Paradise Found

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Paradise Found

Post  Scorp on Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:14 pm

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a big Hal Prince fanboy. And this is his new show, and he's doing a try-out in London at the Chocolate Factory before its Broadway premiere. It sounds very intriguing and it's an all-star cast. Booked tickets for the first performance today.

Here are the details:

Paradise Found

Adapted & Arranged by Jonathan Tunick

Music by Johann Strauss II

Book by Richard Nelson

Lyrics by Ellen Fitzhugh

The Shah of Persia is feeling low. So to lift his spirits he’s off to Vienna with his Eunuch in tow for some new adventures. He promptly falls in love with the Empress of the Empire, much to the dismay of her husband, so a resident of the local brothel – who is a double for the Empress – is substituted for a night of passion. But she’s in love with a Baron, who’s having an affair with the Soap Manufacturer’s Wife….

Based on the novel The Tale of the 1002nd Night by Joseph Roth, Paradise Found will run from 19th May - 26th June.

The world premier of this sparkling new musical – set to the music of Johann Strauss – will be co-directed by two titans of musical theatre: Harold Prince and Susan Stroman. Starring Mandy Patinkin, Judy Kaye and John Cullum, this is bound to be the theatrical event of the year!

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Re: Paradise Found

Post  Scorp on Thu May 20, 2010 10:56 am

Saw the first preview last night. It was slightly delayed (last minute rehearsing?) in starting. Couldn't spot Hal in the audience, but he must have been lurking somewhere around...

I'm sorry to say that I really didn't like it. It pains me to say it because I was looking forward to it quite a bit and love Hal Prince and was excited to finally see such huge Broadway names as Mandy Patinkin and Judy Kaye live. The cast are all wonderful (including Phantom's own George Lee Andrews), but the show...is not. It seems like it's trying to be an old-fashioned musical comedy (although the posters really don't market it as such and suggest something way more serious) but every joke fell flat and there were awful silences when we were clearly supposed to be laughing but no-one was. The lyrics are trite and the book is a mess. Both Acts dragged. How could it go so wrong? Still, only the first preview, so maybe there's still hope...

Sorry, Hal. Neutral

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Re: Paradise Found

Post  Bric on Sat May 22, 2010 10:03 pm

I've read three or four other reports very much like yours, and I am disappointed too. Hal is one of my favorite show business people, and I had hoped this new show would be a good one, but it doesn't sound like it will be. Sad

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Re: Paradise Found

Post  Scorp on Fri May 28, 2010 10:20 am

The London critics have quite understandably savaged it; wonder if it will make it Broadway as planned?

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Re: Paradise Found

Post  operafantomet on Fri May 28, 2010 10:28 am

Scorp wrote:The London critics have quite understandably savaged it; wonder if it will make it Broadway as planned?
Wasn't the London production a sort of try-out for Broadway? Not that it makes the situation any better, mind you... But unlike some other productions in West End (*cough*) they haven't sold this in as THE finished product which will conquer the world.

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Re: Paradise Found

Post  Scorp on Fri May 28, 2010 10:36 am

operafantomet wrote:
Scorp wrote:The London critics have quite understandably savaged it; wonder if it will make it Broadway as planned?
Wasn't the London production a sort of try-out for Broadway? Not that it makes the situation any better, mind you... But unlike some other productions in West End (*cough*) they haven't sold this in as THE finished product which will conquer the world.

Yes it was, but they would need brand new material I think to make this salvageable. Sort of like with that other show...*cough*

Here are the London reviews, all of which I agree with. Interestingly, the critics, like me, also thought Shuler Hensley was the star of the evening rather than Mandy Patinkin. They all picked up on Patinkin sweating like crazy too, I've never seen someone lose that much water through sweat before!

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/reviews/paradise-found-menier-chocolate-factory-london-1984984.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2010/may/27/paradise-found-review

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/7770876/Paradise-Found-at-the-Menier-Chocolate-Factory-review.html

http://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/review.php/28366/paradise-found

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/theatre/article7138241.ece

http://www.theartsdesk.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1580%3Aparadise-menier-theatre-review&Itemid=27

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/theatre/review-23838799-top-talent-wasted-in-paradise-found.do

http://westendwhingers.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/review-paradise-found-menier-chocolate-factory/

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Re: Paradise Found

Post  operafantomet on Fri May 28, 2010 5:54 pm

Hmmm, at least one audience member liked it...

PARADISE FOUND: Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! One of the most enjoyable evenings I've spent in the theatre all year - a sheer joy from start to finish. The book is very funny (real belly laughs from the audience throughout) - with genuine WIT, which is sadly absent from so many shows these days. The set is simple yet highly functional and quite beautiful (love the reflections from the mirrors). It's very cleverly directed with some fabulous Stroman choreography. The music is, of course, quite wonderful - luscious Strauss melodies adorned with stunning Tunick orchestrations and arangements. And the performances are all brilliant - as you would expect from such a star-studded cast of Broadway headliners. Everyone is great but the three who stood out the most were Shuler Hensley (what a voice!), the legendary John McMartin (Broadway's original Ben in Follies) and Mandy Patinkin, who gives a real comic "tour de force" performance - simply brilliant. Really can't overstress how much I loved this. As I said - Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! FIVE STARS.

http://westend.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?thread=1016478&dt=6&boardid=3

The same person also saw "Love Never Dies". Ouch... Not a positive review. But I don't know. This person seems overly enthusiastic with all shows s/he saw (5 stars), except LND (0 stars). Slightly unbalanced?

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Re: Paradise Found

Post  Scorp on Fri May 28, 2010 7:10 pm

operafantomet wrote:Hmmm, at least one audience member liked it...

PARADISE FOUND: Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! One of the most enjoyable evenings I've spent in the theatre all year - a sheer joy from start to finish. The book is very funny (real belly laughs from the audience throughout) - with genuine WIT, which is sadly absent from so many shows these days. The set is simple yet highly functional and quite beautiful (love the reflections from the mirrors). It's very cleverly directed with some fabulous Stroman choreography. The music is, of course, quite wonderful - luscious Strauss melodies adorned with stunning Tunick orchestrations and arangements. And the performances are all brilliant - as you would expect from such a star-studded cast of Broadway headliners. Everyone is great but the three who stood out the most were Shuler Hensley (what a voice!), the legendary John McMartin (Broadway's original Ben in Follies) and Mandy Patinkin, who gives a real comic "tour de force" performance - simply brilliant. Really can't overstress how much I loved this. As I said - Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! FIVE STARS.

http://westend.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?thread=1016478&dt=6&boardid=3

The same person also saw "Love Never Dies". Ouch... Not a positive review. But I don't know. This person seems overly enthusiastic with all shows s/he saw (5 stars), except LND (0 stars). Slightly unbalanced?

How odd. Well, he gave LND 0 stars, so he must have some good judgement... Razz

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