Monthly Archives: June 2010

Gypsy On Broadway Reviewed

Posted by & filed under , .

So I found out today that the Library of Congress finally came to their senses and added one of the greatest classic Diva shows to their records.  The Library of Congress added in the original cast recording of Broadway’s Gypsy Rose Lee.   Gypsy is one of the most classic and well known shows and almost every major Broadway Diva has graced this show.

Bette Midler took it to the movies, Patty Lupone brought it to a revival, Ethel Merman gave a whole new meaning to how to work a song and even Bernadette Peters who to me could never do any song wrong worked it.  Almost every major star has worked this show or a song from this Steven Sondheim show including a new Diva, Kurt, from the hit TV show Glee who modified it for his Character.  Anyways, Gypsy is the classic show that is cheesy, funny and one that you will leave the theatre loving.  It satisfies about everyone’s broadway needs but without any of the big budget special effects you find in shows like Wicked or Hairspray.

Gypsy is the story of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous stripper or burlesque dancer from the 20’s or 30’s.  You’ll have to check for sure if you want the actual dates when she was alive and performing.  The twist on it is that instead of the story being told about her and from her point of view, it is told from the side of how her Mom whose actual name was Rose brought her to fame and how she became Gypsy Rose Lee.

Rose is your typical Stage Mom.  She pushes her daughters to perform, to sing to dance, she even has a quote in there “Smile Baby”, she is your typical stage and pageant mom.   She gets her daughters June and Louise on the stage and in the spotlight whenever she can and whether they like it or not.  June is the opposite of her older sister Lousie.

June is very outgoing and extremely perky.  When you combine that with an adorable girl who has some talent you eventually find a producer or agent that will take her.   Eventually June does find this Producer and abandons Louise and Rose to go off on her own and pretty much writes herself out of the show.  Once she is gone and Rose cannot find another talent to replace her, she turns to her other daughter Louise.

Louise is a shy and timid girl who doesn’t want attention and doesn’t really think she is that talented.  She plays odd characters like a cow named Caroline in Roses’s shows which feature June.  Louise also carries her thoughts and dreams inside, kind of like how she has a crush on one of the chorus boys who is also one of the lead male dancers in their group.  When Louise finally gets the courage to tell him (through song of course) she also ends up discovering that she naturally knows how to tap dance (yup, a broadway show where you all of the sudden discover you can naturally tap dance, very believable).  When she finally gets some private and alone time with her crush, he ends up telling her he is about to leave her and Rose just like June did.  Even though she had the option to leave with him, Louise decides to stick with her mom.   This same cycle continues to go on and on and on.  As Louise and Rose go through these same cycles over and over about getting somewhat famous, then falling then fame, then climbing, then falling, eventually they both get to the point where they can no longer perform since they are to old for a kids routine and no one wants to see it.

June is gone, the talent is gone and they are at a burlesque theatre in a strange city which unfortunately for them is not a regular crowd who wants to see a show where they can do their act with their “pet cow”.   As a last minute resort to keep on top and make enough money to live, Rose convinces Louise that the show must go on and the last word she gives her daughter before she shoves her on to the stage to become a stripper is to at least be a lady, and Louise does.

Not only does Louise not bare it all but she also learns how to be confident, understand she is pretty, knows that she is intelligent and gets that if she teases, the audience will pay more for her next time because they will get more.  This same theatre where her mom shoved her on stage and told her to be a lady is also the one that gave her her name,  Gypsy Rose Lee.  Gypsy because they were nomads and wanderers, her mom was name Rose and Lee,,,well I’m not sure about how she got Lee unless Lee is short for Louise.   From their her career took off and Louise became Gypsy Rose Lee and Gypsy Rose Lee took over the world of burlesque.  But that still didn’t satisfy Rose.

Rose was a stage Mom.  She wanted her daughters to have fame and a fabulous life.  She did everything to keep her daughters on stage and performing.  She spent all her savings, gave her food away, usually Chinese food and there is even a song about giving Chinese food to an investor, and eventually she realizes that she gave everything but her spirit away to everyone and “For What?” “Why did I do it.  What did it get me”?  It leads into one of the most memorable songs in Broadway history and one of the highlights of the show.  It is the scene where Rose finally says what she wants and when she realizes it is to late for her she discovers all she really wanted was love.  Even though she chased everyone away because of her drive for fame, there is one person left for her and that person is waiting for her when she finishes her song.  Many people mistake attention and wanting fame for love and just wanting to be loved.  If they don’t know what love feels like then they think attention and fame are the same thing.  Rose eventually figures it out just before it is too late and luckily the man she loves is still there for her.

