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

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 "new york"

I’d seen Thomas Bradshaw’s last play, Burning, a couple of years ago so I knew what I was getting myself into when I “signed up” to see Intimacy, his latest work produced by The New Group.

There is a lot of nudity, masturbation, and fake semen in this one. It’s about three families in some small American town whose lives are kind of turned upside-down when one of the widower-devout Christian father’s discovers one of the girls next door is a porn star. Values are examined, the porn star’s father has to come to terms with his daughter’s career choice (as the mother seems incredibly supportive), and the climax (no pun intended) is all three families acting in a porno together filmed directed by the devout Christian’s son, Matthew (I’m pretty sure that was his name).

This is the intimacy that that the title refers to. It’s a little weird. Okay, very weird. And incredibly unbelievable, but hey, maybe it’s not so much as we hear more and more nowadays about mothers and daughters doing porn together and the like. The writing in Intimacy was never Pulitzer Prize worthy but when the plot atrophies, so does the writing.

Bradshaw likes to see how far he can push his audiences. Well, he pushed them quite far and a lot of them didn’t come back. But I think that’s part of the fun of a Bradshaw play: observing the audience’s reaction.

By now you might have guessed that I love a good Macbeth. Whether it be one man and ninety minutes, or three and a half hours with a full ensemble, I just can’ get enough of this drama. Yesterday I went to see Lincoln Center’s revival at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. Ethan Hawke was staring in the title role and though I can’t think of a single movie I’ve ever seen him in, I was excited to see what he could do onstage.

The production value was fantastic. The lighting and sound designs, Japhy Weideman and Mark Bennett respectively, made the show fifteen times better than any production I’ve seen before. The three witches were played by men in drag (Malcolm Gets, John Glover, and Byron Jennings), which was amazing. Brian d’Arcy James owned his scenes as Banquo, and Anne-Marie Duff was marvelous as Lady Macbeth. The only weak link in the cast? In my opinion it was Ethan Hawke. He was monotone and had only one expression (he’s kind of the Kristen Stewart of Broadway). Maybe my prejudice comes from having seen two masters, Patrick Stewart and Alan Cumming, play the role before him, but I was far from impressed.

Regardless though I still enjoyed this production immensely. I’d probably even see it again. That’s just how much I love Macbeth

When I was studying abroad during the summer in 2007, I saw a play before I came home called “In Celebration" starring Orlando Bloom. I’d never really been an Orlando Bloom fan in particular, but I thought, how many more times will I have the chance to see Orlando Bloom on stage? Probably not many. 

And I was right.. not many have presented themselves. Until now… this fall a new and re-imagined revival of Shakespeare’s classic, Romeo and Juliet will be playing at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.  Orlando Bloom will (obviously) be playing Romeo alongside Condola Rashad (who killed it in last season’s The Trip to Bountiful) as Juliet. The fantastic Chuck Cooper and Jayne Houdyshell are also apart of the stellar cast. 

I am so, so excited for this revival. For one I’ve never seen a professional production of R&J, and with this cast…. WOW! I’ll be seeing it sometime in September and I wanted to give one of you guys a chance to see it too. In the next week or so I’ll be putting together a post to be tweeted/reblogged/etc!

Until then, I leave with you this picture of the charismatic Orlando Bloom from back in 2007:

image

image

And this news surprised absolutely no one. (Seriously, they’ve been making $1 million + every week since they opened.)

But in all seriousness, good for you guys. Rock it!

(Check out my thoughts on the show from when I saw it in previews.)

So, there really aren’t enough positive words in the English language to describe the powerhouse of talent that is Jan Maxwell. And when I was invited to see the Potomac Theatre Project's New York premiere production of The Castle by Howard Barker, starring Ms. Maxwell, I jumped at the opportunity.

The Castle is centered around a village in England and what happens when the husbands who’ve been away at war for so long come home.

The women have taken a liking to one another while the males of the village aren’t present. Maxwell (as Skinner) is a leader of sorts (and a witch) for the women and detests the thought of having their husbands back in their village. She’s less than thrilled when one of her new lovers discovers that she’s still in love with her newly returned husband.

Jennifer Van Dyck as Ann, the lover of Maxwell, also gives a powerful performance laden with internal conflict. David Barlow as Ann’s husband, Stucley, made audiences laugh continuously with his quibbling portrayal of a man who doesn’t recognize the village, and wife, that he’s come home too. 

The battle between the sexes has never been fiercer. The Castle is playing through August 4th at the Atlantic Theatre Company’s Stage 2. Click here for more information. 

Thank you to DARR Publicity for the tickets!

Murder Ballad

I saw Murder Ballad on Friday night after hearing numerous positive accounts from friends whose opinions I trust. Also: Rebecca Naomi Jones, Will Swenson, and Cassie Levy? Yes, please sign me up.

I guess site-specific, make your stage shows are the rage now. I guess everyone has to have some schtick and Murder Ballad capitalized on this by basically creating their own theatre in the round at the Union Square Theatre. Where I was sitting was basically where the stage would’ve been. The show’s action centers around a long bar in the front orchestra and a pool table in the house left section of the orchestra.

The plot, although semi-cliche, is compelling enough to keep you interested for 80 minutes (No intermission! Score!) and despite the upfront admission that the ending is not happy, is pretty happy. I have to admit that after being told by Jones’ character that someone dies, I spent much of the show guessing who it’d be.

