Category Archives: Theatre

The Last Supper

So the liberal students attempt to convince a conservative to adopt liberal positions. If the liberals fail to make their case, they kill the conservative.

Hardly sounds balanced. Or entertaining. How could anyone on the right of political spectrum even consider seeing this play?

Beauty & The Beast

22-07-15 Beauty & The Beast

This is not my favorite show, but it is part of the season ticket package. We had seen a very good version of this at The Levoy a few years back. Beetle bailed on this performance tonight. 🙁 That didn’t dampen the evening, however. Fritz and I had a grand time.

We went to Atillio’s beforehand. And then The Boy loaded up on popcorn at the theatre. Ha!

This was a pretty good performance. The candlestick and Babette were both very good. Belle had a voice. Gaston was also very good.

Fun enough for an evening out. I always enjoy a show and to spend it with my son was tops!

My Daughter, the Theatre Arts Major

Earlier this week I wrote that I worry for my daughter as she prepares for college. Beetle has little follow through. She has quit virtually everything she has ever joined.

Many parents may be concerned about a life in theatre. I try not to let that get in the way. After all, I was a philosophy major. My parents had similar worries about that choice of a major.

My concern is that Beetle doesn’t appear to be passionate about the theatre. I say that for she doesn’t attend the theatre much. For years I have had season tickets to various local theatres. Show after show, it is Fritz and me going with an empty seat next to us.

Beetle was to be in Alice in Wonderland at Cumberland Players. She bailed on the show and the understudy had to fill in. Fritz and I watched the performance.

Beetle didn’t go with us to Pippin in April in Pitman.

Tick, Tick . . . Boom at the Ritz in Haddonfield was also a no-show for Beetle.

She (and Fritz) complained about seeing The Sound of Music.

When we saw The Great Gatzby at the Levoy earlier this year, Beetle did not attend.

Part of her Christmas present was seeing Hamilton. She fell asleep after complaining.

That’s from just the last eight months. Previous years have similar events.

Tonight we have tickets to see Beauty and the Beast. Once again, Beetle (the adult) has decided not to attend the show she has known about for months.

Beetlejuice

22-06-26 Beetlejuice

A few months back, I sent Beetle a list of theatre shows and asked her which appealed to her. Much to my chagrin, she selected Beetlejuice. I was gearing up for Wicked and was hopeful.

Little did Beetle know at the time, but I planned her 18th birthday gift to be the show on Broadway.

A few years ago, the (then) family went to New York. The boys went to comic book stores, the Village, the LEGO store, etc. while the girls went to see Mean Girls. It is the first time I took the train into the city. I liked it. I had always driven. Driving adds a layers of stress to a trip to NYC.

Less than a year later, Kitty took Beetle back to NYC to see Hamilton. Given he issues the year before, I tagged along to ensure things went okay. I then went and geocached while they saw the show. Again, we took the train in. My confidence in getting into the city via train built.

Then COVID hit.

We’re back to normal, as far as I am concerned. Traveling to the city was fine. We left Penn Station and sought a taxi. That proved problematic. I hadn’t noted the loooooooonnnnnnggggg line waiting for a cab and the lack of cabs stopping. When we turned to get to the back of the line, I knocked over a coffee that was placed on a concrete barrier. That soaked me. Welcome to the city! We decided to hoof it to the theatre.

I had picked out two restaurants near the theatre for us to dine at. Beetle suggested Ellen’s Stardust Diner. I was agreeable, but the walking cut into our time. Beetle was ready for a place on the way to 46th Street. She has dined at Dafni twice before. It’s a Greek place. Since we were celebrating her birthday, it was fine with me. It was a nice place. I ordered the bronzini. It was tasty, but they did not debone it leaving it for me to do. Grrr . . . this should be deboned for the customer. We enjoyed out meal and then headed to the theatre.

I hadn’t told Beetle what we were doing today. I confirmed that we would see a play. As we approached, she guessed it was Beetlejuice.

We sat second row dead center at the Marquis Theatre. This is a modern theatre. It would have been most enjoyable seat if I had not had a man who took up two seats seated next to me. It was most annoying.

I had never seen the movie. It was an ’80s movie. I was 23 when it came out. It did not appeal to me . . . ever. But I watched it last evening. The movie did nothing for me. It is dated and the story is meh.

The theatre performance did not improve on the story. Still meh. They changed the focus of the story to Lydia and her desire to bring her mother back to life. That didn’t help.

That aside, everything else about this play was outstanding! The sets were just the most remarkable I ever seen. Eye-appealing, modern, able to evoke many different moods, etc. are just some of the adjectives to describe them. The scene where Lydia and her father go to hell had a set that was simple but made it seem like CGI was used. It wasn’t. Stunning repeating square patterns!

At the end of act 1 when Beetlejuice takes over the house, the house became black and white. Most wonderful!

There were animatronics that were expertly designed. Even the costumes of the skeletons were awesome! There were trap doors and a launch pad out of the orchestra pit. Lots of high-tech hijinx for a play.

Accompanying this most excellent set were the actors. While I didn’t like the politics that Alex Brightman interjected in the opening, he was a perfect Beetlejuice. I dare say, he was even better than Michael Keaton from the movie. Elizabeth Teeter was perfect as Lydia. Sure, I love Winona Ryder, but she has aged out of the role. Kerry Butler, who Beetle reports to now having seen in three different shows, was wonderful as Barbara. I thought this 51-year old was in her 20s. 🙂

As Beetle and I discussed on the way home, there were no lowlights about the production. Nor should there be. It’s a nice reminder from the local theatre I normally see. This was a professional show and it was great!