Gypsy is the story of the Stage Mom and her life.  You can follow her from her daughters being kids to grown women and during the show you’ll hear some of the most loved songs in musical theatre.  Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Have an Eggroll Mr. Goldstone, Let Me Entertain You and many more.  Gypsy is a great classic show if you want loud notes and fun loud songs that really require a ton of talent.  It is always a classic show for me but if you’re not into theatre it probably isn’t for you.  If you do love theatre then this is a must see show.   Gypsy gets 3 and a half stars out of 5 from me.  I do highly recommend it if you want to see a classic show with a great score.

Anything Goes Video Patty Lupone + Parodies

Posted by & filed under , , , , , , , , .

So there is nothing more I like in a show than a song where the Actors can really show off their voices and the other thing that makes a show work for me is dancing and good dancing.  Nothing does that better than a classic tap dancing routine and no show has a combination that is better known than Anything Goes from the show Anything Goes and there is probably no better known Diva performer to do this show and make it famous than the talented Patty Lupone.

Not only did Patty Lupone take this somewhat flat show and turn it into an amazing performance, but Patty Lupone gave a performance that can probably never be topped.  The only person that could ever probably give a run for the money on a classic show and song like Anything Goes is the Great and Glamorous Miss. Carol Channing.  She is probably the only person who has existed in my lifetime that has enough stage presence and raw talent to show up the great Mz. Patty Lupone and make the song and dance for Anything Goes better, but to be honest I don’t see Ms. Channing coming back to do an Anything Goes revival any time soon.

The thing is that when you take an amazing song that starts slow, allows for high notes and very loud and in your face notes and then tie in tap dancing and an amazing and memorable routine, then you add in a true Broadway Star like Patty Lupone, you have an almost guaranteed hit, no matter how bad the rest of the show is, people will leave remembering and loving that song and routine.  This is the same thing with Fiddler on the Roof.

We’ll never have another Zero Mostel but thank god we do have a Harvey Fierstein and although the show lacks a solid ending and a great story line or plot, it does have memorable songs and a couple of fun dance routines, even if they aren’t tap but are more jazz and modern ballet.

Anyways, because of the amazing performance which is still played at almost every showtunes night in the US today, no matter who tried to parody or spoof the song, you always have one thing, tap dancing and divas.  I only found one version of a parody or variation of the hit broadway song Anything Goes and the only reason it is amazing is well,,,,I want the laser gun they have.  You’ll see what I mean. Anyways, even when Hollywood tries to imitate broadway and even when it is a blockbuster like Indiana Jones, they still cannot get away from a diva singing and a ton of people tap dancing.

Here is a great example of how people can try to take the stage from a song like Anything Goes and even with a huge Hollywood budget you still cannot escape the one thing that Broadway will always have, amazing talent.  Even though the singer has an amazing voice and is gorgeous, even though she has amazing back up that can dance and they have special effects, nothing compares to how a real Broadway Star like Patty Lupone can work a song and make it their own.  There is a reason she is a star and even if you like the parody below or the Hollywood version of Anything Goes from Indiana Jones, Patty still did the most amazing version and the best version to date of the song Anything Goes.  Although I do have to say that the third video is probably a big competitor to the Patty Lupone version, even though there is no singing and no one is dancing.  =0).

All The Wrinkled Ladies

Posted by & filed under , .

Ok, now I have to be honest, I hate the Beyonce song “All The Single Ladies” when it first came out.  I despised it even more after Michael Meyers and Justin Timberlake parodied it on Saturday Night Live and I hated it even more when that is all they would play and play it 5 times a night in any club in Chicago.  I hated the song and would leave a bar if they started playing it or change the channel on my internet radio station until it was over.  That is until Glee took the song on.

When I saw Kurt perform it and his Dad bust him and then when he got to football team to try it I kind of had a new appreciation for it, but I still didn’t like it.  The song did become more tolerable but still not something  I was going to go crazy for, until I went to Sex in the City 2 and saw the fabulous Mz. Liza Minelli perform the song with two Liza Minelli Drag Queen Impersonators behind her.

When the Drag Queens that impersonate Liza Minelli get behind Liza and Liza Minelli impersonates Beyonce and performs the song that is when you change my mind and I begin to love the song.  Leave it to Liza to turn this song into a classic hit again and take the parodies to an even higher level.  With that said, I still wouldn’t buy or listen to the song on my own or go looking for more parodies but this one came across my facebook feed earlier today.  It is called all the wrinkled ladies.  All the wrinkled ladies is an all the single ladies parody that is not only done tastefully but it is actually funny.

The All the Wrinkled Ladies video starts out like you’d expect but instead of showing gross and disgusting images and trying to go overboard with it to get attention, they tastefully make a parody of the song and do it in a way that makes you laugh instead of making you cringe or get grossed out.  I personally like this video because not only am I having a fat day, but it completely worked for me today and didn’t make me feel bad about overeating all day.

