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Lets Talk live Theatre; Drake Theatrical

 UPDATE 3/10

*I do not like giving bad reviews, so I take no joy in this.

Bad Wedding is what it should have been called or Terrible Director Wedding.

Hi if you want the readers guide version all the bad elements were the directors fault and I felt bad for the students doing there best with poor direction and a crappy play.

Ok I was a usher for the show. I should have know this was going to be bad due to there being only 1 other person signed up to usher. Furthermore when a cast member went to pick up her reserved tickets her initial 9 dropped to 2 tickets also shoulda known then.

The director also never said anything including a thank you to me or the other usher, rude.

The set was in a black box theatre due to its size the set was minimalist and ultra modern. Trouble was the story was about a heartland of america family. Ultra modern. . . .heartland of america.  Clashing already.

The first thing I saw was that the actors were moving about the space as the audience came in thats totaly fine and was kinda fun when having some minimal interaction with them.

Costumes. Here is one of the more jarring things. Everyone had wigs on. Thats fine, but the wigs were woven not actual hair so they looked odd. I assumed ok there”home spun people” so the wigs were actually home spun haha I get it. BUT the issue was they had crazy styles, a lot of dreadlocks and colors that were crazy. Heartland of America – – -ultra crazy colors and style wigs . . . .odd. The main character the groom looked like rifraf from Rocky Horror, not even a touch embellishing.

Theme the costumes were color coordinated with he groom and his mother in blue and the bride and her family in red. Ok that’s fine only issue was the supporting characters were also in red. Theme smashed.

Movement: ughhhhhhhh nothing irritates me more than movement its very important to a character. If one person is moving in a odd fashion thats there fault but when everyone is walking with toes pointed and long steps like a spider thats the cast being TOLD to do that. That means the director told these poor college students to walk like that which was totaly weird looking and frankly was a detriment to what they were saying bc you could focus on what they were saying bc they were moving so oddly.

Speech patterns: ughhhhhhhhh MONOTONE 90% of the time and not enough volume save for 2 servants. Again director told them to be all monotone for 90% of the show and should have told them to PROJECT!!!!!! Modern mic systems have ruined theatre students by not forcing them to learn how to project to the back of the audience.

The show itself was some sorta mixed between romeo and juliet, a greek tragedy and ancient choral performance.

The dramatic moments were punctuated in case you didn’t get it by a guy and a gal strumming a guitar and then doing a  DUN DUN DUNNNNN when drama acquired which was just silly.

Mood – modd is doom spelled backwards. This was a tragedy yes but you dont start out the show with everyone ughhh sullen were in a tragedy blaghhhh. HAMLET IS A TRAGEDY BUT HE DOESN’T KNOW HE IS GOING TO DIE AT THE BEGINING!!!!! Ugh so the majority of the cast might as well been going to a funeral.

Now had I not read the program prior t the show starting I woulda been really lost at the just past 1/2 way point suddenly 3 woodsmen come out to chop down trees. Never mind earlier on they said in the show that werent any trees except for a few bc the father never got around to planing any before he died. So why were there woodsmen when there WAS NO WOODS. They are the comic relif ok but they werent funy they were also given a weird marching and movement pattern that also was a distraction then all of a sudden the middle woodsman is getting some sorta mask put on his head and now he is walking diffrent as if frankly stoned off his ass. He gives this loooong speech and I’m sitting there looking at him and saying what the hell. It then dawns on me that he is the moon. Had I not read the program I woullda had no clue what the hell was going on.

Then this other weird chick pops out and she was either death or the night or  oh who fucking knows, and she starts ranting and saying the lovers will die over there. She then chatters to herself and is shaking with glee as the final events happen.

Thank GOD somebody dies show over!!!! NO no not over DAMN IT! 30 more minutes lamenting about what happened and the bride going to the grooms mother covered in the torn red strips that I’m sure were supposed to be the blood of the victims. She wants the mother to know she didn’t sleep with the other guy she only ran away with him. The mother basically says who cares about your virtue people are dead and the show FINALLY THANK GOD ends with the two of them frozen holding the knife in there hands. ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh soooooo awful

No one claps.  The director then claps and the audience then joins in.

