Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Flawless Kelli

I've wanted to see the Broadway production of South Pacific ever since it opened. The last time I was in New York, it was sold out and now it's closing Sunday and I don't have much cash on me. So wouldn't you know it, just when I need it, PBS is airing the production live tonight.
First, I have to say that I've never seen a stage production of South Pacific and so I'm incredibly excited to get to experience it. I mean, my RLS was so obnoxious, I probably burned off my dinner calories.
My excitement was momentarily put on hold by Alan Alda and his ability to put anyone who hears him to sleep. Take from that what you will, may that be a good or a bad thing, but he does. He starts talking and I'm instantly comatose. And I'm clapping. Yes. I'm alone and I'm clapping. Kelli O'Hara just came out onto the stage. And I'm clapping.
She's flawless. Kelli O'Hara has the most flawless classical Broadway voice and when she opens her mouth and sings, it's just so effortless. I will go as far to say that she is the best classical Broadway vocalist that's on the boards today.
And I'm still clapping. In my apartment alone. I'm clapping. I love that about the theater. You don't clap with Tom Cruise is shown on the screen in a movies or when Cameron Diaz flips her hair. But in the theater, we applaud our stars. We applaud the perfection that is Kelli O'Hara. We applaud Kristin Chenoweth when she emerges onto the stage. We even applaud whenever the actress who plays Elphaba in Wicked first runs out onto the stage. I love that we applaud.
I have to continue to applaud this production in the way that they have taken a story that is over 60 years old and make it fresh and engaging. And I have to applaud that a naked man just ran across the stage on local broadcast television.
I'm really into the classics right now. I feel like the classic Broadway musicals have been overlooked in favor of new, trendy, edgier musicals and we are not recognizing that these older musicals are the basis by which all live musical entertainment have sprung. I feel like there should be more revivals of classic shows filling the Broadway theaters. More revivals that are of this caliber.
I feel honored that I was able to see this production, even if it wasn't in person. The music is stunning, the sets were perfect, the message holds up, and it all works. I love flawless entertainment.

1 comment:

TJB said...

I'm SO glad that you got to experience South Pacific, and to see the return of Kelli and Paulo Szot, who were absolutely amazing. I saw it, live, twice - and it ranks among the best theater experiences I've ever had. Besides the brilliant performances, can we please applaud the live! full! orchestra? No synthesizers, so pre-recordings, but a glorious, 40-person-strong, honest-to-goodness orchestra, playing that gorgeous Rodgers & Hammerstein score.

Incidentally, I didn't applaud a goddamn thing in Wicked, but that's another story.

Keep up the good work with your blog!