Thursday, December 08, 2011

Thursday Top Threes: on stage

M: Jenn and I went to the theater today, which inspired me with this week's question!  What are your top three (non-Broadway-musical) stage productions that you've seen? 

1. New York City Ballet's The Nutcracker. Mira and I saw this together as kids! There's a reason this is such a holiday classic! I never did ballet but I was obsessed with this photo book A Very Young Dancer as a kid which was followed a young ballerina who had a part in the Nutcracker.
2. Cirque du Soleil. I've only seen two traveling shows (Ovo and Quidam) but the displays of human strength and flexibility and balance and skill is just incredible. I really want to see the permanent shows in Vegas -- I hear they're even better!
3. Mira and I just went to see a performance of Pride & Prejudice at the Round House Theatre here in Maryland tonight and it was so fun! There was this really cool rotating set piece that changed the scenes and so many of the actors were really spot on. They played up the humorous bits but kept all of the great quotes from the book.

1. Cirque du Soleil's O, in Vegas, is hands down the most incredible stage production I have ever seen.  If I hadn't been there watching it with my own eyes, I would never believe it possible to perform such stunts on stage!  The stage, which revolved, changed levels, went from solid ground to full water pool -- craziness!  Not even the drowsy music tempted me to sleep (I have fallen asleep during other stage productions... Cirque du Soleil Ka and Phantom of the Opera to name two), the acts were so amazing.
2. Jenn and I went to see Giselle at the Kennedy Center two years ago.  I wasn't expecting all that much other than it being a ballet and one of the more famous ones.  But what really impressed me was how through the movements and music I was able to follow and be immersed in a different kind of storytelling.  In many ways, I found it easier to watch than some musicals where I needed to pay attention to lyrics to follow the storyline. It was beautiful, simple, and elegant; and makes me excited to go watch more ballet!
3. (Jenn, this will amuse you...) Stuy Sing!  This was an annual production at Jenn's high school, Stuyvesant, where the different classes (senior, junior, sophomore/freshman) wrote, created, directed, acted, produced a play and competed with each other to win.  I went to at least two years of it while I was in high school (not at Stuy).  I remember the first year I went, when we were sophomores (I think), and the Junior class (I think) at the time won.  It was a really cute performance of two islands that were gender separated and brought in cleverly rewritten lyrics to songs such as Twisted Sister's "We're Not Going to Take It."  I thought it was a fun competition and I really enjoyed it; enough so that almost 13(ish?) years later I still remember it!

On a side note, stage productions I would love the opportunity to see: an opera, in particular Carmen; Shakespeare, in particular The Twelfth Night or Much Ado About Nothing.


Fanny said...

I haven't seen that many non-Broadway-musical stage productions. I've always wanted to see The Nutcracker and Giselle in person but only ever got to see it on TV.

1. The Diary of Anne Frank. I saw this when I was in junior high. Natalie Portman played the role of Anne. Even though I knew everything that would happen, I still left the theatre bawling.

2. The Golden Mask Dynasty. I saw this show at the OCT Theatre during my Beijing trip. It was gorgeous. Everything from the costumes to the music to the acrobatics was simply enchanting.

3. The Children's Hour. It was a very small school production that my roommate took me to because her friend was in it. I had never heard about the play before and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The acting was top notch. Afterwards, I ended up watching the 1961 film version of the play starring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner.

Jennifer said...

Haha I really don't remember much about SING! at all! It was definitely a huge deal but I never participated and I only went my junior and senior years. My class won both of those years though! I think junior year we had this amazing castle set with some medieval theme, senior year I have absolutely no clue. I think it would be really fun to go back and watch videos of them if they exist though!

burkie said...

you know it's coming...

1) Twelfth Night. i saw a Royal Shakespeare Company production of this in Stratford-upon-Avon, which was a bucket list item for me. it was just...perfect.
2) The Man Who Came To Dinner. this is a comedy by george s. kaufman. i took an acting class in college and played the lead (one scene only, in class only), but i got to see it years later at the Arena Stage in DC and it was hilarious.
3) Arsenic & Old Lace. my high school performed this my senior year and did a great job with it, probably stirring my interest in the theater. i did not perform (i've only performed in the one acting class i took) but we had a really talented group of kids who fits those roles perfectly.