Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cabaret

Portland Center Stage
September 29; closes November 4, 2007

Epic, entertaining, impressive. Sharp, tight look and feel. Just about everything works. Many fine performances, but one crucial link binds it all together: Wade McCollum. Over-sexed choreography highlights that spoken story is for the most part fairly tame stuff. Opening starts so high, there is nowhere to go but down.

66 comments:

shuttergoddess said...

We went to the tech run night. My sweet old Mummy left the theatre and spoke thus: "Eh, Joel Gray has nothing on him." Great show all around; some strong dancing; Storm sang it true; and Wade was... unspeakably wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Frankly I don't know what all the fuss about Wade McCollum is about. I've seen his schtick before, and this is just more of the same -- with a thick German accent. Listen to the Alan Cumming recording and you'll hear a far more engaged, more cunning, more intelligent, and more humorous Emcee.

shalala said...

The 'tomorrow belongs to me' number that ended the first act was so disturbing, I found myself wishing the rest of the play hit that note. I felt like crying at the end of that scene. The second act descended into a schticky maudlin 'oh the cabaret is ending' vibe that was not nearly as disturbing as when the cabaret was running fult tilt. And honestly, ending with a recording of Adolf Hitler? And Wade with a heroin band around his arm? Come on. I think a braver choice would have been him reciting the speech alongside the furor -- or better yet -- play a George W. speech. I don't know. It lacked nuance, which was frustrating, because over all I was more excited and engaged, more disturbed and gleeful, than I've ever felt at a PCS production.

Anonymous said...

Over-hyped crap.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thanks for that insightful analysis.

We get some real peaches around here.

Idiot.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone need to leave an insightful analysis? Is it a requirement? And does does hating the production make that person an idiot? You have to admit the show was heavily hyped because of it casting.

Ben Waterhouse said...

To PCS' credit, the advance advertising didn't mention the casting at all. Not that it had to. We took care of that.

Anonymous said...

Apparantly some people didn't pay attention in English class.

If you can't back up your opinion with a reasoned argument, your opinion is....well....crap.

Anonymous said...

and apparently some people think that casting a singer whose biggest claim to fame is being a contestant on what amounts to a game show as opposed to an actual actor in an unimaginative rehash of "cabaret" makes for good theatre. but even without taking into account the lack of artistic merit in this production, the show sucked. and i could fall back on my english studies and offer a lengthy reasoned argument, but saying that it "sucked" gets to the point much faster.

shalala said...

Hey Grumpy Anonymous,

Did you actually see the show? I have my critiques but Storm's performance isn't one of them. She did a fine job. Your only criticism so far has been that the show, and Storm herself, was too hyped. That is true, but what about the show itself? Hype only gets you in the door, and then we can have a discussion about the show itself. Would you care to do that?

In general, saying only that something "sucked" is not the best way to get discussion going.

Anonymous said...

Yes, well . . . there are many different ways to suck. Some may yet be worth seeing. Most of us here would prefer you wasted a little time on lengthy reasoned argument.

Anonymous said...

I thought the show was good. It kind of exceeded my expectations. I was in "The Rocky Horror Show" with Wade, and although I do agree with other posters that Wade is completely overrated as an actor, I did think he was good in this role. Do I think that a handful of actors in Portland could have done a better job? Of course. Would I be okay to never see another show with Wade it in? Of course, but that doesn't mean I can't give credit where its due. He made the role his own (even though I could see bits of both Hedwig and Frankenfurter in his performance.) I went in with low hopes for Storm, and was very pleasantly surprised not only with her singing, but with her acting. I thought Schnieder and Schultz were adorable, and the ensemble were for the most part good. Was this the best version of Cabaret I have seen? Absolutely not, but it was good for PCS. Overall, I went home happy, and hope PCS luck with this show. Although I will say, I was completely let down and annoyed by the lackluster ending. Could have been much more disturbing.

Anonymous said...

