The most important actor on the Rochester theater scene in the past year was Mayor Richards who had the guts and the fiscal common sense to call the RBTL's bluff when they threatened to pull up stakes and move to Irondequoit.
Said Richards, “I’m trying to be consistent with respect to what I think the civic responsibility is to this project...It would be nice if [the theater] was downtown. It would be nice it if was in Midtown. But not at any price. Because while it’s important, it’s not necessarily the most important thing....I’m not going to get into a stampede, where somebody says, ‘Oh my gosh, it might go out to Irondequoit. You’ve got to come up with $80 million...If they can get some guy to pay for the whole thing and subsidize them, I guess that’s where they’re going to go.”
Please note the following correction: The Rochester Plays run Thursday February 14 - Saturday March 2nd. Schedule can be viewed at: https://secure1.rochester.edu/college/ENG/theatre/box_office.php. Thanks!
Arnold Rothschild of RBTL should be nominated. Also, Don Jeffries as well.
There's an English comedian named Stewart Lee who points out exactly why you don't see much comedy based on Islam. "Life Of Brian brilliantly used the intimate understanding its audience had of the chronology of Christ’s life to substitute him for a bewildered, normal bloke. But it’s not possible to take people under the skin of Islam in the same way, when it remains largely a mystery to most writers and audiences. Comedians who are ‘culturally Christian’ at least understand the taboos they chose to break when writing about vicars and virgin births, and do so knowingly. The Muslim world’s response to the Danish Mohammed cartoons remains deplorable, but the fireworks of the gags contained in them were drowned out by unexpected exploding landmines of depictions of the Prophet. Perhaps a rigorous and thorough satire of Islamic themes would be better executed by someone with experience of it? " http://www.stewartlee.co.uk/press/writtenf…
There are plenty of Muslim comics in the world who make light of their faith. The fact of the matter is that, as a majority Christian culture, we share the frame of reference in shows like Sister's Christmas Catechism. Comedy only works as a result of shared experience. So you'll have to wait until Islam is no longer a mystery to western culture before you see a similar show based on Muslim cultural traditions.
"Religion — just about any religion — is filled with so many ridiculous concepts and stories that it's easy to get laughs by cynically poking fun". I dare anyone to come up with a comedy show like this that pokes fun at Muslims. They are off limits to 'humorists'. You'll hear excuses that Islam should not be mocked because we need to respect their religion, but the reality is that Islam is not mocked because of fear. Ans so a double standard is in effect for parodies of religion.
As Catholic I am offended by shows like 'Sister's Catechism'. I dare Ms. Moore to put on a burka and crack a few one-liners.
We were at the final performance (Sunday, Oct 28th @ 2:00). I totally agree with Allan-I sat there for the majority of it with tears running down my face. My wife, who also very much enjoyed it, but who is also several years younger than I, glanced quizzically at me on occasion, not able to grasp what it was that could so easily bring me to my emotional knees. I was thrilled to be able to meet her (& Beau) afterwards, and she was so accommodating & friendly to those who stayed, patiently signing autographs for everyone who asked, sometimes several for one person. I was told that a couple of promoters from New York came to one of the performances, & are very interested in running it there. I fervently hope they do, because Melanie's fans around the world should have a chance to experience what we lucky few in Rochester did....an amazingly private and emotional look into the life of an artist who spoke to our generation like no other.
Because I am a 40 year follower of Melanie - okay, a devotee! I love the play! I could sit and listen to an additional three hours.
But as much as the draw was Melanie for many, the production is wonderful. It worked. The set, the cast, the choice of music all come together to create an experience that hearkens back to the many festivals and concerts that have been Melanie's life. "To be there is to remember...."
Mandy Hasset captures the young Melanie perfectly! I don't think Peter ever sang or danced, but Nick Faruch has the energy that was a part of Peter. Great voice too! I didn't realize that Janine Mercandetti was playing all the "other" parts ; she became Polly and the French dancer, and is so versatile. Jack Halsoupis, thank you for loving Melanie, and doing a wonderful job of casting the play, and having the genius of getting Melanie and Beau involved! This week has been an event I won't forget. I hope you are all enjoying the success of this week's produciton, and the joy it has brought to so many.
