembering their childish innocence. All I can say is that I will definitely be making a return visit to Avenue Q with my parents soon. The performances were all fantastic.


By: Sae Na Park (Korea)

Today an unfortunate death of original Camelot star: Robert Goulet.

According to The Boston Globe:

Mr. Goulet, who recently had been diagnosed with interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, was awaiting a lung transplant, said Norm Johnson, a spokesman for the singer.

In 1996 he returned to Broadway in his first comedy, Moon Over Buffalo. In 1999, he appeared in Man of La Mancha for the Pacific Coast Theatre Group.

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