This past October was a big month of theatre for The Broadway Critic. I saw six shows in New York City – some great, some awful. Here’s the list with their accompanying reviews:
- 10/07/10 – The Scottsboro Boys @ Lyceum Theatre – 2 out of 5 stars
- 10/07/10 – Without You @ NYMF (featuring Anthony Rapp) – 5 out of 5 stars
- 10/08/10 – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – 1.5 out of 5 stars
- 10/09/10 – Next to Normal – 5 out of 5 stars (review to be written)
- 10/10/10 – Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson @ Bernard Jacobs Theatre – 1.5 out of 5 stars
- 10/10/10 – American Idiot @ St. James Theatre – 4.5 out of 5 stars
The Bay Area had some great runs as well. Most notable was the opening of Superior Donuts at Theatreworks, the West Coast premiere of The Secret Order at San Jose Rep and RAIN: A Beatles Tribute at Broadway San Jose.
November is full of fantastic theatre openings (or continuing on from October). The Broadway Critic is planning on checking out over ten shows this month.
Here is my schedule and what I recommend seeing:
Becoming Britney at Center Rep: How does a Pop sensation wind up bald and trapped in her own musical? Becoming Britney is a caustic (but loving) PG-13 fable that chronicles the rise…the dip…and the salvation of a foolhardy celebrity phenom. The hit of the New York Fringe Festival – “It’s a production that oozes sass!” – raved NYTheatre.com – the Bay Area’s own sensation, Molly Bell, brings Britney home for it’s West Coast premiere. It’s a new Musical, y’all!
Technically this opened on October 30th but I don’t want you to forget about this production once November starts because it runs till the 14th.
Read Adam Berry’s (Man 1) full interview here.
It runs October 28 – November 14, 2010.
Sunset Boulevard at Palo Alto Players: Norma Desmond is ready for her close-up on our stage in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most melodic score. Sunset Boulevard weaves a mesmerizing tale of faded glory and unfulfilled ambition when this legendary silent film star has a fateful meeting with struggling Hollywood screenwriter, Joe Gillis. The consequences are passionate, volatile and breathtakingly spectacular.
Sunset Blvd is a show that’s rarely produced in the Bay Area. I’ve never seen this Andrew Lloyd Webber musical though I’m familiar with a lot of the music.
There’s only 11 performances, so make sure you secure a date to see this. It starts previews on November 5th, 2010 and runs till November 21st, 2010.
4 Play at San Jose Rep – Welcome to the zany world of The Flying Karamazov Brothers, where the daring and goofy take center stage. This ground-breaking blend of nouveau cirque, comedy, theatre, music, and, of course, juggling is nothing short of genius.
This exuberant and hilarious off-Broadway rave is full of fast-paced virtuosity and fun as the four brothers deliver a stupendously entertaining evening like you’ve never experienced.
Opens November 1oth and runs one week till November 14th. (Only 7 performances)
Every culture has had a Cinderella story; a story of the ultimate romantic love. The timeless fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance. Originally presented on television in 1957, the show was revised in 1997, starring Whitney Houston, Whoopie Goldberg & Bernadette Peters. That new version has been adapted for the stage.
Company at Jewel Theatre Company – Company is winner of the 1971 and 2007 Tony Award, and was dubbed “The best musical of the year!” by New York Magazine. Set in modern Manhattan, it’s a funny, sophisticated exploration of love and commitment as seen through the eyes of a charming perpetual bachelor questioning his single state and his enthusiastically married, slightly envious friends.
The cast is filled with wonderful Bay Area actors and several that are dear friends. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Diana Torres Koss, Lee Ann Payne, Mike Rhone, Sarah Griner and Matt Bariletti in this.
Company opens November 11th and closes the 21st.
The Story of My Life at Contra Costa Civic Theatre – Nominated for four 2009 Drama Desk Awards including Outstand- ing Musical, The Story of My Life tells the story of two childhood friends and how their friendship profoundly defined their lives. One, a best selling author; the other, his best friend for thirty years.
The Story of My Life is a soaring tribute to the power of friendship and the people who change our lives forever. CCCT is proud to bring you the Northern California premiere of this heart warming, intimate musical fresh from its Broadway premiere in 2009. It stars William Giammona (whom we saw in Hillbarn Theatre’s production of Chicago as Billy Flynn) and Paul Araquistain.
