Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bells are Ringing

Bells Are Ringing
Friday November 19th at 8pm

So there were no "pre-show" cocktails to be had this week! :-(
I was invited by our friend David (who recently won 2 Emmys for his editing at NBC!...mazel tov Meshpucha!), to be in the VIP section of the pre-taping for the Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center-With Live Performances by Mariah Carey, and Annie Lennox!...unfortunately, Miss Preggers Mariah was 2 1/2 hours late, and I was NOT about to miss "Bells Are Ringing" with my bestie Carlos! (sorry Mrs. Nick Cannon...next time!)

You know the expression "things can change in a New York Minute"? It is the idea that in NYC things move and change so fast that you can hardly recognize them anymore.
This can definitely be a said about City Center Encores, in past years the "Encores" series was known as a quickly rehearsed "concert version" or "staged reading" of long forgotten musicals, this is not the case anymore. While the cast can still be seen carrying black binders, which we can only assume contain their script though I barely ever saw a cast member read from it, every other aspect of "Bells Are Ringing" just screams "fully fleshed out Broadway Revival!"

With amazing staging and choreography, by the now inimitable Kathleen Marshall-of 'The Producers' fame, and an all star cast including; Tony Nominee Kellie O’Hara, Will Chase of 'High Fidelity' sad face emoticon, Dylan Baker, Judy Kaye, Bobby Canavale, David Pittu, Brad Oscar, and the adorably identifiable voice of David Hyde Pierce, the much loved (and in my opinion UN-forgettable) 'Bells Are Ringing' gets new life.

O' Hara is perfection in the comic tour-de-force role of Ella, originated by Judy Holliday-not to be confused with Jennifer Holiday-'and I'm telling you!, with the comic timing and "Lucille Ball"-esque physicality this young diva exudes she gives us all hope for the future of Broadway! Chase, whose smooth, and peppy vocals, and his Sinatra-meets Mad Men- dapper sexy style, is a great match for O' Hara. When the two team up to perform “Better than a dream” with its haunting yet uplifting harmonies they create an exhilarating duet, a duet cut from the 1960 film. Add to this duo, a fabulously funny cast of quirky kooks, like Pittu as Sandor, the bookie turned Austrian music aficionado (massacring the German language-"Lybe-shin!"), Oscar as a dentist who composes songs on the air hose, & Cannavale as a second rate Brando impersonator (but hella sexy!), and this slapstick, mistaken identity, love story becomes a fairy tale.

The subject matter is a bit dated, for example Ella works at "Susanswerphone", a phone answering service--before the days of cell phones, or even answering machines. There are some songs that could have been re-orchestrated, or even cut, Mu Cha Cha!...ugh for lack of a better example, but for the most part this show remains timeless.

Both Carlos and I agreed that this show is definitely on the fast track to a Broadway revival/transfer.

On a scale of top, bottom, or versatile, I give Bells Are Ringing a "Submissive Top"...give it a little direction and motivation, and ride that party train all the way home!
See you on the Boards!
-Rhett Kalman

Bells Are Ringing
Friday, November 19, 2010

So humming "Just in Time" my industrious little co-writer Rhett bounded up 55th street, as usual with only minutes to spare before curtain. Rhett had a busy evening he had been attending a pre-taping of the Christmas Tree lighting at Rock Center with performances by Annie Lenox and Mariah Carey, thanks for the Invite David you little pisher (just kidding, congrats on your Emmy's) Needless to say there were no pre-theater cocktails which was not sitting well with me, but oh well one gets by.

So we made our way into the theater, I have to admit I was surprised by how cheap our tickets were, they were $20 dollars each, and I soon found out why they were so cheap. I found this out when I entered the first balcony and the lady took a breath in and asked "Honey you want the stairs or the elevator?" I opted for the stairs.

I went to appropriate stairwell and the young lady said “that will be 5 flights up”.
"Excuse me?" I replied,
"5 Flights up baby" She replied

So I began my trek up, about half way I made base camp, I had wondered why there were sherpa's for hire next to the bar in the lobby, and it was then I realized I should have hired one. So at dawn with a fresh oxygen tank I made it to the summit, and realized I still had one more flight to go to get to my seat, d'oh! After taking my place on the aisle and trying not to look down the almost sheer vertical drop towards the stage, I noticed an out of breath and laughing Rhett shaking his and saying to me "this is what $20 tickets gets you." So we settled in, but not comfortably into our seats and we scoped out our move to better seats after the first act. What! You know you have done the intermission seat switch!

So curtain up, light the lights, and cue the orchestra.

Bells Are Ringing, Lyrics and Book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green with music by Jule Styne. Takes place in late 1950's New York City and tells of the story of Ella Peterson, who works at "Susanwerphone" a telephone answering service, this good hearted busy body plays, matchmaker, guidance counselor, and all around helpful Hannah to the lovelorn, jobless, and friendless. Pining away for a voice on the other end of the phone Ella dreams of Mr. Plaza 0-4433, this tale spins out of control as mistaken identities, an investigation by the feds and a clandestine book making enterprise threatens to send them all up the river.

