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: On Broadway and Off  ( 15924 )
drinkanddestroy
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« #30 : October 20, 2014, 09:40:30 AM »

I wouldn't be against trying out a musical if it isn't too expensive; I may be narrow-minded, but I'm not close-minded. Besides, it's fun to go out. It doesn't bother me all that much if the movie/show isn't good; it's nice to go out once in a while, have a drink and chat about movies. So, I'd be down if you wanted to go out sometime :)


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« #31 : October 20, 2014, 10:37:48 AM »

While not so prestigious, Pittsburgh's O'Reilly Theater has a production of The Glass Menagerie running through November 2nd. It's getting good reviews in the local press, so I might check it out next weekend. O0
By all means. TGM is clearly one of the great American plays of the 20th Century. I saw a David-Cromer-directed production on Broadway a couple years ago and it was fabulous.



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« #32 : October 20, 2014, 10:53:30 AM »

I wouldn't be against trying out a musical if it isn't too expensive; I may be narrow-minded, but I'm not close-minded. Besides, it's fun to go out. It doesn't bother me all that much if the movie/show isn't good; it's nice to go out once in a while, have a drink and chat about movies. So, I'd be down if you wanted to go out sometime :)
I'm not usually a big musical fan either, but if there's something that sounds interesting I'm sometimes willing to go to one. I went to Les Miz two weeks ago with students (we have Theater Day every year) and, although it isn't something I'd pay to see myself, I found it pretty entertaining (and didn't fall asleep once). Currently, there are 3 musicals that I have some interest in seeing: Mathilda (because it's Roald Dahl, and very well-reviewed), On the Town (which I can get discounted tickets on--but still incredibly expensive), and The Band Wagon (because I like the film). The Band Wagon is cheapest but maybe the least interesting of the three (it doesn't, after all, have Astaire or Cyd Charisse). The other thing is, choosing a musical means NOT selecting a straight dramatic play, and I'd almost always rather see one of those (it there's a decent one). Well, I'll work on this awhile and see what I can come up with . . .



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« #33 : October 20, 2014, 12:14:20 PM »

Yes, straight drama is best for me, as you know ;)

And I have zero preference for Broadway over off-Broadway; of the 3 plays we've seen, my favorite was the one off-Broadway one.

Btw, I haven't seen the movie of THE GLASS MENAGERIE. Is it good? Should I put it in my queue?


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« #34 : October 20, 2014, 12:51:10 PM »

Btw, I haven't seen the movie of THE GLASS MENAGERIE. Is it good? Should I put it in my queue?
Do you mean the one with Katherine Hepburn? It's not so good.

UPDATE: I guess there's an earlier one with Jane Wyman and Kirk Douglas from 1950, but I haven't seen that. I don't think it's ever been put out on a legit DVD, so it's hard to see. IMDb has some info on it, and it sounds like they messed with the ending, so it may not be worth watch anyway.

« : October 20, 2014, 01:02:11 PM dave jenkins »


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« #35 : October 21, 2014, 08:13:57 PM »

I like the Hepburn version fine. The Wyman-Douglas one is terrible. The Joanne Woodward one is... okay.



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« #36 : October 22, 2014, 06:21:28 AM »

The best THE GLASS MENAGERIE I've seen was on one of the Playhouse 90 productions in B&W on TV in the early 60's don't remember the actors, will do a search.


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« #37 : October 22, 2014, 02:36:10 PM »

The best THE GLASS MENAGERIE I've seen was on one of the Playhouse 90 productions in B&W on TV in the early 60's don't remember the actors, will do a search.

It must have been this one

The first television version, recorded on videotape and starring Shirley Booth, was broadcast on December 8, 1966 as part of CBS Playhouse. Barbara Loden played Laura, Hal Holbrook played Tom and Pat Hingle played the Gentleman Caller. Booth was nominated for an Emmy for her performance as Amanda.

We still had a B&W TV then


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« #38 : October 23, 2014, 04:48:49 AM »

We still had a B&W TV then
So did my family. I think we didn't go color until the 70s.



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« #39 : October 25, 2014, 03:45:57 PM »

Caught today's matinee performance of The Glass Menagerie. Almost as exciting was finding one of my college friends works there as an usher, so we went out for drinks afterwards. O0

The staging was pretty straightforward: they had everything on one set and stayed close to Williams' text, save a few bits of ad libbing. Menagerie definitely works better onstage than any of the film versions I've seen.

Lynne Wintersteller as Amanda was great: she had good dialect, rapid fire abrasiveness, generating big laughs and periodic annoyance. Her Act Two entrance in some horrible, egg-colored plantation dress got huge laughs. Tom's actor (Fisher Neal) mugged a bit during the comic sequences but made a nice, snarky counterpoint. Jordan Whalen's Jim was really excellent. Only Laura's actress (Cathryn Wake) seemed off; she delivered every line in the same trembling tone, even when Jim starts breaking through her shell.

