The non-musical thread: plays and operas

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The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  Scorp on Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:38 pm

Guess what? I hate musicals.

No, really. OK, I have a love/hate relationship with them. I'm semi-/very obsessed with a handful, and the rest I find abominable, hideous creations of camp and bad taste. I also hate movie musicals. I blush when someone opens their mouth to sing on screen. There are only 2 movie musicals that somehow don't make me feel embarrassed or want to run very far away: Mary Poppins and Tim Burton's adaptation of Sweeney Todd. I can probably handle The Sound of Music too.

I am an avid theatregoer and go every fortnight or so, but give me a choice between a musical or play and I'd take the latter (well, of course it depends, there is nothing worse than a bad play...oh wait, there is: a bad musical). I see a lot of musicals as well, but it seems the crap factor is higher in them. (When they're good, they're very good, though).

This is a thread for plays and/or opera. What have you seen? What are you going to see soon? What would you like to see?

I won't bother listing what I've seen, but on my 'would very much like to see' right now in the National Theatre's production of Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and directed by Danny Boyle.

And..........go!

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  ladygodiva on Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:57 am

Scorp wrote:Guess what? I hate musicals.

No, really. OK, I have a love/hate relationship with them. I'm semi-/very obsessed with a handful, and the rest I find abominable, hideous creations of camp and bad taste. I also hate movie musicals. I blush when someone opens their mouth to sing on screen. There are only 2 movie musicals that somehow don't make me feel embarrassed or want to run very far away: Mary Poppins and Tim Burton's adaptation of Sweeney Todd. I can probably handle The Sound of Music too.

I am an avid theatregoer and go every fortnight or so, but give me a choice between a musical or play and I'd take the latter (well, of course it depends, there is nothing worse than a bad play...oh wait, there is: a bad musical). I see a lot of musicals as well, but it seems the crap factor is higher in them. (When they're good, they're very good, though).

This is a thread for plays and/or opera. What have you seen? What are you going to see soon? What would you like to see?

I won't bother listing what I've seen, but on my 'would very much like to see' right now in the National Theatre's production of Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and directed by Danny Boyle.

And..........go!

Last "Legit" (Non-Musical) Play that I saw was a college production of Speed the Plow, very good, truthfully, I don't often enjoy "Legit" plays as much as musicals, I am quite the opposite, give me a muscial any day of the week though. I saw many moons ago another college production of fences by August Wilson, that was good too. I saw Uncle Vanya with Hal Holbrook years ago in Cleveland, "Legit" plays do not fill up houses like musicals.

I saw a lot of Shakespeare plays in my day, Taming of the Shrew,, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, (I love seeing any major or minor production of Hamlet, it really speaks to me. also King Lear,

I did see a televised video of the Man who Came to Dinner, with Nathan Lane, Jean Smart, Harriet Harris, it was funny, (another plug for the Public Library they have many Live and non live plays and Ballets as well.)

I would have loved to see Jeremy Irons live in any play, a brilliant actor


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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  ML6 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:49 am

Hrm. When it comes to plays, I don't see a majority of them, but there are a few I *do* like.

The Man Who Came to Dinner, Amadeus, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Shakespeare plays are the only plays I've seen that I've enjoyed.


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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:48 am

Saw the two-part Angels in America in rotating rep recently, two weeks apart. Pretty powerful in parts but also pretty bizarre.

Haven't seen many other plays, but in high school, plays were my favorite things to read. Death of a Salesman had a big impact on me, and Glass Menagerie, Inherit the Wind, The Crucible, Waiting for Godot, and Master Harold and the Boys were all pretty good.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  ladygodiva on Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:49 am

ML6 wrote:Hrm. When it comes to plays, I don't see a majority of them, but there are a few I *do* like.

The Man Who Came to Dinner, Amadeus, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Shakespeare plays are the only plays I've seen that I've enjoyed.

second the Amadeus, and Cyrano de Bergerac. I forgot about those, I did see college productions of Cyrano, and thouroughly enjoyed the Man who came to Dinner, remember, most Public libraries you can rent Videos DVDs and VHS of plays as well, I highly recommend it if your wallet is light.

