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 "theatre"

I am packing up my apartment to move and the last things on my shelves are my Playbills. I have so much shit. The movers are now allowed near these though. These I will be moving these in my parent’s car, along with my guitars and my camera. 

So many Playbills. 

I got really lucky and I was able to see Andrew Rannells in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at his second to last performance yesterday. I hadn’t see Hedwig since it was in previews in April and I was stoked to go back. I was administering a survey for The Broadway League and we talked to the House Manager for a bit beforehand and she is by far the coolest House Manager on Broadway. She has a long history with Hedwig, to the point where she begged to manage the Belasco when it was returning, and loves it just as much as anyone. We had to stand as the show was sold out but I was fine with that since I never really stop moving during the show and it’s probably really annoying to sit next to. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Andrew added a bunch of little things that Neil Patrick Harris hadn’t, but he was also really, really buff. I thought that NPH looked better as Hedwig, but Andrew probably sang and acted it better. He got down to the heart of the character, deeper than NPH. Lena Hall rocked it, duh. As did The Angry Inch band members. 

Hedwig is just an incredible show, an incredible journey to go on, with a kick-ass, skull-rattling score. I will never tire of it. Best of luck to Michael C. Hall, who has big shoes to fill. 

The Country House, by Donald Margulies, opened a couple of weeks ago to stellar reviews at the Samuel Friedman Theatre. It was about a bunch of actors (a family, multiple generations) who gather at their summer home to honor the death of the mother of the family who passed the year before. 

There were tons of funny and meaningful one-liners in the first act, but the first act ended with a cliche moment that was only meant to give the playwright a reason to write a second act.  While I enjoyed the first act a lot, it was obvious Margulies had no idea where to go in the second act. It had a few moments, but it was pretty pointless.

The performances were great though: Blythe Danner was wonderful as the famous dame of the family, Daniel Sunjata was wonderful and a bit sleazy as Michael Astor (the famous TV actor who needed a place to stay), and Sarah Steele was probably my favorite, as the Danner’s granddaughter, and the only one in the family who wasn’t in show business, Susie. I’ve seen her in many shows and she’s always fabulous and this performance was no different. Kate Jennings Grant was also endearing as the new wife to Walter (the funny David Rasche), who was obviously a little uncomfortable being there.

Although it had it’s moments, MTC has produced more focused work in the past and I can’t wait to see what they have in store next. 

I went to see On the Town just because, well, it’s a classic. (It is, isn’t it?) I was sort of dreading sitting in the Ford-Center-Hilton-Foxwoods-Lyric Pit Of Doom for upwards of three hours. This production received lots of positive accolades when it was out of town, hence the transfer, but still. It’s super old fashioned, classic musical theatre.

Long story short: The production, the cast, the sets, the projections, the choreography is all fantastic. This is a great, solid production. I didn’t even have much trouble sitting through it. It only dragged a couple of times, in my opinion, and even those moments were palpable. Everything about this production is first class; it’s just not my type of musical. Jackie Hoffman, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Stephen deRosa, Tony Yazbeck, Brandon Leffler, and Cody Williams were all stunning singers and dancers. 

If this is your type of musical though, go see it now. You will totally love it.

I went to see Motown a couple of weekends ago with a friend who was in from out of town. Motown tells the story of the origins of the Motown record label and all of the artists that came from it.

 I’m familiar with a lot of the music, as most people are, but I wasn’t familiar with the story. The compelling story paired with great music and fantastic performances make it a fabulous time. Everyone onstage was a triple threat.

The only problem? The audience. We were in the fourth row of the orchestra and within fifteen minutes of the show starting, the girl next to me was asleep on her boyfriend’s shoulder. How can you be asleep in the fourth row of Motown? They also started talking during the second act when she woke up. The people behind us were also singing along (Who sings this song, sir? Yeah, not you.) and having legit conversations during quiet moments (like where should they get dinner afterwards).

Motown has received a lot of buzz and acclaim, so I don’t need to tell you how much fun it is, but it’s definitely a fun, historical night at the theatre.

I’d heard all good things about this revival of Cabaret so I was really thrilled to have the chance to see it a couple of weeks ago. I’d last seen it in 2003 when I was a senior in high school and Adam Pascal was starring as the Emcee. I found that cast a little lackluster. I love the music to Cabaret but the show is highly depressing. But to see Alan Cumming in the role that helped him rise to be the superstar he is today? Sign me up.

I could go on and on about how fantastic and surreal and life altering it is to see Cummings’ performance as the Emcee live onstage, but I won’t. If you haven’t seen him yet, you should, and if you have, you know what I’m talking about.

Michelle Williams gave a very performance as Sally Bowles. Her voice got the job done, and her performance during the song “Cabaret” was incredible. I’m very, very happy I got to see her.

Danny Burnstein was my other favorite as Herr Schultz. He’s always great and you empathized with him more and more as the show continued. Linda Emond was also great as his almost-wife, Fraulein Schenider.

Maybe it was because my seats were better this time than they had been previously, but I caught a lot of subtleties that I’d missed the last time. The show is still depressing as ever but it’s also fantastic. 

I already have tickets to see Emma Stone next month as Sally Bowles with @kmpilecki and I’m stoked. I’m still really glad I got to see this cast as well though.

I’d been really slow with getting around to see the newest revival of Les Miserables. Wasn’t it just a few years ago that I was seeing another revival? Oh wait, yes, it was. And listening to the monstrosity that was Nikki James’ voice on the Tonys, I wanted to wait until she was out. BUT I saw this production last Saturday afternoon and I loved it. Still. I saw Les Miserables three or four times as a kid and it was one of my first “favorite” shows. I was looking forward to seeing the new staging but also worried. Les Miserables without a turn table?! WHAT?!

