Theatre Thursdays: Tony Performances

I know Lady Saika already talked about the Tonys last week, but since I missed them and had to watch the performances on youtube I wanted to post them and talk about them a bit.

Revivals

Godspell‘s performance was nice and lively, but I kinda wish they hadn’t gone out into the audience. It just didn’t seem to work and felt uncomfortable watching the cast try so hard and the audience just kind of passively watch without (many of them) rising from their seats. Hair managed to pull it off a bit better a few years ago though, so I don’t know why this year’s attendees weren’t more receptive.

Follies I’ve never seen, though I very much want to. As such, I can’t say whether this number is indicative of the overall tone or quality of the show but I will say that if I weren’t already interested in the show this individual song may not make me want to see it. It’s funny and performed well but doesn’t tell me enough of the story or tease out enough interest to make me say “Ooh, I want to see more of that!”

The Jesus Christ Superstar revival. I love this show so much but I truly am not excited about this revival (BTW can we have a “woot woot” for Jesus’ presence on Broadway right now? Two shows at once!) Josh Young is very talented, as are the featured singers, but a show like JCS is so done and done and done that for me to want to see it on Broadway (at Broadway prices, especially) it’s gotta be pretty standout from the Community, Regional, and School productions that I could see easier and cheaper. Nothing about this presentation draws me in and I’m just kind of scratching my head over the costumes. I do like the way Jesus is overpowered by the singing though, kind of representing his own actual words being lost to what everyone else says about him.

You surely know by now that I’m super excited for the Evita revival and I love their performance. I wish Elena were featured more prominently though. Ricky Martin does very well though he seems a bit too…normal? I do my best to keep an open mind when celebrities are cast in musicals since so many people hate them on the principle of stunt casting so I don’t want to be too critical. He really does do very well but somehow he’s just not what I expect from Che. Like Enjolras, I want Che to be dynamic, someone who can stir me to revolution, and I just don’t know that I feel this way for Ricky. I wish they would have performed “Buenos Aires” and let Elena show off since she wasn’t nominated, or done “A New Argentina” which would showcase both Elena and Ricky, who I’m sure they want to expose as much as possible, but perhaps they didn’t since both those numbers were performed when the original production opened.

Porgy and Bess I honestly know nothing about, but Audra McDonald is a goddess so you know it’s good when she’s there. (Though if she’s gonna be singing to a swaddled baby, it’s cruel to not have it be “Your Daddy’s Son”) This performance definitely interests me in seeing the show someday, perhaps not running right out for tickets, but definitely on my “Try to see it if I can” list.

Originals

I’ve been really interested in Once and I think this is a beautiful performance. The show seems so different in presentation than most of what’s on B0roadway. It’s not so bombastic, the music is of the people, the choreography is simple but effective, and it just seems like an honest musical. This performance makes me even more interested in seeing the show. I get a feel for the tone and can kind of see some of the story.

Nice Work if You can Get It is not a revival but not exactly original either. The score is put together from the Gershwin songbook and the story is, if I remember correctly, based on a short novel. To be honest the only reason I want to see this show is for my favorite actress Jennifer Laura Thompson who’s playing a featured role. Still it looks good and I know nothing of the Gershwins’ work (Bad musical theatre fan! Bad!) so I’m glad to get something of a crash course in their work. The performances here are nice and give me hope that I’ll enjoy the show even when Jennifer is not on stage.

When I first heard Ghost was made into a musical I thought “Oh God, what next?” After seeing some clips though I got into it. The music sounded good and most shockingly I liked the projected sets (something I typically abhor) but I don’t know how well this number showcases the musical. It seems pretty muddled and I have no idea what’s going on except for knowing the movie.

Oh Raul Esparza, you are so talented. What do I know about Leap of Faith? Little. What’s my interest in seeing it? Almost none…prior to watching this. It’s so lively! From what I hear it’s entirely gospel music which will certainly be a turnoff for some people, and maybe 2+ hours of it will prove to be a turnoff for me, but this performance makes me excited for the show. I’ll definitely wait for a tour though.

Oh Newsies, how I love you! All i ever wanted from the movie was for “Seize the Day” to be a longer song and now it is! Unfortunately it’s longer thanks to an instrumental/dance break and modified but not really new lyrics. I still prefer the original. Still, this choreography is damn impressive and I can’t wait to see the show. If you’ve not yet seen the movie, BTW, I highly recommend it. It’s an incredibly enjoyable watch and features a young Christian Bale with a terrible New York accent.