Comparing Casts: ALNM, Jersey Boys, & Billy Elliot...
This trip I was fortunate enough to be able to return to a few shows that I'd seen and LOVED here in NY. On most of my shorter trips, I don't have the luxury of seeing shows I'd seen before, but sometimes returning to a favorite show, with an entirely different cast can be an amazing experience!
A Little Night Music - I'd seen this show on my January trip this past year with Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury in the leading roles, but wanted to go back to see Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch. What a different show it was with the change in cast! I'd ALWAYS loved Alexander Hansen (who plays Fredrik) and thought, even back in January that he was a highlight of the show, but putting him together with Bernadette gave the show a different energy. Bernadette was more suited to the role, I think... though CZJ played Desiree with a lot more sarcasm. LOVED Bernadette's "The page that has been written and RE-written" line... and thought it was the best that I've seen. On the other hand, I enjoyed Angela Lansbury's performance more. Her comedic timing and her delivery of her lines - especially the "losing one's teeth" line was ABSOLUTELY hysterical and can't really be beat. Amazing how just changing the two leads could have such an impact on the show as a whole.
Jersey Boys - This was my 10th time seeing the show and my 4th time seeing it on Broadway (I seem to see it every September, for some reason...) I've now seen 7 different actors play the role of Frankie Valli and I really think that Jarrod Spector is my favorite. Not only is his voice incredible, but his acting is incredibly strong - and, I think gave the most emotional rendition of "Fallen Angel" that I've ever seen. Also, it was the first time that I've seen Ryan Jesse as Bob Gaudio and although at first he struck me as looking really TOO young for the role, I warmed up to his performance. Still, my favorite Gaudio is Erich Bergen, only because of the slight cockiness he always brought to the role. It was my 2nd time seeing Dominic Nolfi as Tommy DeVito, and he's definitely grown on me in the role. My favorite Tommy will always be Deven May, however, I did notice that Dominic delivered his, "It's because you're paying us... SH*T" line the way Deven does, INTO the studio mic. :)
Billy Elliot - This was my 4th time seeing Billy and I was fortunate enough to see: Kiril Kulish, Trent Kowalik, Liam Redhead, and this time... Alex Ko! Of course the show is great, but seeing a different Billy each time just brings an entirely different perspective to the show. Kiril was a VERY serious Billy, he was technically perfect - good singing, good acting, GREAT dancing... VERY serious and professional. Trent is an INCREDIBLE tapper so his tap scenes were just dynamic. And by the time I saw Trent, he was MUCH older and almost ready to leave the show so he was TALL and had beautiful lines in his ballet scenes. His acting was terrific and he gave Billy a little more individuality than I had seen previously. Liam was a surprise! I hadn't expected his acting to be SO strong, but I think he was the best ACTOR of the bunch. His accent was not forced and VERY natural and he gave Billy SUCH a cute and rascal personality - and his comedic timing was FABULOUS. His dancing was great, though his singing may not have been as strong as some of the other Billys, I really enjoyed his performance. Alex was terrific! His dancing was fabulous (I think his gymnastic ability is probably the best of the bunch) and his ballet was really beautiful. Alex's accent was a bit different than I'm used to hearing (not a bad thing) and he seemed to be the most EMOTIONAL Billy that I've seen. I have never seen a Billy tear up and cry during Greg Jbara's "Deep Into the Ground" before and it was WONDERFUL.
Still left to see: La Cage with Douglas Hodge, Brief Encounter, Women on the Verge, Driving Miss Daisy... VERY excited!! Hope you are all having a nice week!! HUGS!!