The friends I was there with felt brought up short by the ending, too. But I thought it was chilling. So as not to give anything away here, I'll just say that you expect a certain ending to this show, and that ending has struck me as obvious, in the past. So I was glad the director gave us this new ending. It's sudden and you don't even know the play's over for a minute (I didn't, anyway), but it leaves you thinking oh my God, this is it. All the stuff people said would never happen. And it's already too late for some of the characters.

Ruben said...

Technically, I found this to be an impressive, beautifully executed production. But despite the attempts to ramp up the sexual and political relevancy, the overall effect came across to me as safe and cute instead of dangerous and disturbing. And I agree that the ending kind of left me confused. I enjoyed the evening, even admired the technical aspects, but with the exception of "Mein Herr", wasn't ultimately moved by it.

Madame X said...

I was moved several times. The end of Act 1, where the engagement party turns into something more like a rally, really shook me.

Anonymous said...

Like most of "theatre" in Portland. I left going "ok fine." Very little impresses me anymore is that the productions or my age?

Like always- not bad- not great. Kinda like the marinara sauce at whatever restaurant; good but not too risky- designed to please the most number of people.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute . . . how is that a bad thing?

I mean, I understand what you are saying and all, there is a level on which you don't want to "dumb down" your work (not that I feel Cabaret is, mind you) - but as theatrical artists, isn't the POINT to please our audience?

I mean, what else are we doing this for?

Anonymous said...

to be rilly rilly kewl and in-your-face and out there and avant-garde and everything. . . .

jam.es said...

i think the point is to engage and entertain an audience in the shared experience of a performance, which works best for me with a good measure of risk. when that risk is being taken on stage, i feel like i've been asked to take part in something that requires all of my attention in the moment, which will leave me thinking about it afterwards. for me, that's the beauty of live theatre.

and the in-your-face and avantgarde folks who i know like their audiences to be engaged and entertained just as much as other theatre folks.

Anonymous said...

Will SOMEBODY spoil the ending, please?

Anonymous said...

it's hard to spoil the ending when the ending really isn't clear. . . .

even the papers took a paragraph to explain what they saw.

Anonymous said...

Madison Wray's recorded voice was lovely. Kudos, dear. Give that girl a raise. Looking forward to her work in PCS' A Christmas Carol, and Portland Opera's ALBERT HERRING. Talented child.

Anonymous said...

PCS' "Cabaret" is easily the best theater production I've ever seen in Portland. Clearly it tries to mimic the recent (and flawless) Sam Mendes New York production, and generally it is most successful where it copies that production and least successful where it strays from that (as in the ending, the only part of this production I don't like). Storm Large's singing voice is elegant and polished -- Is it possible she has TOO good a singing voice for the role of Sally Bowles? -- and her two big solos, "Maybe This Time" and "Cabaret," gave me goose bumps. One significant problem: Last night's performance had to be stopped TWICE for repairs to the malfunctioning stage turntable -- the same problem Willamette Week's review said they had on opening night, and obviously it's still not working properly halfway through the run. What is it with the inability of Portland theaters to fix their technical problems? This brought to mind ART's inability to fix its leaky pool during last season's "Metamorphoses," which drained much of the magic from that production, like the broken turntable does here.

Jimmy said...

They're still stopping the show completely? Back in the day when I used to work on musicals like this 8 shows a week, we too had turntable issues ... and elevator issues ... and rigging issues .... but we would never stop the show (unless of course it was a true emergency) ... rather than emergency, we learned the word contingency -- and had plans for compensating when there were technical glitches.

If I were in the audience that night I would have definitely asked to be re-scheduled for another night when everything worked smoothly, or at least the show went on without interruption.

Once may be forgiveable, especially if safety is at stake, but twice? Cut your losses and move on.

Anonymous said...

