It’s Got to Be Carefully Brought

17 December, 2011 Theater No comments
It’s Got to Be Carefully Brought

Bring It On: The Musical may look like just the latest in a very, very long line of hit movies and cult classics that have been turned into stage musicals in recent years, but looks can be deceiving. This should be where I say that it’s so much more than that, but in fact it’s considerably less. It is, in fact, a total bait-and-switch.

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It’s Good to Be the King

It’s Good to Be the King

THEATER REVIEW: SAN FRANCISCO

Show #99: Richard III, SHN, October 19.

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Sprechen Sie Rock?

Sprechen Sie Rock?

I should be exactly the right age for Rock of Ages. The Broadway jukebox musical is set in Los Angeles in the mid to late ’80s, which was when I was in high school, so I already know pretty much all of the songs. The trouble is, Rock of Ages features pretty much all of the music I hated in high school. Unlike most Broadway popsicals it’s not mining the songbook of any one act but capturing the musical underbelly of an era. Nominated for several Tony Awards in 2009 (but winner of none, which is merely confirmation that it did indeed have a Broadway run), the shows billed as “an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Night Ranger, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and many more.” (Not to mention Foreigner, Starship, Europe, Extreme, Steve Perry, Bon Jovi, Quarterflash, Quiet Riot, Damn Yankees, Survivor and—a rare bright spot—Joan motherfucking Jett.) Now, I don’t much enjoy having my face melted, particularly with Journey, but I was resigned to an evening of sappy ballads and lite metal.

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Next to Unbearable

27 January, 2011 Theater 1 comment
Next to Unbearable

[Someone said I should add a spoiler warning here because I discuss a plot reveal that happens very, very early in the show (and is a bit surprising at the time)  and sets the terms for the whole next two hours.  So OK, sure, SPOILER WARNING: In this review I do discuss the premise of the piece.]

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Ogre the Top

12 December, 2010 Theater No comments
Ogre the Top

THEATER REVIEW: SAN FRANCISCO

Show #122: Shrek the Musical, SHN, December 1.

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Borscht League Creature Feature

Borscht League Creature Feature

THEATER REVIEW: SAN FRANCISCO

Show #72: Young Frankenstein, SHN, June 30.

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It’s a Beautiful Day in the Barrio

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Barrio

Like a lot of theater fans, I got hooked on the late Canadian TV show Slings and Arrows, a thinly veiled parody of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival involving some of the same people who created The Drowsy Chaperone. One problematic consequence is that any new urban musical inevitably reminds me of the ridiculously over-the-top East Hastings: The Musical shown on that series.

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Fiddle Me This

30 January, 2010 Theater 2 comments
Fiddle Me This

Eleventh show of 2010: Fiddler on the Roof, SHN, January 27.

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Old Year, New Blog

Old Year, New Blog

Top Ten Theater Productions of 2009

Although I started 2009 reviewing theater for one paper and ended the year reviewing for another, when I look over the list of the 108 shows I saw over the course of the year to determine my top ten, I realize that none of my favorite shows are ones that I actually reviewed. Those respective papers have space, money and geographical constraints, and it just happened that there was no overlap between the shows in my review docket and those in this year’s top ten.

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