Broadway musicals

Which Broadway show would you recommend ?

  • Aladdin

    Votes: 12 12.5%
  • Anastasia

    Votes: 5 5.2%
  • Cats

    Votes: 10 10.4%
  • Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

    Votes: 4 4.2%
  • Hamilton

    Votes: 40 41.7%
  • Miss Saigon

    Votes: 21 21.9%
  • The Book of Mormon

    Votes: 35 36.5%
  • The Phantom of the Opera

    Votes: 29 30.2%
  • Wicked

    Votes: 33 34.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 24 25.0%

  • Total voters
    96

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,574
So it looks like both My Fair Lady and Harry Potter opened to extremely positive to rave reviews on Broadway this week. Harry Potter must be something one has to see live to appreciate because I really did not enjoy reading that play. I saw My Fair Lady and am happy to agree with the rave reviews. It took one of my favorite musicals with a somewhat problematic in the 21st Century concept and ending and turned it on its head while still keeping the same exact book and songs.

Jim Peterson and Amanda Evora did an NYC trip last week to see shows (reported on his Facebook), and they saw Harry Potter and said it was great. he was basically like, “Yes, it’s Harry Potter, but it’s really good.”
 

Wyliefan

Ubering juniors against my will
Messages
44,379
I'll be seeing My Fair Lady in August. While the production sounds great, I'm not nearly as sanguine about the ending changes. I liked it the way it was. (I've always believed in Higgins's ability to change and grow and Eliza's ability to recast the relationship on her own terms, whereas Sher apparently doesn't.) But to each her own . . .
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,036
I'll be seeing My Fair Lady in August. While the production sounds great, I'm not nearly as sanguine about the ending changes. I liked it the way it was. (I've always believed in Higgins's ability to change and grow and Eliza's ability to recast the relationship on her own terms, whereas Sher apparently doesn't.) But to each her own . . .

Should that be in spoiler tags? I'm not sure, haha.
 

Wyliefan

Ubering juniors against my will
Messages
44,379
I don't know! :) I tried to be vague about it all, but I can go back and use spoiler tags if you think it's a good idea!
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,036
So is the new ending closer or further away from Shaw's original?

I actually saw it, so spoilers below:

It's closer to the Shaw ending. After Higgins performs "I've Grown Accustomed to her Face" (an exquisite performance by Harry Hadden-Paton), he goes back to his study and is clearly troubled and frustrated. He puts on Eliza's voice on the phonograph like the normal My Fair Lady ending where he listens to her voice, and then Eliza comes back, turns it off, and says her famous line "I washed my face and hands before I come, I did." After that, that's where the stage directions deviate. Higgins unlike the usual way of saying the line "Eliza?...where the devil are my slippers?" with Eliza smiling on (even if more modern productions make it obvious that Eliza has no intention of fetching his slippers and Higgins is ok with that as he said the line with some jest), Higgins instead looks afraid of what he's going to say and ends up saying that line in a way that seems he knows it's not the right thing to say but he can't help it. Rather than just smile and have the curtain call, Eliza sadly and tenderly looks at him as if she sort of knew he was going to say that and can't help it. She then walks up to him, caresses his face and gives him what looks like one last look, then walks out of the stage and onto the audience with the spotlight completely on her and leaves Higgins alone on stage.

I don't think the ending is a statement of the permanent status of Eliza and Higgins' relationship (platonic or not) but that Eliza has grown apart from Higgins now and is ready to see what the world has to offer her, while Higgins is at the beginning of his journey to self-discovery. The way Hadden-Paton plays Higgins is less of a sure bullying alpha male and more of a smart, educated, boyish and immature character and that he does not intend to speak to Eliza and everybody else the way he does but can't help it because he's easily irritable about it all. Hadden-Paton and Lauren Ambrose have extremely excellent chemistry together and the fact that they are close in age brought a whole new, and IMO preferable, dynamic between Higgins and Eliza.

