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Tried for Pacific Overtures revival in person during its last week on a rare trip to NYC, couldn't get in. And after seeing Every Little Step, and the audition for Paul, which brought the creative team--and me-- to tears, I wish I had seen the revival of A Chorus Line.
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You're a Good Nun, Charlie Brown Guys and Nuns Bye Bye Nunnie Dark of the Num The Nuntasticks Kiss Me, Nun Nun on a Hot Tin Roof Agamemnun House of the Blue Nun
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Here's the problem. Other interviews the director gave made it sound like the show was in terrific shape-- like they didn't expect to add, subtract or change any songs. I loved the email. And I was rooting for Mary Birdsong. The cast to this show is amazing. But the show misses by a lot, particularly in the first act. The four people sitting next to me walked out. I thought about doing the same, as I live ninety miles from the theater. I'm glad I stayed. The second act, though it needed a lot of work, made it seem like it was a fixable musical. The first act though, was full of general scenes showing off San Francisco in the 70s, showing a particular fascination with gay San Francisco, instead of showing specifics about the characters-- The second act got much more personal. So it worked better-- and pointed to something much more fixable, because you can't fix something that's completely general. The big things that bugged me, aside from the above-- *the show adheres to closely to the book (or at least the PBS version) and it's desire to be egalitarian to all the characters. It leads off with MaryAnn and ends with MaryAnn-- but the real lead character with the best story arc is Mrs. Madrigal-- played by Judy Kaye-- On some level, they know this, as she is the last one to come out at the curtain call. *There are four or five scenes where the wrong character sings. The character who sings in a scene needs to be the one the audience expects and wants to sing. Either the book needs to change (easy in this type of situation) or the song needs to change. In one case, the song that is sung would work if there were a new song added in front of it. *A lot of the songs came off as having an unclear structure. San Francisco is in love with Tales of the City in its various incarnations, from running column in the Chronicle, to the books, to the PBS series. I attended a discussion with the director and an ACT dramaturge before the show-- and it was clear there were many people who were in love with the original property.
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Jun 1, 2011