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Perez Reviews: Here Lies Love

here lies love 1

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Here Lies Love is one of the best new shows we have seen in years!

The new musical from Fatboy Slim and Talking Heads icon David Byrne is currently playing downtown, but this could easily play uptown and it SHOULD be a big Broadway smash - just not in a traditional theater.

The show is like Evita Part 2 in so many ways - and we mean that in the best way possible!

Just like the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic billed itself as a "rock" opera and told the story of a fiercely powerful female political figure, Here Lies Love calls itself a "revolutionary musical experience" and tells the story of a fiercely powerful female political figure.

In this case, that woman is Filipina Imelda Marcos and that "revolutionary musical experience" is a disco opera!

Like Evita, Here Lies Love is completely sung-through. There is no dialogue. The entire story is told through song!

And these are not "musical theater" songs. These are big pop songs told through mostly disco, dance and pop arrangements.

They are GREAT songs!!!!!!!!!!! GREAT SONGS!!!!

We're STILL singing the title track!

Conveying emotion without any dialogue and effectively showing a character's journey is not easy, but all of the actors do a superb job! Each one!

The show tells the story of Imelda as well as that of her husband, Ferdinand, and that of slain Filipino politician Benigno Aquino.

There is hunger, fame, corruption, greed, adultery, fashion, fun and more! This show has it all, as told through the wildly inventive creative imagination of director Alex Timbers, who also brilliantly conceived and staged the new Broadway production of Rocky.

Here Lies Love is presented as an immersive theatrical experience. There are no seats. The audience is standing and moved around the entire rectangular-shaped room.

Every square inch is used and it's dazzling to see how the stages and sets are transformed and evolve.

We were also SO IMPRESSED by Clint Ramos' costumes! As one would hope, Imelda wears soooo many in the show! And there are so many quick changes - some done right on stage. It's dazzling!

Everything about this production dazzles!

Even though it often tells sad tales and shows ugly moments, it still is told through a shiny disco veneer. Colorful! Happy!

You will walk away feeling GOOD!

This just isn't a musical. It's a concert experience!

It's a MUST-see!!!!!

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Kristen Bell Wants To Star In Disney's Frozen On Broadway! Sweet Icy Universe, Your Day Is MADE.

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It would be so fab if this former Broadway starlet (she was in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 2001) made her return to the Great White Way…

Especially in Disney's Frozen stage musical that's currently in the works!

In a new radio interview, Kristen Bell couldn't stop gushing about the animated movie's success - and revealed she'd totally be down to reprise her adorable role of Anna on Broadway…

Snowman building and all!

When asked if she'd be interested in producers pulling her for the part, she swiftly responded:

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Perez Reviews: Rocky The Musical

Spider-Man is out and Rocky is in!

However, the similarities between these two shows are many!

We saw Spider-Man and we really enjoyed it. We enjoyed it so much that we saw it a second time.

We just saw the new musical based on the iconic Sylvester Stallone movie and we really enjoyed it. We enjoyed it so much we would see it a second time too!

And, just like Spider-Man, Rocky on Broadway features dazzling production and an underwhelming songs from an iconic musical act.

U2 lent their talent to the average score for Spidey and iconic songwriting duo Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Seussical, Once On This Island and more) are responsible for Rocky's just fine songs. Not bad. Not great.

There's no Let It Go here!

In fact, the best song in the show is the only one from the '80s film used, Eye Of The Tiger.

When that one cover is leaps and bounds better than the original songs, you know your musical is not the strongest musical.

But it doesn't need to be!

Like we said, the songs aren't bad. Just many feel generic and uninspired. And there's not enough variety and fun - at least not till later on in the show. When Apollo Creed joins Rocky in the ring for the big match and he busts out some Sugar Hill Gang flavor, that was some much needed spice that should have been sprinkled THROUGHOUT the show!

Overall, the score is too consistently serious and lacking fun.

However, every single visual element is more than fun! It is FABULOUS! It is breathtaking! It is innovative!

The scenic design by Christopher Barreca is straight-up GENIUS! It was so fresh! So grand! The scale of the show is huge! Giganctic flying sets! Such a 360 use of the space - literally!

For the big match, the first few rows are taken out of their seats and escorted up on the stage as the boxing ring moves out and over the audience!

Thrilling! And the energy for that finale is THROUGH THE ROOF!

The video design by Dan Scully and Pablo N. Molina was also so inspired and with such attention to detail!

Christopher Akerlind's lighting added so much to the show!

The choreography by Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine- especially the stage fighting - was epic!!!!! The actors were SO CONVINCING in the ring! And that is not an easy task to pull off in the theater!

Major kudos and credit to director Alex Timbers for his vision and executing all these elements so flawlessly!

Ticketbuyers are definitely getting their money's worth with Rocky. Big show! Big production! And a BIG cast, lead by Andy Karl in the title role.

It is all but assured that Karl's FANTASTIC performance will ensure him a Tony nomination, and it will be hard to find another actor more deserving of that win!

We last saw Andy in the comedy The Mystery Of Edwin Drood on Broadway, so it was really revelatory to see him do something soooo different.

He sang beautifully. He acted beautifully! And he became the champion necessary to play this part! He's trained, transformed his body and gives audiences his all!

Truly impressive!

