Monthly Archives: August 2010

Bernadette Peters Stars in DC Revival of Follies

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Ok, so a huge giant gasp of air just left my lungs when I saw a headline in the Washington Post about the talented and one of my personal favorites, Ms. Bernadette Peters coming to Washington DC to star in a revival show of one of Stephen Sondheim‘s greatest musicals, Follies.  Not only did I almost go to see Bernadette Peters star in another Stephen Sondheim show, A Little Night Music with Elaine Stritch (who I love from Stephen Sondheim’s show Company with the song Ladies Who Lunch), but I have had an insane obsession with Bernadette’s Voice ever since I saw Into The Woods (another Stephen Sondheim show) when I was younger.

Bernadette Peters is not only an amazing actress and singer, but when you combine her talent with Stephen Sondheim’s music and shows and with the number of revival shows coming back (Promises Promises, La Cage Au Follies, A Little Night Music, etc….) this is one that may end up making its way back to NYC and broadway.

One of my very favorite songs from Stephen Sondheim’s Follies is definitely I’m Still Here.  Its not only fun to sing but it is also a fun one to dance to and sing a long with at karaoke nights.  It is one of those fabulous songs that everyone knows and loves but doesn’t always remember unless someone brings it up.  Unfortunately I don’t think that Bernadette Peters has the right voice for this as I think the song should be sung by someone whose voice is more rough and deep, but then again with her ability to morph her voice from a gorgeous light and opera sounding voice and her ability to hold a solid note, she may be able to pull it off or turn it into her own version.

I cannot wait for Bernadette Peters and Follies to open up at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and when tickets go on sale I will definitely be one of the first to get them.  Watch out broadway, another $6 million revival show is coming to NYC.

Laura Bell Bundy – Giddy On Up

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So we all know Laura Bell Bundy and the blond babe and diva of Legally Blonde but before she was legally blonde and playing the role of Elle Woods, even before she was working the show Wicked, our little lady of the stage and screen was working the Country Music World.

Ok, to be honest I really have absolutely no idea if it was before or after that she did a country music song but one thing is for sure, if you love Broadway and you love the extremely talented Laura Bell Bundy, then you will more than likely love her version of the Country Music song Giddy On Up.

Laura Bell Bundy not only brings country music and line dancing to a new level, but she also does something that most country singers cannot do with their videos.  She makes it sexy, brings in non line dancing moves and makes them seem like they fit into the music and the dancing like it was natural.  Not to mention it is hard to take your eyes of the male or female dancers, depending on what you are into.

Laura Bell Bundy is an under appreciated talent on Broadway.  She is gorgeous, blond, talented, she can act, sing a million styles of music and she can smile…believe it or not smiling is half of your show.  It’s what people remember when you first get on stage and the last thing they remember when you are bowing and waving goodnight to them.  She has everything she needs to be a star and she has all the breaks but with other stars appearing on shows like Glee she is not getting some of the attention that she deserves.

Whether or not she ever sees this, Laura Bell Bundy, we love you and I had some friends over from the DC Gays Men’s Chorus for drinks tonight and your name was mentioned a couple times when we were going over shows we saw in NY this year.  We love you here at broadway reviewed and you will always have a place in our hearts and we will always be first in line for your shows if you tour or if we are in NYC.

So here is Laura Bell Bundy singing Giddy On Up.

Promises Promises at the Broadway Theatre NYC

I had a Chenogasm – Promises Promises Reviewed

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Promises Promises at the Broadway Theatre NYC

Promises Promises at the Broadway Theatre NYC

So I completely had a Chenogasm the other night in NYC and if any of you have gone to see Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth in person at the Broadway theatre for Promises Promises, you probably had a Chenomoment as well.  So what is Promises Promises, why did it cause such a stir, who is it good for and is Promises Promises on broadway worth going to see?  Well lets go through the show starting with the Actors, then the drama, then the story and finally the review and some of the songs.

So Promises Promises is a revival show, a show pulled out of Broadway Archives and history and brought back to the stage usually the same way it was run before, that was based on a book called The Apartment and whose music was written by the famous Burt Bacharach.  Since the show is a revival and probably cannot feature the original cast members, since it is a higher energy show with difficult dancing, they had to dig deep and pull out some new Broadway Stars that can pull a crowd.  With that in mind they came up with two of the best Broadway, TV and Movie Actors available, Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes.