Hadden-Paton also unintentionally brings some sex appeal to Higgins. Lauren Ambrose plays a really different Eliza than I'm used to and I loved every bit of it. She plays her maturely and somebody who was already smart and already had some ambition and understanding of the world before she steps into Higgins' house. She also seems like she's lived a pretty rough life prior to the start of the musical. I think this production put the focus back onto Eliza and I don't know if I can watch any other production after seeing this one.
 
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BelleBway

a monkey stole my title
Messages
9,757
I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this past weekend. Somehow I managed to be completely unspoiled which let me enjoy the story and theatricality as it unfolded around me.

I don't think I would have enjoyed reading the script first without any visual context as much as I enjoyed the full show. (I am reading the script now) There are a couple plot points that I don't really love and I am sure these would have stood out more if all I had to reference was the text, without any actors or stagecraft. Ultimately, I am ok with these points because I like the possibilities they created and I found the show as a whole to be absolutely amazing.

I've seen other criticisms in the fandom that I disagree with in terms of people feeling like some of the core characters were not consistent with the books. I did not have similar observations as I felt that any changes are consistent to what happens as we grow and mature; we do not make the same decisions at 40 that we would at 19.

Anyway, I highly recommend the show but I think you'll get more out of it if you are familiar with the Harry Potter books or movies. It was a wonderful day of theater and I hope I will have a chance to see it again from a different perspective.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,036
I admit that when I read the play, I was really upset that
Ron seemed to have nothing of substance to do and that he was mostly played for laughs which is one of my biggest criticisms of a lot of the HP fandom.
which is probably something I personally need to get over.
 

BelleBway

a monkey stole my title
Messages
9,757
I can see that

But I was ok with how they showed Ron since he really is a minor character in this particular story. There unfortunately isn't enough stage time to really flesh him out or his path.

I found it more glaring that Harry and Ginny's 2 other children (James and Lily) were basically invisible after the first scene. I'd think the dynamic between Albus and his older brother in particular might be interesting to see, in the context of how Albus views himself.
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
Messages
8,150
CBS Sunday Morning had a good segment about Justin Peck creating the choreography for the revival of Carousel.

*** Justin Peck: Dance man --
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/justin-peck-dance-man-new-york-city-ballet-carousel/
In fact, even though it's Peck's Broadway debut, he shares equal billing with multi-Tony Award-winning director Jack O'Brien.

I really want to see this one, particularly the Carousel Ballet with Louise. I doubt they would leave out that scene in a Justin Peck version, like they have done in some other revivals.
 
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missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
Messages
4,882
CBS Sunday Morning had a good segment about Justin Peck creating the choreography for the revival of Carousel.

*** Justin Peck: Dance man --
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/justin-peck-dance-man-new-york-city-ballet-carousel/


I really want to see this one, particularly the Carousel Ballet with Louise. I doubt they would leave out that scene in a Justin Peck version, like they have done in some other revivals.

The Carousel ballet is there, right where it belongs.
 

screech

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,427
I've heard good things about the Mean Girls musical. And somewhat surprisingly (to me) Spongebob Squarepants as well!

It's recently been announced that Josh Groban and Sarah Bareilles will be hosting the Tony Awards this year on June 10. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Chita Rivera will be receiving the lifetime achievement awards (deservedly so!) Nominations will be announced on May 1. The eligibility cut-off date is April 26. That means that plays like "The Boys in the Band" starring Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto and Andrew Rannels, which opens April 30, are ineligible this season.

