Tag Archives: Broadway Across Fort Lauderdale
If the Ali MacGraw-Ryan O’Neal pairing was a marketing stunt to sell the new national tour of Love Letters that kicked off in Fort Lauderdale, the actors pulled a fast one and delivered unassailably nuanced and moving performances that needed no apologies or asterisks.
It would be inaccurate to compare the soggy national tour of the sea-borne Anything Goes to the Titanic. But if there ever was proof that Broward Center audiences will give a standing ovation to anything, it was the opening night Tuesday of a pallid production so lackluster that someone should have thrown a life preserver at it.
They had me from hello, or at least from the wailing wall of distinctive sound given unprecedented power in the opening bars of Motown the Musical. It erupted like molten lava from the pit at the Broward Center: driving percussion, ripped out bass line, brassy horns, warbling guitars, muscular strings.
Four of the six shows slated for the 2015-2016 Broadway Across Fort Lauderdale season earned Tony Awards in just the past few years, and two of them will be seen for the first time in South Florida in the series at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Two of them are still running on the Great White Way.
Disney, for all its theatrical sins, deserves credit for at least one benefit: You can see what your parents were talking about when they raved about the magic of some theatrical piece from back in the day. Because the return of The Lion King shows Disney knows how to keep that magic alive.
For all the derision and adoration that the basic material has engendered over 28 years, the thoroughly-retooled The Phantom of the Opera gliding over a fog-shrouded lake into the Broward Center remains a sturdy craft buoyed by a soaring muscular score delivered by a talented crew.
But perhaps the biggest illusion of Ghost: The Musical at the Broward Center is that, at its face value, it’s an ordinary Broadway musical. Because of this notion, it doesn’t seem to get its proper due. Yet, what lies beneath this musical is what’s really captivating.
Buried under the profligate volume and frequently unintelligible lyrics, American Idiot remains entertaining for the unflagging energy of its performance and the power of its raw material, all rooted in youth’s millennial-old anger at the despoiled world they have been handed.
“Something old (sort of), something new” characterizes the 2014-2015 season for Broadway Across America-Fort Lauderdale. Two current Broadway hits, Pippin and Motown the Musical, will be joined be a refurbished The Phantom of the Opera, last season’s revival of Annie, an older revival of Anything Goes, and the unrefurbished but indestructible The Lion King.
Hallelujah, children! We are delivered from the bondage of political correctness, the oppression of reactionary repression and the tyranny of the status quo. Raise up your voice and praise the bringer of these blessings — the national tour at the Broward Center of the Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon.