Hooray! We loved it from "Now" to the bloody end. I would love to see it again.
I thought having Gemma Jones/Margaret draw the red X's on the doors made each death more chilling, and that she was very good. We found her costume the only one that wasn't just excellent: those dreadlocks would've taken years to grow, and the bag lady thing was a bit much.
How do you think they got such a deep stage? My theory was that, besides building it forward, they had tilted it enough so cast and crew could pass underneath.
Yes, Jones was excellent and her drawing the red x's was a nice touch. I also liked the spooky "banquet of the dead" scene.
That's a good theory about the stage. I was surprised how big it was. I liked the theater in general, with the homey exposed brick walls. However, the seats are a bit uncomfortable.
It is impressive that Kevin Spacey takes on such a mentally and physically taxing role night after night. Just being hung upside-down repeatedly must be rough. My husband observed that right before curtain call he was wobbly because of the rush of blood to his head.
So after my sister bought tickets, she realized they have an age restriction of 21 years, even though she'll be accompanied by a parent my niece doesn't make the cutoff! Maybe a note from her professor?
We have realized that the age restriction is not for content, but because they serve alcohol at all the evening performances...
Yep, makes it easier for the servers, I guess. And they do have all-ages matinees for families and underage adults to attend. However, we already bought non-refundable tickets for an evening performance before noticing the fine print. Don't know how this will play out.
My daughter and I got free tickets last night to our local Rep's Comedy of Errors. Delightfully done.
I directed a high and middle school aged group doing my own adaptation several years ago (this daughter played Adriana), and there are still big chunks of it I'd cut, even for talented grownups. Most of the bits I wish I'd thought of myself.
This was set in the 1930's, at the corner of Bourbon and Orleans Streets, with wrought iron balconies on the Phoenix, Porpentine, and the Centaur. Piano player up on one balcony. Mardi Gras revelers winding through the streets, playing trumpet and sax. At one point a funeral procession, just for the sake of a NO funeral procession. Egeon, the shackled father, sings Brother Can You Spare a Dime? At the end of the curtain call, the cast segues into When The Saints etc., throws beads at the crowd, and exits.
Our 20 yr old has been ordering wine with us at restaurants for a couple of years now (several years if you include trip to France), and has never been carded.
In Jackson Hole WY, however, they would not let her even enter any of the bars where we just wanted to sit and enjoy the scene. Ditto a few bars on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. Maybe the more Tourist Magnet a place is, the twitchier they get about carding?
Lola, that sounds like a delightful and inspired take on the play! I would have loved to see it.
I was just recently talking to a friend who thinks Shakespeare plays aren't good when they're not done with a British accent. I politely told him that's bs. The plays lend themselves very well to creative adaptations. And the original performances were "inauthentic" anyway, since the actors spoke Elizabethan English regardless of the time and place in which the play was set.
Right on, nycg! Why oh why do we in the US think British = swanky?
I wish your friend could see this production done with mostly excellent southern US accents. I had to harangue my young actors out of attempting fake British accents for our Shakespeare (and even classical Greek) attempts.
We dolled her up in adult clothes and makeup, and she walked right in. Just to be on the safe side, though, she drank coke instead of ordering alcohol.
We all LOVED the performance, a long-running musical revue with lots of topical, political and California references and over-the-top portrayals of people everyone knows. With hats. Lots of hats. Big hats. Really big hat!. Big hair, too. And outrageously good costumes, which was excellent, because my niece is majoring in theater specializing in costume design. (This is a picture of the playbill outside - they did not allow photos inside.)
It was not good, but basically the audience was much too old for the play -- it was a free invitation for shareholders of the principal left leaning national newspaper Le Monde. Shareholders of this sort of thing are generally not the youngest people. This was actually the last dress rehearsal the night before the play officially opened, so probably people also felt more entitled to walk out.
In any case, the play did improve in later parts, and the principal actor was excellent. This may have worked against the play, because he acted with total conviction and this did not seem to be the case of a lot of the other actors, who had probably already lost hope in the play before it even opened. And so the acting clashed even more because of that.
Applause were very tepid at the end with not a single additional curtain call. Jeez, it must be really discouraging to be an actor sometimes!
I recently saw Death of a Salesman on Broadway and it was captivating. It's directed by Mike Nichols and stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman and Andrew Garfield (the new Spiderman) as his son, Biff. The entire cast was good, but these two were dynamite. They had great chemistry and the final father-son confrontation at the end was devastating.
There have been a lot of comments about the age of the actors, with the middle-aged Hoffman playing 60, and the boyish Garfield playing a washed-up 34-year-old former football star. But I think they played the characters' weariness perfectly, even if they did not have the right amount of wrinkles. And Garfield, who is British, had the working-class Brooklyn accent down pat.
