The Broadway Musical Blog – Musical theater news and gossip from the Great White Way

Dishing out daily (or almost daily) Broadway musical news and gossip. The companion site to The Broadway Musical Home (broadwaymusicalhome.com), a directory of Broadway musicals with the story, songs, merchandise, video clips, lyrics, tickets, rights & awards for almost 200 shows.

Archive for Alan Jay Lerner

The Reviews for Gigi are In…

gigi1

The reviews for Gigi are in, and most of the critics agree that this revival’s pretty surface fails to totally cover the weaknesses just underneath.  Originally a novella by Colette, then a 1958 Lerner and Loewe film, and then a 1973 Broadway bust, the latest version features a revised book by Heidi Thomas that aims to modernize the tale but ends up sterilizing it.  Vanessa Hudgens, known from “High School Musical,” brings brightness to the title role and sings her songs with sparkle, but misses the mark emotionally.  The supporting cast is strong and the scenery and costumes are impressive, but in the end, this revival of Gigi just lacks a heart and a soul and wears a bit too much make-up.

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW

A shower of soap bubbles descends upon the audience at the finale of the pretty and pleasant revival of the musical “Gigi” that opened at the Neil Simon Theater on Wednesday. The gentle downpour is meant to evoke the fizz in a glass of Champagne, the delights of which have been celebrated in one of the bounciest … 

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TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW

Champagne, as Gigi reminds us, “is not actually a force of nature, but the result of industrial chemistry!” Neither natural force nor chemistry, alas, is much in evidence at this fizzless toast to Parisian romance in the Belle Époque. Based on a story by Colette, and its 1958 film adaptation by Alan Jay Lerner and 

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HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW

Given her famously ambivalent acquaintanceship with Coco Chanel, it seems possible that novelist Colette might be rolling her eyes, if not quite rolling over in her grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery, upon discovering that double-G T-shirts mimicking the interlocking-C Chanel logo are being sold at the merchandise 

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HUFFINGTON POST REVIEW

The movie Gigi with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe and direction by Vincente Minnelli won the 1958 Oscar as best movie. That was one of nine — count ’em, 9 — Oscars handed the box-office hit. Others included best screenplay adaptation (Lerner), best song (Lerner and Loewe’s title 

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NBC NEW YORK REVIEW

Vanessa Hudgens brings verve and vivacity to a reimagined version of the classic musical “Gigi”—a production equally memorable for its rich contributions from Tony winner Victoria Clark, as the carefree young girl’s indulgent grandmother. “Gigi” has just opened at the Neil Simon Theatre, following a world premiere 

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The Reviews for On a Clear Day You Can See Forever are In…

The reviews for On a Clear Day You Can See Forever are in, and though they aren’t the worst we’ve seen this season, they are nowhere near rave reviews. With some very intensive script-changes that throw gender-bending into the mix, critics found the new book almost as problematic as the original. The biggest upset was the splitting of the main female character’s multiple personalities into multiple cast members, rather than keeping it a showcase of one actress’ abilities. Most agree that Christine Jones’ sets and the songs themselves were the greatest stars, but overall were underwhelmed by this “reincarnation.”

NEW YORK TIMES

Toward the long-awaited end of the new semirevival of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” which opened on Sunday at the St. James Theater, an eminent psychiatrist proposes that what we have been watching was perhaps only “my own psychoneurotic fantasy.”

Click here to read the full “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever” review.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The diagnosis is in for Harry Connick Jr.’s Broadway musical about a psychiatrist undergoing a psychic meltdown: It needs more time on the couch.

Click here to read the full “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever” review.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Respect to director Michael Mayer and playwright Peter Parnell for their audacious attempt at reinventing a problematic musical in the Broadway revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. The 1965 show has always been much loved for its lush Burton Lane score but denied the stamp of greatness by Alan Jay Lerner’s over-complicated structural mess of a book.

Click here to read the full “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever” review.

VARIETY

The play initially was constructed as a vehicle for a star singer/comedienne (played by Barbara Harris on stage, Barbra Streisand on screen). The challenge and the fun came from watching an insecure neurotic instantly and repeatedly transformed through hypnosis into her glamorous, past-life self. Mayer has seen fit to divide this star part in half and have it played by two actors, removing the one element that thoroughly worked in the original.

Click here to read the full “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever” review.

NEWSDAY

It’s a relief and a special pleasure to report that Mayer, in a square-cornered turn from his smart-rock productions of “Spring Awakening” and “American Idiot,” has joined playwright Peter Parnell to change an unworkable plot into a more-than-serviceable gender-bending framework. There’s a mostly-classy cast, a fantasy op-art set and almost two dozen wonderful songs from the Broadway production and the film.

Click here to read the full “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever” review.

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