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For NYC Theatergoers: Put The Drowsy Chaperone on your must-see list

For NYC Theatergoers: Put The Drowsy Chaperone on your must-see list

May 7th, 2006, 02:26 PM
  #1  
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For NYC Theatergoers: Put The Drowsy Chaperone on your must-see list

The show is an absolute delight--incredible clever and very funny!
HowardR is online now  
May 7th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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I have not seen The Drowsy Chaperone, but the reviews have been less than stellar, to say the least. From Clive Barnes:

THE title - "The Drowsy Chaperone," the avowedly new musical that opened last night at the Marquis Theatre - virtually says it all. I understand that this little, horrifyingly pastiche musical started life in someone's living room in Canada. It should have stayed there.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/05022006...ment/63202.htm

Ben Brantley's review in the Times was not as negative; in fact, the review was rather milquetoast.

But of course, what do reviewers know? Right?



Gekko is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 05:27 PM
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Friends of ours saw it and thought it was very good. Hope to see it soon
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May 7th, 2006, 06:39 PM
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To Gekko, I offer the following responses:
1. Aren't you the same person who championed the current revival of Barefoot in the Park that is flopping out soon, a victim of poor reviews and insufficient audiences? To adapt your closing remarks...."What does Gekko know?"
2. Reread the Brantley's review. Though he had some reservations, I would definitely consider his a favorable review.
3. Clive Barnes is very low on my list of worthwhile critics.
4. As for a first-hand experience, the sold out house at the performance we attended roared its approval during and atthe conclusion of the show.

HowardR is online now  
May 7th, 2006, 06:50 PM
  #5  
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Howard you beat me to it. Gekko ranted and raved about how wonderful Barefoot in the Park was just because he has the hots for the leading actress, despite the fact ALL the critics tore it to shreds, the crowds were less than enthusiastic, and it is closing earlier than what they had announced. Now he has the nerve to take one critic out of context and to pan a show. I guess he doesn't have the same hots for Sutton Foster as he does for Amanda Peet, so to him it isn't a great Broadway show. After all the show is all about how hot the lead actress is, right?

And yes, Ben Brantley who NEVER likes a "fluff" musical gave Drowsy Chaperone a very positive review.
 
May 7th, 2006, 07:14 PM
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I see ... when the old folks like a show, the critics' reviews don't matter. I should have known!

And I recall being told that standing ovations and packed houses were simply par for the course now on Broadway. But of course that doesn't apply when "people of a certain age" endorse a production.

Sorry to rock the boat. Resume the hypocrisy.

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May 7th, 2006, 07:37 PM
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I realize it is hopeless to have a battle of wits with someone who is only half armed but. . .

These people "of a certain age" are not being hypocritical. One bad review does not mean a disastrous show, quite a different thing from the unanimously bad reviews of Barefoot.

And at least neither of us talk about "seeing a Broadway show with a famous movie or TV star is quite the thing to do these days". Some of us know and appreciate theatre, not just being able to say to our friends, "guess who I saw on the stage last night."

Now could you tell me where anything has been said about a standing ovation at Drowsy Chaperone? Or quote when it was said that "packed houses" are par for the course? You have a very funny way of twisting words. I did just see where reference was made to a full house roaring approval both during and at the end of the show, is that what you're trying to relate to something else?
 
May 7th, 2006, 07:41 PM
  #8  
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By the way, that review you quoted was not all doom and gloom. You failed to include this statement from the same review:
"Sutton Foster is as bright as a penny as the heroine, and among the musical comedy stooges, an implacable Edward Hibbert as a butler and Eddie Korbich as the hero's Best Man (the plot disconsolately circles around a wedding) are also outstanding."

Amanda Peet should eat her heart out wishing for such favorable comments about her acting.
 
May 7th, 2006, 10:12 PM
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"I realize it is hopeless to have a battle of wits with someone who is only half armed but. . ."

Is that why it took you two posts to do so?
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May 8th, 2006, 12:40 AM
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Thanks for the heads-up, Howard. I would take the review of someone who has actually seen a show, over that of someone who has not.
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May 8th, 2006, 04:20 AM
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Ok, which would you take stock in? A suggestion to see the show from someone who actually saw it, who sees a lot of theater, and is able to give a fair assessment of what they see (good and bad) OR: would you take advice from someone who hasn't seen the production, admits in another thread that he doesn't know much about theater, and basis his information on the writings of Barnes?

I suppose he also thinks that Three Days of Rain is a real barn burner because Ms. Roberts is pretty.

I would also be interested in a review from BugsWife, she has great insight to theater and I would like to know what she thought of it.
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May 8th, 2006, 04:59 AM
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Thanks, Maggi and Margo. Trust me on this one....If you are a theater regular or just enjoy what's clever and creative, see the show. It's original and very funny.
Interestingly, last week we saw a show that is perhaps at the other end of the spectrum, Faith Healer, starring Ralph Fiennes and Cherry Jones. And, in a way, these two show have something in common, besides the fact that they are both good theater. They both should not be missed by any serious theatergoer--The Drowsy Chaperone because it is such a wonderful satire of the old-fashioned Broadway musical, and Faith Healer because of the spellbinding performances in a most unusual play.
HowardR is online now  
May 8th, 2006, 06:15 AM
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Uh-oh, more negative comments for the hypocrites to ignore. From USA Today:

Like that other critically adored escapade Urinetown!, Chaperone offers too much winking and not enough wonder.
... These and other performances ensure plenty of bubbly moments. In the end, though, I got little kick from this champagne.


