that girl allison

I'm Allison. I see a ton of theatre. I'm a fan of Green Day, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Weezer, Oasis, Adam Rapp, Emily Giffin, and Shakespeare. I run sometimes, and do yoga always.

Email me at:
thatgirlallison08 at gmail dot com

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

Recent Tweets @thatgirlallison
Posts tagged "lincoln center theatre"

Last night Kristen and I took in a performance of Act One at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre. Adapted from Moss Hart’s autobiography of the same name by James Lapine, Act One told the story of Moss Hart’s upbringing in the theatre. I haven’t read the book yet but I think I’ve seen a few copies lying around the office so I’ll have to borrow it soon. 

Santino Fontano was young Hart and he was fabulous, as he usually is. Tony Shalhoub was excellent as an older Moss Hart and the exceedingly strange George Kaufman. Andrea Martin was hilarious and heartwarming as Moss’ aunt (who is basically responsible for his life in the theatre) and Kaufman’s wife. And who doesn’t love an a supporting role played by the marvelous Chuck Cooper? Yeah, not a soul.

Albeit it being a bit long (it was almost 3 hours), it was an educating and entertaining night at the theatre that any theatre aficionado should make a point to see this season. 

Tickets were provided by the production but not in exchange for any review. 

Yesterday was the annual post-holiday/new year Broadway death-spree. No, seriously. Almost a half-dozen shows closed. Chaplin, Grace, Dead Accounts, Elf, and War Horse all closed yesterday. 

I still didn’t make it to see Elf this year - but I’m not too sad about it. I am sad I didn’t get to see Dead Accounts because: Norbert Leo Butz. That’s why.

A friend of mine invited me to see Chaplin last Thursday, so I got to see it once more before it closed. I honestly enjoyed that show. I’m not sure how it got such a bad wrap, but that was unfortunate. I hope Rob McClure gets at least a TONY nomination. Grace was meh. And War Horse was just an incredible theatrical experience, but it was Lincoln Center so that couldn’t last forever. 

So as these shows fade (some unfortunately) from our memory, we look ahead to the rest of the 2012-2013 Broadway season. Fingers crossed that it’s more eventful than the fall.

I have to say that I knew nothing about Clybourne Park when I bought a ticket from TDF a couple of weeks ago. It had transfered from Lincoln Center and I’d heard it was amazing. I was 100% trusting the theatre community’s word-of-mouth. And I’m glad I did.  
Currently playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre on 48th Street, Clybourne Park is about two generations of opposite race coming and going in the same house. It touches on topics like race, class, and politics in general. The first act takes place in 1959 with a supremely effected white family (think Stepford Wives) moving out of their home after selling it to a black family, while the second act takes place in 2009, with a white couple wanting the buy the now completely in shambles house to tear it down and build something new. 
The cast is the same for both acts but they’re barely recognizable. The transformations they go through are incredible. They look somewhat the same at first and then you begin to remember who they played in the first act. And your jaw drops open. Frank Wood was the only name I recognized (as the angry father/dopey construction worker), but the rest of the cast, Crystal A. Dickinson, Brendan Griffin, Damon Gupton, Christina Kirk, Annie Parisse, and Jeremy Shamos, were equally as excellent.  The intermission is extremely long (they have to transform the house entirely, so it’s understandable).
I know there’s been a bit of vitriol around this play, but I don’t understand it. Go and check it out for yourself. I promise you’ll laugh at least once.

I have to say that I knew nothing about Clybourne Park when I bought a ticket from TDF a couple of weeks ago. It had transfered from Lincoln Center and I’d heard it was amazing. I was 100% trusting the theatre community’s word-of-mouth. And I’m glad I did.  

Currently playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre on 48th Street, Clybourne Park is about two generations of opposite race coming and going in the same house. It touches on topics like race, class, and politics in general. The first act takes place in 1959 with a supremely effected white family (think Stepford Wives) moving out of their home after selling it to a black family, while the second act takes place in 2009, with a white couple wanting the buy the now completely in shambles house to tear it down and build something new. 

