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A Trip to the Theatre

singforfood

New Member
I'm going to see a semi-pro regional theater do Side Show this coming week, and I'm super stoked. I've known the show for about 5 years, but this is the first production of it that's been within 100 miles of me.
 

GuyWithAStick

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I saw my High School's Fall Dinner Show(we do 2 fall plays, a mainstage in the auditorium, and a dinner theater in our Black Box theater. I'm working lights for the mainstage, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare(abridged)) of These Shining Lives, and oh my god. This was amazing. Extremely well put together, the acting was great, and the mood was perfect. Highly recommend it if anyone gets the chance to see it. But granted, it was the dress rehearsal of a High School show. It was still amazing nonetheless.

8/10

Also, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare(abridged) is hilarious. The script is amazing, tons of audience interaction, and completely destroys any expectation of Shakespearean monologues. Fantastic so far, and I can't wait to see the final product.

7/10

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GuyWithAStick

Captain Basic
Sorry to double post, but my High School just got done with it's 2nd annual 24 Hour Theater Festival, where the students have 24 hours to write, make, perform, and strike 6 plays in 24 hours. It was so much fun, and a lot of work. If anyone else has a chance, do it.

My play was about a couple that met on a dating gameshow(I played the losing contestant). After about 25-ish years, I(the contestant, and now-inventor of the Snuggie) run into them at a grocery store, and try to win the girl back. They end up leaving and die in a car crash(there are no spoilers, as none of you saw it, or ever will see it).

Other plays included a USSR Submarine Crew, a double date with a skeleton, and a time traveling teenager trying to get a girl to go to a dance with him.

Yeah, very fun. Can't wait for next year!
 

Jamesss

Member
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

Saw this yesterday at the Palace Theatre London. As a huge Potter fan I was stupidly excited to see it and went in without having read any reviews or spoilers. A few spoiler-free thoughts below.

- The special effects and illusions were phenomenal and absolutely the best part of the play. I would love to go into more detail but there would be way too much spoiling.
- Everything to do with the production aspect was fantastic - sets, costumes, props, sound etc.
- The plot, whilst very exciting and emotional, felt like a bad fan-fiction. This was the major disappointment for me. The first 10 minutes or so was good and had a really nice plot point that could have potentially led to a great story, but unfortunately after that it just got far-fetched and ridiculous. There also seemed to be some inconsistencies with the original 7 books.
- Despite the ridiculousness of the plot, it did keep me interested. I was gripped through the entire thing.
- The acting was for the most part very good.
- There was an overall amazing atmosphere.

Plot: 4/10
Everything else: 10/10
 

peep

Well-Known Member
^Shame to hear the plot isn't great. Did you see both parts on the same day? I'm still trying to make my mind up if it's worth throwing money at it.


Saw Mrs Henderson Presents the other month. It was a fantastic show, I loved the songs so much, the lyrics just flowed with the music so perfectly. The cast were also amazing. Really glad I caught it before it left the West End.
 

Jamesss

Member
peep said:
^Shame to hear the plot isn't great. Did you see both parts on the same day? I'm still trying to make my mind up if it's worth throwing money at it.
I would say despite the plot it is still an excellent show and production-wise it is probably the most impressive thing I have ever seen on a stage. I did see both parts on the same day.
 

peep

Well-Known Member
^I actually looked for tickets the other night. Yeah. Looks like I won't be seeing this show (tickets not available until like next March).


I went to check out Kynren on Saturday.

For those interested this is by Puy du Fou (that ridiculous place in France which I need to visit). They've created a new charity called Eleven Arches and purchased a whole lotta land up North in this place called Bishop Auckland. The show tries to tell the story of England and is performed during the summer on weekends. All the participants (over 1000) are volunteers and the sheer number of people taking part makes it quite a spectacular show.

The show itself is a little bit messy, some segments are way too short, some are just not really explained very well. The way it goes from one bit to another is sometimes rather heavy handed, one part that sticks out is between WWI and the afterparty, goes from a rather sad moment to something really cheery and upbeat without much of a gap.

There's some absolutely astounding set design going on though, several moments the audience were in awe of what was going on. The battle scenes felt rather epic which was mainly down to a really fantastic soundtrack and the sheer size of the cast running towards each other.

It sounds like it's been quite the success and I hope it continues to thrive and expand. You only have to look at what happened at the French park to see where this could be heading (it's now a whole day thing with lots of villages and shows and then the giant evening show during the summer).
 

peep

Well-Known Member
Saw more shows last weekend.

