Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tell Me on a Sunday: whats your Favorite show?

Even if people don’t go to see live performance very often, there is usually one show that can get them to come out to the theatre. I want to know, what is that show for you?

Is there a show that you love? Where the songs run through your head, and you’re happy to hum along? Is there a show that you want to see every time you encounter it? If so, what is it about the show that you love? Is it there a moment in the plot or a song that you can’t wait to watch over and over again?

Personally I love shows, hence the blog and all, but I would have to say that my favorite show of all time is….no idea. Is that a cop out? I’m not sure, you judge. I see a lot of shows and a lot of times the last show that I saw is my favorite show. The show I last saw was Jane Austen’s Emma: A Musical Romantic Comedy at The Old Globe. I love it, I’ve seen it three times and have hummed a different song everyday. The show before that was Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin at the La Jolla Playhouse. I also saw that three times and sang many of the songs until people wanted to beat me.

Ok, maybe if you made me I would say that my favorite shows (according to my husband) is Jersey Boys or The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Jersey Boys is such a spectacular show, from the sets, the songs, the choreography to the lighting, it is a phenomenal show. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a clever show about kids who all have their own reasons for wanting to win. The songs are fun, upbeat and I swear, no matter if I'm seeing it again for the 17th time, I love it!

Tell me in your comments what your favorite show is and what about it you love. Everyone is looking for something different in a show and a live performance, what about your favorite show captivates you?

Tell me on a Sunday is a regular chat feature which will come out on (you guessed it) Sundays. While this is really late on Sunday, it is definitely Sunday so this one counts! Thanks to Bibliophile Girl for the amazing graphics (check her out will you? click here) isn’t it perfect?!?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Add Some Theatre To Your Life Challenge for 2011

Hi everyone! I know that this is a bit late, but here is the Theatrophile’s Add Some Theatre To Your Life Challenge for 2011! This is challenge that I think everyone, including myself, will have a blast participating in!

So the rules are pretty basic:

1. The challenge starts January 1, 2011 and ends December 31, 2011. You can start anytime you want.

2. The level of participation:
Obie Award Winner (3 attended performances), Drama Desk Awards (3-8 attended performances), or Tony Award Winner (8+ attended performances)

3. Performance = any live performance that you attend – theatre, music, opera, community theatre, professional theatre, children’s theatre whatever it is….it all counts.

4. Feel free to add a brief synopsis of what you attended and how you liked it at anytime!

5. To sign up just post in the comments section about your participation and feel free to send this challenge along to your friends!

I am happy to post a blog a month from a participant in the challenge. I can’t wait to hear what happens next, so sign up!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Theatre is a contact sport

There has been a lot of press on all the injuries and technical malfunctions on the new Broadway show Spiderman: Turn off the Dark (really, 60 million dollars and that’s the name? whatever…). The thing is….this is not something new.

Spiderman has had a lot of injuries very close together but these injuries seem to only be getting the press because of the people involved in the show. JulieTaymor and Bono are big names and people that tend to bring in big money and attention, but in the end it seems to me that all this attention is a sick kind of schadenfreude (deriving happiness at the misfortune of others, thank you Avenue Q and the German language). The general public seems to like the idea that people this successful and a show this massive in scope, could be susceptible to immense failure on a public scale and that they have a front row seat. Before the injuries ticket sales were only ok, but after the injuries ticket sales shot through the roof. What does that say about us, the ticket buying public? Do you really want to be in the audience to watch a cable snap, the actor plummet and hear them cry out for help? Apparently we do…

Yes, there are cables and flying and all sorts of super cool effects that can lead to technical issues. Yes, the cables were a big part of the major injury that happened that landed the actor into the hospital. But cables and flying are not the most hazardous part of the job. An added problem is the stage surface that they are working on, which usually is steel or concrete, not the most forgiving of surfaces. And those are just flat stages, heaven help them when they add in the raked stage, which means that the stage is sloped upwards away from the audience to improve the overall view of the audience. Many of the shows like In The Heights, Billy Elliott and The Lion King have had actors that have had multiple injuries (and all had a raked stage as well as large dance heavy stories). One study from the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science concluded that "professional dancers performing on 'raked' (inclined) stages sustain more injuries than dancers who perform on flat stages."

There is an inherent risk in performing that the audience sometimes takes for granted. We are no longer in the era of having a dance chorus to give the other performers a chance to rest during the production. Performers are asked to be triple threats today, sing, dance, act and do it all while being on stage longer. The endless repetition of the jumping, twisting combined with an exhausting schedule are part of the performers world and come with the desire to perform and dance professionally. They are asked to do this 8 times a week and in every city in America. So before we get to giddy over the fact that someone has just gotten concussion at Spiderman, remember they are not the only show playing right now and that actor is not the only one who is giving you the performance of their life while injured.

Remember, theatre is a contact sport.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Graphic Novel Challenge: Theatre version

I have decided that in an effort this year to broaden my horizons, what with creating this new blog, giving a valiant effort to keeping my house organized and not spending all my money on books and theatre, I have decided to add another item to my list…..the Graphic Novel Challenge!

I have never participated in a reading challenge before, but if you ask Mr. Theatrophile he may say that I don’t need any more incentive to read or buy books of any kind. I have a fabulous friend @Rachelpulido01 who writes about them and she has slowly but surely been opening up my world to them. So I decided that in order to truly embrace the Graphic Novel I needed to do the challenge at expert level, which means I have to read at least 10 by the end of the year. Luckily Bibliophile Girl is also participating in this challenge so I’m not alone!

I am going to start with the graphic novel adaptions of plays, many Shakespeare works have been adapted into them, and then maybe move onto novels that were inspired by theater works. Expect commentary and reviews of them here, and if you’re reading any feel free to let me know!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tonight, Tonight…..

I saw West Side Story the other night….and it was really good. For an official review please see

Here are some thoughts that didn’t seem to fit anywhere in the review in an official capacity…..

First let me make clear that I know I am watching Musical Theatre and that I know that these are professional performers who are trained in voice, diction and dance. The balletic Jerome Robbins choreography was amazing, stylized and beautiful. The fight choreography was beautiful but didn’t lose any of it’s brutal intent.

But it doesn’t change the fact that sometimes, watching the Jets and all their crazy posturing made me think that they were a bunch of Junior High thugs pretending to be tough. (I know, acting is pretend, go with me here). I kept waiting for their Mom’s to pull up in the minivan and take them to their cello lessons.

I needed this show to be a little dirtier (mind out of the gutter) and a littler grittier to completely buy into it. The Jets and the Sharks are stylized versions of gangs, but they never seemed to have the slightly rough edge that made me believe that this group could possibly have a rumble under a freeway. It was all a little to clean and a little to nice.

On the other hand they were selling these in the lobby

So maybe that should have been my first clue that this wasn't going to be as tough as it could be.

Another one?

I know what you’re thinking….doesn’t she have that other blog? (See the blog list under, Escapades, Epic Em’s) Does she need another blog? What more could she possibly have to say?

Quite a lot really

I have a theatre problem. I love it and go see it and drag various people to it all the time. Although to preserve my marriage my husband is not one of the dragged. And while I write as the San Diego Theater Examiner (please see again the blog list) that is in a much more “official” capacity that doesn’t really seem the place for any snarky comments I may have on the subject. Which brings me to this blog.

I want to say a big thank you to Bibliophile Girl, my unofficial sister blog, who you should totally check out (again, see blog list under Girl, Bibliophile). Without her tech help these blogs would never have come into existence (so please send any complaints her way).

This blog will be full of fabulosity and fun, but if you don’t think it is kindly keep your comments to yourself ☺