Posts Tagged ‘musical’

Finding Neverland is the story about how James Matthew Barrie (Billy Harrigan Tighe) wrote the story of Peter Pan by befriending a widow, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Lael Van Keuren) and her four boys. One of the boys is named Peter, and the death of his father had damaged his sense of childlike wonder.

Barrie too had gotten all grown up, married to a high society-minded woman, having fancy dinners with snooty people such as Mrs. du Maurier (Broadway working actress Karen Murphy), and in need of writing another successful piece for a theater impresario, Charles Frohman (John Davidson – yes, THAT John Davidson) and his troupe.

(I’ll admit I love the stunt casting in these touring shows that my wife and I see at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady. I didn’t recognize Davidson straight off – his hair is much whiter than when I watched his TV show decades ago – but he was a solid performer, as was Adrienne Barbeau from Maude in Pippin a few seasons back.)

Barrie discovers he needs to find his own sense of adventure. And – no spoiler here – he finds it, with Frohman the inspiration for Captain Hook. Indeed, the Frohman character BECOMES Hook, taunting/inspiring the writer. Note that we’re not looking for historical accuarcy here.

The production features music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, based on the book by James Graham. It was all quite serviceable to the plot, with a few pretty good songs. But I will admit that I got a bit misty-eyed at the end of the penultimate scene. It was one of the best payoffs I’ve experienced in seeing theater. If it’s touring in your area, I recommend it.

We did see the movie, also based on the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee. back in 2004 or 2005, with Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, and Julie Christie. I remembered enjoying it, but this iteration, I believe, had a more of an emotional wallop.

Finding Neverland, the musical, ran on Broadway for 565 performances in 2015 and 2016, with Matthew Morrison, the teacher from the TV show Glee, as Barrie; Kelsey Grammer, who starred as Frasier on TV, as Frohman; and Carolee Carmello as Mrs. du Maurier. Morrison and Carmello were nominated for Tonys but did not win.

image001 (1)The youth of our church, ages 6 to 18, did a hip hop performance of original readings, one extant reading, plus three dance numbers, and one song, in the beginning of March.

The Daughter’s first contribution was like pulling teeth. She was supposed to write a poem about her good qualities, but she was so self-effacing, I sat with her to suggest what she was good at, such as dancing, and being a good friend.

In a collective piece called Church and Family Rule, she ended up saying: “Mom: tucks me into bed at night. Dad: watches the news with me at midnight.”

Now, what she had ORIGINALLY written Read the rest of this entry »

alexander-hamiltonI’ve become obsessed with Alexander Hamilton for a while now. He was married to Elizabeth Schuyler, a member of First Presbyterian Church in Albany (my current church!), in 1780. When Aaron Burr killed Hamilton in an 1804 duel, First Presbyterian Albany minister Eliphalet Nott wrote a persuasive sermon which led to the demise of dueling in America.

It definitely intensified with that campaign by some group to put a woman on the $20 bill, replacing Andrew Jackson, something I fully supported.

But then I heard about the Treasury Department’s plan Read the rest of this entry »

kinky boots.tourBack in June, The Wife and I saw the touring company production of the musical Kinky Boots at Proctors Theatre in nearby Schenectady, NY.

The book was written by actor, playwright, and voice actor Harvey Fierstein, based on the Miramax motion picture written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth. Music and lyrics were by Cyndi Lauper, probably best known for the song Girls Just Want To Have Fun.

What I wanted to know: how did I NOT know about Read the rest of this entry »

pippinI’d been waiting to see Pippin, the Stephen Schwartz musical, for the last forty-plus years, ever since I was living in my college town of New Paltz in the mid-1970s, and saw the “first TV commercial that actually showed scenes from a Broadway show” on the New York City TV stations.

“The commercial, which ran 60 seconds, showed Ben Vereen [as the Leading Player] and two other dancers, Candy Brown and Pamela Sousa who were in the chorus of the show, in the instrumental dance sequence from ‘Glory’. The commercial ended with the tagline, ‘You can see the other 119 minutes of Pippin live at the Imperial Theatre, without commercial interruption.'”
Read the rest of this entry »

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