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 "once"

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. 

I was going through my theatre-related posts of this year and I couldn’t pick just 10. Since this is my blog and I make the rules, I decided to do 13. 

1. Bring It On: I had my doubts and reservations about this musical, and maybe I’m a little biased after working on it for a few months, but I loved this show. It was visually stunning, fun, and not totally void of meaning. It had a good meaning overall: Life goes on after high school. I love this show, I’m sad it closed yesterday, and I will definitely miss it.

2. Merrily We Roll Along @ Encores: I went to the final performance and it was my first time having seen it - though I’d heard the music before. The cast was fantastic, as was the material. The atmosphere was also electric. Everyone was so excited to be there.

3. The Other Josh Cohen: This was just a gem of a show. I’m so glad I got to see it.

4. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? revival: I had reservations about this too, having seen the last revival with Kathleen Turner, but upon being offered a free ticket, who was I to turn it down? It ended up being pretty incredible. It was probably one of the best things to open on Broadway this fall.

5. Harvey @ Studio 54: A supposed allegory for homosexuality in the mid-20th century, Jim Parsons killed his roll and this show. Loved it.

6. The Bad and the Better (by The Amoralists): I love The Amoralists. This show was a complex story with many layers and a huge cast. It was pretty epic. I don’t know how they afforded to do it, but they definitely did.

7. James Corden in One Man, Two Guv’nors: I loved this play and I probably loved it because James Corden was so goddamn funny. He absolutely killed onstage. He deserved his TONY Award.

8. The Lyons: I saw this play off-Broadway and loved, and saw it twice more on Broadway. I loved it every single time. Probably because Linda Lavin reminded me of my late Jewish grandmother. And… Michael Esper.

9. Once's Transfer to Broadway: I think the producers transfered this show well. Not much got lost in the bigger space in the Jacobs Theatre and the spirit of the show remained intact. I loved it off-Broadway and it made me cry (twice) on Broadway. I wasn't sure whether transferring this show was the right thing to do, but I'm happy that they're doing well ($1 million+/week).  

10. Tribes: This was an off-Broadway show not to be missed. It deserved every bit of praise it received. I loved it a lot possibly because the lead was hearing-impaired so it made it that much more believable, but who knows. It had a healthy run at The Barrow Group and is now going to LA. 

11. Carrie: A cult classic that only existed in bootleg form before MCC revived it. It was cheesy and the music wasn’t so stellar, and I wished there’d been more blood, but it was an experience to be had and seen. I’m definitely glad I paid $20 to sit in the second row. 

12. Jesus Christ Superstar's Resurrection: The revival in 2000 wasn't so good - except for Tony Vincent, duh - but I loved, loved, loved this one, which transferred from the Stratford Theatre Festival. It felt like a digital update, but the incredible rock score was still the intact and the cast was incredible. I don't care what anyone says, Josh Young was an incredible Judas. I saw this revival twice and my only regret is that I wished I'd seen it again!

13. Assistance: I was an assistant when I saw this so I definitely related. It was hysterical, vulgar, and exaggerated (though I’m sure it’s not so exaggerated for some people). The ending also wins for ‘most unrelated and random ending ever.’ Also: Michael Esper.

That’s my run-down for 2012. There were a dozen or more shows that I saw and didn’t write about (because I suck sometimes), but I’ll try to be better about writing about EVERYTHING in 2013. What were your top theatre moments in 2012? Happy new year!

So, the Drama Desk Awards were last night (read the the list of winners here). Can someone please tell me how the above makes sense if Once didn’t also win Best Music? Usually the show with the best orchestrations, lyrics, and who is awarded with Outstanding Musical usually also has the Best Music.

Anyone else confused?

Let’s hope the above is an indication as to who will win the Tonys this Sunday. Once wasn’t eligible for be nominated for Best Score for this committee, but their orchestrations and book sure were.  I suppose I need to watch the movie again because I don’t remember most of the music that was in the show being in the movie as well. The movie put me to sleep, so I could’ve been unconscious for the duration of most of it.

