Archivo de la etiqueta: Stephen Sondheim

Tributo de Joan Vázquez a Stephen Sondheim en el Almeria Teatre de Barcelona

Foto procedente de la página web oficial de Joan Vázquez

Nueva cita para los amantes del teatro musical en Barcelona. Joan Vázquez, uno de los actores más reconocidos del teatro musical español, al que hemos podido ver en ‘Hair’, ‘Mamma Mia’ o ‘Flor de Nit el cabaret’, presenta su tributo a Stephen Sondheim en el concierto ‘Something’s Coming: A Sondheim Tribute’.

Junto a un piano, Joan Vázquez repasará las canciones más míticas de este compositor de musicales, quizás uno de los más brillantes del teatro musical moderno. En esta cita, no faltarán canciones de ‘Into The Woods’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘A Little Night Music’, ‘West Side Story’ o ‘Company’, entre otras.

No hay motivo para perderse ‘Something’s Coming: A Sondheim Tribute’, se presentó por primera vez en la Sala Luz de Gas de Barcelona en 2015, seguidamente en Madrid, Barcelona de nuevo y también se ha podido ver en Londres. El espectáculo tiene un CD que puede adquirirse en iTunes.

Tampoco hay excusa para perdérselo. Se podrá ver en el Almeria Teatre cada martes a las 21h, desde el próximo 25 de abril, sin fecha de cierre definida todavía. Yo recomiendo ir adquiriendo las entradas ya, para evitar disgustos después. Podéis hacer las reservas desde la página web del Almeria Teatre para disfrutar de esta maravillosa velada.

Cesar

From ‘Romeo & Juliet’ to ‘West Side Story’

Picture by Randy Lemoine on Flickr

Picture by Randy Lemoine on Flickr

Romeo & Juliet’ is one of the most popular plays from Shakespeare. It’s been used and adapted in different ways. It has inspired many composers such as Bellini, Berlioz , Tchaikovski and of course the Broadway musical ‘West Side Story’.

In 1940, the choreograph Jerome Robbins proposed Leonard Bernstein to make a new adaptation of ‘Romeo & Juliet’. They decided to write a story about a Jewish boy that falls in love with a catholic Italian girl. It was supposed to be called ‘East Side Story’, but during the 50’s, there are lots of changes in the American population, so they decided to change everything.

Arthur Laurents was the writer, Leonard Bernstein the composer of the songs, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The first performance on Broadway was in 1957 and everybody loved it. That’s why there was a film adaptation a few years later directed by Robert Wise and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Most of the actors weren’t famous until then, just Natalie Wood, and they didn’t know how to sing. Some professional singers performed the songs.

This month we will discover the relationship between ‘West Side Story’, one of the most important musicals on Broadway, and ‘Romeo & Juliet’, the Shakespeare’s play that has inspired everybody since it was written.

Cesar

Don’t miss the opportunity to see ‘Gypsy’!

I went to see ‘Gypsy’ at the Savoy Theatre many weeks ago, before West End LIVE 2015. But finally I’m able to write a review. I was so excited about it because I watched the movie many months ago and I really liked it, so I was looking forward to see it on stage. I must say that I loved it because it’s like the film but on stage, so most of the people who know the film already will enjoy it. And the people who haven’t seen it, I think that they will love it too, because it’s such an amazing and funny story, with great performances by Imelda Staunton and Lara Pulver.

Gypsy’ it’s a musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Arthur Laurents, inspired in Gypsy Rose Lee’s career. The show is focused on her mother’s life and how she fights to make their daughters artists. It was created in 1959 and presented in the Imperial Theatre of Broadway. The first British production arrived in 1973, with Angela Lansbury, in the Piccadilly Theatre. In 1962, the movie adaptation was created, starring Natalie Wood.

In 2014, a new production in UK was produced, directed by Jonathan Kent. Imelda Staunton played Rose and Lara Pulver, Louise. It was presented at the Chichester Festival Theatre, but after their success, it was moved to London, to the Savoy Theatre, where is running for a strictly limited season. So go and get your tickets now before it’s too late! The show will close in November and in January will come ‘Guys & Dolls’.

The musical explains the story of Momma Rose, a woman who rides across the United States with her two daughters performing everywhere. They play vaudeville and her dream is that June and Louise become a star someday. June is very talented, she plays most of the solos and Louise is very shy, she is just dancing and playing the chorus. Rose meets Herbie, a former agent, and she asks him to join them. They go on a successful tour, but the girls grow up and June is offered to go to study at the Performing Arts school but her mother refuses that, so she decides to leave. After losing the main star of her shows, Momma Rose decides to teach Louise how to be an actress and she becomes very popular as Gypsy Rose Lee, but not the way her mother expected.

Picture by Johan Persson on the official webpage of Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre

Picture by Johan Persson on the official webpage of Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre

What I enjoyed the most of the show was the orchestration. I already knew the songs after watching the film, but listening them again live was such a wonderful experience. I will get the cast recording as soon as I can, because I want to listen again the songs of this production. I was very impressed with Imelda Staunton’s voice, she is great and she does a fantastic job performing songs like ‘Rose’s Turn’, ‘Some People’ or ‘Everything Is Coming Up Roses’. Now I know that she has played some musicals before like ‘The Wizard Of Oz’, ‘Sweeney Todd’ or ‘Into The Woods’ (a lot of Stephen Sondheim in her career).

