By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Another anti-capitalist tract getting a pricey revival, Awake and Sing reads like a Jewish Raisin in the Sun, and the new production treats it as such, with a loving if not always transcendent result. Some of the actors shine, while others seem to have stepped right out of Turner Movie Classicsbut at least the open ing-night audience was awake and singing its praises. "I'm enjoying it so much!" gushed Light in the Piazza's Victoria Clark , who's apparently never had a dark moment. (By the way, while Threepenny breaks through the fourth wall to slam you over the head, the Awake set has no walls by the end. This trend has to stop, or Wal-Mart will go out of business.)
A wet set is the basis for Three Days of Rain, which the kids on the message boards call Three Hours of Pain, one noting that Julia Roberts can't even get the Southern accent right"and she's from Georgia!" But of course theyand the criticsare indulging in a bit of that insider snobbery that automatically derides slumming movie stars. My Julia does fairly well in Act I, and she probably comes off remote and glacial because her character is remote and glacial, OK? But in Act II, where she gets to do more capital-A Acting, she sadly fails to convince, leaving you with the overwhelming sense that she's a great movie star. At intermission, I heard people talking about the really important things: "She's huge! She's even taller than Cate Blanchett!" "She's actually not that tall," Tatum O'Neal assured me in another row. "She just looks tall. She's so pretty!"
Hugh Panarois awfully sweet looking as the lead in Aida, I mean I Bite Her, I mean Lestatic, I mean Lestatthe Elton Johnmusical that's way gayer than the Tom Cruise version and is generally not as rotten as some had hoped. It has some style and soaring melodies, though admittedly too many of them are showstoppers that stop the show for the wrong reason, and the lyrics tend to be overly explanatory ("The thirstI feel it coming on") or downright absurd ("See me, wolf killer!") It's brave that they show Lestat escaping a disaster in New Orleans. But a friend summed up the main problem with Lestat: "It spans 300 years, but it still seems slow!"
Well, I'm 301, but like Lestat, I adore fresh blood, so I'll leave with a shout-out to the new kids on the club sceneTre, Travis T, Kayvon, J.A.Y.Z.E.N., Miranda Moondust, and Eddie Sparks. (I'm starting to sound like the teacher on Romper Room.) I have no idea who they are or what they dousually it's promote, sometimes just themselvesbut they always look flawless and carry on famously. Anyone have a breath mint?