Monday, October 27, 2014

Let's Talk About Some Awesome Broadway Happenings!

Let's talk about some theater shows that opened on Broadway this October that I am particularly excited about.

For this I am going to go by some Tony categories.

The Musical Revival: On the Town
Theater: Lyric Theatre
First Preview: September 20, 2014
Opening Night: October 16, 2014

First of all, let's get the "So You Think You Can Dance" connection to it out of the way.

It always comes back to that, doesn't it?

Ricky Ubeda, SYTYCD Season 11 winner
SYTYCD was how I first heard about the revival. Contemporary dancer Ricky Ubeda won the Season 11 competition, so therefore part of his award is landing a role in the ensemble. I originally thought that he would get a lead role, but oh well.

Part of the reason why I was rooting for hip hop and tap dancer Teddy Coffey is because of his musical theater background and singing talent, making him perfect for this, therefore a reasonable victor. Plus he wouldn't be too far from me lol. After he was eliminated I was rooting for tap dancer Zack Everhart, because who wouldn't want to see that guy in a musical? However, Ricky proves his worth and appreciation so I am glad that he won. I hope to see him in the show!

I'm excited about it because I first saw it at the Paper Mill Playhouse and even wrote about it for this blog! (Well, actually, I originally wrote it for The Montclarion, but because they didn't run it, I posted it here.)

The story follows sailors, mainly Ozzie, Chip, and Gabey, enjoying a 24-hour leave sightseeing and falling in love in New York before they embark on their military duties. It's a heartwarming musical about living in the moment and I am glad it is back.

Bonus: I just found out that SYTYCD Season 8 alum and former "Newsies" cast member Jess LeProtto of Little Falls, New Jersey is also in it.

Here is the Top 20 group number SYTYCD Season 11 did in honor of the musical. This was how I first learned about the revival and the award, as well as social media. Joshua Bergasse, the choreographer for the revival, choreographed this routine as well.:

Honorable Mention for Musical Revival: Side Show
Theater: St. James Theatre
First Preview: October 28, 2014
Opening Night: November 17, 2014

The Department of Theatre and Dance at Montclair State University actually presented this musical about two conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton working at a freak show at the Alexander Kasser Theater a few years ago. It was one of the few shows I didn't see there, but I fell in love with the music when I watched YouTube videos of it. This is another chance for me to see it live. Like "On the Town", I am happy to see its return. :)

In fact, the MSU version of "Side Show" had its own installment in my "Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments" series, if you remember. Unfortunately, the videos I mentioned have since been taken down, as you can see in the blog post.

The New Play: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Theater: Ethel Barrymore Theatre
First Preview: September 10, 2014
Opening Night: October 5, 2014

This play is based on the novel of the same name. I had to read the book for a summer reading assignment back in high school and when September rolled around we had group discussions about it.

This production looks just as artistically pleasing as the novel is. From what I remember, the book follows the adventures of and is narrated by an autistic kid named Christopher Boone investigating the murder of a dog and his interactions with people. There are actually illustrations throughout the book to showcase the kid's mind patterns, so that was a pleasant, welcome change to what I normally read for school. I expect the live play to be no less intricate.

It's not a favorite book of mine, but it is different and I like that another book that I have read now has a Broadway play counterpart of its own, considering that I missed out on James Franco's Broadway debut in "Of Mice and Men" this past summer.

The New Musical: The Last Ship
Theater: Neil Simon Theatre
First Preview: September 29, 2014
Opening Night: October 26, 2014

Finally, my favorite one on this list and the inspiration for this blog post.

This one I am particularly excited about because I see this every time I try to watch a YouTube video, and unlike other ads that just annoy me until the five seconds are up, I actually enjoy this one and normally let it play to its full course.

Composed by Sting, it follows the tale of Gideon Fletcher who works at the England town's shipyard but wants more out of life. The plot involves saving the shipyard and lost love.

Normally I wouldn't find sailing that entertaining nor am I a huge Sting fan, but something about this musical is drawing me to it. I'm excited about this one because it has a different vibe that I can't put to words. Perhaps it's that it doesn't incorporate the traditional cuteness most musical love stories often give off. I mean, it's about a shipyard. We never see musicals about that.

Plus, it seems to have strong female characters, and I always appreciate that.

That's Rachel Tucker making her Broadway debut as Meg Dawson, Gideon's jilted love. And she's clearly upset.

This is such a great scene from the unique choreography to the girl power sarcasm. I love Tucker in this because she has a deep, raspy voice in her singing that doesn't really match the high-pitched voices most musical leading ladies have. I think it might be her Irish brogue. When I first watched this, I was shocked to hear how deep and raspy her voice is. I didn't expect it.

Idina Menzel is another Broadway woman that does this I guess, but a lot of people can't really sing and belt like her and may find it difficult to sing the songs that are tailored for her. I myself do try my hand at Menzel's work at times and think I can pull it off okay, but I'm not very vocally trained.

I feel that Tucker and this song opens more opportunities for women who can't hit those certain high notes, like myself. I think that I'd feel pretty confident singing this song as opposed to others. So thanks, Sting!

Apparently a Sting musical has been in rumors for awhile now, but watching YouTube videos lately is the first I am hearing about it. That is some GREAT advertising!

Now if I can only get enough money to see all of these. :P

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