Twelve Shows, Twelve Thoughts

Heinz Dept.

It’s funny how one day of my week can get mussed up (sick child) and I fall into catch up mode.  Anyway, as promised here are some takes on the twelve shows that were the answers to last week’s puzzle.

Guys and Dolls:  I love the old Damon Runyon stories, and this musical captured the feel and style of those tales beautifully.  Also for my money, “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat” is the best 11:00 o’clock number E-V-E-R. 

The Sound of Music:  I run hot and cold on this one.  I find it both charming and corny.  It did inspire a great YouTube clip though.

In the Heights:  I included In the Heights because it is one of the newer musicals that I haven’t gotten to see yet.  Sort of puzzle note to self.

The Fantasticks:  For my folks.  They loved this musical, and they still have some confetti that they swiped from the original Greenwich Village production in a playbill.  I did the same for the current revival, but it doesn’t have the same feel.

The Producers:  I talked this one over with a fellow Broadway theatre goer and we are in agreement that the first of this show was the perfect first act for a Broadway comedy.  The second act was very, very good, but the first act was just hysterically funny on point throughout.

West Side Story:  Funny how things age.  This was shocking for its time, and now not so much.  Still the score and choreography remain timeless.

Les Mis:  I am the type of person who is overly wary of hype.  To this day, I have still not seen the movie ET because the hype was so big for that film that I thought the movie could not live up to it.  I caught Les Mis ten years into its run because of hype-averssion, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the show really did live up to its reputation.

Sweeny Todd:  I saw the stripped down revival of Sweeny Todd a couple years back and loved it.  In my circles there was no middle ground with that production people either loved the stripped down intimate feel and innovation (all the cast members also played the instruments for the show on stage).  Other thought it couldn’t hold a candle to the original production.

Chicago:  When I started working for Broadway ticket sellers lo these many, many moons ago, the revival of Chicago was the first show I saw.  I caught an early preview and the show was not set yet, one of the leads was sick and/or had blown her voice out, and I wasn’t sold with the concert style staging.  I proclaimed that the show wouldn’t run three weeks.  Tomorrow the show will mark its thirteenth year on Broadway.  I have never been so wrong about a show before or since.

Camelot:  Another nod to my parents.  Very big fans of the show.  I grew up with parents whose LP collection consisted of Dylan, Baez, The Beatles, The Stones etc.  Camelot was one of only two Broadway cast albums they owned.

Phantom:  There are two types of Broadway fans in NYC:  those who like Andrew Lloyd Weber’s stuff and those who do not.  I am in the do not camp, but this is the longest running show in Broadway’s history, so it must be doing something right.

On The Town:  I have a soft spot for this show.  It is not the greatest show ever, but it is quirky and fun.  New York, New York is a hell of a town, and this show revels in that wonder and awe one can ave when first setting foot in our marvelous madcap metropolis.

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