Monday, July 2, 2007

The Witches of Eastwick

Tonight David and I took a quick drive over to Shirlington Village to see a production of "The Witches of Eastwick" at the Signature Theatre. We'd both heard of the theatre for years, it has quite the reputation, so it was a bit exciting to get to see a show there in person. Also exciting was that this was the first bit of professional theatre I'd seen since, well, the last time I was in NY and caught "Taboo" and "The Boy From Oz". So I was definitely ready for some good theatre action.

It's been years since I saw the movie version, which I remember as a lot of fun. I'd like to see it again now though, because I think it just works better than as a musical. Or at least better than this musical. The show is at its best during the scenes, especially anytime Daryl (the devil?) is around. The dialogue was sexy and clever and extremely funny. Unfortunately no one else fared quite as well. The women are never really fleshed out as individuals to the point you really care about them. The poor ensemble was really left with little, though I'll give them credit for finding some fun characterizations. The ingenue couple were just bland and boring (and saddled with the most bland and boring love song), but at least the girl (Erin Driscoll) had a crystal clear voice and had opportunity to make some interesting choices right near the end.

But the biggest flaw was the score. I was pretty much bored anytime they were singing, unless Darryl was around. Most of the songs fit slots, The Ingenue Love Song, the Mean Lady Rant, the Ensemble Gossip Song. But they were undistinguished and mostly irrelevant to the story.

It wasn't all bad though, and despite my problems with the show, I still had a great time. The only thing wrong with Emily Skinner was her wig, which was unfathomly awful. (Like Jessica Alba's fake tan in the Silver Surfer movie, I simply cannot tolerate bad hair or makeup. There is just no excuse.) But her voice just excites me, and she worked it. A big surprise was Christiane Noll. I've never been a fan, but she was funny in the Susan Sarandon role, and her voice was just sublime. But by far the show's biggest asset was its devil, Marc Kudisch. He was in one of the first Broadway shows I saw when I first moved to New York, the underrated "High Society", and also one of my favorite Broadway flops, "The Wild Party". He was in fine form this evening. He sings, he dances, the man can even do the splits. There wasn't hardly a thing he did that didn't garner a laugh from the audience. He was the life blood of the show, and anytime he was onstage the show was delicious. There are few male Broadway stars, but he deserves to be one of them.

Nitpicks aside, it was a very fun evening, and I'm very glad to have gone. I laughed a lot and really enjoyed being in a professional theatre again. Talented people just make me happy, and there were many in this company. Next season they are doing Kander and Ebb's "The Happy Time" and Chita is coming back with "The Visit". So we'll be back for sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment