Regards To Broadway…

I did a deep dive on Broadway last week.

I indulged in a smorgasbord of musicals and plays.

The first course was a serving of nostalgia in the form of Almost Famous, the musical based on the 2000 movie which tells the story of a teenage journalist writing for Rolling Stone magazine in the early 1970s, his touring with the fictitious rock band Stillwater and his efforts to get his first cover story published.

In reality, I experienced a parallel life.

In fact, the author Cameron Crowe was someone I had worked with and coincidentally ran into at the play.

The musical also introduces Ben Fong-Torres and Lester Bangs, two veteran rock journalists who were a part of my music industry life.

I wish I could recommend Almost Famous, but the show did not resonate or hit any high notes with me.

The Piano Lesson, the main course, serves up a meaty cast of outstanding talent with strong performances by John David Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Danielle Brooks.

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson was long and a bit dated. Don’t get me wrong, it is a fascinating study. Set in Pittsburgh in 1937, the play focuses on the arguments between a brother and a sister who have different ideas on what to do with the piano which represents the family’s tortured legacy.

I first experienced the play in 1990 with Charles S. Dutton, Rocky Carroll and S. Epatha Merkerson and was moved by the Pulitzer Prize winner, but this go round I was not captivated despite the brilliant cast.

The sweetest moment was the dessert course in the form of Funny Girl. Lea Michele is definitely worth the price of admission.

The former Glee star brings to life the ghost of Barbra Streisand. The show is refitted, recast and is stunning.

A Broadway mainstay for more than four decades, Tovah Feldshuh, replaces the zany Jane Lynch as  Fanny Brice’s mother and absolutely nails the part.

The cast is outstanding, including Ramon Karimloo as Nick Arnstein and Jared Grimes in the role of Eddie Ryan.

I don’t mean to Rain on Anyone’s Parade, but not all on Broadway serves up a tasty morsel.

Funny Girl is a must…the others you can just walk on by.


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