Showing posts from December, 2022

Cleverly Akimbo

  Kimberly and Seth, photo @ Sara Krulwich Musicals about adolescents are often a losing proposition right out of the gate. Performers who look believably young often cannot express the range of emotions to act believably young. This problem felled Mean Girls and The Prom , to use recent examples. Kimberly Akimbo , the wonderful new musical now running on Broadway, offsets this problem by having the sixteen-year old main character played by 63 year old Victoria Clark. The chief conceit David Lindsay-Abaire's book is that Kimberly Levaco has progeria, which causes her to age rapidly. She is a normal teenager trapped in a grandma's body. She is not expected to live past her teens. You'd expect a musical with this subject matter to be sad? Sentimental? Maudlin? You'd be wrong. Kimberly Akimbo was one of the funniest, most joyous theater experiences in recent memory. You leave the theater feeling uplifted and hopeful.  Part of the success of the musical is Jeanine Tesori

Farewell Sterling

  Sterling in a signed photo as SPF I first started attending NYCB about 20 years ago. I was not impressed -- I found their performances sloppy, their abstract ballets remote. Back then, my idea of ballet was  Giselle  or  Romeo and Juliet . This attitude infuriated a friend of mine.  But in 2011, I bought a ticket to NYCB on a whim. I remember the program: Prodigal Son/Mozartiana/Stars and Stripes . I remember nearly crying with joy at Stars and Stripes . The very next day I snatched up a bunch of tickets to NYCB, and the rest is history. If you follow a company, you need a dancer to follow. For several years, I followed the company but not any dancer in particular. Maybe Tiler Peck because her technique was so amazing. I thought everyone was good, and a few dancers were more than good. Sterling Hyltin was just another really good dancer in a company of good dancers. Sterling in La Sylphide The "aha" moment was when she danced  La Sylphide . I was prepared to be unimpressed

Slow Hours

The trio, photo @ Evan Zimmerman Kevin Puts' The Hours has a lot going for it. It's an adaptation of a beloved book and movie. Puts' music is always listenable and often lovely -- unlike many contemporary opera composers, Puts believes in soaring melodies and set pieces. The Met has assembled an all-star cast -- Renee Fleming (Clarissa), Joyce DiDonato (Virginia Woolf), and Kelli O'Hara (Laura) are fine singers. The heavy themes (the creative process, suicidal ideation, AIDS, sexuality, same-sex relationships) are all presented in a tasteful manner. And last but not least, the whole run is a box office hit, with the Met jacking up prices to $250 and above per ticket. Kelli O'Hara, photo @ Evan Zimmerman      But ... the whole thing is so slow . Despite running a hair under three hours (shorter than such classics like La Traviata or Turandot ), the first act dragged endlessly. Part of it is structure -- the first act is almost all expositional as it introduces the