Monday, September 17, 2018

Weekly Margin 2018, W37: The Nap, Hamlet (What Dreams May Come); Bonus Content: Disney Magic Cruise

9/13/18: The Nap
What: A new play from One Man, Two Guv'nors scribe Richard Bean, about a competitive snooker player, and the forces around him conspiring to convince him to corrupt his sterling integrity by throwing a game.
And? You guys, I had such high hopes, and nearly all of them were dashed. This play isn't funny or even engaging, the stakes feel completely fabricated, and the only times I (and, to my belief, the rest of the audience) was at all emotionally invested were during the actual snooker matches (filmed from above and livestreamed onto a large screen), conducted by the protagonist and the show's ringer, actual snooker champ Ahmed Aly Elsayed, as his various competitors. The accent work was a mess, and the only solid (and funny) performances were from John Ellison Conlee and one of my favorites, Max Gordon Moore.

Ahmed Aly Elsayed, Ethan Hova, and Ben Schnetzer as Baghawi Quereshi,
Referee, and Dylan Spokes. Photo by Joan Marcus.

9/14/18: Hamlet (What Dreams May Come)
What: Ript Theater Company makes its debut with a 90 minute, four person Hamlet, the story of a tortured Danish Prince who takes his time planning his revenge.
And? While some clarity was lost in the cutting of text and doubling of performers, it was well-produced and gorgeously designed. Full review here.

Nathan Winkelstein, Ade Otukoya, Chauncy Thomas, and Lindsay
Alexandra Carter. Photo by Reiko Yanagi.

9/02/18-9/09/18: Bonus Content: Disney Magic Cruise
What: Over the course of the seven-night cruise, Disney had three live ~1hr shows: Twice Charmed (a Cinderella sequel), Tangled, and Disney Dreams (a montage of some of Disney's greatest hits with a loose frame of some bratty kid named Anne Marie who won't go to sleep).
And? Of the three shows, Tangled was probably my favorite because it's the best story and I like the score a lot. Twice Charmed had a new score that, of what I remember, was pleasant, though it twigged me a bit that Cinderella seemed to be the least interesting character (meanwhile, the protag of Dreams was decidedly the most annoying character). The production value was pretty good across all shows, a mixture of projections, a lot of trap doors, and liberal use of theater boxes and aisles. The floating lantern sequence in Tangled was beautiful, and the Lion King sequence in Dreams was also quite powerful. A treat for me, because I like recognizing actors, was tracking the players across the three shows (Tangled's eight foot tall Flynn was also Cinderella's Grand Duke; the clowns in Cinderella (Jaq and Gus) were (I thiiiiiiiink?) the clowns in Tangled (Stabbington brothers), and Cinderella doubled as Anna (Frozen) in Dreams, where Rapunzel also played Belle). The standout across all three shows was their belter, Lisa Karlin, who played the evil Lady Tremaine in Cinderella, the evil Mother Gothel in Tangled and the not-evil Elsa singing "Let it Go" in Dreams.

Disney DreamsPhoto credit.
If you look to her left, you can see a Stitch on the bottom shelf!

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