With such catchy tunes like "Just in Time", "The Party's Over" and "Long Before I knew You", these songs have since become a part of the American Standards songbook. Comden and Green transport us to a much simpler time where there were no cell phones, voice mail, or facebook, and phone numbers had names instead of numbers. With their wit and banter the characters come to life regardless of what decade this show is performed. I find some of the reviews of this show a bit condescending to New York audiences by suggesting it is to outdated and that most of the audience would not understand the references. I beg to differ, granted the audience I was in was of a generation or two older than myself but the story is still universal boy and girl meet fall in love, miscommunication they looses each other for a short bit but all is reconciled in the end. I like to give audiences the benefit of the doubt and to be honest, how many times can we see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or any other specifically time stamped production?

Tony nominee Kellie O' Hara is joined by Mad Men handsome Will Chase, along side Judy Kaye, Jack Doyle, David Pittu, and the handsome Bobby Cannavale, to bring us a show that had all the trappings of a "Stage Reading" but delivered a ready for Broadway Production. The sweet vocal styling of Ms. O'Hara and her ability to effortlessly command the stage as a slap sticky Red-Head, then turn on a dime to become that vulnerable person who is looking to love and be loved is a talent that not many current actresses on Broadway can pull off. I have not had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Chase in other productions other than this one, but I was very impressed by his voice and from as high up as we were I think he looked handsome, maybe I should Google his picture and see what he looks like. I had waited in anticipation for the second act to hear one of my favorite songs, "Just in Time" and I wasn't disappointed by it, but there was one duet that I had not anticipated. "Better than a Dream" was so hauntingly beautiful and so well sung and the arraignment of the music and lyrics, shows that they don't write songs like this anymore. What is interesting is that this song was added about two weeks into the initial 1956 run, but was cut from the 1960 movie. Why they would cut this song is beyond me, maybe Dean Martin and Judy Holiday couldn’t pull it off? Who knows?

What makes a show great? Is a complex question a lot of factors are involved, book, music, lyrics, lead cast, ensemble, back stage help etc. No show can really be good without the workings of the other parts, and this show has something magical going for it, it has it all and for me the main stand out besides the lead characters is the supporting cast, I can't say enough about the ensemble of this show, this was a really tight group and their voices blended so well and really took on the sound of the music. Broadway shows of the 1950's have a unique sound to them and it is hard to replicate that, so I must give my hats off to Mr. Rob Berman for pulling everyone together as Music Director. I must say thank you to City Center for continuing the Encores program, because without it we would loose the heritage of our theater past.

Rhett and I agree that this should be fast tracked to a run on Broadway, it is a Hell of a lot better than that piece of crap Bye Bye Birdie that dared to pass itself off as a revival.

So on a scale of Top, Bottom or Versatile I give this show a "Versatile Top" the kind of show that you can take home to mom, but in the bedroom watch out.

See ya on the Boards

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stonewall Sensation Week 9

After what has been a very interesting few weeks we are coming down to the wire and the competition is heating up....... Blah Blah Blah, I feel like I am Tom what's his name on Dancing with the stars, let's face it this is a drinking game, albeit a game with some pretty damn talented singers, and a pretty sweet grand prize.

So without further ado here is the run down.

Stonewall Sensation Week 9

Ring Master: Brandon Cutrell
Kat Shurelle on the 88's.
Dj Chuckles filling in for CT.
And as always the every popular team of Mikey and LaLa aka Lawerence behind the bar getting us FADED.

So we had a few special guest judges, but for the life of me I didn't catch their names, but we had our usual suspects, to give us their judgement.
Ariel Sinclair
Poppi Kramer
Adam Feldman

We are still left with 5 contestants:
Alex Amarosa
Sarah Cummings
Creighton Fraker
Jeff Jones
Sara Straw

The rankings this week were as follows;
Top 2
With 69 Votes Jeff Jones
With 56 Votes Creighton Fraker

Safe in the Middle

With 54 Votes Sarah Straw

Bottom 2
Tied with 44 votes each
Alex Amarosa
Sarah Cummings

This is the first time this has ever happened at Stonewall Sensation so the judges decided that no will be eliminated this week.

Theme: Up and coming songwriters, and Bartenders Choice.

Act 1
Up and Coming Songwriters
Our merry band of performers were given a list of new songwriters, this reporter did not have a chance to see said list but I doubt I would have recognized any names on list, but I was told these are some of the newest and brightest talent currently on the scene. I really have no real input on the contestants during this act. It is very hard for me to make any positive or negative feedback on music I have never heard of, most of the choices this evening were all ballads, and as sweet and heart wrenching as some were. I was ready to take a whole bottle of Tylenol PM, chug a bottle of Jamesson, slit my writs and slip into a warm tub. The singing by all of the participants was well done, but I did see most of them struggling with songs and music they were unfamiliar with. It was a rough first act but all them pushed through and gave it their best effort.
Well done Kids!!!!!!!!!!!