I was concerned of how they would do to put so many kids on stage. In the film is great because you can see how they go on tour across USA and how they grow up very quickly, but I wasn’t sure how this would be clear on stage. Everything is very clear, very well organised, all the decorations are beautiful, so you can see very clearly Rose’s home, the different theatres they visit, even the hotel where they stay and celebrate Louise’s birthday.

It’s great to watch a classic on stage. I feel like all the shows I’ve seen in London lately are new and I love it, but I also enjoy getting surprised by classics. I have such a big collection of classic musicals on DVD (and it’s taking me quite long to watch all of them), but I love them because they are pictures of the past and the story stills being lovely nowadays. So I had a really nice time, with all the choreographies, and the story that moved me a lot and was so funny. This show it’s a mixture of funny scenes (‘You Gotta Get A Gimmick’) with some sad (‘Little Lamb’), some other very powerful (‘Let Me Entertain You’) and dramatic songs (‘Rose’s Turn’).

It’s a great joy to watch this show live and understand Rose’s life and how she did her best to make her daughters shine. Even being quite complex and unconventional, we can’t deny that she did her best for June and Louise. Maybe she was missing lots of things and Imelda plays a very charismatic woman, that you don’t love but at least you understand her situation and point of view. The price of the ticket is worth it only for watching Imelda’s ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses’ and ‘Rose’s Turn’. My mouth was completely opened and I felt goosebumps all the time. So go and get your tickets as soon as possible, don’t miss this opportunity!

Picture by Johan Persson on the official webpage of Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre

Picture by Johan Persson on the official webpage of Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre

Cesar

I enjoyed ‘Into The Woods’ like a child

Into The WoodsYou’ve changed. You’re daring. You’re different in the woods. – Into The Woods

Into The Woods’ is charming, is cute. I enjoyed it a lot, I sit in the cinema and I backed up my childhood. I just focused on the stories and fairytales that I enjoyed a lot when I was a kid. I’ve always loved stories and books, and getting all those characters from Brothers Grimm books and produce a musical it’s just a great idea. The best of the film, of course, is the score. The songs by Stephen Sondheim are amazing. All the songs are beautiful and express a lot of feelings.

All the characters of the musical are unhappy with something in their lives. They want to change it, so they begin a journey into the woods that will change everything. The first part of the movie (the first act of the play) is more joyful and cheerful. The different characters must reach their targets. But the second part is deeper, is more philosophic. All the reflections about love and life are really powerful. This musical makes you feel and think a lot of things.

All the actors and actresses are good in this adaptation. I enjoyed all of them, their voices are good but I was a bit disappointed. I expected that, after ‘Les Misérables’ movie, most of the musical movies would change. One of the best things about ‘Les Misérables’ film is that the actors sing live. In ‘Into The Woods’ the songs are already recorded so the actors sing in playback. Of course sounds good as well, but I prefer to hear them sing while they are performing, like in a stage.

But still, most of the songs are memorable. I was so impressed about the way they are performed like ‘On The Steps Of The Palace’, ‘Stay With Me’, ‘No One Is Alone’, ‘Last Midnight’… I think that it’s a great idea to put the instrumental version of the songs that are not sung. And watching them performed on the screen, with the special effects, made me goosebumps.

I don’t think that ‘Into The Woods’ film is something innovative in musical cinema. Also, I don’t think that is a deep story that makes it different from other movies. It’s original and cute, that’s true. It’s a film that sure most of the people will enjoy, with great songs, because it reminds your childhood and the inevitable fact of growing up.

Into The Woods’ has something special. I think that was a good idea for Disney to produce this adaptation, this musical could only be produced by them, with a long tradition in fairy tales. Apparently, it looks like musicals movies are back, so hopefully we will see more stage classics in the cinema. But what would be better is that they become popular so new revivals are made in Broadway and London.

Cesar

My wish list for this winter

Winter is here, my friends. Everything is fantastic: freezing in the street, the days are shorter, the night comes so soon, Christmas is near… I was buying a jacket in a shop and there were Christmas Carols. I still don’t have the feeling that is Christmas. I don’t have the spirit yet! I can’t wait to see the streets full of kind people buying a lot of presents, carrying a lot of bags, everybody in a good mood… But, come on, don’t get depressed so soon, there’s something good about this season: theatre, of course! There are many shows starting their performances soon. I’m making a list of some of the most popular musicals that will be performing this winter.

Assassins

  1. Assassins’ at the Menier Chocolate Factory

This show is starting the performances on the 21st November and will run until the 7th March of the next year. This musical was created by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Sondheim is an American composer, creator of many important musicals like ‘West Side Story‘, ‘A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (Golfus de Roma)‘, ‘Follies‘, ‘Sweeney Todd‘ or ‘Into The Woods‘. This show is about all the men and women who tried to kill the different Presidents of the United States. It’s a classical show that yes, I really would like to see it if I can. I’ll try if it’s possible.