Original plays eligible for nominations include:
  • 1984
  • The Children
  • Farinelli and the King
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • John Lithgwo: Stories By Heart
  • Junk
  • Latin for Morons
  • Meteor Shower
  • The Parisian Woman
  • The Terms of My Surrender
Play revivals eligible for nominations include:
  • Angels in America
  • Children of a LEsser God
  • The Iceman Cometh
  • Lobby Hero
  • M. Butterfly
  • Marvin's Room
  • Saint Joan
  • Three Tall Women
  • Time and the Conways
  • Travesties
Original musicals eligible for nominations include:
  • The Band's Visit
  • Escape to Margaritaville
  • Frozen
  • Mean Girls
  • Prince of Broadway
  • Spongebob SquarePants
  • Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Musical revivals eligible for nominations include:
  • Carousel
  • My Fair Lady
  • Once On This Island
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,036
Apparently, in the entire year, there are only five men even eligible for consideration for Best Actor in a Musical: Joshua Henry (Carousel); Harry Hadden-Paton (My Fair Lady); Tony Shaloub (The Band's Visit); Ethan Slater (Spongebob Squarepants); and Paul Alexander Nolan (Escape to Margaritaville). It looks like only four can be nominated since there are less than seven candidates.
 

screech

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,427
Apparently, in the entire year, there are only five men even eligible for consideration for Best Actor in a Musical: Joshua Henry (Carousel); Harry Hadden-Paton (My Fair Lady); Tony Shaloub (The Band's Visit); Ethan Slater (Spongebob Squarepants); and Paul Alexander Nolan (Escape to Margaritaville). It looks like only four can be nominated since there are less than seven candidates.
That's kind of insane! I thought that it seemed like a small number of musicals this year, but I didn't realize that there were so few men eligible. But then looking at the list of shows, both Mean Girls and Frozen have men as basically just supporting players, and Prince of Broadway seems to more or less showcase the songs of shows directed by Hal Prince, done by a variety of actors.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,036
That's kind of insane! I thought that it seemed like a small number of musicals this year, but I didn't realize that there were so few men eligible. But then looking at the list of shows, both Mean Girls and Frozen have men as basically just supporting players, and Prince of Broadway seems to more or less showcase the songs of shows directed by Hal Prince, done by a variety of actors.

At least it's not as bad as 1985 where they didn't even award Best Actress in a Musical because there was only one eligible candidate and decided to not have a Best Actor in a Musical and Best Choreography award because they decided none of the candidates were worthy of being nominated (although I'm sure some of the lead roles were considered for Featured Actor/Actress):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/39th_Tony_Awards

Big River won that year beating out Grind (a huge critical and box office flop), Quilters (a show only opened for 24 performances), and arguably one of the original jukebox musical Leader of the Pack (not just a revue...although I'm sure there are older shows that mixed various songs together by one artist into a storyline before this one). There seemed to be another show called Harrigan 'N Hart which was nominated for Best Book but only had like 4 performances and closed long before the Tonys.

I look at the 1980s and realized there was a reason why those British import musicals became such big hits. There was sort of low period of American musicals at the time even though there were some fine offerings that survived to make the American musical canon.

I sort of think the Tony performance of Leader of the Pack is sort of charming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApJgpoqhUq0

Then there was the case of 1995 where only two musicals were nominated for Best Musical and for Best Actress in a musical. Best Original Score was won by Sunset Boulevard by default as there were no other nominees.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/49th_Tony_Awards
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
Messages
4,882
At least it's not as bad as 1985 where they didn't even award Best Actress in a Musical because there was only one eligible candidate and decided to not have a Best Actor in a Musical and Best Choreography award because they decided none of the candidates were worthy of being nominated (although I'm sure some of the lead roles were considered for Featured Actor/Actress):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/39th_Tony_Awards

Big River won that year beating out Grind (a huge critical and box office flop), Quilters (a show only opened for 24 performances), and arguably one of the original jukebox musical Leader of the Pack (not just a revue...although I'm sure there are older shows that mixed various songs together by one artist into a storyline before this one). There seemed to be another show called Harrigan 'N Hart which was nominated for Best Book but only had like 4 performances and closed long before the Tonys.

I look at the 1980s and realized there was a reason why those British import musicals became such big hits. There was sort of low period of American musicals at the time even though there were some fine offerings that survived to make the American musical canon.

