July 16, 2010
Very pleasant publicity interview online in Playbill with Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch :”Stritch also believes she and Peters are “very much alike, and we’re finding things every day in playing the parts. She’s got the same kind of humor that I do. Our sense of humor – I love that expression – it’s a sense of humor, a deep sense of humor, and I see it in her.””
Also, the Playbill Diva Talk column profiles Alice Ripley as she ends her Broadway engagement in Next to Normal: “When asked how she believes her performance has changed during her 16-month Broadway run, Ripley says, “Well, all I can say is I can tell you what people have told me about my performance or just tell you how it makes me feel. People have said that it has changed and then, I feel like I’ve changed, so if I’ve changed, the performance has changed. So, it probably has, and I’m hoping it’s grown because you’re always looking to fill in details.””
November 26, 2008
I just got back from seeing Next to Normal at Arena Stage , and I’m on the horns of a dilemma. According to the Washington Post, the creative team behind this mounting of the show is taking their work seriously and using time in front of an audience to re-tool the show. As such, they’ve requested that critics not view the show until mid-December.
I certainly don’t want to give Chad Bauman, the very diligent Communications Manager at Arena, another situation that he feels he needs to manage. However, I did pay for a ticket and have some notions to share, so I’ll try to limit my discussion accordingly.
The show is a fascinating portrayal of a woman with mental illness trying to cope and find her way out of the mire. It has a six person ensemble doing protean work, led by the amazing Alice Ripley. After having adored the song in her Kennedy Center concert earlier this season, it was thrilling to seeing Ripley sing I Miss the Mountains in the context of the show (clip of the song). And cabaret singers, especially under-40 female belters who want something contemporary with an edge, should be mining this score for material!
Ron, who isn’t on my Arena subscription, came with me tonight due to the Arena Stage $25 ticket sale. He was seated in row B on the side and said that he couldn’t see most of the action that happened on the second and third level of the stage. I was in row F in the center and had a great view. As this is a problem that I don’t see being resolved no matter how many changes the creative team makes, people who payed full price and are seated close, be warned — you might want to change your seat.* And speaking of Arena’s ticket sale, I was a little surprised to see the number of empty seats that remained in the house, presumably due to the combination of Tuesday night and Thanksgiving week. (According to today’s Post, Arena sold 6,661 tix during the sale.)
*In the one item of the show that I pray gets re-thought, people in the center section, rows B through D, seem to be getting an eyeful of the leading lady’s nether areas while she’s sitting in a chair in an above-the-knee, A-line skirt. Or was it the costume department trying to viscerally demonstrate her vulnerability?
April 8, 2008
Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner appear Friday at 7:30 pm at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater as part of the Barbara Cook Spotlight Series.
If you don’t have tickets yet, don’t bother — the event is sold out. That’s why we have YouTube. And you can still get your cabaret fix that night by seeing the DC Cabaret Network show Our Song at St. Maggie’s. Or seeing Ron Squeri at Indigo on Saturday.