What: Roundabout's revival of the play-within-a-play musical adaptation of Taming of the Shrew.
And? Sadly, mostly meh. The rewrites were clumsy at best and just completely missing the point at worst (you don't need to make Petruchio less sexist in his first song. The point of his first song is gosh he's sexist, maybe we should try to fix that). And frankly any attempts at "fixing" the show were rendered moot for me when Bianca became a literal prop in her own song (not even kidding). Last complaint beyond an overall meh, and then I'll get to the good: Will Chase's clown did not work for me here; I could see how hard he was working, and most of the humor got lost in the sweat. Okay time for the good: Kelli O'Hara singing "So In Love." How much Corbin Bleu has grown into his stage presence, and how effortlessly charming he is as Bill (and what a dancer!). Pretty much all the choreography by Warren Carlyle (though I rolled my eyes at how much he wanted to make sure we caught the double entendre in "Tom, Dick, or Harry"). James T. Lane bringing the house down in "Too Darn Hot." The delightful swing Travis Waldschmidt killing it as he stepped in for Ralph, the Stage Manager.
|James T. Lane and the cast. Photo by Joan Marcus.
What: Queens Shakespeare and What Dreams May Co produce the cult hit musical Bare, about two star-crossed boys in a Catholic boarding school, set against the backdrop of their school's production of Romeo and Juliet.
And? I know this has been a dream project for real-life married couple Jonathan Emerson and Matthew Pohlman, and it was touching to get to see the two of them sing the moving title song to each other. They both brought terrific emotional honesty to their performances. The biggest drawback for this production, sadly, is the same issue I had with this group's production of Godspell previously: the onstage band overpowered the voices far too often, and I couldn't understand the lyrics being sung, particularly in the first half of the show. Still, there were some good voices in the production, particularly La Toya Lewis's Sister Chantelle and Sarah Wiesehahn's Nadia.
|Matthew Pohlman and Jonathan Emerson as Jason and Peter. Photo by