Saturday, February 17, 2018

Hair

I finally got to see Hair!  I had missed it at Playhouse Square in 2012, but the Beck Center has a collaboration going on with the Baldwin Wallace school.   I really enjoyed it.   The students are amazing and the choreography and singing are strong.    It was nice have some context put to the music.  I wrongly assumed that it was from the 70s, but it's from the late 60s.   It was a neat use of modern protest signs and clips with the show.  The video editing game is strong with this show.  Go see it!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Marie and Rosetta

On Sunday we had the pleasure of seeing Marie and Rosetta, the true story of Rose Etta Tharp meeting Marie Knight, and bringing forth the music that would eventually become rock 'n roll.   This play has wonderful music, but I wouldn't call it a musical.   It's more of history featuring music.    It shows the painful realities of what it was like to be a black person traveling back before the Civil Rights movement.   Even though Sister Rosetta was famous, she couldn't stay in proper hotels because of discrimination (relying on the Green Book for safer travels).   In fact, the whole show (90 minutes without intermission) takes place in a funeral parlor. 

Cleveland Playhouse is only the second theater to present this show.  I highly recommend it.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Love Never Dies

Yesterday, we saw the sequel to the Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies.  I didn't have high expectations for another Andrew Lloyd Weber musical, but I was pleasantly surprised. 

The show takes place 10 years after the events in the Paris Opera House.   The Phantom has fled to Coney Island and sponsors the side shows there.  Christine and Raoul have a strained marriage, raising her son in considerable debt.   They come to New York to have Christine perform and earn some money (setup by Oscar Hammerstein), but the Phantom outbids Hammerstein and becomes the sponsoring patron.   Love triangles and plot twists.  It's interesting.  I do like the musical revisiting of themes from the original show.

I also must caution my readers that this is another example of a poor relationship.   Stalking and threats are never acceptable in a healthy relationship.   

The hope is that this touring show will lead to a run on Broadway.  I liked it more than I thought I would.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Get On Your Feet

Last Saturday we went to see Get On Your Feet, the story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan.  That was really good and much more emotional than I was expecting.   I cried during act two.  It was amazing to see Cuban music come to our country in this inspiring American Immigrant story. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Baker Street Irregulars

We saw the Baker Street Irregulars last week at Dobama Theater.  I really enjoyed this and it contains more than a bit of the holiday season.  The kids in it are excellent.  You can listen to an interview with the author, Eric Coble, here at WCPN.  You have until December 30 to see it.  I recommend you do.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Marjorie Prime

Steve and I saw Marjorie Prime last week at Dobama Theatre.  It starred Cleveland's amazing Dorothy Silver.   In this world, you can have a simulation of a deceased loved one called a prime.   And there was a lot about grieving.   I really loved this play.  There is a movie version from this year's Sundance Film Festival.   You can actually view it now from various online streaming services.   This show looks realistically at the role of artifical intelligence in our lives.    

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Diary of Anne Frank

I saw the Diary of Anne Frank this past Sunday at the Cleveland Play House. It was wonderful.   Tragic, because we know what's going to happen, but wonderful.   It really made Anne Frank into a human person, rather than the ideal I had imagined for all these years.

The set is in the middle of the Occault theater and it's a reproduction of the Secret Annex, minus the walls.   You really get a sense of how crowded the space was for those 2 years.   Also, parts of the diary that were omitted from the book (namely Anne's thoughts of her budding sexuality) have been restored! 

There is an intermission, but like the people in the novel, the actors are unable to leave the stage.   They go about with life stuff, and you really feel sorry for them.   I really recommend seeing this show.  Please bring tissues.