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Little Dancer - the musical, starring Tiler Peck (NYCB)


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I heard this too, Abatt from a woman I take pilates with. Her son dates a free lance dancer who was in the DC production and was part of the workshop. I wondered if Tiler Peck would be involved again. Selfishly I think that will mean time away from NYCB and just when we got Robbie Fairchild back. Is it too much to hope that Ashley Bouder would be back from maternity leave before Tiler would need to take time off?

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I saw the Kennedy Center version and loved it due to the ballet and Juliet Doherty and Tiler Peck but, as a story, it was flat.  I also read the book upon which it is based The Painted Girls, which was sorted and less sympathetic to Degas but very intriguing.   Being a petite rat was a really sad situation for these girls. The POB benefactors were true voyeurs.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/book-reviewthe-painted-girls-by-cathy-marie-buchanan/2013/01/21/364c5b04-5f35-11e2-9940-6fc488f3fecd_story.html?utm_term=.6944b8b2371c   I also researched the true Marie. 

What I remember from the Kennedy Center show was that Tiler Peck had to tie her pointe shoes a lot on stage.  I also remember that one cast member left on her legwarmers and then had to keep them on the entire show--orange legwarmers in the corps. 

It was rousing and sweet but did not have that "Broadway" glow--where you leave feeling somehow transformed.  And, I do hope that they have managed to capture something of the story in the rework-- but honestly,  the character of Marie is complex, sad, hopeful, and sorted.  It's a true range that, to me, is really best captured by a seasoned actress. 

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I went to the show Sat eve and loved it!  Judging by the immediate standing-o in the orchestra, so did others.  I used to live in Manhattan and have seen a few Broadway shows, and this is by far the most visually beautiful show I’ve ever seen - costumes, sets, and of course dancing.  

It did not feel long to me, I was sitting in awe of every moment, feeling so lucky to have this show (and with Tiler Peck 😍) five miles from my house.  When I walked out I told my friend I was surprised how late it was.  We also discussed related books we might want to read, as the show is quite thought provoking.

I’ll post a few more thoughts after work tonight.  I just received an email from the theater and remembered I should post something here.

Edited by seattle_dancer
Added word that was left out, omitted redundancy
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So my take on this show is that it is not a feel-good musical, it is thought provoking and contains many sad themes, I suppose one could say achingly beautiful.  It manages to end on a high note, but I did shed a few tears.  The music is not one of the high points of the show, as sandik mentioned, but not all musicals can be all things.  I do feel it is extremely unique in that it breathes life into the famous art of Degas and provides a lens into the history, culture, and society of Paris in the 1880s, and it made me want to learn more.

I wish I had seen the original production to compare.  I didn't know how much stage time Tiler Peck would have.  She is on most of the show, it seemed, and it ends with a lengthy number with her as the centerpiece.  The next two weekends she has four shows, two per day.  Wow!  About two weeks in previews and just over a week in the official run.  Here is a video with some interviews and rehearsal footage:

https://www.broadwayworld.com/videoplay/BWW-TV-Tiler-Peck-Terrence-Mann-More-Pirouette-Into-Rehearsals-for-MARIE-DANCING-STILL--Meet-the-Company-20190307

I was impressed by Tiler's acting and singing.  She was so so charming.  Fortunately, I had a ticket front row audience-right (20% discount with Passport Card and half off fees), stage left is where a lot of action happens in her family's "apartment".  So I could see all the expressions on her face and use of her eyes.  The cast was actually quite small and the supporting cast were reused in multiple roles, I found that quite impressive as well.  All of the main characters, were great - singing and acting.  Shout out to Terrance Mann as Degas, Adult Marie played by Louise Pitre and Noelle Hogan who played Charlotte, Marie's younger sister.  Noelle is quite an authentic little actress (not overdone) and a talented dancer!

I saw in an old review there was something about a maze of mirrors?  That does not exist anymore.  Tiler only tied her pointe shoes twice I believe.  And the orange legwarmers are still part of the show.  They are worn by Esme, the rat/corp dancer who comes from a rich family.

I have a ticket for the closing show April 14th with a friend who couldn't come this past weekend.  Then I had an invitation to come yet another time and I was waiting until after I saw the first show to see if it was worth seeing a third time.  I definitely would like to see it a third time and am curious to see what changes are made during the previews.  After your viewing, the theater sends a code to see the show again for 50% off a day-of purchase, so if I have the time, a fourth may be in the works.

