Showing posts from December, 2021

Favorite Things of 2021

Welp, things have shut down again. NYCB's Nutcracker and a slew  Broadway shows have had to cancel for days or weeks. The Broadway musical Jagged Little Pill , decided to permanently shutter the show . So with that in mind, a year-end best-of list is in order. Keep in mind that this year, I'm choosing from a much smaller pool of performances because I only started attending live shows in September. Nevertheless, I saw a lot of good stuff.  Favorite Operatic Performance : Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Terence Blanchard (Metropolitan Opera) No, it wasn't perfect. The libretto could be mind-numbingly repetitive, the three different roles for Angel Blue always seemed abstract and impersonal, and the second act was weak. But Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up in My Bones was still a powerful, ground-breaking opera. It was the first opera presented at the Met written by a black composer. The music was strong enough to stand on its own merits. It was contemporary opera that wa

Company: Not Sorry/Grateful

  Katrina Lenk as Bobby, photo @ Sara Krulwich Stephen Sondheim's long, full, productive life came to an end on November 26, 2021. A few weeks later, the last production he supervised and actually attended opened -- Marianne Elliot's gender-flipped Company .  I saw tonight's performance. I'll just say that I'm familiar with the score but had never seen a fully staged Company in person.  I don't know what exactly I expected, but I know that I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard in a theater. Company is belly-achingly hysterical, and this lively revival pays homage to the sheer wit of Stephen Sondheim's lyrics and score.

West Side Story Movie Remake Hits All the Right Notes

I went to see the new West Side Story film this afternoon. Overall, I thought it was a really beautiful film that in some ways improved upon the 1961 classic. Director Steven Spielberg and writer Tony Kushner managed to make a film that is both a homage to the original and a reimagining with a new script that tries to flesh out the characters more than Arthur Laurents' original book. For instance, in the remake, Tony has just gotten paroled after a year in prison for pummeling a rival gang member.  This backstory makes Tony's violence at the climax of the musical more believable.Also, the Sharks and Maria/Anita/Bernardo speak Spanish to each other which makes more sense since they all just arrived from Puerto Rico.