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12/31/12

Out You Go 2012 - 5 Shows I Couldn't Despise More If I Tried


Uhh, yeah...2012 brought a lot of great-to-amazing productions to New York stages and even some of the not-as-good ones had enough moments of redemption. I, obviously, did not see every Broadway and Off-Broadway show - so take that for what it's worth - but the below list of five, all Broadway productions as it turns out, definitely reside on Abomination Boulevard. Hit it atrocities!

A Streetcar Named Desire

Time has only added to my disgust for A Streetcar Named Desire, maybe because after all the dust has settled, the only aspect up to par were the costumes (to be fair, those were pretty great). But no amount of glorious period costuming can obscure the fact that this lifeless, meandering revival of the Tennessee Williams classic, filtered through it's ill-equipped all-black cast, turned out to be more of a marketing tagline than an actual show. On the bright side, at least Nicole Ari Parker, well into her forties, looks like she is 21. Streetcar may have sucked, but her fountain of youth is working perfectly.

Leap of Faith

I know hyperbolic expressions run amok on this site enough, but here's another one for you: Leap of Faith literally made my soul weep. And it's Tony nomination for Best Musical was totally bullshit and such a misleading descriptor - let's not forget, it closed a week or so after received that undeserved superlative. It's book and unappealing characters were met with, arguably, Alan Menken's most appalling score to make for one irritating combination. You would think the trope of religious musicals would have ended after this dud reared its head, but sadly, it did not...

Scandalous

Ugh, this one...not often does a show suck that much, but Scandalous managed to take sucking to new heights by aggressively sucking with each passing second. From its bland-oriffic musical numbers to its ridiculously lazy religious storyline cash-in to it's horrific everything else, not even Carolee Carmello can churn out one memorable moment with her two-and-a-half hours of flailing about on stage. This show sounded awful in theory once Kathie Lee Gifford's name popped up in the creative, and as it turns out, it was undeniably so. So if Scandalous did achieve something, it did manage to meet its expectations. Small victory? You betcha.

An Enemy of the People

I never thought I would see the day where I hated a Henry Ibsen piece - I should have my theater card revoked for that one - but Manhattan Theater Club's production managed to be such a nonexistent snoozefest, I have to remind myself that it actually happened and I actually went to see it. I know it existed because a whole lot of yelling happened at some point in the show, so much so I almost whispered to the cast of actors to "sshhhh" because I found it really obnoxious. And what they were yelling about, I have no idea and why was I bored still, I can't really explain. Here's to better Ibsen revivals down the road, because if they are like An Enemy of the People, I'll need to start packing some aspirin. Or heavy drugs.

Evita

Here's the best way to put it: when Rachel Potter is the show's one of two highlights - for which she is on stage for, like, thirty seconds, if that - we have a problem (the other highlight was Michael Cerveris, naturally). Evita is a show devoured by the characters of Eva Peron and Che. And in the revival that opened this spring, Elena Roger's Eva was highly problematic, right down to her annoying-as-eff singing, and all I can remember of Ricky Martin's performance was that he was happy and smiled constantly. If you like Che manically gleeful, then Ricky is your guy, I guess. The production misfired in nearly every other way - the "too subtle, it's boring" direction, the medieval lighting to where I couldn't see anything on stage, the fact that Evita's score (or Evita in general) isn't really all that amazing of a show to begin with (although one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's better shows) - yeah, time to toss this show into the trash heap. At least it brought in some box office bucks, because it didn't really bring anything else to the table.


Photo Credit: Chicago A&E
Photo Credit: Playbill.com

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