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Filtering by Tag: musicals

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's me on The Original Cast!

Chris Klimek

It all started when I bought my buddy, Superman biographer Glen Weldon, a copy of this LP in Asbury Park, New Jersey for $20.

It all started when I bought my buddy, Superman biographer Glen Weldon, a copy of this LP in Asbury Park, New Jersey for $20.

Funny thing: Patrick Flynn lives in Bethesda, Maryland, a short public-transit trip across the northwest border of Washington, DC, where I live. We know many of the same people because we're both involved in theatre; him as a playwright, me as a critic. And yet our paths never crossed until he heard me on James Bonding last fall, which Matt Gourley and Matt Mira record weekly at Gourley's beautiful home in Pasadena, all the way on the other side of country.

Anyway, Patrick kindly invited me to appear on The Original Cast, his fine podcast celebrating Broadway cast albums, to discuss a musical of my choice. I picked the 1966 curiosity It's a Bird! It's a Plane!, which I'd never heard of but never heard until I picked up a secondhand LP of it as a gift for my buddy Glen Weldon a couple years back. Glen wrote the book on Superman, or at least a book on Superman. It's certainly the book on Superman I can most enthusiastically recommend.

Here's the discussion Patrick and I had, which does not confine itself to the Man of Steel's brief life as a Broadway star, for reasons that shall become clear. This was recorded in late April.

Unsinkable? Unthinkable! Signature Theatre's all-singing, all-dancing Titanic, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Christopher Bloch, Nick Lehan, Lawrence Redmond, and Bobby Smith in Signature's  Titanic.  (Christopher Mueller) 

Christopher Bloch, Nick Lehan, Lawrence Redmond, and Bobby Smith in Signature's Titanic. (Christopher Mueller) 

Signature Theatre has revived Titanic, a multi-Tony Award-winning musical from 1997 that almost no one remembers. Apparently it was upstaged by some movie? My Washington City Paper review is here.

Gay for Play: La Cage Aux Folles, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Brent Barrett surrounded by Les Cagelles (Signature).

Brent Barrett surrounded by Les Cagelles (Signature).

My review of Signature Theatre's robust revival of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's beloved Reagan-era musical farce La Cage Aux Folles is in this week's Washington City Paper. I like the show, but I don't like my review as much as the one I wrote of the Goodspeed Opera House's production about a year ago, as part of my coursework for the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's National Critics Institute. Which is odd, because I remember thinking I was producing mostly unpublishable copy while I was there. I've never been a fast writer. Most days we had copy due at 8:30 or 9 a.m. about the show we'd seen the night before. Anyway, the Critic Class of 2016 starts their two-week term on Saturday. Good luck, you guys. I envy you, sort of — just not your early-a.m. deadlines or your accommodations or your on-campus meals. 

Actually, the coffee was pretty decent. I drank a lot of it, at any rate.

A Silver Spoonful of Sugar: The Lion, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Benjamin Scheuer, composer & performer of the solo musical  The Lion  (Matthew Murphy).

Benjamin Scheuer, composer & performer of the solo musical The Lion (Matthew Murphy).

I struggled with my Washington City Paper review of The Lion, a strong, brief one-man musical play by the singer-songwriter Benjamin Scheuer. This was a case where learning about the circumstances of the show's creation—as one is wont to do when writing about art—made me like it less in hindsight than I did the moment the performance ended. Is that fair? I'm still not sure. You can read my attempt to work through my consternation while still giving the artist his due here.

The Meek Shall Inherit the Dearth: Guards at the Taj and You, or Whatever I Can Get, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

My reviews of Rajiv Joseph's marvelous 2015 Guards at the Taj, now at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and of Flying V's new musical comedy You, or Whatever I Can Get, are in this week's Washington City Paper. You are alerted.

When You're a Jet Something Something: West Side Story, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

(Signature Theatre/Christopher Mueller)

(Signature Theatre/Christopher Mueller)

I brought my folks to Signature Theatre's reverent, rapturous production of the Broadway classic West Side Story the week before Christmas, but due to vagaries related to two issues falling on holidays between then and now, my Washington City Paper review is only now surfacing. I filed on time, dammit. At least I think I did. Who can remember anything from before Christmas now? Holiday-time usually brings a conventional but deeply satisfying revival of a proven crowd favorite, and this winter, West Side Story is the one to beat.

For what it's worth, the first time I heard "America" was when Bono was singing a snippet of it during "Bullet the Blue Sky" on U2's PopMart Tour in 1997.

 

 

No More: Oliver!, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Jake Heston Miller is  Oliver!  (Margot Schulman)

Jake Heston Miller is Oliver! (Margot Schulman)

It's already been three weeks since I saw Arena Stage's new production of Oliver! Lionel Bart's beloved 1960 musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist — but for various page-cutting reasons, my review did not run in the Washington City Paper until this week's issue. Somehow I got through it without mentioning that Jeff McCarthy, who plays Fagan, was in RoboCop 2.

I've Got You Under My Skin: Silence! The Musical, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Tally Sessions and Laura Jordan as Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling in the musical parody  The Silence of the Lambs  demanded .  (Igor Dmitry)

Tally Sessions and Laura Jordan as Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling in the musical parody The Silence of the Lambs demanded. (Igor Dmitry)

Studio Theatre served fava beans as snacks on press night of Silence! The Musical. Tasteful! fuhfuhfuhfuhfuhfuhfuh.

review the show in today's Washington City Paper.