It’s between Once and Newsies for Best Musical at the Tonys, so I’m crossing my fingers that Once wins this award as well.

The New York Times critics released their picks for the Tonys quite early (so it seemed) which also included who they thought were snubbed. These are always fun to read.

I’ve seen almost all of the best musical/play nominees, except for Nice Work If You Can Get It which I still have yet to decide whether or not I want to pay nearly $40 to see it. Gershwin is an American legend, but he’s not anywhere near the top of my list of favorite  composers. So everyone’s anticipation can be put to rest, as I now present to you with my opinions on who was nominated, who I think should win, and who I think was tragically overlooked.

Best Musical: The nominees include Once, NewsiesLeap of Faith, and Nice Work If You Can Get It. Who do I think should win? Once. It is an artistic masterpiece. It is visually stunning, emotionally moving, and the score is one of the best out there. What will win? If Once doesn’t get it, Newsies most certainly will. It has a worthy opponent, but there’s something about Once that strikes a deeper chord with me. I think it’s more universal, plus it needs the win to do well on tour. What should’ve been nominated? Hands down: GhostGhost is visually stunning and I was never bored for one minute of the two and a half hours. Leap of Faith was, with all due respect, a visually horrendous bore. 

Best Play: This category is going to be tough. Each nominee is fantastic: Clybourne ParkVenus in FurPeter and the Starcatcher, and Other Desert Cities. My first instinct is to say that Clybourne Park will take this one, but there is a chance that Other Desert Cities or possibly Peter and the Starcatcher might slide in. Although I absolutely loved Venus in Fur, I don’t think it has touring potential and it’s a limited run, so the award wouldn’t help it in any way. What should have been nominated was The Lyons. I find this show hilarious but maybe not all of the nominating committee has had a Jewish grandmother before. Or Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar definitely deserved a nod as well. (This snubbing was, I think, her punishment for writing Smash.)

Best Book of a Musical: The nominees are Lysistrata JonesOnceNice Work If You Can Get It, and Newsies. Given that Once and Newsies aren’t original books, so to speak, I’m going say that Lysistrata Jones has a pretty good chance of snagging this one much to everyone’s surprise. Is their book the best? No, not at all. The show didn’t work very well on Broadway. Or Newsies could very well start sweeping the awards and take this as well. What should have been nominated? Bonnie and Clyde. Sue me, but I really enjoyed that show and I thought the book was engaging the entire time. 

Best Original Score: The nominees are Bonnie and ClydeOne Man, Two Guv’norsNewsies, and Peter and the Starcatcher. I would love for Bonnie and Clyde to take this one, but it never will because the voters hate Wildhorn too much.  Newsies will probably sweep it because the other two are plays and that would be kind of sad for a play to take Best Original Score. (Though the score in One Man, Two Guv’nors was quite good.) What should have been nominated? Wonderland. (No, just kidding!) I don’t think there were any other truly memorable great scores written in the past season. I don’t remember the music to Lysistrata Jones. But part of me remembers a lot of the music from Newsies being in the movie too, and in that case, Once should also have been able to be nominated for Best Original Score.    

Best Revival of a Play: The nominees include Death of a SalesmanThe Best ManWit, and Master Class. First a huge congratulations is in order to MTC for scoring two nominations in this category. Each one of these nominees was a pleasure to sit through (though you never quite believed that Cynthia Nixon was a scholar in Wit), but I’m going to say that Death of a Salesman gets this one, if the voters don’t decide to be total star-fuckers for ratings and award The Best Man instead. Although there are a fair number of stars in Salesman too, but I just thought Salesman was better than The Best Man. I don’t think there were any shows that should’ve been nominated in this category. 

Best Revival of a Musical: The nominees this year are EvitaFolliesThe Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and Jesus Christ Superstar.  Jesus Christ Superstar and Follies were my favorites this year, and I’m going to put my money on Follies winning. It was a favorite this year, but Porgy and Bess was also a beautiful production, though it bored me to tears, and I could see it sneaking in from behind and taking the award.

Alright, the rest of these will be short…. Click through!

