Roundabout Theatre Company
At Roundabout Theatre Company, it’s about you. Everything we do—every story we tell, every production we mount, every experience we create in our theatres—is about you.
The best moment finds Chenoweth putting a torrid spin on "I've Got What You Want," and yet not quite able to master the cracking of a whip. It's pure silliness. In Passionella …, Chenoweth plays Ella, a lonely sooty chimney sweep, who is magically transformed by her fairy godfather (Kudisch, who also serves as the story' s narrator), into a blonde sex pot of a movie star. She is destined to find true love, however, with a rock singer (James). Chenoweth's talent for breaking through the sound barrier with her high notes is the highlight of this skit. Fans of Chenoweth will be delighted; others will find the triptych trying. [more]
The best way to imagine what has happened to the beggars, the bourgeoisie, the pimps and whores, and the sordid denizens of the underworld in this operatic rant on the evils of capitalism is to think of a Cirque du Soleil troupe on Valium and under neon (what was lighting designer Jason Lyons thinking?). Worst of all, it is plodding and dull and an eyesore thanks to Isaac Mizrahi's Halloween-on-Fire-Island costuming. [more]
Weidman's book is especially clever in its anecdotal cohesiveness, and with additional material credited to Hugh Wheeler, will probably be thought of as more vindicated than it was initially. Yet one wonders if the sadness we feel as we watch the Japanese lose their will to resist American determination is actually compounded by the new ending that brings Japan into the modern age and includes an image of the bombing of Hiroshima. [more]
or all the handsome production values contributed by Scott Pask's handsome silvery unit setting and Vicki Mortimer's ravishing and revealing costumes, it is the presence and performance of Antonio Banderas, in the role of director Guido Contini (originated by the late Raul Julia), that pilots the action to perfection. Banderas, who is making his Broadway debut, proves an excellent choice both dramatically and vocally. That the Spanish-born actor was a member of the National Theater of Spain before he was discovered by Hollywood, accounts for his accomplished stage presence and the authority that he brings to both his singing and his character. [more]
When polished and classy performers such as Broadway veteran Liz Callaway ("Merrily We Roll Along," "Baby," "Miss Saigon") and Capathia Jenkins ("Civil War"), as a Dionne Warwick substitute, attempt to provide some inner life to relatively uncomplicated songs, the effect is still-born. When the gentle and folksy "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" is sung in Spanish by Kevin Ceballo and danced in orgiastic spasms by Shannon Lewis, you'll see how desperate staging can get. [more]
Tyrone Giordano plays Huck with an unforced naturalism that is matched by the terrific Daniel Jenkins (he played Huck on Broadway in 1985) who gives Huck his voice. The multi-talented (check out the banjo) Jenkins also plays Twain as a narrator on the sidelines. Michael McElroy plays and sings the role of Jim the runaway slave. His striking good looks, stature and magnificent baritone voice add considerable dramatic weight to the production. [more]