Now while watchig this I took alook at the audience. The other usher had his hands on his face and slouched forward with a look that was “what the hell”. The guy beside me turns to his group behind him and says I want to leave. The younger couple in the group every time the cast started chanting  kept saying ugh oh my god what the fuck is going on. The other people behind me were groaning. Men had there arms crossed and the body language of I just knew it I coulda been watching tv but nooooo.

So it was terrible. Everything about it was terrible. BUT it wasn’t the student actors fault. They were obviously told what to do. They also as young actors were being robbed of knowing how to interact with he audience because the show was so crappy the audience couldn’t react without being rude.  So they were not learning anything.

The director also picked this shit show. I get it, college is about pushing boundaries and doing shows that are not typical.I have a degree in theatre, I’ve been there, I KNOW. BUT when you pick a show just to be different and it will not ENTERTAIN the audience then your just being pretentious. You don’t have to do the Importance of Being Earnest and Mouse Trap every where and every year but you dont pick stuff that will be a total dog and nobody will go to once they hear how bad it is. Acting is about entertaining. Dont pick a show that 98% of your audience will hate.

The poor house manager had to sit through the previews and 2 weeks of performances. He asked me what I thought and after a loooong pause I said. Well. . . , ugh  its different. He snickered and said yep . . .  .that’s what i said ( he sighs as if in pain) its . . different.

I hate writing bad reviews and I don’t think I picked on anybody. But bad is bad and with this show is blatantly  1 guys fault. The director.

So if you ever have a chance to go see Blood Wedding FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T!

If your friends are in it  politely say you have the flu and just cant go.

Sorry Universe and Facebook Fans this was just plain terrible. Hopefully the next show I see wont be.

 

 

 

Update 2/3

Well I Saw Into the Woods.

Umm, it was . . . .HIT AND MISS. Yeah that’s a good way to put it. I haven’t seen it in over 8 years so I forgot a lot of it.

I also forgot how I didn’t like it when I saw it last.  The film was well very preaty to look at the colors and costumes were really great as were the effects. So no complaints with the technical stuff.

 

But this is a Musical not a summer blockbuster . . what about the music? The music was given a large sound treatment which sounded great.  The performances well as I said Hit and miss. The real standout was not The witch played by Meryl Streep. Though she did a great job. It was Anna Kendrick. She sounded great and had some of the best moments in the film. Her song on the steps of the palace was really a highlight of the film.

 

Great right

Johnny Depp Stole the movie in his few scenes all centered around the “little girl” song which was deliciously evil. I wanted more of him but didnt get it. I cant remember if the wolf was in it more in the stage show or not. But the film woulda have benefited from more of him. Also HIGHLIGHT.

ughh soooo fun love it . . . .”For Granny” hahahah

 

Favorite Song and Scene was AGONY

 

As you can see it is just fantastic and goofy and over the top and WHAT CHRIS PINE CAN SING?!?!?!?! I laughed my ass off at this

But that’s the thing this was literally the best part of the movie bc it was light and funny. You can do this musical in one of 2 ways tongue in cheek poking fun at the fairy tales and the Disney eske versions we know so well. Or you can take it really serious and it frankly just doesn’t work as well that way. When they went funny and over the top it worked.When they went serious save for : Meryl’s “Stay with me”  it didnt work.

I might say she had a much better time with singing here as compared to Mama Mia

Now another stand out was Emily Blunt as the Bakers wife she really had it  on the nose she took every comedic option she got and was willing to go over the top and yet played the more emotional scenes really well. I think she was the best performer in the entire movie by far. Yes Streep was good very good but Blunt had more to work with and made the character not 2 dimensional.

See what I mean. Notice the pair though  . . . yeah

But the movie itself felt about a half an hr too long and the ending really really rushed. I’m assuming there were cuts made to keep it under 3 hrs like a typical stage show. But I know we find out why the evil step sisters go blind but it is not in the movie, I’m pretty sure it was a great scene in the stage show. perhaps its on the dvd cut scenes? Perhaps?