Read More

The winners for the various awards are starting to be announced and that means speculation as to what it means to shows who are up for TONY Awards. 

Once won for Outstanding New Broadway Musical, so I’m crossing my fingers for it’s chances increasing at the TONYs. It also won for Best Book, while Newsies won for Best New Score - but that’s only because Once wasn’t eligible to be nominated for Best New Score. Newsies took the award for choreography, as it should, and Spider-man even picked up two awards for Best Set and Best Costume Designs, which it was definitely deserving of. Ghost won for Best Lighting, which made me very excited as it’s been snubbed for the last spot in the Best Musical category when it didn’t deserve it by any means. Ghost's lighting is brilliant too.

Danny Burstein won for his performance in Follies in the Outstanding Actor in a Musical category. Having seen this performance, he was quite deserving of this. I’m not sure if he’ll take the TONY though. The buzz has been around Steve Kazee for his performance in Once. If he won the award it would be an outstanding surprise to me, personally, as I thought he’d be the one replaced with a name for the transfer to Broadway.

Before I forget to mention: One Man, Two Guvnors won for Outstanding New Broadway Play, Death of a Salesman won for Outstanding Revival of a Play, and Follies won for Outstanding Revival of a Musical. Will this be the blueprint for the Drama Desk and TONY Awards? Only time will tell…

On Tuesday afternoon, I saw tickets pop up on TDF for a few nights last week for Once and after seeing the way the rush lines were, I knew this was probably my best chance to see the show for under $140 (or you know, getting up at 4am on a Saturday - no, thank you!). I bought a ticket for Thursday night and quietly anticipated the night to come. I loved Once at New York Theatre Workshop three months ago but had no idea if they’d be able to translate it well to a Broadway house. Well… luckily, it did and it’s still brilliant.
From what I remember, the show is the same as what you would’ve seen downtown as is the gorgeous score, and the brilliant cast. The set looks exactly the same, and you can still venture onstage before the show starts and at intermission to buy a $13 glass of wine! While the price of the wine might not be smile-inducing, the standing on the stage certainly is. (And yes, you can go up without any intention of buying a drink.)
Once tells the story about a week between two strangers in which one (a character called Girl) changes the others’ (called Guy) life, for the better. It’s far from a love story, as the ‘girl’ is trying to reconcile things with her distant husband but there’s definitely an instant connection between these two after the ‘guy’ lets himself be taken along on her ride. There are bits of comic relief interspersed too provided by Girl’s zany Czech family and flatmates.
Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti, as Guy and Girl, are both from the original downtown cast and are both inexplicably beautiful and touching in their roles. Other standouts in the cast are David Patrick Kelly (as Guy’s calm and supportive ‘Da’), Elizabeth A. Davis, Will Connolly, David Abeles, and Andy Taylor (the banker who moonlights as a musician).  The entire cast is inundated with expect musicians as well, since they provide the orchestrations themselves (and unlike any of Doyle’s productions, it works and feels natural).
It’s all about being in the right place at the right time, having the courage to go after your dreams, and also letting yourself go when you know you should. Everyone can relate to some aspect of this show and it will most likely make you shed a tear at the end (as myself and many of my fellow theatre goers were). 
If there was one show that was worth of a 5am call time to stand in line for tickets, this would be it and you would not be disappointed. 

On Tuesday afternoon, I saw tickets pop up on TDF for a few nights last week for Once and after seeing the way the rush lines were, I knew this was probably my best chance to see the show for under $140 (or you know, getting up at 4am on a Saturday - no, thank you!). I bought a ticket for Thursday night and quietly anticipated the night to come. I loved Once at New York Theatre Workshop three months ago but had no idea if they’d be able to translate it well to a Broadway house. Wellluckily, it did and it’s still brilliant.

From what I remember, the show is the same as what you would’ve seen downtown as is the gorgeous score, and the brilliant cast. The set looks exactly the same, and you can still venture onstage before the show starts and at intermission to buy a $13 glass of wine! While the price of the wine might not be smile-inducing, the standing on the stage certainly is. (And yes, you can go up without any intention of buying a drink.)

