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Posts Tagged ‘rob mcclure’

Review: Honeymoon in Vegas

January 15th, 2015 Comments off

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Will you fall in love with Honeymoon in Vegas, the latest Broadway movie adaptation that hopes to capitalize on a (semi) familiar title to lure audience goers into spending upwards of $199 for premium tickets? Well… that depends on your type. With a book by Andrew Bergman (who also wrote the screenplay) and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown (The Bridges of Madison County, The Last Five Years), Honeymoon in Vegas is love at first site—or rather, first listen. Brown’s dynamic score is his most accessible to date, pumped with a big band sound led by music director and conductor Tom Murray. It sets the bar high and Honeymoon mostly delivers.

The cast of "Honeymoon in Vegas" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

The cast of “Honeymoon in Vegas” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

The story follows commitment-shy Jack Singer (Rob McClure) and his fiancée of five years, Betsy Nolan (Brynn O’Malley), as they jet set to Las Vegas in hopes of dismissing the looming curse of Jack’s deceased mother Bea (Nancy Opel) and finally tie the knot. In one of the show’s most inventive numbers, Bea appears to Jack as a hallucination thanks to some clever stagecraft courtesy of scenic and projection designer Anna Louizos.

Once in Vegas, the couple crosses paths with con artist Tommy Korman (Tony Danza), who immediately falls for Betsy from afar as she brings back memories of his deceased wife. This sets in motion a scheme to blackmail Jack, seduce her, and apparently live the rest of his life is deceptive marital bliss. The trio eventually find themselves in Hawaii for more antics as Jack chases down his fleeting bride-to-be, and as you might imagine, it’s all resolved with obligatory Elvises in tow.

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Who You Calling a Little Tramp?

January 8th, 2013 Comments off

The Broadway Blog welcomes contributor Scott Redman, who offers his take on the Original Broadway Cast Recording of “Chaplin, the Musical.”

“Chaplin,” the bio tuner based on the iconic silent film star Charlie Chaplin, closed its Broadway run Jan. 6 but the show lives on via a cast recording produced by Masterworks Broadway, a division of Sony Records.

The musical colors Charlie Chaplin, a respectable Rob McClure in the title role, from black and white beginnings in dreary London into a Technicolor Hollywood where he searches for happiness and success in the pictures. The laborious musical attempts to tell his entire life story from boyhood to senior. Chaplin’s life is great material for a musical — humble beginning turned to fame, fortune, exile, etc. Unfortunately the show’s recording mirrors the same problems it had at the Barrymore Theatre — a lack of focus and style. “Chaplin” delivers a pastiche and often-generic sounding score that doesn’t sound like anything new or unique.

The opening number, “Look at All the People” performed by Charlie’s mum, a clear voiced Christiane Noll, sets up the mother–child relationship but doesn’t launch the show or create an energy to frame the musical. The second number continues with a vaudeville drinking song also performed by the mother. Listening to the first few tracks I found myself waiting for the show to start and asking, “Who is this show even about?” Its not until Charlie arrives in Tinseltown does the action of the play really get going.

Once Chaplin moves to Hollywood the score becomes predictable with tracks “Just Another Day in Hollywood” and “Life Can be Like the Movies.” These numbers are bouncy and resemble the period but lacks content to drive the plot forward or develop the characters into something the audience can empathize.

At the end of the second act Charlie meets Oona O’Neil played by Erin Mackey who delivers an emotionally robust ballad, “What Only Love Can See.” Its here where you imagine the potential of what this show could have been with stronger lyrics and song spotting.

“Chaplin,” released by Masterworks Broadway, is available on iTunes or Amazon.
A national tour is scheduled for 2014 as well as a production in São Paolo, Brazil.
Visit www.chaplinbroadway.com for the latest updates.

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: “Chaplin: The Musical”

September 11th, 2012 Comments off

Zachary Unger & Rob McClure in “Chaplin”. Photo by Joan Marcus.

CHAPLIN: THE MUSICAL

Silent film’s beloved “Little Tramp” gets the full Funny Guy treatment in a new bio-musical directed by Warren Carlyle (Follies) and written by Thomas Meehan (Hairspray) and Christopher Curtis.

“The lens through which we see most of Chaplin, though, is blurred, as if with Vaseline.” New York Times

“As a musical, Chaplin is squarely in the middle of the middle of the pack; as the canny redeployment of an icon, it sometimes flirts with excellence.” New York Magazine

“The producers of Chaplin…have passed that difficult test, with relative newcomer Rob McClure proving a small wonder as the Little Tramp.” Variety

“…a curiously flat affair.” Entertainment Weekly

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TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: Fall Preview 2012, The Musicals

September 5th, 2012 Comments off

The Cast of "Chaplin". Photo by Joan Marcus.

Buckle up, boys and girls! The theater season is about to get up and rolling so we’ve got a two part preview of the tunes and tears the Great White Way has to offer through the end of the year. Since the first show out of the gate post-Labor Day is a musical, let’s start with a closer look at the originals and revivals singing and dancing onto Broadway during the rest of 2012.

On a quick glance, the slate is…well…a bit like the island of misfit toys; a curiosity chest of pieces with unusual histories from less than name brand writers. But one never knows until the curtain goes up what we truly have in store; the oddest ducks (or Cats) can sometimes turn out to be blockbusters.

Chaplin (September 10): One of Hollywood’s first mega-stars gets the first slot of the season in what promises to be a splashy theatrical biography. The biggest news is that the lead is being played by a relative unknown (almost unheard of in these marquee driven times), Rob McClure. Also in the plus column, a book co-written by musical vet Thomas Meehan (Hairspray) and supporting turns from the recent Closer than Ever dynamic duo Jenn Colella and Christiane Noll…as well as our very own Theater Buff, Wayne Wilcox.

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