The score is great. There is LOTS of belting. It’s a great rock score, with just the right number of ballads to make sure you don’t get a headache from the volume. The lighting and staging is beautiful, and very creative. John Ellison Conlee was out, so Josh Tower covered for him; and he was great.

Jones’ character is mainly the narrator who breaks down the fourth wall from the very first note. I thought she was, of course, fantastic. And like in American Idiot she wears very little clothing the entire time. 

The show begins and ends in exactly the same, which is something I always love, because it gives you chills. Murder Ballad is eerier form start to finish, and it’s also quite amazing.

Murder Ballad is paying at the Union Square Theatre through July 21st. 

When shall we three meet again?

I love Macbeth. It’s my favorite of Shakespeare’s dramas. I studied it while I was abroad in London. I worked at the last broadway revival starring Patrick Stewart (I watched that production 13 times in all it’s 3 hour and 15 minutes of glory). I was excited but honestly skeptical when I learned it would be coming back again this season.

As a one-man show. That was one act and an hour and forty five minutes long. What?! But the silver lining was that Alan Cumming would be the star. He’d be playing all the characters. Still: the prospect was intimidating.

But yesterday I went to see the recent revival and I was absolutely blown the fuck away.

The premise is that Alan Cumming is a patient in an institution playing all these characters in his padded cell. They make full use of the three cameras and screens watching him. In all fairness, there are two actors in the show with him but they are there mostly to watch over him occasionally and sedate him when necessary.

The concept is truly heartbreaking to watch. Any time Cumming gets a little too into the action he’s imagined, the doctors rush in to sedate and put him back into his bed where he curls up in the fetal position and cries briefly.

Alan Cumming is a force to be reckoned with. He’s incredible. During the curtain call, he seemed very humbled and surprised to be receiving so much attention for his out-of-this-world performance.

I love Macbeth and if you do too, this is a production not to be missed.

Disclosure: My company works on this show, but I am in no way shilling for them. 

Last week I was invited to see a preview of the new musical by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio (and the brilliant Doug Wright with the book), Hands on a Hardbody. The story is based on the true events that took place in a small down-on-their-luck town in Texas and the ten Texans who try to win a brand new pick-up truck. Whoever takes their hand off the truck last wins all.
The music is, as expected, very country, but also lovely to listen to. The staging, by Sergio Trejullio, around the beautiful center piece (a true-to-lifesized truck) flowed with ease.
The best part, in my opinion, was the cast. Filled with seasoned actors, like Allison Case, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Hunter Foster, and Davis Larsen, it was a true treat to watch them all perform onstage together. 
Neil Pepe also did an excellent job directing this new musical and made sure everything flowed seamlessly as the car turned. Though part of me wonders what it would be like to see this piece in the Circle in the Square Theatre, or any space that’s in the round. 
In any case, Hands on a Hardbody is a new musical that is full of life and hope, much like their main characters. 
Thank you to Serino Coyne for inviting me to see the show!

Last week I was invited to see a preview of the new musical by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio (and the brilliant Doug Wright with the book), Hands on a Hardbody. The story is based on the true events that took place in a small down-on-their-luck town in Texas and the ten Texans who try to win a brand new pick-up truck. Whoever takes their hand off the truck last wins all.

The music is, as expected, very country, but also lovely to listen to. The staging, by Sergio Trejullio, around the beautiful center piece (a true-to-lifesized truck) flowed with ease.

The best part, in my opinion, was the cast. Filled with seasoned actors, like Allison Case, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Hunter Foster, and Davis Larsen, it was a true treat to watch them all perform onstage together. 

Neil Pepe also did an excellent job directing this new musical and made sure everything flowed seamlessly as the car turned. Though part of me wonders what it would be like to see this piece in the Circle in the Square Theatre, or any space that’s in the round. 

In any case, Hands on a Hardbody is a new musical that is full of life and hope, much like their main characters. 

Thank you to Serino Coyne for inviting me to see the show!

So, here are a few fun facts about Matilda the Musical:

  • There are eighteen (18!) kids in the show.
  • They never had an invited dress, so one Matilda wouldn’t get the praise above the rest.
  • The role of Matilda is the largest role ever written for such a young (and small) person (she carries about 90% of the show).
  • There were no stops at the first preview tonight.
  • The performance lasted two hours and forty minutes (and this is including the fact that they started a bit late too).
  • The score (which I heard for the first time tonight) is still in my head. (This never happens.)

I’ll post my more formal-ish review after opening night. But for now: just go buy your tickets. You’ll thank me after it opens and tickets are no longer available, like what happened to The Producers (except this is way better - The Producers, IMO, was garbage).

I can’t tell you how excited I want to read this yesterday. My favorite playwright…. ACTING… in a play?!… on BROADWAY?! Sign me up. Plus Marin Ireland? Here’s my money, Roundabout. Just take it now.

I wonder how Rapp will be onstage. He’s always avoided having his plays staged on Broadway (he’s been quoted as saying that his audience is the off-Broadway type), so his leap to ACT on Broadway is astonishing. I hope he’ll be great. Let’s be honest, he probably will be. 

And even if he’s not, I’ll love him onstage anyways.