Act 2
Bartenders Choice
Now this is the part of the show we were waiting for. Our intrepid bartenders have racked their Alcohol fogged brains to find the perfect song for each of our contestants’ voices. (Ahhh who am I kidding I think the guys got loaded after work and picked shit out of a hat.)

1. Sara Straw: I'm the only one, Melissa Ethridge
This is a great song for Sarah's voice; she added a bit of rock edge to it, which makes this song great for her vocal range.

2. Alex Amarosa: That's Life, Frank Sinatra
Alex sang this song very well and added his own little twist to it. He gave it a bit of a jazzy, blues, lounge act feel and made it his own. Alex is very comfortable in this genre and the showmanship he imparts lends to his appeal to the audience.

3. Creighton Fraker: Dream On, Areosmith
OK so I am sure by now you all know how I feel about this kid. As I have previously lambasted this young man for his lack of originality in his vocal stylings. His constant use of his head voice versus his chest voice, so it was I guess to be expected that the song choice for him this week would be Dream On by Aerosmith. It is a perfect song for his register and he pulled off the high notes and got into the campy showmanship that the song tends to offer. So I guess good job Creighton, I just wish I can hear you do something different, and blow us all way.

4. Sarah Cummings: The Man That Got Away, Music by Harold Arlen, Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
So most of us Queens and Theater Folk all know that Judy Garland made this song famous in the 1954 movie A Star is Born. This song is hard to pull off because everyone expects a specific way it should be sung, well at least how they think it should be sung. I give kudos to Sara for taking the song serious, and putting some effort into the execution of the piece. My only real issue I have with her performance was the choice of background track. It was to fast and she rushed through a deliberately slow song, the pace of the song is key and she has the voice for it. I think she cheated herself out of a truly great moment, by not taking the time to comb through the various tracks for this song.

5. Jeff Jones: I Want to Break Free, Queen
Alright the showmanship award this week goes to Jeff Jones, after a quick costume change and a shave. Jeff Jones, comes out on stage to rock Queen's anthem to non-conformity, in cut off jean shorts, and sporting a 1970's porn star mustache Jeff rocked the house, and gave us Freddy Mercury realness. Great Job man!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stonewall Sensation will be back 12/01/2010 after the Thanksgiving holiday

The theme will be 3 songs each to be sung:
1. Judges Pick
2. A song already sung w/Kat
3. A New Song to be sung w/Kat

I am looking forward to returning after the Holiday to see what our little monkey’s come up with, I am sure the time off with be greatly appreciated by them all and I hope they take the time to practice, practice, practice.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stonewall Sensation Week 8

It is now getting down to the wire as we say hello to our 5 remaining finalists.

Alex Amarosa

Sarah Cummings

Creighton Fraker

Jeff Jones

Sara Straw

This weeks Top 2 and Bottom 2

Top 2

with 50 votes Creighton Fraker

with 47 votes Sarah Cummings

Bottom 2

Sara Straw

Jeff Jones

This was a non elimination round so everyone was safe, but had some been eliminated it would have been Jeff Jones.

Alex Amarosa was safe in the middle as this weeks "Lucky Pierre" everyone likes to be in the middle.


MFI Ariel Sinclair

Poppi K

Adam Feldman

Guest Judge Beca Johnson Southward

Staffing the Circus

Brandon Cutrell Hosting

Kat, I know girl! I keep misspelling your name, Sherelle on the 88's

CT in the DJ booth

Lawerence and Mike getting us all drunk

All righty kids, so this week was Duets in the first ACT each pair had to sing a song of the judges choosing.

1st up Sara Straw and Creighton Fraker; Take me or Leave Me, From Rent, picked by Poppi K

This number was good they preceded it with a few lines prior to the song starting and the two played well off each other.

Sara sounded good but could tell that she needed a little bit more time with the song and on some of the higher parts. Breath control and projection still needs a little work but all in all well done Ms. Lady.
Creighton has great musicality, and played the audience well, singing the part of Maureen was perfect for his unique voice. Creighton has never had a problem with going all out and putting on a show for the audience, but in this case he may have been a little into the part and I felt he could have toned down the performance a little, and played it less campy. But still the two were fine together as a team.

2nd Duet Alex Amarosa and Sarah Cummings; Separate Lives, Phil Collins, picked by Adam Feldman. Now I have never heard of this song and candidly the two singers had said just as much to me. Both Alex and Sarah show that they are professionals and even though they both clearly struggled get through the song, they didn't wimp out and half ass it. At points the range was a bit high for Alex, but he went for it anyway. Sarah had a few flat notes as well but I think it was due to the fact that she wasn't totally behind the song. I will say Alex and Sarah sing well together but, I would have liked them to sing a different song. "Take me to the World" from Evening Primrose or "Elaborate Lives" from Aida would have suited them very nicely. But Thank you Adam Feldman for Challenging these kids.

