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 "second stage"
Last weekend I went to see Second Stage’s newest production All New People, written by the talented Zach Braff.  Braff starred in Second Stage’s production of Trust last season with Sutton Foster and I guess after that he was bitten by the theatre bug.  I expected comedy and comedy we got in the 90-minute one act.
The curtain rose to reveal a beautiful condo on an island in the Carribean and Charlie (Justin Bartha) trying to hang himself with an extension chord.  Fate intervenes when a young British real estate agent, Emma (Krysten Ritter), opens the door and saves him from snapping the extension chord and his neck.  She explains that she is trying to rent out the condo (which one of Charlie’s friends owns) in an attempt to get hired and renew her visa so she doesn’t have to return home.  Her friend, local fireman and town drug dealer, Myron (David Wilson Barnes), shows up shortly after with a vast supply of pot.  Charlie continually begs them to leave so he can off himself, but they refuse to let him kill himself.  Charlie’s friend has sent an escort, Kim (Anna Camp), to cheer him up.  She exclaims, “You can do anything you want but please stay away from my asshole.”  
There are numerous one-liners that sent the audience into fits of laughter.  There were also video clips inserted into the action as well which I found kind of perplexing.  It wasn’t something I had seen before but the clips served a purpose to transport us back in time and show us why these characters were all in a limbo of sorts, instead of them simply telling us.  
There was pontification on life, faith, and what is the meaning of it all? during the show, and overall the entire play was random.  But Charlie’s new friends succeed in not letting him kill himself and he even falls for Emma.  Braff has a talent for writing believable dialogue that culminates into attention-grabbing plots.  That being said I look forward to seeing his next play.   
All New People plays at Second Stage at 305 West 43rd Street through August 14th. Click here for more information.  
(photo via)

Last weekend I went to see Second Stage’s newest production All New People, written by the talented Zach Braff.  Braff starred in Second Stage’s production of Trust last season with Sutton Foster and I guess after that he was bitten by the theatre bug.  I expected comedy and comedy we got in the 90-minute one act.

The curtain rose to reveal a beautiful condo on an island in the Carribean and Charlie (Justin Bartha) trying to hang himself with an extension chord.  Fate intervenes when a young British real estate agent, Emma (Krysten Ritter), opens the door and saves him from snapping the extension chord and his neck.  She explains that she is trying to rent out the condo (which one of Charlie’s friends owns) in an attempt to get hired and renew her visa so she doesn’t have to return home.  Her friend, local fireman and town drug dealer, Myron (David Wilson Barnes), shows up shortly after with a vast supply of pot.  Charlie continually begs them to leave so he can off himself, but they refuse to let him kill himself.  Charlie’s friend has sent an escort, Kim (Anna Camp), to cheer him up.  She exclaims, “You can do anything you want but please stay away from my asshole.”  

There are numerous one-liners that sent the audience into fits of laughter.  There were also video clips inserted into the action as well which I found kind of perplexing.  It wasn’t something I had seen before but the clips served a purpose to transport us back in time and show us why these characters were all in a limbo of sorts, instead of them simply telling us.  

There was pontification on life, faith, and what is the meaning of it all? during the show, and overall the entire play was random.  But Charlie’s new friends succeed in not letting him kill himself and he even falls for Emma.  Braff has a talent for writing believable dialogue that culminates into attention-grabbing plots.  That being said I look forward to seeing his next play.   

All New People plays at Second Stage at 305 West 43rd Street through August 14th. Click here for more information.  

(photo via)

A few months back when I went to see something at Second Stage, I noticed they’d started selling these cups at their concession stands before shows and I thought they were pretty cool.  So when I was at Second Stage seeing By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, I saw these again and dropped a load of cash (…or $4.50) on one which also contained Coke.  

I’ve been seeing shows at Second Stage since I was fifteen and they consistently produce quality work, both new and old.  I spun the cup and spotted which shows I’d seen: Next to Normal, A Soldier’s Play, Everyday Rapture, 10 Things To Do Before You Die, Little Fish, and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety.  It’d be really neat if every show they’ve produced was on it but the twenty or thirty they do have on the cup will have to do.

