The lights have dimmed on Broadway By The Bay’s Washington Heights. In The Heights marked the second show of the Peninsula-based theatre company’s 2014 season. I had the pleasure of catching Usnavi and the gang just before they closed two Sundays ago. As an audience member who saw this title twice during its national tour run, I was entering the Fox Theater with interest and anticipation as to how Broadway By The Bay would approach and stage such an intimately intense show on both sides of the emotional spectrum. They presented this show with talent, honesty, and a simplistic way of just telling the story. This production was, indeed, a fantastic showing.
So I thought I had posted my Musical Monday last week only to find that it was still saved! Therefore, this week’s Musical Monday is now a couple days instead of a few days early for the big American holiday we just celebrated. Happy Musical Monday!
It won the Tony Award for Best Musical. After seeing this Broadway trip concluding show, there is no doubt in my mind why it won the coveted title. It’s smart. It’s witty. It’s engaging. It will probably run for quite some time; but boy am I happy I saw A Gentlema’s Guide… for my final Broadway show this past trip!
This week’s Musical Monday: Play edition honors this year’s Tony Award winning New Play. It was on my list of shows to possibly see just in case another show did not work out. Unfortunately, I was not able to see this production. There just aren’t enough days in a week long trip I guess. This being the closest I will get to seeing this play, I shall not drawl on. Happy Musical Monday: Play edition!
The Friday evening entertainment on Broadway brought me to the Stephen Sondheim Theater to take in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. I had previously seen this production in San Francisco this past fall in its pre-Broadway tryout, and found it utterly enjoyable and beautiful (as the title suggests one might feel). The story, the subject matter, and, most of all, the music all come together for a brilliantly told story about, not just Carole King, but about the times surrounding her rise to (hall of) fame. Since there were only some significant changes from the previous review I wrote regarding the San Francisco tryout, below is the link to my review from then.
In an effort to not just honor the Tony-nominated/winning musicals from this season, I have chosen to honor the two winning plays for this week and next week’s Musical Monday highlight. This week’s won for Best Revival; so enjoy!
The city of Agraba has invaded the New Amsterdam Theater as Disney’s newest screen-to-stage adaptation has arrived with Aladdin. Chad Beguelin’s book does take some liberties from the movie, and changes up the indirect plot a bit; but not enough to deter any fans of the movie from wanting to see the beloved street rat Aladdin, the princess Jasmine, the villain Jafar, and of course the ever-loving Genie.
To see a musical revue on Broadway is one thing. For it to be nominated for several Tony Awards (including the top prize of Best Musical) is another. Now, with the other titles up in the same category I do not see After Midnight winning the coveted final announcement on June 8th. However, this show is a dance-lover, jazz-lover, music-lover, etc.-lover’s dream experience. Warren Carlyle (Director/Choreographer) has erupted a dancing/singing machine at the Brooks Atkinson theater that is worth every nomination, butt in seat, and whooping and hollering standing ovation it deserves.
Having just recently finished the story ‘The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts, I was enthralled with the notion that such a tender little story could be made into a Broadway musical. After kicking off my 2014 New York trip by seeing Violet, I was not only engrossed in the beauty of the piece, but realized that sometimes musicals, with the right cast and team at hand, can influence the literature it is based off to bring a passionate meaning to its audiences. This cast and team are the right picks.
Yesterday was my birthday and I couldn’t have had a better time celebrating it. Saw the Tony-nominated play ‘Casa Valentina’ for my matinee, and then the thrilling ‘Rocky’ which was quite a spectacle. Stay tuned for reviews on these and all my other shows in the coming week! Go see a show!!!