3rd up Jeff Jones and Brook Ishibashi (last season's winner); A Whole New World, from Disney's Aladdin. All I have to say was Jeff and Brooke did such a great job. There is a reason why Brooke won last season and I love to hear her sing. Jeff has a nice baritone voice and had bit of a struggle to hit some of the higher notes in the song, a little more practice and he'll be fine.

Ok so I really didn't think the Duets went all that well this week. There were some good things about the performances but there were alot of things that went wrong. I don't know if each pair had a lot of time to rehearse together, but I think a little more rehearsal would have produced a better number on the whole.

Prior to intermission Brooke Ishibashi brought down the house with a great number that I forgot to write down, but thanks Brooke!!!!!

As the second act started up, we were entertained by the Inspirational styling of Ariel Sinclair with her show stopping tribute to and I quote our Host Brandon Cutrell "5 time Grammy award Winner and the best contemporary Christian singer to ever live!!!! Ms. Sandi Patty" Ariel gave us "Make his praise glorious" click on the link so see it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nd_0IDVpnI

So with the crowd full of the Holy Spirit or Jack Daniels, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference, we begin the solo portion of the show.

The Theme for the contestants was an Inspirational song of their choosing.

Sara Straw: Wild Angels, Martina McBride. I could tell that this song meant something to Ms. Straw. I felt that this week Sara decided to "Bring It" and she did very well with her song choice.
Alex Amarosa: Being Alive, Company. Alex gave us a very good rendition of this song and I could tell that this also meant something to him, and the depth of this song was expressed in his voice, he faltered towards the end of the song on a note or two but he still attacked the song with confidence. Alex got slightly slammed by the judges on his song choice, they felt he played it a little to safe. I would have suggested to him if he wanted to sing a song from company I would have chosen "Someone is Waiting" or "Marry Me a Little". But I think, "If you can find me, I'm here" from Evening Primrose, would be perfect for his voice.

Jeff Jones: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine in; Hair. Jeff Jones gave us a wonderful up lifting number that will always gets the crowd going. He sang it very well and was spot on with the notes and the musicality of the piece. The only real suggestion I would have made was put a little more soul in the beginning of "Let the Sunshine In" the beginning of the song is slow and mournful like a funeral dirge and needs to be treated as such, then you break out with chorus.

Sarah Cummings: I do it anyway, Martina McBride. This girl has such a great voice and the song was perfect for her and I really enjoyed it. There was a slight touch of a "Miley" sound to her take on the song, which is not a bad thing. But try not to mimic, be yourself and find YOUR own voice and sound and use that when you sing.

Creighton Fraker: What if God was one of us? Joan Osborne. Ok this kid is a trip I can't express this enough. I have heard him sing all throughout this contest, and he keeps going and going, he has a following, and the judges seem to like him. Creighton's performance this week was well sung I guess and since it was a song sung by a girl it is perfect for his voice. The question I am wondering is if he can't help the fact that he sings in a high register? But it also seems like he is straining when he does sing that high, I know he is a man and I just wish he would allow his balls to drop and sing either in his chest voice or somewhere father down ,the boy has chops, but even Kurt Hummel from Glee sings in a low register every now and then. So Crieghton don't be scared to sing low, and like a man. You have the ability, talent, and showmanship to do great things just step out of your comfort zone.

This week had a some very interesting bits and pieces to it, and I can now see that the contestants are starting to take this more seriously, but I caution them to try and think about not just what they are going to sing but how. Really read into the lyrics of the song listen to the music and feel it in your soul and heart.
Next Week:
Songs by up and coming songwriters and Bartenders Choice.
See you at the Stonewall kids.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Rhett's Review

