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.

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thatgirlallison08 at gmail dot com

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Posts tagged "roundabout theatre company"

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. 

Today at the matinee of Violet at the American Airlines Theatre, you spent 75% of the performance staring at the ceiling (literally) or sleeping. So then why did you feel the need to whip out your iPhone the second the curtain call commenced to take pictures of performers in the show you just paid almost zero attention to? 

It was obnoxious and your sleeping next to me was kind of annoying. If you don’t like theatre maybe you shouldn’t go?

xo

Allison

As so often is the case in America we’ve been trained to pronounce machinal the incorrect way. It’s mash-in-all, not mack-in-al. This rarely seen play, Machinal, by Sophie Treadwell is on Broadway for the first time since 1928. I’ve been told that it’s produced mostly in academic settings nowadays which is unfortunate because it’s incredible. 
Machinal is about the daily grind of every day life in America in the early 1900’s. Get up, travel to work, do the same thing every day at work, travel home, eat, go to bed. The “Young Woman,” played by the tremendously talented Rebecca Hall, is stuck supporting and living with her mother and she is going out of her mind. As a means of escape, she agrees to marry her boss and have his children. This gives way to a new brand of monotony that she still can’t stand. After a chance run-in with a free spirited man she knows that she has to get out (not to be with him, but just to be on her own) by any means necessary.
Much of the dialogue in Machinal is repetitive, at times rhythmic and at other times monotonous. Rebecca Hall delivers two or three quick paced and seen-to-be-believed monologues which stunned us as an audience.
The scenes are called, in order, To Business, Home, Honeymoon, Maternal, Prohibited, Intimate, Domestic, The Law, and A Machine. Sounds like a pretty machine-like life to me.
The set, by Es Devlin, was jaw-dropping. In a square box that rotated onstage to show different scenes, it truly felt like a cog in a machine was turning. The set was really amazing.
Clocking in at 90 minutes, I think probably more than one person in the audience could relate to Machinal and the machine-like way of life that a lot of people adopt for better or for worse. And why sometimes we need to break out of it.
Hats off to you, Roundabout. This is one of my favorite productions of yours to date.

As so often is the case in America we’ve been trained to pronounce machinal the incorrect way. It’s mash-in-all, not mack-in-al. This rarely seen play, Machinal, by Sophie Treadwell is on Broadway for the first time since 1928. I’ve been told that it’s produced mostly in academic settings nowadays which is unfortunate because it’s incredible. 

Machinal is about the daily grind of every day life in America in the early 1900’s. Get up, travel to work, do the same thing every day at work, travel home, eat, go to bed. The “Young Woman,” played by the tremendously talented Rebecca Hall, is stuck supporting and living with her mother and she is going out of her mind. As a means of escape, she agrees to marry her boss and have his children. This gives way to a new brand of monotony that she still can’t stand. After a chance run-in with a free spirited man she knows that she has to get out (not to be with him, but just to be on her own) by any means necessary.

Much of the dialogue in Machinal is repetitive, at times rhythmic and at other times monotonous. Rebecca Hall delivers two or three quick paced and seen-to-be-believed monologues which stunned us as an audience.

The scenes are called, in order, To Business, Home, Honeymoon, Maternal, Prohibited, Intimate, Domestic, The Law, and A Machine. Sounds like a pretty machine-like life to me.

The set, by Es Devlin, was jaw-dropping. In a square box that rotated onstage to show different scenes, it truly felt like a cog in a machine was turning. The set was really amazing.

Clocking in at 90 minutes, I think probably more than one person in the audience could relate to Machinal and the machine-like way of life that a lot of people adopt for better or for worse. And why sometimes we need to break out of it.

Hats off to you, Roundabout. This is one of my favorite productions of yours to date.

