Archive for May, 2009


So how come I didn’t know a new Pushing Daisies was on last night?!!!!!! No fair!!!!


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I don’t get it. How is this a kids’ show?


And it is the same complaint I had with the animated movie. How is Shrek for kids? I get that it is animated, therefore must be kid friendly (give me a break), but the humor in this story is not what I would call appropriate for a family vehicle. It’s appropriate for teenagers and older. For them, myself included, I think Shrek is a lot of fun. But when, after Shrek makes a joke about Lord Farquaad’s big castle,  the 7 year old sitting behind me at the Broadway Theater in New York leans over to her mom and asks “What did Shrek mean when he said ‘compensating for something’?”, I get a little uncomfortable. More on this later.

It’s hard for me to write up a review of Shrek. Part of me wants to wear the critic’s hat and really pick it apart while the other part of me wants to look at it from an enjoyment point of view and say “yeah, it was okay.” Let me start with the latter.

Yeah, it was okay. Like with so many of the latest batch of movie-turned-musicals, Shrek the Musical is the movie. Not much of anything was changed and even most of the jokes were the same. But it was an enjoyable show to watch. The music is a lot of fun and the pace of the show goes by pretty quick. Though they were the same jokes from the movie, the comedy was still funny. But the biggest draw of the show has to be the actors.

I’ll go see Brian D’Arcy James in just about anything after seeing him play Shrek. It’s not easy to act and show emotion behind all that makeup and granted, Shrek doesn’t have a big range to be played, but my goodness did Brian D’Arcy James play the hell out of that character. And his voice is to die for, real deep baritone that at times seemed to be shaking the walls of the theater. Quite incredible.


I was really excited to see John Tartaglia as I adore him on the Avenue Q cast recording. Tartaglia has a number of roles in the show but his main – and visible – one is Pinocchio who he plays as a deeply distraught, falsetto-voiced sourpuss puppet. He was really great. It’s so much fun to see actors enjoying themselves on stage and he certainly does. And again, what a voice!

I had heard that Christopher Sieber stole the show as Lord Farquaad but he REALLY stole the show as that character. The guy has to be way over 6 feet tall yet he does this character (almost) entirely on his knees. Dancing on his knees, running about the stage on his knees. It’s remarkable. I have to wonder how he is even able to walk after a week of shows. Beyond that, Sieber brings such energy to every scene he’s in. I loved him as Sir Galahaad in Spamalot and he too joins the list of actors that I would pay to see in anything.

Which leaves us the actor I was the most excited to see:


Thank God, Sutton Foster was in the show when I saw it or the Broadway Theater would have had a mutiny on their hands! I’ve been dying to see Sutton Foster in…anything since she became one of Broadway’s biggest stars. And now I understand why she is. Wow! She literally sparkles on stage. She’s natural, charming, with the stage presence of a LuPone, the comedic chops of a Ball, and the dancing skills of Verdon. And I honestly didn’t expect her voice to be as good live as it is on all of those cast recordings. Guess what? It’s better! Heavenly, heavenly voice. Her Act II opening number “Morning Person” is a showstopper. I’m really happy I got to see her.


So all of that made the show fun to watch but the more I think about it – and I had a 4 and a half hour bus ride home yesterday to do so – the show starts to unravel. If I wasn’t in a theater full of kids, I would have enjoyed it more. Some of the jokes were a little racy and I know all of the 7 and 8 year olds around me had no idea why the grown ups kept laughing which made me uncomfortable. I’m not one to censor what little kids hear – which is why I don’t blame the content of this show as much as the marketing behind the show – but I really don’t think that Shrek is a kids show.

But my biggest complaint is that the show can’t decide what it wants to be. It has a few big set pieces which say to me big Broadway spectacle show but then other set pieces are very minimal and don’t match up to that big-ass dragon puppet. Some of the numbers are high-energy and a lot of fun but then others just fall flat on their face, almost all of the ones with Donkey. Is the show biting satire or family-friendly, self-referential and edgy or Disney-fied? Unfortunately, the answer is that Shrek the Musical, in trying to appeal to both kids and adults, shoots and misses everyone. Sure, we all get little snippets here and there that we like but the show as a whole is an almost impossible one to aim at a specific target audience. So it throws a really wide net and whoever it catches, well that’s just fine and never mind the details.

I have another tiny complaint. Throughout the show are references to very popular musicals like Wicked, Gypsy, The Lion King, and A Chorus Line. The references were funny but the problem is that if you take swipes at established musicals like those, you have to earn that by being bigger, better, and different than any of them. And unfortunately, Shrek isn’t even close.


