Pre-cloister Broadway run…

Facebook isn’t the only life change going on, as I will go back to writing on my novel daily starting next week…

This week, I am mainly reading each day to sort of start clearing that space. When I am writing, I like as few narratives as possible to intrude, so that will restrict both my personal reading and my theatergoing to some degree.

To that end, I saw three Broadway shows this week…

On Tuesday, I saw Pippin and adore it. I never saw Pippin performed before, so it being reimagined as a circus didn’t mean anything to me. I’m more interested that it could NOT be set in a circus now. I intentionally booked this because of Andrea Martin’s departure, knowing there would be a transitional time between my vacation and the writing kicking in, but when I booked it, I was unaware Terence Mann would be on vacation. I try to OBC it when I can, although Christopher Sieber was so fabulous, there was no way to know it was one of his first times in the role. As someone who doesn’t tend to learn musical numbers prior to seeing a show, it is a delight to have this new arsenal of songs in my library now. A definite highlight on Broadway right now, said long after everyone else has attended and said the same, of course.

Wednesday was Romeo and Juliet starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad. I’ve seen Romeo and Juliet more than any other Shakespeare play, and this was a great production.   There was an interracial element with the Capulets being black, and Romeo enters the stage on a motorcycle, and why not, the crowd is going to stop and applaud Orlando’s entrance anyway, may as well give him an entrance, but beyond those things, it seemed to exist in no specific time. And why should it? The themes are timeless, although the leads are always so much older than the characters as written, as Juliet is 13 in Shakespeare’s original, and Romeo is slightly older but never specifically nailed down. I always wonder how we’d react to seeing a 17 y/o or somesuch bedding a 13 y/o and thinking how sweet and romantic is it, heh. Perhaps the aged-up casting is the right angle? I thought Orlando was great in the role, as was the whole cast, really. I couldn’t tell if they whittled the book down, though, since 2.5 hours with an intermission seems a bit light for Shakespeare, no?

And on Thursday, I saw First Date, which is a 90-minute, no intermission musical about a couple on a first date. It stars Zachary Levi (from “Chuck,” which I never watched), and Krysta Rodriguez (from “Smash,” which I adored). Was a fun time, but the shallowest of the three. It was a crowd pleaser, though, and despite the bad online buzz I had read, it seemed as though everyone in attendance was along for the ride. The gay character was pretty stereotypical, but he only has one repeating function in the play, so stuff I had read about him doing the same thing every time was pretty ridiculous when seeing it in context.

So, Pippin said sometimes you need to stop trying to find an extraordinary life if you’re missing how satisfying an ordinary one can be. Romeo and Juliet showed the power, beauty (and OK, tragedy) of love. And First Date was about the need to put yourself out there and connect with people. All things I plan to be exploring during the cloister…

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4 Responses to Pre-cloister Broadway run…

  1. Bryan Kollar says:

    I miss you Jeff! COME BACK TO FACEBOOK! :)

  2. Bryan Kollar says:

    We still miss ya Jeff. Coming back yet?

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