Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blog Spring Cleaning - Musical, Movie and TV Reviews

The Office and 30 Rock are back tonight! Desperate Housewives is back on Sunday (with a new Eli Stone to milk the DH audience, so give them some numbers and WATCH!) with all new episodes!!!

Where were we on all those shows? What happened last time? (DH will rerun the last 2 episodes tonight on ABC in case you forgot, then finish with a new Eli Stone).

So as this new post-writers strike Spring TV season gets fully underway, I'm doing a bit of spring cleaning and clear out any backlog posts that I never got around to finishing/posting. Obviously they weren't that important so you can skip all this if you don't care. I'm almost posting this for posterity's sake for myself. So here's my two cents on the musicals Young Frankenstein and Wicked, on the movie Breakfast with Scot, and the will-be-returning-TV-show Lipstick Jungle.

Young Frankenstein - Hilton Theatre - Broadway, New York
Wicked - Gershwin Theatre - Broadway, New York
- Musical Reviews

I saw these way back in December on the same day. I won the lottery rush for both shows (yay!). As you can tell from my promptness, I was really excited to tell you about it. So I was right about my expectations for Young Frankenstein. And wrong about Wicked.

Young Frankenstein didn't suck, but it was barely worth the $25 lottery tickets I paid for front row (let alone the controversial $450 VIP seats they sold to suckers). Great cast. Totally wasted on unmemorable stuff. "Putting on the Ritz" was the best song and it was not even Mel Brooks'. He stole it from Irving Berlin.

I felt bad for the excellent Sutton Foster (soon to be in Shrek the Musical), Andrea Martin and Megan Mullaly. They should be headlining other shows. Christopher Fitzgerald was totally hilarious in a musical that was barely laugh out loud funny. More like hehe... blank stare... funny.

Anyways, Julie Taymor (The Lion King) is apparently already scoping out the theatre for Spider-Man the Musical. Seriously...

I hated Wicked the last time I saw it in Toronto but I got the understudies that night and I had just finished reading the book. This time, I could barely remember the plot details and I happened to get Stephanie J. Block (who incidentally, was the one sick from the Toronto run thus giving us the understudy that sucked the wind out of the show. Block will soon be in 9 to 5 The Musical. Seriously...) and Annaleigh Ashford who were stupendous as Elphaba and Glinda/Galinda so somehow it felt like I was watching a whole new show. What a difference great singers and someone that can truly milk all the jokes can make to a show.

The ensemble songs are still laughable and embarrassing but any of the solos or duets were actually quite lovely and I'm slowly digging the cast recording (again, skipping over any of the ensemble songs). It's still not perfect and slightly overrated but I did enjoy myself immensely more this second time around. The $25 lottery tickets in the front row centre probably helped too though.

Young Frankenstein - (Musical) Hilton Theatre - Broadway, New York (**)

Wicked - (Musical) Gershwin Theatre - Broadway, New York (***1/2)

Breakfast with Scot - Movie Review

This is the one with Ed Stephens' Tom Cavanagh and Ben Shenkman (hmm... both of Love Monkey and if you read my blog, you know I'm still not over CBS killing that show) as a gay couple that somehow finds themselves taking care of a child left behind in their care (in some convoluted plotline that really only exists to get to the central premise). Oh yeah, and it's also the movie that the Toronto Maple Leafs gave approval of by letting Cavanagh's character be a former Maple Leafs hockey player who also happens to be gay. Sadly, that's huge because it's progressive at this point in time. Only. I'm not a hockey fan (I know, I live in Toronto, it's like hating Madonna at a gay bar) but I give props to the Leafs.

It's a cute movie that is set up to hit every feel good movie cliché but because it's Canadian, there wasn't that glossy sugar coated diabetic shock inducing overlay that usually accompanies these types of movies made from Hollywood. It was a Canadian feel good (which are rare since we tend to do the whole despair thing in movies really well) which sort of grounded the light script. I'm not sure I totally bought as Tom Cavanagh as the grumpy gay dude that the movie starts him off as (and then slowly melts his heart away) but that's only a testament to Cavanagh's glowing niceness that he just can't seem to shake. Which is a good thing.

Breakfast with Scot = B+

Lipstick Jungle - Bombay Highway - Ep. 104, Dressed to Kill - Ep. 105, Take the High Road - Ep. 106, Carpe Threesome - Ep. 107 - Season Finale - TV Review

Oh hello looker! I'm still watching you too... teehee...

Well, I was just going to let this show go but I kept watching for Robert Buckley (I fully admit I'm shallow that way) and now that NBC has announced Lipstick Jungle will return next season, I may as well talk about it.

Is there anything to actually talk about?

Okay, fine, I got suckered in a bit more since the pilot, and while I still contend Cashmere Mafia is a better show of the two, I am still curious to see what happens next.

I like the Lindsay Price storyline as Victory Ford and all her fashion woes with the rich dude (Andrew McCarthy) and her backstabbing assistant (Xanadu on Broadway's Kerry Butler) and her new yummy assistant (Matt Lauria).

I was of course digging Kim Raver's Nico Reilly and her affair with Robert Buckley's Kirby Atwood but now that they ended the season with her running back toward her heart attacked husband, does that leave room for Kirby in the next season? If they were smart, they would squeeze him in anyway possible since I think the gays and the girls are only watching for him up to this point.

Oh yah, and Brooke Sheilds is still on the show.

Lipstick Jungle with Robert Buckley - ***, Lipstick Jungle without Robert Buckley - **


Esther said...

Oh no, please don't mention hate and "Wicked" in the same breath! I became a huge fan after seeing it on tour last year, and "For Good" still makes me cry. I'm so glad you had a better experience the second time around.

OTOH, I agree about "Young Frankenstein." A few good moments, like the ride to the castle, but overall, a big disappointment. Roger Bart didn't do anything for me. His performance just felt kind of flat, not much of a presence at all. But I loved Christopher Fitzgerald. And listening to the cast CD hasn't changed my opinion.

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