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I LOVE seeing a New Broadway show on a Saturday Night!...... the excitement and energy are electric! If you've never been to a Broadway show in NYC on a Saturday Night, you've never experienced the true wonder and joy of live theater in the Big Apple. As Carlos and I grabbed a booth to enjoy our pre-theater cocktails at the newly renovated "Barrage" on 47 and 9th Ave, our adrenaline was pumping and we had giddy little schoolgirl smiles from ear to ear! ( It helps that Barrage has TWO Happy Hours daily from 5-8pm and 10p-Midnight: pre and post theater happy hour!!!......Loves It!) After a cocktail.... or 3 (who can count you are so excited!LOL) , we made our way to the Barrymore (aka our "Default" theater when we don't actually know where a show is playing......lol....but this show was actually at the Barrymore!)
Jennifer Coolidge and Denis O'Hare return to Broadway fresh off their individual Hollywood successes (she's best known for "Best in Show" and her Character Paulette in "Legally Blonde"---"I'm taking the Dog Asshole!"...lol! He's most recently known as Russell, the Vampire King of Mississippi on "True Blood".) We also go to pop the cherry of Broadway newcomer Brendan Fraser (School Ties, Gods and Monsters, and Inkheart.... ugh!) Set in Oslo, Norway, this show is supposedly set " Present Day", but to this everyday American, it might as well be set in the 1920's, no cell phones to be seen, no television, bland clothing, and strange robotic verbiage. Apparently Norwegian humor differs from American humor ( mostly because American humor is...uh.. how do I put it?....FUNNY) the basic plot is of two diagnosed "Crazies" who meet in a loony bin. A la "The Odd Couple" we have the dirty, messy, sex and food driven Kjell Bjanre (pronounced Chell Beeyarnuh-ugh!0 played by Fraser, and the uptight, agoraphobic, momma's boy Elling played by O'Hare. Upon release from the nut house, the government places them in a subsidized apartment to reconnect with the real world, and break their unhealthy psychotic habits. They are visited and tested regularly by a state social worker, Frank 9played sufficiently, if not impressively by Jeremy Shamos).
The Roommates bicker and fight, but also push each other to conquer their fears. When Kjell goads Elling to leave the house, Elling decides to run away to spite him, and finds solace at a nearby Poetry den. Elling ends up making a friend in Alfons, played with John Gielgud-esque poise by Richard Easton). the only real fun is brought in the form of 3 outlandish, big breasted Scandinavian Strumpets, all portrayed by the superbly unique Jennifer Coolidge. Most notable is her main character, Reiden, a single pregnant blue collar broad, who lives in the apartment above Kjell and Elling, and is constantly smoking and chugging wine (at 8 1/2 months pregnant).
While O'Hare has moments of brilliant self-reflection, and some fun physical comedy shtick, Fraser is literally is a lump on the stage. Fraser, like his character, is an "orangutan", but not nearly as endearing. Easton steals a few choice moments, but is not given nearly enough of the character to really challenge him. The standout here ( and the only real reason to this otherwise mediocre play) is, of course Jennifer Coolidge. As a disgruntled Nordic waitress, or an eclectic spastic Poetess with a black beehive hairdo. She captivates and cajoles the audience. In her role as "soon-to-be Mother" Reiden, she has us laughing along with her so heartily that we forget to care that her unborn baby will probably be born premature and with fetal alcohol syndrome!.... lol. Sometimes we see a play and it's clearly great, or terrible, but more often than not it falls into a grey area, where we measure the good aspects vs. the bad, with Elling, the scale falls far to the side of the later. In my opinion seeing a few great actors in a mediocre play is still better than seeing mediocre actors in ANYTHING.

Walk, don't run, and get some reduced price tickets to "Elling" (if you have some time to kill)

On a scale of Top, Bottom, or Versatile. I give Elling a Versatile Bottom: the kind of trick you may not call again, but you don't regret hooking up just once.

See ya on the Boards

Carlos' Review

In honor of seeing a Norwegian based play I have written ,well google translated my review into Norwegian and English.

