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Broadway Babies News Archive

Perez Reviews: Doctor Zhivago

| Filed under: Broadway BabiesPerez Reviews

Doctor Zhivago has some of the best singing on Broadway!

BIG belting!

EXQUISITE vocal arrangements by music director/supervisor Ron Melrose!

GORGEOUS orchestrations by Danny Troob to really show it off!

And, unfortunately, THE WORST book of the new Broadway season.

This musical would have worked sooooo much better as an opera - without any dialogue. Or maybe with heavy narration and minimal dialogue.

Michael Weller had the merciless task of condensing the long book/film (both long) into a long and hard-to-follow musical. And as if that weren't daunting enough, he was also faced with not just editing down but also creating…. lots of cheese!

This love story is so melodramatic that it's hard to find any of it believable and even harder to not audibly laugh at some of this campy dialogue.

It's a shame because many of the songs - with music by Lucy Simon and lyrics by Michael Korie & Amy Powers - are quite beautiful and really good.

It doesn't help either that director Des McAnuff has loaded the show with so many guns going off continually. It's incredibly loud and distracting!

Kelly Barrett as Zhivago's love interest is a revelation in this role and absolutely spectacular! And Paul Alexander Nolan, whom we've seen in previous productions, delivers the best performance we've ever seen him give in Doctor Zhivago.

As for the title character, Tam Mutu would have been served far better if - like we said - this were an opera!

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Madonna's Rep DENIES The Singer Was Texting During A Performance Of Broadway's Hamilton! Who Do You Believe?!

| Filed under: MadonnaBroadway Babies

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Madonna's rep is on the offense.

After it was reported that the singer was texting during a performance of Broadway's beloved Hamilton, Madge's rep released the following statement on the incident:

"It's not true. She was invited backstage four different times. She texted post show when they were doing their fundraising pitch. Madonna had already made a generous donation."

[ Related: Madonna's Tongue-y Liplock Didn't Disgust Drake! Here's The Real Reason He Cringed! ]

The music legend's denial contradicts the tweets of a few audience members who claimed they saw the 56-year-old chatting up a storm during the second act. Even a star of the show allegedly complained about Madonna's lack of phone etiquette.

Hmmm, this is one tricky story!! It's definitely a case of he said/she said.

So, do YOU believe Madonna?

[Image via Bauer Griffin Online.]

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EXCLUSIVE! Romeo + Juliet: Love Is A Battlefield Is Back With The Stars Of The Fosters, Glee, & High School Musical!

| Filed under: Exclusives!Broadway BabiesGlee

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If you're in El Lay this summer, we have the scoop on your hottest ticket for live entertainment!

Romeo + Juliet: Love Is A Battlefield, an 80s pop take on the classic Shakespearean tragedy, is getting some new blood!

The Fosters creator Bradley Bredeweg, who conceived the musical blending the Bard with the songs of Pat Benatar, gave us the EXCLUSIVE!

[ Related: Get The Scoop On The Fosters' Youngest Same Sex Kiss In TV History! ]

Fosters star Ashley Argota will play Juliet, while High School Musical's Corbin Bleu and Glee's Samuel Larsen will take turns as her Romeo!

Thanks to the show being sold out all through its Spring run, Battlefield will reopen May 9 and play Saturdays and Sundays all summer long!

You Better Run to get your tix to the Rockwell Live show that'll have you All Fired Up HERE!

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Perez Reviews: Living On Love

| Filed under: Broadway BabiesPerez Reviews

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If you're a fan of Renée Fleming, then you will love Living On Love, the new Broadway play about an aging opera singer starring the real life opera singer.

Fleming is making her Broadway debut with the comedy, which seems to have been created as a starring vehicle for her. Unfortunately, this is no Master Class.

Fleming's singing voice, which she gifts the audience in snippets throughout the play, is a force of nature. Unfortunately, this show fails to come anywhere near her brilliance as a vocalist.

And, since she's not given the best material to work with, Fleming does not shine the way she should!

She's funny and endearing, but playwright Joe DiPietro paints her character so broad and cartoonish that she's too over-the-top and the audience doesn't root for her. The same could be said of her husband in the show, the usually superb Douglass Sills, who in Living On Love is trying so hard! Too hard! He's overcompensating for a fine but far from great script.

