Sunday, January 05, 2014
My Holiday Escapes
"A Christmas Story," a musical based on the 1983 holiday film classic. I usually pooh-pooh this sort of thing, but the show, which only runs for a few weeks in the run-up to Christmas, was nominated for 3 Tonys last year and I just loved the number I saw on the awards show. The songs are wonderful, the choreography is spectacular. It was a little weird going to Madison Square Garden's theatre to see it - the basketball crowd mixed in with the theatre crowd - instead of a proper Broadway house, but the arrangement seemed to suit the audience. This one could be a holiday staple for me.
The Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts' "Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer" was one of those events. One GrandMary, one Mom, two 3-year-old boys, and a 6-month-old baby girl - not your usual theatre audience, but Puppetry Arts knows how to handle multi-generational entertainment. Its "Rudolf" is a live version of the 1964 television movie, and boy, it is spot on. Wonderful! And another event that has the possibility of becoming a tradition for us.
"The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence." OK. Combine Sherlock's sidekick Dr. Watson with the Jeopardy-winning computer Watson and the engineer who build Bell's first telephone and you get . . . . well, you get interesting theatre. Past and present come and go and get mixed in together as you realize the importance of being Watson, in whatever form he/it takes. Always interesting stuff at PH.
"The Glass Menagerie" at the Booth Theatre. Cherry Jones owned the stage as Amanda Wingfield, the chief animal in this human, very breakable menagerie. As a Southerner, I was more attuned to the accents, speech patterns, and general attitudes of the characters than the non-Southern folks around me. For the record, Ms. Jones' took on what we lovingly call a Mrs. Ashford Dunwoody accent - it was more old Atlanta than Delta-speak, but she nailed it. Celia Keenan-Bolger was absolutely marvelous as Laura. She stuck to a flat, basic accent, which was just fine. Now, Zachary Quinto, while excellent as Tom, did a sort of sing-songy, pseudo-Southern accent which got on my nerves after a while. Only someone from the South would notice, though (we get so sick of what passes for a proper Southern accent/dialect on stage and screen, btw). Nevertheless, classic play beautifully acted and produced. Very, very glad I saw it.
So you see, I really got around, theatre-wise, over the holidays. Now, it's back to work to earn a little money for 2014 escapes. Happy New Year!