There are very few musicians who achieve the status of legend. It’s a term left only for those who have achieved greatness in their field, and left a lasting impression. It’s a title that is harder and harder to come by these days. It’s a title so highly regarded, that four legends made history on December 4, 1956. Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash all convened on Sun Studio, the studio that gave all these greats their starts, and laid a few tracks.
There isn’t a whole lot of story to be concerned about with Million Dollar Quartet. Most of the exposition is merely there to explain who each person is, why they are there, and how they became so important in the American music cultural landscape. What little story is there ties the play together very well, but the real show comes from the displayed songs, which are closer to a rock concert than a stage play.
The story is based on fact, but much of it is fiction. Many of the songs presented in the show never show up on the actual Million Dollar Quartet recordings, and are there to lend familiarity to the audience. The show does cover actual moments in the original sessions, including a nice rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Brown Eyed Handsome Man”, and many others.
There are many things that come to mind upon seeing War Horse, the first of which is the impressive puppetry work done within the show. The next thing is how the play accomplishes so much with so little. The setting starts out shortly before World War I in Devon, England, where young Albert Narracott, has just received a new horse from his father. His father, Ted, won the horse to spite his brother Arthur, and has spent the family’s mortgage money because of the heated sibling rivalry. Despite the way in which this came about, and the displeasure of his mother, Albert tries quickly to train and raise the horse, which he has named Joey.
We watch Joey grow up on stage, and blossom into a thoroughbred horse, which isn’t needed on the Narracott farm. When Albert’s father makes a bet with his brother for the horse, we see the true resolve of Albert and Joey. In order to keep the horse, Albert must teach Joey how to plow within a week, a daunting task given his breeding history. If he succeeds, he gets a promise from his father that he can keep the horse.
After seeing Next to Normal for the first time in 2011, there is no questions as to why it won 3 Tony Awards. Two of the three were for best original score and best orchestration, thanks in part to Mr. Tom Kitt. This raw and powerful rock musical is packed with music that completely takes over the audience, making it hard not to tap your foot along with each number. Kitt is also responsible for High Fidelity, a show which New Line revived from the dead on Broadway not only once, but for a second time in 2012 to rave reviews. This production of Next to Normal is no exception to their track record, full of moving performances and fantastic vocals.
What is normal? It is a question that is asked and answered subliminally throughout the show. As messed up as things may seem in your personal life, they may actually be closer to normal than you will ever know. Diana (Kimi Short) is the matriarch of what seems to be the “perfect loving family.” Her household is comprised of her husband Dan (Jeffrey M. Wright), daughter Natalie (Mary Beth Black) and son Gabe (Ryan Foizey). In the opening number ‘Just Another Day’ she sings, “so my son’s a little shit, my husband’s boring. And my daughter, though a genius, is a freak.” The beauty of the show comes from its truth, although often brutally honest, but nonetheless the truth. Sure, their family has problems. But who doesn’t? Yet something it also focuses on is mental illness, a subject that many have not been exposed to. Diana is on a strong regimen of drugs to suppress her bipolar disorder, something that is not easy on her family. As things get worse for Diana, her family finds it harder to coexist. The show takes her to multiple doctors, who prescribe her various treatments, while life continues to go on for her family around her. Read More [..]
After quickly becoming one of the most sought after Broadway shows to see, The Book of Mormon is finally going “door to door,” so-to-speak. In 2011 the brilliantly satirical musical, written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone along with Robert Lopez (co-creator of Avenue Q), won 9 Tony Awards including best musical. It also broke the record for top ticket price, commanding $487.25 for a prime orchestra seat (purchased within 48 hours of the performance). So why is the hilarious, and often times offensive, comedy so great? Aside from the fantastic performances and catchy music, The Book of Mormon does exactly what creators Parker and Stone are best known for – never pulling any of their punches.
Yo Gabba Gabba Live! retruns to the Fabulous Fox Theatre with the "Get The Sillies Out!" tour this Friday, January 18, 2013! This special performance will take place at 7:00 PM on Friday, and tickets are available now starting at $26.00. A limited number of VIP packages are also available. Purchase tickets at the Fox Box Office or by calling 314/534-1111. Order tickets online at www.metrotix.com.
Is your family ready to GET THE SILLIES OUT? Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! is going back on the road in 2013 with a new show, “Get the Sillies Out!” featuring the one and only DJ Lance Rock, plus Muno, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee, and Plex, and of course, hip hop legend Biz Markie.