As it was at the overture and shall be at the exit music, bliss without end. Amen.

Theatre Aficionado at Large

A New Old World Revisited

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Late in the second act of The Light in the Piazza, Margaret Johnson tells Signor Naccarelli “There is no survey of the facts like time.” He doesn’t understand what she means, but in the years since the show’s premiere I’ve come to appreciate what she was saying. Piazza opened on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater on Monday, April 18 2005. I was in the house that night and fell hard and fast for a complex, character-driven musical for grownups. I’ve never had quite so visceral a reaction to any other show before or since. The musical garnered favorable notices, and went on to win a whopping six Tony Awards (out of 11…

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‘Beautiful’ on LP

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Since the long-playing record went out of vogue, very few contemporary cast recordings have been released on vinyl, the most notable being the original Broadway cast recording of The Drowsy Chaperone and the 2009 revival of Hair. These came courtesy of Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records, who also issued a limited vinyl edition of Beautiful, the hit bio-musical about Carole King currently playing the Sondheim Theatre. These three releases, while conceived as collector’s souvenirs, were in essence leading a return to form, as more musicals seem to be taking part in the current vinyl renaissance. I’ve never been without a record player in my life, and I listen to LPs whenever I can. My very first cast album…

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An Elegy for Angus McIndoe’s

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Much to my surprise, and the surprise of many in the NY theatre community, it was announced today that Angus’ Cafe Bistro (formerly Angus McIndoe Restaurant) would close Sunday, January 3 after 14-plus years on 44th Street next to the St. James. In all honesty, I can’t remember the first time I went to Angus, but it feels as though it’s always been part of my theatergoing life. I’m guessing it must have been in late 2007, or maybe early 2008; the details are lost to me. But it quickly became a regular hangout where I spent time with good friends, and where I met so many new and fascinating (and sometimes famous)…

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Posted on January 2, 2016 at 7:55 pm.

The Year of Living Cinematically

Same as every other year: all films were watched in their entirety and all films that I’d never seen before have been marked with an asterisk. *The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) 1/16 *Into the Woods (2014) 1/24 The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) 2/2 *Pride (2014) 2/10 *Birdman (2014) 2/22 *The Great Race (1965) 2/27 His Girl Friday (1940) 3/25 1776 (1972) 6/5 Don’t Look Now (1973) 6/19 Breaking Away (1979) 6/24 A Man for All Seasons (1966) 6/24 The Remains of the Day (1993) 6/25 Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) 6/28 *A Hard Day’s Night (1964) 7/4 *Marathon Man (1976) 7/8 *The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934) 7/22 *The Strawberry Blonde (1941)…

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Posted on December 31, 2015 at 11:09 pm.

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My Favorite Performances, 2015

Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century – Very rarely have I seen a marriage of performer and character more perfect than Chenoweth and Lily Garland. Ferociously funny, surprising, and using her multi-octave voice to breathtaking comic effect, she dominated from her entrance as a dowdy rehearsal pianist to her manic, idiosyncratic delivery of “How dare you?” in the last scene, which I found so hilarious, I almost had an asthma attack. A dazzling comic star turn. Judi Dench, The Winter’s Tale – Shakespeare’s bizarre little play was given a beautiful production as part of Kenneth Branagh’s year-long season at the Garrick. As Paulina, King Leontes’ trusted advisor, Dench swept onto the stage and…

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My Year in Show Music

Last New Year’s Eve, while preparing my annual “Year of Living Cinematically” post, I sat typing with my recently-played iTunes playlist on shuffle. At some point during my transcription, I came to the realization that I’ve been less likely to listen to a full album since I started using an mp3 player. Oftentimes, I would pick a playlist and put it on shuffle (as I call it: my own private radio). For 2015, I made the conscious decision to keep a log of the albums (cast recordings, movie musical soundtracks, solo albums, live concert recordings, etc) that I listened to in their entirety. Each recording is linked to its own page on castalbums.org (a…

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Posted on at 3:08 pm.

City Center Encores! Announces 23rd Season

Cabin in the Sky Music: Vernon Duke Lyrics: John LaTouche Book: Lynn Root February 10-14, 2016 1776 Music and Lyrics: Sherman Edwards Book: Peter Stone March 30-April 3, 2016 Do I Hear a Waltz? Music: Richard Rodgers Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim Book: Arthur Laurents May 11-15, 2016

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The 71st Annual Theatre World Award Winners Announced!