For more information on past, current, and future productions at Second Stage, check out their website.  

Broadway looses a little part of it’s soul (and sanity) tonight with Next to Normal closing.  It’s had a fantastic, unbelievable, and unexpected two-year run, while winning 3 TONY Awards, and even a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  

I’m incredibly nostalgic about this closing but a friend reminded me that this was the little show that “defied odds and had a great run.”  When you put it that way, there’s absolutely nothing to be sad about.  When I think about Next to Normal, my one regret is the fact that I didn’t get to see it in it’s early stages when it was under the working-title Feeling Electric at NYMF in 2005.  I had every intention to do so, but it sold out too quick and I was not yet a fan of buying tickets ahead of time.  I was able to see it at Second Stage in 2008 though, and although some of the music was electrifying, the second act dragged and I never thought it was going to go anywhere so I was shocked to hear it was being taken to DC’s Arena Stages.  It seemed like an unlikely step if they were on the road to Broadway but it ended up being a necessary one where they worked out all of the kinks that had been discovered in the material at Second Stage.  

I took my mother to see Next to Normal on Broadway in 2009 for Mother’s Day.  Many people have laughed when they heard this, but my mother wanted to see it, and who was I to deprive her of seeing a show that I was also slightly interested in seeing (and see what had changed)?  The second act had definitely been cleaned up and the show was an entirely enjoyable and emotional roller coaster from start to finish.  Their hiatus in DC had been what was needed.  The above picture was taken that Mother’s Day in 2009 after the show of my friend Damien and I (come to think of it, it would’ve been much more appropriate to have gotten a picture of my mother and me but alas, can’t change that now).  

I was really excited to have been introduced to the composer, Tom Kitt, a few days before the TONYs that year at his band’s concert (called The Tom Kitt Band) at The Bitter End (which was a hella good time) where he sang the much, much longer original version of “I Am the One” (from Next to Normal).  I even geeked out for a moment when I remembered that Kitt wrote the score for the short-lived (awesome) musical version of High Fidelity (of which I was a huge fan).  That concert ended up being a load of awesome and was totally worth getting home at 2am for (watch a video of the last half of the finale here).  I asked Kitt to sign the setlist at the end of the night because he was such a totally talented rockstar.  It’s been framed on my wall ever since.

I was rooting for Next to Normal at the Tony’s that year, and was thrilled when they won for Best Score, Best Orchestrations, and Best Actress in a Musical (everyone in the house was just as perplexed with Ripley’s acceptance speech as everyone watching at home was, don’t worry).  Ultimately Billy Elliot took the big award home at the end of night unfortunately.  

I saw Next to Normal again later in 2009, and once more at the end of 2010.  I am incredibly happy that I was able to see it the few times I did.  I debated going to the show once more this weekend, but decided against it.  The last time I saw the show was incredible and I think “last show’s” are something to be savored by the super fans of a show, and the people who were involved in it’s creation. I would’ve felt slightly out of place.  

Congrats to the little show that could.  And did.

Arthur Kopit’s critically acclaimed play Wings opened last night at Second Stage Theatre in midtown Manhattan and starring is one of the finest actresses that New York has seen in a decade, Jan Maxwell.  
Wings is essentially a one-woman show about a woman (Maxwell) who suffers from a stroke and then has to recover.  We are made to feel her discomfort as she is unable to communicate with the people around her and we feel her joy as she is beginning a slow path on the journey to recovery as she hopes to one day gain her wings back and be able to once again dance on the wings of airplanes.  
I found the script to be thoroughly interesting and different from anything else I’ve ever seen.  Maxwell is surrounded by a cast of six other actors who play doctors, nurses, patients, and her therapist.  Maxwell shows off her finely tuned acting skills as one would expect an actress to do during what is mostly a 70-minute monologue.  
Maxwell is a truly versatile artist and even if the content of the script isn’t your cup of tea, it’s worth an evening on 43rd Street.  
(photo via)

Arthur Kopit’s critically acclaimed play Wings opened last night at Second Stage Theatre in midtown Manhattan and starring is one of the finest actresses that New York has seen in a decade, Jan Maxwell.  