There are moments of greatness - and truly funny insider jokes - but those are not enough to make this overly familiar and rather generic show feel as special as it needs to be!

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Vanessa Hudgens Rocks An Overwhelming Amount Of Florals At Fun Home's Opening Night

| Filed under: Broadway BabiesFashion SmashionVanessa HudgensNew YorkRed Carpet

Vanessa Hudgens gets edgy at Fun Home's opening night!

Wow! Vanessa Hudgens is looking fierce and fresh!

The actress decided to get decked out in florals for Broadway's Fun Home opening night in NYC on Sunday.

But she paired her bold crop top and floor-sweeping maxi skirt with a badass leather jacket for some edge.

Clearly VHudge wasn't feeling too sweet! Could it be she's just upset to be missing out on another weekend of Coachella??

[ Related: 5 Reasons Why We're Missing Vanessa At Coachella ]

Whatever the reason, she also finished off her red carpet look with a white clutch and smoldering shadow.

It's a little much for our tastes, but what do U think of her standout look?

[Image via WENN.]

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Perez Reviews: An American In Paris

| Filed under: Broadway BabiesPerez Reviews

Stunning, sensational, dazzling and epic! These are just a few of the adjectives that first come to mind when describing An American In Paris.

It took over 60 years for this show to make it to Broadway, and it was well worth the wait!

This grand story of love and art and is done justice and so lovely and artful!!!

This is now the best show we have seen this season - by far!

Based on the iconic Vincent Minnelli film starring Gene Kelly and with a score from the Gershwin brothers, An American In Paris features some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century - from I Got Rhythm to 'S Wonderful and They Can't Take That Away From Me.

An American In Paris is both classic and ultra modern. It feels like West Side Story, if it were created today.

EVERYTHING works in unison here. It is what musical theater in its most excellence should do! Everything furthers the plot along!

The songs! The dancing! The sets! The lighting! The costumes! It's all spectacular and all the vision of Christopher Wheeldon, who shockingly makes his directory with An American In Paris.

His choices are so bold and inspired! Assured! Nothing would indicate this is a first-time director!

Wheeldon's background is in ballet and he also serves as the show's choreographer. And WOW is there some dancing in this show!

No other Broadway musical has as much dancing as An American In ParisAn American In Paris! And all kinds of dance - from ballet to tap! It feels very Jerome Robbins, and that is a very high compliment!

The dance numbers are so exquisite!

The scenic design is so inventive!

We can't stop thinking about it all, and especially Robert Fairchild in the Gene Kelly role.

The entire cast is great, but Fairchild gives one of THE BEST performances we have ever seen in the theater!

Not only is he an exceptional dancer - he's a member of NYC Ballet - but he also has the vocal and acting chops to pull this all off so seemingly effortlessly.

He is working so hard on that stage but he makes it seem easy!

This is a Tony-winning performance and a timeless production that must be seen by everyone worldwide!

We are glowing from An American In Paris!

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Perez Reviews: Finding Neverland

| Filed under: Broadway BabiesPerez Reviews

Finding Neverland fails to take flight - figuratively AND literally.

Harvey Weinstein made a bold and inspiring choice in hiring director Diane Paulus to helm his first Broadway musical as a lead producer.

Unfortunately, Paulus' own genius is to blame for Finding Neverland's lack of pixie dust.

Paulus - a multiple Tony Award winner - is known for her visionary productions. The recent and inspired revivals of Pippin, Porgy & Bess and Hair are all her genius creations.

Paulus has set the bar high. Exceptionally high! And in Finding Neverland she does not reach her usual level of brilliance, sadly.

This production is good but not great. We liked it but didn't LOVE the show.

For a musical about the creation of and featuring Peter Pan, one would expect flying and all sorts of theatrical razzle dazzle. Those moments of wonder and awe are few and fleeting, though.

This Finding Neverland feels confused. It wants to be Wicked but it can't. The central themes of this show - love and death - are pretty dark and Finding Neverland is definitely made for adults.

The scenic design, by Scott Pask, was fine but far from great. Same for the costumes, by Suttirat Anne Larlarb.

The songs, by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, are hit and miss. Some, like Circus Of Your Mind, are outstanding. But most are just fine.

The best thing about Finding Neverland, however, is the casting. Both Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer shine in their roles. If only they had been given better everything to work with!

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