Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Star is Not Performing Tonight. Damn!!

I did not have a strong desire to see the revival of Anything Goes. However, after writing my post on what hot on Broadway, seeing the multi-talented Sutton Foster perform on the Tony Awards telecast and reading Patti LuPone's memoir, I thought that I would check it out.

I queued up for an hour in the sun outside the Stephen Sondheim Theatre and secured a $30 evening rush ticket in the very last row of the nicely renovated 1000+ seat theater. Have you checked out the ladies room at this theater - multiple stalls, minimal wait!!!

It was a busy day for me, but I hastily slurped down a Starbucks iced coffee, spotted a very dapper looking Dr. Cornel West entering the theater, and settled in my seat with just a few minutes to spare before the start of the performance. I opened my Playbill only to see that Sutton Foster would not be performing and instead her understudy - Tari Kelly - would be.

Deflated, I wondered if I had somehow missed this information in the lobby. Tempted to walk out of the theater pissed off that I could have sold my ticket outside, I found some comfort in seeing that other theatergoers were just as disappointed. Imagine if you were a tourist and this was your one chance to see the award winning actress. At least the 79 year old Joel Grey was still performing, and heck, this may be everyone's last opportunity to see him perform.

Well, the show went on. When Ms. Kelly made her entrance, there was no noticeable applause. The show was as expected - wonderful singing and dancing. The toe tapping performance of Anything Goes, the last number of the first act was spectacular like I suspected it would be and as it was on Tony night. Joel Grey was comical. And the production was grand. After the finale, Ms. Kelly and the rest of cast received enthusiastic applause from the audience.

However, with a dated story and stereotypical images of Asians, I must admit that I highly doubt that I will see any future revivals of this 1930s Cole Porter musical comedy.

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