I’d been meaning to catch Roundabout’s The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin by Steven Levenson for about a month now and being that this weekend was the final weekend, it had to happen. I was mostly drawn to this show because of Christopher Denham. Ever since I saw him in Red Light Winter in 2006, I’ve been a huge fan. David Morse and Rich Sommer were also part of this cast, which was pretty cool to see them onstage too.
Tom Durnin (Morse) is a former lawyer who has just been released from jail after a five year stay and now he’s staying on his son’s (Denham) couch while he tries to pick up his life from where he left off. His crime isn’t revealed until later on and it’s pretty clear that no one in his family wants anything to do with him. In the end, James (Denham) convinces him that he must disappear and start anew (hence the title).
David Morse was really intense and convincing (though admittedly my only reference for his work prior to today is his portrayal as the serial killer in Disturbia). Rich Sommers was good, but his role was probably the tiniest in the cast. 
Then there was Christopher Denham. I love him. I adore him. He is fantastic. He had issues that were revealed in perfect time through the text. He cried convincingly. I just loved watching his character unfold. 
Tom Durnin was a really interesting piece with a great cast (Lisa Emery and Sarah Goldberg rounded out the cast nicely in the two female roles). Unfortunately it closes on Sunday. If you saw it, let me know what you thought!

I’d been meaning to catch Roundabout’s The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin by Steven Levenson for about a month now and being that this weekend was the final weekend, it had to happen. I was mostly drawn to this show because of Christopher Denham. Ever since I saw him in Red Light Winter in 2006, I’ve been a huge fan. David Morse and Rich Sommer were also part of this cast, which was pretty cool to see them onstage too.

Tom Durnin (Morse) is a former lawyer who has just been released from jail after a five year stay and now he’s staying on his son’s (Denham) couch while he tries to pick up his life from where he left off. His crime isn’t revealed until later on and it’s pretty clear that no one in his family wants anything to do with him. In the end, James (Denham) convinces him that he must disappear and start anew (hence the title).

David Morse was really intense and convincing (though admittedly my only reference for his work prior to today is his portrayal as the serial killer in Disturbia). Rich Sommers was good, but his role was probably the tiniest in the cast. 

Then there was Christopher Denham. I love him. I adore him. He is fantastic. He had issues that were revealed in perfect time through the text. He cried convincingly. I just loved watching his character unfold. 

Tom Durnin was a really interesting piece with a great cast (Lisa Emery and Sarah Goldberg rounded out the cast nicely in the two female roles). Unfortunately it closes on Sunday. If you saw it, let me know what you thought!

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. 

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!

I adore Jim Parsons. When I was first made to watch The Big Bang Theory at my parent’s house, I immediately deemed his character my favorite. Parsons was also fantastic in his tiny role in The Normal Heart. He can actually act, and it’s always lovely to see live onstage so I was very much looking forward to seeing him in Harvey.
Harvey, based on the book of the same title, is about a sweet, caring, genuine 39 year old man named Elwood who happens to have an imaginary friend who’s a six foot tall white rabbit named Harvey. When his family is faced with the prospect of living with Elwood and Harvey together, or put him through therapy to make him “like everyone else,” they decide that being “like everyone else” isn’t a particularly good thing.
Tracee Chimo (Bachelorette) plays Elwood’s snotty sister convincingly, and Jessica Hecht (A View From the Bridge) is understanding and caring as Veta, Elwood’s mother. Parsons steals the show, of course, in his Sheldon-esque portrayal of Elwood. He is genuine and eager to explore the world around him with his friend.
Harvey plays through August 5th. Don’t miss your chance to see Jim Parsons in this heartwarming work. 

I adore Jim Parsons. When I was first made to watch The Big Bang Theory at my parent’s house, I immediately deemed his character my favorite. Parsons was also fantastic in his tiny role in The Normal Heart. He can actually act, and it’s always lovely to see live onstage so I was very much looking forward to seeing him in Harvey.

Harvey, based on the book of the same title, is about a sweet, caring, genuine 39 year old man named Elwood who happens to have an imaginary friend who’s a six foot tall white rabbit named Harvey. When his family is faced with the prospect of living with Elwood and Harvey together, or put him through therapy to make him “like everyone else,” they decide that being “like everyone else” isn’t a particularly good thing.

Tracee Chimo (Bachelorette) plays Elwood’s snotty sister convincingly, and Jessica Hecht (A View From the Bridge) is understanding and caring as Veta, Elwood’s mother. Parsons steals the show, of course, in his Sheldon-esque portrayal of Elwood. He is genuine and eager to explore the world around him with his friend.

Harvey plays through August 5th. Don’t miss your chance to see Jim Parsons in this heartwarming work. 