In response to several of the comments that presume to know the thought process of the entire artistic team of CABARET; It's interesting to read that PCS's production 'tried to mimic" the Mendes revival. Clearly, that's ridiculous. The script was used, but all the design elements were vastly different. I doubt much of the staff putting the show together even saw the revival. And, does the person writing that have memory of the original or the 80's revival? The PCS production may look and feel more like those--if you know them. Also, does anyone seriously think the staff and artists of PCS actually sit down and plot how to "dumb down" a production? If the show didn't "light you up", I seriously doubt it's because the staff gathered and plotted to create a luke warm experience. And, here's how this blog could actually be some fun: How about a contest to create the perfect CABARET ending? By the way, it's been vastly different in many productions. I haven't heard two people wish for the same concept or express a similar opinion about their disappointment in the ending. So, come on--be creative--have the guts to throw out an idea. Clearly, the folks who blog here range from "I hate all PCS productions because they have more toys" to "I walk into every production anywhere with an open mind". Give it a shot---be CRITICAL AND CREATIVE---direct the last 3 minutes of CABARET!

Anonymous said...

Good idea. Let's start with what's actually in the book/score/libretto.

Can anyone tell us what Kander and Ebb suggest the ending to be?

It starts on the page....

Anonymous said...

I know this much about the ending: I've seen lots of Cabaret productions over the years, in lots of different places, and PCS' is the first I've ever seen that used that recorded Hitler speech instead of the (crucially important) "Auf wiedersehen ... a bientot" sung by the Emcee at the very end in every production from the original to the Sam Mendes revival. The heavy-handedness of that is what I don't like.

I don't know how the person above can claim it's "ridiculous" to assume PCS was trying to mimic the Mendes staging, since PCS made a point of stressing how they are the first to get permission to reuse the script from that revival.
And just listen to Alan Cumming's emcee on the cast recording and compare it to what Wade McCollum is doing here. Obviously there are way too many similarities in interpretation to merely be coincidental.

Anonymous said...

The turntable seemed to work flawlessly the night I was there.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Hitler's voice is chilling to hear at the end of this production, but it seemed to come out of left field. A problem I had with this production (being whatever version) - I never felt the third reich growing in intensity "outside" the cabaret. The only conflict I felt was between the older couple and I didn't feel that was enough, and it was very obvious.

Anonymous said...

Unlike some other posters I came to this show with high expectations. Cabaret is one of those musicals that intrinsically set the bar high. After all, it’s got Decadence! Sex! Violence! Jazz! Abortion! Nazis! And a ripping good plot based on a terrifying moment in history. But, like some other posters, I was disappointed by the production’s failure to fully acknowledge, let alone tackle, this historical and moral context. In my opinion the balance was tilted in favor of light entertainment, as if the director, designers, musicians and actors averted their eyes from ideas that would take them, and the audience, to dangerous places. I agree that the Third Reich wasn’t looming in this production, in spite of the last-minute interpolation of the Hitler speech. I think the production lost an opportunity to suggest wider meaning or evoke the fascinating attraction and repulsion of the time and place. Part of the show’s power comes from the audience’s mounting disquiet – like watching a slow-motion train wreck – as we become aware of our own complicity in the crime of being seduced by entertainment while ignoring the genocide that stares us in the face. Without this awareness we miss a whole dimension of the show.

In addition, I found the production flat and lifeless, in spite of the surface gloss. With the notable exception of Schneider and Schultz, none of the characters came to life. Sally’s musical numbers rang true: Storm Large sang beautifully but didn’t make Sally into a person one could care about. Likewise, Wade McCollum generated bursts of electricity with his bad-boy Emcee performance, but no real character emerged – nothing to connect the audience with the world of the cabaret but a detached star turn. Oddly, his performance – along with the Kit Kat girls and boys – doesn’t create much heat. The esteemed Followspot calls the choreography “over-sexed”. I disagree. Bob Fosse packed more raunch into a single contraction than this entire evening’s choreography of stock bumps and grinds. Lots of mimed sex but little eroticism. Instead of desperate vice we got smirking, tepid naughtiness.