One cool thing though: Julie Andrews did the opening announcement about cell phones. That was fun. 🙂

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I probably shouldn’t be spending the money but whatever, I’M GOING TO A METS GAME!!!!!! An afternoon game in New York on 6/21. I’m sitting close to the field a bit down the line from 3rd base meaning…


Lots of David Wright booty!!! 🙂

And since it was kind of expensive, I’ve decided to, between now and then, cut certain things out or down to make up for the day trip. All evens out…right?

Eh, prolly not but whatevs. I’M GOING TO A METS GAME!

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Guess what I got in the mail last night?


I still thank my lucky stars – and friends of the blog Sarah and Dori – that I was fortunate enough to see the new musical The Story of My Life back in February. I’ve already written a review of it (search if you so choose) so I won’t go into that now. Thank heavens the producers decided to do a cast recording, preserving this touching piece of theater and allowing others not able to get to NY that first weekend to experience it.

I got my copy of The Story of My Life last night and listened to it on my way to work this morning – lasted the entire commute! The recording sounds fantastic. It is very near what I remember it sounding like seeing it live and enough cannot be said about Will Chase and Malcom Gets. Their voices will just melt you.

What I love most about the CD though is that they included some, if not most, of the dialogue so that you get the full story just by listening. Sarah and Dori can correct me if I’m wrong but it seemed to me that nothing was taken out. The transitions between songs are still there and you can almost imagine Malcom Gets chasing that damn butterfly around the stage during the appropriate song.

It was heartbreaking that this show closed so early but now with this CD, a complete one at that, we get to enjoy it for a long, long time.


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Ugh, I so badly need to vent and I can’t vent on here! BLAH!!!!!!!!!

Screw it, it’s 10pm and I’m going to bed. I’ll just have to vent to my pillow.

Spring Awakening

That is 100% what my hair looks like right now, completely unintentional. And no, that is not what I needed to  vent about. 😦

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Like the rest of New England – and the sports media world – I’m just about flippin’ my lid over the return of Tom Brady. Today was the first time the media could watch the Patriots practice in their OTA’s with Tom Brady the star of the afternoon. Words cannot describe how nice it is to see that butt-chin again.

These are from today. All pictures “taken” – with much appreciation – from Boston.com. Here’s the link for more.


Oh my God, he’s really alive!


Tom Brady is the only man in the world that can make sweatpants look that good.


Giselle is so effing lucky! I might have to hate her now.



I fear looking at these might not be good for my health and/or sanity any longer. Though, if I have to read one more New England based publication bitching about how Hollywood Tom Brady is, I’m going to scream. I thought we all wanted Brady to come back? Still…

Why isn’t it September yet?!!!!!

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Angry Face

Things I’m pissed off about today:

  • My knee still really hurts. It’s not as stabbing as last night but it aches and every time I go to stand up or sit down it spasms. I suppose I should have gone to a doctor. And I’m supposed to go to New York on Saturday. That ought to be fun walking around. 😦
  • Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe has yet another column out today poo-pooing Tom Brady. As if his infamous column, released the morning of Tom Brady’s injury last year, depicting our QB as Mr. Hollywood but in a negative way, wasn’t bad enough. Now he’s bitching that SI’s Peter King got the inside scoop with Brady. Whatevs, Mr. Shaughnessy. And besides, Peter King is awesome so grow up!
  • It costs way too much to go to grad school. At least, the grad school I want to go to. Of course I pick one of the hardest to get in and most expensive ones to set my hopes and dreams on, but I’ve always been attracted to pretty and pricey things. Can you guess which one I’m talking about?
  • Hey sports media, where’s the love for Gary Sheffield? Two 3-run homers in the last two games and the guy is 40 something. He’s the hottest bat for the Mets right now.
  • How come the T only possibly works on a sunny day? Why do a few rain drops always create chaos on the MBTA?

And on a more serious note:

  • My mother told me a truly horrific story the happened in Provincetown this past weekend. Memorial Day weekend is always crazy in P-Town, full of drunk people everywhere you go. Well, apparently this was this guy who got really drunk and was walking down the street behind a same-sex couple who were holding hands. The guy starts harassing them with anti-gay slurs and then the situation escalates, all due to this drunk guy and not the couple.  The drunk guy ends up throwing one person of the couple through the window of the Post-Office Cafe on Commerical Street. Here’s the kicker. The drunk guy thought he was following a same-sex MALE couple, yelling all kinds of derogatory things. But he wasn’t. They were women. He threw a woman through a restaurant window because she was a homosexual. If that isn’t the definition of a hate crime, I don’t know what is. I hear the woman had some injuries but is okay.
  • So congratulations California. You get to be just another example of the prejudice this country has against regular people choosing to love each other.

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