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mallardo

Member Since 05 Mar 2011
Offline Last Active Today, 03:32 PM
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#291465 Coriolanus

Posted mallardo on 02 February 2014 - 12:08 PM

It's not surprising that a Conservative like T.S. Eliot would find much to love in Coriolanus.  It's interesting that Brecht did an adaptation of the play, completed, apparently, by his acolytes.  Presumably in his version sympathy would lie with the Tribunes and the people against the contemptuous militarist.  I'd love to see it sometime.


#291338 Coriolanus

Posted mallardo on 01 February 2014 - 09:03 AM

I saw this, at last, yesterday and my audience was 80 percent young female - 100 percent of the standees. They were all impeccably behaved and happy to be there.

Re Hiddleston, he did sound a bit throaty, especially early on, but his voice improved as he went along, and so did his performance.  At the beginning I thought he was just okay but he came into his own during the public temper tantrum and got better and better after that. His final scene was, I thought, superb.  Not sure about the complaint re the tears.  He had real tears and they came at the appropriate place.

Also, as I was in the Circle, I was happy to note that he pitched a lot of his performance upstairs - he always seemed to be looking at us, or perhaps it was at his standee fans.

And I loved the production.  Josie Rourke is growing on me.  Some of her solutions - the battle of Corioli, with the ladder - were, I thought, quite brilliant.  And I liked the chairs as a way to justify keeping a lot of people on stage, surely a requirement of this very public play.

A fine cast, Gatiss and Findlay and Fraser all terrific, but so too were the Tribunes, Elliot Levey and Helen Schlesinger, and I liked the way they were handled.

A very successful show on all counts.


#291142 Dating A Musical Theatre Lover...

Posted mallardo on 30 January 2014 - 04:25 PM

Not just Croatia, I stood in a day seat line a week ago with two funny charming girls from Slovenia who were staying in a West End hostel while they prowled around town seeing shows.

As to your adventures with passport control - M16 indeed - I think there's the makings of a story: international woman of mystery smuggling top secret information in and out of the UK using a theatre fixation as an unusual but (for that reason) plausible rationale for her travel. But then her genuine love for theatre takes over making her unreliable as a spy and dangerous to her handlers. She takes refuge in the arms of an actor who must now be as heroic in life as he is on the stage.  Take it from there.


#290942 Dating A Musical Theatre Lover...

Posted mallardo on 29 January 2014 - 08:21 AM

Guys, we'll just have to get together some time and sort out who we really are.  Drinks are on me.


#290842 Dating A Musical Theatre Lover...

Posted mallardo on 28 January 2014 - 03:50 PM

Your plight is so familiar to me although I'm older than you are and, at this point, married.  Not that that helps.  My wife is an ex-actress and will happily go to plays but with musicals I'm on my own.

But there are lots of females on this board who love musicals so, clearly, they're out there.

Maybe Urinetown is your answer - it's so smart and funny and appealing in a broad-based way that I think it could win over even the most confirmed of the musical-allergic.  And of course the heroine of Urinetown is Hope.


#290409 The Future West End - what would you like to see?

Posted mallardo on 24 January 2014 - 01:26 PM

Like to see:  In The Heights, Next To Normal, Light In The Piazza, Catch Me If You Can, Women On The Verge, Grey Gardens, Giant, Fun Home.

Expect to see:  None of the above.


#289779 Rickson Mulling Mojo Revival

Posted mallardo on 18 January 2014 - 09:54 AM

I day seated this yesterday - Friday - arriving at 7.30 to be 4th in line.  The stage for this is somewhat higher than normal for this theatre, not sure why, but the view is still excellent from the front row.  The only thing out of view was the end of the astonishingly well conceived and acted death scene.

It's an amazing show, Ben Whishaw giving one of the great performances, with Daniel Mays and Colin Morgan right up there with him.  Cardinal Pirelli mentioned the Pinter imprint on the play and I'd agree with that.  It made me think of The Homecoming, all those men fixated on the one woman, Ruth, just as all the men in this play are fixated on Silver Johnny, the promise of a future - their Mojo.

Wonderful theatre.


#289190 Billy- The Original London Cast Starring Michael Crawford

Posted mallardo on 11 January 2014 - 10:57 AM

Too bad - you would have loved it.  After seeing it I did the same cast recording search you're now doing - with the same sad result.


#289172 Billy- The Original London Cast Starring Michael Crawford

Posted mallardo on 11 January 2014 - 08:25 AM

Did you see the Union Theatre production last year?  It was excellent.


