You don’t have to be into Broadway, movies, or big-band music to know who he is. Megastar Hugh Jackman is performing a 10-week concert run at the Broadhurst Theatre, in which he intertwines stories about his rise to fame and exciting career with some of his favorite songs to perform, along with an 18-piece orchestra.
The No. 1 Reason To See Hugh Jackman, Back On Broadway: Audience interaction Read more
Theater needs to feel genuine, and in the case of the new musical Baby It’s You!, it comes off as a marketing ploy concocted by executives doing musical theater algebra. Commercial success Jersey Boys + all females (because women love to go to the theater) = Baby It’s You!. Only this equation doesn’t yield exciting results.
The musical focuses on Florence Greenburg, the New Jersey housewife who decides she’s bored and scoops up five female singers to manage. They become the Shirelles, and Baby It’s You! is set to their music. Don’t be fooled though; the show is about Greenburg and barely includes the actual members of the Shirelles. Florence all but abandons her husband and two children to manage the girls, climbs the music industry ladder, and enters a then-taboo affair with the Shirelles’ black producer, Luther Dixon. She and the Shirelles make pop-music history, but at what cost? Fame or family—which is more important? You decide.
Although there isn’t much else to ponder in Baby It’s You!. A musical that should be all about relationships (well, what play isn’t about relationships?) leaves all the personal connections undeveloped and cold. Beth Leavel and Allan Louis play Florence and Luther, and there isn’t one fiery ember of chemistry between them. Florence’s daughter, Mary Jane (played by Kelli Barrett) feels spurned by her mother who ditched her for the recording industry. She shows up after years without communication ready to ream her mother out, and all anger is washed away with a song. (Mary Jane can belt; how convenient. Watch out MJ, Mamma might try to sign you.) Most criminal is the lack of connection between Florence and the girls she manages. The woman who left her children to basically act as a surrogate mother to the members of the girl group shows no sign of deep rapport with any of them. What passes between the Shirelles and Florence is simply blank. Read more
I long for summer. Not because I’ll be able to take long walks in Central Park without my ears falling off. Not because I can sit outside at Blockheads and enjoy $3 frozen margaritas. But because student rushing shows won’t be such torture!
I arrived at the Broadhurst Theatre at 8:15 this morning. I was first in line, which is satisfying, yet at the same time always induces me with the irrational fear that all other rushers must know something I don’t, or else why wouldn’t they already be here. I especially was nervous because this is the final week for the run of this Peter Shaffer play and had thought more rushers would be taking their last chances. My arrival to the theater must have been Mother Nature’s cue, because a blizzard commenced instantly, and lasted through the box office opening (not to mention the rest of the day). I stood just under the edge of the awning where the most logical entrance to the box office would be, come 10am. By the time a few people had joined me in my frigid wait for tickets, the fourth girl in line asked if we wouldn’t mind changing our line direction so that everyone could be standing under the awning and sheltered from the snow. I had no qualms with this, but the theater’s lobby attendent did. Why, I don’t know, but she wanted the line to start by the door furthest from the ticket window. This left everyone who joined the student rush line standing in the snow, except for me. I was dry, but I’ll admit, I felt pretty guilty. Read more