The cast is the same for both acts but they’re barely recognizable. The transformations they go through are incredible. They look somewhat the same at first and then you begin to remember who they played in the first act. And your jaw drops open. Frank Wood was the only name I recognized (as the angry father/dopey construction worker), but the rest of the cast, Crystal A. Dickinson, Brendan Griffin, Damon Gupton, Christina Kirk, Annie Parisse, and Jeremy Shamos, were equally as excellent.  The intermission is extremely long (they have to transform the house entirely, so it’s understandable).

I know there’s been a bit of vitriol around this play, but I don’t understand it. Go and check it out for yourself. I promise you’ll laugh at least once.

Another play I missed off-Broadway at Lincoln Center last season was Other Desert Cities.  ODC may be the most perfect family drama to be written in a very long time (possibly I enjoyed it more than ‘07’s August Osage County).  It’s the timeless tale of what happens when the scarred daughter of a famous political family writes a tell-all about her brother’s suicide (which was largely, she believes, due to her family’s political doings), and what happens when she comes home for the holidays to tell her family the news that it’s been picked up to be published.

The cast is outstanding. Thomas Sadowski is absolutely heart-breaking as the brother, and Judith Light is hilarious and relentless as the helpless, alcoholic, semi-estranged aunt. The rest of the cast, including Rachel Griffiths, Stockard Channing, and Stacy Keach, are all outstanding in their own right.

Family secrets are revealed and (main character’s) life is turned upside down, her beliefs are completely leveled. I don’t want to give anything away, but ODC is inexplicably brilliant. If you’re under 30, you can get tickets via LincTix for $30 (which is what I did, and I wound up in the front row!). So do yourself a favor and get yourself over to the Booth Theatre ASAP. 

Another play I missed off-Broadway at Lincoln Center last season was Other Desert Cities.  ODC may be the most perfect family drama to be written in a very long time (possibly I enjoyed it more than ‘07’s August Osage County).  It’s the timeless tale of what happens when the scarred daughter of a famous political family writes a tell-all about her brother’s suicide (which was largely, she believes, due to her family’s political doings), and what happens when she comes home for the holidays to tell her family the news that it’s been picked up to be published.

The cast is outstanding. Thomas Sadowski is absolutely heart-breaking as the brother, and Judith Light is hilarious and relentless as the helpless, alcoholic, semi-estranged aunt. The rest of the cast, including Rachel Griffiths, Stockard Channing, and Stacy Keach, are all outstanding in their own right.

Family secrets are revealed and (main character’s) life is turned upside down, her beliefs are completely leveled. I don’t want to give anything away, but ODC is inexplicably brilliant. If you’re under 30, you can get tickets via LincTix for $30 (which is what I did, and I wound up in the front row!). So do yourself a favor and get yourself over to the Booth Theatre ASAP. 

I believe I’ve seen every play that’s come to fruition on Broadway this season.  One of the most magical experiences you’ll have in a Broadway house is at War Horse, adapted by Nick Stafford, which by no coincidence is probably my favorite play of the season.  To explain why War Horse is so breathtaking reduces it to sound like a cheesy junior high play.  To really understand what the company does on stage, you have to actually see it.
War Horse is an uncomplicated story about boy, Albert (Seth Numrich), in England whose father, Arthur (T. Ryder Smith) buys him a horse and the bond that’s created between the two of them (the boy and the horse).  The father, who’s a raging drunk, sells the horse into the army as the First World War is starting and the boy runs away to join the army and find him.  There’s also the conflict of the rivalry between Arthur and Ted (Boris McGuiver) and his son, Billy (Matt Doyle).
The horse, as a foal, is controlled by three people, and as a mammoth stallion, a total of four people work to bring together a few costume pieces and fabric and create what is nothing short of amazing.  One cast member controls the head and makes the incredibly precise sounds that an actual horse would make.  
There is a tiny bit of singing, mostly English hymns.  The acting is fantastic all around (a favorite of mine was Matt Doyle) and the minimalistic set (by Rae Smith) lets the incredible creation of the horse come to life.  The lighting (Paule Constable) and sound (Christopher Shutt) designs are also breathtaking.   Credit is also due to the directors, Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones.  
I’ve not done the show justice in my description but if you spend money to see one play this season, War Horse is worth every single penny.  The design of the show leaves you wondering if $65 million dollar spectacles, like Spider-man, are really necessary when you can simply ask the audience to suspend reality for 2 hours and use their imagination just a tiny bit.   
(photo via)