Here's an article from the Seattle Times.  Be sure to watch the embedded video with more interviews and rehearsal footage.  One part describes how the creators plan to obtain feedback from the audience here to shape the show.

https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/theater/marie-dancing-still-at-5th-avenue-theatre-is-a-rarity-a-ballet-musical/

If anyone wants to come to Seattle to see Marie, the closing weekend is a good time, you could also see A Midsummer's Night Dream at Pacific Northwest Ballet April 12th or 13th.    https://www.pnb.org/season/midsummer/  Dress rehearsal is April 11th open to public for $30, includes pre-rehearsal lecture/discussion with the one and only Doug Fullington and costume shop manager Larae Thiege Hascall.

 

 

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11 hours ago, seattle_dancer said:

If anyone wants to come to Seattle to see Marie, the closing weekend is a good time, you could also see A Midsummer's Night Dream at Pacific Northwest Ballet April 12th or 13th.    https://www.pnb.org/season/midsummer/  Dress rehearsal is April 11th open to public for $30, includes pre-rehearsal lecture/discussion with the one and only Doug Fullington and costume shop manager Larae Thiege Hascall.

Thanks so much for posting so thoroughly here -- life is keeping me from seeing this, so I'm extra glad for the report. 

And yes, the combo weekend would be very efficient!

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I saw this over the weekend (thanks to seattle_dancer for bringing this to my attention).  The big draw for me was Tiler Peck.  I have seen her dance with NYCB since 2011 and what a wonderful opportunity to see her in a musical.  I really did enjoy it, although the music was not a high point.  However, the numbers did move the story along.  I think you should go see it if you have the chance.  I do hope the show makes it to New York.  I managed to find a few clips on YouTube:

Tiler Peck (Marie) and Terrence Mann (Degas):  

 

A clip of Marie (Peck) and Christian (Kyle Harris) from the first incarnation of the musical previously called Tiny Dancer - happily Kyle is performing the role again in Seattle:  

 

 

Edited by sf_herminator
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sf_herminator has inspired me!  Hopefully all my inserts come out okay.  For all those who are thinking of going or who can't make it yet...you know who you are.  🤫

Another video with a variety of excerpts from the show:

 

Rehearsal of opening number, C'est Le Ballet, with original cast in 2014:

Rehearsal of "In Between" with Degas and Marie:

Rebecca Luker (Adult Marie) sings" Looking Back at Myself":

It struck me how much Louise Pitre (Adult Marie in current production) looks like an older version of Tiler Peck while I was watching the show.  She appears at 1:00 and on in the first video.  I remembered that watching these videos of Rebecca Luker as Adult Marie, although maybe she changed her hair color for the show.  Louise Pitre's voice is quite a bit lower also, I liked it very much.

I have a ticket for Friday.  Excited to see it again from the mezzanine this time.  Can't think of a better way to end the work-week!

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6 hours ago, seattle_dancer said:

For the third and fourth videos above, you'll have to click the white bars in the upper left hand corner and choose the correct video from the playlist.  I tried to set it up so you didn't have to do that, but I couldn't figure it out.  Amateur, I know. 😢

(Helping seattle_dancer out here - plus I was curious about other clips which I will look for later....)

Here is the clip of 'Looking Back At Myself' - if my memory serves me right, this is adult Marie's first number when she went to prove she was indeed Marie all grown up.  I am not sure how much has changed for the current production:  

 

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Article from Seattle Times discussing the 5th Avenue Theater's involvement and collaboration.  Note dress rehearsal photo with Esme character wearing orange legwarmers.  So nice to see the details in the costumes.

https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/theater/can-seattles-5th-avenue-theatre-score-another-hit-with-broadway-bound-new-musical-marie-dancing-still/

I was introduced to Susan Stroman through a PNB friend on Friday and she said they had already made a few tweaks.

Sitting in the balcony, I saw a whole different perspective.  Lighting is used on the floor, and most importantly, it uniquely painted pictures on the backdrops and scenery, most effectively when the second act opens and different vignettes of dancers travel across downstage left to right, in different colors of costumes, the paintings change to coordinate with the costumes.  I love how they used technology to enhance the period piece and not make it flashy.  From the mezzanine you can see all of the gold frame around the entire opening to the stage.  During Marie's audition, when Degas is singing about her posing, there is blue light that shines through two arched windows and onto the stage.  I don't know if that was one of the tweaks, or if I was just too low in the orchestra to see it the first time.  Also, in the final number, when Marie encounters all the different people in the show, her dance with Philippe seemed longer than the first time I saw it, and there was a section with dramatic red light and two large shadows behind them.  I thought the section with Philippe was unusually long for the relationship they had versus her love interest Christian, but I suppose it's because the David Elder who played Philippe has more dancing skills than Kyle Harris who played Christian.  I do really like Kyle Harris' voice and had his voice and song in my head all day the next day. 

Also the second time around, I left with the more positive themes in the show, sisterly love, compassion, kindness, friendship, and also themes about artists, their identity, their need to do what they need to do and how they feel when they can't do it anymore.

Edited by seattle_dancer
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