Sunday, February 24, 2008

Through the Fire

"Liberty City" at New York Theatre Workshop, February 23, 2008

NYTW, in their 25th anniversary season, presents another tale of pain and growth with "Liberty City," a one-woman show performed by April Yvette Thompson and written by Ms. Thompson and Jessica Blank.

The story is that of Ms. Thompson's early life, growing up in the Liberty City neighborhood in Miami in the 1970s and 1980s. Ms. Thompson tells her tale from several perspectives, including her father, Saul Thompson (Sol?), her mother Lily, her grandmother Aunt Carolyn, and her aunt Valerie. The story is of a man trying to prepare his children to live in a world of discrimination and bigotry by understanding their history as descendants of African slaves.

Ms. Thompson moves between characters with effective physical postures (though least successfully distinguishing her mother from herself). Aunt Carolyn is actually the neighbor of her biological grandmother who abandoned her father on a search for his philandering father. Her parents' relationship, at first strong and united, falters when Saul gets more focused on the political power struggle of African-Americans in the '70s than supporting and tending to his own family. Lily turns to religion (Jehovah's Witness?) to fill the void, pushing Saul further away.

It is a very emotional experience for Ms. Thompson. She wipes her own eyes after scenes that recall the more difficult events in her family's life. This is a revealing and courageous performance.

Even with the raw emotion and tragic tale, Ms. Thompson effectively portrays the diverse characters who so strongly impacted her growing up, but she doesn't chart any new territory as was seen in Sarah Jones' "Bridge and Tunnel" in 2006.

Antje Ellerman's has created an excellent set, subtly defining the various worlds of Ms. Thompson's family, nicely complemented by David Lander's lighting. The video projections by Tal Yarden are more distraction than addition to the evening's proceedings since we see more visuals of a blue sky that never seems truly realized by the story being told.

Ms. Blank directs in addition to co-writing the script. She keeps things moving well. But, there were some bits of business such as Lily adding glue and glitter to a construction paper book of sorts, that also distract rather than enhance either character or story.

NYTW is offering a ticket discount to you. Please support them.

We'd also like to offer your readers the following discount:

Tickets for all performances February 15 – March 16 are just $25 each (reg. $45). Use code LCBLG88 when ordering.

To purchase tickets, call (212) 947-8844 or visit


Liberty City: a place where people of the African Diaspora have settled; where urban and island cultures rub up against each other, and the site of Miami’s infamous 1980 riots. Enter April Yvette Thompson – a child of children of the 60’s, the daughter of a Bahamian and Cuban father and an African American mother: free thinkers, young radicals and movement people. As the hope of the 60’s and 70’s gave way to the disillusionment and disintegration of the 80’s, April’s family struggled to survive and stay together. Part history, part imagination, Liberty City is her personal story that illuminates the lives of one family through the context of social, cultural, and political events.

New York Theatre Workshop also offers both Student Tickets and CheapTix Sundays.

CheapTix Sundays: All tickets for all Sunday evening performances at 7pm are just $20 each! Tickets are available in advance but must be purchased at the NYTW box office on a cash-only basis.

Student Tickets: Full-time students with a valid student ID may purchase $20 tickets for all performances (subject to availability). Limit one ticket per ID. Tickets must be purchased in person and require an ID at the box office.

The NYTW box office is located at 79 East 4th Street (between Second Avenue and Bowery) and is open Tuesday - Saturday from 1pm - 6pm.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Arguing for Acceptance

"Speech & Debate" presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre/ Black Box Theatre, February 20, 2008

Stephen Karam's play has enjoyed a well-deserved, extended run at the Roundabout's off-off-Broadway basement on W46th St. I believe it is the inaugural production for this space, and an auspicious start it is.

The story centers on three high school misfits, Howie (Gideon Glick), Solomon (Jason Fuchs) and Diawata (Sarah Steele), each searching for his/her own form of recognition. Solomon longs for the scoop that will make him a journalist, Diawata longs for the glamour of the stage. Howie just wants to find a boyfriend and finish the torture that is being gay in high school.

Mr. Karam has, very interestingly I thought, structured each scene along the rules of the NFL (that's the National Forensics League, which creates the rules for high school debate teams across the US). For those of you who weren't debate nerds in high school, some of the categories that Mr. Karam illuminates so skillfully include:
  • Dramatic Interpretation
  • Original Oratory
  • Duo Interpretation
  • Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Extemporaneous Oratory
Mr. Fuchs' performance as Solomon anchors this production. He's got the precocious, too-smart-for-his-own-good, wannabe journalist thing down pat. Pushy, pretentious and condescending, he demonstrates all the signs of a teenager with something to hide (which he does).

Mr. Glick's Howie suffers at times from the affected speech pattern he has chosen. Otherwise, he also has nailed the mercurial behaviour of an outsider who recognizes that high school will nto be his time to shine, but still kinda wishes it were.

Ms. Steele's Diawata is the least consistent performance. She has moments of brilliance, particularly during her live podcasts of her "monoblog." She dies struggle from time to time with keeping in character when Diawata lands some of her funniest lines.

As the only adults in the story, Susan Blackwell (from [title of show] fame) feels particularly underused. She is tender and concerned as Solomon's faculty sponsor for this school paper, then has a marvelous turn as a local journalist/bookwriter who interviews the students about the new Speech and Debate club that Diawata is trying to start (since she can't manage to land a featured role in the school play). Her granting of each teen's wish in her final scene smacked a bit of the Wizard and his black velvet bag, but can be forgiven.

The design team of Anna Louizos (sets), Heather Dunbar (costumes), Justin Townsend (lights) and Brett Jarvis (sound & projection) have worked a bit of magic in the basement, black box space. Mr. Jarvis and Ms Louizos, in particular, deserve notice for the incorporation of each other's efforts.

Director Jason Moore has done a great job with what otherwise might be a small piece. He handles Mr. Karam's subjects of Foley-esque mayors and drama teachers, and the burgeoning sexuality of teenagers with respect and intelligence without turning the debate podium into a pulpit. This approach is consistent with his previous work ("Avenue Q"). I'll be interested to see how his next project ("Shrek") turns out with such big corporate money behind him.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Not That Kind of Slug

"The Slugbearers of Kayrol Island" at the Vineyard Theatre, February 16, 2008

(photo by Carol Rosegg)

I really admire the Vineyard Theatre - one of New York's thriving off-Broadway theatres like Playwrights Horizons and Second Stages. This organization consistently pursues and presents interesting and thoughtful theatre.

Their current production, "The Slugbearers of Kayrol Island (or, the Friends of Dr. Rushower) is more on the "interesting" track. I wish it were more compelling as well, but sadly that's not the case. It's certainly a visual treat to see the illustrations projected onto the fixed and moving panels that line the stage.

The story is pretty much comic book/fairy tale fare. Orphaned daughter Gingin (Jody Flader) lives with well-meaning but ineffectual step-father Dr. Rushower (Peter Friedman) who wants to see her married off and happy. He has devised a strategy of spilling food from his rooftop terrace onto men walking by, then inviting them up to his penthouse to take care of cleaning the clothes, and introduce them to Gingin. She has also been getting phone calls from Samson (Matt Pearson) who dials random numbers on his cell phone just to have someone to talk to. Gingin is more concerned with finding a cause to believe in, rather than find a relationship.

The title comes to play when Immanuel Lubang (Bobby Steggert) gets the Rushower treatment and learns about the labor issue on Kayrol Island. Underpaid workers are kept in seemingly poor conditions as they unload lead slugs that are part of small appliances to give them a sense of weight and quality - a result of improved technology that has removed heavier electronic components from manufacturing. The workers are housed in dormitories and fed a poor diet that includes Kayrol cola, a carbonated drink of unknown ingredients but the color of mud.

Immanuel and Gingin appear to bond and go to Kayrol to bring culture (in the form of public readings of small appliance instruction manuals) to the slugbearers, who show no interest. By the way, guess who lives on Kayrol Island - - Samson! He and Gingin finally "connect" and she stays with him after drinking the Kayrol cola (cool-aid?).

I struggled with the whole point of the show. If it's social commentary about the treatment of third world workers, the picture painted is that they don't really know what they're missing and don't care.

The performances among the cast were consistent and respectable, but the material leaves something to be desired. The talents of both Mr. Steggert and Mr. Friedman felt particularly wasted here. Mark Mulcahy's score is reminiscent at times of the recitatives from "Rent" without the sparkle. Mr. Katchor's book and lyrics told a story, but never felt compelling. I was more interested in how his drawings were projected and how the transitions would be made than I was in the story. I felt like I needed to be much more familiar with Mr. Katchor's work before entering the theatre.

Director Bob McGrath keeps things moving at a pleasant pace and elicits performances as good as anyone might from this somewhat thin material. It looks like he and Mr. Katchor got so caught up in the mixed media concept that the storytelling suffered.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pinter: Putting the Fun in Dysfunction? The Irk in Quirky?

"The Homecoming" at the Cort Theatre, February 12, 2008

I'll say first that I haven't seen many productions of Harold Pinter's plays. Actually, I think this is only my second, the first having been the Roundabout's revival of "The Caretaker" a couple of years ago.

With that said, I'm not sure I'm a Pinter fan, at least from an audience perspective.

I've heard it said that film is a director's medium, where stage is more the actor's. I've also heard comments that success in Pinter's work is found in the acting between the lines of dialog. To me that sounds a like a bit of blurring as to whose medium specifically Pinter plays would be.

Entering the world of a Pinter play seems to contain an element of voyuerism. He reveals, layer by layer, the ugliest and most twisted family I've ever seen on a stage. Max (Ian McShane) is the retired butcher and aging bully patriarch of the all-male household, including his brother Sam (Michael McKean) and sons Lenny (Raul Esparza) and Joey (Gareth Saxe). Max's power is fading. Lenny's is growing, as is his contempt and intolerance of his father. Joey is the aspiring boxer, who appears to have taken too many blows to the head already. Sam just wants a peaceful existence.

Teddy (James Frain), the oldest son arrives after a nine year absence with wife Ruth (Eve Best) in tow. They've been visiting Europe away from their home and three sons in the US and have dropped in unannounced. Once Ruth's presence in the house is known, the sexual tension short circuits the entire house, led by Lenny and followed the next morning by Max in a misogynistic game of one-upsmanship. Make no mistake, Ruth can give as good as she gets in this game. And, before you know it, Teddy, Joey, and even Sam in his own befuddled way get in the game, too.

As Max, Mr. McShane wields his cane like the meat cleaver with which his character had spent his career. He carries the same piss and vinegar bluster that he displayed so well in HBO's Deadwood for two seasons. His Max realizes his increasing impotence, both figuratively and literally, fueling his rage.

As the oldest, Teddy, Mr. Frain is the only man in the family who has completed higher education and appears to have risen above his lower class London roots. He is dry and attentive, but plays Teddy distantly, almost as a mere observer in his own life. This detachment is almost chilling as Ruth makes her choice about her own future.

Mr. Esparza's Lenny is jaded and aloof, but ever-opportunistic. It takes some time to figure out that he's something of a high-rolling pimp, running a bordello operation at multiple sites. His deadpan delivery did have some ups and downs in its effectiveness. In the opening scene with Max, it delivers his disdain to his father. Later, it feels more like he's just trying to get all the words out.

Mr. McKean's Sam, a chauffeur, grasps for self-respect, but is painfully cowed in the high-testosterone environment. Mr. Saxe's Joey is at first just a dumb jock, unaware of his physical strength as a weapon against his father's and brother's insults and intimidation. Joey's muscle is put to use in Lenny's business when it comes to recruiting new talent for the family business, though even he doesn't really know of his crimes.

Eve Best gives another splendid performance for New York as Ruth. Buttoned up and wary in her first entrance, she warms to the harsh environment and rises to the challenging with surprising results. Ms. Best gives as good as she gets and fiercely matches the intensity of the performances around her.

Eugene Lee's set is a house that appears under renovation, but is actually under destruction represented by exposed wall studs and ceiling beams. Kenneth Posner's lighting complements well. Jess Goldstein's costumes evoke the period.

Director Daniel Sullivan has done an excellent job filling in between the lines. Tension is established early on and only builds through the evening. He maneuvers this talented cast through what must be an amazing acting experience. It's a somewhat bitter pill for the audience however, as these damaged and angry characters wreak emotional (and sometimes physical) havoc on each other. Pinter is certainly not for the feint of heart and Mr. Sullivan never lets us forget it.

If you're looking to be challenged during your night at the theatre, this is the place to be. Better hurry - this limited run ends April 13.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fasten Your Seatbelts

"Applause" presented by Encores! at City Center, February 10, 2008

The new Encores! season has started with a relative bang. The 1970 "Applause" with book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams, was quite the star vehicle for Lauren Bacall, winning four Tonys and three Drama Desk awards. Based on the classic Bette Davis film "All About Eve" from 1951 (And you thought film to stage was a new concept?), it "updates" the story to 1970 in the wake of Vietnam, rather than the aftermath of WWII. If you really need a plot summary, you should be ashamed, but you can click here for the original movie plot - I think the adaptation to the stage did little more than change the period.

