Posts Tagged: Broadway Reviews

Jekyll & Hyde Review – They Murdered a Musical

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I just got back from seeing Jekyll and Hyde the musical at the Kennedy Center and for a show about murder, they got it right. Constantine murdered the show and people were walking out. At the end, he even started trying to get people to cheer and unfortunately for him, no one would. Before I get negative about the show, there were some good things.

The girl who played Emma, Teal Wicks, was amazing! Not only did she bring the house down with her voice, but even when Deborah Cox went flat, she pulled everyone through. Her acting was perfect, her voice amazing and she was the only one in the cast that could get you to have goose bumps when she hit a high note and the only lead that could belt a note. Emma was incredible and the only reason you should see the touring cast of Jekyll and Hyde the musical.

Deborah Cox who played Lucy actually did an awesome job acting. She was believable and her voice was gorgeous. She pulled off the role very well and brought people into her character, but where she lost us was in broadway vs. pop voices and vocals. Although she could hit every note and her voice is amazing, she just can’t belt a note or hit it solid enough to bring goosebumps to you. Her voice was beautiful to listen to and I would gladly pay to see her in concert, but in a lead role with a couple of iconic songs, she fell flat. Her voice isn’t made for classic broadway singing, it is made for main stream music. She did a great job, but she just can’t cross over into broadway. Constantine on the other hand was horrible.

He had a couple of good moments as Hyde, but he destroyed the role. People walked out after he couldn’t pull off This is the Moment and when he destroyed the role of Dr. Jekyll he lost the audience. I actually started to fall asleep a couple of times I was so bored when he was on stage. He couldn’t even get the audience cheering when he finished and was looking for applause. He has a nice voice, but he cannot act and he cannot sing a classic broadway show. He may have done a good job as Roger when he was in Rent, but for a classic show, he needs to go back to singing rock music. He unfortunately made the show fail and was one of the worst actors I have ever seen. His performance was amateur and lacked any emotion. Anyone could have gone up and after a few weeks of training done an equal to better job. Unfortunately I cannot recommend this show with him in it. With Deborah, at least you have a beautiful voice and good acting. Teal can sing and act her ass off and the ensemble stood out more than the stars…besides Emma. It’s hard to switch from main stream music to broadway, and when you cannot do it, it becomes obvious because the background characters are more interesting and get a better applause from the audience than you do.

I do not recommend seeing this cast. There are amazing songs in the show and Constantine butchered them. Deborah had a gorgeous voice and Teal showed what an actor can do, but overall you’ll probably be bored and wish you got a refund. The people next to me were equally as disappointed, half of our group walked out at intermission and the people in front asked if it was supposed to be bad or if it was just an off night. I would normally hope they were having an off night, but when Constantine sat there trying to get people to cheer and applaud louder, he even had to shrug and leave the stage. Normally I hate giving a bad review, but this show is not worth seeing or paying for. Bring something else to keep you entertained if you decide to go.

Nick Jonas in How To Succeed in Business Without Ever Really Trying

Nick Jonas in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying Reviews

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Nick Jonas in How To Succeed in Business Without Ever Really Trying

Nick Jonas in How To Succeed in Business Without Ever Really Trying

Last Thursday I was in NYC and couldn’t decide to see Nick Jonas in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Once which is a new musical based on the Oscar winning movie or the opening night of previews for Jesus Christ Superstar. When I thought about the three shows I realized that although the music in Once is absolutely amazing and Jesus Christ Superstar is a classic Andrew Lloyd Webber show, I wanted to see amazing choreography, watch a comedy and enjoy myself. That’s why I chose to go see Nick Jonas in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and add it to my reviews. So are my and my friends Nick Jonas in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying reviews on broadway.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Nick Jonas is about a young man who wants to climb the social ladder at a large corporation and fast. At first you love him and all throughout the show you think he is a sweetheart, until you think about it and think about all of the people he stabbed in the back, used and hurt emotionally. He was a hard worker and very smart, and through pure luck, stabbing people in the back and kissing up, he climbs his way from a window washer to being the Chairman of World Wide Wickets corporation.

J Pierrepont Finch, played by Nick Jonas, also known as Ponchy learns fast from his book, and from gossip that kissing up to the bosses secretary will give you all of the clues on how to win him over and get ahead. The first secretary he runs into is Rosemary Pilkington who ends up falling in love with Ponchy at first site. Throughout the show she loves him and flirts with him and he always breaks her heart. She even tried to resign from working for him and found out that he never even read her resignation. Everyone in the audience loves and feels bad for Rosemary Pilkington, but don’t worry, she has an extremely happy ending. One of the key people that Ponchy meets is Ms. Jones or Jonesy played by Ellen Harvey.

Ms. Jones is the key to Ponchy’s success as she lets him know where the President of World Wide Wickets went to school, that he secretly knits and also his schedule. By Ponchy kissing up to her, she made sure that he was always in the right place at the right time and made sure that nothing bad would ever happen to Finch.

Throughout the show people like Bud Frump try to take Finch (Ponchy down) by giving him bad advice, warning the President of the company about him and even by setting him up in an important meeting to get fired. In the end, the people that were stabbing him in the back all got to keep their jobs, and all of the male characters who tried to help him got fired. When you think about it, people shouldn’t be loving and being happy for Finch or Ponchy, they should be hating him.

You get to meet an amazing mix of characters from Smitty who is a secretary that wants to be a nymphomaniac to Hedy La Rue who is an actual nymphomaniac. You hear incredible songs like A Paris Original, The Brotherhood of Men, I Believe In You, A Secretary is Not a Toy, Rosemary and many more of the songs that made the show famous. Although Nick Jonas did an ok job for his talent level, he was not right for broadway or this part.

I enjoyed watching him, but his voice is very pop rock and not very broadway. He also has issues with volume, being able to sing out and not letting other cast members sing over him on his notes. I was sitting front row center and not only got spit on multiple times while he was singing How to Succeed and I Believe In You, but I got to see very closely how hard he tried. He did do a good job, but he is not a broadway star and was not able to keep up with the professional actors, dancers and talent that made this show. The only reason he got applause was because he is famous. The characters that really stole the show were Jonsey, The guy who played the head of the mail room/tv host/chairman, Rosemary, Smitty and of course Hedy La Rue. If you are a Nick Jonas fan, you should see the show. If you are a How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying fan, I would wait until he leaves and then come back when they have a stronger singer and actor in the role. He does a great job, but my friend and I and a few others all agreed that although he is amazingly talented, he is not made for a major iconic role on broadway like J. Pierppont Finch. So if you want to know if I would recommend it, My How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying reviews are that it is worth seeing if you want to see a fun happy show with amazing dancing, but if you want to see it with a solid leading actor, wait until Nick Jonas leaves.

You can buy How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Tickets on sale or at a discount by clicking on either of the two banners on the right hand side of this site. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying tickets are almost always on sale and at a discount. You can also book most other broadway shows there as well.

Les Miserables London England

Les Miserables Reviewed – Les Mis in London

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Les Miserables London England

Les Miserables London England

You can almost never go wrong with a classic show.  Les Miserables or Les Mis as most people call it is exactly one of those classic shows that you just cannot go wrong with.

I was recently in London England, pretty much home to Europe’s version of Broadway where they have everything playing from Avenue Q to Wicked in their dedicated theatres to touring casts like the newer show Dreamboats and Petticoats (which isn’t really in the west end, but then again it isn’t a dedicated theatre show).

One of things I love most about going to see Broadway styled shows in London England is that just like in New York City, you can go to the half price broadway tickets stand inside the Leicster (spelled wrong) Station in the Metro or just above it in Soho (The West End) and pick up a ticket last minute for just about any show and only have to pay around half price.

I went there to get a ticket for Les Mis in London, like I said you cannot go wrong with a classic show and since it is now the longest running show in London’s broadway history I had to go see it in London and with the new London cast.  When I got there it was disappointing to find out that the show was sold out and even if she did have a ticket it wouldn’t have been able to be sold for half price.   The girl at the counter did offer to call the Queen’s Theatre in London to double check and instead of being polite and saying no that’s ok I said that would be great.

She happily called the theatre and as she was talking to them someone canceled their seat in the front section and she

Les Miserables

Les Miserables

quickly had them put it on hold, offered it to me about 10 pounds above theatre price and since you really cannot get a better seat or ticket for Les Miserable in London, I couldn’t refuse, even with the markup. I got my ticket and was even more surprised to learn that you could pay in either US dollars or in British Pounds.  It was awesome!

