Broadway Theater Reviews: Beetlejuice, Tootsie & Ain’t Too Proud

Beetlejuice

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Official Blurb: Beetlejuice is a stage musical with music and lyrics by Eddie Perfect and book by Scott Brown and Anthony King. It is based on the 1988 film of the same name, about a deceased couple who try to haunt the new inhabitants of their former home and call for help from a devious bio-exorcist ghost named Betelgeuse (pronounced “Beetlejuice”), who is summoned by saying his name three times.

 

my Take: This musical was so much fun. Too be honest I didn’t have that many expectations coming in and they were all thoroughly exceeded. The music is great and very lively. Alex Brightman’s performance is amazing and he keeps you completely engaged. However I expected that, as he always is fabulous. The great surprise was Sophia Anne Caruso as Lidia, she was wonderful, loved her voice and performance. Kerry Burler and Leslie Kritzer were also great, they lighted up the stage! The sets were very cool (how did Hadestown sets win over this?) All in, a really fun night at the theater!

Tootsie

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Official Blurb: 2019 Tony Award® winner Santino Fontana delivers “one of the best performances ever seen on a musical stage” (Rolling Stone) in the show critics are calling “the most uproariously funny new musical comedy to hit Broadway in years!” (The Hollywood Reporter). This New York Times Critic’s Pick tells the story of Michael Dorsey, an out-of-work actor willing to do anything for a job — even if it means playing way against type. When he disguises himself as an outspoken actress named Dorothy Michaels, he defies all odds to become a Broadway sensation. But as audiences fall for Dorothy and Michael starts to fall for the woman of his dreams, he’s learning that the hardest part of show business isn’t getting to the top… it’s keeping up the act.

My take: I was Rolling on the floor laughing in this show. I think that is one of the two key things this show has going for it, a hilarious book. I really was crying of laughter at one point. The other wonderful element is Santino Fontana. He is spectacular as the title character and his Tony is so well deserved. The supporting cast does a fine job of jsut that, supporting his performance and provide some of the great comedic element. The music, is good, you won’t hum anything on your way home but it is serviceable and enjoyable to the concept of a true musical comedy.

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Aint Too Proud – The life and Times of the Temptations

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Official Blurb: AIN’T TOO PROUD is the electrifying new musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. The rest is history — how they met, the groundbreaking heights they hit and how personal and political conflicts threatened to tear the group apart as the United States fell into civil unrest. This thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty and betrayal is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and so many more.  After breaking house records at both Berkeley Rep and The Kennedy Center, AIN’T TOO PROUD, written by three‑time Obie Award winner Dominique Morisseau, directed by two‑time Tony Award® winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), and featuring choreography by Tony nominee Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, On Your Feet), now brings the untold story of this legendary quintet to irresistible life on Broadway. Get ready — ’cause here they come!

My take: As amazing as the music is in tribute shows I might be reaching over saturation. Just this year I saw Tina, summer and the Cher show and it’s getting to be a bit much. However, the Aint too Proud Musical is fun and works. It is not perfect, however, and fell a bit below my expectations. First, let’s talk about all the things that are amazing: The music of course is fabulous (so many songs I was singing along in my head). The performances are top notch – Ephraim Sykes voice is butter and his performance is great.Can I be a member of the Jeremy Pope fan club? He is spectacular , his voice is amazing (and can we talk about his eyes?)  Also the sets are super sleek. What wasn’t that great? I love Sergio Trujillo and was expecting amazing choreography after his Tony win, and although highly effective, it is not spectacular. I was also not emotionally invested in the story. It could have been because we did not see Derrek Baskin but his standby. But the narration was just a bit off to me. I had a great time, but I wasn’t as fully in the story (I am the one who is usually crying in the death sequences ) and here I was a bit apathetic – not the emotional engagement I was expecting

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