Monthly Archives: May 2013

Stepsister’s Lament from Cinderella – Ryan apparently likes it!

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I just checked out The Stepsisters’ Lament from Cinderella on Broadway and it was awesome! Rodger and Hammersein’s Cinderella (which has been racking up Tony nominations left and right) has just announced that it will go on a nationwide tour. So, having only seen the Disney movie, I decided it was time to check out the theatrical version and decide if I should buy tickets for Cinderella on Broadway. After watching The Step Sisters’ Lament, I can’t wait to buy discounted tickets to Cinderella on Broadway and see the show when it comes touring near me.

As demonstrated by the Stepsisters’ Lament from Cinderella, the musical’s narrative largely stays in line with that of the classic Disney movie; so if you enjoyed the movie, then you will probably enjoy the Broadway production too. The stepsisters are clearly just as jealous, ignorant, self-indulgent, and cruel as they were in the cartoon version. However, I would argue that they definitely take the singing up a notch, as this may be the best duet I have ever seen.

The Step Sisters’ Lament from Cinderella takes place right after the cruel stepsisters realize that the Prince has chosen the “unusual” and unknown girl (Cinderella) as the belle of his ball. As the stepsisters quickly make clear, they are not afraid to let everyone know how angry and bewildered they are. The song has great costuming, witty lyrics, and plenty of comedy. I think that my favorite parts were the comparisons they kept making. For example, saying that her cheeks are not even pinker than roses, she was only as dainty as a daisy, that she was “merely” lovely, and that she certainly was not a usual girl like the stepsisters.

In addition to the lyrics, the casting and costuming in the Stepsisters Lament from Cinderella on Broadway was also fantastic. After all, mean people are easy to laugh at. Who does not want to chuckle over a disgruntled and violent man in drag and a rather rotund, very cruel woman? Especially when they are asking ridiculous questions about why the prince skips over them, instead choosing a beautiful girl that even they are unable to find a flaw with. After watching the Stepsisters’ Lament, I plan on buying tickets to Cinderella on Broadway just to see the stepsisters’ reaction when they find out that the girl that the prince chose is Cinderella.

One of the things that I really like about The Stepsisters’ Lament from Cinderella is that it shows how jealousy and greed can warp people’s perceptions. The stepsisters are literally singing about how perfect Cinderella is, but their minds are so twisted with pride, ignorance and envy that they cannot even realize this. Each of their insults is a backhanded compliment, and the best that they can do to degrade Cinderella is talk about how they could break her arms and pull her hair out. Neither of these ideas is likely to help them with the prince, but they are too mean and delusional to even notice or care.

Considering that Cinderella on Broadway has been nominated for the best orchestration, as well as the best costume, lighting and sound design of a musical in addition to many other awards, it is definitely a show worth seeing. Unfortunately, as of the time this post was written, the tour had not announced its dates and locations. However, it will be nationwide, so you should be able to expect that the production will be stopping in many major cities. To buy discount tickets for Cinderella on Broadway in New York, or for the tour when they become available, you can click on the banners below.

Here’s what it may look like on stage:

Here’s Audra McDonald performing it as well:

BodyGuard The Musical Reviews – What did we think? Tickets on Sale Here!

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Last week I was in London so I had to go to the West End and see a show.  Oddly enough we went planning on seeing one thing, but ended up going to see The BodyGuard the Musical in the West End instead.  So what is our opinion or what are our thoughts on this show?  The BodyGuard the musical reviews are that it is 100% worth going to, but only for the second act.  Here’s why we hated the first act, thought the lead fell short for part of the performance and why it is still a must see show!

The Body Guard the Musical stays almost exactly accurate to the movie they took it from.  You have the same characters, I think the songs were out of order though and you have all of the major scenes.  You have the lead Diva Rachel whose sister Nicki is the real star, but is always in her shadows.  You have the really hot, but creepy stalker and killer, Rachel’s son, her Publicist, the rest of her group and of course, her BodyGuard Frank.  Here’s what my friend and I thought character by character.