If one must actually see a show before quoting critics' reviews, I wonder, how many of the old folks actually saw Barefoot in the Park?

"Trust me on this one." Super!
Gekko is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 06:30 AM
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It's all a matter of OPINION folks...

...which shows one chooses to attend - based on reviews...from published critics or Fodorites.

...which to see based on stars

...which to avoid for whatever reasons

I would now go see the second show HowardR mentioned to see Cherry Jones - who I "discovered" when I went to see a short-lived show with a bigger name star.

HowardR discourages folks from seeing Wicked - which recently became the highest grossing show in Broadway history.

Different strokes for different folks - or for different reasons.

Let's stop beating up on one another.
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May 8th, 2006, 06:43 AM
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Of course you're right, Starrsville. I'm simply responding to the blatant hypocrisy -- attacking a first-person account of one show based on critics' reviews and then condemning the same behavior with regard to another show.

Perhaps one shouldn't comment at all if one has not seen the show?


(And I agree with HowardR re. Wicked. I saw it with the original Broadway cast and thought it was lame.)

Shall we acknowledge the hypocrisy and move on? I could post more negative reviews, but I won't bother.
Gekko is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 06:57 AM
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For the record, starrsville, I never attempted to discourage people from seeing Wicked. Rather, I have always candidly remarked when saying we didn't like the show that we were in the distinct minority.
I'll consider the source and quality of the insulting comments from another poster and refrain from responding to them.
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May 8th, 2006, 06:59 AM
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I don't recall Howard EVER "discouraging" people from seeing Wicked. He has made it clear that he and his family were not as impressed as others, but I really don't think he ever suggested others should not see it.

Personally I anxiously await seeing The Drowsy Chaperone, Faith Healer and 10 additional shows during my 9 day stay in NYC starting next week. Can't wait.

Regarding critics -- I'll be the first to admit I don't hold them in awe, but over the years I've learned to read between the lines of reviews. I'm convinced that critics like Ben Brantley will never publicly admit that a show that is pure fluff is wonderful. His review of the Wedding Singer seems to indicate it is terrible, yet when you reread it you see that he actually doesn't say a single thing that makes me want to miss it. When he labors over "one dimensional" characters and undeveloped plot, and "sterotype acting" -- it all makes me want to go see it that much more. Those comments are far different from simply saying the acting is terrible or the songs are irritating -- things he never says in the review. The Wedding Singer is like the new Hairspray -- which I loved -- and some critics simply can't admit that a musical can be fully enjoyed as pure fluff -- involved plot and multi-dimensional characters have nothing to do with my personal enjoyment of such a fun musical. I strongly suspect The Drowsy Chaperone is a similar deal. I'll be anxious to judge for myself.

Have I seen Barefoot in the park? About 100 times -- having run lights for a professional production years ago, played Paul Bratter some 30 years ago, and seen at least a dozen more productions of it since then. If any critic has said anything like "a new and exciting production" or "wonderful acting" I would probably go see it again. But I didn't care to when nearly all of them talked about the "wooden" and emotional vacuum of Miss Peet, and the lack of any excitement or "newness" in the production (and no, for the uneducated, that doesn't mean updating). There's not much to "read between the lines" of in that kind of review.
 
May 8th, 2006, 07:09 AM
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Lawdy Mercy, I give up!

I thoroughly enjoyed Leslie Jordan's "Like a Dog on Linoleum" this weekend. Can't imagine what the "reviews" for that show would be on this board.

Have a great day folks.
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May 8th, 2006, 07:10 AM
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I would venture to say that a lot of the reason for less than favorable reviews is all of the word-of-mouth hype the show has received...any show with a lot of buzz (positive or negative) has the critics licking their chops!

I really enjoyed Drowsy Chaperone, personally. It is very "insider"- I wouldn't suggest it for someone's first Broadway musical. But it's original, fun, and has some truly great performances (the Man in the Chair, for one!).

Do I think it's a groundbreaking work? Not necessarily. But does it do what it sets out to do- entertain? Absolutely. I would definitely recommend it.
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May 8th, 2006, 07:24 AM
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I rest my case.

I wasn't even born when Barefoot originally played on Broadway or when the movie was released (in black & white??).

I realize there's often a massive generation(s) gap on this forum; perhaps this is it at it's most obvious. (Well, that isn't exactly true. I shudder when someone asks about "hip" spots and the old folks respond.)

So, to each her own. We'll love the critics when they agree with us and we'll ignore 'em when they don't!

So take your sugar pills and anti-coagulants and Xanax and whatever else keeps you breathing and relax!
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