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Ken777
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Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:38 am

My better half and I were in Dallas last weekend for an annual leukemia seminar and were able to get tickets to see The Book of Mormon.

Made me wonder how many on the board have been to see live performances of plays/musicals, and which ones did you like.

The best of the ones I have seen are:

Les Mis: A brilliant play that has been wowing audiences for a quarter of a century. I've seen it 2 times now and strongly recommend it.

The Book of Mormon: Odd play for my second place, but this play is as sophisticated as Les Mis and had outstanding choreography as well. Our seats were up high, which was a benefit in terms of watching the dancing develop and progress. My only note is that people who are very devout Christians need to pass as the play takes the mickey out of anything held scared. If it plays in the Baptist Belt (like TUL) half the audience would walk out before the first half ended, while the other had were in tears from laughing so hard,

Jekyll & Hyde: Another great musical, but one that was sadly ruined the second time it was produced. I was fortunate in seeing the first version. My wife also went to the second version and said it was a dog because they made it too dark. Didn't last long at all on Broadway. Producers should have remembered the old saying (if it ain't broke don't fix it)

Phantom: A great play and in my top 5. Been 3 times, including once in Denver when we were able to get last minute tickets that had ben turned back in. We were on the 3rd row - pretty impressive.

Lion King: We saw this in London and I loved it. The actors on stage were well up to the genius of Elton John

That's my top 5

Also in London was Buddy and Mamma Mia. Both were are in my Top 10. (I happened to catch The Buddy Holly Story on TV some nights ago and was reminded of how talented the guy was. If you haven't seen it I'd recommend downloading a rented copy of the movie)

Joseph: Got dragged to this musical and walked out at the end loving it. A different type of play, but very well done.

Jersey Boys: Good musical and great talent on the stage. The writers took the easy way out on dialog, tossing the F Bomb in every second or 3rd word. Still worth seeing if you like music from that era.

Anything Goes. This was a remake of a musical from the 30s and had a limited run on Broadway. We were fortunate to be able to see it and it's safe in my top 10.
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:58 am

I saw Lion King, Miss Saigon and Rent on Broadway many, many years ago.

Since then I've seen Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis, both twice as part of the Broadway Series here in Louisville.

The wife and I enjoy live performances.
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LittleFokker
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:58 am

Saw The Book of Mormon in Chicago last year, loved it (tough ticket too, they sold out just about every show on a 9 month residency). Last month, the wife and I saw "Million Dollar Quartet" at a smaller theater here in Chicago, and I loved it. The actor who played Jerry Lee Lewis was fantastic and made the show.

Before I met my wife, I hardly went to any plays, though I did see Cats around 1994 at the old Aladdin Theater in Las Vegas (great old theater, a shame they tore it down).

Honestly, I love watching sets move into place, seeing the staging of the show, and I'd get a kick sitting backstage and watching. Goes with my personality - I know how most magic tricks are done and yet I still enjoy watching expert magicians perform them.

[Edited 2015-02-24 21:03:57]
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Mortyman
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:46 am

Starlight Express ( Original Broadway ) *****

Cats ( Broadway ) *****

Phantom of the Opera ( Broadway ) *****

Les Miserable ( Broadway ) *****

Miss Saigon ( West End ) *****

Chicago ( Broadway ) ***

Jesus Christ Superstar ( Norwegian Version in Oslo, Norway ) ***

Oklahoma ( Norwegian Version in Oslo, Norway ) ***
 
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Aaron747
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:53 am

I've seen quite a few, especially before moving overseas.

My grandmother took me to The Lion King at the Pantages in Hollywood, and we also saw The Nutcracker at Hollywood Bowl.

I've also been fortunate to see Phantom of the Opera and La Boheme at the ACT back home in San Francisco. In addition to those, I saw Chicago at the National Theater in DC, and have seen the Japanese version of Fiddler on the Roof.
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Superfly
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:34 am

I was dragged to too many plays/musicals as a kid and on school field trips. My older sisters loved them.
I've seen dozens.

Quoting Ken777 (Thread starter):
which ones did you like.

None of them.
Just not my thing.
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stlgph
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:08 pm

I grew up between Chicago & Indianapolis and within a reasonable driving distance to St. Louis. I was fortunate enough to catch many many first rate tours and pre-broadway (shows trying it out out of town before opening up in NYC).
I also was close to several cities and got the bus & truck companies. What this is is when a show opens on Broadway, 3-4 years after another production company takes over and offers a smaller budget presentation of the show that's able to travel from city to city every night. I will say despite the fact that sometimes these shows feel cheap, I saw a few great productions like this including Hello, Dolly! with Carol Channing and The Who's Tommy. The latest one I saw like this would be The Drowsy Chaperone, which was absolutely awesome.
Since moving to NYC, I've been fortunate enough to attend many many shows. In some cases, 5 or more a week, just depending on what is going on.
Yet, despite all this, I've yet to see Jersey Boys or The Lion King   Perhaps someday since they only play down the street 8 times a week.

