I’ve been busy since my last post over a month ago. Another quarter of graduate school is over, and in the past month, I’ve had numerous theatrical activities. Although it sounds cheesy, months like these make my heart full.
Here are a few highlights of my theatre endeavors:
- I saw the 25th Anniversary U.S. Tour of Les Miserables twice. The cast always blows me away. The show is such an ensemble piece and all of the performances are so strong that I can’t call anyone out specifically without writing a potentially endless post. Unfortunately, this is my last time seeing the tour for a while as they head West next. Les Misearbles has been my favorite show since I was five, making me incredibly biased, but I really recommend you see this production. Whether you’ve seen the show before or not, it’s breathtaking. The music soars, and the story takes you on an emotional journey about love, loss, faith, hope, and redemption. For more information about the tour, visit www.lesmis.com or http://lesmisustour.wordpress.com/.
- Shortly after Really Really opened at Signature Theatre, I saw the play. It’s a new work by Paul Downs Colaizzo, and I’ve labeled it emotionally shattering and devastatingly shocking. I’ve never seen a play that’s so incredibly funny and intense. As the production came to a close, I was moved to tears. Only one other show has elicited this emotion from me, and surprisingly, it wasn’t Next to Normal or Les Miserables. Usually, I’m too giddy at shows to be moved to tears, but Really Really broke through my typical show contentment. This contemporary, riveting play will make you question what the “truth” is and enlighten you about the inherent qualities of “Generation Me.” As the show is closing this weekend, it’s on the verge of selling out, but if you can score a ticket, you will be treated to a thrilling afternoon or evening of clever storytelling from an superlative cast of seven.
- Meanwhile, I attended a seminar at Signature Theatre for Brother Russsia, a new musical by Dana Rowe and John Dempsey. Amazingly, this show opened Tuesday after mere weeks of rehearsals. It never had a workshop, which is practically unheard of. I can attest that this show came a long way very quickly. The music is addictive and enticing; it perfectly sets each scene. The small cast of 11 (14 with understudies) each is ideally cast for their role and executes their character’s journey with vigor. I hope a CD of the music is released so that I have a chance to fully embrace the music and won’t have to leave these catchy tunes behind when the show closes next month. Check out this electric new musical if you’re in the D.C. area!
- I spent two short days in New York City, where I saw Godspell and Carrie. Godspell was just as energizing and fun as I remembered. Carrie was surprisingly catchy. I left humming some of the new tunes and reflecting on the performances of the stellar cast. Marin Mazzie and Molly Ranson alone are worth the ticket, but the rest of the cast shines too. Christy Altomare was perfectly cast as Sue, and Jeanna de Wall almost makes you want to root for her character, Chris. This wasn’t the world’s greatest musical, but it was relatable, entertaining, and moving. It’s at MCC Theater Off-Broadway through April 22.
Upcoming theatre events include a couple repeats and a couple new shows:
- Really Really at Signature Theatre
- Brother Russia at Signature Theatre
- Newsies on Broadway
- Into the Woods at Centerstage
If you need any recommendations for what shows to see, let me know. It’s officially spring, and shows are blooming all over the place!
Over the weekend, I’ll be seeing Really Really again, and because my talk about the show has convinced my parents to go to one of the two performances I am attending, I’ll be doing a special feature about that experience. Although I saw Spring Awakening for the first time with them, this has the potential to be more awkward. Wish me luck!