For our third year in a row we took a little jaunt to the Big Apple to see some shows and get inspired before we dive into writing our next new show. Here are my short reviews of the shows we saw on and off Broadway.
As my wife can attest, I have many opinions. Here are some regarding the new musical The Band’s Visit in previews now on Broadway:
Essential. Delicious- In the way that a perfectly roasted vegetable is delicious. There’s a simplicity. There was a delightful economy of words- moments where a three word sentence told an entire story. Every moment counted. Cinematic. Human- with a consistent thread of disarming humor throughout. The show wasn’t afraid to relish in silence and prolonged beats. The music was emotive and wove seamlessly throughout. Moving. Uplifting. I truly savored every moment.
WHOA- thoughts on People, Places and Things at St Ann’s Warehouse:
Visceral. Emotionally super charged. At times frantic with aural and visual stimulation. I felt like I was wearing special 3D glasses that afforded access to a deeper, more aggressive and immediate emotional plane. One climactic scene was the most intense theater I’ve ever witnessed- the stakes were incalculably high. The script is full of hard, true words. Denise Gough gave a committed performance with a level of physical and emotional effort that is sacrficial- a gift to the audience. This was theater that knocks the wind out of you. You know how some songs are meant to listen to at maximum level in order to really feel them? This show wasn’t afraid to turn up the volume and I am grateful for it.
Some thoughts after seeing Tiny, Beautiful Things at the Public Theater.
This show was like sitting down and reading “Life’s Little Instruction Book” cover to cover. It was too much coffee-table-book-wisdom in one sitting. Isn’t wisdom best served in small quantities? So one can savor it… ruminate on it. Or to go with another analogy- if wisdom is like pearls, I can appreciate the beautiful simplicity of pearl earrings or a pearl necklace, but this felt like a handful of pearls were dumped into my hands, too many to appreciate and hard to handle all at once. I get the “why” and the “what” of the show- these are things worth saying- but I take issue with the “how.” The artistic vessel felt uninspired, the craftsmanship lacking. I can hear someone in an early development meeting saying, “these words speak for themselves, this production just needs to get out of the way.” And that’s just what this production did. It got so out of the way that I was left wondering what any amount of dramatization had to offer or add to these important words.