The Imperial Theater becomes a giant set for a love story straight out of War and Peace (seen 12/15/2016)
- Amazing commitment from the theater to transform the entire room to fit this one show perfectly.
- Sitting on stage (Banquet B12) was fun and interactive and a constant thrill. The woman sitting next to me on the aisle got to be hit on by Anatole, whispering in her ear “I love you and I hope you enjoy the show.”
- Nifty mixes of more traditional Broadway music, traditional Russian music, and, erm, rave music?
- Scott Stangland was fantastic as Pierre– by far my favorite character. I wish he played a bigger role in the show, and I didn’t miss Josh Groban at all.
- Also really enjoyed Lucas Steele as Anatole and Lauren Zakrin as Natasha.
- It… really should not be compared to Hamilton. I mean, it’s fine, good even. But the comparison does not help this show when comparing the stakes and quality of songwriting. After one listen of Hamilton I was able to quote at least a dozen moments verbatim, whereas by the time I got home after The Great Comet I could maybe give you three. Ultimately it felt… insubstantial.
- I wasn’t invested in the love story. I felt like a stern parent the whole time just thinking “come on, you’re adults. You should know better.” I forgot while watching the show that Natasha is fifteen years old (making this similar to a Romeo and Juliet kind of thing), but considering we’re adapting a section of War and Peace here, I just wanted the show to feel more important.
The closest thing I’ve ever seen to a VR theater piece. Totally immersive, engrossing, riveting, captivating… and months later I still can’t stop thinking about it (seen 10/15/2016)
- Macbeth told with every character given equal weight.
- I like how I could be in the same area multiple times and not realize at first that it was the same area (yay lighting)
- Reminded me of my thesis
- Loved all the details in the building. There were rooms I would have been happy to spend an hour in just reading letter and examining trinkets.
- Not since Matthew Bourne have I seen a story told so well through choreography (it’s almost entirely silent!)
- Constant sense of FOMO
- It was tricky to decide whether to follow a character (who you may lose) or just keep exploring. Once I realized the show was repeating (though with interesting little changes– nurse B being present for nurse A’s fit the second time), I wish I had a better sense of new places to go. Like during the banquet hall scene, seems like everyone is there so it’s a good opportunity to go read a letter or something. And apparently the banquet hall scene ends differently the third time. I wasn’t looking out for that, so I didn’t notice. But really this is all just a good reason to go again!
- Don’t buy the $20 book they offer afterwards. They make it sound like it’s going to be a the equivalent of the second disc of a blu-ray where you’d get all the ‘Behind the Scenes’ and ‘Making Of’ content. Not even remotely true.
Classical music circles the Park Avenue Armory with some extraordinary guest singing (seen 10/13/2016)
- Loved the visuals that accompanied the music
- Amazing guest singer who had to perform a very long walk without tripping
- Very cool having audience down on the floor looking up at the musicians and singer (oh hey– that was all Josh and I’s doing 🙂 )
- Saw it at a dress rehearsal with high school students who clapped after every pause and just couldn’t stay quiet when there was technical fix needed.
An important show that drives home themes of teamwork, being part of something larger than yourself, living in the moment, life vs. death, talent vs. commitment, and mentor/mentee relationships (seen 7/13/2016)
- A story worth telling. I was rooting for them the whole way!
- Some amazing choreography and lighting (Jules Fisher– the train sequence!)
- I saw the show after the closing had already been announced, and that added a heartbreaking but powerful meta-commentary; the original Shuffle Along was such an underdog and ran for years. This was an amazing show that was only just getting its feet.
- Love me some Brian Stokes Mitchell (who also happened to be on that night’s episode of Mr. Robot)
- The pace of the storytelling felt a little… haphazard. Probably due to cuts to make the show shorter, but it was difficult to follow where we were in time.
- Despite the incredible voices of the two female leads, both were missing a certain… star power I guess? I had trouble believing either of them would become famous. Audra McDonald was absent this day and maybe that’s something she brought more of.