I Got Reviewed (And it was definitely less painful than that filling!)

23 Sep

In the world of theater I have always been fortunate (at least that’s how I felt) to NOT be reviewed.  I’m not big on reviews.  I think generally reviewers feel that they must find at least one (if not more) negative thing to say about a show.  Reviewers also typically come on opening weekend, which can be the worst time to see a show, since the actors have performed the show every single night that week without much rest in between.  The stress is high and things always go wrong.  So here in San Antonio I had to gear myself up for the experience that is “being reviewed”. 

On opening night, the reviewer from our local “culture” paper (SA Current)was at the show.  This guy has openly stated that he hates musical theatre, and is known for killing shows with his commentary.  On Sunday afternoon, the entertainment writer from the San Antonio Express-News was in attendance.  She has a reputation for writing nice reviews and then destroying a single actor at the end of her article.  I told my fellow actors that I wasn’t going to read the reviews, because I’m such a head case and I knew that anything negative would just get stuck and I’d spend years trying to overcome it.  They agreed to only tell me if it was good.

I got the call last night.  The Express-News writer LOVED the show.  In fact, she didn’t have a single negative thing to say!!  WOO-HOO!!  We haven’t heard from the Current, but at this point I don’t think any of us really care.  I am SO relieved. 

Even though I don’t really care about reviews.  🙂

 Anyway, in the interest of complete self-exploitation, here it is.  Enjoy!! (I underlined the part about me so you don’t actually have to read the whole thing.) 

By Deborah Martin – Express-News Staff Writer

When Jane Haas — sporting a tidy beehive and a swanky red cocktail dress straight out of the ’50s — slides behind the keyboard at the start of “Forbidden Broadway,” that’s the first sign that the audience is in good hands.

Haas is a first-rate music director who’s also a sharp actress, so her presence suggests good things ahead for the Cameo Theatre production.

And the rest of the cast lives up to that promise.

The show, directed with a sure hand by Jim Zaccaria,is hilarious from start to finish.

The “Forbidden” franchise has produced several shows skewering the Great White Way. The version at the Cameo is subtitled “Greatest Hits Volume 1,” and it slaps around some of the biggest musicals of the past 20 years or so. There are spoofs of “Chicago,” “Wicked,” “Spamalot,” “Cats” and, naturally, a lengthy siege on “Les Miserables.”

Even the blocking of the “Les Mis” section is funny: The actors all enter with their backs to the audience and shuffle along in a circle as if they’re being rotated into place on the musical’s famed spinning set. The sequence includes a show-stoppingly-funny turn from Roy Bumgarner in which he pleads with God over the punishing key of one of the numbers: “It’s too high/The song’s too high/ Pity me/Change the key.”

And “Les Mis” pops up later, too, in a scene in which an actress playing the ill-fated Eponine (Jillian Cox) bides her time ’til she’s spun into the spotlight again by texting her boyfriend.

There’s also a bit on Stephen Sondheim’s characteristically difficult songs, including a sing-along that proves the tongue-tormenting nature of his turns-of-phrase; a sing-off between the “Phantom of the Opera” (Isidro Medina) and Ethel Merman (Haas); a grown-up Annie (Cox), cigarette in hand, hoping for a revival; a mid-show bit about Carol Channing and “Hello, Dolly” featuring a dead-on Channing impression by Katy Moore; and an all-cast goof on “Hairspray” in which the lyric “you can’t stop the beat” becomes “you can’t stop the camp.”

There isn’t a single dead spot in the show, which whips along at breakneck speed from one laugh-out-loud scene to the next. Don’t miss it.

Extra points if you can figure out which of my characters wears this wig.  I’ll give you few hints: 

1.  The actual character was blonde but the hair was nothing like this.

2.  The era of the wig is correct.

3.  The character has been featured in a band, a musical, and a movie.

Good Luck!!

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7 Responses to “I Got Reviewed (And it was definitely less painful than that filling!)”

  1. FancyPants September 23, 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    Yay for good reviews and Yay for good shows!

    Congrats!!!

  2. Erin September 23, 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    I totally feel where you’re coming from about reviews. Once I got reviewed and it said that I had a powerhouse voice, but too bad I didn’t have the stage presence to match. I still don’t think I’m over that one…

  3. Julie September 23, 2008 at 7:13 pm #

    Woo hoo! Way to go, Katy!

  4. Barb September 24, 2008 at 5:47 am #

    Love it! I don’t think I would be able to stop myself from reading a review. Not that I would ever have one!!

  5. Patrick September 24, 2008 at 9:41 pm #

    Congratulations. I have always had a fear of being reviewed for the same reason. I hope it never happens because I know I will read it and it will affect me and my future performances of the show. The one show I’ve done up here in Dallas was reviewed. I was just a chorus boy so no mention of me was expected. The reviewer was extremely cruel to the lead. It affected the cast and the climate of our brush up rehearsal. I actually felt sorry for him. I could tell that it got to him. The director spent 30 minutes at the brush up addressing the reviewer’s article. Since everyone was thinking about it, I’m glad she addressed it, but I think her over-addressing it made it worse.
    I plan to try to see you Saturday the 11th or Sunday the 12th. I’ll let you know for sure.

  6. Amy Seay September 26, 2008 at 10:15 am #

    I’d like to see your Carol Channing impersonation:) You should video yourself and post it! Congratulations!

  7. anymommy September 29, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

    Congratulations!!!!!

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