Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Sundae for Sunday!

 Anastasia opened on Broadway in April!
Composer/lyricist team
Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens
wrote some of the music (6 songs)
20 years ago for the animated movie version...
and have now added 16 more for the staged production.
Above, Nicole Scimeca as the young Anastasia 
and Mary Beth Peil as the Dowager Empress.

 A book by Terrence McNally, 
lush orchestrations by Doug Besterman 
and great design elements by Aaron Rhyne, Alexander Dodge, and 
Donald Holder.
Above and center, Christy Altomare in her Broadway debut
as Anya,
and scary Russian ghosts.

Above, Caroline O'Connor and John Bolton,
with "The Countess And The Common Man".

 Derek Klena and Christy, above and below.
Reviews have been a mixed bag:
Ben Brantley wrote that like Anastasia, the character,
..."the show has its own troubling case of multiple personality disorder"
with death squads murdering royals in one scene,
and comic relief "do overs" (as in My Fair lady "do overs")
in the next. 

 Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
is another blast from the past. 
This go-round it has Christian Borle
(late of Something Rotten! and Falsettos)
as the Wonk-meister.
In its previous West End version, 
the children were played by children,
the Oompah Loompahs by Oompah Loompahs...
but on Broadway we have wee and not so wee 
(Augustus, above, in the sweater) adults.
We'll hear two of their selfish (shell-fish) solos,
"Veruca Says" and "The Queen Of Pop".

 According to some critics,
it's got "Sugar, But Not Enough Spice",
Christian was not found wanting, however...
playing Willie closer to Gene Wilder's take
than Johnny Depp's (thank the chocolate gods!).
The show uses music from the movie
by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
("The Candy Man", "Pure Imagination", etc.)
and new stuff by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman
(yes, those Hairspray dudes).

 The part of Charlie is alternated between 3 actors;
above is Ryan Foust,
below, Ryan Sell.
Both seem pretty excited to be wearing the same sweater.
(Oh, and then there's that ticket.)

 As Grandpa Joe is 
John Rubenstein
who, among other roles, played the original Pippin. 
Emily Padgett plays Charlie Bucket's mom.

Ryan Sell, Jack Ryan Flynn, and Ryan Foust...
3 mini Willies! 
(Change your name to Ryan pre-audition, okay kids?)

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