that girl allison

I'm Allison. I see a ton of theatre. I'm a huge fan of Green Day, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Weezer, Oasis, Adam Rapp, Emily Giffin, and Shakespeare. I run sometimes, and do yoga always. My life has changed a lot in the last year, so this is my account of it all.

Email me at:
thatgirlallison08 at gmail dot com

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reviews // Green Day // theatre // books // dating // broadway // movies // food // recipes // cooking // off-broadway // restaurants // upper west side // upper east side // american idiot

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1) The amount of happiness that I have inside for when I do stupid little things like take out multiple bags of trash, hang out clothes, or unload the dishwasher is unbelievable. I hate doing these things so much but not doing them drives me insane too. Sometimes I think I was better at adulting when I was in college. 

2) I start my new job tomorrow. I’m not really nervous - more excited than anything else - and I’d like to keep it that way! This is the first time I’ve ever transitioned between jobs. Usually layoffs occurred, or an internship ended, but I’ve never had the privilege (or stress) of saying thank you for everything but I’m leaving to one job and starting a new one. I’m still going to be working advertising so I think I’ll wear a black dress with my teal blazer. I would’ve gone to TJ Maxx when I got back to the city but they closed for the day. 

3) Happy opening to The Cripple of Inishmaan tonight! I’ll be seeing you on Tuesday night with a friend that I haven’t seen in way too long.

4) I think I’m going to have to go see Hedwig again very soon (or you know, attempt the lottery again soon). The original off-Broadway cast recording has been bringing some tears to my eyes lately. (Read my review from last weekend here.) 

Writing about If/Then is something I’ve been tossing around in my mind for several days now. I saw it two weeks ago in (obviously) amazing seats and I love the cast, but I’m not sure what I thought about the show as a whole.

The show tells the story of a woman named Elizabeth (Menzel) who moves back to New York City after 10 yeas of living with her husband in Arizona and the two ways her life could’ve played out based on one decision in a park the day she returns. I’d heard that it was incredibly confusing in DC and I was sitting (by chance) next to a friend who’d seen it there but said the only difference was that in one of her “lifes” she would put on glasses. This definitely help make things a bit clearer, but things were still a bit confusing.

The score is beautiful and I could definitely relate to Elizabeth’s worrying and overanalyzing personality (unfortunately). Anthony Rapp as her best friend Lucas was wonderful, of course, but I don’t know if I believed that he was in love with Elizabeth. LaChanze brought down the house as per usual when she’s onstage as Elizabeth’s other best friend Kate. James Snyder (Menzel’s husband in one life, Josh) and Jerry Dixon (Menzel’s boss in the other life) were both lovely too.

The bit of confusion in the actual plot aside, I was left wondering why I should really care about Elizabeth. I knew both sides of the story, what was left to wonder? Her story didn’t end up being extraordinary either way. But one thing that I did like the fact that she ended up meeting Josh one way or another.

After seeing the show I learned that it was never meant to be your typical linear story but it was only changed to be that way after the confusion of average theatregoers (who’d probably have been happier watching My Fair Lady) down in DC. I’d love to listen to Kitt and Yorkey talk about writing this…

Anyways, if this review sparked your interest in the show, then you should definitely go see it. 

As long as I’m still under 35, I’m going to take advantage of HipTix as I did a couple of weekends ago when I saw a preview of Violet at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre. I’d worked on a production of the show during my junior year of college and I loved the music and the show, despite it’s heaviness in religion. I’d really wanted to catch the weekend-only workshop at Encore’s last year but I was thrilled when Roundabout announced it as part of their season.

The star of Violet is really Joshua Henry as Flick. He brings down the house every time he opens his mouth and you almost forget that Sutton Foster is even in the cast. That’s not to say that Foster isn’t great - she is, as she always is, but Henry just steals the show. Colin Donnell was also pretty great as Flick’s partner-in-crime, Monty. 

Violet is simple, not flashy, and beautifully sung by a top-notch cast. Good job, Roundabout. 

Last Thursday night I saw ONCE for the first time in two years since it was in previews in 2012. I’d forgotten (almost) how beautiful this show is. The cast was almost completely different but it was still the same show. We somehow ended up in the front row on the right side, which was kind of amazing too. 

I felt almost like a newcomer to the show after not seeing it for two years and I think it’s held up beautifully. Paul Alexander Nolan is a great “Guy” and Joanna Christie is enjoyable as “Girl” (though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss Milioti a bit).

If you haven’t seen this one in a while, give it another go. I’ll be seeing it again for sure in another 2 years. 

Tickets were provided by the production. 

Don’t you hate that question in interviews? You’re supposed to turn it into a positive, right? “Working too hard!” “I can never leave before the job is done!” I think most interviewers can see right through that crap nowadays though. 

In my last interview I decided to be honest about this. And what was my answer? I sometimes feed off my colleague’s stress. I’ve gotten pretty fantastic at managing stress (through therapy and meditation, mostly) but when my coworkers get stressed out, I sometimes have trouble not letting it affect me.

