Monday, June 23, 2014
Tony Award winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a short 'mini musical' for a radio podcast titled 'This American Life'. Based on a news article about a high school boy falling in love with a transfer student who turned out to be an undercover cop investigating the school for drugs, 21 Chump Street is shorter than a one-act show, with the score clocking in at under 15 minutes in length.
This EP of the show's score appeared on iTunes without warning. And it couldn't be a more welcomed surprise.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a hugely popular cult musical created by John Cameron Mitchell and composer Stephen Trask. The show, about a down-and-out transgendered rock star named Hedwig, is a blend of musical theatre and a rock concert. The results are powerful.
The original cast, however, is iconic. For most fans, John Cameron Mitchell is, and always will be, the definitive Hedwig. Given this, how does the immensely talented Neil Patrick Harris measure up?
Well, he's no John Cameron Mitchell. But, luckily for us, he's not trying to be.
Fitting, then, that he should have tackled Heathers, based on the 1988 movie of the same name. The movie has attained large cult status despite early box office failure, and it spawned a lot of similarly campy high school movies, primarily the immensely popular Mean Girls.
But how does it work as a musical?
With lyricist Kevin Murphy, O'Keefe has crafted a bouncy and fun pop-rock score that lends itself beautifully to the subject matter.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
These questions are asked in If/Then, the new original musical by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, the same team that brought us the emotionally devastating Next to Normal. In fact, such questions are the obsession of Elizabeth, a woman who moves to New York after a messy divorce in order to start her life fresh. The 'what ifs' become her driving force in life, with every decision carefully considered.
For the audience, we are shown two parallel universes, where we see for ourselves just how Elizabeth's decisions affect her life. In one reality, she's called Liz... in another, Beth. And everything is significantly different.