Here’s the video for All The Wrinkled Ladies and if you like it too, use the greet retweet button up top to tweet it to your friends or leave a comment below.

Mary Poppins on Broadway Reviewed

Posted by & filed under , , .

If there is one thing I love more than anything, it is amazing choreography and solid voices.  Although Mary Poppins has the dancing, there really aren’t any songs that enable the Actors to show off their voices but there are moments in almost every song where you get to see their amazing choreography and how talented they are with their ability to dance.  Disney gets a lot of crap from the Broadway Community about Broadway being about talent and natural ability, not huge budgets and wardrobe, but I have to admit, sometimes I love the huge budgets and classic characters.

If there is one thing that Disney can do like no other show or production company it is create a story that people will fall in love with, characters that we will remember, heroes and heroines that we will admire and villains we will hate.   Not only can Disney do this with their movies and tv shows, but they have now found a way to bring these amazing characters to life and not just through the screens or running around their theme parks, but on Broadway and in touring casts all over the world.

Disney brings their animated cartoons to life with elaborate costumes and helps characters like Mary Poppins fly through a theatre above a crowd who stares in complete shock.  Combined with their deep pockets and ability to recruit the best talent on earth, if I’m in the mood to watch a classic story and fall in love with childhood heroes, there is nothing I love more than a Disney show and Mary Poppins is the perfect one to see.

Mary Poppins is a nanny who finds two little kids who need someone that can not only be their friend but also teach them responsibility and how to enjoy their lives.  Mary takes them to magical places and into dreams to not only discover more about themselves, but also how to be an adult.  Mary shows them how to sweep a chimney, enjoy a rainy day and teaches them to respect everyone no matter how much money they have or where they fall into the world socially.   Mary Poppins on Broadway is a classic Disney show with amazing dance routines, elaborate and colorful costumes and songs that we all remember from our childhood.  Although no one can replace Julie Andrews on the silver screen, no one can replace this new and real life Mary Poppins that floats above crowds and brings the character to life.

Between the singing, the dancing, the costumes and the music, Mary Poppins on Broadway is a must see family favorite.  Not for the hardcore theatre buff or artsy type but for the family or someone who wants a feel good thought free stress relief and great time with great dancing and music and an even better and more memorable night out with their friends and family.   Mary Poppins on broadway is appropriate for all ages and even though there is no real heavy thought or deep meaning to the show, I still have to give Mary Poppins a 4 out of 5 because to be honest, I love the music, the costumes and the choreography.  Although Disney gets a horrible reputation for ruining broadway, I personally think that sometimes you need a break from shows that make you think like Spring Awakening or shows about rebellion like Rent or even shows for adults like Phantom of the Opera.

Even though Disney shows are geared towards kids, we were all kids at one point and almost all of us remember the songs.  This is why no matter who you are and how much you hate that Disney has taken over broadway, you end up having to sing a long and even smile during a Disney show, especially a show like Mary Poppins.  Mary Poppins is a classic Disney Show and one that I highly recommend if you want a night out with the family and want something you can sing along to and remember for the rest of your life.  This classic tale is perfect for everyone in your family so don’t worry about having your kids there or even leaving the kids at home.  Mary Poppins  is a great classic Disney show and I give it 4 out of 5 stars.  If you’ve seen Mary Poppins on Broadway, feel free to leave a comment below and tweet this post by clicking the green box at the top.

Leave it to Kristen Chenoweth to redefine Interventions

Posted by & filed under , , , .

Last night at showtunes night they played one of the funniest parodies I have seen in a very long time.   Everyone has made their own parodies of the hit tv show intervention but no one has come close to being as ridiculous as a broadway star and Diva.  Leave it to Kristen Chenoweth to not only take a show like intervention and not only make a parody of it but also turn it into a broadway styled song. It goes to show that you can take the Star off broadway and waste her talents on TV but you cannot take the broadway out of the Star.

Kristen Chenoweth is a very vocal activist and a constant voice of equal rights and human rights.  She also has an extremely big heart, but even with all of the PC crap that is out there and that celebrities have to be careful with they are still people to and Kristen definitely has a sense of humor.

We always see her laughing and having an amazing time and when I saw this parody of Intervention that she starred in it was great to get to see her perform in her stereotypical bubbly, fun and energetic happy personality but also in a way that was funny and a bit off color.  The Kristen Chenoweth parody is not only funny and off color but it really highlights her talents to be able to play other roles and shows she can do off color humor as well as regular PC humor.

I loved this parody but I do have to warn you before you watch that there is some language and more adult oriented topics in it so please do not play it somewhere where this may offend people around you.  Thank you EFN Lounge for showtunes night and for playing the Kristen Chenoweth Intervention Parody.