I saw Suicide Incorporated at Roundabout’s black box theatre a few weeks ago right before it opened. It told the story of a group of men who worked for a company that would be hired to write eloquent suicide notes for people. Sounds like a romantic comedy, right?

I won’t say too much about it, but I did enjoy it a lot. The main character (Gabriel Ebert) was a former greeting card writer who was not shifting careers after his brother committed suicide (Jake O’Connor). As in Next to Normal, there’s an ah-ha moment where we are clued-in to the fact that the brother isn’t actually alive as we’ve been lead to believe from the beginning.  I’m a big fan of these moments for some reason.  O’Connor’s acting was fantastic making him my favorite of the ensemble. The set is also impressive, clean, and versatile as the scenes shift quite often in 20 seconds or less.

Suicide Inc. is playing through December 23rd.  Click here for more information.

(photo copyright Walter McBride)

As per usual this season, Roundabout Theatre Company sold a handful of $10 mezzanine tickets to the first few previews of The People in the Picture.  As usual, I bought two.  I didn’t know what the script was about, and I’d heard reactions that went both ways so I had no idea what to expect.  People was about a grandmother telling her granddaughter stories of their family and theatre troupe in Europe as the Nazis took power during World War II, and her daughter who wanted nothing to do with this past for reasons that are revealed towards the end of Act 2.  
The score is okay, but every other song sounded a bit like “L’chaim” from Fiddler on the Roof, and none of it is very memorable.  The writer and director still need to find the balance of humor and misery because right now there is a LOT of misery and only a small amount of humor.  It tries really hard to be a funny play though.  It just can’t compare with the serious topic on hand.  
Donna Murphy is absolutely incredible in this show as the grandmother (Raisel) who is falling ill rather quickly but still trying to tell her granddaughter the stories of World War 2.  She switches between being 20 and 70 in a moments notice and it’s brilliant.  It was my first time actually seeing her onstage, so it was a treat. 
Alexander Gemignani, Christopher Innvar, Nicole Parker, Chip Zien, Rachel Resheff were stand-outs in the cast of solidly talented actors.  It’s always a treat to see Chip Zien onstage, and Rachel Resheff as the granddaughter, Jenny, was weak in her acting but made up for it with her voice and movement.  Louis Hobson, of Next to Normal notoriety, also made a few appearances onstage as, what else?  A doctor.  
I enjoy almost anything having to do with this moment of history, so I may be biased but I think with a bit of work The People in the Picture could be quite superb.  I tip my hat to Roundabout for putting up a new musical about such a off-beat topic.  
(photo via)

As per usual this season, Roundabout Theatre Company sold a handful of $10 mezzanine tickets to the first few previews of The People in the Picture.  As usual, I bought two.  I didn’t know what the script was about, and I’d heard reactions that went both ways so I had no idea what to expect.  People was about a grandmother telling her granddaughter stories of their family and theatre troupe in Europe as the Nazis took power during World War II, and her daughter who wanted nothing to do with this past for reasons that are revealed towards the end of Act 2.  

The score is okay, but every other song sounded a bit like “L’chaim” from Fiddler on the Roof, and none of it is very memorable.  The writer and director still need to find the balance of humor and misery because right now there is a LOT of misery and only a small amount of humor.  It tries really hard to be a funny play though.  It just can’t compare with the serious topic on hand.  

Donna Murphy is absolutely incredible in this show as the grandmother (Raisel) who is falling ill rather quickly but still trying to tell her granddaughter the stories of World War 2.  She switches between being 20 and 70 in a moments notice and it’s brilliant.  It was my first time actually seeing her onstage, so it was a treat. 

Alexander Gemignani, Christopher Innvar, Nicole Parker, Chip Zien, Rachel Resheff were stand-outs in the cast of solidly talented actors.  It’s always a treat to see Chip Zien onstage, and Rachel Resheff as the granddaughter, Jenny, was weak in her acting but made up for it with her voice and movement.  Louis Hobson, of Next to Normal notoriety, also made a few appearances onstage as, what else?  A doctor.  

I enjoy almost anything having to do with this moment of history, so I may be biased but I think with a bit of work The People in the Picture could be quite superb.  I tip my hat to Roundabout for putting up a new musical about such a off-beat topic.  

(photo via)