 

 

Cats Palladium

  1. Cats’ at the London Palladium Theatre

The classical Andrew Lloyd Webber show is coming back to London after 12 years after finishing their performances. There’s nothing much to say, only that I’m really excited and I can’t wait to see ‘Cats‘. Nicole Scherzinger will be performing as Grizabella. I don’t know much about her, just that she use to be in a popular girl band. It will be in the Palladium Theatre from the 6th December until the 28th February of 2015. It’s a very popular play for musical lovers, so I must see it finally live. As you must know, Andrew Lloyd Webber is a composer of some famous musicals like ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Evita‘, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar‘…

 

 

Here Lies Love

  1. Here Lies Love’ at the National Theatre

I don’t know much about this musical, not at all. But since I’ve seen many adverts in the tube, I’ve been looking some information about it. I started to have a lot of curiosity because the advert is very beautiful and visual. This show is composed by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. The main role is played by Natalie Mendoza (which is popular for her unfortunate accident in ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’). It will be in the National Theatre from 30th September until 8th January of the next year. I think it’s a weird show but I want to discover how it is, I want to see how is modern theatre, how musicals are changing nowadays. So I will try not to miss it.

 

 

Made in Dagenham

  1. Made In Dagenham’ at the Adelphi Theatre

After ‘The Bodyguard’ finished the performances, this new show was presented in the Adelphi Theatre in the 9th October. It’s a new musical, with Gemma Arterton playing the main role. The story is about the Ford sewing machinists strike in 1968, when the women asked for an equal pay. It’s a real story of many women who fought against sexual discrimination. It’s based too in a British movie. I know I will see this show someday. I hope is in the Adelphi Theatre for a long time. For now, it’s receiving many good reviews, which is good.

 

 

Memphis

  1. Memphis’ at the Shaftesbury Theatre

This Tony Award musical is running in the Shaftesbury Theatre from the 23rd October, and hopefully is going to be there for a long time. I saw in that theatre ‘The Pajama Game’ and I can’t wait to go back to see this show. As ‘Made in Dagenham’, probably I won’t see this show this winter, but I’m happy there’s a new musical in London. I saw the trailer for the first time in the West End Live and since then, I’ve been like obsessed with this musical. I’m sure it’s going to be fantastic.

 

 

Scottsboro Boys

  1. The Scottsboro Boys’ at the Garrick Theatre

This show started their performances on 4th October and it will run until 21st February of the next year. It’s a true story of a group of 9 guys who where accused of raping two women. So, apparently is a dramatic show, but I’m sure I will enjoy it so much. I’m not going to miss it as well.

 

 

White Christmas

  1. White Christmas’ at the Dominion Theatre

¿Seriously? Well, yes, once ‘Evita’ is finishing the performances, this new musical will be presented at the Dominion Theatre. Who’s excited? I’m not! It will be just a few weeks, from 8th November until 3rd January. Two friends from the army decide to create a show for help a skiing refugee, which is in crisis. Maybe is a good show, who knows, maybe there’s amazing reviews. But I won’t see it because I don’t want to pay for seeing Christmas Carols live. I just don’t like this kind of shows.

 

 

Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown

  1. Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown’ at the Playhouse Theatre

This musical will start the performances on 20th December in the Playhouse Theatre, where I saw ‘Spamalot’ last March. It’s based in a Pedro Almodóvar’s movie. If I’m honest, I’m not really interested in this show, I don’t know much about the film, I haven’t seen it, but I suppose that I will. Let’s see how the reviews are and then I will decide if I buy a ticket or not.

 

There’s a lot of new interesting stuff in London. Have you got your own list for this winter? See you in the theatre! Sure it won’t be as cold as in the street!

 

Cesar

‘Into The Woods’, disappointing first trailer


I wish, more than anything, more than life, more than jewels… – Into The Woods

I’m so excited. Last week, Disney released the first trailer for the upcoming movie ‘Into The Woods’. The film is an adaptation of the stage musical. Music and lyrics were composed by Stephen Sondheim. The first Broadway production was presented in 1986 and in 1990 in London.

The movie will be released in the 9th January 2015 in the UK. Sure will be a success with the amazing cast: Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick… Directed by Rob Marshall, who directed the great ‘Chicago’ and not-so-great ‘Nine’, I think musical fans will love the movie, but the first trailer is a little bit disappointing.

Why there’s anyone singing? We can see some of the main characters, like the Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and the Witch saying ‘I wish’, like the prologue song, but nothing else. We can hear, as well, the music of ‘Stay With Me’, but not the Witch and Rapunzel singing it. Why?

Of course it’s just the first trailer; we’ll need to wait some more to discover how they perform the classic songs. But I’m not sure that most of the audience will know that the movie is a musical after watching this first preview. It’s just surprising that there’s no song in a musical movie trailer.

We must wait a little bit more to know more things about this adaptation of ‘Into The Woods‘. But it’s exciting to be able to see the story again in cinemas. All the actors look great, and the special effects as well. It’s going to be a great movie. Can’t wait!

 

Cesar