Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tommy- the Musical, at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Ct Rep is offering Tommy, the Musical, by the Who this spring. The director is Gabriel Barre, a talented man of many excellent skills in the theatrical profession. I am very fortunate to be able to count him among my friends. Several of us joined Gabe and his family for dinner prior to the opening night show and were able to have a quick chat about what to expect. We also met the choreographer, Matthew Neff. Matt is a very talented young man whose work on the show was beautiful. I will have to keep my eye out for his future work.

For those of you who don't know the story of Tommy, it is a dark one. Young Tommy witnesses a murder and stops communicating with people ("that deaf, dumb and blink kid"). He is also sexually molested by his Uncle Ernie. But he eventually regains his ability to communicate and..... I don't want to give the entire plot away. The story has a few changes in it from the rock opera to the musical stage but these don't affect the message.

The production itself was fascinating. The sets were minimal and came and went as needed. Shadow puppetry was used very effectively to tell parts of the story and move it along. And it was wonderfully done. Costumes were great! There were a few I'd love to have for Halloween this year. And, as mentioned earlier, the choreography was delight to watch. The only drawback was the sound production that overwhelmed the singing from time to time. I'm sure this will be worked out quickly. For me, I know the songs. For others, it may get in the way.

Overall, I loved the show. I'd go see it again if I could and take lots of young people. Unfortunately, I live in Boston and the stage is in Storrs, CT, not exactly a 20 minute ride. If you get a chance to go see it, Go!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Few New Movies (At least to Jane)

It's been a little while. Sorry about that. Had a little trouble with my browser. All my fault of course. Saw a few movies, Netflix, TV and at the theatre. Here we go!

Shoot 'em Up:
This came on TV last night. I believe it was made in 2007. Sometimes the title tells you what you need to know. But it's Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti. And it's funny. Yes, there is lots of blood. After all, look at the title. Believe it or not, I found it funnier than Die Hard 4. It is not my intention to give the plot away so when you have time, give it a look. If you don't mind a Shoot 'em Up.

Lady Jane Grey:
This has Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Jane Grey and Cary Elwes as Guildford Dudley, her husband. It is the story of the nine days Queen- Lady Jane Grey. She was put on the throne by her parents and Lord Dudley in order to preserve Protestantism in England upon the death of young Edward Tudor. She takes the throne, unwillingly, between Edward VI and Queen Mary-also known as Bloody Mary. The movie was made in 1986. Approximately 25% of the story is true. Carter and Elwes have a great time and are wonderful to watch. Unfortunately, not the story I was hoping for as most of it has no basis in reality.

The Ghost Writer:
Just saw this at the theatre. Great film. Roman Polanski. Lots of great actors. Including a friend named Eben Young. I enjoyed the film very much though it was bit slow in the middle. The end was a surprise which I never saw coming- though I had stopped looking. Another good thing. That Tom Wilkinson pops up everywhere and in everything. Someone needs to give that man an award for versatility.