Posts Tagged ‘broadway’

Review – Forbidden Broadway, Menier Chocolate Factory

Tuesday 8 July 2014

220x300The Whingers have something of a history with Forbidden Broadway.

They first saw it on the Broadway itself – or rather off the Broadway – in 2007 (it was already 25 years old then) as they were running out of things too see on yer actual Broadway due to a strike by Local One.

And we saw a revised version at the Menier 5 years ago when those clever people behind the show had us eating out of their hands by name-checking the Whingers in one of the songs. How we swooned.

Of course we would not get a mention now. That moment has passed, the joke has been done and our stock is depleted. But this show has sufficient allure that even Andrew brushed off his mothballs and dragged himself along for this one.

The biggest problem for Gerard Alessandrini’s send up of Broadway and West End shows – which is constantly updated according to which shows are currently running – was could it possibly live up to its previous incarnations? Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – Once, Phoenix Theatre

Friday 5 April 2013

Once-200x300“It’s got an on-stage bar where you can buy your drinks during the interval!” *

Phil knew how to persuade Andrew to take in Once. That’s all it took.

In fact, it won last year’s Tony Award for Best Musical, and that it was based on an micro-budget indie film (winning an Oscar for best song, “Falling Slowly”) that we hadn’t seen and that it was a bit Oirish. But that was about it.

Even such scant knowledge seems to put one way ahead of the man on the 88. Mention Once to most people and they say, “What’s that?” It has slipped under the radar and really not helped by opening mere weeks after the previous year’s Best Musical Tony-Winning behemoth, Book of Mormon. But then that has a budget to pebbledash its publicity so generously you couldn’t possible not know about it.

But this show has another card up its sleeve. It’s at the Phoenix Theatre. We can’t remember when we were last there (Phil thinks it was probably Into the Woods in 1990) as it has been clogged up largely with that theatrical canker, Blood Brothers for 21 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Mopping up Broadway

Monday 3 May 2010

Goodness. It feels as though it never happened. Perhaps it didn’t? Perhaps we dreamt it. Perhaps Broadway had a nightmare.

Our strangely protracted stay on The Broadway seems like a bright, glittering, star-encrusted, faraway world and everything now seems so terribly flat and gloomy. Like Linda Blair our heads have been turned and they may never face the same way again.

The Broadway strikes which affected previous trips seem trivial compared to the confusion engendered by that volcanic eruption. At one point it looked like we might have been stranded in New York for months or smuggling ourselves into David Babani and Sonia Friedman’s hat boxes to return on the Queen Mary 2.

Actually you do not need to read this post. It’s mostly thank-yous and us writing things down so that we can look back in our dotage and be reminded of the fun times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Lend Me A Tenor, Music Box Theatre, Broadway

Wednesday 28 April 2010

The Broadway Bellyachers’ last show on The Broadway was Ken Ludwig‘s “howlingly funny” (Time Out New York), “hilarious” (New York PostLend Me A Tenor.

It came highly recommended by real people too, but most promisingly of all Charles Isherwood dissed it and so far his opinions had proved to be the very anti-matter to our opinions (which are clearly therefore the ones that matter – see what we did there?).

Anyhoo, we hadn’t agreed with him on anything. Surely we were destined to adore Lend Me A Tenor? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Memphis, Shubert Theatre

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Much like the West End, The Broadway is awash with juke box musicals and Memphis had been somewhat off the Whingers’ dial as they had mistakenly assumed it fell into that category. It just does sound like Dreamboats & Petticoats, Jersey Boys or American Idiot, doesn’t it?

Having already been chastised for not doing our homework (we tried explaining that Kevin Spacey’s dog Minnie ate it but to no avail) we really should know by now to have have checked and found out that – hallelujah! – Memphis is indeed a completely original show.

Well, perhaps “completely original” is stretching things a little. Since we knew next to nothing of this show we hadn’t read of the comparisons with Dreamgirls and Hairspray, but as the Browadway Bellyachers (as we then were) drifted into the street for their interval discussion, they found themselves almost in accord with the real critics. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – In(to) The Heights, Richard Rodgers Theatre, The Broadway

Saturday 24 April 2010

The other night the Whingers were in a bar when they bumped into a theatre critic from the New York Times (Not Ben Brantley. Another one).

Andrew was complaining about not being able to make out the lyrics at Green Day’s American Idiot – The Musical! and “real critic” Charles Isherwood (for it was he) chastised Andrew for not doing his “homework” beforehand.

Well, you can imagine how that went down. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sondheim on Sondheim, Studio 54

Saturday 24 April 2010

We’re still here.

And despite our involuntary extended status as Broadway babies it wasn’t the least bit difficult to observe the embargo on this show.