The 2015 Theatre World Award Winners for Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway Debut Performance during the 2014-2015 theatrical season have been announced! The ceremony will take place on Monday, June 1 at the Lyric Theatre, once again hosted by the inevitable Peter Filichia. Geneva Carr, Hand to God Daveed Diggs, Hamilton Megan Fairchild, On the Town Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris Collin Kelly-Sordelet, The Last Ship Sydney Lucas, Fun Home Karen Pittman, Disgraced Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Emily Skeggs, Fun Home Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play Ruth Wilson, Constellations The 2015 Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theatre: Leanne…

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Posted on May 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm.

‘Gypsy’ – Savoy Theatre

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While it seems as if there’s a new Broadway revival of Gypsy every five minutes, London has not seen a production of the legendary musical since the original West End production closed in 1974. The musical, which tells the story of Rose Hovick and her two daughters, who would go on to become Gypsy Rose Lee and June Havoc, has been an instant classic since its 1959 Broadway premiere and contains one of the all-time great musical theatre leading roles. When I learned that Imelda Staunton would be headlining the first London revival in over 40 years, I decided to book my flight. This new West End production is an import from the Chichester…

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Photo by Kari Geltemeyer

Walking Among My Yesterdays

2016

2/11 - The King and I

2/12 - Manon Lescaut (Met Opera)

2/14 - Cabin in the Sky (Encores!)

2/16 - Maria Stuarda (Met Opera)

2/19 - She Loves Me (first preview)

2/21 - Translations (Oxford Arts Space)

2/22 - The Secret Garden (MCP Concert)

2/28 - Anna Netrebko in Recital (Met Opera)

2/28 - Kate Baldwin & Friends: Welcome to My Party (Sheen Center)

3/9 - She Loves Me

3/11 - Noises Off

3/21 - Sondheimas (54 Below)

4/3 - 1776 (Encores!)

4/4 - The Light in the Piazza (10th Anniversary Reunion Concert)

Walking Among My Yesterdays

2015

1/1 - Beautiful

1/8 - Honeymoon in Vegas

1/12 - A Good Thing Going: The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration (92nd Street Y)

1/15 - On the Town

1/25 - Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Paper Mill Playhouse, opening night)

1/28 - The Merry Widow (Met Opera)

1/30 - The Elephant Man

2/6 - Lady, Be Good! (Encores!)

2/13 - The Screen (Taksu Theatre Company)

2/19 - You Can't Take It With You

2/27 - The Lion

3/1 - John and Jen

3/3 - Craig Ferguson: Hot & Grumpy Tour

3/8 - The Audience (opening night)

3/12 - The King and I (first preview)

3/17 - Hand to God

3/21 - Sondheimas (54 Below)

3/22 - Paint Your Wagon (Encores!)

3/25 - Cabaret

3/26 - The Visit (first preview)

4/1 - Wolf Hall, Part 1

4/1 - Wolf Hall, Part 2

4/8 - Gigi (opening night)

4/9 - Rhiannon Giddens at Town Hall

4/21 - Gypsy (West End)

4/22 - Wicked (West End)

4/22 - The Audience (West End)

4/23 - The Hard Problem (National Theatre)

4/24 - Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (West End)

4/25 - Buyer & Cellar (Menier Chocolate Factory)

4/25 - Matilda (West End)

4/27 - Sweeney Todd (Tooting Arts Club)

4/28 - Follies (Royal Albert Hall)

4/28 - Gypsy (West End)

5/10 - Zorba (Encores!)

5/26 - The Visit

6/2 - On the Twentieth Century

6/9 - The King and I

6/14 - The Visit

7/2 - Little Shop of Horrors (Encores!)

9/21 - Hollywood Arms (Merkin Hall Reading)

10/4 - Dames at Sea

10/14 - King Charles III

10/16 - The Pirates of Penzance (Collegiate Chorale)

10/27 - Spring Awakening

11/2 - Kate Baldwin: Sing Pretty and Don't Fall Down (Keen Company Benefit)

11/17 - Songbird

11/25 - Gypsy (West End)

11/28 - Gypsy (West End, closing)

11/30 - The Winter's Tale (West End)

12/1 - Kinky Boots (West End)

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