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 …
Archive for Eric Schaeffer
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
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 …
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 …
HUFFINGTON POST REVIEW
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 …
Million Dollar Quartet, the Chicago transfer about a recording session featuring Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, opened on Broadway last night and the critics were slightly split, but generally positive. Yes, they admit, the show does have elements of past jukebox musicals, but an amazing score and the fantastic musical skills of the actors portraying these personalities set it apart from the fray and will keep audiences coming for a good long time.
The New York Times
The prime asset of “Million Dollar Quartet,” written by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux and directed by Eric Schaeffer, is the explosive vitality of the music making…. Gifted musicians and likable performers, they tackle with no apparent discomfort the unenviable chore of impersonating some of the most revered names in pop music, from their slick pompadours right down to their frisky, agile fingertips. Read the full review.
The Hollywood Reporter
Bottom Line: Good rockin’ tonight, indeed…. This wildly entertaining show wonderfully captures the spirit of these seminal figures who would go on to change the course of popular music…. The four actor-musicians deliver rousing versions of nearly two dozen classic songs. Yes, the evening occasionally borders on becoming another “Legends in Concert,” but the terrific musicianship and incisive characterizations on display offset the Vegas-style atmosphere of the proceedings. Read the full review.
When the curtain call is the most exciting part of a show, it’s definitely a problem. Such is the case with “Million Dollar Quartet,” the latest attempt to turn pop nostalgia into Broadway box-office gold…. This jukebox musical attempts to spin a showbiz anecdote about larger-than-life figures at a recording session into a full-blown theatrical experience…. Judging by the show’s success in Chicago, where it has been playing for over a year, the audience for “Million Dollar Quartet” is probably more interested in hearing the hits of their youth than in experiencing a solid dramatic arc, so look for it to make at least the title sum from the Broadway and inevitable touring productions. Read the full review.
The big question about this latest jukebox musical concerns whether it is really a Broadway show in any real dramatic sense, or just a way to squeeze money from the back catalogs of four rock superstars…. The vocal performances are mostly impressive, particularly as the four instrument-playing impersonators act as their own on-stage orchestra…. The trouble begins when the singing stops. Read the full review.
Million Dollar Quartet, the show about the legendary night when icons Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Prestley joined together for a Rock and Roll jam session has been playing to packed houses at Chicago’s Apollo Theatre.
Producers have now officially announced that the show will play at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre (the former home of the week-long run of Brighten Beach Memoirs) with an opening set for April of 2010.
Eric Schaeffer (who co-directed the Chicago production) will direct, assisted by musical director Chuck Mead. Million Dollar Quartet features a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux.
Casting for the Broadway production will be set at a future date.
Chicago’s Million Dollar Quartet, about the December 4, 1956 meeting of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis “played together for the first and only time,” is officially transferring to Broadway in the spring of next year.
Eric Schaeffer (Putting it Together, Glory Days) will direct the production, which features a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Muntrux and the songs “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Riders in the Sky,” “I Walk the Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Goin’ On,” among others.
Cast, location and dates have not yet been announced. I’ll post on the blog when they are.
In the meantime, here’s a video montage from the Chicago production: