August 2004 Archives

Dracula

Cheap Dracula Tickets: Student Rush
Wow, two updates in one week. And both actual high-profile Broadway shows that people have heard of.

I think my review of Dracula speaks for itself (and thanks to Bobby for much of the input), but the one thing I don't know if I stressed enough was how boring and nonsensical the show was. The plot points didn't flow from one to the next. The storyline didn't flow from one scene to the next. Nothing drove it; the characters sure weren't driving it nor could you identify with any of them. Take away the visual effects and there's little left to focus on. Some of the visual effects, by the way, were cool, including Dracula falling down a trap door really really quickly, a moment where all of Dracula's "old makeup" disappears, and a "how did they do that" moment when one of the girls is suddenly entirely naked after having been fully clothed just a split second ago . But then there was excessive flying, and the characters just weren't thought out or developed. What drives Melissa Errico's character? How about Tom Hewitt's? I'm not sure if I can blame Melissa or Tom on those, because a lot of it is obviously in the direction, and the bulk of it is in really bad bookwriting. Anyway, oddly enough, "Dracula" is the worst thing I've seen since... well, "Dance of the Vampires". It's just a boring show.

I want to note that I met Frank Wildhorn (the composer) after the show. He seems like one of the nicest theatre people I've ever met. I told him that I'm a fan of his (not a lie, I enjoyed Jekyll and I really enjoyed Pimpernel ) and I told him that that I enjoyed Dracula (okay, that's a lie; this show wasn't even bad in the fun "watching a trainwreck" way). And as a response to that, he said a very simple, "well thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Spread the word." Not a begrudging "well, that's not what the critics said". No bitterness or anger. This is a guy who is greatful to even have his work on Broadway, nevermind selling out or getting fanbases or good reviews. Just seems like the nicest guy you could meet. Meeting him made me wish I liked the show better. For his sake, as much of a disaster that Dracula was, I must say that I do hope his next work is successful, whatever it may be.

I'm not sure what's bound to be abridged next. "Brooklyn", "Democracy", "Gem of the Ocean", "The Good Body", "La Cage aux Follies", "'Night Mother", "Reckless", "Twelve Angry Men", and a ton of one-person shows seems to be what Broadway will be getting in the next few months. I haven't heard of half of those. But I have tickets to Brooklyn for a month from now, so that's bound to be next.

The Frogs

Cheap Frogs Tickets: TKTS
Sorry I haven't updated this in three months now. For one, not much came out on Broadway this past summer. But secondly, I was very heavily involved doing something new called Shakespeare in the Line. Come by and see us next summer when we'll be doing "A Not All That Humorous Thing Happened to Julius Caesar On The Way To The Forum".

So The Frogs. I actually saw the thing twice before writing this review. The first time was in previews, with Chris Kattan. Let me tell you, he had no idea what he was doing onstage. He just seemed awkward, entirely banking on the "I'm Chris Kattan and occasionally Mango" rather than trying to create an actual character. The second time, I mostly went back just to see Roger Bart. Worlds better. In fact, now it's the scenes that Roger Bart is in that actually are the highlights of the show.
The rest of the show... well, just too political for a comedy, and not in a humorous way but in a serious attempt. At one point in the show, Nathan Lane makes a comment on the "current Athenian Leaders: "Have you seen our leaders? Words fail them. Even the smallest words."

This is funny. It's just a shame that the anti-Bushisms after that just weren't entertaining or thoughtful. It's a shame, because it takes what would be an enjoyable show and tries to shove Lane's beliefs down your throat. Sure, shove your beliefs down my throat. But at least make them funny, regardless of whether I do or don't agree with them. The thing is, Lane isn't a good enough writer to write full plot structures. Which is fine when you're writing comedy. But every time this play starts to believe it's serious... well, there you go.

I'll be updating more frequently now that things are coming out. "Dracula" should be abridged in the next week or two (once I've seen it).

RECENT BLOG ENTRIES

Dracula: Abridged
DRACULA: A "Broadway Abridged" Script By Gil Varod SCENE: DRACULA'S PLACE, TRANSYLVANIA, DURING AN OPENING SCENE THAT DOESN'T GRAB…
Dracula
Cheap Dracula Tickets: Student Rush Wow, two updates in one week. And both actual high-profile Broadway shows that people have…
The Frogs: Abridged
THE FROGS: A "Broadway Abridged" Script By Gil Varod SCENE: LINCOLN CENTER Nathan Lane and Roger Bart enter onto…
The Frogs
Cheap Frogs Tickets: TKTSSorry I haven't updated this in three months now. For one, not much came out on Broadway…

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