I have read many many plays in high school, reading I recommend anything by Tennesse Williams, Shakespeare (Of course) and David Mamet, August Wilson...

To quote the Bard Let the play say the thing

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  ladygodiva on Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:51 am

SenorSwanky wrote:Saw the two-part Angels in America in rotating rep recently, two weeks apart. Pretty powerful in parts but also pretty bizarre.

Haven't seen many other plays, but in high school, plays were my favorite things to read. Death of a Salesman had a big impact on me, and Glass Menagerie, Inherit the Wind, The Crucible, Waiting for Godot, and Master Harold and the Boys were all pretty good.

Highly recommended Waiting for Godot, read it in high school, the Crucible, as well Master Harold and the Boys as well. I forgot about these amazing plays,,

I also loved reading Lettice and Lovage, and I did see a college production of that , and also of the Trojan Women, a long play, very slow paced,



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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  operafantomet on Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:10 pm

Saw Nureyev's "Don Quixote" (Donkey Shot!) the other day. It's a ballet. A ballet which couldn't care less about the story it's supposed to tell, as it's mostly written to showcase the talent and the technique of the dancers. And it was awesome! It was pure eye candy, bot in terms of choreography, the elaborate solo parts, and the costumes and sets. I know even less about Don Quixote than I did before I saw the ballet, but for once I couldn't care less. It was fantastic to see a true old-school ballet.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  ladygodiva on Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:55 am

another cool play, Pygmalion by George B. Shaw, the material that My Fair Lady was based upon. I got to see a repretory of the play about 2 years ago, I enjoyed it.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  starryeyed on Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:39 am

When I think of plays the first two I think of, so I'd say I really really enjoyed them, are "The Scottish Play" which I saw a fantastic production of last year and "Of Mice and Men" which I saw on tour starring Matthew Kelly. I also liked "Woman in Black" when I saw it last year. I've always wanted to see "Death of a Salesman" and "The Glass Menagerie" so very jealous of you, Senor.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  SenorSwanky on Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:37 pm

starryeyed wrote:I've always wanted to see "Death of a Salesman" and "The Glass Menagerie" so very jealous of you, Senor.
Oh, I haven't seen them, just read them. I'd love to see them, though.

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Macbeth

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:17 pm

in Macbeth, Lady Macbeth's line "We Fail!?" is written by Shakespeare to go either way as a question or an exclaimation.

in the early 90's on PBS there was a fantastic prodution of Macbeth, I cannot think of the actress who played Lady Macbeth, but she was fantastic, her interpretation of the "We Fail" was indeed an exclaimation. fantastic

does anyone prefer either way.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  PMB1034 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:43 am

I'm in London for one night in a few weeks time & again at April's end, just me, scratched my POTO/Mis itch enough recently, so thinking something with a limited run but I have too much choice: Flare Path, Clybourne Park, End of the Rainbow on the play side, then there's lovely Gina Beck in The Kissing Dance....what's a boy to choose! Any recommendations of the stuff that's already open would be genuinely welcome.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  RoseOfTransylvania on Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:53 pm

Hm, I´m not much of a theatre-goer, thanks to my health problems, but I really liked Le Vampire, the play by Alexandre Dumas pere, in it´s written form. Time to revive it? And I would LOVE to see quality adaptation of Gautier´s Clarimonde. Not some horribly tasteless, "modernized" artsy-fartsy version, though, but something which could translate the sumptuous romanticism of the original.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  Helen on Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:15 am

PMB1034 wrote:I'm in London for one night in a few weeks time & again at April's end, just me, scratched my POTO/Mis itch enough recently, so thinking something with a limited run but I have too much choice: Flare Path, Clybourne Park, End of the Rainbow on the play side, then there's lovely Gina Beck in The Kissing Dance....what's a boy to choose! Any recommendations of the stuff that's already open would be genuinely welcome.