They’ve taken the show and made it a bit more like the movie. But don’t worry – it still clocks it at around 3 hours. I was sort of dreading seeing a three-hour show, because… 90-minutes-no-intermission is the standard for new shows these days so we’ve been spoiled. But I had no trouble sitting through Les Miserables in all of it’s depressing and humorous glory. The cast brought many tiny nuances that I don’t remember noticing from the last production(s) which brought it more to life for me.

Ramin Karimloo, who stole everyone’s heart in the 25th anniversary concert at Marius, was fantastic at Jean Valjean. Except that he looked like a Backstreet Boy in the first few scenes. If he was in jail for 19 years, he went into jail when he was about 5. His voice is fantastic, his acting was fantastic, and he is ripped so they used whatever opportunity they could find to have him take his shirt off – which was very odd for a Valjean to do, but we suffered through.

Nikki M. James, I’m happy to report, only sounds like a bag of dying cats during what you saw on the Tonys (One Day More). Otherwise she’s playful and endearing, and her On My Own is great.

Cassie Levy was fantastic as Fatine. It’s such a small role so that’s unfortunately but I love her and her voice. She is just beautiful and amazing. That’s all I can say.

Keala Settle and Cliff Saunders as the Thenardiers were hilarious, as they should be. No complaints.

Earl Carpenter as Javert, joining Broadway from the London production, was great too. He did was Javert was supposed to do and he didn’t sound like Russell Crowe. We were happy campers.

As much as theatre snobs like myself usually hate projections, they were used sparingly and really added a lot to the show. I thoroughly enjoyed this 3-hour tour-de-france and I could do it again and again if you asked me to.

Put your theatre snobbyness aside, get over the loss of the turntable, and go.

I had no idea what The Fortress of Solitude was about when my friend told me she had an extra ticket. I read that it was based on a book and Adam Chanler-Berat and Rebecca Naomi Jones were in it. So I told her I was in. I asked her if it was 90-minutes-no-intermission (#nmni) and she laughed and said, “oh no, this is a full two hours and forty five minutes.” I made sure to have an espresso milkshake from Momofuku beforehand.

It was about two boys, Mingus and Dyland, in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn in the 70’s when it was still called Gowanus. Both lived with their fathers and were abandoned by their mothers. One black (Mingus), one white (Dylan), they seem to be on a good path until Dylan is accepted to Stuyvesant High School and Mingus is left on his own to attend public school in Gowanus. We see the incredibly different lives they lead and after high school Dylan runs away to UC Berkeley because that’s where his mother left him to go. He makes a career for himself as a music critic there. 

A major aspect in both of their lives is soul music: for Dylan, it’s the music on the records his mother leaves behind and for Mingus, it’s the music that his father was previously famous for. Dylan’s mother leaves behind her wedding ring which acts as a magnet bringing the boys together, and eventually resulting in their final fight as adults.

The largely ensemble cast is uniformly excellent. Allison Whitehurst deserves special recognition for dancing in roller skates. And David Rossmer didn’t let his bandaged arm and hand in a cast bring him down (he apparently sliced the tip of one of his fingers recently), he was hilarious. Rebecca Naomi Jones did a great job with her two roles; I particular enjoyed her rage in act two. Kevin Mambo, as Mingus’ father, was and is always great. Chanler-Berat was fantastic, as per usual, easily conveying the range of emotions that his character goes through. Kyle Beltran as Mingus was the other standout. His character development and decay was perfect.

The show is long - especially the first act. But if they shave twenty minutes off the first act, The Public has another Fun Home on their hands for sure.

Last weekend I went to see The Money Shot by Neil LaBute at MCC. I usually like LaBute. I loved reasons to be pretty, Dirty Talk, etc. 

This was basically a 90 minute episode of a sitcom that doesn’t exist. (and thank goodness for that) One about how awful Hollywood actors and their culture is out in LA. Two washed-up actors have a shot to be ‘big’ again if they shoot ‘the money shot’ scene of a movie and actually have sex. They’ve come together this evening with their partners to discuss this out in the open. As you can imagine, it all worked out. (Not.)

Did it have it’s moments? Yes. Were laugh-out-loud lines? Yes. Did this need to be 90 minutes? No. Not at all. The characters were also highly unlikeable. The cast did the best job they could with a pointless script though - they were hilarious. 

MCC is usually fantastic, but this is probably down at the bottom of the list of the shows I’ve seen there. I have higher hopes for the next one though. Hey, not every production can be a homerun. 

 As much as I liked This Is Our Youth, I would have to say that if you see one play on Broadway this year, it should definitely be The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (based on the book of the same name). This National Theatre transfer from London tells the story of Christopher Boone, a teenager in England with autism who is investigates the death of his neighbors dog and finals out a lot about his family in the process.

The story is simple, but it’s the direction (by Marianne Elliot), set design (by Bunny Christie), and lighting (by Paule Constable) that really make this piece come to life. I wish I could describe it better without spoiler alerts, but I can’t. The audience is really served with a fantastic idea of what it’s like to live with autism.

The ensemble cast is fantastic and work together to bring the ten thousand moving pieces of this play together. The stand out, of course, is Alex Sharp as Christopher Boone. This kid just graduated Juilliard in May and if they don’t give him a Tony Award for his performance, it will be a crime. His portrayal of an autistic child seems genuine and not forced at all.

Make sure you have your coffee before though as it’s 2 hours and 45 minutes long. But it’s fantastic and I was never bored (and my favorite words in the English language are “ninety minutes, no intermission.”). I sat dead center in the last row of the orchestra and the seats were perfect. I know there are $27 tickets in the rear mezzanine or balcony, and if you have the means, I’d encourage everyone to go grab one of these as close to the center as you can and enjoy, and be moved.