I sort of think the Tony performance of Leader of the Pack is sort of charming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApJgpoqhUq0

Then there was the case of 1995 where only two musicals were nominated for Best Musical and for Best Actress in a musical. Best Original Score was won by Sunset Boulevard by default as there were no other nominees.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/49th_Tony_Awards

My chocolate cream pie once came in second in a field of one at Orange County Fair. The judge politely but firmly said in spite of the lack of competition, it was unworthy of a blue ribbon.

The next year I remained the only competitor but I put more effort into the pie crust and whipped cream (the chocolate cream was never an issue- I used the James Beard chocolate mousse recipe, a true killer), and maybe I had a different judge, but I came in first.

My point is a tough judge might have awarded Sunset Boulevard a participation award or an honorary mention, and while they wouldn't have a Tony, they would have a story they could eat off of for years to come.
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
Messages
8,150
I saw Big River & Quilters in the '80s & liked both of them better than some of the big award winning blockbusters I've seen. Big River had Roger Miller's songs, but I especially remember Quilters & it's stuck in my mind all these years. It was an interesting take on Americana about the experiences of pioneer women & it seemed more like a play built around folklore with some understated musical numbers. From a creative standpoint, it was visually appealing even though there was simplicity in the sets. It's a show like The Fantasticks where they created a lot out of a little.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,036
I saw Big River & Quilters in the '80s & liked both of them better than some of the big award winning blockbusters I've seen. Big River had Roger Miller's songs, but I especially remember Quilters & it's stuck in my mind all these years. It was an interesting take on Americana about the experiences of pioneer women & it seemed more like a play built around folklore with some understated musical numbers. From a creative standpoint, it was visually appealing even though there was simplicity in the sets. It's a show like The Fantasticks where they created a lot out of a little.

Thank you for your insight! I was seriously curious about that show.
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
Messages
8,150
Big River is one of those in-between musicals that can play successfully on either the large stage or in the smaller theaters. I saw it at the Kennedy Center, but it's also been staged at Ford's Theatre. Another from around that same time was The Secret Garden & I heard there's supposed to be a revival of it this year or next.
 
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screech

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,427
Ben Platt and Rachel Bay Jones are now just an Oscar away from an EGOT.

The cast of Dear Evan Hanson won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program for a performance of "You Will Be Found" on The Today Show in April 2017.

Ben and Rachel both won Tony and Grammy awards for Dear Evan Hanson as well.

The Daytime Emmy ceremony takes place tomorrow (their award was a Creative Arts Emmy, which usually takes place before the 'real' ceremony).
 

dinakt

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,920
I saw Big River & Quilters in the '80s & liked both of them better than some of the big award winning blockbusters I've seen. Big River had Roger Miller's songs, but I especially remember Quilters & it's stuck in my mind all these years. It was an interesting take on Americana about the experiences of pioneer women & it seemed more like a play built around folklore with some understated musical numbers. From a creative standpoint, it was visually appealing even though there was simplicity in the sets. It's a show like The Fantasticks where they created a lot out of a little.
I do not know "Quilters", but have a very soft spot for "Big River", wonderful music (Roger Miller rocks). It always seems to me that it is not as popular as it deserves to be...
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,036
Ben Platt and Rachel Bay Jones are now just an Oscar away from an EGOT.

The cast of Dear Evan Hanson won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program for a performance of "You Will Be Found" on The Today Show in April 2017.

Ben and Rachel both won Tony and Grammy awards for Dear Evan Hanson as well.

The Daytime Emmy ceremony takes place tomorrow (their award was a Creative Arts Emmy, which usually takes place before the 'real' ceremony).

I wish that older casts could get retroactive Grammys for cast recordings that have won Grammys before they changed the rules to allow performers to receive Grammys as well.

I do not know "Quilters", but have a very soft spot for "Big River", wonderful music (Roger Miller rocks). It always seems to me that it is not as popular as it deserves to be...