Not only are both Actors more than qualified to play the roles but both of them support each other like there is no tomorrow, but we’ll get into that in a minute.

Kristin Chenoweth.

Kristin Chenoweth is the leading lady in Promises Promises.  Kristin has played a million roles and her most famous recent broadway appearance was developing the character Galinda in Broadway’s Wicked across from Idina Menzel.  Although rumor has it that her and Idina no longer speak, Kristin and Idina both continue to work the stage and the screen together on TV’s hit show Glee.  Prior to Glee and Wicked Kristin has been on and made cameos in a ton of different shows on both Broadway and TV including You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,   Pushing up Daisies, The West Wing, The Pink Panther, Rinning with Scissors, Bewitched, The Music Man, Ugly Betty, Strike up the Band, The Fantastiks, Steel Pier and will be appearing in the new Disney movie You Again.   Kristin is a tiny girl with a huge voice and an even bigger stage presence but what is most admirable about Kristin Chenoweth is her heart.  She not only loves what she does but she loves the people who she works with and the people who support her, like leading Actor Sean Hayes.

Sean Hayes.

Sean Hayes is probably best known for his character on the hit TV show Will and Grace where he played a flamboyant gay man named Jack McFarland.  Sean has been on many TV shows and made a ton of appearances in Pieces of April, Win a Date With Tad Hamilton, Cats & Dogs, Martin and Lewis and then made a stage debut with Damn Yankees at the City Center stage.  Now Sean Hayes has finally the crossed the line from TV Actor to Broadway Actor with is debut in the revival show of Promises Promises as the leading man which is what started all of the drama.

The Drama about Promises Promises, Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth.

So when the show launched they did the normal invite the press in to watch.  Promises Promises reviews were all over the

Kristin Chenoweth Newsweek Sucks!

Kristin Chenoweth Newsweek Sucks!

board.  Some broadway fans gave Promises Promises great reviews while others trashed it for being cheesy while they loved the acting and dancing and the media did their normal bash what you can and rave about what you can if you love the Actors,  Overall the reviews were all over the place with the exception of Newsweeks article which caused a stir.

Newsweek had a writer post an Article about Sean Hayes.  The thing is that most of us remember him as Jack McFarland and because he is somewhat typcasted as Just Jack when he is on a stage this author made a comment along the lines of Gay Men Cannot Play Straight Men on Stage or Ladies Men.  The thing is that I think he may have meant that someone who is slightly flamboyant or geeky with their acting they may not have been able to portray a Frank Sinatra or a Flaming Male Womanizer like James Bond.  The problem is that what he wrote was more offensive than it was true or written properly.

As a writer and a journalist he should have been able to more clearly write this thought out because although some of us agreed that we remembered Sean’s character Jack McFarland so it was hard to see him as a straight man on stage, he still did an amazing job and that there are tons of gay men who play straight men and no one knows the difference.  You also have the exact reverse a few blocks over in La Cage Au Follies where you have a straight man (I think he’s straight) Kelsey Grammar playing a gay man in the show.   To me Sean Hayes character could have definitely been a straight man.

Promises Promises

Promises Promises

If Sean had never played Jack or done Just Jack then you probably would have thought of him as a Mathew Broderick in the Producers or Ferris Buller’s Day Off or any other geeky sort of cool person who is also straight.  It was not hard to believe that Sean played a geeky straight guy because guess what, that is what his character was all about.  For Newsweek to publish what they did it was not only offensive but it was also wrong.  As a writer the journalist should have been able to write more clearly and as an Actor Kristin Chenoweth did what she does best, work the issue to make it right.

Although Kristin is a small girl in size, her voice and her love is huge.  Not only did she make a huge publicity stink over the Newsweek article, but she was able to rip him a new one across a ton of media channels and on numerous blogs and websites.  She not only further showed her support for the Gay Community because the way that she must have read and that I read the article was that it was a blast to the gay community but she also showed her love and support of her leading Co-Star Sean Hayes by defending him and also bringing in other prominent gay Actors like Neil Patrick Harris and Jonathan Groff.   Kristin not only got the exposure that she wanted but she also got Newsweek to react quickly and everyone from Fox News to local media stations agreed that Newsweek was out of line and needs to make an apology not only to the gay community but to Sean Hayes.  The pink elephant in the room and the comment about macho swagger was absolutely inappropriate and Newsweek should have prescreened the article first.   So what was all the drama about and was the show worth it, yes, yes yes!

