Check out what we HONESTLY thought of Rih's Diamonds World Tour (above)!
Archive for the 'Perez Reviews' Category
Scarlett Johnasson stars in the new Broadway revival of the Tennessee Williams classic Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, but it is Benjamin Walker in the role of drunkard son Brick that steals the show.
In many ways Cat was ahead of it's time. In addition to exploring the topics of mortality, truthfulness and family complexity, Williams also touched upon homosexual themes in Cat, long before it was cool to do so. And, though it still feels relevant, the show could have benefited from some major trimming. It clocks in at almost three hours!
Walker, who played the titular role in Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, is electric on stage! Unfortunately, the same can not be said for Johansson, who is returning to Broadway after previously having won the Tony Award for her role in a revival of Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge.
While native New Yorker Johansson may have been a good fit for Miller, for Williams she attempted a Southern accent that just did not work and was distracting for the entire show. Plus, the role of Maggie is so iconically associated with Elizabeth Taylor. An actress needs to really be on her A game with that part, and ScarJo was not.
Debra Monk, on the other hand, was the show's other standout as Big Mama.
Long, yes, but this new revival of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is definitely worth seeing!
[Image via WENN.]
Picnic is in it's final days on Broadway, and if you haven't seen it yet - go and buy your tickets NOW for the new revival of William Inge's classic play! It's a love story very akin to Dirty Dancing, only with a lot less dancing.
It is a must see, and not only for Sebastian Stan's abs!
We now officially stan for Stan! He's not just a pretty boy! He shines in the role of the bad boy grifter who comes to town and turns everything on its head!
Sebastian, best known for his work on television, is a natural on the stage, having appeared on Broadway before in Talk Radio. And he is so good that he makes dialogue that could come across as cheesy seem not just convincing but IMPORTANT!
He woos costar Maggie Grace from Lost in the play, and he woos and wins over the audience as well!
And did we mention she's shirtless for most of the show????????? We could barely contain ourselves!
Grace gives a solid performance, as does acting icon Ellen Burstyn and the rest of the cast. But this is Stan's show to make or break, and he hits a grandslam!!!
We caught Mark St. Germain's play Freud's Last Session on Friday night in Santa Monica, and it was HEAVY - in every sense of the word.
The show is a two person play where not much happens except for lots of talking, which means that the actors really carry the burden on their shoulders. They either make it or break it!
Unfortunately, while the iconic Judd Hirsch was stellar as the titular character, Ed alum Tom Cavanaugh weighed the show down. His British accent was as lazy as his performance.
Thankfully, though, the show is just 87 minutes without intermission and we got to experience The Broad Stage for the first time. SUCH a beautiful theater! We need to go back!
Yes, theater in Los Angeles exists, and we're very happy that places like the Odyssey offer artists and theatergoers opportunities to work on and see new works!
We didn't know much about them or their new play The Snake Can, but we saw that Jane Kaczmarek was starring in it and we instantly were intrigued!
The 7 time Emmy nominee was wonderful! And another standout was the still-dreamy Gregory Harrison.
The show's major flaw was the writing. The playwright, Kathryn Graf, is a former actress and relatively new to writing.
The entire concept of the show felt very dated, and it borrowed too heavily from Nora Ephron. Widow begins online dating. Yup, that was done 20 years with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.
It definitely was not a bad show by any means. It was entertaining from start to finish. But it could use lots of tweaks before moving elsewhere.
We'd cut the production down from two acts to 90 minutes, and we'd also place less of an emphsis on the online dating bit. THAT felt dated. But relationships and their complexities never feel old!
Did you hear that The Flaming Lips have a new musical? Yup! It's currently playing at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego. We saw it this weekend and we enjoyed Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots so much that afterwards we made a donation to the theater to help support their amazing work.
There is NO WAY the Playhouse is making any money on Yoshimi. This show is expensive!!!!!!!
It cost so much to develop the amazing puppets in the show. And the production is BIG! This is not cheap by any means! But, because of the support of their donors and subscribers - and thanks to their success transferring shows to Broadway - the La Jolla Playhouse is able to put on a production like Yoshimi.
A Broadway run is not guaranteed, but it sure looks good for this show! It still needs work, though, and the Playhouse is the perfect place to do that.
The show is a love story and a death story. In it, the titular character is torn between two men and torn between sickness and health - as she battles for her life against cancer.
The music in Yoshimi is soooooo good! Even if you're not a Flaming Lips fan, you will enjoy it! And, thankfully, Bill Brendle did an amazing job with the orchestrations and Ron Melrose with the music direction! Performing contemporary music that sounds modern in Broadway-type shows can be tricky. But thankfully the Yoshimi team made it seem effortless! They made a 5 piece band sound like a full orchestra, without feeling canned or mechanical.
And the puppets by Basil Twist are out of this world amazing!
The set and the way scenic designer Robert Brill transforms the stage is equally stunning. Such an exquisite use of color!
The book and plot still need some work. For example, Act 1 is super cool but things get schmaltzy and unnecessary cheesily sentimental in Act 2.
Also, there is some brief nudity in Act 1 that is gratuitous and if they removed it, the show would instantly appeal to younger audiences as well. They will be dazzled by the flying robots!
The male lead, Paul Nolan, recently played Jesus in the La Jolla's production of Superstar, which later transferred to Broadway. And while he was good in that show, he lacks the charm needed to pull of the role of Ben in Yoshimi. We would recast him for a Broadway run.
Kimiko Glenn, however, is stellar as Yoshimi!
We can't wait to see this show again and see how it's changed/improved! But a VERY GOOD start for all involved!
While A Christmas Story is a beloved holiday film from the '80s, it is not an obvious choice to be made into musical. However, the musicalized version of the film, now playing on Broadway, has been adapted faithfully, adoringly and smashingly!
Consider this to be the quirkier and more adult holiday show, the boozy cousin to Elf.
The musical features a beautiful score by new Broadway wunderkids Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Their songs are timeless and memorable - and several could exist beautifully outside the world of this show. It is everything that Bring It On is not!
The stage adaptation may have been a touch TOO faithful to the movie, as Act 1 felt a bit heavy on the dialogue. But that's a minor note.
John Rando staged a beautiful show, with some truly fabulous production number and a great cast of adults and super talented kids.
You can rarely go wrong with a bunch of kids singing and dancing REALLY WELL! It just wins audiences over!
If you loved A Christmas Story growing up, then you will not be disappointed with the new Broadway musical. Run and see it now before it closes at the end of December!