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Samuel

Member Since 27 May 2013
Offline Last Active Today, 09:09 AM
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Relative Values At Harold Pinter

29 March 2014 - 11:06 PM

I saw this yesterday evening. Turned up to the box office at 7pm and still got a day seat in front row of stalls (A2 near the end). I found this to be a bit of a yawn fest to be honest, the first act barely raising any laughs from the audience. They need to trim this down as the running time is 2 hrs 50 mins which is way too long. Patricia Hodge was very good but the rest of the cast were average.

Stalls were only two-thirds full so after the interval I moved a bit further back and got an empty row to myself. Unfortunately, I fell asleep in the second half as I was feeling tired. Did I miss anything?

Not my favourite Coward play. Blithe Spirit is much better. Mind you, the rear stalls seats at the Harold Pinter are surprising comfortable with lots of legroom so you can really stretch out and have a proper snooze! ;-)

Will be interesting to read the reviews!

New York Trip Reviews

27 May 2013 - 09:16 PM

Hi All,

I've just returned from NYC and managed to see 7 shows out there! Thought I would post a review of what I saw.

Kinky Boots
Wasn't planning on seeing this but turned up to the theatre on the off chance and managed to grab a standing room ticket for $27. Great view from the back of the stalls. This was really good fun and had some catchy songs. However, the accents were terrible and all over the place. It's supposed to be set in Northampton but couldn't really work out what accents most the cast were doing. The audience loved it and I think it would do really well if it transfers over here.  

Newsies
This was superb and I really hope it transfers. Saw a Wednesday matinee performance and won a lottery ticket for $30. My seat was in the front left hand side of the stalls, slightly restricted view but not too bad for the price. The show was terrific and had some of the best choreography I have ever seen on stage, an incredible mixture of ballet and tap which the cast make look effortless. The songs were great and the production is very tight. Very well deserved standing ovation.

Nice Work If You Can Get It
I was looking forward to this the most as I love Gershwin and wasn't disappointed at all. Got half price tickets from the Tkts booth in Times Sq. Highly amusing performance from Matthew Broderick. All the leads were excellent. Sets and costumes were brilliant. Another standing ovation. Such a shame it's closing as I would definitely recommend this.

Pippin
This was the only show I wasn't able to get any discounts for. Not sure what to make of this at all. Some parts were absolutely spectacular and some of it fell flat. It's more of a Cirque du Soleil performance rather than a typical broadway show. The songs were great and I absolutely loved the Bob Fosse choreography. The main problem was that the book, to me, seemed quite weak. It's a really naf storyline and I just didn't get the point of it. Also, there is a highly annoying character who dominates most of Act 2 which really irritated me. Have to say that Patina Miller was outstanding as the lead player, very impressed with her singing and dancing. The acrobatics were superb and without giving too much away, there is a showstopping moment half way through Act 1 which got a standing ovation! Overall, I had really high expectations for this but left slightly disappointed. Maybe it's just me?

Cinderella
A typical Rodgers and Hammerstein show, wonderful music, dazzling sets and costumes. A very big production that fills up the massive Broadway Theatre very well. Reminded me a bit of Beauty and the Beast. The leads playing Cinderella and the prince were both excellent. Went to the Sat matinee and there were lots of young children in the audience who were clearly loving it as they kept on talking all the way through! I hope this transfers over here as I think it would do really well.

New York City Ballet - Tribute to Broadway
This was the highlight of my trip! A superb mixed programme that consisted of Carousel, Gershwin's Who Cares and, finally, West Side Story Suite. The dancing was just fabulous.The Lincoln Center do discounted half price tickets on the day for most productions and I managed to grab a bargain for $46. The New York State Theater is home to the NYC ballet and it's a beautiful theatre with a very large proscenium stage which means you get a decent view from practically every seat. They toured London a few years ago (at the Coliseum) and would recommend seeing them if they come over again.

Spiderman - Turn Off the Dark
OMG what a complete mess!! This was so shockingly awful I was left speechless! Ok I knew it was going to be bad but wanted to experience the spectacle so used a broadwaybox discount code and got a Mezzanine box seat for $99 which, of course, was a complete waste of money. The production is dreadful. Bono's music is instantly forgettable. Not a fan at all. The only redeeming feature is that the flying sequences above the audience are spectacular but the rest of the show is unbelievably embarrassing to watch. AND it got a standing ovation why?? The best bit was in the interval when the lovely couple from Colorado I was sitting next to asked me if Great Britain was an island...?!

Overall I had a great time. I stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel just off Times Sq which meant that all the theatres were within walking distance. Very comfortable hotel but quite expensive (around £200 a night) but the rooms are very spacious for NYC standards. Also, I would definitely recommend doing a day trip to Woodbury Common (if you like designer labels) as the shopping there is amazing and so ridiculously cheap. The bus takes around an hour each way from the Port Authority bus terminal and costs about $40.

Loved the free playbills (basically a free program with cast details) you get for each show. Wish they would do the same here! All the ushers I met were very friendly and helpful. Can't wait to go back!

Cheers, Sam