The production is relentlessly squeaky-clean, without a whiff of Weimar. It’s like a Disney theme park version, without reference to the Berlin of 30s. The scenery and costumes seem sanitized – not a trace of wear or decay here. Even the brickwork of the set’s proscenium seems sandblasted, cleansed of dirt like the stage’s exposed back wall. Perhaps the proscenium’s tilt was a reference to Albert Speer, but if so, the gesture was so tentative that it had little power. There’s nary an evocative shadow nor hint of menace in the lighting’s bright, almost cheerful colors. The musical score – with its touches of Kurt Weill and Ernst Krenek’s twisted jazz – felt square and emotionless. Hasn’t the production team looked at or listened to the work of the period? Musicians like Weill and visual artists like George Grosz evoked the heady decadence of their era with wicked humor and biting irony. How can one approach Cabaret without at least a nod to the conflicted expressions of the time?

What little flow the production had was interrupted by technical breakdowns. The set’s turntable failed twice, each accompanied by an announcement and house lights. Surely an intrepid crew and nimble actors could have forged ahead. Are we so locked into computerized technology that we’ve forgotten how to improvise our way out of trouble? At any rate, forward motion stopped and any suspended disbelief was lost.

In short, I think a company that produces Cabaret is obliged to go the extra mile: to mine the subtext by confronting, embracing and expressing the dark underside of the era. Otherwise the show’s horrific implications become tame and the characters’ human tragedy has little context. PCS chose to remain on the surface and give us something shiny and safe. Judging from the audience’s standing ovation, this is OK with their fanbase. How ironic that, when some see vague traces of Fascism in our own time, the production shrank from exploring the very darkness it ostensibly deplores. For me it was an evening of rootless, underwhelming mediocrity – a missed opportunity to produce something significant and powerful.

Anonymous said...

"Like always- not bad- not great. Kinda like the marinara sauce at whatever restaurant; good but not too risky- designed to please the most number of people."

is this the same person that made the "chinese food" comment about 'house and garden'?

Why dont you just say what you mean?

Jeff said...

Judging from the audience’s standing ovation, this is OK with their fanbase.

Or you are watching a show in Portland, OR...

Anonymous said...

I so agree with the above comments--although the production entertained the masses, the chance was once again missed by PCS to move a live audience to a once in a lifetime experience. Anyone who has seen Storm Large sing knows that she has a sexy raspy quality to her voice. What happened to that in this production? Yes, she sang beautifully-clean, round tones. But I was so looking forward to the grittiness of her voice--"Cabaret" seemed a great vehicle in theory. Did Mr. Coleman lead her astray? And what was up with her accent? Terrible. Also, much as I loved looking at Wade and his perfection, I found it distracting to the show and false to the time period and character of a heroin addict. If that is what heroin does to one, sign me up! Also, I appreciated the slightly tawdry casting of the Kit Kat girls, but why then were they perfectly choreographed? And much as I think Michele Mariana is cute, her Yiddish accent was disturbing given her character and her dilemma. Again, didn't ring true to the time period, the place, or the characters. Wouldn't it be nice if this theater spent some time on character work and relationships instead of the trappings that can easily be replicated by a late night movie?

Anonymous said...

The accent Michele Mariana is using - and along with the rest of the "German" cast coached in by Stephanie Gaslin founding member of Third Rail and currently appearing in their incredible produciton of Grace, is German and particular to Berlin where her character Frauline Schneider resides.
As a relative of native German speakers I found her work to be spot on.

Anonymous said...

It's amusing that so many comments in recent months have faulted people's dialects and accents. Have all these local experts traveled to the nations they're discussing, or are they just going by their training and what they've seen in the movies? There is a LOT of variation in dialect across England, and in many other European countries, most of which would fit individually within the borders of Oregon -- and a dozen of the smallest ones together.