We splurged on the good seats and I'm so glad we did. This is probably my favorite production ever.
My niece has a summer internship at a summer-stock theater in Ohio, called Weathervane. I'm hoping I can get there to catch a performance. She works behind the scenes on set design and costume, though her personality is dramatic enough for her to be an actor...
Looks like a fun lineup of shows, and should be a good creative experience for her.
My 20 yr old has started an internship with one of the summer opera companies here in town, and then in the fall is supposed to put in 10 hrs /week with the Symphony. Good causes, all, which is nice since she's volunteering, but less thrilling office type work.
Well, I went to London to see a revival of Mojo by Jez Butterworth. It was first staged in 1995 and even made into a film in 1997, which was never released outside of the UK. The play takes place in 1958 in a seedy rock'n'roll club. Bad things happen when some sort of mafia moves in on a rising new star "Silver Johnny" and most of the play is about the various employees worrying about being whacked by the mafia, as has just happened to the club's owner.
The main thing that intrigued me was the cast of rising young stars who are unlikely ever to be seen again in any future stage production or film. Rupert Grint (from Harry Potter) was making his stage debut, but there were also Ben Whishaw (from Perfume, Skyfall, Cloud Atlas), Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey), Daniel Mays (Mrs. Biggs) and Colin Morgan (Merlin) along with young Tom Rhys Harries as Silver Johnny. The Harold Pinter Theatre just off Leicester Square was packed to the rafters. They managed to extend the run two weeks until some time in February, but these guys have so many new movie contracts on the table that there is no way to go beyond that.
The performances were outstanding although I was not enthralled by the subject of the play itself. It was somewhat amusing to see Martin Scorsese "outfucked" in the dialogue. The language was so foul that I sometimes had to refer to the captions for the deaf to capture all of it. (There was a warning at the entrance of the theatre about this.) Certain situations were also worthy of wincing, such as when Colin Morgan is tied to the jukebox with his trousers off as he has his testicles twisted by Ben Whishaw. I'm sure that he would have liked to have Merlin's magic powers then.
The play starts out as a broad comedy but it becomes less and less funny as the situation deteriorates. One of the main characters ends up with an unexpected bullet in the brain and those of us in the front rows nearly got splashed by blood. The ending was quite ambiguous, and I remain unsure as to whether the other characters were going to survive much longer.
The ceiling did not fall on us in spite of the stormy night.
I was quite pleased with my evening at the theatre, although I find London curtain time to be surprisingly early -- 19:30. However, this means that you come out of the theatre reasonably early, which is a bonus.
Sounds like a very interesting cast, though I doubt I would care much for the play. Did you like sitting up front? I debated where to sit when I attended the Queen's Theatre last June. I ended up sitting on the end of the second row and it turned out to be a very interesting spot.
My daughters and I saw One Man Two Guvnors in London last January and loved it. It's playing until March at Haymarket. I'd go see it again. Comedy, pratfalls and all, inspired by ancient Roman plays but set in 1950's Brighton.
I bought myself a matinee seat for Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York in the West End. Recently read that its run has been extended. I'm hoping it's a similar style. Three men play lots of characters.
My younger's been in London a week now for her U. semester, and lucked out with a theater major roommate. They've been to the West End for Once so far, really enjoyed it, and tonight a group of them are going to Mojo. I suspect a R. Grint motive there with that demographic. I warned her not to sit too bloody close.
With a cast like that, I must admit that there was a higher percentage of young women in the audience than one would normally expect for a serious play of this nature. If the cast had all been 50 years old, it would have probably been possible to count them on the fingers of one hand.
Actually, there were 4 Americans behind me at the theatre -- teen boy and girl brought to London by their grandparents. Grandpa left at intermission (perhaps to the pub across the street) and the two teens sounded like they wanted to leave because they were shocked but they were also afraid that their grandmother was shocked (they don't know much about older people, apparently). They kept asking their grandmother if she wanted to leave so that they could get out of there, but she wanted to stay. The girl kept mentioning that there was too much shouting and violence.
My college girl and friends got to the theatre for Mojo and found only very pricey seats left, so they settled on Mousetrap. Quite the contrast between options, but they had fun. I guess the more young women involved, the more mainstream the choice will be (by definition).
Hannah, most recently my surrogate theatergoer, got to see the Broadway Glass Menagerie before Thanksgiving, the one with Cherry Wilson as Amanda, and she and her friend just loved it. Paid a bucket for good seats, and found it thrilling.
Speaking of theatre prices, I will admit that I booked my ticket for Mojo online about two months early to get a good seat. I think I paid something like £55. Seeing the huge number of ticket brokers that now exist all over the West End, I was I bit worried that I had overpaid, but I saw that they were all selling Mojo for £37.50 which is of course cheaper, but I am pretty confident that I had a much better seat than people who paid $37.50.