We dined again at Stewart’s in Vineland on our way home. Just a wonderful day with my daughter. Loved it!

Alice in Wonderland

22-04-30 Alice in Wonderland

There are fond memories of the children acting in Alice in Wonderland while at St. Mary School. Beetle was a most excellent Queen of Hearts.

Fast forward nearly six years and Beetle auditioned and landed her signature role once again in the Cumberland Players rendition of this story. It was to be staged a month or two ago. For some reason, it was postponed until this weekend.

It took several e-mails to figure out whether I had tickets or not. I didn’t. I purchased two tickets (Fritz and me) to take in this encore performance.

But on Monday it was brought to my attention my daughter quit the play. Apparently, the director noted a lot of anxiety with Beetle and as that was being addressed, the decision was made to leave the performance. I was also told that she has decided not to pursue theatre at college. Of course, that was the impetus for selecting her college.

The struggles of teenagers.

I don’t know what will happen going forward.

Anyhow, tonight was the performance. Fritz and I attended. The director approached me to make certain I knew what had happened. She didn’t want me sitting there wondering where my daughter was. 🙂

The play began at least six minutes late. I think it was closer to 10. At 7:45, the show was over.

It was an interesting performance. It may not have impressed us as much as we had hoped. We’ll leave it at that.

Pippin

Pippin

We are theatregoers. It began with my parents taking me. It continued through college. It now continues with my own children. My son and I attended Pippin tonight.

This is a show I had never seen. I didn’t have any preconceived notions of this other than I thought it was from the classic period of theatre. At lunch today I asked if anyone was familiar with it. Julie Testa lighted up and explained I would love it. She couldn’t enlighten me regarding the plot but stated it was from the 1970s. That surprised me.

At home I read something that stated Pippin was in the era/style of Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, Godspell, and other rock operas of the time. That is not how I envisioned this play. Yet, it was very much that.

Upon entering the theatre, many of the actors were on stage. The guys were dressed in leather, the gals in fishnet stockings. It looked like a brothel. And that is how it remained for the entire show.

The plot was Pippin, Charlemagne’s son, seeking meaning in his life. He goes through many interations with the Leading Player guiding him through the path.

In the end, Pippin chooses love, much to the chagrin of the Leading Player.

I enjoyed the story. The setting was weird. I struggled with the bawdy nature of the actors. I didn’t see how it served a purpose let alone the plot. Fritz stated not all productions are staged that way. I don’t know, but it seems odd little ol’ Pitman would be on the cutting edge.

Chicago

22-04-09 Chicago

Beetle had auditions for acceptance into the theatre program at Wilkes University today. As a bonus, the school provided us tickets to the school’s rendition of Chicago.

I thought the play was well performed. The actress who played Velma was excellent! Fun show. Beetle will do well in this program, methinks.

tick, tick…BOOM!

22-04-03 tick, tick...BOOM!

We went and saw Rent a little bit ago. Wasn;t a fan in the least. I know, I am in the minority. Anyhow, Fritz was very much enamored with it. Doing as he does, he went down the rabbit hole. He found that tick, tick…BOOM! was written by the same playwright. That the movie version of it starred Andrew Garfield (Spider-man) was an added bonus. He obsessed over it.

Well, the Ritz staged a production of tick, tick…BOOM!. He wanted to see it. We purchased tickets. Once again, Beetle bailed. The Boy and I had a good time. I enjoyed this far more than Rent.

This deals with the ressure of making it as a young man. Should one persue his passion or be reasonable and “do what is right”? I could relate.

I would absolutely see this again. Good show!

The Sound of Music

22-03-11 The Sound of Music

When it comes to theatre, I usually look for the theatre that has the best set of shows for the season. For 2022, that is the Broadway Theatre of Pitman. The first show of the season was Matilda. That was right out after my knee surgery, so I did not go to it. Tonight was The Sound of Music. While I am not a musical fan, this is my favorite musical. I will always go see this show. Admittedly, it’s been several years since I’ve seen it.

I was most impressed with this production. The acting was good. The girl who played Maria had a nice voice. The children were equally well-casted. It’s just a good version of this show.

Not certaint he children were quite as into as I. Fritz was enamored that there were huge swastikas.

It was a nice evening out. I note that my daughter, the one who is going to college in the fall for theater production, wanted to leave at intermission. She sucks when she’s tired. I suggested that she stage her productions as matinees. She didn’t understand. Sigh . . .

The Great Gatzby

22-02-19 The Great Gatzby

My love of drama on the theatre stage is beginning to come forth to my children. Whenever there is something other than a musical, I suggest we see it. With that, when I learned that the Gloucester County Institute of Technology was staging The Great Gatzby at the Levoy, I purchased tickets for us to see tonight.

Unfortunately, Beetle is ill and did not come. So, Fritz and I took to the third row to take in the stage production of this classic tale.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read this. It’s one of the books I have reread several times, but I do not think since college although perhaps in Boston. I’ve never heard of a stage production before.

The high school students did an admirable job, but it wasn’t great. I did like how the accident that killed Myrtle was staged.

This production scaled the story very much to its core, but the audience, I feel, missed out on the wonderful depiction of the Roaring 20s that Fitgerald captured with his prose.

My leg was really bothering me during the show. As I walked around at intermission, I ran into Buba2u for the second time that day. 🙂