Saturday, March 27, 2010

Broadway and Eats






I love a Thursday evening full of theatre, food, and mingling where the wine flows like honey. I have the lovely folks at City Guide to thank for said nights through the concierge events they hold. City Guide, yet again, prepared a lovely evening for New York City's concierges. One of my best buds is leaving the city for a warmer climate, so I brought her along for pre-theatre food and beverages at Vince and Eddie's, (rumored to be owned by Lady Gaga's rents, gasp!) on the Upper West Side, followed by the new Broadway play The Million Dollar Quartet. This musical tells the story of that legendary night Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash had their 1956 jam session at Sun Records in Memphis. Yes, I had a clue that this would be a jute-box musical given a plot based on these four legendary musicians, but I had hoped it would reach deep for something more, a plot with interesting and heart wrenching details. Alas, it was simply a jute-box musical and the audience was left with nothing more than a concert from really great musicians and pretty damn good impersonators. The musicality and talent of these actors is not to be dismissed, as they did a fabulous job, but perhaps they could have done an even more amazing job had they been given a script with a bit more depth. I saw a moment of hope as a pictured flashed of the original Million Dollar Quartet behind the actors, who froze in the very same position as Elivis, Jerry Lee, Carl and Johnny around the piano, and I realized this play was a true story and these music master minds were all actually in the same room, at the same time, making amazing music. Suddenly I was connected emotionally to the story for the very first time in the whole play. However, the moment of hope was soon shattered as it signified the ending of the musical. Surely other members of the audience must share my friend Katie's and my sentiment, right? No, no , no, don't be silly! While in the restroom I could hear a chorus of women from Alabama or perhaps a far away midwestern city shouting their praises and excitement. Okay Kaira, so just face it, you are no fool when it comes to the marketing ploys, inter workings of Broadway production, and why ultimately certain shows are chosen for production; good god the folks coming off those tour buses love it!! That said, to continue the funding of the arts and what I hold dear, I suppose you have to have a jute-box musical now and again to rake in the dough? But wait a hot darn minute, does that mean that the theatre community at large must water down productions to get people in the seats?? Or is it that it's simply being mis-marketed? What's your take? Enlighten me. I will now step down from my soap box. Thank you.

(photos Broadway.com, broadwaycritic,arktimes.com)

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