Posts Tagged: Harvey Fierstein

Put a Little More Mascara On – La Cage Au Follies

Posted by & filed under , , , , , .

Sorry for not posting recently but I have just been really down lately.  Sometimes things in life just suck.  You may not be happy with the way you look, you wonder why certain people are allowed to keep their jobs when all they do is cause problems at work and add no serious value, when you lose a friend or fight with your partner or just have a break up.  Tons of things can cause you to feel like crap.

I had a pretty rough week and although I shouldn’t let it get to me I am for some reason.  To be honest I am not completely happy with a few things in life and I started making the horrible decision of feeling bad for myself.  Tonight I came across one of my good friends who is insisting I leave my apartment and come hang out with him and his friends.  Sometimes the best wisdom can come from the least likely sources.

My friend that has invited me out and that I am going to go meet up with is a Drag Queen from Washington DC, there is no show like a drag show or broadway show, and although normally people wouldn’t take their advice as serious as others, there is wisdom in almost everyone and sometimes it takes a queen to talk some sense into everyone.  It also got me to think of a song from one of my favorite shows written by Harvey Fierstein.  Put a little more mascara on from La Cage Au Follies.

Not only is the song about being able to lift yourself up and pull yourself out of a slump when you’re depressed, but it is about being able to transform your mood with just a couple small changes.

It isn’t about everyone should do drag but mascara can be anything from a trip to the gym to a new outfit or even just a new movie or book.  Basically mascara can be anything about what makes you happy and can help bring your spirits up.   For me my mascara tonight is going to be going to a retro night with my friends and just forgetting about all of the crap that upset me this week and actually enjoy myself.   If you need a little mascara watch the video for Put a little more mascara on from La Cage Au Follies and then come back and share what your mascara is.  My Mascara is being with my friends and knowing that they love me and would like to thank Broadway Legend Harvey Fierstein for creating the song I put a little more mascara on from La Cage Au Follies.

Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein – Diva or Dud

Posted by & filed under , .

Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein

So Harvey Fierstein.  One of the greatest talents acting has seen in years and possibly lifetimes.  Not only is his voice so unmistakable, but his skills, his smile and his overall performance and presence cannot be missed.  He just has that special glow in his smile that makes a crowd fall in love with him and the stage personality to match.  I had the very fortunate experience and unfortunate experience of meeting this Broadway Legend last night and let me tell you, I was blown away with him.

He was attending a fundraiser for Broadway’s charity which he actively promotes called Broadway Cares Equity for AIDS which was being put on by one of the Fiddler on the Roof Cast members at a nightclub in Washington DC called Town Danceboutique.  Now saying Harvey was attending is sort of a lie, Harvey was the host and MC in reality.  He completely stole the show and kept everyone going while we were waiting for the next performances.  (I’m not going to go into the performances since this is about Harvey and not the show).  Not only was he personable on the stage and everyone felt like they knew him, but he was funny, he was loveable and even though he wasn’t performing, he still stole the show.  You can easily tell why he made it on Broadway and became a Broadway Legend.  He has so much stage presence and such a welcoming smile that everyone in the crowd felt at home and everyone instantly liked him.  But who is Harvey Fierstein and how did he get so famous?

I’m going to start with my unofficial view of this and then source some things about Harvey Fiersteins career to give this post and review of one of Broadway’s most beloved Actors of all time.

Harvey Fierstein was just born with talent.  He was given a unique voice, a fun figure and instead of hiding from it he used it to get a head and get a few fabulous roles.  Being a gay man and growing up in the 1950’s had to have been hard, but to go into a Country that doesn’t always accept or didn’t accept gays during that time period and creating the off off broadway show, The Torch Song Trilogy.  After this extremely long but absolutely fabulous series of plays was over Harvey then took on another big gay musical that not only took off but also brought him to more of a main stream fame.  Harvey brought us his new drag queen diva show called La Cage Aux Follies.

This is the show that brought us the hit song I am what I am and gave the audiences a shock and made them do a double take when in the end scene the drag queens and real woman tap danced and then pulled off their wigs and Men and Women were shocked when they realized who were actual men and who were real women.  It was an amazing shock to audiences and a huge step forward for Gays and Drag Queens.

After La Cage Aux Follies, Harvey went on to film countless TV shows, voice overs and movies.  He has appeared everywhere from day time TV to cartoons to commercials and of course amazing broadway shows like HairSpray where he recreated the role of Edna Turnblad and recreated Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.

Harvey has not only had an amazing career but he has countless fans and has raised a ton of money for his charity Broadway Cares.  Harvey not only loves his profession, or at least can easily convince us that he does by watching him watch his fellow Actors on stage, and his love, passion, talent and devotion to his trade makes him not only a memorable person in Broadway history, but a true star in every way possible.

Harvey Fierstein at Town

Harvey Fierstein at Town

Born in Brooklyn in 1952 (according to IMDB), Harvey probably got a ton of exposure to theatre and acting.  Overcoming a unique voice and making it his greatest talent as well as working his way to fame Harvey clearly earned his space in Broadway and Celebrity history for all of his hard work, amazing performances and overall pure talent.  Harvey Fierstein is one of the true Divas and talents and if you ever get the chance to see him in a show, he is definitely worth the price of a ticket.  Thank you for the wonderful show last night Harvey and for allowing me to take a picture for this blog.

Harvey Fierstein Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof – Harvey Fierstein Reviewed

Posted by & filed under , , , , , .

Harvey Fierstein Fiddler on the Roof

Harvey Fierstein Fiddler on the Roof

This weekend I got to take my mom to not only see a classic show Fiddler on the Roof, but I also got to go with her when one of Broadway’s most beloved Actors, Harvey Fierstein.

Not only are we both huge Harvey Fierstein fans, but getting to see him with my Mom and in a role that almost seems like it was designed for him, Tevye, just like when he played Edna Turnblad in Broadway’s Hairspray, the performance has to be amazing.   In this review I want to go over what makes an Actor like Harvey Fierstein so amazing and then review the show.

Harvey Fierstein is one of the most influential people in Broadway.  Not only has he created a career for himself and turned his extremely unique voice into one of his most sought after traits, but he brought gay people into the main stream on Broadway, besides in Cabaret when the guys admits he is bi or in Victor Victoria where they clearly love and accept gay people in France, with his shows like La Cage Au Follies or Torch Song Trilogy.  He pushes boundaries and fights for his beliefs, but he also does it in a way that is classy, comical and a way that attracts huge audiences.  Not only is he able to create a venue that gets a message across, but he does it in a way that is extremely thought provoking and not as in your face.  With that said, how does this relate to his career?

Harvey Fierstein is able to not only write in a way that main stream audiences will fall in love with it and he can get away with creating shows that are not normal or sometimes controversial, but he can also tie that into his body language, facial expressions and character development.  Not only can you see his eyes from everywhere in the theatre (or at least visualize them) but he is somehow able not only break character to give a shimmy or just before a well known song step out of the cast and point his finger to let the crowd know it is about to start and then come back into place seamlessly, but he can also carry the entire cast if he needs to.

People like Harvey Fierstein, Carol Channing, Barbara Streisand and others that have unique voices find ways to make their emotions speak and hit everyone in a crowd.  It is almost like you are watching their characters in their stories as if you were really there and somehow their presence is large enough that you almost feel what their character would be feeling.  If an Actor can do that and in real life, jump out of their character in a second and then all of the sudden be right back in line and get your emotions going crazy again, that is what makes them a star and what separates Broadway stars from Movie and TV Stars.  They have to be able to act, sing, dance and be able to improvise and remember hours of lines and be able to act along side different people every night and at the blink of an eye.  This is what makes theatre unique and people like Harvey Fierstein household names that everyone can fall in love with.

Fiddler on the Roof Washington DC National Theatre

Fiddler on the Roof Washington DC National Theatre

Fiddler on the Roof reviewed.

So anyways, the purpose of this post was to talk about Fiddler on the Roof.

Fiddler on the Roof is the story of a small and poor Jewish Village in Anatevka Russia.  It is the story of a Milkman names Tevye, his wife Goldie, his 5 daughters and how even though they are poor they can still be rich with love. Love is a reoccurring theme in the show.

Tevye is in love with God and his Traditions, not to mention his wife who has never said she loved him in the 25 years they were married or with Yenta who is the town Match Maker that chooses love for everyone else, even if they aren’t in love or don’t want love.  Tevye’s daughters who discover love and even though it is against tradition marry the Men they fall in love with and find a way to convince Tevye that it is ok to love people that they for themselves, instead of benefiting their families.  Love is the basis for Fiddler on the Roof.

Loving your family, loving God, loving your neighbors, your Country, your possessions, your enemies (if your daughter marries them) and everything else.  Without love then the characters in Fiddler on the Roof would be poor in food, posessions, heart and soul.  It is their love that keeps their faith, keeps them together and keeps them alive.  Love for reading and learning. love for change and love for each other.

The story line of Fiddler on the Roof is great and tragic.  It is emotional and shows the plight of the Jews in Russia when they were forced out of their homes and beaten for their religion.  It has some of the most well known songs in theatre including Match Maker, Sunrise Sunset and If I Were a Rich Man which has been done over and over again by everyone from Pop Stars like Gwen Stefani to TV Shows.  The only things missing from this show are songs were people belt out a tune and hit a high note.  Unfortunately this show lacks that and even though the characters are very memorable, the DC and touring cast, except for Harvey Fierstein were very weak.

It is very rare that you leave a show and not love multiple characters.  The only person in the show everyone talked about was Harvey Fierstein.  Everyone else was somewhat talented but none of them stood out.  None of them was absolutely amazing and none of them were holy crap incredible.  Overall the shows music is great, but no show stopper songs, the characters are extremely well written, but this cast was poorly acted and the story line is classic.  Unfortunately since the cast I saw was extremely weak, except for Harvey Fierstein, I have to give Fiddler on the Roof 2 out of 5 stars.  If you are a Harvey Fierstein fan then it is worth going.  If you have never seen a show before it is somewhat worth going, but if you are a theatre fan and love to see a great show with a ton of amazing talent, this is not one for you to spend your money on.  Harvey Fierstein is amazing but if he wasn’t in the cast I would have given the show an even lower rating.

I love the show but would have loved a better cast.  I am being a little harsh and should give it a 3 out of 5 stars, but for some reason I just didn’t love the show when I saw it.  Maybe it was just an off day because the talent was there, but then again they should all be able to give it their all, Harvey was able to so it would have been nice to have seen them all give a performance like his.