KINKY BOOTS is Broadway’s huge-hearted, high-heeled hit! With songs by Grammy® and Tony® winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Inspired by true events, KINKY BOOTS takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan.
Ok – I am one of those people. You know the ones… who never saw the movie, or knew that the movie was based on a book… yet, accepted the RSVP for the Matilda show with the intentions to treat my daughter to a night of culture. Together we read the Playbill introducing the cast, and by the plot summary we thought it sounded true to movie… or at least what we caught from the trailer on YouTube two hours before the performance.
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Winner of 50 international awards, including the Tony Award®, and one of the biggest hits on Broadway, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.
Rolling Stone calls the show “hands down the BEST MUSICAL of the season.” Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, MATILDA continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages on Broadway and in London’s West End.
– Matilda The Musical, 2016
The show begins with a fast paced introduction to Matilda’s life’s disposition. Now, I could introduce you to characters or break down the story act for act. But, unlike me, I’m sure you have heard the story before, and know to expect a pair of rotten parents, a nasty schoolmistress, an a super powered little girl who moves objects with her eyes, and changes opinions with her big, loud mouth. She always speaks her mind when she feels something isn’t right, a trait all little girls should aspire to have. And then a sweet and soft spoken super hero comes into Matilda’s life and by pure coincidence… or was it in the stars for the two worlds to collide and change everything they knew of the universe.
The children in the cast deserved every ovation. The production casts 3 Matildas, and Lily Brooks-O’Briant was the actress at center stage last night (June 1). Her performance was truly flawless. Her notes, on point. Those words… how does a 9 year old girl know such long, complicated words so well to sing, and pronounce and dance along to the beat. What talent these children have! The adults were okay too, I guess. I will be honest – the adults’ acting was a little too heavy and overdone, the accents were thick and made it difficult to understand the conversations. Though it was not hard to follow the action. The special effects and choreography repeatedly outshines the screenplay with each number, and built up the audience reactions perfectly timed. It was a pleasant night made for extraordinary memories.
To get tickets to one of the remaining shows, please visit The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Website. Matilda The Musical runs from Tue, May 31 – Sun, Jun 12, 2016 at The Benedum Center in Downtown Pittsburgh.
Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles returned to Pittsburgh this Monday, for a one night only performance. My 19 year old son was excited to be my date, as he grew up listening to me grow up with my parents listening to them grow up with The Beatles. Whew!! Three generations of adults all whom have found a special love for the greatest band of all time.
This was my second time experiencing Rain, and many of my friends asked me, “Are they any good?”
Well, let me tell you a little story that goes like this… two, three, fo –
“Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.” Imagine a concert, a play and a history lesson with a little bit of audience participation all wrapped up into two acts of music and imagery. Yeah, it’s pretty powerful stuff and not your everyday cover band. Decades of performing together have bonded the Fab 4 to perfect melodies, harmonies and even individual body language, facial expressions and quirks of the boys themselves.
Their day names are Steve, Paul, Joe and Aaron… but at night they are John, Paul, George and Ringo (Ob-la-di Ob-la-da). They play the music of The Beatles, live with instruments, as nothing is prerecorded or lip synced. They endure 5 costume changes between video clips taking you through the Magical Mystery of the 60’s and how The Beatles came to Let It Be.
What started as a cover band has become an incredible Broadway production appropriate for all ages of music lovers. Thirty nine songs composed this night’s performance; although many of the infamous twenty seven #1 hits were played, they squeezed in some lesser popular songs to give it the real feel of the flip side. Some included, “In My Life”, “Girl” and “If I Fell”. And, each member wowed with their own solo renditions including Paul’s “Yesterday”, John’s “Across The Universe”, George’s “Here Comes The Sun” and Ringo’s “A Little Help From My Friends”.
My first experience last year left me in tears, and this year was no different. I sprouted goosebumps more than once and found myself singing, dancing and hugging my son during every love song. It was magic.
As compared to the first time I experienced Rain, it just seems to get better, like a fine wine. Or, perhaps my Beatle appreciation is growing and I’m finding more to enjoy about the show. Either way – I hope they come back next year.
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Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, The Roundabout Theatre Company made its way to the Benedum Center this week as part of the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh Series. I danced at the opportunity to see their production of Cabaret, as I was a virgin. Don’t believe me? Just take my word for it. This was my first time at the Cabaret. Call it a pilgrimage.
Cabaret (re)visits a turbulent era, between world wars, when an aspiring novelist from America visits Berlin to find boarding and inspiration. Naive Clifford Bradshaw arrives. Within hours he meets a series of people who will stage for the plot of his wildest adventure: a charismatic burlesque performer, and her whims. Sally Bowles, who has been in Berlin for too long, and tries to initiate an instant romance with Cliff, is worldly, decadent and intoxicating. All is marvelous, until crises arise, and too many are left facing whether its nobler to do the honorable thing, or walk away.
Randy Harrison served as “Emcee” quite deliciously. If he looks familiar, it may be from his previous TV role on Queer As Folk. The multitalented Kit Kat Girls (und Boys) feverishly decorated the stage from beginning to end in their raunchy, indulgent ways, with and without instruments, or clothes. Andrea Goss gave a great opening night performance, enrapturing the persona of a carefree, selfish yet sincere Sally. Her solos shined, but her best numbers were choreographed with the company. Everything was just beautiful.
Even the Orchestra was beautiful.
A little FYI:
The Roundabout Theatre Company has been recognized with 29 Tonys, 41 Drama Desks, 50 Outer Critics Circle, 10 Obie and 15 Lucille Lortel Awards for its work on five stages, reaching more than 700,000 theatergoers and employing hundreds of artists each year. Bank of America is a proud 50th Anniversary Season sponsor – a partnership that makes possible Roundabout’s many productions and not-for-profit initiatives during this landmark year.
I was, in a word, overwhelmed, by my first live Cabaret experience. Religion, politics, abortion, money, sex, drugs, dancing and music. What else? Italian fruit. This Valentine’s Day, I hope to find a pineapple on my pillow. It has been the raciest show I’ve seen at the Benedum Center, which leads me to hope there may be more…
Go… see this show… leave the kids at home, and don’t tell mama.