So I got my ticket to Les Mis and went on to go do to the touristy thing for the day.

So Les Miserables Reviewed.  Is Les Mis a good show or should you spend a ton of money to see a show that has been running and around for 20 years?

Some people think that just because a show is old it may not be good.  It probably won’t have the special effects like Wicked or Hairspray, it won’t have the modern music like Rent or Spring Awakening or modern themes like Avenue Q but in reality, even though it may not have the modern special effects, when you combine beautiful ballads, amazing acting, great dance and a really well thought out story, not to mention a show that has lasted 20 years, you cannot go wrong.

Sure Les Mis doesn’t have flying witches, but it does have a love story, a talented cast, gorgeous overdone costumes, singing dancing, comedy and acting.  It has everything that all of us can relate to and even though we cannot relate to the time period the characters live in, if you actually think about it times haven’t changed that much, just the way we look at them and the new technology we have to help cope with them.

les miserables set

les miserables set

Les Miserables is the story of the French Revolution.  How people could start to rise up and overpower the government or monarchy if they truely believe in their cause.  Sure virtually the entire cast dies but if you read history, the French Revolution had to start somewhere and the brave characters and cast of Les Miserables helped to start that revolution and fight the French Monarchy.

The show starts with men who are imprisoned for doing things like stealing a loaf of bread to save their sisters baby’s life.  One of these men (who stole the loaf of bread) is Jean Valjean.

Jean Valjean is a good man at heart.  He was trying to save his Nephews life but instead got caught stealing to feed him and imprisoned for 16 years.  When his parol finally came up, we was released but also still had to report to his thickheaded parol officer regularly or he would have to go back to prison and work in the fields again.

Jean Valjean tried to go forward and make something of himself but whenever he would get a job, people would pay him half the money because he was a con, they would refuse to hire him or they would throw him out on the street and not even let him rent a room.  Not only was Jean Valjean at his lowest point, but he was also on the verge of death until a Bishop took him in.  Unfortunately while the Bishop went to bed, Jean Valjean robbed his silver and everything he could find.  He then ran out of the house to go into hiding and started to realize, what had he done?

Of course he ended up getting caught and when he was about to be sent back to prison for stealing from the Bishop, the

Les Miserables Queens Theatre London England

Les Miserables Queens Theatre London England

Bishop lied and said he gave all the silver to Jean Valjean (even though the Bishop was poor and had very little).  He also said that Jean had forgotten the candlesticks that he was given as well and handed them to him.  Even though Jean Valjean felt guilty about stealing the Bishop’s silver, he took the Candlesticks and when he was about to leave the Bishop told him to use them to start a new life and a good life and with that Jean Valjean left.

You then get to start to move into the slum of France just before the revolution.  There are prostitutes everywhere, women in factories and everyone stuggling.  A young woman named Fantine.

Fantine is a young woman struggling to not only keep herself alive, but everything she does and earns is all for one purpose, to save her daughter who is staying with the Inn Keeper and his wife, Cosette.

Fantine does eventually pass away in the show but if you know your French History or watch the History channel, ghosts to come back and appear, especially during hard times and times of war.  Ghosts are a huge part of this show, whether it is about dreams and songs like Castle on a Cloud which you hear Cosette sing while she is a little girl or the ghosts of Marius’s Friend’s all singing after they die in the fight against the french revolution.

After Fantine passes away, Jean Valjean makes her last request his life’s work.

He goes to the Inn that Cosette is living in with the comedy relief characters and goes to not only rescue Cosette but also raise her as his own daughter.

The story continues on from there and goes through what life was like back in France and eventually ends in Paris where the French Revolution took place.  There are side stories about surviving, falling in love, robbing your customers and even not to underestimate the power of people who go unseen because they are small, short or different.

The show has funny punchlines, amazing ballads and you will laugh and you may even cry during certain songs and parts.  One of my favorite songs from Les Miserable “On My Own” is a great example.

The first half of Les Miserables is very emotional and until you hear this song in the second half of the show you don’t think you will be able to cry again.

The Actress who played Eponine was amazing.  She not only had one of the strongest voices in the cast, but her acting was incredible.  She did mess up and miss a couple notes in my favorite song from the show, but her overall performance was nothing short of incredible.  She has a huge career built out for her if she learns how to control the rest of her voice and not overdo the last bit of the high notes.

