I wish there was more filming of Broadway shows. I saw Bernadette Peters in Into the Woods and Ben Vereen in Pippin on PBS (liked the recent revival of Pippin a lot when it was in SF), and I wish there was more of that. There is a movie theater near me that shows the broadcast of the National Theater shows from London. I guess there isn't more of that with Broadway shows because it would cut into the tourist revenue.
I know @OffToSeeHim-- really wanted to see the Alan Cumming Macbeth and was even in NY while he was doing it, but I was with my mom and my sister on that trip and they just refused. We only had time for one show and that is how we ended up seeing Kinky Boots, which I do not regret at all, but I would have really liked to see that Macbeth production!@DaveInHollywood, I have heard lots of good things about the theater dept at Cal State Long Beach (and know a few alums). Their productions must be great. In Berkeley, we have a phenomenal theater group for high school kids -- the Youth Musical Theater Company. They put on professional quality productions and it has been a great way to introduce my kids to the joys of musical theater without spending an arm and a leg. We have see their productions of Sweeny Todd, Les Mis, Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar and West Side Story in the past few years. My younger son loved Les Mis so much that I gave him my old cassette of the Broadway cast recording and he practically wore it out!
Jocasta, I used to live on Guam and I even managed to see live musicals there, though they were all at the High School level (and surprisingly good). Do you mean you've only seen four professional Broadway level shows? I mostly see shows at our local college, Cal State Long Beach, or small theater companies around me, like Cygnet and Chance.Where do you live?
I also saw Oklahoma with Hugh Jackman on PBS years ago. that was amazing (Oklahoma is not one of my favorites, but it is deservedly a classic and Hugh Jackman was phenomenal).
I saw On the Town last week, my annual trip to Broadway. Times Square looked like a hyperactive ski resort with all the hats and scarves and face masks against the bitter cold. It was something like 11 degrees. For once, the fast pace of New York made perfect sense, as no one would want to be out in the freezing cold for any longer than necessary.
We got off the bus and trotted (well I hobbled because of the arthritis), a block down and a block over to the Brooklyn Diner first. A chicken pot pie was $23, but I saw one pass by on the waiter's tray, so I split with another person. Six people at the table and three entrees were enough. Their Reuben sandwich was $28. The food was good, but I am glad we were able to split. New York prices. Effing brutal.
We had a group of 30 some attend the show, On the Town, which was a classic piece of Americana.
The stage was set with a giant screen of the American flag, and the orchestra began with the Star Spangled Banner, which was right in tune with the 1944 time frame of the show. So we all stood up and sang. This was a singing and dancing workout. Nobody phoned anything in, there was some genuinely hard work going on. The story of three sailors on 24 hour leave and each finding the perfect girl was as much of a fairy tale as any vampire story of today, but a lot more wholesome. I wonder how much of the original Jerome Robbins choreography was used, because the twists and slides, the leaps and twirls were reminiscent of West Side Story, which was Jerome Robbins, too. There probably were some cuts and some new additions, but the dancing was just plain exuberant. So was the music. New York New York, a helluva town, the Bronx is "up" and the Battery "down"! The costumes were spectacular, as was the lighting. Now the comedy was pretty lowbrow, and played quite broadly, but that was the way it was written in the 1940s, so I think it was faithful to the original show. People laughed at different things back in the day. If there was anything remarkable, it was that the boys bodies were drool worthy, and two out of three of the principal parts for the girls were played by women shaped like women, not waifs. They could all belt out a song, too. Six leads who could all sing and dance splendidly. The humor was corny as could be.
It was thoroughly entertaining, and everyone enjoyed it. Not memorable, but a fine evening. The Convention I was attending started the next day, so it was a perfect excursion, 'cept for the bone chilling cold.
@Scarlett, you really know your stuff, thank you! I was just going by my impressions. I just looked and the play bill says "based on an idea by Jerome Robbins", but the choreographer was the fellow you mentioned, Bergasse.
I'm not a big anything fan, I would have much preferred to see the Sting musical but it closed the end of January. I will look forward to hearing about The King and I. Having grown up with Yul Brynner owning the part, it will take some getting used to, but I like the show. Never cared for South Pacific, sorry to say.
Kinky Boots is coming to the DPAC and I am THERE!! I hope Book of Mormon comes too. What was that one Glenn Close was in on Broadway in the 90's? That was amazing. I love Nunsense, shoot me. Brigadoon, Chorus Line, Gigi (in MOURNING for Louis Jourdan), Cats, Godspell, All That Jazz, so many more. I *didn't* love Phantom, West Side Story, Rent, or Chicago.I haven't seen Les Mis or Wicked in any form.
I saw Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell in Ragtime back in the day. They were wonderful! I LOVE Ragtime! I saw it when I was 14 or 15, and it is one of the musicals that I most often find music stuck in my head from. Recently I've been humming it a lot and NO ONE knows that musical around here.I was taken to my first musical when I was 6, and we had to leave the Fiddler on the Roof early because my at the time 3 year old brother was tired. I resented him for that for quite some time. I have seen the Sound of Music, a musical version of Midsummer's Night Dream, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (also love that musical), Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables 4 times, Oklahoma, Beauty and the Beast, Mamma Mia, and though they aren't quite musicals, I've also seen 4 different Circque du Solei shows and STOMP three times.
A Chorus Line and Les Mis are my "old school" favorites--two of the first I ever saw on B-way.
Recent loves are Book of Mormon (brilliant on so many levels), the Pippin revival and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.
The most interesting and fun thing I've seen of late was David Byrne's Imelda Marcos interactive rock/disco opera Here Lies Love at the Public Theater. So much fun and really good too.
@DaveinHollywood: watched them, though the presence of Graham Norton and John Barrowman may have been a major contributing factor.