"The Story of My Life" should make Verizon a lot of money. That is because everyone who sees it will leave the theater and immediately call that childhood friend with whom they suddenly feel the need to reconnect.
Thomas Weaver (Will Chase) travels back to his hometown to deliver the eulogy at the funeral for his best boyhood friend Alvin Kelby (Malcolm Gets). While that might hint at the potential to be somber and depressing, this wonderful musical is anything but. Instead, it is a touching and charming story about friendship.
Neil Bartram (music & lyricss) and Brian Hill (book) have done a remarkable job of intertwining wonderful stories and beautiful music into a magical night of theater.
Both Will Chase (Rent, Aida, The Full Monty) and Malcolm Gets (Amour, Merrily We Roll Along, "Caroline in the City") are excellent in their roles and the chemistry is undeniable. Will Chase's rendering of the powerful song "Butterfly" is a showstopper. The closing number entitled "Angels in the Snow," sung by both Chase and Gets, takes the audience on an emotional ride that is bound to profoundly affect each and every audience member. Under the simple but efficient direction of Richard Maltby (Tony Award Winner, Ain't Misbehavin', Song and Dance, Miss Saigon). these two fine actors are able to soar.
Robert Brill's magnificent set is etheral and powerful. It provides a majestic feel for this top-notch show.
Why you should see it? You want to spend 90 minutes laughing, crying, and being forced to evaluate the friendships you have made over your lifetime.
Why you may not want to see it? You ran out of Kleenex.Read more...
Following the trend of turning movies into Broadway shows, Dolly Parton's Nine to Five is just plain fun. Stephanie Block and Megan Hilty possess voices that are simply scintillating, while Allison Janey's powerful stage presence seems to hold the whole production together.
This rousing musical follows Violet Newstead (Alison Janey) as she and two cohorts, Doralee Rhodes (Megan Hilty) and Judy Bernly (Stephanie Block), take on their egotistical and sexist boss, masterfully played by Mark Kudisch.
The set is lavish and the scene changes become as much fun to watch as the show itself.
Andy Blankenbuehler's choreography is nothing short of wonderful. Numbers are fast-moving and engaging.
Patricia Resnick's book offers a great vehicle for the story, but it is the fun and highly enjoyable score that resonates with the audiences. The tunes are simple and memorable.
Unfortunately, "Nine to Five" is slated to close Sunday, September 6. Run, do not walk, to see this before it does.
Why you might want to see this show? You want to spend a few hours just having fun and listening to toe-tapping music performed wonderfully. You also want to hear two of the best voices on Broadway in Megan Hilty and Stephanie Block.
Why you might not want to see this show? You yourself are a male chauvinist pig and you don't want to be exposed.
Attention New York! Broadway is on fire…and the smoke is coming from the Longacre Theater. If you are a fan of television shows such as “Dancing with the Stars” or “So You Think You Can Dance,” the mother ship has just landed at 220 West 48th street and is calling you. Its name is “Burn the Floor.”
This show is non-stop excitement with a pace that will have you gasping for air well before intermission.
“Dancing with the Stars” celebrities Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy are as good as promised and create the buzz, but the entire cast is abound in talent, athleticism and great looks. They represent some of the best ballroom dancers from around the globe. They come from Italy, New Zealand, Britain, Slovenia, Malaysia, Australia, and the United States.
“Burn the Floor” hits the ground running and never stops running until the final rendition of the popular hit “Turn the Beat Around,” made popular by Vicki Sue Robinson in 1976 and Gloria Estefan again in 1994. Along the way, audience members are treated with a spectacular assortment of dancing styles and treatments under the able direction of Australian director/choreographer Jason Gilkison.
It seems almost unfair to single out any of the dancing troop because they are clearly a cohesive unit that proves that the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Having said that, audience members will find themselves mesmerized by the spectacularly beautiful and extremely talented Peta Murgatroyd and the dynamic and tireless Giselle Peacock. Standing out for the men are Sasha Farber, who seems able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and the handsome and engaging Kevin Clifton.
“Burn the Floors” is slated to run until October 18. It is well worth the trip to catch the sizzle.
Why you should see it? You love looking at extremely attractive people dancing well beyond human limits.
Why you may not want to see it? You will start to question your own dancing skills.
If someone were to explain to you what the hit musical "Next to Normal" is about, you would be hard pressed to envision it as a musical. However, it is more than just a musical...it is an evening of compelling and thoroughly enjoyable theater.
