Broadway Theater Review: Hadestown, Kiss Me Kate & Be More Chill

Hadestown

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Official Blurb: Welcome to HADESTOWN, where a song can change your fate. This acclaimed new musical by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) is a love story for today… and always.

HADESTOWN  intertwines two mythic tales — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — as it invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, HADESTOWN  is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never lets go

My Take:  This one is hard to define, and I will preface as I was feeling sick when i saw it. Therefore i really was just falling asleep on my seat and probably didn’t get the full experience I should have. Nevertheless of that fact I still thought it was a superb piece of theater, even under those circumstances and that says a LOT. It also means I need to see it again to get even more out of it.  The staging is super simple yet immensely effective. The casting is mostly spectacular. My only hesitation would be Reeve Carney. He was the performer I was most looking forward in seeing and he was the one that impressed me the least. His voice is still beautiful but doesn’t have that much to do here and i just couldn’t connect to his interpretation of the character. But Eva Noblezada and Amber Gray kill it. Patrick Page’s low notes are soaring and just an absolute treat. The music is hit or miss for me. Although very creative and folksy and completely appropriate to the staging it wasn’t completely my cup of tea. In general although I will not be putting any of the songs in my musical theater car playlist (you know i have one) this staging is spectacular and worth a look.

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KISS ME KATE

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Official Blurb:At last, Broadway is sizzling again with musical comedy magic.Kiss Me, Kate combines spectacular song, dazzling dance, and megawatt star power in a “Too Darn Hot” blockbuster that has made the critics—and the whole city—fall so in love.Kelli O’Hara, Will Chase, and Corbin Bleu lead the cast in this evening of romance, passion and comedy about a fiery couple of co-stars feuding onstage and off. The result is a New York Times Critic’s Pick that’s “utterly, deliriously fun” (The New York Observer).

My Take: My first question was, does this really need to be revived again? I all about seeing Kelly o Hara and Will Chase on stage so it was a no brainer i was going to be there. And not surprisingly they are fabulous in it. But really was this the show that needed reviving, given so many great stories that haven’t seen a revival recently. I saw a revival of kiss me Kate in 1999 ( oh man that was 20 years ago, i just dated myself so much by saying that a revival 20 years ago was recent!). But then again my story still stands – revive funny girl, it hasn’t been done! The show was exactly what I expected. A star turn for fabulous performers, a wonderful two hours with Cole Porters great tunes (there are some of his really solid tunes here: Brush up your shakespeare, Too Darn Hot, Why Can’t You Behave?, So in Love , Always True to You in My Fashion) and a fabulous night out. Is there any sort of reinvention/change need for this no. Does it matter – no.

BE MORE CHILL

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Official Blurb: See the viral musical sensation brought to Broadway by the power of fans. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers cheers, “Talk about universal! BE MORE CHILL is a wow of a musical with an irresistible score and a Little Shop of Horrors vibe. Go! Go!” And New York Magazine raves, “It soars! Witty, high-octane tunes, bang-up performances, and shrewd comedy. A streak of wickedness runs through it”.

What if popularity came in a pill? Would you take it? In BE MORE CHILL, achieving the “perfect life” is possible thanks to mysterious new technology—but it comes at a cost that’s not as easy to swallow. Thrillingly exciting and comically subversive, this new musical takes on the competing voices in our heads. And ultimately proves, there’s never been a better time in history to be yourself.

My Take: This was a really fun a cute show with really excellent music. I was surprised they kept it this small for Broadway. There are only around 10 actors and i totally could have been ok with a larger chorus and larger group numbers. Which begs the question – why move it to Broadway if not to make it bigger (im hearing Neil Patrick Harris in my head now). The heart of the show is really good, the tunes are fabulous and catchy and you will have a great time.

 

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