Aladdin

Managed to rock up on the day and get the lottery tickets which meant sitting in the front row which was awesome. Aladdin is one of my favourite Disney films so to see it on the stage was always going to be slightly weird. They've added characters and songs and heavily cut down the ending. It's extremely fun though and the music is fab. I'm not sure if it's because of where we were sitting but at times it was hard to hear the actors over the music. Still incredible though and I want to see it again.


Guys and Dolls

Didn't know much about this show going in, it starts off really poorly. Like, it's an actual mess. Some scenes are good and the main reason for going to see it, Rebel Wilson, was a welcome storm of crazy any time she appeared. The music was ok but the show was overlong and had so many dull scenes, wasn't really for me.
 

gavin

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A few I've seen over the last couple of months.

The Book of Mormon

I'd been wanting to see it for ages since I love the stuff from the South Park writers, especially the South Park film, which is musically f**king genius. It was playing in Chicago when I was there, so I had to go and see it. It didn't disappoint; it was fantastic.

South Pacific

This was an unplanned one. While I was in Minneapolis, I'd just been walking around and it was playing at a theatre that I walked past, so I decided to give it a go, not really having any idea about it other than being familiar with a couple of songs. It turned out to be really good. The staging especially was excellent. It's kind of dated though. The main theme is about multicultural relationships/racism, which no doubt was a big deal at the time it came out, but nobody bats an eye when a teenager who doesn't speak English is given/whored out to a navy officer by her mother; that's apparently fine because obviously the simpering , subservient tramp falls in love with him at first sight.

Matilda

I'd never been particularly interested in it, but wanted to try and catch something while I was in London and had plans for the Saturday I was there, so had to find something with shows on Sundays, which basically left this or Jersey Boys I think. I thought it was great though. Lyrically, it was very clever, it looked great and the choreography was stunning. Horrendous child abuse has never been so much fun!

The Merchant of Venice

Just saw this last night. I kind of regretted buying the tickets at first since I'm not a massive Shakespeare fan. I totally "get" it, but have mostly experienced it in an academic setting - either learning it or teaching it - rather than trying to enjoy any of his stuff as entertainment. Plus, tickets here are always expensive; I paid about £65 for it when the identical tour/production cost £35 for the same seats in the UK.

It was fantastic. It's a Globe Theatre production with Jonathan Pryce, and is on a tour now before finishing up at London's Globe for a bit. Anyway, it was an excellent treatment of the play, with an added, non-spoken scene at the end which really highlighted how vile the ideas of the original play actually are. It looked great and had excellent live music and performances. Totally glad I went in the end.
 

Ben

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^Oooh I might try and see that in London, Merchant of Venice is probably my favourite Shakespeare play after fabulous, spiteful Macbeth and Jonathan Pryce <3

Nah it's sold out maybe not.
 

gavin

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^ Apparently they've filmed it for cinema and DVD release.
 

Lucy

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I saw the musical of the film Groundhog Day recently and it was really amazing (especially as I'm a fan of Tim Minchin who did the music and lyrics). I haven't seen the film but had an idea of what it was about and I loved it from the many impressive illusions to all the amusing bits in it. Unfortunately it's not on for long but I do hope it gets into the West End as it's well worth seeing.
 

gavin

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Verdi's Othello

An opera version of Shakespeare's play. I was totally unfamiliar with the play it's based on, but tend to like Verdi's music and generally like the whole scale/spectacle of a fully-staged opera, so thought I'd give it a go.

The storyline is pretty basic. A fat Italian man in blackface loses his s**t over a handkerchief and kills his wife and himself. The end.

It was pretty fab though. It looked really impressive, with huge sets and amazing costumes, the performers were excellent, especially the woman playing Desdemona and it had a huge cast and full orchestra - the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Definitely worth it.
 

peep

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Last night went to see a new play called Dead funny. Went expecting something really funny and well, it was in parts but it was mainly a very straight forward play with some over-used story tropes. The cast were awesome, included Katherine Parkinson (IT crowd), Steve Pemberton (League of Gentleman) and Ralf Little (Royale Family). There was also a man behind me that laughed way too much and far too loud for what was actually occurring, it was really weird.

Overall I was quite disappointed, oh well, not everything can be fantastic.
 

gavin

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I went twice last week.

Wicked

I'd kind of been putting it off since I could have seen it a couple of times in the past and never bothered, but I'll see more stuff here, despite the ridiculous prices, since it involves no effort to get to the theatres and Broadway/Westend stuff here is quite infrequent. I'd read the book years ago and hated it, so the musical never appealed.

