Saturday, June 30, 2012

Catfish Row Pulling Me Through Friday

Porgy and Bess was quite wonderful. I cried and laughed through almost the entire two and a half hours. The cast is stellar. The voices just soar over what is some of my favorite music of all time. The energy and passion on the stage are worth seeing even without the excellent material. Plus, they are some really hot men with nice deep voices running around in overalls with no shirts. Even with Audra on vocal rest, there is still plenty to see and love in the show. Money better spent than most of what is running on Broadway. (Plus for me it was a little southern time. Hurricanes, drawls, picnics. Made me miss my family!) The music is obviously amazing. The choreo was really well done. I enjoyed their dance breaks more than the Newsies. There was a definite vocabulary and the dancing really came from within. There was a reason to it textually. Instead of doing switch leaps and flips to impress the tourists. And I wanted to join them during the picnic! Critics and artsy snobs alike have condemned the production for shortening and "dumbing down the opera. It was well done, plus you got an audience that you would never get into an opera house. You could never fully put all of Porgy and Bess onstage on todays Broadway. The rigours of a four hour opera are not possible to do 8 times a week (even with the mikes that no one in the cast needed). Plus, you couldn't manage two show days. By presenting Porgy and Bess this way, there were tourists from Wyoming who never set foot in an opera house getting to experience one of the greatest American works of art ever(I love Gershwin. Can you tell?). It was the theatrical equivalent of reading the abridged Les Miserable in high school. That inspired my roomie to read the full version. If I had been old enough, it would have inspired me to drink. Yuck. Porgy and Bess is much better!
The entire cast was phenomenal, but I ended up with a bit of a crush on Joshua Henry who plays Jake. He is amazing and gorgeous. Who wouldn't want to head down to Catfish row and see him? ;) The kids were difficult on Friday, which didn't help after my bus had been really late getting me home. The joys of construction. Traffic at weird times! After two hours, we had a verse and refrain set of Magic To Do (and you bet we will repeat that refrain) and all of Seize the Day. And we had exhausted all of our productivity. I went easy on the afternoon classes. They earned some game time!

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