Today, Alexis and Andres talk about Falsettos auditions, what it’s like to be on the other side of the table and how fabulous Blythe Wilson is.
Barb Barsky is best known for originating the role of Norma Desmond in the Canadian Premiere of Sunset Boulevard, her much lauded turn as Mama Rose in the Arts Club Production of Gypsy and her seven Dora nominated performances including Mimi Schwinn in Acting Up Stage’s A New Brain.
What musical will you always remember for its choreography/dancing?
I have a great fondness for West Side Story, Sweet Charity and Chicago. But for me, the best marriage of dance and story will always be Michael Bennett’s A Chorus Line. The depiction of the dancer’s life was truthful and inspiring. Years ago I had the good fortune to be cast by Mr. Bennett in the first national company, and I remember the audition as if it were yesterday. We were all asked not to chew gum (as per the actual script) and to do a triple time step and a double turn. Even though these are the most basic of steps, they remain the great leveler. “Hello Twelve,” “The Music and The Mirror,” and of course, “One”… brilliant. More
I always wonder what the twins will think of musical theatre. Will they be avid fans who accompany me to opening nights from a young age? Or will musical theatre be the nerdy thing that their Dad does which they wouldn’t be caught dead getting involved with?
Wanting to find the balance between imposing my passions onto my children and NOT, I have been very careful to not introduce too much musical theatre to them. I haven’t yet made them watch the DVD of the original Into The Woods (do you think a 3 month old can appreciate the genius that is Joanna Gleason?), and our Annie wig will stay packed in the box this Halloween. More
A few weeks ago, Chaplin opened on Broadway to middling reviews. Ben Brantley described the portrayal of the Little Tramp as “devoured by a swarm of man-eating cliches” and The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that “its impossible to believe that [Charlie Chaplin] would express himself in such prosaic, cliched terms.” All of this heat over the reduction of a beloved icon to a simmering pot of bland stew got me thinking – why do some biomusicals sail, while others arrive virtually DOA?
The history of the biomusical, while not prolific in its output, traces back generations and has born a few hits and a volume of flops. Marilyn: An American Fable infamously tanked amongst a chorus of dancing plumbers showering attention on a bathing Ms. Monroe. Coco, starring Katherine Hepburn as the mother of contemporary fashion, was a critical disaster despite moderate financial success (because of the marquee star’s fanbase). And Rosie O’Donell’s Boy George and Leigh Bowery megaflop Taboo received disparaging pre-press rivaled only in recent memory by Spiderman: Turn of the Dark. More