Hope you enjoy
Det er type av morsom som og som jeg har dradd se, har vært jeg den som ha blitt kjørt sen. Jeg tekst Rhett og forteller ham som jeg er en blokk borte og jeg får responsen som han er der og «jeg er i hjørnet. .......watching du kysser hennes ohhhhhoohhh. ......” Jeg elsker Robyn. hva et Hva en Dork ! ! !
Alright Pre-Teater drikker ble holdt på Barrage 47 og 9 Ave, den store tingen om denne bar, har de to glade timer : Pre Teater 5p-8p og Posterer Teater 10p-12a. I løpet av de Glade Timene er alt 1/2 prissatt, ikke dårlig å betrakting som overskrift til en aften av teater, en må temmelig mye ta en andre pantelån ut på deres hjem. Med våre drikker i hånd og ha noen mye måtte innhente tid med min yndlingsJøde, Rhett og jeg fastsatte inn i vår banquette, jeg kunne ikke hjelpe under på den behagelige og rommelige bar Strøm har blitt, det tydelig gjennomgikk en hovedrenovering og lar en industri, steril coziness føle til det. Slik med et par en runder av drikkene under vårt belte og litt forskning på Rhetts dekorert områdetelefon, kunne utpønske vi utstillingen som vi ser. All som vi visste var at Brendan Fraser, gjennomførte Denis O'Hare, Richard Easton, og den Gale Jennifer Coolidge, så litt mer enn summet vi trudged av inn i striden som er Tidskvadrat og laget vår måte til Barrymore.
fredag, på den 5e november, 2010 er
8:00pm Ethel Barrymore Teater
Elling et skuespill som blir basert på en serie av bøkene ved Norsk Forfatter Ingvar Ambjørnsen. Denne spesielle produksjon ble tilpasset inn i Engelsk ved Simon Bøyd og dirigerte ved Doug Hughes. Elling, som blir lekt av Denis O'Hare er historien av en mann som har levd hans helt liv med hans mor og blir tatt å leve i en institusjon etter hans mor passerer borte. Han blir roommates og venner med en simpleminded mann som er DEN 40 årige gammele kjønnet obsessed Jomfruen, blir Kjell Bjarne, lekt av Broadway nykommer Brendan Fraser. Etter blir utløst fra institusjonen dette mismatched paret trekket til Oslo, hvor skuespillet blir satt, og ved hjelp av deres sosial arbeider, Frank ?sli som blir lekt av den vittige Jeremy Shamos, det to forsøket og integrerer tilbake inn i gjennomsnittssamfunn. Langs måten møter de en eksentrisk dikter, som blir lekt av Richard Easton, og gravid nabo, som blir gjennomført av Jennifer Coolidge.
Etter at jeg finne ut dette var et Norsk skuespill som jeg ble hisset opp og engstelig om det jeg er en stor Scndiaphile. Jeg er alltid nervøs skjønt når utenlandsk skuespill, er overrakt til Amerikansk publikum, du vet aldri hvordan reaksjonen vil være til en forskjellig stil av humoren mest Amerikanere er bruk til Britisk humor og til et omfang Canadisk humor men noe som helst på hovedkontinentet det kan bli litt flyktig. Mens utstillingen begynte jeg ble mint av hvordan tørr Scandinavian humor kan være, jeg brukte en kort tid i Stockholm, Sverige og jeg visste hvordan deres mening av humoren er, er Nordmennene meget liknende i deres levering av deres vidd. Skrifttypen ble godt skrevet og dialogen og historien som blir klippet med på et godt skritt. Denis O'Hare mens Elling lekte en ekstremt beskyttet mammas gutten med slik oppriktighet. Brendan Fraser for hans først avbrudd av porten på den store hvite måten, dradd av det kjønn obsessed Kjell Bjarne med en noe nøling, jeg tror for en filmskuespiller som er bruk til flerfoldig tar ved prøveen å få en gjørt scene, det må være vanskelig, et trinnskuespill eller musikalsk, får du en skudd pr. natt å få prestasjonen til høyre. Jeg har en følelse som mens dette løpet fortsetter Herr Fraser vil bli mer og mer behagelig med rollen og hans tilstedeværelse auf der b. Jennifer Coolidge, som du all kan vite fra Beste i Utstilling, som Venter på Guffman, og Lovlig Blond, lekte et par forskjellige kvinnelige karakterer i utstillingen, leverte hennes ledninger og med den samme vanskeligheten som nesten har blitt hennes handelmerke som fungerer stil. utstillingen var i det er tredje dag av previews og kastet syntes litt nervøst om der og bekymret med hensyntil hva publiket ville tro.
Generelt tror jeg kastet sant tror på utstillingen og mens ukene avanserer, jeg tror at de vil finne deres skogholt og utstillingen vil ha et hyggelig glatt løp. Jeg likte det, og det har ført opp noen interessante spørsmål som er vi virkelig om, hva definerer oss, og i samfunnlevebrøddag til dag vi all er tilbøyelig til å føle litt forskjøvet og muligens galt, som er hva er normal om oss som Mennesker.
lik på en målestokk av Toppet, Bunn, eller Allsidig.
Jeg gir denne Prestasjonen av Elling, enAllsidig.


It's kind of funny that the past few shows Rhett and I have gone to see, I have been the one who has been running late. I text Rhett and tell him I am a block away and I get the response that he is there and "I'm in the corner........watching you kiss her ohhhhhoohhh......." I love Robyn.

(Rhett you are a Dork, but not as much as me for writing a review in Norwegian!!!)

Alright Pre-Theater drinks were held at Barrage West 47th and 9th Ave, the great thing about this bar, they have two happy hours: Pre Theater 5p-8p and Post Theater 10p-12a. During the Happy Hours everything is 1/2 priced, not bad considering that heading to a evening of theater, one pretty much has to take a second mortgage out on their home. With our drinks in hand and having some much needed catch up time with my favorite Jew, Rhett and I settled into our banquette, I couldn't help marvel at the comfortable and spacious bar Barrage has become, it apparently underwent a major renovation and has an industrial, sterile coziness feel to it. So with a few a rounds of drinks under our belt and a little research on Rhett's fancy space phone, we were able to figure out the show we are seeing. All we knew was that Brendan Fraser, Denis O'Hare, Richard Easton, and the Crazy Jennifer Coolidge were performing, so a little more than buzzed we trudged off into the fray that is Times Square and made our way to the Barrymore.

