Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Die Walküre Casts Its Magical Fire Spell

Grimsley and Goerke, photo @ Richard Termine
A few weeks ago Christine Goerke posted this on her Instagram: "I just finished a piano rehearsal of Walküre. This cast is so ridiculously great. This conductor is off the hook. If y'all don't come see this you're really missing out. I am the luckiest woman alive."

I'd normally be skeptical of such a gushfest when said singer posting the gushfest is the Brünnhilde of the production. Of course she's going to tell people to come see her sing! But after tonight's  performance of Die Walküre I felt the same sense of awe that Goerke expressed. Because the cast was amazing, the conductor led a gripping, thrilling performance that made the five hours fly by. And get thee to a movie theater on Saturday March 30 for the HD because if you don't, you're really missing out.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Theater Diaries: Kiss Me Kate and The Prom; Met's Samson

This has been a slow theater season. Great for my wallet, but disappointing when I remember that the things I did see (Choir Boy, My Fair Lady with the new cast, A Chorus Line) kind of sucked too. Well that dry spell is over. This weekend I saw two wonderful musicals. One (Kiss Me Kate) just opened. The other (The Prom) has opened October 2018 but for some reason I didn't get around to seeing it till now.

Roundabout Theatre's revival of Kiss Me Kate is actually my first live experience with this musical. I of love the original Broadway cast recording, the film adaptation. I was really looking forward to seeing the classic Cole Porter lyrics and score and the book by Sam and Bella Spewack onstage. And of course, let us not forget the Bard. The afternoon did not disappoint.

Monday, March 4, 2019

A review of NYCB at Bachtrack; Winter Season Wrapup

New Leaders of NYCB
Winter Season at NYCB has finally ended. After a surprisingly tumultuous season that had an ugly backstage drama about Sleeping Beauty casting make the NYTimes the season ended on a note of stability: permanent artistic leaders were finally appointed. Jonathan Stafford will be the Artistic Director, Wendy Whelan the Associate Artistic Director, and Justin Peck the Artistic Advisor. Judging from reactions on social media the dancers of the company found this news a relief and I can't blame them. Fourteen months without a defined leader is hard for even the most resilient company. Stafford and Whelan seem like good choices -- both have a reputation for professionalism and Whelan can impart her knowledge of her vast repertoire while she was prima ballerina at NYCB to her former colleagues/new dancers.

Balanchine's Nutcracker pops up ... everywhere

It's December 2020 and the world is going through a furious, deadly second wave of the covid pandemic. Most performances have been cance...