Wings is essentially a one-woman show about a woman (Maxwell) who suffers from a stroke and then has to recover.  We are made to feel her discomfort as she is unable to communicate with the people around her and we feel her joy as she is beginning a slow path on the journey to recovery as she hopes to one day gain her wings back and be able to once again dance on the wings of airplanes.  

I found the script to be thoroughly interesting and different from anything else I’ve ever seen.  Maxwell is surrounded by a cast of six other actors who play doctors, nurses, patients, and her therapist.  Maxwell shows off her finely tuned acting skills as one would expect an actress to do during what is mostly a 70-minute monologue.  

Maxwell is a truly versatile artist and even if the content of the script isn’t your cup of tea, it’s worth an evening on 43rd Street.  

(photo via)

Last week was unofficially “Second Stage Week" for Matt and I.  We ventured on Tuesday to Second Stage’s main stage to see one of the final previews of Trust, starring Sutton Foster, Bobby Carnavale, Zach Braff, and Ari Gaynor.

I was intrigued by the cast, especially the fact that Foster was playing a dominatrix and not her usual ingenue-type role.   I also adore Zach Braff and Ari Gaynor.  

This is a pointless but highly entertaining script that tells the story of a billionaire (Braff) and how a visit to see a dominatrix (Foster) changes his life, as well as his depressed wife’s (Gaynor).  Carnavale plays Foster’s abusive boyfriend who doesn’t do all that much aside from blackmailing Braff.  

We laughed all the way through, and everyone in the cast was believable and entertaining.  They all did their jobs well.  

Trust plays at Second Stage through September 12th.  More information can be found here.  

(photo via)

Putting this with the shows at the top of my list to see this fall. 

And lastly (yes, I promise!), a few of my favorite off-Broadway Playbills.  Looking through my collection, I was really proud of all the random stuff I’ve seen (L-R):

  • SLUT! the Musical: This musical was hilarious and starred Andy Karl and Mary Faber (before she was an Idiot).  
  • The Overwhelmed - at Roundabout which starred Michael Stahl-David, who later went on to star in Cloverfield.  
  • suBurbia - the revival at Second Stage which starred Kieran Culkin (as well as Michael Esper - though I totally don’t remember him in it!), and a bunch of extremely talented 20 something actors.
  • The Atheist - I went to see this solely because Chris Pine was starring.  It was a one man show and I thought he did a fantastic job.  
  • Spring Awakening - off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theatre Company in 2006.  We sat onstage and it was well, interesting to say the least.  I didn’t love it after the first act (I hated the microphones) but I got more into it in the second act.  Off-Broadway, John Gallagher Jr. made his entrance by popping out of the seat that was right next to my friend’s seat.  We both screamed when he popped up!
  • Distracted - starring Cynthia Nixon at Roundabout.  This was a play about a mother who battles with whether or not she should be medicating her child after he is diagnosed with ADD.  Nixon is a truly fantastic actress onstage and on-screen.
  • After Ashley - my first play at the Vineyard about the exploitation of tragedy in the 21st century, starring Dennis Hopper, Kieran Culkin, and Anna Paquin.  
  • Some Americans Abroad - about a school group abroad in London.  I went to see it solely because Anthony Rapp was in it.  
  • Walmartopia - I included this because it remains the ONLY show I’ve ever walked out of during intermission.  It was just that bad.  
  • Next to Normal at Second Stage.  To say the show was in shambles and way too long is an understatement.  The second act felt like it was 3 hours long.  It had some good moments but they definitely cleaned it up for the better.
  • Port Authority at Atlantic Theatre Company that starred John Gallagher Jr., Brian Darcy James, and Jim Norton.  It was… interesting.  I could’ve used a second viewing.  
  • Stuff Happens at the Public Theatre.  This was a play written by David O’Hare about the events after 9/11 that lead to the Iraq War.  The title comes from when Dick Cheney was quoted as saying “stuff happens!” in response to a question about a tragedy happening.  I loved this.