Friday, November 5, 2010
Ethel Barrymore Theater

Elling is a play based on a series of books by Norwegian Author Ingvar Ambjørnsen.
This particular production was adapted into English by Simon Bent and directed by Doug Hughes. Elling, played by Denis O'Hare is the story of a man who has lived his whole life with his mother and is taken to live in an institution after his mother passes away. He becomes roommates and friends with a simpleminded man who is THE 40-year old sex obsessed Virgin, Kjell Bjarne, played by Broadway newcomer Brendan Fraser. After being released from the institution this mismatched pair move to Oslo, where the play is set, and with the help of their social worker, Frank Åsli played by the witty Jeremy Shamos, the two try and integrate back into mainstream society. Along the way they meet an eccentric poet, played by Richard Easton, and pregnant neighbor, performed by Jennifer Coolidge.

Once I found out this was a Norwegian play I was excited and apprehensive about it I am a big Scndiaphile. I am always nervous though when foreign plays, are presented to American audiences, you never know how the reaction will be to a different style of humor most Americans are use to British humor and to an extent Canadian humor but anything on the main continent it can become a little sketchy. As the show began I was reminded of how dry Scandinavian humor can be, I spent a brief time in Stockholm, Sweden and I knew how their sense of humor is, the Norwegians are very similar in their delivery of their wit. The script was well written and the dialogue and the story clipped along at a good pace. Denis O'Hare as Elling played an extremely sheltered mamma's boy with such sincerity. Brendan Fraser for his first time out of the gate on the great white way, pulled off the sex obsessed Kjell Bjarne with a some hesitation, I think for a movie actor who is use to multiple takes in trying to get a scene done, it must be difficult, a stage play or musical, you get one shot a night to get the performance right. I have a feeling that as this run continues Mr. Fraser will become more and more comfortable with the role and his presence on stage. Jennifer Coolidge, who you may all know from Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman, and Legally Blonde, played a few different female characters in the show, delivered her lines and with the same awkwardness that has almost become her trade mark acting style. the show was in it's third day of previews and the cast seemed a little nervous about there and worried as to what the audience would think. In general I believe the cast truly believes in the show and as the weeks progress, I think they will find their grove and the show will have a nice smooth run.

I liked it, and it did bring up some interesting questions about who are we really, what defines us, and in society where living day to day we all tend to feel a little displaced and possibly crazy , this is what is so normal and real about us as Human beings.

So on a scale of Top, Bottom, or Versatile.

I give this Performance of Elling, a Versatile Bottom, with a wow did I just pick you up on the Subway and bring you home?

Playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theater
243 West 47th Street
New York, NY
Preview Start November 2, 2010
Opening Night November 20, 2010
Closing Night March 20, 2011
Dark on Mondays

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stonewall Sensation Week 7

I just wanted to say thank you to my little spies who reported back to me on last nights Stonewall Sensation. I will be back next week, and ready to go.

Reported By Agent 008
Last nights placements were as follows:

In the number 1 position after last week Alex Amirosa with 42 votes

In the bottom two:

Sarah Cummings
Bradley Zellars

Bradley was eliminated with only 16 votes

This weeks themes were
1) A rock song performed with Kat Sherrell on the piano
2) A Jackson song performed with a track

Sara Straw sang:
1) Paint it Black by the rolling stones: Judges said the song was good for her range but definitely needs to work on her confidence you can really see she has the talent, the looks but is lacking the self esteem( Sara AGREES)
2) For her Michael Jackson song she sang "Billie Jean" Judges liked the performance and stated that it was definitely better than her first song of the night. It fit her voice well.

Creighton Fraker:
1) Call me by Blondie ( JUDGES loved it) they were memorized, entertained and he was just amazing.
2) Who's loving you (jackson song)...judges loved his interpretation of the song and all around the boards and in the audience everyone couldn't get over how much he showcased his talents last night "Will the real Creighton Please stand up" and last night he did taller than anyone.

Sarah Cummings:
1) Aerosmith "Cryin" Judges raved about her voice but Adam stated he is going to start getting a little nit-picky because she is so good but well of course everyone loved her and her american apparel outfits.
2) I get so lonely by Janet Jackson---judges loved the song but some thought it was just a little to boring for a Jackson song since there was so many other good choices out there.

Alex Amarosa:
1. Some song by Heart
2. Ben by Michael Jackson

Jeff Jones:
1. Faithfully by Journey
2. I want you back by the Jackson 5

Next weeks topics are:
1) An inspirational song of your choice with Kat on piano
2) Duets!!! With Kat on the piano.
Match ups are:
Sara Straw and Creighton Fraker singing "Take Me or Leave Me" from Rent
Alex Amirosa and Sarah Cumings singing "Separate Lives" Phil Colins
Jeff Jones with special returning winner of season 5 singer Brooke Ishibashi singing "A Whole New World"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Notable Happings

So just to let you all know I will not be covering the Stonewall Sensation tonight 11/3/2010 due to prior comittments, but I have my little spies who will report back to me with the details, and i will post them foryou all to read, all 7 of my fans.

