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Amph Live Theater - From the professional to your high school production

Discussion in 'Community' started by mavjade , May 14, 2015.

  1. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    This is a thread to discuss live theater of any variety. It could be a play or musical (opera, ballet) on Broadway, the West End, touring company, community theater, high school theater, or even your kids kindergarden play if you really want to tell us about it. Wherever you saw it (or if you were in it!), tell us about the show!




    Last night I saw The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville starring Mandy Patinkin (best knows as Inigo Montoya, among other roles) and Taylor Mac at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA.

    A.R.T. does a lot of almost workshopping of shows before they go to Broadway, and while I'm not sure about this one, that may be the case here, especially seeing as Mandy Patinkin was in it.

    I'd say it was a cute and sweet show, but still lacks something. (Last night was opening night so I'm sure there will be some changes). If I'd have paid $125 for it, I would have been really disapointed, but I had a lot of fun for $30 (the only seats left were in the very back, but it's a small house so it was fine).

    Here is the description from the website which I think describes it the best:

    It’s the end of the world as we know it. A flood of biblical proportions leaves us with only two people on Earth who discover their common language is song and dance. Together they chronicle the rise and fall and hopeful rise again of humankind through music that runs the gamut from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Sondheim, and R.E.M. to Queen.

    I think it was the rise and fall that it was missing, it's really hard to get a plot across with only prewritten songs and no dialogue. There were some really funny parts and moving, but overall it didn't really go anywhere. Both actors were great and they both had wonderful voices.

    Hopefully they'll keep working on it because who doesn't want to see Mandy Parinkin in a Vaudeville type show. :)

     
  2. DarthTunick

    DarthTunick SfC Part IV Commissioner star 10 VIP - Game Host

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    Nov 26, 2000
    I've only been to one thus far in my life... a production of Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (former site of many Academy Awards ceremonies), back in 2002. I honestly don't remember too many specifics (something I do recall: the production was in Italian -I think :p- , but there was a ribbon board above the stage with English subtitles) but I do remember having an overall positive experience.
     
  3. dp4m

    dp4m Chosen One star 10

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    Nov 8, 2001

    Uh, almost certainly in German and not Italian, broski... ;)
     
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  4. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    May 27, 1999
    Hmmm...

    I don't usually go to live theater that much. There's a lot to be found in my neck of the woods, but I don't really take advantage of it.

    At the Celebration in Orlando, I saw "The Star Wars Saga in 60 Minutes". That was a lot of fun, and the cast did a great job, both with handling multiple roles and working through a slight set malfunction.

    And, this may be stretching it, but I would go to Cinematic Titanic live shows as often as I could. The pre-show warm-ups were great, and they always knew how to work the crowd with their riffing. I just wish they'd recorded their last few shows for DVD, but I'm still convinced they'll get back together sooner or later. I'd pay extra if they'd spring for recording.
     
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  5. EHT

    EHT Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Sep 13, 2007
    I acted in a series of Monty Python one-act plays in high school. :p
     
  6. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    I need to get my butt to NYC at some point before the end of June because I'm dying to see "The Audience."


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
     
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  7. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Nov 2, 2000
    Been in quite a few local theatrical productions. Production last year of Death of a Salesman is the best production I've ever been in. Played Bernard, a second-tier role for certain, but the entire cast was amazing and excited to be there and I still remember the one night when I did Bernard's big scene with Willie and I just genuinely did the best acting I've ever done. You just know it sometimes.

    I'm also in a stage production that has been playing on Saturday nights for over sixty years; it's the longest continually running theatrical production in the US. I'm playing in it tomorrow night and then the next two Saturdays as well. Always a blast.
     
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  8. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Sep 10, 2005
    Edit: I just realized you said 60 years. :oops:

    What show is that?
     
  9. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Nov 2, 2000
    It's The Drunkard. It's an old fashioned melodrama; you know, mustachioed villain, wretched town drunk, upstanding hero, local bumpkin, etc. Began in 1953 and still being performed in the same building, on the same stage. With at least one original prop actually, which I myself managed to knock over and nearly break the very first night I performed. (!) Beautiful art-deco building; there are pictures at the website of the building. Tulsa has a sadly forgotten art deco history; some of the buildings around here are just gorgeous or, sadly, once were.

    Once upon a time I had a few pictures around here of backstage antics. I'll do some looking.
     
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  10. Juke Skywalker

    Juke Skywalker Force Ghost star 5

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    Mar 27, 2004
    I joined Muse Machine in High School, but I'll confess that had more to do with the 10-1 female to male ratio and getting out of school [face_blush] .

