Saturday, March 01, 2008

Tonya and Nancy: The Rock Opera

Triangle Productions

February 21 - March 8, 2008

Review by Mint Tumbles

Rockin' music. Lousy sound mixing made unintelligible vocals, piercing shrieks. Absolutely committed actors sell the camp tone and Portland references. Highlight is Dale Johannes as Gillooly and his solo about waking up in Estacada. Plot drags through the same few points, uninspired staging, no set, amateur powerpoint, excellent skating costumes.


Anonymous said...

I saw this last night! It was wonderful! Awesome rock score, and awesome vocals. Beth Willis and Lilla D'mone were both great! The best thing about this show was the chorus of reporters! Where did Don find so many incredible singers?

Anonymous said...

kidding, right? it was a total mess. beth willis exhibited some talent with raw material, and the ensemble can sing, but it's just a nightmare of unformed ideas. (and the lilla d'mone sounded underpowered, even when her mic was working)

Anonymous said...

Agreed with anon 2/25. Total trainwreck. What is Don Horn even doing any more?

To be constructive, I'll add these comments:

1) The ensemble was really good. Great singing. Too bad I couldn't make out a single word of what they were singing.

2) Skating is impossible to stage, couldn't the director have found a more creative way with it?

3) What was up with the terrible looking projections? Like it was a Power Point presentation or something.

4) The sound was a wreck. A wreck. Somebody help them out quick, maybe that will make the show more satisfying.

5) The guys who played the bad dudes (Tonya's boyfriend and the two dudes who did the whack) were really really good. Give them more to do.

That's all. But what a disappointment for as much hyped as it was.

An'y #4 said...

Someone involved in the production please tell me if my suspicion is correct: does the show have to be struck and re-installed every night (excluding lighting)? And, if so, is it because it's a multi-use space that is open during the day?

It all looks portable: the "set design" by Don Horn is a black platform and a step unit; the sound is piped through 2 portable speakers on stands. The sound mix position looks portable too...

As for the show itself, I agree with An'y #3: the projection was terrible and, if it was PowerPoint, looked like it was being run on a PC that couldn't handle PowerPoint.

As for staging the skating, I disagree with An'y #3: I though it was staged well (afterall, it's essentially dance on blades anyway), but in the larger picture, why stage it? THAT is a perfect opportunity to actually utilize the projection.

Ben Waterhouse said...

Even better, why not be really bold and stage the thing on ice?

Anonymous said...

Um...probably because it would be cost-prohibitive. To have ice, you'd have to have, you know, a whole bunch of water. Then freeze it. Then keep it frozen. Takes electricity and infrastructure. And then you have to light a bunch of water, which tends to make your TD crazy because there's always the chance of mixing water with electricity and, well, electrocution. Else you stage it in a skating rink, which means where does the tech go and how can you afford the rental prices? Finally, there's liability insurance, which is generally bad enough, but when your characters can fall and shatter their spines, prices tend to go up. And you have to find actors who can skate. And sing. And sing while skating without shattering their spines.

Why not stage it on ice? Why not stage it on the moon?

Anonymous said...

I am in the show and yes, everything needs to be struck every night (including the dressing room) and then re-set, which make it almost impossible to have a real set. The space is expensive and not "theater" friendly, but a cool space. Even the dressing room has to be rented every night. Portland needs more flexible spaces for non resident theater companies.

The sound for the show has been an issue. we have a rockin band and the music should be loud but it makes it challenging to be able to hear the singers. What happened to the sound when Portland Rep used to be in that space??

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first person here... I think the show was awesome!!! The music blew my mind. However, I agree with everyone here that something needs to be done about the sound... you couldn't hear the chorus. That said, I got more than the gist of everything going on, and it was an awesome experience!!! There are small things I would change, but for a first run, I see this show going places!!! Oh, for those who didn't like it... I went the second weekend, and I had a friend go opening night who didn't like it as much. Maybe they eased in a bit.