Archive for Glenn Slater
Reviewers must have been running, not walking, out of the theatre to write these extremely scathing reviews. For them, Leap of Faith is the biggest blunder of the season. They found that even the normally capable hands of the show’s lead, Raúl Esparza, who had, until now, seemed unable to do any wrong, and the talented song-writing team of Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, the story felt so confused, desperate and flat as to leave NYTimes reviewer Ben Bratley decreeing: “Leap of Faith is this season’s black hole of musical comedy, sucking the energy out of anyone who gets near it.” Somehow I doubt producers will be placing that quote on any of their materials…that is if the show is around long-enough to create additional marketing. These critics would have it shut down on the spot.
NEW YORK TIMES
“Say amen, somebody. Or, better yet, just whimper the word. We’ve finally come to the end of a hard-run overcrowded spring on Broadway. And here, to sound the final trumpet, is one last musical, a show that appropriately expresses how many a dedicated theatergoer must be feeling right now: plumb tuckered out.”
TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW:
“Want to make a ton of money? Peddle God to fools. Want to lose a ton of money? Invest in a Broadway turkey. You can’t have it both ways. It’s perfectly fine—even desirable—if your religion is crude and nonsensical, but a show as bland and confused as Leap of Faith is not going to make rich men of its producers (among whom are actual church leaders). The fake cash distributed by actors to audience members—so we may place it in the offertory baskets at Jonas Nightingale’s revivalist hoedowns—is all the green this wanly tacky production is likely to see.”
“The last musical of the official Broadway season comes into town like a huckster promising salvation. But it’s the show itself that needs saving. There’s a strong musical somewhere in “Leap of Faith,” which stars a soulful Raul Esparza and has some of Alan Menken’s best songs. But what opened Thursday at The St. James Theatre is sometimes confusing in its tone. Like its main character – the devious faith healer Rev. Jonas Nightingale, ready to scam residents of a down-and-out Kansas town – the musical is hard to pin down. There’s too much misdirection.”
“The 1992 movie no doubt has its fans, but for this reviewer, Leap of Faith was a charmless yawn whose chief distinction was the embarrassing weirdness of watching Steve Martin jogging in a crop top. Part fable about self-discovery and redemption and part takedown of shyster evangelism, the film fudged its position on whether the cynical main character had been truly enlightened by his spiritual journey, or whether such a journey had even occurred. The stage musical improves on the original simply by settling on a point of view. But despite Raul Esparza’s hard-working lead performance and some rousing Gospel numbers from Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, the story remains stubbornly unappealing.”
“Sociocultural theses may be written about the season when Broadway got dead serious about Christianity. Not only do we have earnest, grandiose revivals of “Godspell” and “Jesus Christ Superstar,” but here comes a true-believing musical, “Leap of Faith,” flat-lined out of the charming and touching 1992 Steve Martin movie about a con man preacher. The show, which has been surrounded by an assortment of rumors and incarnations since 2006, has arrived in director Christopher Ashley’s skimpy, hard-driving production, unsure of its tone and unable to figure out how best to use its star, Raúl Esparza.”
The Phantom sequel, Love Never Dies, will officially open in London on Mar 9 and on Broadway on Nov 11
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, has just announced opening dates. The production will premiere at London’s Adelphi Theatre on March 9, 2010, followed by a Broadway November 11 opening, and an Australian premiere in 2011.
With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater (Sister Act, The Little Mermaid), and a book by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ben Elton, Glenn Slater and Jack O’Brien, the London production, directed by Jack O’Brien (Hairspray, Legally Blonde, The Full Monty, Damn Yankees), will star Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid) and feature Summer Strallen. No other casting has yet been announced, though auditions are underway for the leading role of Gustave, Christine and Raoul’s 10-12 year old son.
Though the show involves the same characters from the original, Llyod Webber has stressed that the show will differ greatly from the original Phantom, stating that “there are practically no quotes from the original score, apart from one or two things from color.” The production takes place 10 years after Phantom of the Opera on the fairgrounds of Coney Island.
The original Phantom will not be closing, so patrons will be able to see the whole Phantom story in a single day, by attending Phantom matinees and Love Never Dies evening performances on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
What are your thoughts on the sequel?