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sidwich

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Everything posted by sidwich

  1. I thought Megan Fairchild did a wonderful job hosting as well, both educational and fun. Based on her eye movements during the intros, I think she was using a teleprompter, probably on a tablet. I noticed because I use a teleprompter app when I make speaking videos as well, and I've had to learn to make the eye movement not too obvious and distracting. I know for myself, I'm much more relaxed having that little "help" when I'm recording myself (as well as much less likely to forget something I wanted to say, LOL!), so perhaps that's something that more of the hosts may want to consider in the future.
  2. Elizabeth was also exceptionally savvy in using her unmarried status as a tease (Was she finally going to marry this time? Who was it going to be?). She would play one royal/nobleman against another constantly with hints about possible intentions about who she would finally marry while maintaining her independence all the while.
  3. Well, It's hard for me to imagine anyone currently working who could attain the stature of John Ford, but I think it's well within Saoirse Ronan's potential to reach the stratosphere of Hepburn and Redgrave. I'm not entirely sure of Margot Robbie yet, but she makes interesting career choices as well. I think Ronan is definitely one of the most talented and interesting young, white, English-speaking actresses working in film today, though.
  4. Not exactly classical, but I like "Make Our Garden Grow" by Bernstein for weddings.
  5. WSS is hard to do justice to AND make the economics work for a long for-profit run. Besides the large cast, the score is complex and require a real orchestra. I think the original orchestrations are for more than 30 musicians and anything like that that's hard to make work with the economics of a Broadway house now. Please note: I have no idea what orchestrations they're going to use for this production, although if they use one of those cut-rate synthesizer things like in the last "Sunday in the Park with George" revival, I will probably be a great deal of pain...
  6. Spain was a very conservative country under Franco, and divorce didn't even become legal until the early 1980s, at which point the Domingos would already have been married for 20 years or so. It's not hard to imagine that that could be a difficult decision to make culturally and socioeconomically. And yes, I'm sure there were certain perks to being Mrs. Placido Domingo as well.
  7. I don't think that this section looks all that similar to the original Gennaro/Robbins choreography. You can see recreations of the original in these videos of Debbie Allen (in the 1980 Revival) and Charlotte d'Amboise (Jerome Robbins' Broadway). I think the section in the video would be the eights with the big sissone toward the end of the music: I'm actually more curious about what Peck is going to do about the Dance at the Gym. I don't think I've seen a major revival get very far away from the segue from the Mambo the "Maria" choreography with the back-to-back finger snaps.
  8. 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!)
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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).
  17. 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!
  18. 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'.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. sidwich

    Gomes and ABT

    I really doubt Cahill is one ABT's speed dial. Cahill's bread and butter is securities, anti-trust and corporate litigation and they're also known for their first amendment work, hardly the practices that a performing arts organization would need, and definitely not at the billing rates that a non-profit can afford regularly. I took a look at an old program and Cahill is not the firm listed as their labor & employment counsel. It may have changed more recently, but it certainly looks like ABT went out of their way to make sure that whatever the allegation may have been was investigated by a team with an impeccable reputation. I'd also say, I don't think that even Cahill can move THAT fast in 36 hours. Even with a first-class firm like Cahill, you would have to get the partners together to staff the associates and then give them marching orders, all while juggling other client loads. Cahill probably had barely started the investigation in any meaningful way before Gomes resigned. I totally concur with this statement. Gomes has been the workhorse of the ABT principal men and a fan favorite. ABT would not have considered going down this path lightly. I'm not sure people even have to be close, so as to feel a great connection in some way. There are still plenty of Penn State alums who will defend Joe Paterno, seemingly to the death. My high school went through something like this recently. I guess you could have termed much of what happened "sexual misconduct," both serious and high-profile enough to make national news. The teacher question ended up in prison, and the long-time, very beloved head of school was forced to resign. It was highly controversial at the time, and I still struggle with the cognitive dissonance at work, that someone I knew, liked and personally admired had so clearly misjudged and mishandled a genuinely tragic situation.
  22. sidwich

    Gomes and ABT

    The term "sexual misconduct" can also be applied in cases when the victim is unable to consent.
  23. The O.J. Simpson case was complicated for many reasons, but legally, the fact that Simpson physically abused Nicole Brown Simpson really doesn't have any bearing on the question of whether he killed her. (As an aside, a lot of criminal defense attorneys feel that as a case, it was going to be very difficult to win given the circumstantial nature, the forensic technology available at the time, and the public's understanding of DNA evidence. Marcia Clarke also made some profound jury selection mistakes, misunderstanding the racial dynamics at play.) But unlike Simpson, Peter Martins is not in any way under criminal investigation. Personally, the way I look at it, this is really a question of whether he can go forward and carry out this duties effectively. Will he really be able to go out and raise the funds that NYCB/SAB needs? Does the Board really want him to be the face going out and asking potential donors to write checks? What about maintaining relationships with high-profile creatives? How many of them are going to want to have photos standing next to him at galas? And then of course is the obvious question, what's the liability NYCB/SAB and the Board would face if ANYTHING happened to a minor at SAB that even might hint at abuse at Martins' hands? There's just no way that the Board could say they don't know the potential danger on a going forward basis.
  24. As general matter, I agree that dancers could probably benefit from media and social media training, but I think the time is past now. If I were NYCB/SAB, I would be very wary of doing anything that could be perceived as silencing or suppressing anyone's story or telling them what to say for 2 reasons: 1) I don't want anything out there that could be considered evidence that NYCB/SAB was silencing/suppressing abuse and may have a history of it, and 2) God forbid there is someone out there who may have a legitimate case that they were abused and, even worse, can prove it. It doesn't take a whole lot to get them emotional and angry and ready to file suit, and something that can be interpreted as "Please don't talk about it," can certainly get a, "Oh, yeah? Wait till EVERYONE hears what I have to say!!!" response. While I personally wouldn't have advised Kathryn Morgan to put out that video, I don't think the Lakers situation is really comparable. The Lakers as a team and Bryant's teammates really didn't have anything to do with that case. There wasn't a question that the Lakers might have been hiding something, or that teammates were involved/victims. Certainly each of the Lakers has a team of agents, managers, etc. to protect them and an interest in preserving their personal brand from the ugliness. Why get involved? In the Martins situation, it's likely that A LOT of dancers and alums may be involved in the case in one way or another and some may be VERY involved and have evidence to contribute to the investigation. In some cases, it actually may be about them. So, I think it's a completely different situation. My take is that it's gong to get ugly, and probably really ugly in the short-term, but it's better to get the ugliness out there now, weather the storm, and try to keep NYCB/SAB as healthy as possible for the long-term. My guess is that Martins will be out, and someone will be installed whose main charge will be to "clean-up" and stabilize the situation and put policies and practices in place, and then gracefully retire after 5 years or so. Then a longer-term AD will come in. (One of my Catholic friends calls it the "Pope Benedict" MO).
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