Next to Normal’s premiere twitter performance of new song Something I can’t see

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Next to Normal Twitter performance. Wednesday 28th October 2009, Tribeca NY.

Starting Just before 12am gmt or 7pm US time Next to Normal on Twitter released their new song “Something I can’t see” to a unique audience. The audience being the twitter users who helped write this latest addition to the musical.

In an intro video by creators Composer Tom Kitt and Lyricist Brian Yorkey welcomes tweeters to the event which was hosted live in Tribeca NY.

Next came a panel discussion

The panel consisted of Tom Kitt (composer), Michael Greif (director), David Stone (producer) and Brian Yorkey (Lyricist).

The panel talked about how the show was created and how it went from just being an idea in a BMI workshop to a tony award winning musical.

This discussion included playing a song called “Electricity” that was cut from the show. Other songs that were cut included ‘feeling electric’ whilst others were edited to suit the current show. All these original songs can be found here.(back then the show was called Feeling Electric)

There was also an explanation on how the new song “Something I can’t see” came to be written. During the process the twitter community voted on who should sing the song, where it would go in the show, what the motivations were and also the lyrics.

Moments later questions from twitter users were answered by the cast.

First Alice Ripley who plays the main part of Diana.

Question? “Jesse from twitter wants to know how my interpretation of Diana has changed since the beginning”?

Answer “Mmmm I would say that Diana and I have grown together in equal proportion. I think we have both become more aware of the big picture and also we have become maybe a bit crazier and maybe we both have a better sense of humour than we did a year ago”

Next up was Bobby Spencer who plays husband Dan.

Question? “I have a question here from Eric he wants to know how I cope with the incredibly overwhelming emotions throughout the show”?

Answer “Mmmm its a great question and I guess I never really think about it when I am doing the show. Dan just like comes organically it just comes with the job but when the show is done I get a little hot sockey for my throat because its pretty much an opera and its like when your in the gym working out with your muscles you like to take a hot bath, same when you sing a little hot sockey is good for the throat and other than that it’s just having fun throughout my day and laughing and being light hearted because an emotional show like this could tend to bring some people down but everyone in the cast is very very goofy, we are incredible goofballs. We all get along great and we are constantly laughing till they say places so thats how we cope with it by just being goofballs”.

Finally Jenn Damiano who plays 16 year old Natalie answered questions.

Question? “Brian Larson asked a question on twitter and he wants to know what the single hardest scene or song to perform is and why?”

Answer “Mmmm I would say the single hardest scene or song to perform is definitely “Super boy and the invisible girl”. Mmm only because there’s a lot of emotion and anger going on during the song its still you know really hard to sing so it just takes  a lot of balance and focus too because the worlds have so much weight on them and you don’t just want to through those phrases away because they seem so much and you still have to sign them pretty loud and really thoughtfully at the same time and its a challenge every night. But then the audience clap really loud after”.

Finally the show is closed by a thank you video message from Tom and Brian followed by a link to a short preview of the song.

The new song will be released soon as part of a podcast that is being created from last nights event. There are also plans for a future EP of songs that were cut from the show.

For now Next to Normal is still running in the Booth Theatre in New York.

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

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Wednesday June 10. 8pm

New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 W42st New York.

Based on P.L. Travers cherished stories and the original 1960’s Disney film Mary Poppins on Broadway is practically perfect in every way. The story sticks to the much loved original tale. However, despite its predicitablilty there are suprises and shocks in store that will have audiences of all ages on the edge of their seats.

Staring in the lead as Mary Poppins Scarlett Strallen wows audiences with her vocal ability and smooth moves. Making magic with her bag and umbrella she caputures the audiences attention. However there is that sense of her being a supernany like Jo Frost off those tv shows that was not present in the original Disney movie. At times she appears evil summoning the toys to teach the kids a lesson whereas in other scenes her mood is light and uplifting as she goes on that jolly holiday. Mary-Poppins-Broadway-4-web

Adam Fiorentino plays the part of Bert and his character is not far from the original played by Dick Van Dyke. As a chimney sweep he whistles the days away while taking the odd break to dance on the roof top. One thing has to be said however that guy has guts for doing the magical walk high up on the proscenium. An act which left almost every member of the audience on the edge of their seats.

Other parts played included Daniel Jenkins and Rebecca Luker as Mr and Mrs banks and Kelsey Fowler and Zach Rand who play the troublesome Banks kids.

The set is fantastically detailed with a full size house that moves up and down as needed as well as extra sets including a full size roof top, a bedroom  and a park which come and go as needed. The set is amazingly true to life with props and colors as well as a fully functional stair case.

The music brings the story to life with songs of new and old. Composed by the score includes old favourites such as “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious ” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee as well as new songs “Temper, Temper” and “Brimstone and Treacle”. HO

The costumes were equally spectacular from caputuring the traditional dress of Ms Poppins to adding life size cakes onto the dresses of dancers in the candy store scene.

Throughout the show there were acts of magic from Mary Poppins bag to the letter magically flying up the chimney. Acts which even as an adult it is hard to decipher how exactly do they do it.

Mary Poppins brings the young on an exciting new adventure while older viewers are given a taste of childhood nostalgia.

AFTER THE SHOW

After the show all members of the staff were at the stage door. Beginning with the two kids who were keen to talk about the new Harry Potter film then the Mr and Mrs Banks and finally Mary Poppins and Bert.

VIDEO CLIPS

A chat with Mary Poppins

Behind the scenes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL3pLv2OdrM

Blue man group

BLUE MAN GROUP

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Sunday June 7. 8pm

Astor Place Theatre, 434 Lafayette Place

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Centred around three blue men this show is purely visual. The men don’t speak or even attempt to. This leaves it up to the audience to interpret their emotions and gestures. There is no storyline to follow as the show simply consists of different sketches from the marshmallow catching to the twinky eating. They use familiar objects such as captain crunch, twinky bars and marshmallows to capture the audiences attention although I wouldn’t recommend looking too interested as they may want you to get up on stage and get involved with their games.

The show is overall very interactive and the first few rows are even expected to wear ponchos to reduce the risk of turning blue themselves or being covered in half eaten food.

At times the men pick their victims from the audience whom they then begin to subject to different experiments such as stuffing your mouth full of twinky bars (during which the poor girl looked like she was going to either cry or throw up) and covering your body with blue paint before swinging into a canvas painting.

However as the show does start off exciting promising so much it quickly goes down hill. Do people really need to see three guys regurgitating half chewed marshmallows and chewed cereal. Why they think people want to see a food fights and be covered in half chewed food is questionable. Looking at youtube videos there is a high expectation of their brilliance but those performances are not to be seen in New York instead an amateur show that requires little talent.

Overall the show is entertaining although the novelty wears off mid-way through. If these men weren’t blue it is doubtful the show would have lasted so long off broadway. A good night out for the family but in the small theatre and basic set it is easy to tell why this glorified circus show has been kept off broadway.

This may be entertaining for kids but adults save your money there is much better out there for the same cost. I for one am grateful that our tickets were 50% off.

Overall this show was overpriced and overrated. Tickets to this New York performance are no longer available as the show has been closed down. Other performances are available throughout the US including Las Vegas.

AFTER THE SHOW

After the show the three men came out to autograph (kiss) the playbills and pose for photos.

VIDEO CLIPS