Sondheim on Sondheim officially opened at Studio 54 on Thursday night.

The Bellyachers  had graced it with their presence at last Sunday’s matinee but had to keep their traps shut until yesterday. Which was a relief really as we’ve been getting way behind with our posts and just when we almost catch up we ruin it all by going to see something else. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Promises, Promises, Broadway Theatre

Friday 23 April 2010

We may have to make our Show Rating system even more complicated and bewildering that it already is.

For how are we supposed to give a single rating to a show that was a 2 or a 3 at the interval and a 5 15 minutes into the second act?

This is Promises, Promises at The Broadway Theatre, the Burt Bacharach musical with lyrics by Hal David, a book by Neil Simon. But the classy provenance does not end there for it is based on Billy Wilder‘s classic film, The Apartment.

That’s a good start to proceedings. But there’s more: add Sean Hayes (Jack from Will & Grace), Kristin Chenoweth (alcoholic April Rhodes in Glee) and put  Chicago-the-movie Donmar Streetcar director  Rob Ashford in charge of it all and it’s looking very promising.

But wait! Get scenic designer Scott Pask (Hair, Behanding) to construct some gorgeous sixties chic à la Mad Men and his twin brother Bruce Pask to work wonders with the color (sic) palette for the costumes and you’ve got something that simply could not fail except, except… Read the rest of this entry »

Review – My Trip Down the Pink Carpet, Midtown Theatre

Thursday 22 April 2010

We are all out of step with our write-ups for various reasons so bear with us.

We actually saw Mr Leslie Jordan‘s My Trip Down the Pink Carpet on Saturday night paying real dollars out of our own purses, this all taking place before being introduced to its lovely producer (well, one of them; Lily Tomlin is another) Mike Dvorchak through Mark Shenton.

Are you keeping up with all this?

This “full disclosure” principle is damned complicated and dull. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Green Day’s American Idiot

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Like Dreamboats and Petticoats, American Idiot is based on a titular album but with a lot more foot-stamping and head-banging. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – La Cage Aux Folles, Longacre Theatre

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Start spreading the news.  We’re not leaving today.

No. People are always telling us we’re not going anywhere and how true this has proved to be.

We were due to have shuffled off our Broadway moniker and headed back to blighty yesterday evening and  La Cage Aux Folles was to have been our last theatrical outing.

But an Act of God (or possibly Lord Webber – is there really a difference?) has kept us here for the forseable.   So now having spent hour upon hour holding on the phone to Virgin Atlantic we’re so far behind with our posts we’re going out of synch to report on the fabulously glittering opening night of this Menier transfer. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Next to Normal, Booth Theatre

Saturday 17 April 2010

It’s always the way. You wait years for a show about bipolar disorders and then two come along at once.

Not that Next to Normal has  just come along. It celebrated its first birthday on The Broadway this week and added the Pulitzer Prize for Drama to its mantelpiece to sit alongside its Tony Award for Best Musical.

It was only last week the Whingers endured Polar Bears at the Donmar. But everyone was banging on about how we simply must see N2N and, well, really, you can’t have too much mental illness, can you? Read the rest of this entry »

English Idiot

Friday 16 April 2010

The Whingers have had a funny old day.

Such is the paucity of newsworthy stuff going on around the Broadway, the Whingers found themselves invited to appear with critic Mark Shenton on the PBS TV show Theater (sic) Talk hosted by the New York Post’s acerbic columnist Michael Riedel (rhymes with needle it turns out) and the show’s producer Susan Haskins. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Addams Family, Lunt – Fontanne Theatre

Friday 16 April 2010

At last – the Whingers’ Holy Grail.

It has been a whole year of excitement since the Whingers first heard of The Addams Family Musical and – answering at least some of the voices in their heads – forswore to embark on a pilgrimage to The Broadway to worship at the shrine the twin saints of musical theatre: St Nathan and St Bebe.

Yes, Nathan Lane as Gomez and one of Andrew’s favourite comedy actresses Bebe Neuwirth (hitherto unseen by him on the stage) as Morticia. PLUS the redoubtable Jackie Hoffman whom the Whingers had loved here in Hairspray and Xanadu (which means the Whingers have seen her entire Broadway canon, according to her bio).

What could possibly go wrong? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – A Little Night Music with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Walter Kerr Theatre

Friday 16 April 2010

Yes, A Little Night Music again, but with Catherine Zeta-Jones…

…but without Angela Lansbury.

Oh, how  we agonised over this one. To see or not to see? We’d already loved the Menier production, could  its Broadway incarnation match up? Could we ever get over the fact Ms Lansbury had decided to take her 2 week vacation just as the Whingers arrived in New York?

Well yes and no. Read the rest of this entry »