Saturday, June 07, 2008

Thyme for Rosemary

Having not seen either the cannibalism or the gratuitous sex, my favorite part of "Reefer Madness" may be this picture that Style ran in the calendar section this week. It just about captures how I feel at the end of a long week sometimes.

Anyway, it's been really hard to figure out what else I should say about "A Dash of Rosemary" (still playing at the Mill) because I think my review captured most of my thoughts on the show. I think the expositional structure of the show is a bit annoying. I know these musical revues are just that, revues. I don't expect them to be big on plot or character development. But "Rosemary" is pretty much: "and then this happened...and then this happened...and then this happened." That's all fine but it ends up being fairly boring and surprisingly uninformative because you only have time for so many facts in between all the songs. I learned more about Clooney in the Wikipedia article about her than I did in this show. I've always heard theater is about showing and not telling, and there's quite a bit of telling in this show. This drawback is accentuated by the repeated mentions of Clooney's devotion to her fans or her music. She was obviously not a saint -- nobody is -- but the show seems to be trying to make her out as one.

Having said all of that, I left the show pretty darn happy, mostly -- perhaps solely -- because of the performances. I cannot heap enough praise on Ms. Motley-Fitch; my adjectives just don't do her justice. There's something awe-inspiring about someone who can start a song singing softly and slowly but without wavering and then build up to a full belt without hardly a hiccup, off-note, or pause in between. It's like being in a car that goes from zero to 60 in 10 seconds and the engine never even strains.

I have to agree to some extent with Ms. H in the T-D that it doesn't do Mr. Becker -- who has a perfectly fine voice -- any favors to partner him up with Motley-Fitch and Katrinah Lewis. It does set him up to pale in comparison. But I applaud him for holding his own in the same ring with these two vocal heavyweights. And one thing I like about Brandon is that he seems happy on stage, a trait he shares with Lewis. Because of their on-stage demeanor, the show is never less than pleasant, and often quite delightful.

I used the word "angelic" to describe Ms. Lewis because there's almost an ethereal light around her. Her voice is pitched surprisingly high -- I always expect earthier alto-ish tones from her -- and is sweet and clear. Like Cathy, she also makes the work she does seem effortless. But even with her great singing and bright demeanor, what I'll remember about her in this show were the times she looked more sad or thoughtful. Already a very pretty woman, she looks especially beautiful with a pensive expression, in my opinion.

Well, I guess I did have a couple of things to say about "Rosemary!" Gotta run but just wanted to add, I'll hope everybody will tune in and join me in rooting for Big Brown tonight -- see sports history in the making!


Frank Creasy said...

Thanks for the mention of Big Brown and sports history today, Dave - because a sad event in sports history today prompts us to turn attention away from the drama of theatre to the "human drama of athletic competition", the classic words spoken in the intro to ABC's Wide World of Sports by the now late, great Jim McKay.

Jim McKay passed today and his incredible legacy in sports broadcasting will never, ever be forgotten. Along with such luminaries as Curt Gowdy, Keith Jackson and Chris Schenkel, Jim McKay brought sports from around the globe to us under the brilliant leadership of Roone Arledge at ABC Sports. The Olympics have never been done with such professionalism, such breadth, and such class as Jim McKay and team provided. When the 1972 Olympic massacre of Israeli athletes turned the world's attention to extremist terrorists, McKay, Cosell and the pros at ABC helped us gain some perspective. Sadly, NBC later turned the Olympics into sound bites and human interest stories. ABC and McKay knew better: The struggles, anguish, celebrations and sorrows of the world class athlete spoke volumes above what any of them could possibly elevate beyond the simple words they used to describe those momentous events.

Jim McKay was one of a now dying breed of sports journalist, one who knew that the stories behind the sports needed little hyperbole or cause for debate amongst the spectators who included sports journalists. Jim McKay was a legend in his own right, and we mourn his passing today.

Angelika HausFrauSki said...

Also, Big Brown lost. 'Twas a major upset.