I first saw a production of "Applause" in the early 1990s. The score struck me as dated and the book, a bit creaky. Both observations still hold, despite the excellent orchestra under the skillful direction of Rob Berman.

Chip Zien and Kate Burton in the supporting roles of Buzz and Karen Richards, Margo's playwrights, have a grand time with their crossover numbers and supporting player shtick. I haven't heard Ms. Burton sing before and she does a nice job. Mr. Zien is in his usual fine form.

As Bill Sampson, Michael Park takes a well-deserved break from television's As the World Turns' Jack Snyder. He is well-cast as the handsome younger director in love with the slightly older Margo. His part is a bit thin (it's really not one of Comden and Green's better books), but he sings nicely and it's easy to understand why Eve is so attracted to him.

Tom Hewitt is nicely nasty as Howard Benedict, the Broadway producer who turns the tables on Eve after she tries to step over him on her way up. Mario Cantone is remarkably subdued as Duane Fox, Margo's hairdresser, though he does take his moment when it's appropriately given to him with a nod to Ms. Davis and Katherine Hepburn tossed in for fun.

Director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall has reunited the mother/daughter pairing of Christine Ebersole and Erin Davie in the respective roles of Margo Channing and Eve Harrington. It's actually quite an effective touch of casting.

Ms. Davie's Eve truly captures the the vulnerable and mousy waif who burrows her way into Margo's life. Her transformation into starlet is skillful, sleeping her way to the top, regardless of the consequences. When what "goes around, comes around" it's a well-deserved and satisfying end.

It's Ms. Ebersole who carries the bulk of the show. As I mentioned earlier, I had seen a production of the show many years ago. At the time, it was easy to see Ms. Bacall in the role, but still with remnants of Ms. Davis lingering. Ms. Ebersole totally makes the role her own in no uncertain terms. There are no references to either of her predecessors' Margos - quite a feat.

Ms. Marshall has also done an excellent job capturing the period in her choreography with a strong feel of early Michael Bennett. I do think more time was spent on the songs than the scenes. This was the first time I was really distracted by the actors carrying their scripts. I especially liked the new staging and arrangement of the title song extended into a tribute medley of other Encores! productions including The Apple Tree, Babes in Arms, Boys From Syracuse, Bye Bye Birdie, Call Me Madam, Can-Can, Carnival, Chicago, Follies, Hair, Kismet, The New Moon, Of Thee I Sing, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Promises, Promises, St. Louis Woman, Stairway to Paradise, Strike Up the Band and Wonderful Town. (I think I identified all but three of these from the musical references.)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I Think She Was Married to Ernest Hemingway

"The Maddening Truth" presented by the Keen Company at the Clurman @ Theater Row, February 7, 2008

The Keen's latest production maintains their high standard of production values with a beautiful set by Beowulf Borittt and serviceable lighting and costumes by Josh Bradford and Theresa Squire, respectively.

The play is a less successful piece by David Hay, whose writing includes an eclectic array of independent films and articles on art and architecture as well as this and another soon-to-be-produced play. The playbill notes state: "The events in this play are inspired by the life of Martha Gellhorn." Ms. Gellhorn (Lisa Emery) was an active war correspondent covering conflicts from Franco's Spain to the liberation of the concentration camps at Dachau to Vietnam to the US invasion into Panama. She was also the third wife of Ernest Hemingway. Mr. Hay takes this fertile opportunity and spins it into a less than interesting mix of action and flashback, awkardly fashioned around a professional relationship with another writer, Peter Wilkinson (William Connell). Mr. Hay pulls from many devices from the theatrical bag of tricks: direct address to the audience, flashbacks, radio broadcast readings from Ms. Gellhorn's writing, internal dialogs with a dead Hemingway.

In the end, the dialog feels forced and unnatural, Ms. Gellhorn's lines sound particularly British, though she was American born and raised (repeated used of words like "piffle," "palaver," and "buck up").

Ms. Emery works hard, but is ultimately miscast since her character is in her middle 60's for the majority of the play. She does her best to make the ill-fitting lines work. Mr. Connell is more successful as the young writer who befriends Ms. Gellhorn, alienates her and regains the friendship late in her life. His British accent helps him through the stilted language he's given with a bit of Hugh Grant style. Peter Benson as Wilkinson's boss at the unnamed British newspaper is wasted here in a small role. Terry Layman doubles as Hemingway and a radio actor. He doesn't have enough material to communicate the first character and is merely an instrument of the plot as the second. Richard Bekins as Laurance Rockefeller does what he can with the apology of a role he's taken.