It has been a week since I saw the show and it is still in my brain. Just to be in Melanie's presence took me back to my youth. I went to Woodstock to see Joan Baez but fell in love with Melanie. Watching the Blackfriars production had me mostly in tears (maybe my youth caught up with me) and I am grateful to Jack, Melanie, Cat, and Beau Jarred for creating it.
It was a moment in Rochester theatre history that will be remembered for years.
Such a good review, critical without being mean, I can't wait till the movie comes out. Wanted to be there (fan for over 40 years) but issues prevented my being able to be a part of it all. No big deal, I've lived along side these stories almost all my life. In 1970 I saw Melanie at a 10,000 seat sold out show in Atlanta where firemen lined the stage trying to prevent the lighting of candles. Melanie said," You guys paid good money to hear me and you are being treated rudely", the firemen then quietly marched out of the venue. It was a long show too (almost 3 hours). Nobody wanted to leave. If I hadn't lived the story, I would be real upset about missing this play. It's great the theater was able to sell out all the shows (well almost) . If there are any left, I would encourage you to please buy one. I'm not real keen on hearing others singing Melanie songs (nobody can sing the way she does but, it's nice that people try. Peace.
Here's a link to our blog which outlines the ROMNEY PLAY!
Thanks for the input on the audience's demographics at the performance you attended. We're blessed by more season ticket holder than any other organization (sports included) in Rochester and our regular sales this year have been very good. Although i know our audiences are very diverse, the show content impacts the audiences' demographics.
We will be posting a blog about the "elections at Geva" on our blog site in the coming days. Obama did win in every post-show election but some were very close.
Also, just for you Eric, we'll be posting the text of the "Romney Play" since we never got to perform it.
Same experience—The audience at the performance I attended was totally dominated by ancient hippies who apparently love Obama as much as they love the Kennedys, weed, free phones, and loafing.
If I were a marketing director and that was my core demographic, I'd panic.
Eric - so far, Obama has won every post show election! Although we're all anxious to see the skit for Romney, at this point, I'm not sure we will.
Kevin Sweeney, Geva Theatre Director of Marketing
Just saw the show and must, sadly, agree with this review--which I read after seeing the show. I've directed this show, been in it, love it, and this production, while fun to see from the "audience," was hugely disappointing. The first act lacked the zaniness factor, key lines were often said with no emotion, the acting was pedestrian---except for Essie--- and the wonderful role of Grandpa was, well, simply terrible--very sad. Frankly, I'm shocked, as I love GEVA and am a regular--I will not give up, but this was a major, major disappointment.
After reading this review, there is one thing I've noticed about Mr. Lasser: He likes to hear himself write. He used the same style when he reviewed Grey Gardens, back in May. Perhaps he'd like to review himself, next time?
Why, oh why can't it be Rogers & Hammerstein all day, every day, day in, day out, night and day, day by day by day by day...harrumph.
Don't know when you went, or what performance you saw, but we were there Friday night, and yes "Fuck" is funny "occasionally", but the audience wasn't laughing at just that. I rarely laugh at it, and only cracked up at one particular use of it. Get your head out of the sand and appreciate what new theatre brings to the table. Are there parts of the musical that could've been better, yes, but there always is. There is NO PERFECT MUSICAL, and apparently your sense of humor got thrown out with the trash when "the business" changed its tune. I thought this production had a pleasant mix of everything that was needed to pull it off. Its a shame you couldn't see that or hear it. You spent 7 paragraphs on the show and barely anything on reviewing the actual show itself.
Really, Mr. Lasser...it's time to lay down your typewriter.
As usual, Mr. Lasser doesn't understand the piece he is reviewing. Oh and as usual requested to review a piece he knew he wouldn't like. The fact the audience loved it and this "reviewer" didn't only goes to show that Mr. Lasser is severely out of sync with both the material and the performance. Lets just hope Mr. Lasser will finally do Rochester a favor and RETIRE from "reviewing".
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