Ripley, believe it or not, still rocks Normal

Jan 28

Ripley, believe it or not, still rocks <i>Normal</i>

When I saw Next to Normal on Broadway, I was of two minds. For much of the first act, I glowered in my seat, overwhelmed by the Tom Kitt/Brian Yorkey score – too many lyrics, loud music of the pop-rock-showtune mega-mix variety and super-slick storytelling and direction by Michael Greif.

But somewhere in Act 2, I got completely caught up in the story of Diana, a bipolar woman whose illness has dominated and in some ways warped her husband, Dan, and their 16-year-old daughter, Natalie. From the song “Maybe (Next to Normal),” a duet for mother and daughter, to the end of the show, I was in tears.

It was the story more than the staging that got to me, and it wasn’t so much the music but the characters and the choices they make that was ultimately so moving.

So I left with the question: why does this show have to be a musical? The Pulitzer committee didn’t seem to mind when they handed out awards.

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Live from Las Vegas: `Jersey Boys’ opening night bash

May 04

What a party! You expect big things in Las Vegas, and that’s what you get. The Palazzo put on quite a show before and after the show as Jersey Boys officially opened on May 3, becoming the first show at the Palazzo hotel, which officially opened last January. The requisite red carpet arrivals saw the surviving Four Seasons — Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio and...

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Live from Las Vegas! `Jersey Boys’

May 04

Opened May 3 at the Palazzo Las Vegas OK, so technically we’re not “live” in Las Vegas anymore (6:05 a.m. flight from LV to SFO – ouch). But given that it feels like I’m still at the opening-night party of Jersey Boys at the Venetian (next door to the Palazzo, where the show actually resides), I feel as live as is humanly...

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The new `Jersey’ boys

May 16

Who knew we were all so hungry for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons? Last December, when the national tour of the Broadway hit Jersey Boys opened at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre, audiences whooped, hollered and screamed through the musical retelling of how Valli and his Seasons went from New Jersey criminals and nogoodniks to international fame and...

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New `Jersey’ cast

May 03

Blog reader Jersey Boys Front Row-er writes with evidence of some excellent detective work being done by Jersey Boys fans to find out who will be taking over in the San Francisco production. Read all about it here. Among the actors rumored to be taking over are: Jarrod Spector (the San Francisco understudy who performs twice a week and is said to be fantastic) as...

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