    I believe my potential love of live theater was tainted forever when I tried out for a role in play about the circus in 4th grade. I went out for the ring master, I ended up as a popcorn vendor. The next Olivier, stopped before he even started.

    My apathy is a shame, really, as my hometown has a thriving performing arts scene for a small-to-mid sized city.
     
  11. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Sep 10, 2005
    Saw The Audience with dp4m and GrandAdmiralJello this weekend.

    [​IMG]

    It starred Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, who was amazing of course. But it was hands down, the best play I've ever seen. I say this having seen Kenneth Branagh in Macbeth and Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in Waiting for Godot. It was funny, moving, and quite interesting (I learned that I really want to learn more about Prime Minister Wilson). The set was fantastic, with a forced perspective from the audience chamber to the throne. The costumes were beautiful and the costume changes she did on stage were magic, the best I've ever seen.

    Also, corgis!

    I would say go see this if you live anywhere near NYC, or even if you don't, but it closed today. :(
     
  12. DantheJedi

    DantheJedi Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 23, 2009
    In the fifth grade, my class put on a play that was a SW parody about healthy eating, and I played the Darth Vader-like bad guy character. My costume was basically black sweatpants and a sweatshirt and a black cloth mask and cape my mother made, topped off with a generic laser sword toy from a local dime store (being the late '80s, real SW toys were kind of hard to come by at this point).

    I don't remember much about the play itself, except that the Star Wars Holiday Special probably had better production values.
     
  13. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Sep 10, 2005
    About a week ago we saw Allegiance - A musical inspired by George Takei's experience in the Japanese internment camps in the USA during WWII.
    It stars George Takei, who was hilarious, of course. Lea Salonga who is well known to musical theater fans and she certainly lived up to the hype. Telly Leung who I'd never heard of, but now am a big fan. He was amazing.

    [​IMG]

    We saw it in the first week a previews, the second show, actually. It was a great show and I really enjoyed it, but it did still need some work. There was a song that was way too long and another that was really fun but didn't drive the plot at all. But my biggest problem was with a character. I don't know if it's how he was written or how he was played, but I spent the whole first half thinking he was a bad guy and turned out in the second we are supposed to like him as a romantic interest with another character. But by the time I realized he wasn't supposed to be a bad guy, they'd lost me for him and I just couldn't trust him.

    On the very plus side, there was no white washing. The only actors who were white were playing characters who were purposely white.

    I'd never seen a show in previews before and wasn't sure how I'd like it, but I really did. It was interesting knowing that this isn't the final show and that they might still change things. I'd be interested to see it again down the road to see what they change.


    If you get the chance to see it, do it! Especially since I'm afraid it won't do as well once Takei leaves. Shows that point out the awful things that were done to Americans by other Americans tend not to do as well, even if they are amazing shows. (I'm looking at you, Ragtime.)
     
  14. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Nov 2, 2000
    I watched To Be Takei, the documentary, last year I guess it was and there's a substantial part of the film about the creation of that show. Seems interesting. But, God, is Lea Salonga the most beautiful person in the world or what?
     
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  15. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Mar 19, 1999
    The Writer's Theater here in the Chicago area is just finishing a fabulous new theater in Glencoe. I'm seeing Tom Stoppard's Arcadia there in March. Excited about the new venue.
     
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  16. Only-One Cannoli

    Only-One Cannoli Ex-Mod star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Aug 20, 2003
    I haven't seen anything recently but until I moved to LA, I usually saw a lot of theater/dance stuff. Prior to college theater was what I wanted to do (lol) so I guess it kind of has stuck around in some way or form. All I've done in LA is some fire dancing courses, I had the hope to someday perform with that but I hit a roadblock. I think what I've enjoyed most overall is watching modern dance shows. Something about it is just inspiring and relaxing.
     
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  17. dp4m

    dp4m Chosen One star 10

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    Nov 8, 2001

    Do you go for local established, or national established touring companies? I'm only up on the scene here in NYC (which, obvs has both), but I'd imagine there's some fantastic dance troupes in LA?
     
  18. Only-One Cannoli

    Only-One Cannoli Ex-Mod star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Aug 20, 2003
    I went to local ones, but not in LA
     
  19. Point Given

    Point Given Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Dec 12, 2006
    I'm going to a modern take of Moliere's Tartuffe sometime in November. It's a Three Day Hangover event which means the play is in a bar, the audience is encouraged to drink, and the audience gets to participate in some extent. http://www.threedayhangover.com/
     
  20. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Sep 10, 2005
    I think once theater/dance gets in your blood it doesn't really go away. Modern dance can be amazing! I grew up around a director of a modern dance company and learned so much not just about dance but about life in general. (I danced my entire childhood, hope to get back into it soon.)