I've seen Clybourne Park and End of the Rainbow. I would recommend them both very highly. It's hard to choose between them. They were very different and I liked them equally, and both had extremely strong casts. A lot of people I spoke to in London were raving about Flare Path. That's on my list of things to see.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  Mandrake on Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:10 pm

I saw The Children's Hour on Friday.

Bit confused by it. I think it's probably a good play but I really didn't like it. I found it very overwrought and somewhat hysterical (in the classical sense). Fairly stellar cast; Keira Knightley cuts quite a figure. Difficult play to discuss without appearing sexist, all the drama seemed to me to be anchored in oestrogen.

Maybe something more substantial happens in the second half, but I left at the intermission (and felt like such a philistine when I noticed all the 5-star reviews).

Probably a really good show, though, just not for me.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  Scorp on Thu May 26, 2011 9:12 pm

Any Puccini fans out there? I seem to have become slightly obsessed by Madama Butterfly, I really can't get it out of my head (and also heh @ the familiar melodies, aka Boublil-Schönberg's 'Bring Him Home' and ALW's 'Unexpected Song', both seemingly nicked from it)! Think I will have to try for tickets for the Royal Opera House's production of it this summer.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:06 pm

a fantastic film La traviata 1982 with Placido Domingo, ABSOLUTELY STUNNING, loved the whole production loved Domingo. loved it.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  operafantomet on Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:19 pm

Just saw Aida. A co-production between Royal Norwegian Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia. My mind is rather divided.

Singing wise? Lovely, especially Tiffany Abban as Aida. Her voice soared.

Design wise? Meeeh. They wanted to emphasize the heavy, the ritual, the ancient rather than the splendid and golden in old Egypt. Which could have been fun, and which worked for some scenes. The costumes, a kind of Mediaeval-Roman-Egyptian crossover, worked well. The sets? Way too minimalistic and abstract to have any effect on me. And yes, the stage turned. And turned. Slowly. Very slowly. Got old very soon...

Story/music? I thought the score would be more memorable. I mean, Verdi? But many of them felt like elaborate recitatives rather than hummable hit songs. Some great ensemble numbers, though, and Tiffany Abban could sing the telephone catalogue for all I cared. Her voice was honey and bells. Yes, that is a good thing. Also, lovely full orchestra.

Storywise, nothing new. Lovers must die, or live unhappily divided. That's how it goes, everybody knows. But I can totally see how Phantom's Hannibal is an Aida pastiche. Kinda fun to see. Oh, and I will never trust those slavegirls again...

Choreography? Pretty much hated it. Looked like something out of an aerobic class of the 80's on LSD. But the stage combat scenes were cool.

So... I was mildly entertained, but there weren't enough eye candy for me to feel the three hours didn't last three hours. At the end of the opera I felt the lovers should die already so I could get out of there. Which might not be a good thing. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but I would not see it a second time.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  Scorp on Thu May 10, 2012 1:11 am

I'm less a fan of Verdi than I used to be. My favourite is La Traviata, which shouldn't bore you. Great tunes and well-known story, although I've never been able to care that much about the heroine.

Anyone in NYC should RUN RUN RUN to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Death of a Salesman is the best experience I've had in a theatre this year. Incredibly gripping and also heartbreaking, with some brilliant performances from Andrew Garfield and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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Re: The non-musical thread: plays and operas

Post  operafantomet on Tue May 22, 2012 7:46 pm

Scorp wrote:I'm less a fan of Verdi than I used to be. My favourite is La Traviata, which shouldn't bore you. Great tunes and well-known story, although I've never been able to care that much about the heroine.
Will see it at next opportunity. I love going to the opera, but I'm at the mercy of whoever sets the repertoire at the Norwegian Opera here in Oslo.

In the mean time, I just can't get it out of my head that Aida's "Possente Ftha" sounds like a nightmare version of Phantom's "Poor fool, he makes me laugh....". Ok, they aren't necessarily THAT similar, but there's something about the melody like that makes me feel I listen to the same tune played in a minor and major key... Kinda ironic, since Hannibal is the big Aida ripoff, theme wise.

Listen to the main melody sung by the priestess here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liMKdT6_HUo

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