Paul G. Miller said...

In response to Anon. 10/10/07
"Can anyone tell us what Kander and Ebb suggest the ending to be?"

I love it! A chance to reveal my inner dramaturge!

"Cabaret" has had at least three official scripts, for the '66 (Hal Prince), '87 (again Prince) and '98 (Sam Mendes) productions. The first and last librettos have been published.

*** Spoiler ***

Both the'66 and '98 libretto end with Cliff on a train car leaving Berlin. He starts to sing "Wilkommen" but the Emcee and chorus take over.

Emcee: "So where are your troubles now..." etc.

In '66 Sally, Schnieder and Schulz interrupt the song with snatches of their former dialogue then vanish. This can be heard on the first London (Judi Dench as Sally!) cast recording.

Sally: "It's only politics and what's that got to do with us?"

Emcee: "Auf wiedersehen. Au bientot."

I've read Hal Prince's final image was a giant mirror that tilted leaving the audience staring at themselves. Sam Mendes' final image (which I saw in the Ntl. tour) was the Emcee in a concentration camp uniform lined up with the rest of the cast in front of a firing squad. Gunshots, blackout.

*** End spoiler ***

I will not get the chance to see the PCS production, but I can assure you the libretto leaves room open for multiple directorial interpretations.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great info, Paul!

Anonymous said...

The comment i agree with most is that Wade gave us nothing we haven't seen from him before. He is incredible at pulling off his niche, but it is a teensy, tiny niche and I'm really over it.

The comment I agree with the least is the knock on Storm. I went in knowing nothing about her other than she has been on "that rock star reality show". I was, to say the very least, highly dubious. I was also proven very wrong - she was phenomenal. Not only did she sing the hell out of teh role, which one would expect, but i found her to be the most sympathetic and believable character in the show. I'm still not a big fan of her music, but I'll see any show she's in.

Cliff was so impeccably, smoothly, handsomely BORING. Not boring in an "oh, i can see why Sally would want to settle down with such a sloid guy" kind of way. . . more of a "who IS this character and why do I give a rip?" kind of way.

virgin eyes said...

my goal in seeing this show was:
to pretend i was from out of town.
to view it without any burden or predisposition of who is in it and what the buzz and hype might be.
virgin eyes as it were.

here is what i saw:
a polished show.
a confident show.

disappointments:
the logo is borrowed from the movie.
seems lazy and uninspired and probably illegal.

nit picks:
two of the kit kat men were balding.
if pcs indeed has their pick of the entire actor's union, why does our beefcake have to be balding?

by the numbers:
storm gets felt up no fewer than 6 times --- 5 alone in her very first number.
the men grab their crotches often and not briefly.
it is not only old and tired, it is uninspired.

a tall order:
storm is tall -- taller than her leading man.
this is not a terrible thing -- but again: this is our choice out of the entire USA?

dialects:
for the most part servicable in the lead roles, both german and british.
storm has trouble with the words "not" and "got" and a few more in the first act with that similar sound.
she pornounces them "nawt" and gawt" when in fact the vowel is not longer than american, but shorter -- more towards the front of the mouth.
the also pronounces "talk" as "tok" instead of "tawk"
more about storm later.

wade:
wade is upstaged my his own abs. he is a remarkable voice mimic. he spends a good deal of time glowering at the audience. it is probably more interesting to perform this role than it is to watch it being performed. i came away feeling it is not a very well written role.

nit pick #2:
the prop dept chose to provide (and the director to accept) a contemporary microphone stand from the corner sound store. this error in compounded by the fact that they also left in place a modern bright red sticker (visible from the 6th row where i was seated)
it may seem like a small thing, but anything that takes you out of the scene -- and can so easily be fixed -- kinda of makes it feel as tho they ran out of effort.
this is surprising.