Rachel Marron – Heather Headly – She is always freaking amazing.  Unfortunately she tried to take the songs and make them her own and sort of killed all but two or three of them.  She finished the first act by blowing us away with her incredible voice, but the rest of the act was spent watching the person who played her sister, Nicki.  Heather did an awesome job, but she needs to work on adding emotion and acting back into the songs and also not let the other cast members trump her incredible voice.  Heather, we love you!!!!, however we want to hear you belt out some amazing music like you can do.  Don’t try to make it your own, redo it, add in your ability to act and then add in your own voice and we’ll all still love it!  Don’t stop on notes and sing through your teeth…you are better than that!

Frank Farmer – Lloyd Owen – I thought he did great.  My friends thought he was trying to hard to be a 1920’s cop.  His voice and accent weren’t very good and although he did pretend to be a 1920’s cop, he did his part well, the acting was great and he kept in character during the entire show.  Good for him!

Nicki Marron – Debbie Kurup – You were f*cking amazing!  You took some of the hardest songs to sing, trumped the lead and then also added in your own acting, facial expresions and made them your own.  You stole the show and everyone was commenting about you.  Holy sh*t…you are incredible.  I will happily go to any other show you star in!

The rest of the cast had a couple of good actors.  The creepy stalker – Mark Letheren – Your acting scared the crap out of us, you got us on pins and needles and we were all scared to death of you!  Amazing!   I don’t know who played Fletcher the night we went, but that kid is amazing as well.  He could sing, dance and keep up with everyone else!

Unfortunately the first act will put you to sleep, but in the second act you will be going crazy.  When the cabin turns around and you expect the Stalker to be in there, you won’t be able to stop gripping your chair.  When Rachel sings I will always love you, you’ll be tearing.  When Frank gets shot, you’re mouth will drop.  The show takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and one that you will want to ride again.  I have never been in a theatre where I felt like I was watching a movie that makes you jump out of your chair, scream, sing, dance and have fun.  This show was amazing in the second half and one that you need to see.  The BodyGuard the Musical Reviews are amazing and I highly recommend seeing the show.  You can buy tickets to bodyguard the musical on sale by going through any of the banners to the right of this post.  The Bodyguard the Musical reviews gets 4 out of 5 stars because of the second act.  If the second act was like the first one, the show would have gotten 1 out of 5 at best.

Camp the Movie about Theatre Camp Reviewed – Buy Camp Here!

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My friend and I do musical sundays where we cook dinner and watch a movie musical or movie version of a musical. This week we ended up seeing Camp the Movie about a musical and theatre camp show up in the movies we could rent so we decided to watch. He had seen this movie before and loved it and I had seen the previews for it years ago on other movie’s trailers.

Camp the movie is all about a bunch of gay kids and fag hags that go to musical theatre camp together.  They have been going every year since they were little and have all become close friends.  Then all of the sudden everything changes when an actual straight male camper shows up and creates a ton of drama for everyone.

The movie features everything from a drama queen to an abusive and demanding diva.  An undermined, backstabber, the sweet girl who gets screwed over by the guy and then ends up with him, the gay guy who gets bashed for doing drag and a ton of performances including an awesome version of Turkey Lurkey Time, Ladies Who Lunch and a surprise appearance from Stephen Sondheim.  The movie is absolutely campy which is why Camp is the perfect name for a movie about musical theatre camp.

With quotes like “Have you every experimented with heterosexualtiy?  You mean slept with a straight man?” to the girl who was screwed by the Diva, poisoned her and then stole her role with this quote “What in the hell are you doing here? l knew you’d be discussing stopping the show, and l just thought how disappointed the kids would be. – You scheming little bitch! – Please! l’m a child. lf you think for one… Save the speech, rummy. She’s fucked, l’m ready, and the goddamn show must go on. So let’s get cracking, shall we?”, you will be laughing during the entire show.