As for his Adrian, Margo Seibert did a super job with the acting. She's known mainly for her television work (Boardwalk Empire). And while she's a very capable singer, we just left wanting MORE vocally - range and tone - from her.

The rest of the cast does a fine job. But it's really all about Andy Karl.

He IS Rocky. And Rocky is a must-see, even if you won't go home and buy the original cast recording after.

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Perez Reviews: Bayside The Musical

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Brought to you by the same creative team as Showgirls the musical is… Bayside. Yup, a Saved By The Bell Musical, currently playing off-Broadway.

If you're a child of the '90s and love the show, you will have a GREAT time!

While we think as a whole that Showgirls was way funnier and had better music, Bayside has a more well-rounded cast. And, two true stars!

Everyone did a great job, with the exception of the dude who played Mr. Belding. Bless his heart, but NO.

However, April Kidwell, who played Nomi Malone as well in Showgirls, is nothing short of brilliant and electric as Jessie Spano. You can just see so much talent oozing out of her! She's funny, gorgeous, can sing, can dance and has great boobs! If anyone at Saturday Night Live is reading, SIGN THIS GIRL UP!!!!!!!!

And, Bayside's other standout is Sam Harvey as everybody's crush, Zack Morris. Harvey is a total dreamboat! He has a mega-watt smile and insanely charismatic stage persona! You can't fake that and he MORE than fill's Mark Paul-Gosselar's shoes - and shorts! We definitely see a future as a Broadway leading man for Sam!

Bayside is super camp and super fun! And we are now super fans of the show's creators, Bob & Tobly McSmith. Can't wait to see what they do next!

P.S. Bayside is totally Nomi Malone's origin story! Ha

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Perez Reviews: Beautiful, The Carole King Musical

Beautiful lives up to its name and then some!

The new musical based on the life of and featuring the music of legendary songwriter Carole King is a non-stop hit parade and the perfect example of a jukebox musical done right!

If you enjoyed Motown the musical, you will love Beautiful!

Both shows wisely choose to tell real-life stories instead of crafting one together out of the songs, which doesn't always work. For every Mama Mia you have two We Will Rock Yous and a Spice Girls musical.

Beautiful has heart, soul, humor and moves along at a brisk pace! And it is all set to the iconic songs of Carole King!

You forget, also, how many songs she wrote before she became famous as a solo artist!

One Fine Day! Up On The Roof! The LOCO MOTION! And so many more!

The beautiful music, arranged beautifully and beautifully sound-engineered, is the star of the show. BUT, the show's star, Jessie Mueller, is such a star!

Jessie Mueller is the future of Broadway! Right now!

Her voice is special! Her tone! Such a warmth to it! And range! So special!

AND, what we especially loved, is that we got to see her shine in The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, where she played a hilarious role in a super comedic part. So it was very nice to see her do a total 180 and play a normal person and showcasing a different, more heartfelt acting.

She was so beautiful!

Anika Larsen and Jarrod Spector were two other standouts from the show and we are running right now to iTunes to download Carole King's greatest hits!

We suggest you do the same, but only after you buy tickets to see Beautiful on Broadway!

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EXCLUSIVE! Tori Amos' Songs For The Light Princess Are Lighting Up Our Lives! Listen HERE!

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the light princess tori amos 2 songs

Musicals make our heart flutter like a happy butterfly!

And Tori Amos working on a musical is pure magic!

And magic really does happen because, as we told you, Tori wrote music and lyrics for a new musical called The Light Princess playing in London at the National Theatre.

How lucky are you, Perezcious readers, that we have an EXCLUSIVE of TWO beautiful songs from the musical! PerezHilton.com is letting you listen to Althea and Better Than Good!

While Althea is a little more dreamy, Better Than Good is totes upbeat and entertaining! Both are seriously gorge and have us mesmerized by their loveliness!

Ch-ch-check them both out…AFTER THE JUMP!!!

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Perez Reviews: First Date on Broadway!

First Date the musical was the place to be Thursday night on Broadway, as we attended the new show and also spotted fellow theater-lover Neil Patrick Harris in the audience.

First Date isn't groundbreaking or life-changing, but neither is How I Met Your Mother, and that TV show gets great ratings and is very enjoyable!

If you go in expecting life-changing from First Date, you will be disappointed. If you go in wanting a really good time and lots of FUN, then you will have a blast!

First Date shares a lot of similarities with Neil's sitcom. They both feature stellar casts, are lighthearted and provide lots of laughs.

Though the advertising for the show may lead you to believe you're in for a romantic comedy film-type experience, First Date feels more like a sitcom on stage with songs. And we say that in the best way possible. It has the non-stop, rapid-fire pace of laughter found in a sitcom. And eliciting that kind of response from an audience - on Broadway - is not easy. First Date does it and does it well. It's not only funny, it's VERY funny.

Major credit goes to the book writer, Austin Winsberg, who comes from the world of television. Sitcoms!

And a lot of the humor is also thanks to the expert deliver of the cast, gloriously lead by sitcom alum Zachary Levi. Having previously proven he can sing in Disney's Tangled, Levy makes his Broadway debut combining the two things he's best at - comedy and singing. He wins lots of hearts and fans along the way!

The entire cast is also great, including Smash alum Krysta Rodriguez.

Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner provide some great songs. Very contemporary. And overall we had a fun, fun time.

Two thumbs up and a couple of snaps!

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