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Summertime...Took a little vacation! Three reviews coming soon! Amazing Grace, Hand to God and Mamma Mia!

I hope you'll come back for frequent visits, to see new reviews, to share opinions, to take a survey (or two), and to celebrate the shows and show people that have made the TheatreScene!

Jeff

Monday, February 21, 2011

ON THE RADAR: Little Miss Sunshine

One of my favorite films of all time, Little Miss Sunshine, did not scream "MAKE ME A MUSICAL!" to me when I saw it.  Especially considering the central symbol/metaphor/plot device: the yellow Volkswagen bus and the road trip the family takes.  But hey, if Priscilla can get on the stage why not the little wagon that could?  And like Priscilla, Sunshine is essentially a small film about simple ideas; in this case family bonding, finding that spark again, overcoming failure, being who/what you are without regard to the accepted norms.  It is also about quirky, regular people who, by circumstance end up doing big things.  And if THAT isn't ripe material for a musical, I don't know what is.

Add to it a divinely perfect pairing of a creative team - William Finn (music and lyrics) who is the reigning king of quirky, character-driven, hummable show tunes (learning the words to his sings is a big game to me) and James Lapine (book and direction) who knows a thing or ten about finding the humanity in people, quirks and jerks and all.


Currently in the midst of a world-premiere engagement at the La Jolla Playhouse, Little Miss Sunshine: The Musical also boasts a top notch cast, which can only help its chances of moving on to bigger and better things.  When your world premiere cast boasts the talents of Tony-winner Dick Latessa and Tony nominees Hunter Foster, Jennifer Laura Thompson and Malcolm Gets, you are sending a clear message that you think this piece has legs.  I hope it does.  Broadway could use a dose of small but spectacular, of every day people triumphing.  The world could use a run down the road just to get the car started, you know?

Below are a costume sketch (by designer Jennifer Caprio), and a photo of the promotional yellow bus (but of course!), all from Playbill.com, and a brief film clip of the show in rehearsal, plus interviews with the cast and the creative team, from the La Jolla Playhouse website. (Apparently, the video clip is not available anymore beyond the host site.)

This is one show I really hope to see in the future.





Comments?  Leave one here, email me at jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com or Tweet me!
Jeff
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HERE'S THE NEXT QUESTION IN THE WIN TICKETS TO BROADWAY'S HOW TO SUCCEED CONTEST!  IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN IN THE FUN!  CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED!

TRIVIA QUESTION #4:
Who is the only director to have helmed the original Broadway productions of TWO Pulitzer Prize-winning musicals?

A. Michael Greif
B. Michael Mayer
C. Michael Kidd
D. James Lapine
E. Joshua Logan

Look for question #5 at the bottom of tomorrow's blog! And remember: you need BOTH the letter AND the answer for your entry!

(Rose Hemingway as Rosemary in How to Succeed...)

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