Musicals

MacAvity's picture

Denial

So I just got back from my audition for the school play, and I think it went really well. Considering that I've only ever been in a play once before and all. The monologue I used was all about a person lamenting that her life wasn't more like a musical, and I could really relate to that pretty well - even though I can't sing worth a (something worth singing worth?), if I could change one impossible thing about the world, it would be for real life to be like the musicals. Yup, that wins out over world peace.

The Big Gay Musical: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

When you watch a movie called "The Big Gay Musical," you know what you signed up for. The only question is, will it deliver? Thankfully, this movie gives you all the laughs, songs, hot guys, and camp that you expect going in.

The movie centers on two actors playing Adam and Steve in an Off-Broadway musical. It has a queeny God, hot muscular angels, and a lot of campy dialogue with double entendres, like this one from their time in the Garden of Eden:

Adam: Last night, you figured out how to pull the skin back! It's so much better that way.

Steve: I know! Now, I really like bananas!

So, yeah, that's the kind of show to expect.

Offstage, the guy who plays Adam is sorting out how he feels about dating, monogamy, and hookups, whereas the actor playing Steve isn't out to his highly-religious parents, who are coming to opening night. With a few other characters and the slutty angels in the show, it ends up being just campy enough, just sexy enough, and with just enough heart to make it fun to watch.

Hair: Broadway Review

By Jeff Walsh

I was interested to see the wildly-popular revival of Hair on Broadway because I think the gay and hippie movements are intertwined, as both really got started in the late 60s. While the history of the gay rights movement links the Stonewall Riots to the death of Judy Garland, as they happened during the week of her funeral, to me it's always seemed like the culture was already shifting sexually, spiritually and culturally in ways that demanded that homosexuality express itself more naturally.

In the 40-odd years that have passed since Hair first played Broadway, hippies have become a bit of a cultural joke, but a lot of their legacy is still with us: the sexual revolution (including LGBT acceptance), health food, drug culture, expanding consciousness in other ways such as eastern religions, and of course, the music.

So, it is interesting to see Hair through that lens in its current revival, as a snapshot of a huge cultural shift. Of course, if you could care less about any of that, you'd still be in luck, since it's just a fun time capsule of a show brought expertly to life with an exuberant young cast.

RaspberriesAreFun's picture

stereotypes suck

Information about me:

-I love musicals
-I love singing
-At a young age, I wanted to be a ballerina and an ice skater (still true now)
-I love the color pink (baby blue's pretty good too)
-Dancing is really fun
-I like dressing up
-There are a lot of shoes in my closet
-My favorite kind of alcoholic drinks are fruity
-I <3 playing volleyball
-I, for some reason, have a British accent even though I was born in the U.S.
-I love being barefoot
-I like coffee and tea ("i like my men like i like my coffee: black and rich XD ) (this isn't my quote btw)

Jay Kuo, writer/composer of Insignificant Others: Interview

By Jeff Walsh

For anyone living near or visiting San Francisco in the near future, there is an amazing new musical called "Insignificant Others" that is not to be missed. The show is a romantic comedy about five friends who move to San Francisco from the Midwest and learn the value of friendship.

The show is a decidedly San Francisco musical, so much so that it is about to begin what should be a long-standing run on Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf, which is tourist central. The show has many gay elements, but if you're coming to town with a mixed group, it's by no means a "gay show," so you can certainly get it in under the radar if you're closeted.

The Color Purple: Theater Review

By Jeff Walsh

It's hard for me to review the Oprah Winfrey-produced touring production of "The Color Purple" without starting at the end and working backwards.

I should point out that since this musical is based on a 24-year-old novel by Alice Walker and a 22-year-old movie by Steven Spielberg, I will be making no attempt to write around "spoilers." If you don't know the story, and don't want to, stop reading.

I don't know that I have ever seen a more compelling musical to trumpet atheism than "The Color Purple," though it is packaged as a spiritual show. The final words sung in the show are "Look what God has done. Amen."

To which the only rational response could be: If that's God, you can keep Him.

Spring Awakening: CD Review

By Jeff Walsh

Spring Awakening: A New Broadway Musical features music by Duncan Sheik, with book and lyrics by Steven Sater.

The caveat is that I can only review this from the perspective of having heard it after seeing the show on Broadway. So, in my mind, many of the songs have choreography, lighting, and visuals, which augments my enjoyment of the CD.

Right up front, I will say that John Gallagher Jr. as Moritz was my favorite lead performer in the show. He also does the most rocking songs in the show, so I have heard his stuff most often while working out at the gym. But his tracks, such as "The Bitch of Living," "And Then There Were None," and "Don't Do Sadness" are some of my favorite up-tempo songs, along with "Totally Fucked," where the entire ensemble erupts to release their pent-up angst in a burst of dance and song.

Spring Awakening: Broadway Review

By Jeff Walsh

Spring Awakening is the newest show on Broadway (at the time of this writing), fusing together the text of a controversial-for-its-time play with a rock score by singer/songwriter Duncan Sheik. Fusing the two elements together made for some great musical moments and some interesting dramatic moments, although they rarely overlapped. First, we are in a Latin class in a German school in 1891, then one of the kids reaches into his jacket, pulls out a microphone, and all of the angst from the previous scene fuels the song as the electric guitar and drums kick into high gear.

I liked both sides of the show, the classic play and the rock concert, although it rarely seemed to fuse into one experience. When it did, such as the close of act one, when the young couple make love on a miniature floating stage, as the singing cast sit around them, rocking them slowly, and singing "I Believe," it was inspired magic, the reason people go to the theater, a moment of pure exhilaration when every element of the production combined flawlessly to create something greater than each of its parts. The cast, the music, and the audience all went somewhere else together in that chorus, and came out the other side better for the journey.

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