Some of the shows playing now in NYC I would recommend -
A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
The Audience
Kinky Boots
Beautiful

There's a lot of buzz about a new musical opening up in the next month called "Something Rotten."

Some of my favorites remain ... I've always liked the revival of Chicago and have always enjoyed Phantom. Word of note, the Phantom on tour dramatically changed about 3 years ago. If you want to see the original, see it in NYC or London, don't see it on tour.

Shows I'd love to see come back: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (the tour done in the 1990's with Donny Osmond was amazing). The Who's Tommy, the original 1993 production was awesome. Damn Yankees, a great revival of this would be welcomed, the one in 1994 was so well done.
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sccutler
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:37 pm

We usually catch a few shows a year, and saw Book of Mormon last week as well (we're you there, then, Ken?). Like a good show, don't care for those in which the electronic displays are overdone- that's what movies are for!

Really enjoyed Jersey Boys, and (despite my certainty that I'd hate it), Ghost.
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sbworcs
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:30 pm

Have been to see several over the years!

Joseph - Loved it, great fun. Have seen in both London and regional theatre
Miss Saigon - well produced and sung etc. but was not my thing.
Sunset Boulevard - Petula Clarke was fabulous in this
Mama Mia - great fun and much dancing at the end!
Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens (several times) - murder mystery set to the sound of a disco beat - brilliant fun and high camp!
Oliver - was OK but my partner loved it.
Riverdance - once you have seen the main dance it all became a bit samey!
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - once they had got the car to work it was very good.
Smoke Joes Café - good fun and great music
Tess of the D'Urbervilles - left at half time and did not go back!
Phantom of the Opera - enjoyed it but preferred the film if I am honest
Rent - from what I remember I enjoyed it!
Grease - good for a sing along!
Beauty and the Beast - good fun - went with kids who loved it!
Fame - only came alive when they sang the signature tune

Have been to see several others but cannot remember them all!

Am off to the theatre in Malvern this evening to watch Harvey starring James Dreyfuss and Maureen Lipman
Hoping to catch something on Broadway when I go to NY in June - think my sister is buying something for my birthday!
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stlgph
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:47 pm

Quoting sbworcs (Reply 8):
Sunset Boulevard

Another fantastic show that will only really live once, in the original productions in London, NYC, Toronto, Melbourne, and on tour.
The set was just unbelievable. I remember everyone stopped and watched the giant mansion lower down from the rafters. And then the lights fully came up and we all just sat there and applauded. Yes, we applauded the scenery. It was that fantastic. The show was good, too, but the set by John Napier was extraordinary.
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Ken777
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:27 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Just not my thing.

That's unfortunate as a live performance, be it a stage musical or a band performing live (I saw Paul McCartney on his last tour - brilliant) can be so much more than a movie version. I am always impressed with the talent levels of these shows, even the ones on the road, In some shows, like Les Mis and The Book of Mormon, the music is very demanding on the singers and I am in awe of the talented people on the stage.

Maybe at some point there will be a musical of a band or singer you like. They pop up now and then, from Buddy to The Jersey Boys to (gulp) Mamma Mia.

On the other side of the coin, if you like a composer than you might like something he or she has done for the stage. Elton John and The Lion King is a good example.

Quoting sbworcs (Reply 8):
Have been to see several over the years!

I'm envious of that list. I gave up my season tickets some years back as I was out of town for half the shows & the wife would give my ticket to a friend. Saved me $400 a year and we spend part foothill money when my better half says I need to see a show (and she needs to see it a second time! ).

Quoting sccutler (Reply 7):
(we're you there, then, Ken?

We went Friday night and were sitting up in the clouds - which was actually great for watching the choreography develop on the entire stage.
 
ab486
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:43 pm

I would like to see more plays/musicals as I often enjoy them. Les Mis is a great one. I also saw Blood Brothers in London, which is very enjoyable. Shamefully, I've never seen the Lion King, but will get around to seeing it someday!
 
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Aesma
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:37 pm

I hate musicals, the few movies I've seen I cringed, I don't plan to watch any other ever, and no live performances either. Bollywood movies are also a big no-no for me because of all the singing and dancing. Ballet is not my thing either although I can suffer it, same with opera (if there are subtitles somewhere so it's understandable).

Now, I like theater and have seen many plays, mostly classical ones, pretty much all of Molière for example.

