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Posts tagged ‘Michael Mayer’

12
Dec

The No. 1 Reason To See: On A Clear Day You Can See Forever

on a clear day you can see forever broadway musical revival poster harry connick jrIn director Michael Mayer’s revival (read: overhaul) of the Burton Lane/Alan Jay Lerner musical On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Harry Connick Jr. plays Dr. Mark Bruckner who hypnotizes a male patient (David Turner) to help him quit smoking. While under hypnosis, Bruckner taps into David’s previous life as a beautiful jazz singer named Melinda Wells (played by Jessie Mueller). Grieving his late wife, Bruckner’s finds escape and comfort in his interactions with Melinda and falls in love with her. Nevermind that the straight Bruckner has fallen in love with the gay David’s previous incarnation, which technically is manifested within David. Thus commences one awesome head-scratcher of a love triangle. (Stage Rush TV: On A Clear Day workshop at Vassar College)

The No. 1 Reason To See On A Clear Day You Can See Forever: The three-way dance between Harry Connick Jr., Jessie Mueller, and David Turner Read more »

6
Aug

Stage Rush TV: Episode 25

Talking points:

Did you catch On A Clear Day You Can See Forever at Vassar Powerhouse, Rushers? Did you have tickets to one of the performances that Anika Noni Rose was absent for? What was your take on Broadway in Bryant Park this week? Any Rushers ever eaten a Wicked brownie? Leave all your thoughts and ideas for Broadway desserts in the comments!

30
Jul

Stage Rush TV: Episode 24

Happy birthday to me! Joining me for this special edition of Stage Rush TV are my dear friends Georgina and Kym, along with some other very esteemed guests who open the episode.

Talking points:

  • At the Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY to see Michael Mayer’s On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, featuring Brian d’Arcy James and Anika Noni Rose
  • When friends and theater combine to make a cherished tradition
  • Congratulations to the winners of the Night Music/Promises, Promises ticket giveaway
  • Broadway grosses

Do you have any theater traditions with your friends, Rushers? Let me know what it is, and what your special memories are. Have you ever been to Vassar’s Powerhouse Theater? Will you be seeing this concert production of On A Clear Day this weekend, or are you waiting for when it comes to the Vineyard Theatre in January 2011 (or both)? As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, (and birthday wishes) in the comments!

20
May

Broadway Brain: Kevin Adams lights rock stars of Broadway

What do Spring Awakening, Passing Strange, and Next to Normal all have in common? Lighting designer Kevin Adams. Widely regarded as contributing factors to the evolution of the American musical, these shows all have creative teams that have collaborated on subsequent projects, but Adams is the only one to have worked on all three. The Tony-winning lighting designer brought revolutionary looks to these acclaimed productions with his use of bare light bulbs and fluorescent tubes—what he calls “electric objects.” Now Adams is nominated for his fifth Tony award (he won for Spring Awakening and The 39 Steps) for his work on American Idiot, which blends the creative teams of all three rock musicals.

Yet Adams, just shy of 48, says lighting was never a thought in his mind during his education. With an MFA in set design, Adams began working as a set designer in Los Angeles, when he was asked to do his own lighting. Local artists who had seen his work began asking him to light their pieces in galleries. A self-taught lighting designer, Adams then moved to New York to focus solely on that work. “I can’t believe I’m still doing this,” Adams said. “After I do a Broadway show, I think, ‘This will surely be the last one I ever do. No one’s going to come up with another Broadway show that suits what I do.’ But then American Idiot came along.”

The Tony winner (who keeps his two awards at his parents’ houses, claiming they make him nervous) invited Stage Rush into his Manhattan apartment to discuss Tony nominations, his style departure on American Idiot, and what happened when he first met Green Day in a cramped dressing room at Saturday Night Live.

This is your fifth Tony nomination and you’ve won twice. Is it still exciting to get nominated?
It is very exciting. It was exciting to be nominated twice last year. It’s exciting to be nominated for American Idiot. That first time [being nominated], you’re so excited to win and then once you win, then you feel you have to win again. You feel like, “I want to win!”

So you feel pressure to win?
I don’t feel pressure; it’s just that you become much more grotesquely competitive about it. [laughs] And I know other people who have won that agree and say, “Yeah, I’ve felt that way too!” It’s not that it’s competitive, it’s just that the first time you’re nominated, you’re like, “It would be cool to win,” and then the next time, you’re like, “I’ve got to win!”

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30
Apr

Review: Everyday Rapture

We all know that Broadway and hamminess go hand in hand. One is just a part of the other as peanut butter is to jelly. Yet the level of obnoxiousness that Sherie Rene Scott reaches in her one-woman show Everyday Rapture is downright off-putting.

As a last-minute replacement for Lips Together, Teeth Apart, (the play that Megan Mullally unprofessionally ditched), causing the show to cancel) the Roundabout Theatre Co. rustled up Everyday Rapture, which performed at the off-Broadway Second Stage Theatre last May. Written by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott, the one-woman show (with backup vocalists and a brief character role, so… kinda sorta) focuses on Scott’s journey from oppressed childhood in Kansas to her self-proclaimed semi-stardom on Broadway.
Most know Scott from her Tony-nominated turn in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and for playing Ursula in the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid. In addition, she and her husband Kurt Deutsch founded S-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records, which is one of the largest Broadway record companies that publish cast recordings. Scott is by no means short of talent or artistic ability. That’s actually not my issue with Rapture—it’s the manner in which the material is presented. Read more »
23
Apr

Review: American Idiot

Michael Mayer has a knack for making us remember some of our worst memories. In Spring Awakening, he helped us recall our yearning teenage years. Now in American Idiot, he reminds us of the uncertain and melancholy times that followed 9/11. Mayer’s marriage of visionary theatrical direction and Green Day’s passionate music make for a haunting and indelible production.
It’s hard to believe the last show that played the St. James Theatre before American Idiot was Finian’s Rainbow. Although a stellar production, it couldn’t be a further cry in style and tone from this musical by Green Day. That’s just the point—everything is a far cry from this production. American Idiot adds a new layer onto the ever-growing popular genre of rock musicals. This is a punk rock opera.
Simple in story to allow for even greater conceptual depth, American Idiot follows three greatly unsatisfied suburban youths who flee their hometown for a less-restrained life in the city. But the three friends’ plans quickly fall apart. Will (Michael Esper) remains at home because his girlfriend is pregnant, Tunny (Stark Sands) joins the army and is deployed to Iraq, and Johnny (John Gallagher Jr.) becomes swept up in a whirlwind of drugs. The three men’s downfalls are spurred by political disillusion, media saturation, and lack of faith in society’s day-to-day rituals.
***VIDEO after the jump: Green Day makes a surprise appearance and performs at the April 22 performance. Here, they perform their classic hit “Basket Case.”*** Read more »