Flavorpill: REVIEW: Anime, Gaming & Theater Combine in “Kapow-i GoGo”

Originally published on Flavorpill.

Kapow-i GoGo

Take one part 8-bit RPG, one part serialized anime, add some cardboard props and a dash of comedy, and you might have something resembling Kapow-i GoGo, a thrill-ride of a marathon theater event created by Matt Cox.

An ideal evening out for those of us raised on The Legend of Zelda and Toonami, Kapow-i GoGo started life as a popular series of brief plays at #serials at The Flea, now reconceived into three somewhat stand-alone plays (Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!!!, Kapow-i GoGo Z, and Kapow-i GoGo RETURNS) best experienced in an orgy of back to back to back madcap adventure theater.

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CastAlbums.org: REVIEW: Dames at Sea – Original London Cast Recording

Originally published on CastAlbums.org.

damesDames at Sea is the quintessential “little show that could,” growing from a sketch to a nightclub show to a proper off-Broadway musical to an international hit that’s spawned multiple cast recordings, a television production, rumors of a forthcoming Broadway revival, and, oh, it helped launch the career of an ingenue by the name of Bernadette Peters. Originally performed with two pianos and percussion, the original off-Broadway cast recording featured sumptuous new orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick.

Ironically, the presence of those gorgeous charts and the unmistakable Peters are two of the best arguments for adding the London Cast Recording to your collection. The London production, which opened a year after its off-Broadway progenitor, features no such breakout performance, enabling the entire ensemble to shine. (Sheila White, who plays the part originated by Peters, does a fine job, but her biggest credit was Brigitta in The Sound of Music.) The London cast recording doesn’t return to the show’s two-pianos-plus-drums orchestrations, but the new charts by Bill Shepherd are closer to the “let’s put on a show” aesthetic of the show. Continue reading

Flavorpill: Athleticism and Aestheticism Combine in “Séquence 8″

Originally published on Flavorpill.

Séquence 8, Russian Bar @ Lionel Montagnier

Séquence 8, Russian Bar @ Lionel Montagnier

At the intersection of dance and athletics, you might find Séquence 8, the “nouveau cirque spectacular” at City Center through April 26. This show from the Montreal-based troupe Les 7 Doigts De La Main (better known in New York as the circus troupe from Pippin and Traces) feels closer to Mark Morris than Ringling Brothers, presenting eight young performers whose skills combine juggling, acrobatics, dance, and even  a bit of singing, beatboxing, trumpet-playing, and comedy. There is no shortage of talent in this group. Continue reading

CastAlbums.org: REVIEW: Jack the Ripper – Original London Cast Album

Originally published on CastAlbums.org.

jackIf you ever wondered what Sweeney Todd might have sounded like in the hands of Lionel Bart, you should give Jack The Ripper a spin. The long-lost cast recording — recorded in 1975, but unreleased for 40 years — has finally been given its due by Stage Door Records, and if it’s not exactly an undiscovered gem, it certainly has much to recommend it. Composer Ron Pember names Bart as a primary influence in the liner notes of this release, but that’s evident from the first note of the jaunty opening number, “Saturday Night.” Pember and his co-lyricist/co-bookwriter Denis De Marne chose the music hall as a setting for exploring the infamous murderer, and the festive nature of the setting trumps the dark nature of the story, making for a tuneful if perplexing collection of songs. The lack of a plot summary in the liner notes doesn’t help. Continue reading