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Archive for the ‘Plays/Broadway Shows’ Category

I Would Totally Adopt These Guys!

In Plays/Broadway Shows on May 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

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I had the pleasure of seeing “Orphans” on Broadway this past weekend and absolutely loved it. I knew that the play would be leaving Broadway soon, so I had to see it and I did not regret it.

“Orphans” is a play written by Lyle Kessler and directed by Daniel Sullivan, starring Ben Foster as Treat, Tom Sturridge as his younger brother Philip and Alec Baldwin as Harold. Set in Northern Philadelphia, “Orphans” shows the viewer a glimpse of these three individuals at point in their life when they may need each other the most. Treat is excessively aggressive but has utilized his skills to feed his younger brother who can hardly take care of himself let alone get a job. Treat stumbles upon Harold at a bar and decides to kidnap him, especially after opening Harold’s briefcase and finding it loaded with stocks and bonds. After sleeping his drunk off, Harold comes to and subsequently releases himself from the bonds that Treat has tied him in, befriends Philip, and offers Treat a job. Harold sees himself as a father figure to these two individuals, promising them money, women, and security. Harold also sees a bit of himself in these two, as he is an orphan as well. “Orphans” will bring you to tears, split your sides, and make you really appreciate Alec Baldwin, Ben Foster and Tom Sturridge.

Who, by the way, totally steals the show. Sturridge’s character resembles Arnie, Leonardo DiCaprio, from “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”. Philip made the audience laugh while also offering his view on the situation. His desire to know exactly where he is, appears childish, at first, but once it is revealed becomes quite tragic. He is an orphan whose only family is his aggressive temperamental older brother who vacillates from hugging him to hitting him. Philip strives to have some control in his world and Harold offers this.

Ben Foster was also quite good. Her appeared to be channeling his character from “Alpha Dog” who was just a crazy neo Nazi, but I could see that all over his character. An individual I went with, did not feel entirely convinced with his character and felt that he was either trying too hard or not hard enough. I felt that his character may have come across as unusual and difficult because his character was difficult. I believe that Foster had a good grasp on Treat, but that Treat himself was a difficult character. He wanted to be strong without acknowledging that he needed guidance, however, guidance was exactly what he needed. He was angry, happy, drunk, sad, and disappointed. His moods were difficult to predict and all over the place.

Baldwin, I would say, didn’t shine within this play. He was good, but he wasn’t great. This may have been due to amount of stage time he had and the fact that a lot of his dialogue didn’t project. But his character was unusual. He wasn’t difficult to predict, like Treat, he was just weird. I apologize if I cannot describe his performance well, but it left me wanting. I wanted more from him. He was funny he was enlightening, but I felt like this was not his A-game.

So if you could see this play, I would recommend that you do. If it is revived, you should definitely check it out.

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Spider-Man, Turn On Those Lights Bro!

In Plays/Broadway Shows on February 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm

This past weekend I had the pleasure of seeing “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark” the infamous musical with songs composed by Bono and The Edge, formerly known as David Evans who decided that he wanted to be cool like Bono and also have a catchy awesome name but sadly the awesomist guitarist in the world was taken by me.

“Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark” directed by Phillip Wm. McKinley, sings the story of Peter Parker, played by Reeve Carney, who gets bitten by a spider in Norman Osborn’s, played by Robert Cuccioli, lab and turns into Spider-Man! Pete tries to balance his super hero life and his boring life while trying to keep the attention of Mary Jane, played by Rebecca Faulkenberry, and protect his Uncle Ben, played by Stephen Lee Anderson, and his Aunt May, played by Isabel Keating. Osborne  however, has other ideas. Pressured by this group of henchman known as the Viper Executives, Osborne pushes the limits of his body and his mind to become the Green Goblin. He also creates the Sinister Six which consists of  Swarm, played by Drew Heflin, The Lizard, played by Julius C. Carter, Electro, played by Maxx Reed, Kraven the Huntder, played by Emmanuel Brown, Carnage, played by Adam Roberts, and Swiss Miss, played by Brandon Rubendal. With the Sinister Six at his side, the Green Goblin sets out to destroy New York City and Spider-Man.

This show was great, but there were a few parts that held it back. First off, the sound appeared to be off or unorganized. I don’t know a lot about the production of a Broadway play but I do know that whoever was in charge of the microphones could have done a better job. There were parts in which the cast was singing and I had trouble understanding them or hearing them. It appeared as though they didn’t articulate their words as well enough as they should have, which may not have been the fault of those working on the production end.

I also felt that this show could have benefited from more high flying action sequences. I enjoyed the show for the stuff that they did accomplish but in fight scenes between the Sinister Six and Spider-Man, I felt that the show let the audience down. The fight scene between the Green Goblin and Spider-man was excellent and it would have been nice to see that replicated with a few of the Sinister Six members.

The backdrops for this show was excellent. It was painted in a comic book fashion often utilizing forced perspective and other devices to amaze the audience. There were also a few scenes where the backdrops turned into screens in which certain scenes were shown and that was really unique and well done.  The amount of work that went into some of the scene changes was astounding and just really well implemented. The cast members didn’t have a lot of space to tell this tremendous story but they used every bit of it that they could and it was amazing because of it.

The stunts were excellent. Spider-man would often fly across the stage and out over the audience while often jumping from one of the balconies on stage. There were also scenes in which some cast members were floating above the audience while another scene was occurring below them. It was a lot of fun and made it appear as though you were at a trapeze show and not a Broadway musical.

The music was also good but not great. There were a few songs that were very well composed and others that simply fell flat or evoked nothing from the audience. Bono also made sure you knew he composed the music by inserting a little U2 here and there which was a bit much.

All in all, “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark” was fairly decent and could have benefited from some articulate singers and some better sound production.

See “For Pete’s Sake” for Pete’s sake!

In Plays/Broadway Shows on October 15, 2012 at 9:50 am

A few nights ago my friend and I ventured down to check out an Off-Off Broadway show. What the heck are those you might ask? Well they are like Broadway shows except they are hella cheaper and a lot more intimate.  So we went to go see “For Pete’s Sake” which is about, stars, and is written by Joe Capozzi who comes to terms with the abuse he felt at the hands of Father Pete. In the play the audience views the inner turmoil of Joe as he confronts the “good” voice played by David G. Beck, who tries to help sooth Joe, and the “bad” voice played by Alfredo Diaz, who is very dominating and encourages Joe to drink and understand what had happened to him. Jorge Humberto Hoyos, who will forever be associated with this creepy character, plays Father Pete who takes a liking to Joe, and eventually his nephews, and encourages Joe to watch pornography and talk about his sex life. “For Pete’s Sake” also stars Tom Pilutik who plays multiple character’s from Joe’s father to his brother, and does it quite well, and Bilgin Turker who also plays many different characters ranging from Joe’s mother to his ex-wife, very Oedipal if you ask me. This 6 person crew did an amazing job showing the struggles that Joe went through and the awful moments he experienced with Father Pete. Now enough about the show, onto the review!

I thought Joe did an amazing job and many of you might wonder why. I mean he was playing himself, right? But it was more than that, he showed his struggle and inner turmoil so well. It was so intimate and at times too intimate for me, but I still enjoyed it and I thought the lines were clean and well delivered. When he said things like, “I don’t know” you didn’t feel like they were fillers, rather he still to this day didn’t understand why he acted the way he did.

I also enjoyed the presence of Father Pete who never left the stage but sat in the background the entire time only to rise when he had to interact with Joe or his parents. This was very symbolic because it showed, by literally showing it, that Joe’s abuser was always present within his head.

Alfredo Diaz deserves mentioning in this because he was great. Constantly telling Joe what he was going to do or not do next and it appeared as though he was cause of all the mental anguish Joe was feeling over the event. He just played it so profoundly, telling the other voice to eff off and telling Joe exactly what he was going to do.

This play also appeared to be another way for Joe to come to terms with his abuse, allowing him to actually talk to the abuser and say things he was never able to say. It was extremely powerful and emotional to watch but it was totally worth it.

All in all, this play was excellent and I hope it returns for another round. The ending was superb and tear jerking. I was on the fence about this play because I have a very difficult time when it comes to child abuse but, despite this, I really enjoyed this play. I suggest that if this play is revived, you should see it. You won’t regret it.