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Perez Reviews: 'Manhattan Parisienne'

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Alain Boublil
is the librettist and lyricists behind such HUGE musicals as Les Miserables and Miss Saigon - and the legendary Frenchie just premiered a new work in Manhattan, appropriately titled Manhattan Parisienne.

However, do not go into this show expecting a massive chorus or flying helicopters. Manhattan Parisienne is is super intimate - a mostly two person musical in a small theater. There are no reserved seats! General admission!

The show is a sweet and simple modern-day love fantasia between a French woman and an American man and the musical features some staples of the French and American songbook. From Edith Piaf and Serge Gainsbourg to the Gershwins and Sinatra.

The story is almost irrelevant, though. Manhattan Parisienne is all about the song selections. And they prove to be a very enjoyable experience!

Performed without intermission, the show is like a fancier cabaret act. And because it's mainly all about the songs, our one big note is…. while the cast features some great singers, the intimacy of the theater and the grandness of these songs called for some PHENOMENAL singers. There is a big difference between great and phenomenal singers.

However, this cast did a fine job and it's a more than fine show!

With some bigger voices or bigger names, though, this could play to much larger audiences.

Manhattan Parisienne is very enjoyable - especially for a date night!

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Perez Reviews: 'On The Town'

On The Town is a classic!

Leonard Bernstein! Jerome Robbins! Comden & Green!

Musical theater LEGENDS who brought us some of the most iconic shows of all time!

And we had never seen it before! Thankfully, Thursday night we fixed that!

The new Broadway revival of On The Town is inconsistent but consistently entertaining!

It's worth seeing just for the dream ballet in the second act! One of the most exquisite things we have ever seen in a theater!

The show itself features some epic songs and epic dancing!

A revival is all about choices and, unfortunately, we just didn't agree with a lot of the direction, courtesy of John Rando.

The casting was problematic. Some actors were perceivably much older than their parts were written and intended to be.

Other actors, many of whom we've seen in multiple shows and LOVE, were directed to overact. WAY OVERACT.

It's as if the director felt too much of a need to fill the cavernous space of the Lyric Theater. Yes, that Broadway house is too big for that show!

Yet, despite those missteps, the show is very entertaining.

MAJOR PROPS must be given to choreographer Joshua Bergasse for his moves! Truly inspired! And there's LOTS of dancing in the show!

And, our favorite performer of the night turned out to be Samantha Sturm - and understudy for the female lead! She was clearly hungry for it and giving us her all! She was radiant! KUDOS!!!

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Perez Reviews: 'Side Show' on Broadway!

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It did it!

The little show that could, one of our top 3 musicals of all time, is back on Broadway!

It warmed our heart to see Side Show on the Great White Way again and playing to a nearly capacity Sunday matinee audience!

We saw it in this incarnation back in July at the Kennedy Center and we saw the original production back in the '90s - twice!

If you have never seen Side Show, then you MUST! It is essential!

Henry Krieger and Bill Russell have crafted one of the truly most timeless and special scores in all of musical theater history!

This production has a phenomenal staging by Bill Condon and everyone in the cast does a fine job. However, because we like to keep it real….

Since our excitement for seeing it on stage again was already satisfied this summer in D.C., this time we were left wanting a bit more power singing. We were distracted by the newness of it all at the Kennedy Center. And we were so enamored with this production that we then went back and listened to the original Broadway cast recording over and over and over again.

The two lead who play Violet and Daisy this time around, Emily Padgett and Erin Davie are both great and more than capable, but….

Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, who originated the role of the Hilton sisters on Broadway in the show's first incarnation, sang that score to high heavens!

They belted like Idina Menzel times ten!

It was as if they were trying to outsing each other on that original cast recording, and it was exhilarating and glorious!

It probably isn't very sustainable for a (hopefully) long run, though, to belt that much every night, 8 shows a week.

But if we stop comparing these new girls vs the original girls, they are simply wonderful!

Go! Go! Go!

Side Show is THE new show of the winter!

P.S. CLICK HERE to read our initial review of Side Show from when we saw it at the Kennedy Center this past summer.

P.P.S. It would be EVERYTHING and we would see the show at least 5 more times if they brought in Alice and Emily to replace Emily and Erin after their contracts are up!!!! This must happen!!!!!!!!

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Perez Reviews: 'Blank The Musical'

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If you're a fan of musicals and/or improv, then you will love the new and aptly titled Blank The Musical, currently running at our favorite off-Broadway venue, New World Stages.

