Broadway Theater Reviews: Waitress and American Psycho

Waitress

The-Waitress

Official Blurb:  Fresh from a sold-out run at Boston’s American Repertory Theater, WAITRESS makes its highly anticipated Broadway premiere. Funny, inspiring and surprisingly poignant, this irresistible slice of life features original music and lyrics by 5-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland). Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) is Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker in a small town who dreams of a way out of her loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life. Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, WAITRESS is an uplifting new musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.

My Take: First of all can you really go wrong with a show that is blasting pie smell when you walk in? The answer is clearly not. This is such a happy and moving show. A small show that fits large in your heart. The music, played by a smaller band onstage, is so catching and emotional. Sara Bareilles definitely did not disappoint. It has a folk air and they are just beautiful. Some of them I thought were a bit too high for Jessie Mueller’s register but the great actress that she is she pulls them off. That brings me to my second point, how fabulous Jessie is in this. She just exudes emotion and vulnerability and does a marvelous performance. The supporting cast is great as well, I especially liked the combination of Kimiko Glenn as Dawn and Christopher Fitzgerald as Ogie, they were both hilarious and cute all at the same time.  Finally, loved the choreography and staging. The repetition of the baking movements and the dream sequences were handled beautifully. definitely go see this if you cam, and grab a pie before the show, my parents bought a couple and loved them! (I mean how can you not love a show that sells pies!)

Some pictures: First, the pies on the set..

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the beautiful pies they are selling:

and the playbill:

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and a great commercial from their website:

American Psycho

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Official Blurb: American Psycho is based on the best-selling novel by BRET EASTON ELLIS, and set in the epicenter of excess: 1980s Manhattan, this hit musical tells the story of Patrick Bateman, a young and handsome Wall Street banker with impeccable taste and unquenchable desires. Patrick and his elite group of friends spend their days in chic restaurants, exclusive clubs and designer labels.  But at night, Patrick takes part in a darker indulgence, and his mask of sanity is starting to slip…BENJAMIN WALKER (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) stars alongside a first-class cast, including Tony Award® winner ALICE RIPLEY (Next to  Normal), HELÉNE YORKE (Bullets over Broadway), Tony nominee JENNIFER DAMIANO (Next to Normal), and DREW MOERLEIN in his Broadway debut.  Featuring a score by DUNCAN SHEIK, the Tony and Grammy Award®-winning composer ofSpring Awakening, and reinvented for the stage by Olivier Award-winning director RUPERT GOOLD (King Charles III), writer ROBERTO AGUIRRE-SACASA (“Glee”), Tony-nominated choreographer LYNNE PAGE (La Cage Aux Folles) and three-time Olivier Award-winning scenic designer ES DEVLIN (tours for Adele, Beyonce, U2, Kanye West), this new musical is the sexiest show on Broadway.

My Take: Please don’t go see this unless you are an absolute fan of this movie. I usually dont say this, but here, you will thank me. As I am one for positivity first, lets discuss the things that work: The set sfrom Es Devlin are amazing, Jennifer Damiano shines as Jean and the second act redeems itself of the ACt 1 mess. I think that’s pretty much it. Benjamin Walker, as the lead, tries really hard, and is hot as hell (as he is half naked the show) but i think he lacks the charm and depth of character to make this work. The songs, very surprising for Duncan Sheik, are lackluster. They are not exiting nor did they have the energy for an 80s show. This is especially evident in contrast to the real 80s songs that are intertwined during the show. There is a song about fashion designers that i should have loved but the music, choreography, costumes and setting just falls flat. The story really doesn’t go anywhere and all characters are grating. They also stand in that weird line where they are not going to far to make it caricature and funny but dont make it realistic either. I had high expectations for the coreography, and although a few songs were cool, in general it did not live up to my expectations, it was quite basic and formulaic. In general its a show that tries to hard to be cool and fails in the process.

some media: 

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