Director Carl Forsman has also worked hard to make a compelling evening and manages to do so in spite of the weak material. Pacing is good and he makes some nice choices to add depth to the play.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pointillism to Pixellism

"Sunday in the Park with George" presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company at Studio 54, January 31, 2008

I'm a huge Sondheim fan, not rabid, but huge. My first personal encounter with his genius was when I performed in a production of Sweeney Todd at Workshop Theatre (SC) in 1984. (Our musical director described the score as "Puccini by Stravinsky") I've been hooked on his work ever since. One show, however, has troubled me - Sunday in the Park with George. I did not see the OBC live, but did see the recorded show with Mandy Pantinkin and Bernadette Peters.

I loved the first act - true to the period but with a slight nod to contemporary sensibility, strongly centered in a one-two punch of James Lapine book and Stephen Sondheim score.

Then there was Act II.

What a mess! From the random jump in period to the ill-conceived reincarnation of George as pretentious artist/inventor/poseur to the creepy love duet between grandmother and grandson, let's just say it didn't work for me. There were other issues, too, such as the "Chromalume" machine that neither persuaded nor cajoled any connection to Act I.

And now, The Menier Chocolate Factory has teamed with the Roundabout to bring their acclaimed revival from London back to NYC and stars Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell along with it.

The projection design by Timothy Bird & The Knifedge Creative Network has done what The Woman in White could not: clever, effective and interesting melding of images on David Farley's white-washed and white-draped garret/gallery sets (instead of the theme-park ride audiences suffered through at the Marquis Theatre). The build of the story is literally sketched out across the walls of the set as George (Daniel Evans) develops his revolutionary artistic style called Pointillism, creating images by using very small points of basic colors (seven, I believe) to trick the eye into combining those colors into much more vibrant colors. His model and lover, the aptly named Dot (Jenna Russell) is devoted to George, but frustrated that he is more devoted to his work than he is to her. When she finds herself pregnant, she turns to Louis the baker (Drew McVety), soon hired by American tourists, who moves his new family to America, leaving George forever.

Act II is set 100 years later in an American museum where Dot's great-grandson, George (also Mr. Evans), is presenting the 7th in his series of art/light inventions, the Chromalume. With him is his grandmother Marie (also Ms. Russell), Dot's (and George's) child. She is part of his presentation in honor the 100th anniversary of his grandfather's painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." They share the introductory comments, reading from prepared cards. Marie, at 100, missed cues and attempts various tangents, but is thoughtfully reigned in by George and his ex-wife Elaine (Brynn O'Malley in the most thankless role in the show.) George travels to France to display the Chromalume on the Island where the painting was set. Mishaps occur with the museum premiere, impacting George's fund raising efforts to continue his art. As he strolls the island, there is the afore-mentioned creepy meeting of young George and Dot. She sings to him as if he is his grandfather, encouraging him to "Move On." I almost thought she was going to kiss him on the mouth at one point - ew!

Enough of my vivisection of Act II. Let's talk about the performances.

As Act I George, Mr. Evans seems to have totally retreated into George's palette, serving only as the brush holder to create the pointillist work of Seurat. We do get an occasional bark in character, emphasizing that his art is and always will be first in his life. He's all business, and any sense of loss when Dot leaves him never comes through, never the first sign of regret or inner turmoil over this choice. His Act II George is much more vulnerable and child-like, almost to the point that I wondered if Mr. Evans were interpreting him as a gay man. His relationship with Marie was quite tender and his struggle with "The Art of Making Art" is well-communicated.

Ms. Russell is more successful as both Dot and Marie. Her Dot is lovely and delicious, uneducated but wanting more for both her and George's life. She soon realizes that George is incapable of returning her feelings even though she knows his feelings are there. She is still practical, realizing that marrying Louis is her only chance to get the life of not-struggling that she would have with George. As Marie, she does a little better in the southern accent required of a woman who grew up in Charleston, SC than the ladies of Crimes of the Heart, but it's still shaky on occasion. Her Marie is still feisty, and will make her point, whether it's related to the topic at hand or not.