The show is a fully improvised musical and the audience fills in all the blanks - title, lyrics and even helps out with the music.

A very funny (and young) cast bring to life this one-night-only musical and an equally skilled house band comes up with original music on the spot!

It's all super fun and playing for a limited time only.

We really enjoyed it and the only note we have - if it were to extend it's run - is that the audience interaction is limited to the first quarter of the show. After the setup is done so is the audience. It'd be really engaging and vicarious for all audience members if one or two were picked at certain parts to come up and be a part of the show.

We would not be surprised if a couple of these funny actors who can sing very well end up on Saturday Night Live.

So get your tickets to Blank The Musical and see them if they hit up your town or come back to NYC!

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Perez Reviews: Joy Behar's 'Me, My Mouth & I'

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If your'e a fan of The View, then you're a fan of Joy Behar.

And if you're a fan of Joy Behar, then you will really enjoy her new one-woman show, Me, My Mouth & I, now playing off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theater.

If you're a fan of The View, however, you will be disappointed that while Behar touches upon her time on the show and her former colleagues, she doesn't delve deep or spend much time on either. She doesn't share her opinions or true feelings on any of the above, instead just sharing funny one-liners.

Me, My Mouth & I is very enjoyable but suffering from an identity crisis. Not quite a show yet not quite a standup act.

It would have benefitted GREATLY from a theatrical director, something that Behar chose to forgo.

A great director would have helped Behar, who wrote the show, finetune her material and focus the star and the precious 90 minutes of a typical one-person show. While showing a clip from the 80s of a young Joy was fun, it didn't add much and we instead would have preferred to spend those minutes more wisely.

Behar mentioned her daughter once or twice and focused A LOT more time on aunts and other relatives, something we found very odd.

Minutes spent fawning over Catherine Beneuve seemed confusing and an attempt to tie a throughline through the show, which didn't quite work.

And while it wasn't a homerun, it was still - like we said above - "very enjoyable" and a great first effort at writing a one-woman show.

With a director on board and more fine-tuning, Me, My Mouth & I could transfer to Broadway and do quite well.

People love Joy Behar - us included! She is winning and we want to see her win!

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Perez Reviews: 'The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time'

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time is one of the best plays we have EVER seen!!!

Wildly inventive in every which way, the new show on Broadway explores some powerful themes. The three which resonated the most with us are…

- The untapped potential within all of us
- Not to judge or underestimate others
- The ties that connect us ALL together

These themes were explored in so many fun and fresh ways, all while being incredibly deep, moving and powerful.

The play revolves around a dog's murder and a 15 year old autistic boy determined to play detective and find the culprit.

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time is a drama, a comedy, a murder mystery and - most similarly - it moves and feels like a musical, even though it's a play.

If you liked War Horse, then you will like this show EVEN MORE!

Every single element is so inventive, from the superb writing and storytelling by Simon Stephens, to the illuminating and ever-changing set by Bunny Christie, which enhance the experience in infinite ways.

All this brilliantly put together by the director, Marianne Elliott, who cast a top-notch crew of actors that all delivered homeruns. However, in his Broadway debut, Alex Sharp, literally months out of acting school at Juilliard, gives a grand slam performance! The acting, the doing. He DID so much! He made it seem so effortless! Such a dynamic, real, beautiful performance!

Major hats off to everyone involved with The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time!!!

Run - and fast - to buy your tickets NOW!

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Perez Reviews: 'Lypsinka! The Boxed Set'

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After a long break from performing… Lypsinka is back!

Lypsinka is not a drag queen. She is a drag LEGEND! An icon that transcends the genre!

John Epperson, the man behind the femme fatale, is a huge talent and a fierce comedic actor - and we are thrilled that we got to see his Lypsinka! The Boxed Set greatest hits show in New York City on Friday night.

We had never seen "Lypsinka" before, so we didn't know what to expect. She is in her own lane, combining real old school drag miming and with impeccable timing and a fully realized show. Plenty of costume changes a rich set and oodles of glamour.

RuPaul girls have nothing on Lypsinka!

SO MANY highlights in the Boxed Set show, but the most brilliant and inspired segment was a recreation and reinterpretation of The Twelve Daze Of Christmas. We were in pain laughing!

What's also very impressive is that Epperson is performing The Boxed Set in repertoire with two other shows. That's a lot of material to have to remember!

Lypsinka is back, but for a very limited engagement. Get your tickets today. It's a must see!!!

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