Friday, 22 October 2010


Do we really need a stage musical version of Almodovar's brilliant 1987 film? This production demonstrates why often what works on the screen does not work on the stage. Despite some brave and wonderful performances from Laura Benanti, Patti LuPone, Sherie Rene Scott and Brian Stokes Mitchell, this show falls flat.
If I hadn't seen the movie many times, I don't think I would have any idea what was going on. The production (Bartlett Sher, director; Michael Yeargan, designer) was busy with constantly moving scenery and projections as if movement was the most important thing. David Yazbek's score is mediocre. I can't comment on the lyrics -- the sound system made them unintelligible.
I saw a rough early preview. Perhaps the show will become coherent, but I doubt the score will get any better. The biggest laughs came from Laura Benanti's ad libs as we waited for the set to move properly. Which brings up the issue of the morality of charging over $100 to see what amounts to a rehearsal.
Rent the DVD of the film.  
Oh, the renovated Belasco Theatre is beautiful. Try to sneak in and see the theatre without paying to see the show.

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