Being a big theatre fan, I love the Tony Awards. This year, I’m at sea for the show so I won’t get to see it or live blog it, but I’ll be keeping tabs. So this auto-post is my predictions, made before I set sail on Carnival Valor. I’ll update when I return with my win/loss percentage and thoughts on the winners & show.
The directions to Neverland, according to Peter Pan, are quite simple: “Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.” Making a musical about the development of Peter Pan and what inspired its writer J.M. Barrie to pen the classic is a bit more complex. “Finding Neverland” arrived earlier this week at The Hobby Center as part of its first national tour and while it made it to the second star just fine, it doesn’t quite get all the way to morning.
“Dreamgirls” is a Tony-winning musical about the show business aspirations and successes of R&B acts like The Supremes, The Shirelles, Jackie Wilson, James Brown and many more. This show, much like those legendary acts, mostly shines but does have some bumps along its road to eventual success.
Today the Alley Theatre announced the eight plays for its 2017-2018 season and I must say I’m intrigued. As a subscriber, I know the high quality of the productions there and have learned to trust them when it comes to “unknown” properties. Many of the next season’s selections are in that category but I’m confident they will continue the tradition of fine theatre.
We all know the Ten Commandments – or do we? God has taken up residency at the Alley Theatre and he has a few things on his omnipotent mind in this irreverent and hilarious one-act play.
I always try to go into the theatre with no expectations other than to be entertained. I also try to do some basic research on the show so I have at least a general idea of what I’m about to see. The Alley Theatre is excellent at including background information in the Playbill to make the show more enjoyable. Clearly many audience members during last night’s performance of “Let the Right One In” didn’t read the program — or bother to read anything about this show before purchasing tickets. I must admit that even I realized later that I had brought some preconceived notions into the theatre and it took me some time to sort out my feelings on this unique production.
When you see the title – “An American in Paris” – you likely immediately think of the classic Gene Kelly film of the 1950s or the Gershwin composition of the same name. The national tour currently playing The Hobby Center and presented by Theatre Under the Stars is based on both but adds new story elements and songs, to mixed effect.
“Newsies” might be better titled “The Little Show That Could.” Originally staged in New Jersey with the intent of creating a show that could be licensed to regional and local theatres, the production then transferred to Broadway for what was to be a strictly limited run. Over one thousand performances in New York later and even more than that on the road, the show is a smash hit and has now made its way, in fine fashion, to movie theaters with an eventual eye on the home video market.
Last year, an unknown playwright debuted his semi-autobiographical play at the Alley Theatre’s “Alley All-New Festival.” At intermission of the very first free performance, Alley Artistic Director Greg Boyd decided he wanted to produce the world premiere. A year later, this groundbreaking show is part of the Alley’s regular season and might just be the best show produced there so far this year.
Take one part “Wall Street,” one part “Glengarry Glen Ross,” add in a touch of “The Big Short” and mix in the witty banter of an Aaron Sorkin script and you’ve got “Dry Powder,” a wonderfully sharp new play running now at the Alley Theatre.