A few happenings this month:

Molly Pope will be appearing at Joe's Pub on tuesday, november 23rd 7:30pm

go to http://www.mollypope.com/ for more details


Emily Shoolin

"Perfect Isn't Easy" A Cabaret
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 9:30pm
at the Laurie Beechman Theater
inside the West Bank Cafe
407 West 42nd street and 9th Ave
$10 cover
plus a $15 food and drink min.
Reservations are suggested


Blood [by the Mummers]

Blood a New Musical [by the mummers]

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


National Comedy Theater

347 west 36th street Between 8th and 9th Ave

I had an very interesting night at the theater, well first off I was flying solo my usual cohort Rhett was stuck in Key West at the airport trying to get back to NYC, but kept getting bumped or was doing bumps it's all a bit vague. So going stag I stopped into some random hotel bar three doors down from the theater had my usual drink, and waited. At 10 min to 8, I made my way to the theater and waited to see what the evening had in store for me. What I got to see was a new musical called Blood, it was being performed by the performance/comedy troupe called by the mummers.

According to their web site "By the Mummers is an ensemble of traditional artists interacting live and online....Our shows follow an interactive play within a play format, creating character driven original pieces inspired by History and Literature."

As I entered the theater I was greeted by up beat dance music and lots of people milling about some audience members, and most of the cast. The cast and house staff were running around setting the stage, putting up decorations, chatting with audience, and horsing around with each other. I had a feeling that I was walking into a Middle School or High School, and I say this without meaning they were unprofessional or anything. It was more a very relaxed environment and it reminded me of my group of Drama friends in High school and my current theater friends now. Aundre the technical director, I guess for a lack of a better term, greets the audience and begins to explain the group and the play, all the while there are light and sound cues still being worked on, a few actors interrupt him and ask about script and notes changes for the night. It is by this time realize the show has actually started, and we will see during the rest of the first act, this breaking of the fourth wall.
The Plot: I am going to take a direct quote from the leaflet for the show rather than try and give you all the details.
"Year after year, Birnham High School is a hot bed of supernatural bloodshed. At the start of each school calendar, the student body loads up on the big events before their teenage lives are snuffed out like candles. the morning of the welcome Back Prom finds the ambitious and sparkling upstart Mack rising amongst the hallway ranks of pretty girls, nerds, jocks, & studs. His girl, Maura is readily at his side, trying to escape the normalcy that is her life with best friend Jacques- who is anything but normal.... when Blood begins to spill, a prophecy revealing 'The Chosen One' shall determine that fates of the Brirnam Woodsmen and, most of all, Duff, the struggling dismissed cheerleader." The show had a lot of elements that draw from the Twilight Series, Degrassi High, Noises Off and a lot of Macbeth (oh sorry guys the Scottish Play) factor into the telling of this story.
Ok so with that out of the way, I have to say what a great night out it was, the show was lame, awesome and random. The music and the lyrics for the show had me in awe, I know it's not easy to write a musical and so I give the music team props for taking on 15 original songs. A few songs that stick with you, Puppy Love and Raising the Stakes, in the first act. Act two has Unleashed reprised, All the Way, Out, Out Brief Candle, and the Finale Children of the Night. The song that gets stuck in your head would have to be the opening number of the second act, (There will be no Virgins After) Tonight. I found myself laughing out loud and shaking my head and constantly think WTF is this? There were some great performances and singers, Jake Ottosen as Jacques is someone to watch out for in the future, as well Nora Munde Gustuson as Maura, the person who really blew me away with her voice was Aileen Targett as one of the three 'Chorus' members. The comic styling of Matt Harvey as Rennie are not to be over looked as well. With a cast that has great chemistry and great sense of humorbeacuse of this cast and thier determination made up for the weakness of the book.
There were a few things that I would have tightened up, in the first act there were elements of Noises Off where the technical director would interject his comments have the actors re deliver their lines, and would argue with girl and guy running the light and sound board. When these little asides were done, but the consistency wasn't there, the show would continue for great while before another interjection was added and it seemed unnecessary. If you are going to go the Noises Off route be consistent. The only other critique I would give is have the actors slow down a little in their delivery of their lines, I feel some great jokes were missed because they were rushing, and also some of the enunciation was lacking, I strained to hear what Rennie was saying as well as Duffy.

This was a fun show I really enjoyed myself and wish my side kick was with me. Rhett would have loved the sheer absurdity of the whole spectacle, I am sure some people would have hated and said it was bad, the great thing about this troupe I think deep down they all know it's not a Tony winning show, but it's new and fresh and silly, and the whole Ensemble truly belived in the show and were proud to show off what they had created, and to those who would look down their nose at this production I would say "let's see you write an original musical." I am looking forward to seeing what this crazy little group will do next, Hey guys you have a New Stalker.... I mean Fan.

So of the choices for my review of TOP, BOTTOM, or VERSITILE

I give this show a VERSITILE, do some manscaping on the script and tighten up a few songs and I can see this show being a Halloween staple year after year...........