Posted tagged ‘Broadway’

West Side Story

April 27, 2022

Last night Paula and I watched the new “West Side Story” on streaming video. Here are some of my thoughts. Generally, we enjoyed the film, the music, the dancing. Though it was a little bit long (2.5 hours)

So to fill in everyone who has not either seen the original film or broadway show, this is this story of two gangs of New York City around the mid to late 50’s. The groups are the Jets and the Sharks. The Sharks are the Puerto Ricans and the Jets are the white kids. They don’t like each other.

So Tony (who is Italian/American meets Maria (Puerto Rican) at a dance. They fall in love. The things get ugly in a hurry.

The film was directed by Steven Spielberg. Tony was played by Ansel Elgort. Maria was played by Rachel Elgort.

Ariana DeBose (Anita) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

I was amazed all of the 50 something cars they managed to show in the film. It felt like going back in time.

Several actors who appeared in the 1961 version of West Side Story had roles in the remake including Rita Moreno, Harvey Evans and David Bean.

It was a fun film to watch, especially the opening where they show a bunch of gang members milling about then break into a beautifully choreographed dance number. Boy, those kids sure could dance.

Music by Leonard Bernstein. Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.


June 28, 2020

So last Christmas, our son Neil gave us tickets to see “Hamilton” here in LA. We were ecstatic, up until COVID-19 showed up on our doorstep. You see the tickets were for June 9th at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. So back in April we were thinking. Oh, Oh, this doesn’t look good. Not good at all.

Indeed, the show was cancelled. No big surprise. Neil got his money back from TicketMaster.

So then we heard that Lin-Manuel Miranda was producing a show to be broadcast on Disney-plus, starting on July 3. So we hurried up and added Disney-Plus to our streaming line up on ROKU. Click here for the official trailer

The production will be a filming of a live performance on Broadway. The filming was done over the period of 3 days and edited accordingly.

Today we read an article about the show today’s newspaper. The writer suggested taking a look at a couple of books to get a better understanding of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

We also downloaded the soundtrack of the show. Started listening while we were driving this morning.

The first book is titled “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernov. This is a long and very detailed (and exhaustive) look at Alexander Hamilton’s life and career in politics.

The second book is titled “Hamilton-The Revolution” and written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter. This is more of an explanation of what is happening during the show, including words to the music, etc.

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

July 8, 2016

Last night was an extra special date night. We went to see “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” at the Hollywood Pantages Theater. This is the touring version of the hit Broadway show. The show covers the story of Carole King’s beginnings in writing pop hits in the sixties and eventually her emergence as star performer in her own right.

We have done other shows but they were in downtown LA. The Pantages is a well restored Art Deco styled theater that is just so beautiful to look at. “Beautiful” is doing a three week engagement. It’s got to be a tough job doing a touring gig. I’m assuming everyone loves it.

The theater was sold out. It seems that most of the people attending were over the age of 60. There was a lot of gray hair. There some 40-50 somethings but not very many.

This was the first time that Paula and I managed to make it to Hollywood since we moved to LA four years ago. There is a reason that we don’t want to go to Hollywood. The traffic is just horrible.  I loved the Righteous Brothers baritone doing “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling”. It was fun to read the stars on the Hollywood Blvd. Some were performers that we had heard of, many we had never heard of.

Anyway, Paula had asked me if we could try to get tickets to the touring Hamilton that is in LA this summer. I looked at the prices. Yikes!! I’d need a second mortgage. Not that Beautiful was much cheaper. Anyways, I’m not much of a fan of rap music, and I am huge fan of Carole King.

At any rate, the show was awesome. I particularly loved the Shirelles and the Drifters. They nailed the dance routines. It felt like going back in time. The music and dancing was awesome. If you get the chance, go see it.

Carole King was played by Abby Mueller and Gerry Goffin by Liam Tobin.

Now for the links.

Oh, a note to my lodge and OES pals. You’re going to be hearing many of these tunes on the piano over the next few meetings.

One final comment. I was amused how easily the stage crew moved sets on and off of the stage. Pianos, desks, couches and other props seemed to just magically glide on or off stage. Even the concert grand glided off like it was on an ice skating rink. I asked one of the ushers how did they do that. She told me that “We have a union shop”. I told her that must be it then.