The two kids who star in the show, (the one who plays Cosette as a little girl and the Boy who sings the Little People song) stole the show.  The understudy who played Jean Valjean that night started out fairly weak but between these four actors there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  All four of them surprised and shocked me with their talents.

Marius and the rest of the cast were ok, nothing special nothing amazing, but these four were absolutely show stoppers.  I even actually ran into a couple of them randomly after show on my way into Soho and what was even more suprising was that even though they just got off work and were worn out, they all had time to stop and chat for a bit.

Jean Valjean Les Miserables

Jean Valjean Les Miserables

They thanked me for coming out, were amazingly friendly and were happy to talk about the show and their careers.  Here is a picture of the guy who played Jean Valjean the night I was at the show.

Overall you cannot go wrong with Les Miserables in London at the Queen’s Theatre in the West End.  The show makes you laugh and cry, has great songs, fun characters and amazing costumes.  Les Mis at the Queens Theatre in the West End of London gets 4 and a half stars from me.  It is definitely worth watching and going back to see again.

If you have seen Les Miserables in London or if you have seen it or want to go see it, feel free to leave a comment and let us know how you like it, what you loved about it and when you are going to see it again.

Avenue Q

Avenue Q Reviews…Is Avenue Q Worth it?

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Avenue Q

Avenue Q

If there is one modern day show that I not only love because of its ability to make me laugh, but also because it is just plain hilarious for everyone…at least teenagers and up,,,,is Avenue Q.

Avenue Q is the story of a young man, well more of a Puppet or a Muppet, that really hits it home if you are just out of college, if you have kids who are in highschool and graduating or if you are or have college students that are about to or just graduated.

The show starts with a character looking for an apartment in a city styled like NYC, unfortunately he cannot afford much since he has just graduated college and has no skills and no one will hire him to teach him anything.  He works his way from the expensive areas like Avenue A, B, C and others and finally hits Avenue Q where it may not be classy, but the people are friendly and it turns out that Gary Coleman from TV’s Different Strokes is the resident manager.  Not only does the neighborhood welcome this new resident, but they decide to sing songs about different things relevant to them, their lives and their society.

They sing about not having a job even though they have a B.A. in English, about how their lives suck, about wanting jobs, how the internet was built for Porn, that there is a lot of things to do even though you don’t have a job and you may not have a lot of money as well as falling in love with each other and showing it by sharing a mix tape.

One of my favorite songs from the show Avenue  has to be the ballad song Mix Tape.  It is about falling in love and how a mixtape is a way to express your feelings for the other person by choosing songs that are relevant for that person and how you feel.  Sure the tape has a couple of oddball songs in it like Fat Bottom Girls, but overall I love the part where it says “I Have to Say I Love You in a Song”.  It was really sweet and they even say that.  It reminds me of when I was in and just graduated from college.  Then the main character asks the female Muppet Kate out on a date, and not to the strip club to see another Muppet Christmas Eve.

The show walks through a ton of social situations like coming out of the closet, searching for a job, feeling alone and depressed and even how to overcome some obstacles.  It shows that people really do care, if you know the right people they will go out of their way to help you when you need it and is a really fun show to watch and has a soundtrack you will  want to play for everyone and sing along to while you drive or even get ready for work in the morning.

Overall the show is fun, has a ton of jokes, a soundtrack that is great to listen to even if you haven’t seen the show and extremely entertaining.  It gives you everything you want from a show.

Drama, comedy, something to think about and remember and it even combines a very famous kids show that we all grew up to and mixes it with the show Rent.  I love Avenue Q and remember seeing cabs covered in faux Muppet fur in Las Vegas and I think in NYC promoting the show when it had first come out.

Avenue Q gets four out of five stars from me being original, funny and a great time out at the theatre.  Just to be clear, I know the story line isn’t extremely original and is just mixing a famous kids TV show with the musical Rent, but the way they did it and because of the catchy music and fun songs I will say that they added their own spin on the show and made it their own which makes it an original show.

I love Avenue Q and highly recommend seeing it.  However if you are taking small kids to the theatre and don’t want them around swear words, this show may not be for you.  Avenue Q gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and if you loved or hated the show, please feel free to share your opinions here.