Failing to win various contests to get to see West Side Story, I chanced upon a tweet from Broadway Across Canada letting people know about half price tickets’ availability at Tickets Tonight, which I only learned until then.
Securing the tickets was really easy as I went so early in the morning, thinking line ups similar to NYC’s TKTS, but no, there wasn’t any line up at all, and the staff was basically waiting for people to assist. But I am digressing already…
The evening performance was done by the full cast except for one, and once inside the Queen E Theatre, you can feel the audience’s energy pre-show.
The show itself was what I expected it to be. The Jerome Robbins’ original choreography done flawlessly by the ensemble, providing effective support to the principals.
Mary Joanna Grisso, who played Maria, did the part so well and her chemistry with her Tony, Jarrad Biron Green, was wonderful, they came across very believable in portraying the couple you can see how the audience appreciated them come curtain call.
Bias and all, though, the most stand out character for me will be Anita. It’s always had been Anita, and Michelle Alvez couldn’t have done it any better. She differentiated herself from the familiar portrayal by Rita Moreno, yet, retaining the fire and spunk, and heart that the character calls for.
The pre-show and intermission scrim
The orchestra pit, taken during intermission
In a nutshell, this production, which is the same 2009 version on Broadway, was an effective one in getting this generation to experience the classic.
I got this pull out ad from the New Yorker and I can’t believe its been 10 years now!
The sad thing is… I have yet to see a production of this musical. The show had been produced at least 3-4 times here in Vancouver by the Arts Club Theatre during the mid to late 00′s for their holiday musical series, but for some reason, I never got the chance to catch it. And of course, by the time I was going to commit to seeing it on the next holiday season, they decided to stage a different musical.
April 2013, Queen Elizabeth Theater, Vancouver, BC – At first, I wasn’t too keen on seeing the show but within the first 10 minutes, I was pleasantly surprised by how the story and songs were coming to, finding myself engrossed by the show, despite some lines which I could not make out due to the heavy accents played by the performers.
I especially like Janet Dickinson’s rendition of Mrs. Wilkinson, often funny, sarcastic, but played with heart. Noah Parets played Billy in this performance and he did not disappoint, in fact, his dance routines will take your breath away. Now I wish I could have seen the other 2 Billys playing the part and see how they fare.
As for the other child performers, I just admire the talent they had shown at such a young age in a show that I can only imagine to be very demanding.
Billy Elliott was a great surprise and since then, I had been listening to the London Cast Recording non stop. Now I understand what the hype was all about when it was still paying on Broadway. Oh and yeah, it won best musical
Donna Vivino played Elphaba at the Wicked tour I saw at the Paramount Theater in Seattle. So nice to see her doing new work!
I had neglected the blog for more than a year now so most posts will be past shows I’ve attended since. I haven’t even done posting the really old ones and hopefully I can pick up from here, well, from the post 2 days ago at least.
My trip to London Summer 2013 cannot be complete without attending a show so we looked for one that was available. We only spent a few nights there so I didn’t want to be too choosy.
So the show we were able to get into was Dirty Dancing at the Picadilly Theater
Found out that the show was not really a musical but rather, a show that had lots of music. Music from the show playing on the background. There were some singing, of course, but not like the usual musical, and there was no original song done, either. I realized later that even if the show had been running for quite sometime now, and even if a North American run had already gone in Toronto, there was no cast recording done, and that should have clued me in.
The saving grace for the show, though, was the choreography, and I think that was what kept the show running. Oh and the classic “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” line which, as expected, made the audience cheer.
Yay! Finally! One of my favourite musicals which I have not seen on stage up until early this year!
First thing I checked when I entered was the cast list. I was disappointed to see that Caroline Bowman was not performing but I kept an open mind about Desi Oakley, which was a good thing as I became an instant fan. Very glad to see that Josh young and Sean McLaughlin were performing that time, too, and was just floored by how great their voices were.
Josh would have been the perfect replacement for Ricky Martin I’m just wondering how that did not happen. The way that Desi’s song renditions were crystal clear you can really make out the words.
The sets were very basic, nothing overly grand that could have potentially over shadowed the performances or the story, nor was it underwhelming and the costumes just simply awesome.
This is only the curtain set before house lights fade; it’s not the actual show set
I didn’t expect to enjoy some numbers like “I’d Be Surprisingly Good For You” and “Art of the Possible” but surprisingly I did and I found it weird that the first applause was given at “Buenos Aires”, which is an expected showstopper anyway, and yes, it did take my breath away, as did “The Money Kept Rolling In”.
Met some cast after the show and they were gracious and accommodating enough to pose for pictures and sign the programme, especially Sean McLaughlin who stayed the longest with his family to mingle with the audience.