Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Jetlag Made Me Do It - London Theatre or Bust?

Anybody looking for a sucker? Call me. Apparently when I'm jetlagged, I'll go on a shopping spree without thinking. I ended up buying tickets to see the Donmar Warehouse production of Hamlet being staged in the West End's Wyndham Theatre in the summer of 2009. Yes. NINE. So apparently I must be going to London in July 2009 now.

I mean, I enjoy Shakespeare and all but there is some actor named Jude Law in it that peaked my interest (and since there happened to be 2nd row centre seats left which isn't too bad), I decided to buy. I know, I'm such a celebrity whore. It's also being directed by Kenneth Branagh, whose only major fault in life so far has been divorcing Emma Thompson. I still miss those days. Much Ado About Nothing is still one of my favorite films of all time (even with the Keanu Reeves scenes).

I also ended up getting tickets to the Donmar in the West End's production of Madame de Sade with Dame Judy Dench. Not too shabby of an actress I say? But yeah, that's in 2009 as well. At least that's in February. Only a year away. Only.

As I was also saying, I REALLY REALLY want to go to London to see the concert performance of the musical Chess (written by Tim Rice and the men of Abba, seriously, and it's about chess players too! Can you see the dancing already?) at the Royal Albert Hall but it's right on dates (Monday May 12th and Tuesday May 13th 2008) where I'll never be able to go. Poo.

But Josh Groban! Singing a musical! Which is actually a natural fit but for some reason I never pictured the two together. And his beady little eyes! How darling! (Is he still going out with Mad Men's January Jones? Oh, apparently not. That was an unexpected but lovely couple. Wait, that means he's single???).

And with Idina freaking Menzel! I don't know whether to be jealous of her for marrying Taye Diggs (one of the few reasons to watch Private Practice still) or Taye Diggs for marrying her.

Anyways, I found clips of the benefit concert performance of Chess: The Musical from LA in 2003 that also features Raul Esparza (Pushing Daisies, The Homecoming, Company)!!! Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Drowsy Chaperone, Young Frankenstein)!!! Adam Pascal (Rent, Aida)!!! Norm Lewis (The Little Mermaid)!!! (Yes, this means something to theatrefolks). Cassiopea009 seems to have uploaded a ton of clips on youtube.

Here's a rehearsal clip of "Endgame" with Josh Groban and Adam Pascal (which, truth be told, does seem like an odd pairing), as well as Julia Murney and Sutton Foster:

Here's another rehearsal clip of the Chess benefit concert with the song "Anthem" sung by Josh Groban:

I posted more clips after the jump.

But in the meantime, I really can't believe THIS is actually happening.

Never Forget: The New Musical Based on the Songs of Take That

Um. I LOOOOOOOVE Take That. But my reaction is this still:


and an extra ha.

Seriously? And it's heading to the London West End (and the Savoy Theatre no less)? Seriously? It wasn't just a regional joke?

What's worse, here's the synopsis: Never Forget is the story of five good looking blokes and their dream to become the ultimate Take That tribute band. Brought together by a budding pop Svengali with promises of world domination, the boys quickly form a genuine bond, practicing long and hard for a local tribute band competition they hope will launch them towards stardom.

However, the arrival of ambitious record executive Annie Borrowman throws the bonds of the five friends into doubt and tests the loyalty and friendship of all those on the rollercoaster journey to fame and fortune

Bursting with life, laughs and great songs, Never Forget is a story of dreams, ambition and betrayal: because sometimes you can only really discover who you are by pretending to be someone else…

You have GOT to be kidding me. It's about 5 guys trying to become a Take That TRIBUTE band?

hahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. OMG. I'm GOING to have to see this sh!t! A musical about a TRIBUTE band? Seriously, how lazy can they be?

And there are VIDEO CLIPS??? OMG. (OMG, there's even the full DVD).

OMG, I can't wait for the musical based on Westlife and Boyzone songs then. Never Forget opens May 7, 2008. This was the bust I was talking about by the way. I wish I could say it will close June 7, 2008 but it's London. For some reason it's a mixture of classy plays and musical dreck there. I mean, Starlight Express lasted 18 years. EIGHTEEN godamn years. So this will probably pack them in until 2025. I mean, I'm curious too!

Okay, I need to cleanse myself now again, back to Chess clips (in no particular order which may be bad since it's a musical):

Here's Sutton Foster singing "Someone Else's Story":

Raul Esparza rehearsing "Story of Chess":

Josh Groban rehearsing "Where I Want To Be":

Josh Groban, Julia Murney and Sutton Foster rehearsing "You and I":

The full cast of Josh Groban, Sutton Foster, Julia Murney, Raul Esparza, Adam Pascal, Norm Lewis and Jonathan Dokuchitz rehearsing "Deal, No Deal":

Josh Groban, Adam Pascal, Julia Murney, Norm Lewis and Raul Esparza rehearsing "Quartet (A Model of Decorum and Tranquility)":

I'm always in awe of Sutton Foster and she commands the stage the times I've seen her in The Drowsy Chaperone and Young Frankenstein but I'm always amazed at how mousy she looks regularly.

Adam Pascal and Julia Murney rehearsing "Florence Quits":

Adam Pascal rehearsing "Pity the Child":

Raul Esparza rehearsing "The Arbiter":

Julia Murney rehearsing "Nobody's Side":

Photos of Chess benefit concert by Michael Portantiere
Photos of
Never Forget by Catherine Ashmore


Anonymous said...

I hate that I can't watch videos on my work computer...

First off, I love Jude Law *sigh* Ditto on Much Ado but I DO have to FF the Keanu parts. So poorly cast. I still don't understand. Was it for the name? Did Keanu pay him off? What happened there?

Last and least, Never Forget... That is the cheesiest bunch of crap I have ever heard of. You will HAVE to see it and tell me how it is. :)

Vance said...

Yeah, I forgot who he originally wanted to cast but Kenneth was made to cast Keanu by the studios to add some popularity into the cast. as if Denzel and Micheal Keaton weren't enough at the time. Oh well, at least it was just the one character.

Anonymous said...

You know that Kenneth Branagh was fuming over that one. I hope Keanu is embarrassed by that performance. He was good as Ted Theodore Logan though...