by the numbers part 2:
pcs has 101 staff members.
28 board members
36 cast members
22 special hires for this production
and 7 volunteer coordinators.
this includes 3 props persons.
no one could find a proper mic stand?
really?
(and the mic itself is fake, but at least it's a good fake)

storm:
the bottom line:
the only reason to see this show is to hear storm large sing.
she is worth the ticket.
and the performance of michelle marianna reminds us that not only do superb singer/actors live in portland, but that they are nearly almost better than any imports which are foisted upon us. and she certainly is that.
she is the other reason to see the show.

look alike:
storm looks like stunner barbara bains
(former wife of martin landau)

curtain call:
the audience seemed unsure of how to react, of what they had seen, of what it meant.
the applause ended before the entire cast left the stage.

last:
after a year now, why is the sidewalk on the north side of the bldg still not finished?


the show is headed to new york.
bon voyage.
storm and michelle, you should be on b'way.
the rest of the cast should buy a ticket.

virgin eyes said...

"the performance of michelle marianna reminds us that not only do superb singer/actors live in portland, but that they are nearly almost better than any imports which are foisted upon us. and she certainly is that.
she is the other reason to see the show."

sorry. left out a word.
"they are nearly almost always better than any imports which are foisted upon us."

and they are.
and she is.

Anonymous said...

I know that it was "not a terribly thing", but I'm really sorry to hear that an audience member might think an actor was not the best choice based on being shorter than his female partner.

Ben Waterhouse said...

Or balder, for that matter. There's plenty of beefcake out there with premature male-pattern baldness.

Anonymous said...

yes, but as a director, doing a show about the supposedly superior aryan race, why would you cast 20 and 30 yr old men who were balding?
it is all about aesthetics and in this case it damaged the potential impact of both the visual and politcal aspects of the theme of the show.

Anonymous said...

yes, but as a director, doing a show about the supposedly superior aryan race, why would you cast 20 and 30 yr old men who were balding?
it is all about aesthetics and in this case it damaged the potential impact of both the visual and politcal aspects of the theme of the show.

Anonymous said...

get over it...it's MAKE-BELIEVE!

Anonymous said...

"get over it...it's MAKE-BELIEVE!"

and as such it should be a perfect fantasy. as perfect as possible.

there is nothing to get over.
(an incredibly original statement by the way)

you apparently like your make believe to be flawed, i do not.
let's agree to disagree. shall we?

you would not feel the same i'll wager if sally or the m.c. did not meet your expectations.

take some of your own advice and cliches. get over it.
it's my opinion and as the ticket buyer my opinion is the only one that matters to me.

you would not accept a line of 60 yr old kit kat boys.
i don't accept ones that are prematurely bald.

there is no debate, there is only opinion.

Crystal said...

But people, please don't post your opinion like it's the "right way" and every one else's is the "wrong way." That is why people feel the need to get defensive, and then these postings get snippy and unproductive. You are entitled to have certain expectations, but have respect for other's opinion and at least try to put that respect into words when leaving a critique.

I feel that as a director, you have the right to interpret a script in many ways, not just "the intended". That is
the art of it. I like the idea that the members of the Kit Kat club are not the perfect aryan type. It is a place where the "misfits" can go and not feel
so imperfect - especially with what is going on
politically out side of those walls. The balding ones, the gay ones, the black ones, the red heads, the hookers, etc...

Anonymous said...

As someone once pointed out, Aryans should be tall, slim, and blonde . . . as tall as Goebbels, as slim as Goering, and as blonde as Hitler.

Crystal said...

And that's why this show is so scarey. The people in this club don't fit that standard and not only is their way of life threatened, but their lives.

Anonymous said...

black ones, the red heads, the hookers, etc...

well if you want to go there,
there were no blacks in hitler's germany. they were the first to go.