    Fire dance? That sounds amazing and terrifying at the same time.

    That looks like a lot of fun! You'll have to let us know how it goes!
     
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  21. Only-One Cannoli

    Only-One Cannoli Ex-Mod star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Aug 20, 2003
    I didn't get to the fire part, I had started with regular hoop/poi classes but then the school shut down :( I'll pick it up again eventually when I can find a new place...fires must be set!
     
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  22. dp4m

    dp4m Chosen One star 10

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    Nov 8, 2001
    ... in flesh?
     
  23. TiniTinyTony

    TiniTinyTony Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2003
    This weekend I just say "The Book of Mormon".

    Spoilers below (it's been out since 2011, so not hiding them. Hoping to encourage some discussion. Please don't read if you haven't seen)

    Act I
    So I was sitting there, trying to get comfortable in the tiny seats, and watching the show. Thankfully I was on the end and could extend my legs into the aisle. The one character was doing a Josh Gad impression and I'm glad I knew before hand that he originated the role of Elder Cunningham. So after the first few songs that were pretty good, we finally got into the meat of the story - the two main characters being sent to Africa. The jokes so far have been all tongue in cheek, but then the song "Hasa Diga Eebowai" came on and everyone roared. I chuckled and thought to myself okay here we go. Here is the patented Parker/Stone sense of humor. During and after "Turn it Off", I was fully invested.

    I appreciated "All American Prophet" which served the story and further explained what the Mormon's believed which I appreciated on both levels. The solo by Nabulungi "Sal Tlay Ka Siti" was funny and touching. The actress playing her was awesome and she had a great voice. Some parts of the song and the way it was presented reminded me of Whitney Houston at little bit.

    Act II
    Surprisingly, I thought this was better than Act I. Since I was invested in the story, I was looking forward to what was going to happen and I think the songs in the 2nd Act were better. "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream" was very funny and I loved how it was portrayed as scary yet comical. "I Believe" was very well done and I loved Elder Price's misplaced confidence in himself and his religion when going to the enemy camp. "Baptize Me" is best enjoyed visually. "I Am Africa" is the pinnacle of Parker/Stone humor with a choir of white men singing that they represent Africa. I was dying. But they saved the best for last - "Joseph Smith American Moses" where the tribe of Africans sang about what they had learned. I had tears in my eyes. I was guffawing out loud.

    With my wife's Apple Music account, we listened to the soundtrack on our drive home, and I enjoyed the opening songs more than I did initially. There is a great YouTube video that she shined me onto of the opening song "Hello" performed at the Tony Awards in 2012 when Neil Patrick Harris hosted. It cleaned up that year and rightfully so. My wife said she enjoyed this more than "Wicked" and at this point I'm also riding that high.

    As Rogue 1.5 would say
    TL;DR
    "The Book of Mormon" has a simple story enhanced with great music and some very good humor. It isn't non stop laughter, but when it's funny, it's VERY funny.
    Highly recommended.
     
  24. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 6

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    Oct 4, 1998
    A couple of months ago I went to the local high school production of Grease. Obviously the production values came short of the movie, but it was good to see teenagers played by teenagers. Most "high school" film characters look like they're in their 30's.
     
  25. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Sep 10, 2005
    Yeah, The Book of Mormon is great! I saw the touring production in Boston in 2013. I downloaded the cast album before I got out of the theater. (Part of that is because the Boston Opera House is a nightmare to get out of and if there was a fire, a lot of people would die.)

    Yeah, I've listened to that song so many times and it still makes me laugh pretty hard.
    "Tomorrow is a Latter Day" is strangely one of my favorite songs. It's on my exercise playlist as well as my 'I really don't want to go to work' play list.

    That is correct, it is better!

    Sorry, I know a lot of people adore Wicked, and I do think music and lyrics, the set, the costumes are all fantastic, but the book is pretty terrible and really detracts, so it drops way down on my list of musicals. It's just soooo preachy.

    Grease is one that I like the movie better than the show, which is rare for me. But yeah, it's always fun to see high school kids playing high school kids.


    We've not seen any theater recently, things have been hectic. I think the last thing we saw was a stipped down production of Assassins which is a Sondheim musical about famous assassins. It was pretty great.
     
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