I’m very excited to see a Northern California premiere at a theatre I’ve never been to in the Bay Area.
Broadway By the Year at Broadway by the Bay: Featuring Broadway performers Marc Kudisch (3 time Tony nominee 9 to 5, Thoroughly Modern Mille, Chitty Chitty Bang), Mary Testa (2 time Tony nominee 42nd Street, On The Town), Kerry O’Malley (Broadway: White Christmas, Into the Woods, Annie Get Your Gun), Noah Racey (Broadway: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Curtains, Never Gonna Dance), Directed by Scott Coulter, Music Director Ross Patterson.
A musical and historical snapshot of the Great White Way highlighting the years of 1930 (Girl Crazy, Strike Up the Band, The New Yorkers) and 1964 (Funny Girl, Hello, Dolly!, Fiddler on the Roof). Variety hailed Broadway By the Year as “a bountiful evening of what Broadway does best!” You won’t want to miss this West Coast Premiere featuring your favorite songs from your favorite shows!
Only six performances – The Broadway Critic might be giving away tickets, so make sure you check back!
Coraline at SF Playhouse: Poor bored Coraline. She’s left to rattle ’round her perpetually distracted, workaholic parents’ house all by her lonesome. But late one night, her dreams of a better reality come true as she opens a big, carved, wooden door at the far end of the drawing room and passes into a perfect replica of her own world.
This is the West Coast premiere of Coraline.
The Color Purple at Broadway San Jose: Out of all the shows that Broadway San Jose is bringing to the Bay Area, The Color Purple is the one that I’m most excited about. I never got a chance to see it on Broadway and I’ve heard lovely things about it.
The Color Purple is a soul-stirring musical based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and the moving film by Steven Spielberg. It is the unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who finds her unique voice in the world. Nominated for eleven Tony Awards.
As always, Broadway San Jose’s shows only run for one week. Remember to get your tickets. As with Rain: A Beatles Tribute, The Broadway Critic will be giving away tickets to The Color Purple.
Every Christmas Story Ever Told at San Jose Stage Company: Join San Jose Stage Company for a fast-moving, irreverent comedy that takes holiday cheer to the extreme! Every Christmas Story Ever Told is a fond and furious look at the holiday classics and traditions we all remember. From Frosty to Rudolph and the Grinch to It’s A Wonderful Life, no pop culture holiday icon is spared in this whirlwind of holiday merriment.
This is back because of popular demand!
It starts previews on November 21st, opens on November 27th and runs till December 19th, 2010.
Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party at City Lights Theatre Company: What’s your vote? Abraham Lincoln was gay? Really?? Now that changes everything! Or does it?
This irreverent feast is perfect for anyone who thinks that we all take even the most serious issues a little too seriously. Taking its cue from Inherit the Wind – with the audience dictating how the story is told – this hilarious farce centers on a rural third-grade teacher who “outs” our greatest president at the annual Christmas pageant and is put on trial. By addressing our nation’s differences the play ultimately strives to bring red and blue together under a common banner of freedom & diversity.
It opens November 24th and runs till December 19th, 2010. South Bay Premiere.
On My Radar:
- A Tuna Christmas at Bus Barn Stage Company: It’s Christmas Eve in tiny Tuna Texas, and a gallery of 22 zany citizens lives’ intersect as they attempt to celebrate with their tradition Yuletide activities. Website
- White Christmas at West Valley Light Opera: The dazzling score features well-known standards including “Blue Skies”, “Sisters”, “I Love A Piano” and the perennial favorite, “White Christmas”. An uplifting musical, enjoyable for the entire family, it arrives in time to guarantee that Saratoga will have an unusual “White Christmas” this year. Website
- Godspell at Sunnyvale Community Players: SCP’s production, which will include “Day by Day” and other songs by Stephen Schwartz, takes a contemporary look at the issues and questions raised by the teachings of Jesus. Whether you are a believer or not, this show will get you thinking, even as you are clapping and humming along. Website
- Driving Miss Daisy at Tabard Theatre Company – The Tabard Theatre Company continues its 10th Anniversary Season with the South Bay premiere of Alfred Uhry’s inspiring Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Eleven performances will be presented November 12 through 27, 2010. Website