SF Playhouse La Cage celebrates Herman show tunes

Jul 20

SF Playhouse <i>La Cage</i> celebrates Herman show tunes

Let us all take a moment to praise the national treasure that is Jerry Herman, the musical theater maestro behind three massive hits: Hello, Dolly!, Mame and La Cage aux Folles. It's an opportune time to toast Mr. Herman: his Dolly is back on Broadway in a ravishing production starring the divine (and Tony-winning) Bette Midler, and closer to home, San Francisco Playhouse just opened a sweet and funny production of La Cage.

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Disney’s Newsies seizes its musical day

Feb 19

Disney’s <i>Newsies</i> seizes its musical day

Newsies that unlikely Broadway hit that started out as a flop movie musical, isn't so much about groundbreaking theater as it is a sterling example of how efficient Disney can be at creating solid, broadly appealing entertainment.

The Broadway production closed last fall, but the tour dances on. If ever there was a show meant for the road, it's Newsies, a high-energy, stick-it-to-the-man ode to unions of all kind (labor, romantic, brotherly). Now at the Orpheum Theatre as part of the SHN season, Newsies is the definition of crowd pleaser.

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A Kinky kick in the pants

Dec 04

A <i>Kinky</i> kick in the pants

Kinky Boots is the kind of musical comedy that leaves no unpleasant aftertaste. There's no guilt in enjoying its pleasures, and though it's not exactly an emotional feast, neither is it empty calories. This is a well-crafted, tuneful show whose only aim is to entertain and uplift. It succeeds on both counts.

A huge hit on Broadway, where it racked up six Tony Awards and is well into its second year, Kinky Boots is based on the 2005 film of the same name, one of those distinctly British underdog feel-good movies they do so well over there. Harvey Fierstein, adapted the movie, Cyndi Lauper made her Broadway composing debut with the score, and Jerry Mitchell (last seen in these parts with the Broadway-bound Legally Blondereview here) directs and choreographs in his typically efficient, ebullient manner.

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Gaggles of gays ruffle feathers in La Cage

Sep 19

Gaggles of gays ruffle feathers in <i>La Cage</i>

The irony surrounding Friday's opening-night for La Cage aux Folles at San Mateo's Broadway by the Bay was sweet. Audience members showing up for this glitzy gay musical fairy tale were not able to park in the parking lot of the San Mateo Performing Arts Center (aka San Mateo High School) because there was a football game going on.

That's right: it was the classic collision of quarterbacks and drag queens.

And I think the drag queens won – at least they were more entertaining.

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Great American musical roundup

Jul 03

  We have a tradition here at Theater Dogs, and that is to commemorate the Fourth of July by celebrating the greatest American art form: the musical. It was an interesting year on Broadway for new musicals. Below are reviews of cast albums for three of them (I passed on Little Mermaid because I love the movie soundtrack from Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman...

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