Sunday, May 29, 2016

I'm Dubious - Jackie Mason Doing ANNIE

Last night I saw TUCK EVERLASTING- It closes today.  I guess it would have been helpful to know that this was a children's show, but going in, I didn't now that (I didn't see the movie or read the book) and the girl playing the young main character came on like Jackie Mason doing ANNIE and they lost me.  It was everything one worries a musical might be.  Don't get me wrong, what they were doing, they did great, I'm sure this little actress is smart enough to forget everything they taught her to do for this show, but the production itself was certainly not my kind of show.  The basic premise of the piece is so thin that it was difficult for me to try to enjoy the show, despite the BIG kid acting.  I enjoyed most of the other actors (the ones who found the perfect space between the big direction and grounded- Michael Parks, Carollee Carmello) but all I could do is appreciate their effort and talent in this Broadway Machine product.  I won't even go into the story or details except to say SPOILER ALERT (do you really care?) She dies alone- never mind that these people whose lives she saved, who live forever never bother to visit her until after she is dead... END SPOILER

I'm dubious that this is the BEST MUSICAL of the year.

Earlier in the day I saw BRIGHT STAR,
 another show I knew nothing about, except that it's created by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell.  I was charmed and really enjoyed the old style stage craft and use of the chorus throughout the show that somehow felt fresh and new. I really liked this show, not just because Steve Martin, himself, opened the second act with a banjo number, but because while the story isn't new or terribly surprising, the actors are great performers and the show is well produced.

I still have two shows to see before I start declaring best musical of the year.  So I must away..!

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