Friday, October 17, 2003

I know I promised this at some drunken point in the middle of last night, but now here is my recap of the Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund's fundraiser. From last night. Most of it before the drunkeness.

We start at 5:45-ish on Thursday, October 16. I say 'ish' because Official Rob Byrnes Ex-Boyfriend(tm) Shaun (check in soon for the action figure!) has never obeyed the normal conventions of time. He actually didn't ascend from his House of Money-Grubbing until 5:57. Not that I was watching the clock.

I wasn't. Really.

So, we wander over to Remi, for a very light dinner. Nothing to report here, except when I took a smoke break, Kevin Cathcart got up to speak, and I was trapped in the vestibule for 10 minutes until he was done, knowing all that time that the entire restaurant -- except Cathcart -- could see me through the fishbowl-like window. I tried really hard not to pick my nose.

And then on to the show, which the four of you are are reading this really want to know about...

WICKED was... not the worst evening I've ever spent in my life. But I needed a day to think about it, befiore I wrote my review. Here goes:


Got an extra $100? Go see WICKED.

Concise, right?

Okay, okay... here are a few more details:

The concept was clever, which is the primary reason it lives at the Gershwin. But the execution was... uninspired. Let's get to specifics:

ACTORS: Kristin Chenoweth and Idinia Menzel were awesome. They made the show. Carole Shelley played Carole Shelley. The most unfortunately-named-actor-ever -- Norbert Leo Butz -- played Jeff Conaway in Grease. And Joel Grey played... I dunno. What was that? I'm a Joel Grey fan -- despite being in a car that amost ran him over on Greenwich Avenue (remind me to tell you that story one day) -- and I expected the best. Instead, we got Joel Grey chanelling Martin Short's 'Ed Grimley' character, coupled with a soupcon of his Amos Hart-"Chicago" star turn.

BOOK: Dance: 10; looks: 3. The concept was interesting, and kept me watching. But it was a one-trick pony (does that make me sound like Paul Simon?) After every tourist from Kansas got the obvious, was there a need to drive that 'obvious' into the ground? By the way: there were guarateed laugh lines every time someone in WICKED used a shopworn WIZARD OF OZ line (e.g., "there's no place like home") in a marginally different context. Pathetic. Note to writers: LOSE THOSE NOW!

MUSIC AND LYRICS: Most of it was forgotten 15 seconds after I heard it. Side note: for some reasson, every time Steven Schwartz tried a rock number, all I could think of was Engliand Dan and John Ford Coley.

FINAL ANALYSIS: I've seen worse. Do not mortgage your home to see this play, but it's...

... it's...

... okay. And especially good if you've got young children or relatives from Mandan, North Dakota coming to town, and you don't quite know what to do with them.

ANYWAY, AFTER THE SHOW... our party of five went to Therapy on East 52nd Street. I can't speak for everyone (especially given the e-mail Shaun sent out at 3AM), but I was an angel, and home at 1:00...ish.

I thought I'd have more to write, but I'm still sort of lagging after last night. So I'd better get to bedbefore someone drops a house on me...