My best memory was a representation of Corneille's Le Cid I attended as a teen in a small theater. The scene was the floor, and being on the front row meant I was sat on a bench right in front of the actors. It ended up like this, with a beautiful naked girl right 2 meters away from me, it made a lasting impression for sure :

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Airstud
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:24 am

The only show I actually saw on Broadway was A Chorus Line, in 1984. Marvin Hamlisch to my knowledge only wrote two more Broadway scores, The Goodbye Girl and Sweet Smell of Success. The former was hyper-commercial, recycled dreck; the latter was astonishing, bringing us pitch-perfect pastiche, noticeable innovation, and true tunefulness. Any one of those qualities is tough to find in a current musical and Hamlisch pulled off all three, at the same time. Unbelievable.

It's more than twenty years since I last set foot in New York City (excluding changing planes at JFK  ), but I try to follow the Broadway (score) scene via AccuRadio and by watching the Tonys. Even with just those sources to go by, it's clear that contemporary musical theater is at a major low point.
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mad99
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:28 am

My wife started dragging me to amateur plays when we first met.

Some are really well done and i enjoy them loads. Now we take the kids, mostly to ones that are in English and geared to kids.

Lots of very talented people in these!!
 
kaitak
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:35 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Thread starter):
Les Mis: A brilliant play that has been wowing audiences for a quarter of a century. I've seen it 2 times now and strongly recommend it.

It is; the movie is excellent and the 25th anniversary show at the O2 in London is definitely worth a look if you can get the DVD, or even watch it on Youtube.

Quoting Ken777 (Thread starter):
Phantom: A great play and in my top 5. Been 3 times, including once in Denver when we were able to get last minute tickets that had ben turned back in. We were on the 3rd row - pretty impressive.

I had always liked, rather than loved Phantom; however, having seen the 25th anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall, with Ramin Karimloo (now doing very well as Jean Valjean in Les Mis on Broadway) and the wonderful Sierra Boggess, I think it superb.

Quoting sbworcs (Reply 8):
Phantom of the Opera - enjoyed it but preferred the film if I am honest
Quoting sbworcs (Reply 8):
Miss Saigon - well produced and sung etc. but was not my thing.


The new London production of Miss Saigon is superb. Well worth seeing!

Others I really enjoyed are Carmen Jones (well overdue for a revival, I think) , West Side Story, Into the Woods (recently made into a film - shouldn't be long before it's out on DVD), Evita and Sweeney Todd.

I'm actually going to see Sweeney Todd at the English National Opera (ENO) in April, with Bryn Terfel in the title role and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lovett. Can't wait!
 
sccutler
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:31 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 10):
Quoting sccutler (Reply 7):
(we're you there, then, Ken?

We went Friday night and were sitting up in the clouds - which was actually great for watching the choreography develop on the entire stage.

I was the guy in the middle, near the back, holding a drink.  
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scamp
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:39 pm

I have seen Phantom, Les Miz, La Cage, Titanic, Chorus Line, Priscilla, Godspell, and a few others I am forgetting. I enjoy theater in general but Broadway can be a tad expensive so I only go every couple of months or so. Although I live in New York and most things are expensive here. The only time I go is via TKTS and even then can easily pay close to $100 for anything that isn't decades old. Like Phantom. I usually avoid the theater in summer due to all the tourists and I don't want to stand in line in the middle of Times Square with a gazillion of them in 80-90F+ temperatures.
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Kent350787
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:50 am

I'm really looking forward to Matilda in a few months - Tim Minchin is great,and the show has been award winning.

I may be showing my age, but I keep going back to Godspell as my fave, and Jesus Christ Superstar too. Joseph I've seen on stage and did it at school - it was originally written as a school musical.

Les Mis was OK (the only song that i love is At the End of the Day), but I was bored with Miss Saigon, and it really turned me off musicals.
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VapourTrails
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:44 am

Cats

My Fair Lady

Les Mis

Phantom

Lion King

Wicked

Chicago

Sound of Music

They are all in Melbourne at various theatres in the city, from the 80's to the 00's.

~~

Local, smaller productions I have seen -

Hair

Grease

Moon, by The Australian Voices

The Mousetrap


I am sure there are others.. I loved them all, particularly Cats. The only one I would comment on was Wicked, it was too long, and didn't appeal at the same level as the others, on the whole.

[Edited 2015-03-06 22:47:07]
 
kaitak
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RE: Do You Go To Stage Plays/musicals?

Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:00 am

Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 18):
but I was bored with Miss Saigon, and it really turned me off musicals.

I went to the new production of Miss Saigon in London very recently and it was absolutely superb ... wonderful performances all around. I saw the original version in Dublin a few years back and it was good too, but this one was superb. I couldn't think of a single aspect of it I didn't like. Would go to it again in a heartbeat.

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