THIS WEEK @ JK's TheatreScene

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Well, my "little vacation" ended up lasting two and a half years... funny how life steers your life in directions you weren't planning on. I'll start off with occasional posts, but I fully plan to resume this blog to full speed by the new year.

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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Celebrating a Decade of "Q"

DON'T FORGET TO VOTE IN THIS WEEK'S HOT OR NOT POLL, 
FEATURING SOUL DOCTOR
CLICK THE SHOW LOGO TO YOUR RIGHT 
AND SCROLL DOWN AFTER THE CAST PICTURES! 
CAST YOUR VOTE BY SUNDAY, AUGUST 4 AT NOON!



These days the chat rooms and message boards are filled with folks discussing the inevitable bad fate of two new musicals, First Date and Soul Doctor.  Is their fate a sure thing already?  Just over 10 years ago, the Broadway scene was abuzz over the sure-flop show opening at the Vineyard Theatre.  Even the small, out of the way venue, peole were saying, wouldn't be small enough to hold all 20 or so people that might be interested in a puppet show musical.  Adult Sesame Street?  Yeah, right.  Who's want to see that?  Then, guess what?  The show was a hit!  And then came the inevitable gossip: would the show transfer to Broadway?  No way, those same negative Nellies said.  If ever there was a show that belonged off-Broadway, it was this one!

Well, here we are, 10 years ago to the day that that sure-to-fail "puppet show' opened on Broadway.  And while it continues unabated off-Broadway (believe it or not), no one can deny that Avenue Q defied all expectations.  Broadway, off-Broadway, London, Australia, National Tours, and countless regional and local productions later, AQ is a huge, money-making, popular and smart HIT!

Believe it or not, there is a really decent Wikipedia treatment of the show HERE.

Rather than talk much more about it, here are a bunch of my favorite images from the show in all of its forms. Rod, Princeton, Kate, Trekkie and of the people (and puppets) that live on Q: here's to 10 more years!

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
The Original Logo

ON BROADWAY AND AROUND THE COUNTRY














Some Broadway Princetons: John Tartaglia, Barrett Foa and Howie Michael Smith


Avenue Q supports marriage equality!







Broadway/National Tour Princeton/Rod: Tony-nominee Rob McClure



LONDON










OFF-BROADWAY




Jeff
4.296

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When Casting Makes a Show a "Must See"

DON'T FORGET TO VOTE IN THIS WEEK'S HOT OR NOT POLL, 
FEATURING SOUL DOCTOR
CLICK THE SHOW LOGO TO YOUR RIGHT 
AND SCROLL DOWN AFTER THE CAST PICTURES! 
CAST YOUR VOTE BY SUNDAY, AUGUST 4 AT NOON!

You can tell that the new season is really starting to gear up now that we are getting constant casting updates.  These announcements are meant, of course, to create buzz over a show.  For me, some of the casting news has me indifferent, others have me intrigued, and still others have me excited.  Where do you stand on these?


SHOW: After Midnight
CASTING: Fantasia Barino and Dule Hill
MY TAKE: Indifferent and excited
If you read this blog frequently enough, you know I have a very tenuous, "wait and see" attitude about those pesky American Idols taking over the Broadway stage.  I bet having Fantasia on the marquee, at least for the first months of the show's run will generate some interest.  I didn't see her in The Color Purple, and I hear she was pretty amazing (when she showed up), so for her I'll say I'm "indifferent" rather than outright "don't care."  The casting news of this show that has me excited is that Dule Hill is going to be in it.  Why should I be excited that a TV star is back on the boards?  I had the good fortune of seeing him as a young child in the National Tour of The Tap Dance Kid in the mid-80's.  Some 30 years later, I remember his amazing performance.  But at the end of the day, I'm a mostly on the "ho hum" end of excitement on the show as a whole.




SHOW: A Time to Kill
CASTING: Sebastian Arcelus, Patrick Page and Tonya Pinkins
MY TAKE: Excited
I've been excited about this play ever since it was announced as a possibility.  It is based on my favorite John Grisham novel, and the play version is written by one of my favorite writers for the stage, Drood's Rupert Holmes.  So, I guess it was on my "must see" list from the get go.  But when they announced three of my favorite actors would be headlining it, now I'm VERY excited to see this one.  (I can only imagine how fierce Pinkins will be!)



SHOW: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
CASTING: Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham
MY TAKE: Very Interested
As a huge fan of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, my interest was piqued at the very premise of this little show.  Add Jefferson Mays, an amazing actor, playing not one, but EIGHT roles, and I became more interested.  Then there was little being said.  Was the show even happening, I wondered.  Then came the news that Bryce Pinkham would be going toe-to-toe with Mays, and now I'm back to looking forward to the show.  I've been taken with Pinkham since his scene-stealing antics in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and admired his ability to be noticed in Ghost despite the visual mayhem going on around him.  This quiet little show has potential - you always have to keep an eye on the quiet ones!



SHOW: If/Then
CASTING: Idina Menzel and LaChanze
MY TAKE: Super Excited
Where do I start?  I've been looking forward to this show more than any other this season, ever since it was announced!  The whole next to normal team together again!  An interesting, potential-filled plot!  The return of a Broadway diva, Idina Menzel, in the lead!  And now, one of my favorite Broadway ladies of all time - she had me at Once On This Island - LaChanze is back, too!!??  My heart may not be able to take it!

And while we are talking casting...how about Nick Jonas to take over from the departing Reeve Carney in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark?  Can you imagine this in that tight suit!? Sign him up!!!



Jeff
4.295
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