Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SHOUT! The Mod Musical!

You're going to think all I do is go to the theater. Hardly. For some reason I managed to go to two stage shows within two weekends. Funny, huh? I can't tell you the last time I attended a live show prior to this month. (Except the yearly Nutcracker performance at Christmas.)

Last weekend, I attended Shout! Which was presented at The Retro Dome with several writers from the SV Moms website. The location of the Retro Dome is great for a Mom's Night Out (MNO) which is what this turned in to for us. There are several restaurants within walking distance of the theater for dinner or drinks, so if you're considering repeating our evening be sure to plan for dinner before the performance. We met an hour before at Chevy's (mmm... Can you say, Margaritas?)

The show itself is described as:
The first production in our 2010 "Off-Broadway San Jose" Series is a non-stop journey through the infectious and soulful pop anthems and ballads that made household names of stars like Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield and Lulu with such chart-topping hits as "To Sir With Love," "Downtown," "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," "Son of A Preacher Man," and "Goldfinger." With its irresistible blend of hip-swiveling hits, eye-popping fashions and psychedelic dances from the 60's, this fun-filled musical will make you want to throw your head back and SHOUT!

We had great seats (2nd row) and the show was really fun. Several of friends I attended with had been to previous shows at the Retro Dome and claimed to prefer those (School House Rock & Santastic) to this one, "because they knew those songs." Yeah, um I knew all the songs. I guess I was the old one in the group. Ahem, but they all seemed to enjoy it very much. The show had lots of energy, the costumes were really fun and the talent was amazing. No, it's not a Broadway show, but I'm impressed to see we have such talented artists here in San Jose. At the end they announced that we saw a "preview" so they were working out the kinks. Really? Couldn't tell at all! Apparently we were not alone. They received a standing ovation at the end of the night.

My only comments about the show were basically limitations related to the theater. The first would be that the energy level on stage was great, but we were in the second row of the theater. I wondered how well it translated to the back. In the era of surround sound, it was notable that the speakers seemed to be mostly on-stage pointing out. (Very authentic though!) And two, a couple times, I heard the feedback associated with mics being switched. I mentioned it to a friend at the end and she didn't notice it at all. What can I say, I worked in theater & multimedia, I notice that kind of stuff. The microphone stuff might be "kinks" that are worked out by now anyway. Neither of these items detracted from the show at all.
I enjoyed this enough that I will be purchasing tickets as gifts and maybe a little gift for myself as well.
We saw a couple younger kids (around 12ish) at the show, but I would say there are quite a few innuendo related topics in the show. If you think your child is old enough and/or don't mind explaining it, then I guess it's OK. But, you know, it IS the age of free love we're talking about here.
I think that Baby-Boomers will enjoy the show the most because the songs are from their generation. Since my parents were baby boomers, I grew up listening to this music (No, I'm not THAT old! I was born in the 60s though.)

March 5-April 11
Adults $36
Student (Valid ID) $30
Seniors (62+) $30
Children 12 and under $24

Fridays 8pm
Saturdays 8pm
Sundays 2pm

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wickedly Awesome!

On Friday, I was able to attend the stage show Wicked in San Francisco.

OH! MY! GAWD! Sooo Good!

I received the tickets as part of a promotion from the SV Moms holiday party. At the time I tweeted about it, and my BFF in LA texted me to "please, please, please take her". So, of course, I promised I would. We created all kinds of PITA for the agency who were setting up our tickets. I fully expected nose-bleed seats off in the corner. Not at all! We could not have had better seats. Seriously. Right in the center of the theater, about 10 rows back. (I highly recommend them.)

I expected the show itself to be good, and I wasn't disappointed. I have to admit, especially with my back, I sometimes have trouble sitting through a show. It's not that I'm not enjoying it. It's just that after a period my body starts to let me know it needs to get up and move around a bit. This show as so good that I wasn't aware of my discomfort until intermission hit. (It's ok, I brought meds and was good for the 2nd half as well.) For the purists, I too had read the book. I usually find movies and stage shows don't measure up to the nuances a book can provide. I knew they'd made some changes to the show, it's hard to cover all the territory and nuances writing can provide. Honestly, I enjoyed this more than the book. The book was well written, and I enjoyed it. But it focused more on the tragic side of Ephiba's life. The stage show was able to touch on that, but also found humor (sometimes dark) in it. The stage show had fun with the story. The energy from the cast made it seem that they were enjoying themselves as well. Obviously, I'm not a critic, so you can take my review with a grain of salt, but it was an amazing evening. I'm seriously considering going again, and taking my 6yo to see it.

Wicked is currently playing at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco through at least December 2010.

Welcome Home!

If you read my other blog, you are probably wondering why on Earth I'm starting another. Seems like I struggle to keep up with the one I have as it is, which is a valid point. I often find that there are items I'd like to talk about that qualify more or less as "reviews". My other blog is supposed to focus on my family, and while some of these items fit into the realm of "family", it really wasn't my intent. So I've broken down and started a "review blog". I think it'll be a good fit for us all. Be sure, this isn't a place where everything will be positive. My intent is to tell you how I really feel, even if it was given to me. But when I find a product I like, or LOVE, well I want to share with my besties. And Interwebs, you are my BFFs.