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In the Heights - robert
July 10th, 2010
04:47 pm

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In the Heights
Hmm, I never knew that the roles of Salieri and Mozart in Amadeus were originated on Broadway by Ian McKellan and Tim Curry, respectively.  That would have been something to see.

In the Heights was marvelous.  I could have done without a lot of the lame sitcom dialogue, most of which wasn't funny (but of course the audience laughed at everything), but it didn't really matter because the musical numbers were so fantastic.  I must have the soundtrack.

I'm glad we changed our tickets from Tuesday to Friday, after learning that Lin-Manuel Miranda was ill and couldn't perform.  He's the star of the original Broadway show as well as the creator.  So getting a chance to see him, knowing that this is his creation and his story to tell, made the experience feel much more special.  Plus he's just an awesome performer.  Sabrina Sloan from American Idol Season 6 is also in the touring show, but not in the performance we saw.  Musical theater... where all failed American Idol contestants end up.  Actually, successful ones end up there, too -- Sabrina's AI competitor Jordin Sparks is going to be in the Broadway show.

I read a review of the Tony Awards in which the writer bemoaned the way they always favor big, crowd-pleasing musicals over more artistically ambitious productions, citing In the Heights winning Best Musical over Passing Strange as an example.  Having now seen both (well, I saw the movie of Passing Strange, which is just a filmed production of the play), I have to side with the Tonys on this one.  The two shows actually have a lot in common: they're both nostalgic musicals about minorities from inner-city neighborhoods, and they're both narrated by characters who are played by the actual creators of the show.  In the Heights, though, is a more traditional song-and-dance musical, despite its hip-hop and salsa influences, while Passing Strange is more intimate and experimental.  But it's also self-indulgent as fuck.  The writer actually named his autobiographical main character "Youth."  Of course, this is a guy who just calls himself "Stew," one word.

We're definitely going to the theater more often.  Leap of Faith opens in September, based on the wonderful Steve Martin movie, with music by Alan Menken.  I am so there.

There's a musical coming to Broadway called Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, described by Wikipedia as a "Wild West rock musical" that redefines Andrew Jackson as an emo rock star.  Holy shit.  That's, like, the greatest thing I've ever heard of in my life.  Too bad I wasn't aware of it two years ago when it opened in L.A., with the girl from Avenue Q, no less.  I think I might cry.  I need to remain vigilant to prevent such catastrophic oversights in the future.

I've kind of regretted not going to any Broadway shows when I lived in New York, but now that I think about it, I'm wondering if there was anything worth seeing back then.  It was during that dark period of the '90s, between Phantom of the Opera and Rent, when there was seemingly nothing new or interesting coming out.  I don't even remember hearing about any Broadway shows when I was there, so maybe that's why it never occurred to me to go see one.  It wasn't until Rent came out (when I was already back in California) that I was even aware of a new musical (well, other than Beauty and Beast.  And Sunset Boulevard, I guess.  But they're based on movies, they don't count).

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From:confuzzledmog
Date:July 12th, 2010 07:18 am (UTC)
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My mom saw In The Heights and Billy Elliot last weekend in NYC and liked both a lot. I'm so jealous.
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