Posts Tagged ‘Broadway’

My Second Broadway Experience

Photo courtesy: theatrenotes.com

Photo courtesy: theatrenotes.com

I went to watch Exit the King yesterday on Broadway. It was a matinee and I happened upon the tickets as a gift. The lower mezzanine, first row seats were a welcome surprise.

To the historic theater, I brought a can of seltzer water to take with me inside. I also purchased a candy bar (from England) as a snack which I didn’t end up eating.

The play has Geoffrey Rush, Susan Sarandon and Lauren Ambrose. But I felt that the 3 character actors stole the show. Well, Geoffrey Rush was spectacular but the rest were not utilized to the best of their ability. Susan Sarandon’s fan club must have been in the audience because despite a lousy and monotonous delivery, she received the greatest praise. . . which leads me to believe that the matinee going public in NYC is hungrier for the stars than the actual content of what they go see. This is based on when I saw Rosie O’Donnel’s horrific performance in Fiddler on the Roof…and she received huge standing ovations.

I thought the play had a great ending, smelly jokes and it was OK overall. But the experience of being in that theater with the specific crowd which happened to be there was most inviting. The antique chandeliers, the sound guy, the folks behind me who thought that every single moment was uproariously funny, my guest who warned me that I’d be kicked out for drinking a can of seltzer water…but that it’s OK to drink a bottle of water that you’ve brought?

Broadway is a weird place. You’re inside this gorgeous theater where people are pretending to be someone they’re not and they’re applauded for delivering lines to one another. I guess it’s acting overall that is intriguing to me. But when witnessing a master of his craft like Geoffrey Rush, it makes you wonder what makes people tick.

Mr. Obama: Can We Make Broadway More Accessible for the Middle Class?

We learn that another celebrity-backed movie-morphed-into-musical is coming to town, courtesy of Dolly Parton. I’m sure ticket prices will be as splashy as the stage.
It’s a case of the chicken and the egg on Broadway these days. Are movies being recycled into splashy musicals to fill seats in the theaters, at unaffordable [to most people] prices, to pay for the high-priced movie and TV celebs and splashy sets? Or do we need the movies-made-into-splashy-musicals and celebs to fill seats, and thus have to charge exorbitant prices to pay for the splashy sets and high-price stars they have to use on Broadway in order to fill those seats.

Big money drives a Broadway production, and big money pays the bill for a night out at the theater. “Disney-fication” revived an ailing Broadway and cleaned up the Theater District, but ticket prices have gone through the roof, and I wonder what’s going to happen if tourism goes down in this crappy economy, especially from international visitors. In his effort to help the middle-class, can Mr. Obama help pass initiatives to subsidize the arts, as they do in Europe, to keep tickets reasonably priced? Or better yet, to help emerging producers, directors, composers, and writers without Disney-type bank accounts to put up original and stage fresh ideas, without such a hefty price-tag?

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