Anonymous said...

i agree tolerance in these pages is important -- but i think folks feel so insulated behind the anonymity and the comfort of home, that they lash out without really mullling it over.
no one is going to punch them out.
i think it is just as important to avoid the attitude that one is "right" as it is to respond with the notion that the writer is "wrong"
no one is wrong. it is just a reaction they had to the show.

been around the block eyes said...

it would have been so simple to solve the issue of the hair challenged kit kat boys.
shave their heads as a spooky pre-verberation of the neo nazi movement or better yet, give em blonde wigs.
for those bloggers who insist that this is nit picking, i say:
if there was an inconsistency with props or costumes or the set, you would respond the same.
clearly this writer, the one with issues about the young men who did not meet his esthetic standards, found it distracting.
to defend it by saying that it is all make believe is to miss the point entirely.
theatre is like a painting.
all the elements should conspire to ellicit an emotional response.
and clearly for that writer, a few things got in the way that he/she felt could have been remedied rather easily.
when the response to this kind of critique is defensive, it usually means that the person responding wishes they had thought of it first.
being defensive does not solve the problem and it does not win the argument.
why not instead provide a solid argument based on facts, rather than an emotional ejaculation based on the idea that smarty pants are somehow to be shunned.
i don't know about you, but when i am stranded on an island, i gravitate towards the smarty pants.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the complainer above objects repeatedly and strenuously to the balding (read: not good-looking enough) Kit Kat boys, but makes no comment at all about the Kit Kat girls, at least one of whom was WAY heavier than you'd expect any woman in such a position to be. Why is that, do you suppose?

Along those lines, one thing I find odd about this production in hindsight is that Sally Bowles here is a blonde. I don't know why that bothers me, but it does. I've seen lots of Cabaret productions in lots of places, and I don't think I've ever seen a blonde Sally before.

Anonymous said...

"no comment at all about the Kit Kat girls, at least one of whom was WAY heavier than you'd expect any woman in such a position to be"

it probably didn't occur to me because they don't take their shirts off.

the men were paraded constantly in nearly nothing and the homosexual overtones were thick.
the only flaw in all those ripples was the hairdos.

and i liked the blond sally. when classic musicals are done with a perfunctory nod to the hair colors of the "original" cast --- it smacks of laziness.

to me at least.

i loved the blonde hair.

but hair is nothing without pipes to support it and storm has those in spades.

interesting to note that many people at the time of the movie's release pointed out that liza was way too talented for the role --- sally is supposed to be a failure as an entertainer.

no one has mentioned that beat herein.

Anonymous said...

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwn.

Anonymous said...

dear yawn.
if i could reach thru the computer and punch some manners into you, i would.
you're not funny, you're not clever, you are just taking up space.

Anonymous said...

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I think I shouldn't have written "get over it." I really had no business, given I haven't even seen the show. Can you believe that? Pretty audacious on my part. I shouldn't have told you to "get over" your opinion, this is true. My apologies. You laid it on a bit thick trying to tell me what I would have thought, but I get what you are driving at.

I guess, and again I shouldn't have discredited your opinion...I guess I just am just tired. I am tired of hearing complaints about things like, well, hair. Or weight. Or height.

But, I understand not liking an aspect of a show and saying something about it.

And you are right. It is about the fantasy. We are in the business of "fantasy." Baldness matters. Being fat matters. Being ugly matters. Being old and useless matters. Not having the "right look" matters. Being "just the right height" matters.

I shouldn't have even said get over it, when I don't even know the context of the show. It may have been important. My bad.

I guess that note was more for me than you. My lapse in judgment out of frustration. And if I don't like what you have to say, if I don't appreciate your opinion, you certainly don't have to get over it...I can always make a choice not to read it.

Thanks anon.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one more thing that i agree we should agree on...

...let's disagree.

Anonymous said...

