Monday, February 25, 2019

Weekly Margin 2019, W8: The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Band's Visit

2/18/19: The Scarlet Pimpernel
What: Lincoln Center's concert staging of my very first show I ever saw on The Real Live Broadway!
And? It's always a treat to hear a Broadway score with a full orchestra, sung gorgeously. To hear the score for a show which changed my life given that treatment, sitting next to my sister who took me to see Pimpernel the first (and second) (and third) time, well ... The voices were glorious and full-throated, the small ensemble backed by a large chorus for the group numbers. Parts of the performance definitely felt a bit under-rehearsed (though maybe it's just that my standards for concert stagings have shifted since Encores! has upped their game so much in the recent years), no doubt due to the only newly-cast Tony Yazbeck as Sir Percy (heroic and dashing, with a beautiful voice, funny though not quite as transcendently so as Douglas Sills), and to Norm Lewis's ridiculously busy schedule (he had just finished performing Harold Hill at the Kennedy Center one week prior; but even with book in hand, his richly smooth baritone remains one of the most perfect voices on Broadway). Also acquitting themselves well as the St. Just siblings were Laura Osnes and Corey Cott, earnest and passionate. I must say the real highlight of the performance was Waitress alum Drew Gehling, hilarious in his various turns as Robespierre, Jessup, and the Prince of Wales--I honestly wouldn't mind seeing his take on the title role in Pimpernel. It wasn't a perfect evening: major issues with the sound design (and timing of mics turning on); and the script, though having potential, could still use some work (and I did not care for the new final song, apparently a new English translation of the finale written for the Japanese production). But I'm still glad to have gotten to see the show again in full joyous voice.

Norm Lewis, Tony Yazbeck, and Laura Osnes as Chauvelin, Percy
Blakeney, and Marguerite Blakeney. Photo by Joseph Marzullo.

2/21/19: The Band's Visit
a repeat visit, to say farewell to Bet Hatikva.

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