Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Speed Test (Typing Test) from Thoroughly Modern Millie

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I did a post a while ago about the fastest songs on broadway and completely forgot about one of the fastest ones from one of the trashiest and most fun shows, Thoroughly Modern Millie. The Typing Test or The Speed Test is a song where she needs to be able to type fast, correctly and keep up with her boss. Unfortunately for her, she is able to do it and doesn’t get distracted with all of the people around her. It’s sort of like when you have deadlines at work.

You get frustrated because you know you have to get everything done and you don’t have much time. Unfortunately for Millie in the The Typing Test from Thoroughly Modern Millie, she is using a typewriter and not a computer. That means that if she makes a mistake, there is also no time to fix it. When you have tight deadlines and no time to check anything, especially if it is for your boss, you can get completely stressed out. Every noise, other people typing, etc… bugs you. What I love about this song is that it completely makes me think of deadlines and having to get things done quickly and correctly, but also makes it sort of fun.

The Typing Test from Thoroughly Modern Millie is a fun song that is hard to sing a long to. The music is very catchy and can easily get stuck in your head. I think that is one of the reasons that many people enjoy it. The Typing Test or The Speed Test from Thoroughly Modern Millie is a fun and fast broadway showtune that is great for listening to when you have a deadline or just to add to your mix for road trips. Here is The Typing Test or The Speed Test from Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Spiderman: Turn off your expectations

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If you’re a fan of classic broadway shows, musical theater, and great entertainment experiences you may have heard about the most expensive broadway production every mounted. You must be living under a rock if you’re hearing this for the first time, but They made a Broadway Show out of Spiderman!

If you came here hoping that this would be a big bash-fest, you’re about to be disappointed – I enjoyed the show, and would see it again, but not in New York. Keep reading – it gets better.

What’s Wrong with Spiderman?

Despite being in previews for an extended period  and going through several revamps, the story still seems glued together like the panels on a storyboard. The production feels disjointed and heavily edited – unlike some well written stories that flow easily from scene to scene.

The story of Arachne is explored from the beginning of the show and the mythical spider herself appears a few times to guide Peter Parker on his journey – which is entirely pointless and does not advance the story in any way, but is very cool to watch. You can see the money at work in this show – it is very dark, and very beautiful.

In truth, this extravagant, lumbering, largely plotless and tedious story depends on some decent music and some amazing technical effects to pull off it’s magic. The characters are two-dimensional, which isn’t surprising since they are lifted from the pages of a comic book.

So What’s Good about Spiderman on Broadway?

Reeve Carney (Spiderman) does a good job with a physically and emotionally demanding role, he’s the right man for the job, but did look very strained as he descended from the ceiling to take his final bow at the end.

Spiderman is not high art – but it is good fun. It’s a universal studios attraction, it’s a ride movies kind of feel. It’s exciting – Spiderman has huge set pieces. It’s got not so very good music – despite having a score written by Bono – the only song stuck in my head after the show was the incredible choreography and slow-motion effects in bullying by numbers and the very catchy “A Freak Like Me” – which you should now watch before you continue:

What’s the best place to sit for Spiderman Turn off the dark at the Foxwoods theater in New York?

Don’t spring for the front row premium seats – you will cry when you realize that all the cool flying effects are happening behind you, or so far above the stage you’ll have to crane your neck to see what’s going on. TKTS tickets are a crap-shoot, if you get stuck on the main floor under the balconies you’ll miss some of the high-wire antics as well. Your best bet for a great view of everything is to get some of the “flying circle” seats.

Since spiderman makes such a huge visual impact, consider strongly paying a premium for the first three rows of the first balcony (mezz), or the first row of the 2nd balcony. Mezz Center would be my choice if I was going back, or 2nd balcony right side (There is a landing pad there that is used by Spiderman a few times during the show, and would give children a huge thrill to see Spiderman drop down in front of them.

My last word on Spiderman

The real truth about Spiderman is that it is not a traditional Broadway show. This is a Universal Studios attraction that was built in the wrong place. Broadway is the place for musical theater it’s a place for comedy it’s the place for high art.

If I was recommending a show for your first Broadway experience.. I would not recommend Spiderman – I’d recommend you see anything else: Go see Phantom, How to Succeed or  Wicked, but if you seen everything else and you’re looking for something that’s fun, campy and you happen to want to see Spiderman swing around a theater (which is very cool), go and see Spiderman. It’s not a bad show. It’s just not a very good show. It’s average.

Average is fine and good, but when you frame it as some other types of entertainment the story changes: It’s a terrible play, middling musical, overpriced and over-hyped production that will run it’s course and eventually find a home at Universal Studios or possibly Disneyworld. Which is exactly where it belongs – in a theme park full of families and comic book fans, not on Broadway.

Just don’t expect too much in the way of tradition from this show.

Getting Tickets to ‘Turn off the dark’

If you’re hoping to buy your tickets, you should consider the box office only if you can get the best seating area for this show (see above notes). Failing that, check the TKTS booth as you will almost certainly be able to get some at 40% off at the last minute, try to avoid being under the balcony on this one, you will miss some of the aerial action, but not much. GoldStar had an offer for Spiderman tickets not long ago, which tells you everything you need to know: the show sells out, but only with the help of discounted ticket offers like this one from back in March.