#288734 Other Desert Cities

Posted mallardo on 07 January 2014 - 05:58 PM

I saw the play in Los Angeles with a Hollywood-based cast - it's set in Palm Springs or Palm Desert or one of those "desert cities".  Lots of good roles, especially for the women. I liked it without loving it.  But I have no idea why they would want to play it in the round, it's a pretty traditional piece.

Last time the Old Vic did an in the round production was The Norman Conquests, I think. It was not especially effective.


#288588 Coriolanus

Posted mallardo on 06 January 2014 - 03:39 PM

Well, if they both drop out I'll just be waiting here on the substitute's bench.


#288110 My Favourite Things In 2013

Posted mallardo on 31 December 2013 - 05:19 PM

Big year for musicals:

Three great ones at the Menier Chocolate Factory alone - Merrily We Roll Along, The Color Purple and Candide.

Titanic a revelation at the Southwark Playhouse.

The Scottsboro Boys overwhelming at the Young Vic.

American Psycho very cool at the Almeida.

Billy a fun rediscovery at the Union.

And, lest we forget the West End, a wonderful and worthy Chorus Line and a heart-stopping Once.


As for the plays, favourites at the NT would be The Amen Corner, Brief Interlude and From Morning to Midnight.

The Almeida had Before the Party and Ghosts.

The Donmar had the sensational Julius Caesar and, yes, The Same Deep Water As Me.

Best for me at the Royal Court was The Low Road but Let The Right One In was up there as well.

The Menier mixed in a terrific Proof with its musicals.

Scenes From a Marriage at the St. James was intensely good.

The Master and Margherita at the Barbican was astonishing but I'm not sure if it was this year.

The Old Vic had a first rate The Winslow Boy and a Sweet Bird of Youth to wallow in.

And, shoot me, but I loved James McAvoy and Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios.

Best Ayckbourn was Relatively Speaking.

Best Pinter was Old Times - sublime!

Best Brecht was The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.

Best LaBute was The Shape of Things at the Arcola.


Best Theatre Board was and is WOS.  Happy New Year everyone!


#287820 American Psycho

Posted mallardo on 28 December 2013 - 06:53 PM

How do you make a musical out of American Psycho?  THIS way.

I thought it was brilliant.  They got the concept just right.  The set, the clothes, the choreography, Rupert Goold's direction - his natural flamboyance was made for this material - everything works to perfection.  

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's book is masterful, not a weak or awkward moment in it.  And Duncan Sheik's score is everything it has to be. Recognizably the work of the composer of Spring Awakening yet with just the right techno-rock 80's blend, it absolutely captures the mood and the sound of the piece and, as a result, the outside music from the movie (Huey Lewis, et al) feels seamlessly interpolated.  Bravo to Mr. Sheik.  I'm buying the cast recording as soon as it appears.

If I have a slight reservation it's about Matt Smith's Patrick Bateman.  His singing I could overlook but, to me, he lacks the presence and charisma that made Christian Bale so compelling in the movie.  Unfair, perhaps.  But I kept wondering what it would have been like if, say, Ben Aldridge, who played Bateman's antagonist, Paul Owen, had been given the role.  

No matter.  When it was over I wanted to see it again.


#287056 Stephen Ward - The Musical

Posted mallardo on 17 December 2013 - 12:08 PM

I just don't buy the argument that Broadway is hostile to musicals from across the Atlantic.  Show me where a critic or anyone around the business has indicated such an attitude.  

Criticism of individual shows or productions does not make for a rejection of the whole idea of non-American musicals.

The most recent example, Matilda, got great reviews across the board and is doing super business - rightfully so.  Not winning a Tony is not an example of a let's-keep-it-American mentality.


#286950 Stephen Ward - The Musical

Posted mallardo on 16 December 2013 - 08:34 AM

I don't believe that for a second.  There's no problem with the uppity Brits who are actors and directors and playwrights having enormous success on Broadway (and Hollywood, to extend the idea). Just poor little ALW.  It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that he hasn't written a good show since Sunset Boulevard, could it?

One thing I learned about Americans in show biz (and I speak as a Canadian who became an American) is that the only thing they really care about is whether or not you can help them make money.  Origins are irrelevant.  When ALW was a pot of gold, he was beloved.  Now that he's not... not so much.  It's not complicated and there is nothing nationalistic or anti-Brit about it.