This is a great show. There are things that I would do differently, but that doesn't make this one bad, or wrong, or lazy. If one audience member is "nit-picky" then that's who they are, and it is unfortunate that the joys of the theater experience are so easily thrown off for them. I hope as they age, they are able to be more forgiving and accepting of the imperfection and "charm" of live theater - that they are able to comment more on the "what did work" instead of all the little, trivial
things that took them out of it. I'm glad that there are many more audience members who are not like this one. I almost feel sorry for that kind of
person who is so easily taken away from the emotional current of a show by little things. Virgin Eyes, thanks for your nit picking(i guess), but how did the show make you FEEL?

Comment on "emotional ejaculation" - not everyone views theatre just looking at it for all the things right and wrong. Some people are more emotionally affected and that is what matters to them. All the other "facts" just don't make an impression. There are small theatres that can't even compare in production value, talent, etc, but
pack a huge emotional punch. That for me means
all the world. I will forgive and over look anything if the show has touched my heart. Ahh, the wonder of all the different types of people in this world.

ps Michele, you rock and should be on B'way.

Anonymous said...

thanks anon for that post...agreed.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:33...you sound like you get stranded on deserted islands often. Maybe hangin with smarty pants isn't really workin out for you.

Anonymous said...

i think the answer is:

when we attend theatre that has no frills, and relies on just the acting to carry the evening, we are more than willing to be moved by it.
and when we see 42nd St, that is all about the spectacle, no one really expects us to buy in to the story on an emotional level.
but when you try to do both, as in this case, the audience, i think, suffers the artistic lapses less willingly.
especially when they charge such a high ticket price.
that alone places a lot of expecatation in the audience.


i think the writer expressed exacty how they felt about it ---
both the good and the bad. i.e.
storm and michelle were great and the other stuff got in the way of a great all around entertainment.

this show was steeped in pretentiousness.
those who rose above that are the ones who reached across the footlights and touched us.

grateful said...

to anon 1:36: now that was a well worded, intelligent post. makes complete sense. thank you.

calm in the storm said...

don't really see the need for the nuclear response re the poster's obeservation about the folicularly challenged chorus boys.
in my reading of the original post, it is one of 13 parts. so that's -- what -- 7%?
it is in fact labeled clearly as a "nit pick" meaning, of trifling importance.
i guess it was a hot spot for some posters cuz there isn't much a guy can do about thinning hair --- but i think too that the poster was not slamming the actors, he was saying the director did not serve the piece.
the two in question were likely cast out of new york. maybe they showed up here and it was, hmmm, your head shot is a bit out of date......
too late?
'cept of course for the wig idea.
which has a lot of merit actually.
these guys were triple cast in small roles -- would have made a lot of sense to disguise them better for those roles.
i counted 7 wigged characters in the show -- about half the cast.
why not a couple more?
as for the defense that there was an overweight hooker --- ya, some men like rounder women -- this seemed like a deliberate choice.
lack of hair on the stud muffins seemed like settling or lack of attention to detail.
in fact, when you audition for a b'way show, the first thing they do is line you up and type you -- in or out -- long before they ever hear you sing, dance or read a line of dialogue.
ht, wt and age are considered before anything else.
but, given that it is theatre, hair can be fixed easily -- you just have to choose to do it.
hell look at all the movie stars who wear wigs -- male and female.
but back to the original post -- it was 7% of the person's reaction to the show.
let's just let "bald-gate" rest, shall we............
(though i s'pose this isn't helping ---- sorry)

Anonymous said...

Finally saw it last night. Agree that Storm and Michelle were fabulous -- I felt that Large did fine acting and never tried to overblow the songs. I think if you didn't know she was primarily a rock singer these days, you'd never have guessed it. As for "balding" guy(s) and the "fat" Kit Kat girl, I had no problem with them whatsoever. They SHOULDN'T all have reflected the Aryan ideal, because these are precisely the wild, untamed, marginal elements that the Nazis would have despised and ultimately eliminated. The players in the club may have Sieg Heiled and saluted (and as often parodied the Nazis), but they were essentially apolitical and would be swept up and killed as soon as Mr. Shultz.