Bi-polar leading ladies is not the usual formula for a Broadway musical, but Alice Ripley is spectacular as the troubled mother who can't quite seem to put the past behind her. The cast is extraordinary with absolutely no weak links. J. Robert Spencer plays the father and his exceptional voice is on display throughout the entire show. Aaron Tveit is magnificent as the son and his song "I'm Alive" is one of the high points of the show. Jennifer Damiano, though still a teen, is a seasoned veteran and creates a wonderful presence for herself onstage. Adam Chanler-Berat plays the boyfriend to perfection and is just another critical piece of this magnificent cast.
Brian Yorkey, who wrote the book and lyrics, is the brains behind this extremely creative piece. Tom Kitt's music is spectacular. Mark Wendland's set design is hip, clever, and allows for the fast pace action that makes this show this year's best musical.
Why you should see it? You like to be thoroughly entertained by a story line that is tight and fast moving and music that is engaging and first-rate.
Why you might not want to see it? The subject matter involving bipolar disorder hits too close to home. Then again, that might be the very reason you SHOULD see it.
Some people sing in the rain, others act in it. Even rain cannot cool off Janet McTeer's extraordinary acting talents.
This powerful drama is not for everyone. Sprinters may not fully appreciate this marathon. However, no one can deny the exceptional acting talents of this first-rate cast.
The show explores the relationship between Elizabeth I, aptly played by Harriet Walter, and Mary Queen of Scots (McTeer). While Americans may not be as enthralled with this juicy piece of British history, it is compelling nonetheless.
Playwright Peter Oswald's updated version of Friedrich Schiller's masterpiece has won the praise of critics and audiences alike. Scenic Designer Anthony Ward's set is simple and powerful, allowing the actors to be the main focus of this extraordinary drama. Lighting Designer Hugh Vanstone gets the assist for creating magic on stage.
Why you should see it? You enjoy acting that is extraordinary and you can't imagine how they can make it rain on a New York stage for much of the second act.
Why you might not want to see it? You have a short attention span.Read more...
"Oh what a night!" That is exactly what you will be saying after seeing this wonderful show.
A trip to the August Wilson Theater to see "Jersey Boys" is a license to sit back, reminisce, and enjoy the wonderful legacy of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons.
Not only is the music captivating, the story is cleverly told and magnificently acted. Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice have written a book that takes the audience on an amazing journey through the eyes of each of the Four Seasons themselves. Sometimes those eyes see things differently and that provides some of the intrigue. Throw in the nostalgic music of Bob Gaudio and memorable lyrics of Bob Crewe and you have a huge winner!
Klara Zieglarova's set is raw, powerful, and helps tell the story as much as any actor or actress on stage.
Actors Matt Bogart, Dominic Nolfi, Andrew Rannells, and Jarrod Spector portray the original Four Seasons with incredible resemblance to the real thing. In fact, close your eyes and you could swear that you were listening to the voices of Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi, and Tommy DeVito.
Every night the sell-out crowds at the August Wilson Theater prove that big girls do indeed cry. They also laugh and cheer right along with the cast of this wonderful show. Oh yeah, so are the boys sitting next to them.
Why you should see it? You love great music, a great story, great acting, and a chance to go back in time.
Why you may not want to see it? You are holding out for the Monkees tell-all musical.
“The Marvelous Wonderettes”
From the minute you walk into the upstairs of the Westside Theatre, you know that you are about to do some serious time-traveling. In this case it is a journey back to 1958 and your tour guides are four very engaging young ladies known as the “The Marvelous Wonderettes.”
Kristen Bracken, Misty Cotton, Christina Decicco, and Lindsay Mendez are the four very talented young ladies who take the audience on a light and totally enjoyable musical adventure back to the Springfield High School Class of 1958 senior prom, as well as their 10-year reunion.
The strength of this show lies in the wonderful voices of these four friends and sometimes enemies. In what has become a very popular genre, “The Marvelous Wonderettes” consists of a thin story line that neatly ties together a series of nostalgic and catchy tunes from way back when. The show features such classic hits as “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” “Born Too Late,” “Dream Lover,” “Goodnight Sweet Heart,” “Heatwave,” “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me,“ “I Only Want to Be With You,” “Leader of the Pack,” and many more hits from the late 50’s and 60’s.
“The Marvelous Wonderettes” will not tax you. It is an easy ride, with the wind at your back. The animated characters provide an evening of laughter and fun. With an interactive component, the audience is easily reeled in. However, it is the wonderful selection of songs and the magnificent voices that keeps you totally involved. Musical director Michael Borth has done an excellent job of resurrecting these classic songs of yesteryear. Roger Bean’s direction adds to the fast pace of the show.
When the “Marvelous Wonderettes” end the night with the Robin Ward classic, “Thank You and Goodnight,” they capture the feelings of everyone in the audience….thank you for a good night.
Why you should see it? You won't have to work hard to understand the plot. Just sit back and enjoy.
Why you may not want to see it? You don't like your parents' music.