Nobody Told Me About the Party Next Door

When I read that Shia LaBoeuf was removed for causing a ruckus in the audience of Broadway’s Cabaret, I wondered where he had been sitting.  The seats in the orchestra section have been replaced with small round tables and cane chairs; audience members are encouraged to order drinks from the table.  When I recently saw the show, my table was front and center (a last-minute lucky break) with two  elderly ladies at the next table who kept ordering cranberry vodka shots.  Alan Cummings strutted on a stage about five feet away, and the whoosh of cast members running by between scenes could have knocked them over if they had not been holding onto their drinks.  Too bad La Boeuf wasn’t rowdy while watching the production of Hedwig – no one would have noticed.

6744782-MAre you interested in the “book”?  Cabaret was inspired by Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood and Hedwig gets inspiration from Plato’s Symposium.

 

Peter and the Starcatchers

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As the prequel to James Barrie’s famous character, Peter and the Starcatchers explains how Peter Pan came to be.  After recently enjoying the Tony Award winning Broadway green show * of Peter and the Starcatchers,  I downloaded the play’s inspiration – the first book in the series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson to my Kindle, and followed the adventures of a young orphaned boy who became the mischievous flying scamp.

Barry and Pearson involve all the familiar characters – the lost boys, the mermaids, the pirates, the local natives, the crocodile – but no TIger Lily or Wendy.  The pirate captain Black Stache loses his hand and gets his hook, but the Starcatchers are the focus of this tale.

Molly and her father, members of a small group of elite world protectors, with the help of talking porpoises, are escorting a trunk full of magic stardust to prevent its falling into the hands of the bad guys. Peter and his fellow orphans from St. Norbert’s have been conscripted to sail to the island of a despot.  Their paths cross with a mad pirate chase through a wild storm that lands them on an isolated island in the middle of nowhere.

When the stardust leaks out of its trunk, its strange power causes rats to fly, fish to turn into mermaids, and mortal wounds to heal.  The adventure is wild and adventurous with constant excitement.  By the end, Peter’s has eternal youth and flight dexterity with a new home and a protector – Tinkerbell.

If you are looking for a different holiday story that will secure the attention of young and old – clap your hands and show you believe.

* The green refers to the proscenium, stage floor, sets, and props – all created out of recycled objects – bottle corks, buttons, plastic bottles, rope – and a little magic.

Clothes Make the Queen

When reading Alice in Wonderland, it’s easy to imagine the characters in costume, especially the Queen of Hearts.  So many visual recreations exist – from Disney to Helena Bonham Carter in Tim Burton’s movie.  Now, Lewis Carroll’s  story will be on Broadway; in this updated version, Alice gets to Wonderland by pushing a button on her elevator. And, Susan Hilferty who describes herself as “a storyteller whose medium just happens to be clothes” is the costume designer.

In Sylvanie Gold’s interview for the New York Times, Hilferty provides sketches and the thought-process behind her imagination for the costume designs in the article What Befits a Legendary Queen.  Intricate black and white costumes dress the Red Queen in Hilferty’s collection in Act One before she uses color in Act Two, but it’s how she gets to the final version that is so fascinating.  The  Red Queen lives again…

Related Post:  Alice in Wonderland