Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Broward Stage Door: What’s New Pussycat? (reviews)

Broward Stage Door Pussycat - On Stage copyBroward Stage Door Theatre opened its production of What’s New, Pussycat? on August 22, 2014.
These BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKIN' so let's go DOWNTOWN taking THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD to A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERS.  Then I'VE GOT GEORGIA ON MY MIND, so I'll be LEAVIN' ON A JET PLANE with MY GIRL, MY GUY and ELEANOR RIGBY.  But if you're CALIFORNIA DREAMIN', I'm feelin' those GOOD VIBRATIONS so just WALK LIKE A MAN and let's HIT THE ROAD, JACK.  YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE
ME 'cause OUR DAY WILL COME and we’re gonna be HAPPY TOGETHER.
How do I know…?
I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE!
Michael Leeds and Kevin Black directed a cast that included Leah Sessa, Mike Westrich, Sara Ashley, Shane Tanner, Brandy Lee Ward and Clay Cartland.  Music Direction by Eric Alsford.
 
Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
The secret of the highly improbable but undeniable success of the new ‘60s musical revue What’s New PussycatThe Soundtrack of an Era at Broward Stage Door is encapsulated in the second-to-last musical number.
 
The smooth solid voices of six performers are caressing the first familiar strains of “Moon River” when something happens. The canned background music stops and the singers, sitting on the edge of the stage, launch into a six-part a cappella harmony that is ineffably and ethereally lovely.
 
More important, the delicate intricate arrangement takes the overly-familiar classic and bends it just enough and the cast invests it with just enough genuine sentiment that the tune seems as fresh as the first time you heard it.

…there are many, many standout moments and they all benefit from the same sensibility envisioned by Michael Leeds and Kevin Black who conceived and directed this show. Perhaps because the entire cast wasn’t born when these songs were part of the fabric of Boomers’ lives, they bring an actors’ chops to interpreting these numbers as if they were new.
Stage Door has hired four of the best young voices in the region in Tanner, Cartland, Sessa and Westrich, and brought in two superb ringers, Ward and Ashley. It’s unfair to single out anyone, but Westrich just keeps getting better and better as he proves with his take on “Unchained Melody.”
The music is digital, much of it is taken from Kevin Black’s extensive library of pre-recorded music and karaoke discs, but most of them are passable professional tracks.
 
But under Alsford’s baton, the singers never sound less than first-rate…
Is this music for the ages actually worthy of such treatment? Boomers like me can’t judge fairly. This is the music we listened to in our middle and persisting adolescence. But there’s a bit of revenge here for our parents who watched us Boomers snicker while sitting through the songbook revues of their music for the past decade or two at Broward Stage Door. And 20 years from now, I expect we will be sitting in Stage Door listening to the nostalgic Bieber, BeyoncĂ© and Backstreet Boys revue.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
…what matters most in a revue with barely a spoken word, of course, is assembling a cast of strong, versatile singers. What’s New Pussycat? is certainly blessed that way, with South Florida favorites Shane Tanner, Clay Cartland, Mike Westrich and Leah Sessa joined by Sara Ashley and Brandy Lee Ward. Working with musical director Eric Alsford, the six ably deliver the show’s wide-ranging goods, both individually and as an ensemble.
As with most revues without an elaborate set, the actors in What’s New Pussycat? change costumes a lot, and the women… are done up like beautiful birds from the fashionably swingin’ ‘60s.
 
Because the show is so well sung, the revue is fun for those born after the 1960s (the entire cast, for example) and for older seniors whose teens dug that music back when it was new. But it’s Boomers who are most likely to get their groove on with What’s New Pussycat?.

The Broward Stage Door Theatre presents its production of What’s New, Pussycat? through September 28, 2014.

Read more...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mondays are Dark

Happy Labor Day!
  
It’s been a long hot summer here in South Florida.  But despite summer being the “off-season,” there isn’t a single weekend without  a show on stage somewhere.
 
You might have noticed our “new” old look.  After a lot of consideration – and people asking why there wasn’t stuff on the page that has been here all along – we’ve returned to our former template.   Everything is in view and easy to find.  But you may notice some strange formatting in some articles as we migrate back.
 
And now here’s your Monday reading list.
 

Photo by Gabriel Zenone, nipped from FacebookLabor of Love

While it IS Labor Day, and a national holiday, and a Monday, there is one theatre that is not actually dark.  Actors’ Playhouse is hosting the wedding of local actors Shane Tanner and Amy Miller BrennanThe Miami Herald tells us about a romance that could only happen in theatre.
Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Miller!
 

South Floridian On Tour

Florida Theater On Stage fills us in on the girl playing the title role in the national tour of Annie, which will be opening the Broward Center’s 2014-15 season on October 7.  Issie Swickle of Davie has been studying at Broadway Kids Studio.  You may recall that another BKS student, Kellie Kessling, took a star turn in Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy at the Broward Center back in July.  That Michelle Ameerally is doing something right.
 

South Florida Favorite  Steps In

Talley Sessions is not from South Florida, but he’s played here often.  Playbill reports that he’s joined the cast of Holiday Inn at the renowned Goodspeed Opera House.  You may be familiar with the Goodspeed: it’s where Annie was born.  Not South Florida enough for you?  OK, Karl Skylar Urban is also in the cast – you’d have seen him at GableStage in The Whale.  Of course, some of us are stuck remembering him as the title role in Stuart Little at Actors’ Playhouse because we’re old like that.
 

New Company In Town

Boca Mag reports that there’s a new theatre company in town – The Nicest Theatre Company
The Nicest Theatre Company—which actually derives its name from a portmanteau of its three founders’ first names, Nick Rapuano, Celine Boccia and Stephanie Suau—will launch the first show of its 2014-2015 season, “Cabaret,” this Friday at Showtime Performing Arts Theater in Boca Raton.
Who knew?
 

New Plays a Comin’

Florida Theater On Stage reports that Palm Beach Dramaworks is committing to developing new plays over the next few years.
…Hayes and Dramaworkshop chairman Mark Perlberg are certain the market for new work exists because a portion of their audience has told them so.
“One of the reasons our organization started so small is because we had to find that audience and build that audience,” Hayes said. As far back as when Dramaworks was mounting Albee plays in a small storefront, “people said we need to do this; we need some intellectual theater going on.”
If they do this even half as well as they’ve done everything else, we’re in for a treat.
 

Meanwhile…

The Royal Poinciana Playhouse remains closed.  The theater, which was shut down by its then-owner Clear Channel Communications in 2004, has been in the news once or twice, but the Palm Beach Daily News reports that the property is under new management.

Cooley said he hopes the new company will be more serious than Sterling has been about bringing the long-shuttered Royal Poinciana Playhouse back into operation. Sterling’s lease with the National Arts Institute to operate the Playhouse “was really nothing more than a stall tactic,” he said.

The NAI still has a valid lease, although we haven’t heard much from them since they signed it.

Read more...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

What the?!?!

Yeah, we've gone back to our previous template.  Yeah, it was a slick layout, with all the customization that as far as we know no one ever used, but too much of our useful content was too hard to find.

So we're putting it back like it used to be, kinda-sorta.  If it's missing, you can let us know, but chances are we are already working on it.

Thanks!

Read more...

Feedback

About This Blog

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP