Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Entry #6

I realize I made a resolution to write more this year - and that includes blogging - but I haven't really stuck to my convictions so far, mostly for work-related reasons.

However, this latest entry could not be delayed any further, as my excitement about a return visit to Manhattan necessitated some serious Web-surfing on not-to-be-missed shows.

Before I begin, the latest Kevin Spacey photo. Here, he's pictured with director David Fincher ( the genius behind Se7en, Zodiac, Fight Club and The Social Network ). They're teaming up yet again for a TV series, House Of Cards, which has been picked up by Netflix. I hope it hits local cable soon. If not, there's always Sidereel. :)

Recently, I've been reminiscing about Jersey Boys, the Tony Award-winning musical I caught back in 2007, when I finally fulfilled a lifelong dream to see Broadway. It was nothing short of life-changing, and I've been itching to go back ever since.

Why has it taken me 4 years to do it? Well, there're lots of other places on my travel list, and since my holidays involve parents, I need to take their preferences into consideration as well. Luckily, my mom's just as nuts about musicals as I am. After all, she's the one who introduced me to movies like The Sound Of Music when I was in kindergarten. And she was ecstatic when I showed immediate appreciation for West Side Story, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Oliver!, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, The Student Prince and The King And I, when I was in primary school.

Despite not having the chance to catch any revivals ( we missed out on South Pacific, Gypsy and West Side Story ), watching Jersey Boys was absolutely delightful. I finally understood why Broadway has remained so popular for so many decades, and still marvel at the magic that goes on almost everyday in the numerous old theatres scattered along that long New York avenue. The buildings are old, the sidewalks cracked, the stages creak and there's a musty smell inside the auditorium. But when the lights go down and the curtain goes up, you'll feel your heart soar and the world will never be the same again!

Here's a revival I'm eyeing, which stars Harry Potter boy Daniel Radcliffe. I've seen video clips of him singing and dancing, and it's easy to see why reviews have been positive. Don't expect Raul Esparza / John Lloyd Young / Jonathan Groff in terms of powerhouse vocals. He's obviously going to draw crowds no matter what, and all he has to do is carry a decent tune and keep up with the other cast members.
Definitely high on my list. No regrets about missing his turn in Equus - I'd feel too weird about looking at a naked boy. :P

This one, I'm going to watch FOR SURE. Like, if I can't get normal tickets, I'm going for the premium seats, which cost US$300 a head. ( That's what I did for Jersey Boys - best S$900 I ever spent! Actually, a jackpot machine in Caesars Palace paid for that. I had fantastic beginner's luck. :))

The Book Of Mormon opened only a week ago, and has already received rave reviews. Check out its official website for a hilarious interview clip ( bottom right hand corner ) with Jon Stewart, in which he talks to creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone ( the gurus behind South Park ).
It had me in stiches, man! What is it about the word 'Mormon' that makes everything sound funny? I've met a few myself - young American men who are wholesome, well-mannered and unbelievably gorgeous. My mom dated a few in her heyday too, as evidenced by old photos. One of them looks like John F. Kennedy Jr, okay? Insane!

Wonder if the male cast members will be equally handsome? I just want to hear the songs, one of which has the words 'Mormon' and 'hell' in the title. The last musical I laughed till I cried at was a regional production of Avenue Q. I need another kick, so let's hope I get tickets to this one!

Am considering this a bit more carefully. There's been so much hype - mostly in the form of negative publicity - and a severely overblown budget, it would seem a shame to NOT watch it, no?

Video clips are quite impressive, but only heard part of one song, which wasn't that great. If I have time, and if the ticket prices are reasonable, I may give it a go.
( Anyway, if one of the stuntmen injures himself, I'll be the first to offer my medical services. :))

I may not be a huge Beatles fan, but there're enough effusive reviews on the Internet to pique my interest. More than 2 hours of non-stop music from the group's massive catalogue, covered by musicians who've mastered not just the singing, but even the tiniest mannerisms of Paul, John, Ringo and George.

It truly is the closest thing to watching the real Beatles in the flesh. Shall think hard about this. :)

I love the film version starring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Hank Azaria. The original cast included Kelsey Grammer, whom I've followed on the TV series Frasier for eons. Harvey Fierstein ( remember the raspy-voiced dude from Independence Day? ) and Arrested Development's Jeffrey Tambor are the successors. Haven't checked out videos from just yet, but it's on my radar.

Last but not least, a Cole Porter classic that features old-fashioned jazz. More importantly, one of my favourite Porter songs, I Get A Kick Out Of You, is in this musical. Thinking, thinking... :)

I desperately want to see Raul Esparza, but his run in the Tom Stoppard play, Arcadia, ends in June. Need to track him down, argh!

p.s. I hope Jason Mraz writes music for a Broadway show in the near future. It's guaranteed to be a big hit!

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