Halloween Special for Spiderman the Musical

Playbill is reporting that:

At both the 1:30 PM and 7:30 PM performances on Oct. 26, 2011 the first 100 people at the Foxwoods Theatre box office one hour prior to curtain can get one child’s ticket free with the purchase of one full-price adult ticket when the child (age 4-15) is wearing a full Spider-Man costume. (All children in costume at the matinee performance will also be invited to meet Spider-Man and take a photo with him immediately following the performance.)

This offer is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional allocations may be offered based on availability. The free kid’s ticket is redeemable for ages 4-15 only with purchase of an adult ticket at the $149.50 price level.

Costumes may be homemade or store-bought but must be a head-to-toe resemblance of Spider-Man. “Management and/or box office staff has the right to determine eligibility of the costume,” according to a press statement.

About the author

WiseGuy enjoys broadway shows, live events of all kinds, and sitting in the front row (except for big productions like this). If you need tickets to a show in New York, or anywhere else in the country check out his blog for information on how to buy tickets before the public using presale passwords.

The Boogie Man Song from Nightmare Before Christmas

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If there is one musical that is perfect for the holiday season, it has to be the movie musical Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton. Not only do they have every Halloween creature you can think of in the show, but they also feature the biggest and worst creature of them all, The Boogie Man. The Boogie Man in the Nightmare Before Christmas doesn’t just want to take over Christmas, he wants to end Christmas for everyone by destroying Santa Claus.

While Santa is trapped on the Boogie Man’s roulette table and finding out his fate from the Boogie man, the Skeleton, Rag doll and ghost dog work their way into the lair to save Santa Claus. Not only do they end up saving Santa from the Boogie Man, but they also destroy the Boogie Monster after he finishes his big song. It turns out the Boogie man not only scares people year round, but he is the most evil of all Halloween creatures. Not only is he terrifying, but he is made up of bugs and different gross things. I guess that’s what helps to make the Boogie Man so scary, and his song perfect for him.

The Boogie Man Song from the Nightmare Before Christmas is a dark and evil song. It takes place under black lights and has moments where the Boogie man almost kills Santa Claus while he says how evil he is. He loves being evil and having no rules and he makes it very clear that he is the worst Halloween creature around. The song is great to sing a long to, have on your Halloween soundtrack and also to play for fun when you have people trick or treating and you have music playing while they come to your house. The Boogie Man song from The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the best songs from the movie musical and is perfect for this time of year. Here is the Boogie Man song from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

What happens when Glee meets Sesame Street?

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I was on Youtube today looking up a video with a friend when we found this video from the TV show Sesame Street which is all about the Letter G and Glee. Not only do they spoof the tv show Glee well, but the characters, the songs and everything else take the letter songs to a brand new level from when we were kids.

The Sesame Street parody of Glee features almost everyone one of the main characters from the first season of Glee. The only difference is that they show them after they have all either come out of the closet, become a diva or started to take shape as the characters we know today. The parody is a bit progressive from the Sesame Street that I remember because they not only have Kurt as a Gay character yelling more glitter, but they have Mercedes going crazy about wanting to be a Diva and they have Sue making hair jokes at “Mr. Goo” instead of M”Mr. Shue”.

The Sesame Street parody of Glee is absolutely hilarious and it is amazing to see how much the show has grown. This video is more like a Saturday Night Live skit than an episode or song that I remember from when I was a kid watching the show. If they now have funny skits like this and features real life types of people, the show can do a great job for teaching kids about tolerance and discrimination.

My friend and I couldn’t stop laughing while watching the Sesame Street parody of Glee so I wanted to share it with all of you as well in case you hadn’t seen it either. Please feel free to share this post using the Twitter or Facebook icons above and feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you all again for reading and here is the Sesame Street vs. Glee video.

Gotta Get a Gimmick from Gypsy – Better Than Business Books

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I was listening to Gypsy the other day and couldn’t help to laugh about the song Gotta Get a Gimmick. People spend a ton of money on books on how you have to stand out, be different, etc… in order to succeed. It’s the same recycled crap that you can learn in any class, from any book and to be honest is just common sense. Authors’ and Gurus have made millions by selling this crap by making colored animals or saying you need incredible, amazing and unique content, but the reality is you could have more easily saved time and had more fun watching a broadway show to learn the same exact thing.

The song You Gotta Get a Gimmick from Gypsy is the part of the show when Rose is about to become Gypsy Rose Lee. Rose is in her dressing room getting ready to go on stage and perform when she meets her other performers. Rose is a bit more conservative and doesn’t feel comfortable stripping and she also didn’t have an actual plan except for not taking it all off. That’s when the other girls let her know how they have made names for themselves and get the guys to keep coming back and requesting they perform. It turns out that what makes Rose different is that she is able to make her performance unique by teasing the guys and never giving it all away.

The one dancer uses lights. The other uses ballet and a costume and the other uses a trumpet to get attention. Rose decides that those gimmicks aren’t really her and by using her own body and not giving it all away, she can not only tease the men into wanting her back more, but she can also become a headliner. By finding out what her difference is she ends up getting to tour the country at different theatres and Rose becomes one of America’s most memorable icons.

Instead of buying that next business book on being different or on how to stand out. Instead of reading a book on how to be different and make money or by buying the book that says you have to be incredible, just watch Gypsy on broadway. Not only will you learn everything the book has to offer in the song You Gotta Get a Gimmick from Gypsy, but you’ll also have a much better time.