Showing posts from March, 2023

Camelot: Knight Errors

  It's always tricky reviewing musicals or plays in the early-preview time frame. You realize that many of the acting and directing choices might be adjusted and even completely changed before opening night.  saw the Lincoln Center Theater's revival of Camelot on March 15, about one week into previews. So for the purposes of fairness, I'm not going to criticize some of the acting or directing choices that I think need improvement. They could improve ... or not. However, the biggest issue with this revival is something I don't see improving. That would be Aaron Sorkin's new book for the Lerner and Loewe musical. It was so wrong-headed, so ill-conceived, that a few days later I'm still in shock at how bad it was. By the way, as a disclaimer: I love Sorkin's work. I loved The Social Network and To Kill a Mockingbird . I also enjoy Bart Sher's revivals of classic musicals. My Fair Lady was mostly wonderful, South Pacific was all wonderful. This is why the

Lohengrin: Swan Dive ... or Not?

  White Knight, photo @ Marty Sohl On March 5, 2023, one of my lifelong musical goals was finally fulfilled: I saw Wagner's Lohengrin live, in the flesh. An opera I had loved so much on recordings and videos I had somehow never seen live. Sometimes with these types of situations, expectations can be so overwhelming that the reality falls short. I'm happy to report that this was not the case -- Lohengrin live was everything I expected it to be and more. This easily jumps to the top of the list of favorite operatic performances post-pandemic. For one, the sound of the chorus and the shimmering orchestra is so much more potent live. Second of all, this is maybe Wagner's best-paced opera -- there are no down or redundant moments. Each act is a bladder-friendly 65-to-70-ish minutes. The drama zips along to its inevitable conclusion without characters telling and retelling the same story. Third of all, the musical performances were all very strong. Not perfect, but no one was u