I believe I’ve seen every play that’s come to fruition on Broadway this season.  One of the most magical experiences you’ll have in a Broadway house is at War Horse, adapted by Nick Stafford, which by no coincidence is probably my favorite play of the season.  To explain why War Horse is so breathtaking reduces it to sound like a cheesy junior high play.  To really understand what the company does on stage, you have to actually see it.

War Horse is an uncomplicated story about boy, Albert (Seth Numrich), in England whose father, Arthur (T. Ryder Smith) buys him a horse and the bond that’s created between the two of them (the boy and the horse).  The father, who’s a raging drunk, sells the horse into the army as the First World War is starting and the boy runs away to join the army and find him.  There’s also the conflict of the rivalry between Arthur and Ted (Boris McGuiver) and his son, Billy (Matt Doyle).

The horse, as a foal, is controlled by three people, and as a mammoth stallion, a total of four people work to bring together a few costume pieces and fabric and create what is nothing short of amazing.  One cast member controls the head and makes the incredibly precise sounds that an actual horse would make. 

There is a tiny bit of singing, mostly English hymns.  The acting is fantastic all around (a favorite of mine was Matt Doyle) and the minimalistic set (by Rae Smith) lets the incredible creation of the horse come to life.  The lighting (Paule Constable) and sound (Christopher Shutt) designs are also breathtaking.   Credit is also due to the directors, Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones.  

I’ve not done the show justice in my description but if you spend money to see one play this season, War Horse is worth every single penny.  The design of the show leaves you wondering if $65 million dollar spectacles, like Spider-man, are really necessary when you can simply ask the audience to suspend reality for 2 hours and use their imagination just a tiny bit.   

(photo via)

It was a LCT-filled week last week after I saw A Free Man of Color, by John Guare, on Saturday night at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in Lincoln Center, starring Mos (formerly known as Mos Def), Jeffrey Wright, and John McMartin, among others.  A historical script about New Orleans’ colorful culture right before the historical Louisiana Purchase, bringing American law to New Orleans.  Since it’s 1801, that means it’ll be bringing slavery as well.
I felt the script was a bit convoluted and I had trouble figure out what was happening a lot of the time, hence my inability to remember what exactly happened.  I think Jacques Cornet (pictured on the playbill above) was sold into slavery as soon as the purchase took place, and I remember the end being very depressing.
Besides the hard-to-follow script, the scenery was beautiful as per usual at the Vivian Beaumont; the costumes were also breathtaking, and the cast was spot-on (at least, I think).  
If you’re thinking of checking this out at Lincoln Center, I’d suggest to sit up close and read a thorough synopsis beforehand (I did not, and that is probably where I went wrong).
(photo via)

It was a LCT-filled week last week after I saw A Free Man of Color, by John Guare, on Saturday night at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in Lincoln Center, starring Mos (formerly known as Mos Def), Jeffrey Wright, and John McMartin, among others.  A historical script about New Orleans’ colorful culture right before the historical Louisiana Purchase, bringing American law to New Orleans.  Since it’s 1801, that means it’ll be bringing slavery as well.

I felt the script was a bit convoluted and I had trouble figure out what was happening a lot of the time, hence my inability to remember what exactly happened.  I think Jacques Cornet (pictured on the playbill above) was sold into slavery as soon as the purchase took place, and I remember the end being very depressing.