Supporting roles are ably handled with notice to Michael Cumpsty as George's more successful painter friend, Jules, in the first act though a bit wasted in his roles overall. Mary Beth Peil does her best to rise above the memory of Barbara Byrne as the Old Lady and for the most part, succeeds.

Director Sam Buntrock has done marvelous work here, combining the technical with the artistic to terrific results. One moment I found particularly touching was when George was arranging the cast for the tableau of his painting. He moves Louis away from Dot, pairing her with Jules, someone he trusts. He then takes the baby ever so tenderly from Dot's arms and gives her to Louis. Even from near the back of the house, I could see the subtext in Mr. Evans' face, giving his child to be raised by someone else, knowing it's the right choice. He does make some advances with the troubling Act II. In "Putting It Together" when George is learning the politics and "art of making art" he uses the projections to good use, multiplying images of George around the stage in conversations with various characters and groups, and on occasion, George himself. Mr. Buntrock does seem equally stunted by Act II with characters such as George's ex-wife Elaine (Why is she there - just to push Dot around in her wheelchair?) and brings no illumination in that sense.

Mr. Farley's costumes are serviceable, tying nicely back to the painting in Act I, and undistracting in Act II.

It's a lovely show, nicely performed with a beautiful score (for the most part). Thanks to the Roundabout for bringing it to us.

OK, I'll Play Too!

I've seen lots of blogs post various "memes" but never found any of them particularly interesting. Naturally, that has changed with one I just saw at "Steve on Broadway."

Here's my two cents':

1. The first musical I ever saw on Broadway was (or if you haven’t seen a musical on Broadway): La Cage Aux Folles - It was late in the run with Keene Curtis as Albin and Peter Marshall as Georges. The costumes were tattered and torn, the Cagelles sloppy and seedy - - I was instantly hooked!

2. The musical I would most like to see again is: I have to say that The Light in the Piazza was one of the most complete experiences I've had at the theatre.

3. The musical I never want to see again is: Brooklyn - ugh! I'll never get those 90 minutes of my life back.

4. The best performance in a Broadway musical by a woman I’ve ever seen is: This is a tough one.
  • Victoria Clark in The Light in the Piazza
  • Christine Ebersole in Grey Gardens
5. The best performance in a Broadway musical by a man I’ve ever seen is: John Gallagher in Spring Awakening

6. The person I wish they never cast was: Christian Borle in Legally Blonde - what a waste of talent.

7. The person they should have cast was: Norbert Leo Butz in Young Frankenstein - what a missed opportunity.

8. My favorite Broadway choreography was in the show: Crazy for You

9. The lyric/line that always brings a lump to my throat is: From Miss Saigon, Chris sings in his confession to Ellen: "I just wanted to save and protect her. Christ, I'm an American! How can I fail to do good?"

10. The stupidest lyric/line I’ve ever heard is: Anything from Brooklyn.

11. The first musical I had to go back and see twice was: Les Miserables

12. The first musical I ever walked out of was: It would have been Brooklyn, had there been an intermission. That didn't stop others from doing so.

13. The most under praised and overly deserving show in my opinion is: A tie here for David Yazbek's The Full Monty (overshadowed by The Producers) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (overshadowed by Spamalot).

14. The most overly praised and under deserving show in my opinion is: Wicked - great production values, a cleverly adapted book, but what a dreadful score.

15. The song show tune I’m most likely to sing while I’m dancing around at home is: Another VERY long list - highlights:
  • Love to Me - Light in the Piazza
  • All the Things You Are - Very Warm for May
  • Modern Major General - Pirates of Penzance
  • Master of the House - Les Miserables
16. If I could recast any role in a current Broadway musical with a performer of the past it would be: This doesn't quite fit the caption, but I always thought that Judy Garland would have made the most amazing Mama Rose. Ever.

17. If I could recast a current actor in a Broadway musical that was before their time it would be: Isn't that what revivals are for? I did think that Julie Andrews would have made a terrific Norma Desmond had the timing on all that been different, particularly a film version of the musical.

18. The show they should never change a word of because it is already perfect is: Gypsy

19. The show I'd most like to get my hands on and rewrite is: Edward Scissorhands - it's been filmed and presented as dance, but Edward needs to sing!

20. The role I was born to play on Broadway is: There are so many! Luther Billis in South Pacific (it's still not too late, Lincoln Center - call me!). Frederick in A Little Night Music, Uncle Max in The Sound of Music. Amos Hart in Chicago (I'm available, Fran and Barry).