Once tells the story about a week between two strangers in which one (a character called Girl) changes the others’ (called Guy) life, for the better. It’s far from a love story, as the ‘girl’ is trying to reconcile things with her distant husband but there’s definitely an instant connection between these two after the ‘guy’ lets himself be taken along on her ride. There are bits of comic relief interspersed too provided by Girl’s zany Czech family and flatmates.

Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti, as Guy and Girl, are both from the original downtown cast and are both inexplicably beautiful and touching in their roles. Other standouts in the cast are David Patrick Kelly (as Guy’s calm and supportive ‘Da’), Elizabeth A. Davis, Will Connolly, David Abeles, and Andy Taylor (the banker who moonlights as a musician).  The entire cast is inundated with expect musicians as well, since they provide the orchestrations themselves (and unlike any of Doyle’s productions, it works and feels natural).

It’s all about being in the right place at the right time, having the courage to go after your dreams, and also letting yourself go when you know you should. Everyone can relate to some aspect of this show and it will most likely make you shed a tear at the end (as myself and many of my fellow theatre goers were). 

If there was one show that was worth of a 5am call time to stand in line for tickets, this would be it and you would not be disappointed. 

It’s always hard to pick just five moments of New York theatre a to wrap up a year. But it’s especially difficult when you’ve seen and processed the most recent season so I thought I’d do a Top 10 list.

1. First on this list is obviously Sleep No More, presented by Punchdrunk. I’m glad I got in on this before people caught on to what was going on down in Chelsea. If you’ve gone to see Sleep No More, you know what it’s like and if you haven’t seen it, there’s really no way to explain it without sounding like a crazy person about why it was such an amazing experience. Save up your money and go buy yourself a ticket for 2012.

2. The next thing that instantly came to mind was Once, currently showing at the New York Theatre Workshop. Based on the indie movie of the same name, it’s a touching story of how one girl helps a musician achieve his dreams (and they kinda-sorta fall in love too). This was such a unique piece of theatre because it starts an hour before “curtain” time. The cast, who doubles as the band, is playing, singing, and dancing onstage for an hour before the actually story starts (and don’t worry, you’ll know when the show starts). They announced their transfer to Broadway hours before they opened off-Broadway, which is pretty amazing. It’s Spring Awakening for adults and it’s theme is to not live your life without pursuing your dreams - which is a pretty important one, if you ask me.

3. Next up comes The Hallway Trilogy presented by the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre and written by my favorite, Adam Rapp, which I just realized I never actually wrote about and that’s probably because there was no way to translate the experience into words. This was a hundred year history of this one hallway from the time of Eugene O’Neil to a time 50 years in the future when New York was disease free and now financially strapped individuals could make money being injected with ‘old fashioned’ diseases in a museum for the rich to come and witness.

4. I still can’t believe that American Idiot closed only this year; it all seems like so much longer ago. Whenever I think back to one of the most ridiculously energetic performances I saw, I immediately think back to February 27th, 2011 - the night John Gallagher Jr., Michael Esper, and Billie Joe Armstrong left the show. It felt like every single person in that theatre was there for those three guys and you could hear the love pouring out from them. It was just a ridiculous and amazing night, one that I will not soon forget.

5. An incredible moment that makes this list happened only last week. A benefit for Royal Family Productions, Anthony Rapp performed a reading of his brother Adam Rapp’s script Nocturne at Symphony Space, a few blocks from where I live on the Upper West Side in a night titled “Rapp Reads Rapp.” Nocturne was one of the few plays of Rapp’s that I had no familiarity with but oh boy is it amazing, and Anthony did an incredible job with it. By the end he was in tears.

6. I thought Thomas Sadowski was pretty good in 2009’s reasons to be pretty but he left me speechless in this season’s Broadway transfer of Other Desert Cities. His character was so complicated and went through so many emotions that I was absolutely exhausted and heart broken watching him from the front row. 