Besides the hard-to-follow script, the scenery was beautiful as per usual at the Vivian Beaumont; the costumes were also breathtaking, and the cast was spot-on (at least, I think).  

If you’re thinking of checking this out at Lincoln Center, I’d suggest to sit up close and read a thorough synopsis beforehand (I did not, and that is probably where I went wrong).

(photo via)

There are two kinds of flops: the ones that are just awful shows that you can’t fathom what ever made someone decide to invest money in it, and then there’s the kind of flop that didn’t have enough time to be fully developed but somehow a casting director convinced a bunch of huge stars to be in.  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, now playing at the Belasco Theatre and part of Lincoln Center’s current season, would be filed under column two.  
Starring Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Laura Benanti, Sherri Rene Scott, and former American Idol-star Justin Guarini, among others, you’d think that the show would be great.  The above performers WERE in fact great, and the show could have been great if it’d had more time.  Unfortunately, it’s an un-great unfinished work of art.  To say that the script is ADD, as the NYT review did, is being kind.  Based on the movie of the same name, Women on the Verge… tells the story of several women who have all been, for lack of a better word, screwed by the same man in Madrid, Spain.  
The scenes were short and the characters emotions were the same; everything was basically undeveloped.  What was exciting to see were little moments like Benanti’s first song, a one-sided telephone call to her best friend (Scott) to tell her about the man she’s taken home who now won’t leave and whom she’s afraid is a terrorist.  She is engaging, endearing, with a great voice (as always), and hysterical.  Also equally entertaining was LuPone’s addition to the dance break in the opening number - a brief shimmy-ing of sorts in a leopard patterned dress.  I was pleasantly surprised with Guarini, who was better than expected and armed with quite a lovely voice.
When no one stood at the end, not even for LuPone or Mitchell, I couldn’t help feeling bad.  I think that this show is a must-see for any theatre fan or person working or aspiring to work in the business simply because it’s an example of what can happen when your writers don’t have adequate time to do their job completely.  
But the cast can always look on the bright side: the show has a limited run so it can’t be further hurt by the announcement of a premature closing.
(photo via)

There are two kinds of flops: the ones that are just awful shows that you can’t fathom what ever made someone decide to invest money in it, and then there’s the kind of flop that didn’t have enough time to be fully developed but somehow a casting director convinced a bunch of huge stars to be in.  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, now playing at the Belasco Theatre and part of Lincoln Center’s current season, would be filed under column two.  

Starring Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Laura Benanti, Sherri Rene Scott, and former American Idol-star Justin Guarini, among others, you’d think that the show would be great.  The above performers WERE in fact great, and the show could have been great if it’d had more time.  Unfortunately, it’s an un-great unfinished work of art.  To say that the script is ADD, as the NYT review did, is being kind.  Based on the movie of the same name, Women on the Verge… tells the story of several women who have all been, for lack of a better word, screwed by the same man in Madrid, Spain.  

The scenes were short and the characters emotions were the same; everything was basically undeveloped.  What was exciting to see were little moments like Benanti’s first song, a one-sided telephone call to her best friend (Scott) to tell her about the man she’s taken home who now won’t leave and whom she’s afraid is a terrorist.  She is engaging, endearing, with a great voice (as always), and hysterical.  Also equally entertaining was LuPone’s addition to the dance break in the opening number - a brief shimmy-ing of sorts in a leopard patterned dress.  I was pleasantly surprised with Guarini, who was better than expected and armed with quite a lovely voice.

When no one stood at the end, not even for LuPone or Mitchell, I couldn’t help feeling bad.  I think that this show is a must-see for any theatre fan or person working or aspiring to work in the business simply because it’s an example of what can happen when your writers don’t have adequate time to do their job completely.  

But the cast can always look on the bright side: the show has a limited run so it can’t be further hurt by the announcement of a premature closing.

(photo via)