You know what it’s like, when your friends talk endlessly about that one-in-a-million person? Upon seeing pictures, hearing of their incredible achievements, or uncovering their tragic history, you begin to feel as though you know that person already. Still, all the buildup serves to produce is an expectant and awkward introduction. Nothing compares to a personal, first impression.
Openings-wise, Evita gave me the Andrew-Lloyd-Webber impression right away. It…Continue
Photo Courtesy of Hennepin Theater Trust, ©2014 Michal Daniel
It’s not every day that you get to see a flawless trapeze act going on immediately above a gang of Nazis as they pummel a poor, American fellow. However, little spectacles like this…Continue
Imagine someone handed you his diary. Not just a standard, stale journal: a beat-up, beloved diary, filled with his most intimate thoughts, since birth. Now, imagine the owner of this diary was well connected enough to refer to Louis Armstrong and Sammy Davis Jr. by their first names. If you can, imagine that diary was narrated by the distinctive, nasal voice of Mike Wazowski. Hard to imagine anything more amusing, eh?
Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays…Continue
Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on October 25, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments
“I heard that the puppets are better in this show than in Lion King,” one elderly patroness said to her friend. I felt my blood run cold, then quietly started compiling evidence against her statement. The lights went up, and the first thing I saw was a man’s hand on the giant, mechanical foal tail. It twitched, and I literally jumped in my seat, utterly creeped out. Then, out of nowhere, a chorus of puppeteers gave out a shrill, all-too-human whinny. “Is that supposed to…Continue
An equally fitting title for Rock of Ages would’ve been That’s-What-She-Said: The Musical. Indeed, the humor and the nature of the show, with it’s G-strings and liberal use of the word “balls”, is anything but high-brow. You’ve got to suspend disbelief (and to some degree, your moral compass and intelligence) in order to enjoy it. The Les Miserables sect of the Broadway empire need not inquire further, unless if they’re ready to…Continue
Last night, Lydia and I were in the city to see Tracy Morgan's "Pardon My French". What we saw was Tracy far gone. We were lucky to be there, because another friend of mine couldn't make it. She had planned to sit through the standup sitting beside her father, however, I assured her that would've been death by mortification. Here's why: Mr. Morgan loudly impersonated a female masturbating to Billy Joel.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the 30 Rock persuasion, Tracy Morgan was…Continue
“First, when there’s nothing, but a slow glowing dream...”
At the prompt of Irene Cara’s heroic voice, my mom takes in a deep Ujjayi breath, from the bottom of her soul. She can feel her well-worn leg warmers against her shins, as she begins a series of ballistic stretches. Her worldly instructor, enlightened by her experiences in African dance, calls out the name of each exercise. This is the warm-up routine she remembers so clearly. This is the warm up being…Continue
Enter the theater, escorted by an usher.
I guess it's a minimalism shtick. Spotlight on the fingers of a crouching man.…Continue
Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on September 7, 2012 at 10:00pm — No Comments
They slapped the set on the stage
Oh, they slapped that set on the stage
This looks like a set made with minimum wage
And my neighbor says “Jerry Lee” like he’s 10x my age
They slapped the set on the stage
Why can’t I see Jerry Lee Lewis’ face?
I said why can’t I see Jerry Lee Lewis’ face?
The staging made him seem a little outta place
Till those fingers got the piano keys in pace’
Now I get why I can’t see Jerry’s…
All of suburbia shuffles to the Orpheum, to bask in the lights of the Seven-11. They flock, an intrigued congregation, to meet Johnny, the Jesus of Suburbia. People proceed to shuffle into their seats, iced drinks in hand, even well into the first act. “Entertain us with head-banging therapy,” the audience whispers. “Please fill the void.”
Ladies and gentlemen of Suburbia, I give you Billy Joe Armstrong’s American Idiot: A nearly-plotless collage of shameful American…
"Few people even scratch the surface, much less exhaust the contemplation of their own experience."
I recall the sixth grader (who was having a particularly horrid year in school) experiencing the awakening, hope and inspiration that seeing a show like The Lion King can give to youth and adults alike. My mother had saved for us to go and experience the best of her trade, crème de la crème costume design. She was determined to have…
Well, I’ll be honest as can be. The truth is, Les Miserables is still sinking in. Les Miserables is in itself, an entire world of theatre, revolution, of sound. Les Miserables is disheartening and compelling, it’s destitute and overflowing in golden talent. Les Miserables is three hours of images and music notes one never can forget. It would be quite impossible for a teenager to breach the surface of the ocean of all that could be said with regards to Les Miserables, the longest…Continue
Yeah, drag queens make me a little intimidated. It’s something that isn’t unheard of, I’m sure many have felt the same. With regard to that, the La Cage Aux Folles queens were stirring and intimidating because of their skill and sheer talent, and there were many talents to talk-up in the extremely well cast production of La Cage. My mind reels at what those ladies can manage in heels, not to mention wigs, pantyhose, and layers of padding! Hence, it’s hard not to feel…Continue
There's only one place you're going to see a red carpet (a legit, red carpet) in the state of Minnesota. The Ivey Awards this year at the Historic State Theatre were nothing short of fabulous. This community-oriented ceremony honors the best of the best, homegrown actors, set designers, choreographers and costumers. Strutting out from the woodwork came Minneapolis' menagerie of performers and patrons, smiling for the scattered photographers. This night was immortalized by the…Continue
Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on September 21, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments
"I want a party with room fulls of laughter,
Ten thousand tons of ice cream
And if I don't get the things I am after
I'm going to scream!"
95 degrees. Dew point of 82. Hot as Hell. Downtown Minneapolis was as good as utter fire and brimstone, that is, until I reached the Hell's Kitchen on 9th and Nicollet. The atmosphere was quite fresh, and it was no doubt a great location for a miniature cabaret…Continue
Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on July 20, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments
Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on May 28, 2011 at 7:00pm — No Comments
You know how certain things just move you, connect with you, hit close to home, speak to you, or jog memories? It takes something powerful, but Jersey Boys would never have made it to it's current level of success if not for the show’s innate ability to connect with diverse audiences. The show’s opening night at the Orpheum was no exception.
The most fascinating thing about the audience of Jersey Boys was the fact that the majority was not familiar with the…Continue
I remember being four, watching Shrek for the first time. It was a landmark movie for me, with a soundtrack that spoke to me as a kid (teaching me my first swearword). It was at the turn of the millennium, and my mother loved to watch it with me. It had the both of us in stitches, and it put people around the world in stitches! I can recall watching it in all of the languages on the DVD, and still laughing my little head off. (Shrek was also one of our very…Continue
“The ground is empty, and cold as hell, but we all go together when we go.” A chorus of men sinking into the earth, immersed in darkness save for the blinding lights fixated to their dusty helmets, send eerie chills down every spine sitting in the house. An elevator carries them down, out of sight. All that remains on stage is a lanky, young boy and his bicycle.
Billy Elliot is an aspiring dancer with hopes of one day joining the Royal Ballet. …Continue
A Hair Band Homage to a Head-Banging Era
By Madeleine Bertch