I also am pretty sure there was a reprise of Agony in the second act which was not in the movie. So I went away thinking well there really isn’t a song that you could come out of the theatre singing or find on the radio. It felt too long and too heavy.

So hit and miss. Perhaps a extended cut on the dvd would fix these things and the extra footage would make it better. But overall not bad. I paid full price  . . .not real thrilled about that when I coulda waied and saw it at the Dollar theatre by me.

I say B-

 

Update 12/31/14 

Well I’ll be adding to my list of reviews these 2 movies of coarse!

 

 Now this one I’ll be expecting a lot from. The 1st time I was in a adult relationship and in love for real for the first time (20 yrs old then) had this firmly part of it as recommended from Her to listen to. Memories set to music never fade. So I go into this one with good baggage. Shhhhh don’t tell I usually don’t dive into my personal life on here but its a special case 😉

 

 

What I wont be reviewing is :       

Because I couldn’t review it honestly due to the fact that I hate this musical that includes the original movie too. So anything I might say would be  . . .well more then usually down putting. So just best to say I’ll skip it. Though Should I for some insane reason see it at the $1 theatre near me I have no idea why I’d go  but if I did I would simple say  PASS or Fail.

Though I do love Cameron Diaz  and Jamie Fox but still its Annie BLAGHHHHH

 

 

Up Date 12/23

Wow I cant believe how much I have neglected one of the most important pages on this blog. So I’m changing that.

Here is what you should be getting  used to here on this page in the future.

1. Reviews of plays and musicals in and around my usual stomping ground in Ohio

 

2. Up dates on how I am coming along with getting the Theatrical Prop Items crafted and decisions related to that. 

 

 

 

3. Reviews on current movie musicals    or films based on plays

 

4. Also plays and musicals I’ve recently watched on

So Things will be much much busier here on this page.

Now Here is my Schedule for shows I’ll be going to starting in Jan. ( not an exhaustive list )

 

Dec.?:   I might get to it before jan but maybe not. (Yes the picture is moving)

Jan.:     

 

Feb.:   The Giver     &     Spring Awakening

 

March:   addams   

 

April:    

 

May:   

 

 

 

Lets Talk Theatre

July 30

Tangled_poster_c frozen-poster-small

Hi Universe, we are talking about Disney’s most recent HIT musicals.

Now important thing to mention here is The Music from Tangled was by Alan Menkin he has brought us many hit musicals for Disney but I might point out their probably #1 or #2 mega hit Beauty and The Beast.

Now we cant bauck at Frozens creators  Kristen Anderson-Lopez (‘In Transit,’ ‘Winnie the Pooh’) and Tony Award-winning songwriter Robert Lopez (‘Avenue Q,’ ‘The Book of Mormon’), plus a phenomenal score by the composer of last year’s Oscar-winning short ‘Paperman,’ Christophe Beck. I was shocked that Alan Menkin didn’t actually do Frozen because it sounds like him.

Ok here is a look at how many songs were made for these movies.

81oC6t66YGL__SL1500_ Tangled 8 songs on soundtrack

91sUS1moZdL__SY355_PJautoripBadge,BottomRight,4,-40_OU11__ Frozen 9 songs on soundtrack

 81etFyb9N-L__SL1500_  Beauty and the Beast 11

(technically 10 if you don’t get the version that has human again on it)

Now live stage shows usually have 16+ and yes that does include reprises.

So if their is to be a Live production mounted there will have to be some additions and reprises added. This isn’t a big deal Lion King added a few and its done just fine :Broadway, Touring Shows, & A crap load of Tony Awards.

Now Tangled has several songs that didn’t make it into the film according to Menkin. This is usually the case for these movies so I would not be surprised if their were extras also for Frozen.

Now I know what your saying that’s all fine and good but how to you get Rapunzels hair to glow on command and  how do you get Elsa’s costume change when she uses her powers as an adult?

Well that’s easy. Thanks to modern technology and fiber optic and led light technology makes this possible.

Yep a wig for Rapunzel with a battery pack and connected to a whole lotta fiber optic cables sewn into it.

Ok you’ll say that’s awesome but what about that costume change.

