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sidwich

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About sidwich

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  1. As I said before, Carousel is very hard to do well, and the subject is problematic, especially to modern audiences. But even in its original run, it only did about half the run of the other "big" R&H musicals. More generally, musicals are expensive to run, and it's hard to make profit on Broadway. A big reason why "Chicago's" been able to run so long is that it's orchestrated for a handful of musicians, and sets and costumes are so minimal. (Also, the Weisslers are notoriously cheap, but that's a whole other thing). I took a quick peek at the Broadway grosses, and Carousel's only running at a little over 40% of potential gross and trending down. It makes total sense that they close after summer tourist season, and get the show on the road in a tour as quickly as possible to try to recoup their losses on tour. I'm sure they want to open the house to another show that has potential to do better. (40%? Yeesh!)
  2. I was glad to finally get to hear Lauren Ambrose sing some of the score. I'd heard some mixed things about her singing in MFL, mostly about how well her voice was really carrying live. The production was really keeping clips of her singing under wraps. I think the issue has turned out to be not so much whether Ambrose can sing the part competently, but whether her voice is really in shape to sing 8 times a week. Eliza is no joke vocally, and Kerstin Anderson has already gone on for Ambrose quite a bit. Hopefully, it's not going to turn into another Martine McCutcheon situation where an unseasoned musical theatre performer turns in a beautiful dramatic performance, but can't keep up with the vocal demands of Eliza.
  3. That's a shame. Jessie Mueller is actually a quite good legit soprano, and has played quite a few of the classic legit soprano roles in the past very well: Amalia in "She Loves Me," Cinderella in "Into the Woods," and of course, Carrie in "Carousel." I think she still does "Ice Cream" in concert, and sings the high B very capably.
  4. sidwich

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    I concur. I've done standing room in the orchestra a number of times and it's actually quite good view-wise (the orchestra has a nice downward slope, so standing room is a bit elevated). But if you're short (I'm ... uh ... Sarah Lane size), you need to be in the first row. I think I did Dress Circle standing room for one of Nina's Swan Lakes, and it was still pretty good.
  5. This is the scene: (Yes, for some reason, Tiler Peck's book scene is on Youtube, but the ballet is not.) And yes, I would agree that the challenge now with interpreting Carousel is not the portrayal of the flawed Billy. It's the interpretation of Julie. How do you interpret "What's the Use of Wondrin'?" Do you still underscore the "he hit me, but it felt like a kiss" scene (above) with "If I Loved You" and what does that say? It's like the Shylock question. The original writer clearly viewed the situation one way ("Yes, of course the best resolution is to force Shylock to convert!"), and that's very uncomfortable for contemporary audiences. Our local Shakespeare company did a beautiful production of "Two Gentlemen of Verona" last year. I don't think there is any way that they would do it this year for the same reasons.
  6. When Billy tries to give Louise the star he's stolen, he frightens her and when she tries to get away, he hits her. Louise tells her mother that a man hit her, hit her really hard, but it felt like he kissed her. She then asks her mother if it was possible for someone to hit you, but for it not to hurt. Julie says, yes, it's possible for someone to hit you and for it not to hurt. As you can imagine, this is more than little problematic post #metoo. Actually, it was problematic even pre-#metoo. There was quite a bit of writing about this scene when the Lyric Opera of Chicago did Carousel last year. (Yes, in the current Broadway production, Julie's response has been cut.) As I get older, I understand more Nicholas Hytner's decision to cast Billy and Julie in what would become the acclaimed National Theatre production from the early 1990's first for acting, and second for singing. I saw the production at both the National in London and then on Broadway, and at the time I was disappointed with Michael Hayden's voice which was relatively weak by the standards of previous Billys. (I thought Sally Murphy's singing was fine, although she's much better known for her straight dramatic work). But I've revised my opinion, and now I think that it's the right call with the challenges of this material. There's actually some video of Hayden and Murphy doing "If I Loved You" (hidden as "a couple of really talented kids", LOL): Interestingly, the revival of My Fair Lady that's about to open is dealing with some of the same issues, and has chosen to ... well, let's say, Bart Scher is re-interpreting the final scene of the musical to be more in line with George Bernard Shaw's ending of Pygmalion.
  7. It's still in previews, and doesn't open until next Thursday. Hopefully, some of the issues that I've been hearing about will be fixed. But it's already posting 50% tickets for all performances at the TKTS booth which doesn't bode well. (For comparison, Phantom which has been running for 30ish years has tickets in a range of discounts throughout the week). Let's see what the reviews look like. We'll probably have a better idea then.
  8. I actually haven't heard very good things about this production, other than for Lindsay Mendez as Carrie and the choreography/dancing. I honestly think that it's challenging to interpret Carousel in a post-#metoo environment, and from what I've heard, Jack O'Brien was not up to the task. I don't know how long this production will be staying on Broadway. For what it's worth, my parents saw it while they were in NYC recently, and loved it though. They loved the singing and dancing and ignored everything else.
  9. sidwich