I’m fine in stressful situations, but watching someone next to me crumble and huff and puff over something that’s not life-threatening? It’s not necessary and it’s not helpful, to themselves or anyone in the room. 

So next time you’re getting stressed out, think about how you’re effecting the energy of the room and take a breath. Unless you are saving lives, it’s not a life-or-death matter. 

Oh, and I got the job. I start on Monday and I’m super excited to be transitioning from finance to digital media. Sometimes it pays to be honest :)

Before seeing the late-late performance of Hedwig… on Saturday night, we had purchased tickets via TDF for the matinee of Mothers and Sons. Another 90 minute show? Music to our ears. I’m not a huge Tyne Daly fan (she’s good, but I wouldn’t go see something just because she was in it) but I was excited to see Bobby Steggert.

The play, by Terrence McNally, was about a mother (Tyne Daly) dropping in on the partner (Frederick Weller) of her deceased son and how she reacts when she learns he has a new life, including a husband (Bobby Steggert) and a son (Grayson Taylor). Her son died 20 years prior (due to AIDS complications) though his former partner’s new life is still confusing to her. She’s also still in denial about her son and thinking that New York City “turned” him gay.

There were solid, great performances throughout and I was never once bored or checking my Playbill. This is definitely one I’d recommend (and, come on, it’s only 90 minutes).

Rant: Four cell phones went off in 90 minutes. FOUR. When Steggert was giving the BC/EFA speech, he called one out too, “And if your cell phone went off during the performance, feel free to give $75,000! Yes, sir, you!” Appropriate? Yes.

Am I the only one who doesn’t care that it snowed a tiny bit (more like an ice storm, really) in New York last night? I was inside with no need to leave my apartment, which I suppose helps, but people are still complaining today about it.

Put on your big person boots and deal with it. It’s been a funky season so we should’ve been expecting this. Luckily I’m a procrastinator sometimes and my boots were never packed away, so they’re still out front and center for me to use today.

Come on, New Yorkers, you can get it together.

Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Casa Valentina (written by Harvey Fierstein) was both educational and thought provoking. Inspired by true events that took place at the Chevalier d’Eon Resort in the Catskills in 1962, it was about a small group of men (all claiming to be heterosexual with wives and children at home) who would come to the resort to spend the weekends dressing in drag. It is an interesting notion to think that there are men who like dressing in women’s clothing just for fun who are straight and vice versa. it’s one that I’m still trying to sort through in my head.

Brilliant performances were given all around, starting with Patrick Page and Mare Winningham as George and Rita, the resort’s owners, to John Collum and Tom McGowan as some of the regulars at the resort.

Though I found it a bit slow during a couple of moments, I still enjoyed it. It showed me something new, something real.

In my opinion, word of mouth and internet hype is a large part of what makes or breaks a show nowadays (yes, even a Disney show). Do you remember when bad word of mouth basically killed Spider-man before it started previews? The New York Times rave can never hurt for native New Yorkers but word of mouth is a driving force in a shows success. I know you think you can rely on your brand alone for success but as you’ve experience before with Tarzan and The Little Mermaid this isn’t always the case. (Though I hear your latest is much better than those.)

This brings me to Aladdin. I hear it’s pretty great but I’m not sure how I’m, and people with a budget like me, are going to get to see it. I’ve been hearing horror stories of people getting to the rush line at 4:30am and still not getting tickets six hours later. This, in short, is ridiculous. The parents and once-a-year show-goer is not who’s going to spread the word of Aladdin’s potential greatness. It’s the person who’s willing to wait for a few hours on a weekend morning for a rush ticket that will blog and tweet about their experience during and after the show. I also recognize that the people who can pay $40 for a ticket aren’t going to keep your show alive financially, but they can most certainly keep the excitement about your show alive and encourage those who can afford a $150 to go drop the cash. 

In short: I hope you start designating seats for rush or, better yet, a lottery. Because even though you’re Disney, your shows still need publicity from the little people.

Edit: Ask and you shall receive:

Two weeks ago I saw the off-Broadway production of Jasper in Deadland at the West End Theater on the Upper West Side. Produced by the Prospect Theater Company, Deadland features a book by Broadway veteran Hunter Foster and music and lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver. It also starred Matt Doyle which is never a bad thing.

Jasper in Deadland, a modern retelling of Orpheus, centers around Jasper’s adventure into the underworld (deadland, or perhaps purgatory) to save his friend Gretchen who kills herself after revealing her feelings for him.

The music is really good and the story has a couple of plot twists that I didn’t see coming (because I wasn’t familiar with the story of Orpheus). I really enjoyed Matt Doyle and Allison Scagliotti (Gretchen), and honorable mention needs to be given to F. Michael Haynie who brought down the house with his solo. 

I’m not sure Jasper in Deadland will ever see a long run, but I kind of hope it does!