Monday, June 18, 2007

Yet Another Mini Weekend Broadway Marathon

Monty Python's Spamalot - Shubert Theatre - New York City
Spring Awakening - Eugene O'Neill Theatre - New York City
Company - Barrymore Theatre - New York City

Um, so even though there are still a half a dozen or more Broadway shows I still haven't seen and would want to see, I ended up going back to New York and I saw Spring Awakening and Company AGAIN again. My fourth time at Spring, and third at this particular John Doyle, Raúl Esparza starring version of Company and while I thought I may have been overdoing a bit and overhyping it in my mind, I can say now that the weekend is over, that DAMN... those are two of some of the best shows I've EVER seen and I was right to champion them the whole time.

So try to catch Company which closes in less than 2 weeks now on July 1st (it's only two more weeks until JULY???) if you happen to be on Broadway. And yes. Raúl Esparza WAS ROBBED last week (of a Tony Award for Best Actor).

Oh, and when I got tickets to see Spring Awakening again, I thought "maybe I'm overdoing this. maybe its not that great. I'm not sure if I'm excited about this or forcing myself to be excited about it."

then the show started... and I was like. THIS IS F#$KING AMAZING...

So No. I was originally right. I'm NOT just overhyping this in my mind. This IS the best musical Ive ever seen live.

And on a side note, can we not recognize Stephen Spinella (a two time Tony winner) and Christine Estabrook (Desperate Housewives) who are hilarious and horrifying as the Adult Men and Adult Women characters they play? They've been totally overlooked since the press has concentrated on the amazing kids in this play about sexual youths but we can't forget that these two are fantastic and should have also been Tony nominate as well (made even more prominently when I just watched a bootleg copy of the Off-Broadway version last year with different actors playing the adults and who just weren't as emotionally heartbreaking as the Spinella and Estabrook and who can also milk a joke with far more deft).

My original plan was to check out 110 in the Shade and Curtains but couldn't get cheap tickets to the later and changed plans for the first, so I ended up just checking out Monty Pythons' Spamalot and about all I can say is, meh. It was mildly entertaining but I guess not being a Monty Python fan, the humour wasn't that humouress to me (though the second act was far funnier especially with Prince Herbert and Sir Lancelot in the now requisite "gay" song that would be tired if the two actors weren't so adorable performing the number) and again, most of the songs weren't that great except for the original song from the movie "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life" and the Lady of the Lake song "Find Your Grail". This whole ironic funny self referencing musical is starting to get old (and sort of explains the resurgence of the dark musical this year at the Tony's including Company, Spring Awakening, Grey Gardens and even to a point, A Chorus Line) and I thought Urinetown and Avenue Q do it better with better songs and wittier lines. Still, I guess THOSE were originally influenced by the original Monty Python somehow so who am I to say? Still. Spamalot was better than the The Producers IMHO but not as enjoyable as The Drowsy Chaperone.

Maybe the original cast would have helped Spamalot, as I would have LOVED to see then unknown Sara Ramirez (Grey's Anatomy) perform as Lady of the Lake but instead, I got the UNDERSTUDY for the already REPLACEMENT (who was the amazing Marin Mazzie though, part of the reason I wanted to see the show in the first place, so that was disappointing that she wasn't on) who was competent but not great. The rest of the cast seemed like wax replicas of the originals, with a David Hyde Pierce look-a-like, a Tim Curry look-a-like and a Christopher Sieber look-a-like. It was little eerie actually. Talk about your mass production musical. Has this what it has come down too? Seriously. The actors in the roles originated by David Hyde Pierce, Tim Curry and Christopher Sieber looked a LOT like the originals. Has auditioning talent come down to this? Or am I just that naive? Since the best actors on stage were the ones that didn't really look like their replacements (they could actually sing, dance and act). Well, now that's out of the way. Hopefully onto Xanadu next! Ha! As the poster itself says. Seriously! (Wait, didn't I just say I was tired of the ironic musical?)

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