    2018 Met Season

    Yes, the current marketing standard is to optimize for mobile vs. desktop. Hits from mobile outweigh hits from desktop in almost all cases. So when I ask my friends who are marketing execs to take a look at my websites, advertising, etc., across the board they will take a look on their phones first (even if they are sitting at their desks in front of their computers).
  10. The clip of Jimmy Cagney coming down the stairs is from the end of "Yankee Doodle Dandy," I think. But yes, most of the clips are from movie musicals, and especially from Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell movies. (Someone has good taste!) With a lot of post-Jazz Western popular music, the musical phrasing and accents follow certain conventions, so yes, quite a bit of tap, jazz, hip hop, etc. choreography will still "work" with any number of popular music recordings. Ballet doesn't follow the same musical conventions, so yep, no "American in Paris" ballet in this, unfortunately!
  11. sidwich

    Watching the Olympics

    The TV commentators have never been really good at explaining what makes Kostner special. Carolina Kostner is a special case in a lot of ways. She has an incredible ability to generate speed and flow across the ice that really can't be appreciated on television, but is spectacular live. It gives her a big advantage in her skating skills score. When she is on and hitting her jumps, that incredible speed and power makes them immense. That package keeps her competitive. In that way, Kostner's not unlike Patrick Chan. When he was on and still had a consistent Triple Axel and Quad, he was basically unbeatable even if he missed jumps in a given program. I haven't seen Zagitova or Medvedev live, but from what I can judge on the screen, it doesn't look like they're generating that kind of speed or power. They're getting a lot of jumps and fully-rotated rotations in, but their skating skills don't look as top-drawer (as Dick Button would probably put it) as I'd really want to see in an Olympic Champion.
  12. sidwich

    Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    We're not discussing Martins' career as a whole, although that would probably be a very interesting separate thread. The question at hand was whether he should continue to do his job, and from my perspective (and I'm sure anyone else who has ever been in a position of hiring and/or firing anybody), "ugly incidents" no matter how brief can be huge issues, especially in a position as high profile as Mr. Martins'.
  13. sidwich

    Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    What do you consider evidence?
  14. sidwich

    Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    I don't think the relationships Heather Watts or Darci Kistler in and of themselves are issues, but I do think they are relevant in the larger conversation considering his position at SAB. And yes, most schools would frown on the situation and the teacher would discreetly be asked to leave although perhaps not in Alabama. Perhaps pre-professional ballet schools fall into the same camp.
  15. sidwich

    Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    I agree. I don’t think the DUIs should have anything to do with it. While it’s true that most people go through life without even one alcohol-related run in with the law, much less three, it’s also true that his have taken place nineteen years and six years apart from each other, and that this last occurred at a time of undoubtedly great stress. To me, that doesn’t signal that he has a problem that’s out of control. Even if it did, if alcoholism is a disease, he shouldn’t be fired for manifesting that disease off the job. The abuse is another issue obviously, but I feel for the younger dancers who see him as a father figure and haven't seen him act badly (possibly because he'd reformed). Thirded. Although as mentioned earlier, this most recent DUI probably ended any chance Martins had of returning to the company, relevant or not. (Also, comparisons of Martins to Roy Moore are absurd. The most damaging charge against Moore was that of Leigh Corfman, who was 14 years old at the time she claims that Moore approached her, initially with her mother, and then later alone, and then took her to an isolated place near his home to grope her.) In my experience, many schools in many parts of the country (although perhaps not Alabama) would consider it highly relevant if it was discovered that a teacher or administrator was dating a 16 year old even in cases where said 16 year old was not a student or a student of the school. I realize that in the ballet world, many 16 year olds are working professionals but they are still legal minors. Actually, I think that it's much more relevant in the Martins case than in the Roy Moore case (minus the whole Leigh Corfman/molestation issue), since he was actually directly teaching and coaching minors. (Again, liability issues for the school, and the prospect of a parent or child later saying, "You knew said Teacher has had relationships with 16 year-olds. We entrusted our child to you, and have now found out that Teacher has been engaging in sexual relations with our child. Lawsuit.") More generally, I find the parent supervision/care issue irrelevant, though. Children have legal protection regardless of their parents, and quite frankly what parents may consider good for their children can be ... well, parents have different ideas of what is best. For many parents, especially old school parents from the Old World, the idea of marrying their daughter off to a successful, well-connected man is one of the greatest prizes possible. Whether he abuses or cheats on her or not is often not much of an issue.
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