Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stan Mazin reports on BROADWAY 2009

New York after Easter... a great season for Broadway...

Being Audrey (book by James Hindman, Music & Lyrics by Ellen Weiss)- I caught the last performance because Brian Sutherland, a friend, was in it. It was interesting and well directed (Jack Cummings III).

Mary Stuart by Peter Oswald (a new version)- a fantastic show starring Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter, fabulous acting, direction, and staging... absolutely one of the best things on Bway.

West Side Story- did not work for me for several reasons... mainly that Arthur Laurents wanted it to be 'realistic'. Consequently, at the end of the show, instead of having Tony carried off, followed b y a couple of Puerto Ricans and Jets (showing that what had happened has effected 'some' of the people, Maria throws herself on Tony's body, and ... curtain... if you want more comments, contact me.)

Next To Normal- who would have thought that a musical about a bi-polar woman could be so good... again, great acting (Alice Ripley), singing, direction, even though the music is not memorable... a great show.

The Marvelous Wonderettes- I missed it here... delightful fun and wonderful staging by my friend Janet Miller.

Exit The King- a typical Ionesco farce, wonderfully acted by a great cast led by Geoffrey Rush, even though some choices by Susan Sarandon may not have been on target... but I am prejudiced in her favor as I am a big fan.

Ruined- a great play albeit a specialized subject (Congo) and a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Billy Elliot- how wonderful to have a sensational Broadway musical, that is so well done, that the play is more important than the music (not really memorable tunes) for a change.

33 Variations- Jane Fonda leads a fantastic cast in this multi era-ed play about a terminal woman who goes to Vienna in search of Beethoven's involvement in the creation of these 33 variations of music... by Anton Shindler. One of my favorites this season... which was difficult as almost everything was terrific.

Finally, The Broadway Cares Easter Bonnet Competition- always a fun show, and this year a suprise visit by Liza Minelli... but my favorite piece was the presentation by the cast of 33 Variations (who incidentally won for the best bonnet), in which Jane Fonda was a great sport in poking fun of herself within the sketch.

Broadway thrives, so this is a great time to go and support theatre...
Stan Mazin


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