FringeNYC report: Weekend Edition
As a San Franciscan, I had some initial doubts about the much-hyped Broadway-centric Fringe musical The Legend of Julie Taymor, or The Musical That Killed Everybody! My internal resistance monologue went something like this: “It’s just going to be full of New York industry jokes I won’t get,” and “Oh great, another musical about musicals; like that’s never been done before”, and “They just want to beat up on the most successful female director on Broadway.” All of which turns out to be more-or-less true, but what else turns out to be true is that some shows are worth their hype, and if you want an opportunity to tempt the fates and poke fun at the Broadway machine, The Musical That Killed Everybody! is for you.
Even in California, the on-going delays, budget crises, and injured actors of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, have been a constant source of am-news-ment over the past couple of years, so none of the material presented in the show comes as much of a surprise. But what does is the crack timing, powerful vocals, and buoyant enthusiasm of the cast, and the slickly professional feel of the production as a whole, despite the pointedly low-budget set (six cubes and a triptych painted in the style of Picasso’s “Guernica”) and the cardboard props, which cleverly undermine the related budgetary excesses of the ill-fated Taymor production. Read more
Stage Rush TV: Episode 54
- New play about Chris Farley, The Fatman Cometh, has Broadway/off-Broadway potential
- Who is the best man in That Championship Season
- Julie Taymor is out of Spider-Man. Why we shouldn’t cry for her
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Would you see a play about Chris Farley? Who do you think has the best performance in That Championship Season? Do you think the producers of Spider-Man did Taymor wrong? Leave your sympathy, thoughts, and ideas in the comments below!
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5 great things about ‘Spider-Man’ (yes, really)
Daily Bugle News Flash! Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is not the best musical ever written. However, the venomous reviews and general bad press seem to be overshadowing the aspects that director Julie Taymor and her creative team have gotten right. Here are five reasons why Spider-Man is worth the money.
1. Flying: This is the spectacle that the show rests on, and it is something to be seen. Aerial designers Scott Rogers and Jaque Paquin succeeded in making me feel like a little kid again, yearning for the ability to fly. I’m sure I wasn’t the only gaping-mouthed patron who was left insanely jealous of the actors that got to perform the aerial stunts. Despite very-visible cables (synthetic spider silk hasn’t been successfully manufactured in large quantities yet), Spidey and Green Goblin slingshot around the Foxwoods Theatre with shocking fluidity. They even reach every side of the two mezzanines, so that no audience block is left out of the action.
2. Sets: Scenic designer George Tsypin’s has created a cartoonish, sometimes whimsical world for Peter Parker and his enemies. But Tsypin’s real achievement with his designs is with the unique use of angles and perspective. We’re treated to two views of New York’s famous Chrysler Building: a standard tip-of, head-on shot and then a mind-bending aerial view, gazing down to the taxi-lined streets below. The Brooklyn Bridge juts out toward the audience with a dizzying height illusion. Climactic-moment scenes aside, Tsypin even turns a ho-hum stroll for Peter (Reeve Carney) and Mary Jane (Jennifer Damiano) to their Queens row homes into a direction-shifting stunner. Read more