7. When you try to think of the most fantastic actress discovered out-of-the-blue in the last five years, you’d be hard pressed to think of someone more talented of Nina Arianda and her performance in Venus in Fur. Her performance is a tour-de-force and isn’t to be missed. I’m not sure how to use words to describe it actually. It has to be seen and not described. She crashes through the door ten minutes into the script and the whirlwind that she creates onstage never stops.

8. When I think of Norbert Leo Butz, I will always think of him as my first Roger in Rent in 1998. The next moment I’ll think of is his performance in this year’s Catch Me If You Can. Catch Me was a [mostly] bore of a show that had all the makings of what should’ve been a great musical, but the only reason I saw it twice was to watch Mr. Butz. He danced and moved in ways that I didn’t think he could during the song “Breaking All the Rules.” Watching him on the Tony’s, and then win his second Tony, it was a great thing.

9. I missed Boeing Boeing a few years ago and after seeing Mark Rylance in both La Bete and Jerusalem this year, that will forever be one of my great theatre-related regrets. I will still stand my ground that Mark Rylance was even better in La Bete than in Jerusalem, but for the purposes of doing a review of the year of 2011, I’ll talk about his performance in Jerusalem.  Playing a modern day pied piper in England, you loved him, you felt bad for him, you loved listening to his rambling. Like I said back in April, Rylance might be one of the great actors of our day.

10. I’ve been a fan of Jan Maxwell since I worked at Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang in 2005 and I’ve seen almost everything she’s done since. She’s never won a Tony but this just might be her year with her mouth-dropping turn in this season’s revival of Follies. She brings down the house in Act 2 like I’ve never seen her do. I never knew she could dance like she does, and she’s absolutely heartbreaking. Follies isn’t my cup of tea when it comes to musical theatre, but I’d see it again to watch her onstage.   

So, I think that’s it. Honorable mentions go to War Horse (breathtaking, just absolutely mind-blowing), The Normal Heart (after the 2010 reading, this production was magnificent), The Book of Mormon (I’m glad I saw this in previews), How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Mr. Radcliffe blew me away with his moves, and after wanting to see this show revived again for so many years, this is a great production), and The Amoralists (a fantastic theatre company that produces really unique theatrical experiences such as this one and this one). 

I won’t deny the fact that there was a ton of crap produced on and off-Broadway this year, but it’d be silly to neglect to acknowledge the amazing moments that I was fortunate enough to see too. We’ll see what 2012 holds.

photo taken in April 2011

There are truly no words that do what’s going on at the New York Theatre Workshop right now proper justice. I was told by a friend a few weeks ago, “You HAVE to go see this show, ONCE. It’s amazing.” He’d seen it twice in the last week he loved it so much.  The experience is unique from the very second you walk in the door to NYTW. The cast, who is also the band (but not in the ridiculous John Doyle way), is playing and performing onstage for about an hour before the show. The theatre and audience is completely alive and really confused as to what they’re about to see (and how will we know when it has started?). 

You know though because the characters disperse to their sides of the stage, the lights shift, and our female protagonist makes her way down the house right aisle and onto the stage.  Based on a little known 2006 indie film of the same name, Once tells the story of a chance meeting of a musician and a woman who sees his potential, and all that happens in the following week.

Written by bandmates, and former lovers, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova tell their actual story about how they met through song, and combined with movement by Steven Hoggett, John Tiffany’s direction, and Natasha Katz’s moving lighting the story is seamless and gripping. It never feels too long; you’re not waiting for it to be over at any point. Steve Kazee and Cristina Milioti are both fantastic as the main protagonists (who are simply billed in the program as “GUY” and “GIRL”).

The show feels very Spring Awakening For Adults for sure. My experience yesterday felt very reminiscent of when I saw Spring Awakening for the first time at the Atlantic Theatre Company (only I wasn’t sitting onstage, of course). Everyone who was in high school or college when Spring Awakening happened will surely appreciate Once and even those who weren’t apart of it will find themselves falling in love with these characters, music, and this story. 

I’ll stop before I say too much and just encourage you to please do yourself a favor and go see it, okay? Click onto NYTW’s website here for more information.