Friday, June 25, 2010

Flash Review

OK, so the week went by and I didn’t have a spare brain cell to devote to CYT’s “Peter Pan” or Richmond Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” Believe it or not, I actually think a little before I write about shows and I wouldn’t want to put anything out there without putting at least a little thought into it. I’ve got 16 hours of driving ahead of me this weekend so perhaps I’ll have some time to think then.

Right now, however, thoughts of “Rent” are crowding everything else out of my brainspace. I was at opening night last night and am still processing what I saw/heard/experienced. I loved this show when I saw it on Broadway so one thing I’m having to do is cleanse myself of the expectations I might have had and, to paraphrase Maureen and Joanne, take this production as it is.

There are some amazing moments in this show. As Tom Collins, Durron Tyre has a searing second act show stopper that is almost worth the price of admission all by itself. The ensemble’s “La Vie Boheme” is a delightful romp and I think I could hear the duet between Jaci Camden and Joy Newsome on “Take Me As I Am” over and over again without getting tired of it.

But great moments aside (are there are many more I haven’t mentioned but plan to highlight in my review for Style), I am also trying to integrate some niggling questions I have about staging, lighting, and sound engineering that veered from crystal clear to fuzzy and full of feedback. I’ll try to bring all of that into something cohesive in the next couple of days but in the meantime, I’ll provide this one sentence flash review: Stoked by the prodigious vocal firepower of a jubilant young cast and sustained by Jonathan Larson’s rollicking rock-and-roll score, Firehouse Theatre Project’s production of the acclaimed musical “Rent” has so much power and intensity that it threatens to explode the confines of the intimate Firehouse stage.

My lovely mom-in-law arrived in town this week bearing a program from “Fences,” the result of a recent New York trip. In the program was a story written by Seth Rudetsky about quick changes and their potential for causing onstage disaster. He highlights a particular incident involving Richmond-born Emily Skinner. I couldn’t find that exact story online but here’s a link to the same story encapsulated in one of Seth’s columns from two years ago:

Speaking of Broadway, here’s an interesting story about the Great White Way in the wake of the recent Tony Awards. Weird how an award can have an impact…or not.

1 comment:

Thespis' Little Helper said...

:) You can also hear Emily and Alice tell the story on their Ripley/Skinner: Raw at Town Hall CD. It follows Alice Ripley's thrilling "Broadway Baby".


(And is very close to the cabaret that they did at the Kennedy Center a few years ago...even more brilliant live! [Thanks, Dave!])