NO problem. at the country music awards a led light dress was worn by one of the female performers. she had it change through the progression of the song different looks that complimented the changing background. Expensive oh you betcha but really friggen cool HELL YEAH!!!

Actually the HARDEST part to these two shows is the lantern scene in tangled. Fire code is very strict about live fire on stage. So I’m still working that out but it will be a combination of several effects at ounce.

Now as far as the casting is concerned these are fairly standard sounding musicals with not a huge vocal range required. HOWEVER, when you got Idina Menzel  (Elphaba from Wicked and mime in Rent)

180px-MTS2_sunken-woglinde_623691_broadwayIdinaNoGoodDeed (smile . . .I gotta thing for Green chicks  what can I say green is hot;)

you cant have any old gal sing “Let it Go” especially since she rocked that song out so awesomely. Oh yeah a lighter in each hand and waving in the air!!!!!!!! So Elsa’s casting very important.

Also a crucial Casting for Tangled is Rapunzels Mother  . . .the witch. Now I do not now if the character design was on purpose to look like Bernadette Peters but she does look just like and even sound similar. The way you love to hate her and her aloof self absorbed personality is not easy to seem sweet and not totally bitchy. Its a very fine line to tread.

The other fun thing to mention by the way is the cultural elments that can be worked in when thinking about Frozen. Its based off one of Hans Christian Andersons tales. The beginning of the films chant sound like a native amercian chant so it made me think of the Inuit people and Alaska. Though the guy was in the shack that had the out fit for Anna was clearly Swiss so it could be the Swiss Alps but that can be cleared up with a little extra research. Anyway the point is these cultural elments can be worked into the fine details such as the Procenium arch, the stage curtains, the buildings architecture and of course costumes.

Frozen is a show where the tech director can really go crazy and should be allowed too.

Tangled, not so much it is a generic kingdom the most prevalent element is the festival of the lanterns and that is something that should only be used for those two songs or it will lessen the impact of the visual elements contributing to the awesomeness of the songs.

Well Universe these are my thoughts any more will be touch much and get really in-depth plus you know how to accomplish much of the show as I see it.

So how bout you put your 2 cents worth in what Have I over looked?

Enjoy the clips My favorite from each show, plus how Frozen Should have ended heheheh;)

Frozen- behind the scenes Idina talks about how the song is more then just for the movie

 

Tangled – yep I’m a big softy for the romantic always have been REAL Men wear pink and like romance

Frozen how it should have ended

 

 

 

 

July 15

School Districts and Theatre and Levys (taxes)

no_taxes-450x350

To Rent or Not to Rent that is the question, whether tis nobler to rent they own set or to take up arms and create thy own?

It really all comes down to $ money. Some Schools are well Funded others are not. In Ohio most schools are funded by School levies. These Levies are property and business taxes in the community surrounding the school district. I might point out that the levy system has twice been deemed Unconstitutional, yet has not been replaced.  So if people don’t want higher taxes they don’t vote for the levy, it then fails and programs ( THE ARTS) get cut. When that happens the budget if theatre survives the cuts ( hardly ever) is very very small.

This just doesn’t work for me. So I made the Levy proof Theatre System, and it is a service offered from Drake Theatrical. Drake theatrical builds sets and set pieces. We offer individual items not just package deals like most rental companies do.

We believe that their is more to theatre then just having a pile of money and renting what ever you wish. Skills that come from set construction can help students find their niche.

Building a set or part of one is much cheaper then rental but it takes time to get it performance ready as well as the space in which is to be constructed may be used for other things and doesn’t lend itself to a couple weeks of building. So their are pluses and minuses.

Drake theatrical takes this all into consideration and helps these programs that are constantly skating on thin ice to maximize there income potential. Maybe rent a set is better for you perhaps not . . . either way can you turn a profit? What we do is in-conjunction with the school to have multiple means of income and many different money saving plans. We help you to run solely on the money made from your fundraising programs, events, and tickets. That means No money from the district to run (except for the teachers salary) the program. Thus making the program safe from a failed levy.

So the Question is have you been part of a theatre program and what happened to it?

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