The movie covers everything from what it’s like to audition for shows.  How hard it can be to be told your fat and also show you what it’s like to compete with other people who won’t stop until they get their way.  You see gay issues, straight issues, teenage issues, self esteem issues, issues with parents who think their kids aren’t perfect so they try to make them perfect, parent issues because their kids are gay from the gay kid’s perspective and everything else you could think of.  The movie is awesome and I highly recommend it.  If you love Sondheim music and funny quotes, or have ever wanted to become an Actor, this is the perfect movie for you to watch.

I Touch Myself from Austin Powers – Is it still actually funny?

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If we all remember the movie version, we fell in love with the theme song sung by Madonna for one of the Austin Powers movies and the video of her riding in his car singing.  She then also had a song for an actual James Bond movie that completely kicked ass.  However, another song which Ryan wanted to write about is I Touch Myself from Austin Powers.

I wasn’t sure if I should let him write about I Touch Myself from Austin Powers the movie, but they are producing a musical version of it and it is a kind of popular song.  When reading about what he thought when he first saw it and what he thinks now, I decided to let him post it.  Here is Ryan’s overall thoughts on I Touch Myself from Autism Powers.

Growing up I seriously believed that I Touch Myself from Austin Powers was the funniest musical sequence to ever occur in film. I just watched it again for the first time in about 15 years, and while I no longer would defend that position, I do think that I had a pretty decent sense of humor for an eight year old. After all, what is this scene lacking? I Touch Myself from Austin Powers has it all; sexiness, dance moves, robots, explosions, a fun soundtrack, and even adult stars (the “fem bots” are played by Jenna Jameson). Sure, some parts are a bit slapstick and immature, but the movie is about a cryogenically frozen secret agent who comes back to fight Dr. Evil. You can’t take such a ridiculous plot seriously, and neither can the movie itself.

The biggest thing I notice now that I did not as a child is how confusingly dated everything seems. In this scene, there is a Canadian actor, playing a 1960’s Brit, exploding 1990’s porn star robots with his sex appeal. Austin has the retro-sci-fi outfit (though admittedly not for long), the Fem Bots have ridiculous nineties haircuts, and everyone is smoking on screen. Thinking about how weird all of this is almost makes the scene seem as surreal as it is over the top. There is just a whole lot going on that has no business in this decade – or any other for that matter.
But the scene is more than comedic relief. I Touch Myself from Austin Powers is the one time the hairy chested protagonist’s oversexed personality does not get him in trouble — rather it saves his life. After watching about an hour of the immensely likeable character’s libido shoot him in the foot, I was really rooting for his sex drive to do something good for him. And in this scene it does! Earlier in the film the Fem Bots are displayed as this cutting edge, death inducing technology. They are like lady Terminators that use their seduction instead of strength. However, Austin Powers also uses his seduction instead of strength (or skill, or intelligence… seduction is pretty much all he has) and when he dances to I Touch Myself they literally short circuit from how awesome he is.

I think that there is an almost humanist appeal to this success. Everyone wants to think that the thing they keep doing that gets them in trouble or others call a waste of time will come in handy. Maybe you will end up in some sadistic trivia game and being able to recite all of the dinosaurs from the Jurassic period will save your life. Or maybe one day all the cup stacking you have been practicing will help when you need to… ok, the cup stacking will probably never take you further then winning cup stacking competitions. Still, throughout the movie, Austin tries seducing many people with the best intentions. Time and time again, this only leads to him hurting himself and others. After all of this, I Touch Myself from Austin Powers was a breath of fresh air and a victory for the underdog.

I will not argue that the sound effects aren’t annoying. And I agree that or that the whole premise isn’t abundantly absurd if not stupid. However, this movie seemed like pure comedic genius when I was in second grade, and even if you hate it, at least it is a catchy song.