03 Aug Theater Reviews by Morna
Dear Homebound Theater Lovers:
There are many live recordings of Broadway shows you can watch via BroadwayHD.com* – a streaming service you can access on your computer, iPhone, tablet, or TV. Here is a sampling of a few personal favorites…*this requires a subscription with a monthly fee of $8.99.
ELAINE STRITCH AT LIBERTY (2002 Broadway)
Stritch was as famous for her onstage performances as she was for her offstage persona – and here she takes you from childhood to Broadway, in Noel Coward’s Sail Away and Stephen Sondheim’s Company – where she stole the show singing The Ladies Who Lunch! She does this Tony Award winning show wearing nothing but a white blouse and black semi-sheer pantyhose. So, if you love backstage anecdotes, show tunes, and dry wit, don’t miss this one!
PRESENT LAUGHTER. (2017 Broadway)
In this revival of Noël Coward’s zany comedy, Kevin Kline earned his 3rd Tony Award playing a jaded matinee idol in his 50s who is estranged from his wife (an elegant Kate Burton), needled by his secretary (a delightful Kristine Nielsen) and irked by his vacuous work. He fills the time by sleeping, griping, and bedding silly debutantes who claim to have lost their latchkeys. This busy schedule is interrupted when his business partner’s wife (a predatory Cobie Smulders) attempts his seduction.
NICHOLAS NICKLEBY (1982 Broadway)
Charles Dickens’ novel about a young man who has to support his mother and sister following the death of his father, was brought to the stage in sections that added up to 8 hours. This presents as engrossing theater, but not an experience for the faint of heart. The show started in London, and, when it transferred to Broadway, won Tony Awards for Best Play, and Best Leading Actor for Roger Rees. Given the play’s immense length, home viewing might be the best way to watch because you can take an intermission whenever you like.
THE KING AND I (2018, London)
Set in 1860s Bangkok, this Rodgers and Hammerstein favorite is based on British schoolteacher Anna Leonowens’ presumed romance with King Mongkut of Siam. After opening on Broadway in 2015, the production transferred, with all its New York leads, to the West End, where it was filmed for a limited cinematic release. Starring Kelli O’Hara, Ken Watanabe, and Ruthie Ann Miles, this show features a memorable score that includes Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance, and We Kiss in a Shadow.
SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (1986, Broadway)
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte, by Georges Seurat, is one of the great paintings of the world, and book writer James Lapine, and composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, created a story to illustrate the work and bring it to life. Starring Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin, while the painting depicts people gathered on an island in the Seine, the musical goes beyond simply describing their lives. It is a visual exploration of art, of love, and of commitment. Seurat connected dots to create images; Lapine and Sondheim use connection as the heart of all our relationships.
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (2017, London)
Starring Robbie Fairchild, Leanne Cope, and Haydn Oakley. Filmed live from London’s Dominion Theatre in 2018, An American in Paris follows Jerry Mulligan, an American GI who moves to Paris to pursue his dreams of becoming a painter. After a chance encounter with Lise, a young dancer, Jerry finds himself caught up in a complicated love triangle. Featuring music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, the New York production was nominated for 14 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.