I was watching the “American Idol” auditions last night (not on purpose or anything mind you…was folding laundry in the family room and the kids were watching it…what was I supposed to do???) and I swear that I saw Scott Wichmann in a street shot of Seattle. There was a guy shaking out an umbrella and he said something to the camera (can’t remember exactly what…didn’t have the DVR primed…) and between the voice and the look, it was unmistakably him. If it wasn’t, Scottie’s got a twin who lives out in the NorthWest.
If you want to catch up with Scott and his adventures out west (where he caught up with Richmond expats Foster Solomon and Susan Sanford), be sure to check out his blog.
Did anyone see the second edition of “Grease: You’re the one that I want” auditions? I’m afraid that one is probably going to drop right off my radar screen as time goes on. I did see that the ratings for the show dropped from about 23rd on the first night to something in the mid-40s for the second edition. May not bode well…
I’ve enjoyed hearing about people who went to shows in NYC around the holidays. For oneeyedog who came face-to-face with Cynthia Nixon – you lucky dog! I loved her on “Sex and the City” and my esteem for her has only grown as she has continued to do cool shows on Broadway since SATC closed up shop. It was a possibility that I would see “Chorus Line” when I was up there but it turned out to be a girls-only show for our family: my daughters, wife and mom-in-law went and filled me in later. Their opinion (not informed by the critical distain that comes with my job) was that the show was great. My lovely wife was surprised at how much she had forgotten about the show since she first saw it years and years ago.
I really wanted to see “Spring Awakening” but because we were planning on bringing two adolescents with us, I balked on that one. A show about adolescence and sex might have been a little too real both for the kids and us parental types. Now the wife and I are mulling over a possible spring NYC trip that I think will include “Drowsy Chaperone” and “Awakening.”
I saw Kristin Chenowith on David Lettermen last week and she was quite a hoot. It’s remarkable how tiny she is! Next to Dave, she seemed a bit like a dwarf. I appreciate a talk show that recognizes Broadway stars; Dave will always be the post-baby boom generation’s answer to Johnny Carson, if you ask me. Jay who?
“Wicked” was truly amazing. I went in with pretty low expectations for a number of reasons too involved to go into here. But man, I was just blown away. Ana Gasteyer is truly up to the task of Elphaba; she blew the doors off of “Defying Gravity.” The story is genius, fitting together with “The Wizard of Oz” so that the old movie seems like just a small piece of a much more intricate and interesting puzzle. And I don’t know if I can string together an adequate number of adjectives to describe the cleverness and well-craftedness of Stephen Schwartz’s songs. Particularly listening to the cast recording afterwards, it’s clear that he put everything he had into this one. I’m looking forward to showing our little ones “The Wizard of Oz” soon so we’ll have an excuse to go see “Wicked” again! I know that watching the movie will never be the same again!
Did you know that the name Elphaba comes from the initials of "TWofOZ's" author? L. Frank Baum = LFB = El-fa-ba. How's that for a fun fact!
I’ll have to write more about “The Grinch” sometime – not just the production, but some not-so-positive things I think the production says about the unique niche of “opportunistic” theater.