Overall though, a really good production. The Post-Gazette reviewed it here:
http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/theater-dance/2014/10/14/Stage-review-Glass-Menagerie-has-a-memorable-Amanda/stories/201410140021



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« #40 : April 25, 2015, 07:11:46 PM »

Caught a production of Carly Mensch's Oblivion at the City Theatre tonight. It's an alienated teen drama with a twist: the parents are super liberals, the kid pisses them off by finding Christianity. There's also a budding filmmaker who worships Pauline Kael, a funny joke on its own. Clever and amusing, though not as deep as it thinks. The actors were excellent, especially Julia Warner as the teen girl (who, I'm shamed to admit, is two years my junior! Groggy's getting old).

http://www.citytheatrecompany.org/play/oblivion/



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« #41 : May 09, 2015, 08:40:37 PM »

The Pittsburgh Public Theater's currently running an excellent Othello, which I caught today before hitting the Pirates game. (Baseball and theater in the same day - my cup runneth over.) This one had some Broadway-caliber actors in it: Iago was played by Jeremy Kushnier, whom I (shamefully) know from the original Broadway cast of Footloose. Jessica Wortham was the real standout as Emilia, a role that generally gets lost in the shuffle.

A fairly straightforward production - the PPT doesn't tend towards abstract reinterpretations of classics - but it was great seeing my favorite Shakespeare play live.

http://triblive.com/aande/theaterarts/8238809-74/othello-kushnier-iago#axzz3ZhfyteCy



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« #42 : July 27, 2015, 10:50:07 AM »

I decided to see one last show before heading west for my vacation. I chose The Flick by Annie Baker, a recent Pulitzer recipient. The subject matter—film viewing—appealed to me. Also the fact that for a Sunday night performance there was a discount.

The setting is Worcester County, Massachusetts, Summer 2012.  We are introduced to employees of a seedy cinema, the Flick. There is Sam, mid-30s, a loser in a loser’s job, Rose, the projectionist, a young woman with issues, and the new hire, Avery, a college student taking a term off from college.
 
The Flick is one of the few theaters left in the state that hasn’t converted to digital projection.  But times are tough (as Sam says, “The last time we had a sell-out was for Slumdog Millionaire.”) It’s only a matter of time before the owner goes digital, or sells out to allow a new owner to make the conversion. Avery is passionately opposed to the idea—he chose to work at The Flick because it still projected film. At one point he writes a letter imploring the owner to stay with 35mm even though he knows his plea will be in vain.

The conceit of the stage design is that the audience is where the cinema’s screen is, and that we are looking full on at the theater seats and, above them, the glass windows of the projectionist’s booth. Most of the scenes consist of Sam and Avery chatting about films as they do their walk-throughs after screenings. Scenes are punctuated by the light from the projector shining directly onto the audience (which bothered some people around me) while movie music plays. I guess these were excerpts from actual scores, but I didn’t recognize any (However, there is one scene where a pair of employees stay after hours and screen one of the many titles the theater owner has, over many, many years, neglected to return to the distributor. For this scene I was more than a little gratified to note the opening bars to The Wild Bunch).

This is a long play. The first half is an hour and 40 minutes, the second, an hour and 15. The thing is, the length isn’t due to an excess of dialog or an over-complicated plot. Instead, most of the time is down to the lines of the individual actors, which are delivered slowly and surrounded by long pauses. It’s as if all the characters were in a kind of exaggerated stupor, or had seen too many films by Jarmusch/ Kaurismäki/ Roy Andersson. This is, I imagine, an effect calculated to produce mirth, and the play did get a lot of laughs (though few from me).

I almost didn’t go back after the interval, but I decided to stay and I’m glad I did. The second half was better, shorter, tighter.  It introduced recognizable dramatic elements: there is a love declaration, a betrayal, and something of a final reconciliation. Several things set up in the first half pay off nicely in the second. Throughout the play Sam and Avery have been playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon (etc.), and this is used to good dramatic effect at a critical juncture late in the play. We’re also told that Avery has the dialog in Pulp Fiction memorized: the play’s climax is actually Avery ‘s recitation of Samuel Jackson’s final speech from the film, an inspired appropriation wonderfully re-purposed.

At the end there is even a Red Sox baseball cap, worn backwards, that makes a statement, almost cinematically.

This is playing at The Barrow Street Theatre in the Village. It’s just been extended through (I think) January, so visitors to NYC this fall with a penchant for the cinema should take it in. The theater is small, even intimate. Interesting people show up in the audience (I spotted Richard Kind , of A Serious Man fame.  I wanted to rush over to him and shout, “Dude! How’s the sebaceous cyst? Is the Mentaculus real?” Somehow, though, I was able to restrain myself).



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« #43 : August 05, 2015, 01:42:03 PM »

Great news for me. For others, not so much. https://tickets.artscenter.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=5819&utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PACAugust2015Newsletter&utm_content=version_A



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« #44 : March 20, 2016, 03:15:09 PM »

Frank Langella is coming back to Broadway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EktgSSqytB8&index=1&list=PLVEQenvARs7E28967yPXMipMDTK-nv5zv

I'm going this Thursday. Drink, I got a ticket for you too: show up before 8 and you're in!



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