Monday, September 24, 2012

Contest: Win Tickets to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Update: The contest is now closed. Thanks to everybody who entered. I really enjoyed reading all your entries. The winner was picked at random. Congratulations @SoloZach! If you didn't win, check back here on Monday for a ticket contest to another new Broadway show.

Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is back on Broadway starting on September 27. Tracy Letts, Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of August: Osage County, and Amy Morton, Tony nominated star of August: Osage County, play the dysfunctional couple in this Steppenwolf transfer. I've never seen a production of this play, so I'm looking forward to finally seeing it live. Plus, I'm digging the logo.

I am also excited to give away a pair of tickets. There are two ways to enter:
1) Answer this question in the comments: In the play, George and Martha invite a young couple over for drinks. Which couple, real or fictional, would you like to have drinks with?
2) Tweet about the contest or retweet one of my tweets about it.

You can enter each way once, for a total of two entries. You must be following on Twitter to win. A winner will be chosen at random from all the entries on Friday, September 28 at 5:30 p.m. Please include your e-mail address or Twitter handle in the comments so I have a way to contact you if you win. Good luck!

If you don't win, you can also get discount tickets for performances before October 22 and save 35%:

Tues, Wed, and Thur performances:
$79.50 (reg $127)
$49.50 (reg. $65)

Fri, Sat, and Sun performances:
$89.50 (reg. $132)
$59.50 (reg. $75)

Call 212-947-8844 and use code VWNFP831.
Visit and use code VWNFP831.
Bring this offer to the Booth Theatre (222 W. 45th Street)

The fine print: Not available for October 13, 2012. Restrictions may apply. Offer may be revoked at any time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Contest: Win Tickets to Closer Than Ever

Update: The contest is now closed. Thanks to everybody who entered. The winner was picked at random from all the entries. Congratulations Mark Falconer!

I haven't seen Closer Than Ever--the revue of songs by lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr. and composer David Shire--yet, but after all the wonderful things I've heard about it, it's on my list. It's been extended multiple times, now through November 25 at the York Theatre at Saint Peter's. The musical stars Jacquelyn Piro Donovan, George Dvorsky, Anika Larsen, and Sal Viviano.

I'm giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky reader. In order to be entered to win a pair of tickets to Closer Than Ever, tweet about this contest or retweet one of my tweets about it. You must be following on Twitter to win. I will choose the winner on Monday, September 24 at 10 a.m. Good luck!

If you don't win, use these codes for discount tickets:

  • $44.50 tickets through October 14th, use code RRFALL1
  • $49.50 tickets through October 28th, use code RRFALL2
  • $54.50 tickets through November 18th, use code RRFALL3

To redeem, visit or call 212-935-5820 and use the codes above or visit The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (enter at 54th Street just east of Lexington)

The fine print: Offer not valid in conjunction with any other offer or on previously purchased tickets. Subject to availability and prior sale. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges. Offer may be revoked at any times. Blackout dates may apply. Tickets regularly $67.50.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rob McClure Channels Chaplin

Photo credit: Joan Marcus
I saw Chaplin the Musical with my friend Yair Solan, who runs the first and only Charley Chase website and knows far more about silent films than I do. I mention this because not only did he provide me with additional insights and historical context, but I found it interesting that though he was looking at the show more for its portrayal of Charlie Chaplin and I more for whether it succeeded as a piece of theater, we came away with similar thoughts about where the show worked and didn't.

In one of the first scenes of the show, a director with a clapperboard says, "Chaplin. Scene one. Take one," and I assumed the filming of a movie called Chaplin (confusing because such a movie already exists) was being used to frame the show, but this device is only used once more and then disappears.

Chaplin the Musical spans 1894 to 1972, or the bulk of his life (1889 to 1977). That's a lot to tackle in two-and-a-half hours and book writers Christopher Curtis and three-time Tony winner Thomas Meehan did a fairly good job of keeping it focused--the first act on Chaplin's (Rob McClure) rise to fame and how being separated from his mother Hannah (Christiane Noll) when she was taken to an insane asylum affected his work and the second on his fall as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Jenn Colella) accuses him of being a communist. However, there are some unnecessary scenes such as the long act one closer "The Look-a-Like Contest"--which seems like an excuse to have a lot of dancing Chaplins.

Though some numbers like "The Look-a-Like Contest" don't propel the plot forward, there is a lot to enjoy in Christopher Curtis's score, especially the overture/prologue, which pulls the audience into the silent film world immediately. Scenic designer Beowulf Borritt, costume designers Amy Clark and Martin Pakledinaz, lighting designer Ken Billington, projection designer Jon Driscoll, and make-up designer Angelina Avallone have come as close to creating a black-and-white movie on a stage as possible and it's lovely, though I could have done without the influx of color at the end.

The show works best when recreating scenes from Chaplin's films. Rob McClure more than imitates Charlie Chaplin, though he has the Little Tramp's mannerisms down. He's funny in his own right, and he never feels anything other than authentic when showing us the charming, difficult, selfish, and troubled sides of Chaplin, even when the show gets heavy-handed. There's a long theater season ahead of us, but I hope that McClure is remembered come award season in the spring.