Promises Promises Reviewed.

Promises Promises is the story of a nerdy, geeky lower level person who wants to not only get to become successful in business and life, but also get the girl of his dreams who also works with him.  Chuck Baxter dreams of getting to eat in the Executive Lunchroom, use Executive Bathrooms and get to shop at expensive stores and drink expensive liquors.  Besides being successful in business and in life, he also wants to be successful in love.

Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes Promises Promises

Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes Promises Promises

Fran Kubelik is an assistant who ends up being transferred to the Executive Lunch room so that the Executive who is having an Affair with her can see her more.  But before we get into that lets go back to Chuck Baxter.

The only thing that Chuck seems to never want to upgrade in his life is his apartment.  In fact his apartment ends up being the key to success in his entire life.  Although it is nothing special and isn’t in the most amazing neighborhood, it is his and his alone; until he meets a few corporate executives who need somewhere to take their friends who are sick, hot or just plain horny.  The whole show starts with one Executive after another needing somewhere to take their mistresses to hookup and cheat on their wives.   One night the first Executive stumbles into Chuck Baxter in a bar and remembers that he is single and has his own place.  After a few more weeks and a few broken promises, Chuck has realized that they are just using him so he realizes that if he actually has the power to keep their Affairs not only secret but also alive, he may also have the power to force them into promoting him.

After a long night out in the snow while an Executive is having an affair in his apartment he pulls back the use of his apartment.  The cheating Executives immediately send him to HR for a promotion but when he gets their he finds out that the head of HR is also having an affair with another woman.  Happy to get the use of Chuck’s apartment he quickly promotes Chuck to the lowest level Executive position on the corporate ladder and in return the HR guy gets to use his apartment.

Chuck is delighted because not only is he now an Executive but he also gets to eat in the Executive lunchroom everyday and see his true love Fran.  If we move through the story Chuck finally gets a date with Fran but Fran ends up standing him up.  After a few close calls with actually getting to spend time together on a date, Chuck ends up finding out that not only was Fran dating someone else, but it turns out she is dating the HR guy and having sex in his apartment.  After realizing this at the company Christmas party he instantly falls into a depression and goes to a bar to get trashed.

The bar scene with Chuck getting drunk and meeting this ridiculous owl woman is probably one of the funniest but what

Broadway Theatre

Broadway Theatre

happens next is where the story really starts to turn.  Chuck gets to bring the owl woman home, you are seriously going to love her, but when he gets there he find Fran in his bed in a slip and overdosing on sleeping pills.  Chuck immediately throws owl lady out and gets his next door neighbor who is also a doctor.  After helping bring Fran back to life the two of them bond of guitar and a Canadian Fruit Cake made by Chuck’s ex girlfriend.   In the end Chuck does get the girl but the story behind how is absolutely hilarious and cheesy.

The songs from Promises Promises.

Promises Promises features the music of Burt Bacharach.  He not only wrote the music but he made it so the Actors could easily work the music and make it their own.  Although some of the songs only a Broadway fan would recognize, other songs in Promises Promises are easily recognized by Burt Bacharach fans everywhere.  Thanks to the hit TV show Glee with Kristin Chenoweth you may also recognize the song House is not a Home which she performs in the show with Mr. Scheuster and in the show with Sean Hayes.  I personally liked the music and caught myself starting to sing along.  Some of the songs are kind of stupid and cheezy like Turkey Lurkey Christmas but what do you expect.

With amazing dancing, voices like Kristin Chenoweth and a fun story line with an owl lady, I actually loved this show, even though I walked in thinking I would hate it.  Everyone next to me also thought they would hate the show and walked in only wanting to see it for Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth but when the show was over we all agreed that it was an amazing show which we all enjoyed.  I highly recommend Promises Promises to anyone and everyone and give it 4 out of 5 stars because of the amazing dancing, the fun music and the amazing acting and voices of Kristin Chenoweth and the performance of Sean Hayes.  Although it isn’t a good show for people under 14 or 15, it is perfect for everyone else.  If you are looking for a show to go to in New York City and Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes are still starring in Promises Promises  then this is a must see show that you will absolutely love.  Promises Promises gets 4 out of 5 stars.  I completely had a Chenogasm for the show and I am pretty sure everyone else in it had a Chenomoment. If you loved Promises Promises as much as I did, feel free to leave a message below or click the green tweet or retweet button at the top of this post to share it with your friends on twitter.

bitch is on broadway

Welcome to NY

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times square for blogSo I was going to apologize because I haven’t posted for a while but unfortunately I’m going Broadway Crazy right now and am about to go pick up tickets.  I just cannot decide which show to see.  You have Steven Sondheims A Little Night Music with Bernadette Peters and my favorite Elaine Stritch (who worked the song ladies who lunch), you have The Addams Family with Nathan Lane, Bebe Nueworth and my other favorite Jackie Hoffman or I might end up having to go to see Promises Promises with Kristen Chenoweth and Sean Hayes only because of my obsession with Kristen Chenoweth.

Not only are there amazing revivals playing right now like La Cage au Follies by Harvey Fierstein and starring Kelsey Grammer, but I heard he left the show, or you have Chicago.  You have newer shows like Shrek the Musical or even Mama Mia but what we may end up doing is Rock of Ages because there are some non broadway people (I know, I already made the comments) who may come.  NY is amazing because you not only have a huge selection of shows to see but the talent is above and beyond amazing.

The other thing that I love is that last night since broadway goes black (no shows) on Monday nights I went to Splash Bar which is one of the most popular showtunes nights in the country.   Upstairs you have a ton of singing until the drag show starts and if you aren’t into drag queens and you want to keep watching showtunes everyone goes downstairs into the lounge.  The thing that I love about Splash Bar showtunes in NYC is that unlike Chicago, Baltimore or DC, Showtunes at Splash Bar in NYC is all about NY and the Tony’s.

Since splash bar is in NYC and so it Broadway and are the Tony’s, it is amazing to be able to watch them all and then go outside and head up to midtown to get to see all of the shows and where they are.  This is probably the only city in the world where you can do an entire night of Tony awards shows and it will never get old because NYC is the only place in the world where broadway owns the nights and even has its own part on the news.

You have celebrities everywhere, actors everywhere, classic shows new shows like Fela on 49th street and everything in between.  It’s going to be almost impossible to decide so whatever is on sale at the half priced tickets in times square will probably be the winner.  There is nowhere else in the world like broadway and I cannot wait to get back and post all of the pictures.  I hope you’re all enjoying your week and I’ll be back to posting again next week.  Have fun and thanks for reading.

Happy Anniversary Wizard of Oz

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One of the most classic and loved family musicals has to be The Wizard of Oz.  I think just about everyone remembers watching Judy Garland go from black and white on the farm to full color when she arrives in Munchkin Land in Oz.  Everyone fell in love with the characters whether it was the Wicked Witch of the West or The Scarecrow, The Tin Man or The Lion, even Toto or The Lollipop Guild, and everyone would sing along.  The Wizard of Oz not only brought and gave us some of the most famous songs like Somwhere Over the Rainbow or If I Only Had a Brain, but The Wizard of Oz also gave us some of the most famous and memorable quotes which are still mimicked and parodied today.

Everyone knows the phrase “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too”.  We all remember the Wicked Witch of the West telling her Monkeys to Fly and most of us have made a comment about ruby slippers or dropping a house on someone.  Other people make jokes about being careful in the rain because you might melt and that came from the Wicked Witch yelling I’m Melting I’m Melting, what a world when Dorothy threw a bucket of water on her to put out her dress when it caught fire.

The Wizard of Oz is one of the most amazing films, not only because it was one of the first done in color, but because it still remains a favorite movie and one that almost everyone in the world recognizes today.  People flock to the show Wicked to see what happened before Dorothy landed in Oz and to learn another story and there is a rumor that there is a new movie in the works for a new version of The Wizard of Oz with Return to Oz.  There are books and remakes of book like Gergory McGuire’s Son of a Witch and his third book A Lion Among Men.

The Wizard of Oz is one of the most loved Musicals and Movies of all time and I wanted to wish The Wizard of Oz a happy Anniversary.