Mmmm Broadway. I’ve been making out like a bandit with the free tickets again lately. God it’s good to be a theater slut. I’m going to tell you about them in the hopes that maybe you’re planning a trip to NYC where you’ll work me (and some shows) into your itinerary.
Last Wednesday I scored an invite to the dress rehearsal for Anything Goes. I love dress rehearsals. Everyone there is somehow tied to the show or the industry, so it’s the kindest, most supportive, most energetic audience a cast could possibly have. Each time a new dancer comes on stage, you can hear a chorus of shouts from a different cluster of people in the audience. And when they finish one of those full-cast tap-dancing show-stopping numbers? The whole house is on their feet whooping and hollering and screaming out the name of whoever they are there to support. It’s almost more magical than the show itself. God I love theater and the community around it.
Also? I love Sutton Foster. In ways that I’m not quite comfortable admitting to myself or discussing in public forum quite yet. But watch this and tell me you don’t feel the same way. She tap dances her brains out for six and a half minutes and THEN belts. *swoon*
Then I had the chance to see Tennessee Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore with Olympia Dukakis. As I’ve mentioned before, I try not to say bad things about theater. So I guess I better keep my commentary short. But for the record? Nothing makes me battier than inconsistent Southern accents. *takes a moment to remember Driving Miss Daisy, shudders* Olympia, I saw Steel Magnolias. I know you can do one. Now giddyup, damnit.
And last night I saw a preview of Catch Me if You Can. Our seats were in the second row, so honestly I’m having a hard time remembering anything other than the white lace thongs the dancers wore under their nurse costumes in the hospital number. I haven’t spent that much time with ladies gyrating crotches since I worked in Heavy Metal. (I really wish there was a video I could include here for your viewing pleasure, but I can’t seem to find one.)
The cast is stupendous. I mean, I’ll always love Luke Duke and not just because he paused in his flirting with twenty-something dancers to give my mom a big soggy smooch and pose for a photo a few years back. But it certainly doesn’t hurt. The adorable Aaron Tevit could sing the Rod Stewart catalog and I’d probably still swoon. And Norbert? Well, I have to admit I was nervous to see his name on the marquis. I still haven’t fully forgiven him for that Enron monstrosity. But last night he was fantastic. And now I remember why I used to like him.
The set? Awesome. The choreography? Solid! The acting? Hells yes. The songs? Meh.
Actually the songs weren’t SO bad. But the lyrics? Woof.
I know, bad Elly. What happened to being nice? But you can’t put the words “I’ll be your alibi, baby” into a song and except me to be ok with it. That is unless your Ke$ha or Rhianna. But, call me crazy, I expect the Broadway bar to be set a smidge higher.
Regardless of the somewhat inconsistent material, the cast saved it. Each time I cringed at a horrible line like “Mount Rushmore, someone climb up there and tell them boys a joke,” a parade of rhinestone crusted leotard crotches immediately stormed the stage and flashed before my eyes. Somebody on that creative team is a master with smoke and mirrors and managed to keep the production eye-popping and toe-tapping…two of my favorite things in a musical.
As I told my date at the completion of the show, that cast sung and danced the SHIT out of that musical…there was just some serious shit to be sung and danced out of it.
So should you see it? Yeah, I think so. Who doesn’t like jazz hands and glittery crotches? Terrorists, that’s who. Also there was one male dancer with thighs only slightly larger than my entire body. Frankly you should go see the show just to watch his pants try and hold it together because yum. Now should you expect to see a revival of this show in thirty or forty years? Not so much. But that’s all the more reason to come see it now. I’ll meet you for a slice of cheesecake afterward.