Luckily, it's only very, very loosely based on the book. I loved the show. Visually, it's one of the best I've ever seen. Thinking about it, the music is a bit s**t for the most part, so it needs the visuals to distract from that.

Carmen

Visually not on the same scale as the show the night before, but musically far superior. I'm far from an expert on opera, so Carmen is great since there are so many recognisable tunes rather than long, meandering sections that you get in some of them. It's probably a great introduction to opera really; it's a lot more "musical" in that there are definite "numbers" that everyone knows.
 

peep

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Half a Sixpence

I had seen a lot of reviews pointing out how awesome the lead actor was and boy they were right, he was fantastic. He must be on stage for 90% of the show and his dancing, singing and acting was just top notch. I don't know how he never sounded out of breath. The rest of the cast were fab too, the song and dance numbers were a joy to watch - so much energy. The staging was really impressive too with a neat use of projections and set changes. Very tempted to go and see this for a second time.
 

gavin

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The Hong Kong Arts Festival is finishing up this weekend, so I've seen a bit of stuff over the last few weeks.

17 Border Crossings

A small-scale, on-man show with a guy basically telling stories about travelling across international borders, 17 of them to be precise. It sounds s**t, and went in thinking it was going to be a bit "Lonely Planet", douchebag traveller, but it wasn't. It was really well staged in terms of sound and lighting, and the guy was actually excellent, really engaging. He's been touring it around all over apparently, including the Edinburgh Festival. Worth 90-minutes out of your day if it pops up anywhere.

Dark Circus

By a French duo called Stereoptic. It's basically a projection show, but all done in real time from the sides of the screen, with live music, using painting, sand pictures, silhouettes etc., and it was really impressive. As the title suggests, it's about a circus, where all the acts are "one night only" because they all get killed at the end of their performances, falling from the trapeze, eaten by a lion, hit by a thrown knife etc.

All My Sons

A classic play by Arthur Miller, brought over by the UK's Rose Theatre. It's done by a well-renowned company, and Tony-award-winning director, and got rave reviews in the UK, but I really didn't think much to it. It seemed under-rehearsed, as if the cast haven't put it on for a while and just refreshed their memories of their lines on the plane over. Lots of interupting each other in clearly the wrong places, "dramatic" pauses which clearly weren't supposed to be there, and correcting themselves when they said something wrong. Borderline offensive really since we pay s**tloads more for theatre tickets here than in the UK. The play was f**king boring as all s**t anyway.

Cafe Muller and The Rite of Spring

Two dance performances from Pina Bausch. Well, her company anyway; she's been dead a few years. They're some of her earlier pieces which established her back in the '70s. Cafe Muller is more physical theatre than dance, and actually seems a bit dated now, not because it's not good, but because the style has been imitated so much since that you feel you've seen it all before. The Rite of Spring was stunning though. Apparently it caused OUTRAGE in the ballet scene since it went against all the conventions, but it's amazing. I don't even like dance, but I was blown away.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

LOVED IT. I've read a couple of Martin McDonagh's plays (not this one) and loved them, but never seen one performed. This production originally won a s**tload of awards, including four Tonys, and is now in a 20th anniversary revival tour with the same director, designer, and one of the actresses, who is now playing a different, older character. It's dark as f**k, but absoluely hilarious while being horrific and sad at the same time. The performances were amazing, the best I've seen in ages. It's going to the US after Hong Kong and then, I think, the UK. Highly recommended.

Dream of the Red Chamber

A new opera commissioned along with the San Francisco Opera for the arts festival. A load of big names were brought in to write, design and direct it. The guy who won an Oscar for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon did the set design, and it was stunning. It was kind of a werid mix though. It's based on a Chinese novel, set in China, with Chinese performers, but is sung in English and is very much a "Western" style opera, though with a few musical nods to Chinese music. So yeah, stunning to look at, but I was glad when it was over really.
 

peep

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I really want to see a Martin McDonagh play, I stupidly missed out on the last one that was on in London. Need to pay more attention!

Sounds like you've seen quite an interesting selection of shows though.

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peep

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Bringing this topic back from the dead a bit here but...

I saw Hamilton last week. Damn this show is incredible. I've listened to the soundtrack a few times trying to figure out what the hype was about and it never really clicked but seeing it in person I totally get the hype. The London cast were phenomenal (they sound even better than the Broadway cast recording) and I really liked the simple but effective staging. Urgh, now I want to see it again but feel like it's going to be a long time before that is possible.
 
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