Week One Live Show
Posted 29 March 2008 - 11:13 PM
Posted 29 March 2008 - 11:25 PM
For me, the weakest was Tara. I just think she has a really odd vocal tone, and really don't think her voice would hack the big belty bits eight times a week.
Sarah gave a really solid performance, and would like to hear Rachel given a nice ballad.
I'm glad they picked up on Francesca's pitching. It wasn't a bad performance at all, but it definitely wasn't note perfect.
Overall, I thought they all gave it a really good go, especially as it was their first live show. They must have been bricking it!!
Posted 29 March 2008 - 11:36 PM
Hmm. Apparently I'm the only person here who rather likes Barry being on the panel. I thought he was great and it was nice to have someone with so much experience and consumate performance ability being so pleasant and appraising alongside that pair of semi-successful attention seeking self-interesteds. God, I can't bear them. Particularly John.
In answer to the question of why Barry is there, I would offer the following:
i. If you want to have a real Oliver! expert involved in this (aside from Cameron Mackintosh), Barry is your man. He has had a longer association with Oliver! than anyone else alive.
ii. He is a seasoned and expert professional. He has had fantastic success in so many fields over the years and is a genuinely clever and observant man, which is exactly what this show needs. The Joseph show benefitted fantastically last year from Bill Kenwright's kindness and appraising manner in offering feedback and I suspect that Barry will fill that job this year.
iii. He is hysterical. Those of you who missed his most recent Fagin at the Palladium in 1997 missed some absolute genius (see anecdote below). Granted, this probably didn't come out in the first show but it will do as he settles into the format.
The penultimate Fagin in the Palladium production, Barry developed a number of standing gags during his time in the show. These included 'accidentally' flicking the toast off the toasting fork into the orchestra pit during the "did you see any of those pretty things, Oliver?" bit and then dangling Oliver over the edge of the stage to retrieve the toast from someone in the band. Genius!
I also liked the bit he did between the penultimate and last lines of Reviewing the Situation - "but who will change the scene for me?", set flies out and then, instead of moving on to the last line of the song, he spent up to two minutes dithering around on the stage trying to find his bird, Birdie. Magic timing and, more importantly, a superb way of adding a characteristic feel to a role which is so often wheeled out as an half-arsed homage to Ron Moody.
The best one though was a two-parter. Just before the toast bit when he is counting his money and playing with his treasure, Fagin finds a ring which he points out to Birdie as being "worth all the rest put together". Barry then slipped the ring into his pocket for the conclusion of the gag, which took place during Fagin's transition into an honest man in the last ten seconds of the show. After the final line "I'll turn a leaf over and who can tell what I may find?", Barry straightens up and starts walking off into the sunset as indicated in the script, but then stops and finds the ring in his pocket, looks around at the audience, starts yelling and grinning and runs off stage left, the gag being "sod the leaf"! What he did was to effectively change the ending of the show - how ridiculously audacious is that??
So, with all the above in mind, please leave Barry alone for the moment and give him a chance. You'll love him.
Posted 30 March 2008 - 12:07 AM
Posted 30 March 2008 - 12:39 AM
The cynic in me says that Kenwright was nice to them all so he didn't burn any bridges with them - how many of the Josephs has he cast in his shows now, mostly in Joseph itself?
I think we'll have to agree to differ on this front - what sounds like a charming anecdote to you sounds like massively frustrating dicking around with the show to me! I don't doubt it was good showmanship but if I'd been involved with the show he'd probably have driven me mad...
Clearly you're a big fan of Barry's - I've never even seen a whole "episode" of anything with Dame Edna in, and my only proper experience of him is hearing his voice in Finding Nemo, so I'm really not very qualified to judge the man. I hope he will prove me wrong and grow into the role as the show progresses.
He's infinitely preferable to David Ian, though, I'll give him that!
Posted 30 March 2008 - 12:42 AM
Look, I'm sorry about this anti-Barrowman ranting I appear to be doing but he just seems to illicit this irrational dislike in me for some reason.
Actually no, it's not irrational at all! The guy is extremely arrogant and the idea of anyone so grossly self-obssessed being so celebrated sets my teeth on edge. He probably is successful in the sense that he's done quite well and gets plenty of screen time in this country. But I certainly don't equate that with accomplishment as a musical theatre actor, and that is the bit that hacks me off increasingly, this notion that he is some kind of auteur and that his opinions are so unilaterally significant.
To my mind, he states the bleeding obvious each week in his technical criticisms and does his best to sound commandingly mentorish with remarks like "I want better from you next week". Perhaps that makes him a good talent show judge, but it's boring and certainly pulls my focus from the actual show content. What I find far more interesting to watch are the genuinely expert technical comments from Zoe Tyler, the love of theatre which comes out of Bill Kenwright and the uncensored responses which come out of ALW.
Goodness, I appear to be waffling. Must stop now. But anyway, there's a better explanation of why I dislike the admittedly quite successful John Barrowman.
Posted 30 March 2008 - 12:52 AM
"Expert comments?" are you having a laugh. I think that's more Mary Hammonds area. I'm not surprised the repulsive and bitter Zoe Tyler was axed, she completely destroyed any expertise she may or may not have had with her completely unprofessional favouritism of Keith Jack on any dream will do and her unplesant and catty attitude towards Lee Mead and Daniel Boys.
I liked Barry Humphries tonight. His comments were considered and well thought out.
Posted 30 March 2008 - 02:56 PM
Do you mean to insinuate that her description of one of Lee Meads performances as 'a bit rubbish' wasn't professional or didn't show her expertise off to the full? I am shocked!!!*
*NB - this is a sarcastic comment.
Posted 30 March 2008 - 03:17 PM
Having met and chatted with John on many an occasion I can say I'm hard pushed to find someone more lovely, kind hearted, generous and caring than he is. There's nothing arrogant about the man whatsoever. He's truly a joy to be around.
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