Album Review: Gypsy (2008 Broadway Cast Recording)

“Here she is boys…here she is world!” 

Listening to the 2008 Broadway Cast Recording of Gypsy hard on the heels of the London cast recording, I was a little worried that it might just pale by comparison, especially since I was able to see the show at the Savoy and pay endless tribute to Imelda Staunton. But with the formidable Patti LuPone at the helm, this is just as strong a Mama Rose, if dramatically and musically much different. This album has the added bonus of a suite of songs that were cut from the original production.

The production is perhaps most infamous for being the scene of one of LuPone’s first recorded outbursts against audiences members using devices in her presence (see video below) but having seen the show here in London and listened to LuPone’s rendition of the show-stopping Rose’s Turn, I don’t think you can blame her for criticising someone for shocking a performer out of in the intensity of such a moment (and not simply bathing in it themselves). Continue reading “Album Review: Gypsy (2008 Broadway Cast Recording)”

Review: Driving Miss Daisy, Wyndhams

“I think we’re gonna have to have a little talk…”

Once again, I found myself coerced, coerced I tell you, into seeing something I knew I pretty much wouldn’t like, yet unable to resist the allure of accompanying someone who was much more enthusiastic about seeing the play in question. This time, it was Driving Miss Daisy – sold very much as a dual star vehicle for James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave (with Boyd Gaines making up the cast) though Redgrave’s multiple absences throughout the run have ruffled more than a few feathers. One often says that you shouldn’t book for the stars but for the play, but in this case I can understand the frustrations of those who ended up with understudies, even after being told Ms Redgrave would be on when they bought their tickets just an hour before curtain up.

Anyway, I had scratched my itch with both of these actors, having taken in Redgrave in The Year of Magical Thinking and Jones in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (in which the audience reaction to him drove me buts) so there was no novelty value in seeing them onstage and the play itself held no attraction (I’ve never seen the film) so it hadn’t been a hard decision to steer clear of this. But being the benevolent soul I am, I filled in on plus one duties and tried to keep an open mind to allow myself the possibility of enjoying this. Continue reading “Review: Driving Miss Daisy, Wyndhams”

Nominations for the 2011 Drama Desk Awards

Outstanding Play
Jon Robin Baitz, Other Desert Cities
Adam Bock, A Small Fire
Stephen Adly Guirgis, The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Samuel D. Hunter, A Bright New Boise
Rajiv Joseph, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
David Lindsay-Abaire, Good People
Nick Stafford, War Horse

Outstanding Musical
In Transit
Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
See Rock City & Other Destinations
Sister Act
The Book of Mormon
The Kid Continue reading “Nominations for the 2011 Drama Desk Awards”