I love this Tony peformance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTTG8beemxQ

I first heard of the show when I watched the 2004 Tonys and Deaf West did a production that was nominated for Best Revival and a clip of the show was shown:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFMrFqiFyK4

Speaking of the Tonys, I was bored last night so I actually ended up watching the 1990 ceremony on YouTube and I love that not only did they have the four nominated musicals perform but they also had the four Best Play nominees perform as well. I thought it was a great idea as the plays being showcased really chose the right scenes to do. I only wish they allowed the revivals to perform as well.
 

screech

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,427
I wish that older casts could get retroactive Grammys for cast recordings that have won Grammys before they changed the rules to allow performers to receive Grammys as well.
They way they do it now even, is a bit sketchy to me. The rules say that a performer has to be on at least 51% of the soundtrack to get the Grammy, yet Jonathan Groff, who had about 10 minutes of stage time in Hamilton, is one of the winners for the show.

Speaking of the Tonys, I was bored last night so I actually ended up watching the 1990 ceremony on YouTube and I love that not only did they have the four nominated musicals perform but they also had the four Best Play nominees perform as well. I thought it was a great idea as the plays being showcased really chose the right scenes to do. I only wish they allowed the revivals to perform as well.
Not all plays, but a few years ago some play nominees performed. I vividly remember James Corden on stage performing a scene from "One Man, Two Guvnors."

I said this in a different thread a year or so ago, but I wish Tony Awards could be given for replacement roles. The person taking over a role can be absolutely brilliant (sometimes even better than the original actor). I wish they'd add a category for that. Apparently they 'attempted' it a while ago, but it seems like it was a half-assed attempt. It sucks that it isn't until a 'revival' that a show can be up for awards again. Shows like Phantom of the Opera, or Lion King, who have had consistent original runs for 30 and almost 22 years respectively, have had some great replacements who are overlooked for their performances when it comes to major awards.
 

screech

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,427
So the upcoming Moulin Rouge musical has released a music video for "Come What May". I hate to say it, because I absolutely adore Aaron Tveit, but I did not love this. IMO the best part was the "Lady Marmalade" at the end.

I am still pretty interested to see how the play turns out, though. And I do think this is MUCH more suitable role for him than Danny Zuko in Grease: Live was. The musical will be running in Boston for just over a month this summer, and apparently the plan is to make it to Broadway next year.
 

oleada

Well-Known Member
Messages
43,436
I saw Mean Girls last week. It was so fun! I mean, it's Mean Girls, so I wasn't expecting anything too deep or new or revolutionary, but overall it was a really well done show. It took the movie and updated it for 2018. I was the exact same age as the characters (16) when it came out, so I'm probably part of the target audience who has a real soft spot for the original movie and can practically quote it. It's not the best show I've ever seen but it's also nowhere near the bottom.

The cast is overall so talented and strong. I don't think there was a single weak singer. Grey Hensen (Damian) stole the show. Taylor Louderman (Regina) is awesome! I liked Ashley Park (Gretchen) as well. Barrett Wilbert Weed has a wonderful voice but I don't know if she was off or had a bad day, because her voice got really shrieky at points. They script (book? whatever) was really funny and had a ton of hysterical asides. "Revenge Party" was probably my favorite song. I laughed a ton. I think the lyrics are actually the weakest part of the show; and if you listen to the soundtrack, you don't get the whole experience of it on stage.

My friend ( who did theater in high school) thought it would be a good play for high school productions because there are so many strong female parts. Her experience is that for guys at her school to get a role, all they had to do was have a pulse. And Lin Manuel Miranda was there that day, but he definitely had better seats than us. ;)
 

Inessence

Well-Known Member
Messages
376
Am I alone here in thinking Hamilton was way overrated? Though I can appreciate what they were trying to do it just didn’t gel for me.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,036
Considering the recent output of Broadway musicals, I thought Hamilton was a God-send in word play and creativity. If only more Broadway creatives and producers were that ambitious.
 

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