Greatest moment in a Broadway show just before a theatre curtain falls? (Ending an act or a show)
Huge fan of the way Act I of "Dreamgirls" ends, with Effie singing that huge final note of "And I Am Telling You" as the Dreams run on from the wings singing the opening bars "Love, Love ya, Baby." The combination of the two superimposed over another gave me chills.
Also loved the ending of "Angels in America: Millenium Approaches," with the angel bursting through the ceiling to announce Prior was the prophet. Very thrilling.
|by Anonymous||reply 141||07/15/2013|
Lea michelle baring her breasts while Jonathan Groff bares his ass cheeks.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||07/02/2013|
I loved the way "Sunset Boulevard" (the musical) ended--with a hagged-out Norma singing the final bars of "With One Look" wearing the Salome gown and jewelry, while a film image of her in her silent film glory days mushrooms up from behind her. As with the end of Act I of "Dreamgirls," its the juxtaposition of the two images (Norma now vs. Norma then) that really chills.
here's how they did it in the London version with Elaine Page, starting at about 5:10.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||07/02/2013|
Gypsy - "Everything's Coming Up Roses"
West Side Story - Riff and Bernardo's dead bodies on the empty stage as the church bell rings.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||07/02/2013|
Weekend in the country the Act I curtain number for a little night music has yet to be matched.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||07/02/2013|
Cell phone with a loud ringtone of YMCA rings in the front row.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||07/02/2013|
The Secret Garden Act 1 finale when Mary finally turns the key to the lock which opens up the garden.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||07/02/2013|
[quote]Wicked(I know... Iknow)
You can get in the Line of Shame behind me.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||07/02/2013|
A New Argentina(Lupone version not the recent revival sadly)
|by Anonymous||reply 9||07/02/2013|
THe end of Act I of "Sunday in the Park with George" - that tableau!
The ending of Act I of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" - seeing the original, in the park, months before its Bway run - the end of "Moonfall" - Patti Cohenour, Howard McGillin who still thought he was straight (which is neither here nor there, hee-hee!) - THRILLING music.
The climax of "Rose's Turn" with Lansbury - standing ovation at the end of a number!
I am told (didn't see) the opening night of "Tap Dance Kid" - standing ovation again, at the end of a NUMBER: - "Fabulous Feet".
(Yes, I'm old, but I wasn't old in the '80s. Good times.)
|by Anonymous||reply 10||07/02/2013|
Fabulous Feet had more to do with Hinton Battle's death defying dancing than anything else. Battle also stopped the show with the equally brilliant Gregg Burge in Sophisticated Ladies. As you can see, Feet isn't much of a number without Battle.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||07/02/2013|
Any night when Patti Lupone stops the show to yell at someone in the audience.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||07/02/2013|
[quote]Weekend in the country the Act I curtain number for a little night music has yet to be matched.
You mean for putting audiences to sleep? Yes, it has yet to be matched.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||07/02/2013|
Make our Garden Grow at the end of Candide. Always touches me.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||07/02/2013|
The last 5 mins of Blood Brothers.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||07/02/2013|
[quote]The climax of "Rose's Turn" with Lansbury - standing ovation at the end of a number!
That's not the moment just before the theatre curtain falls.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||07/02/2013|
For me, the [italic]Cookies' Ballet[/italic], from the original production of "Anyone Can Whistle"'s Act I, wins hands-down. The Act's final moment, the cast revealed in theater seats, holding programs, applauding and mimicking the audience, was hilarious.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||07/02/2013|
"That's [Rose's Turn] not the moment just before the theatre curtain falls."
Correct. I saw the musical with Merman & the placement of the song makes a standing ovation impossible, at least in the original staging.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||07/02/2013|
[quote]Weekend in the country the Act I curtain number for a little night music has yet to be matched.
It was the first Broadway show I ever saw and I was mesmerized. Before that, I had never realized how clever a Broadway song could be.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||07/02/2013|
"And then I married James Tyrone and was happy for awhile."
"I paid off the house Willy..."
|by Anonymous||reply 21||07/02/2013|
Wicked "Defying Gravity" ... saw it in London and the audience was not stuffy British stereotypes...they loved the show.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||07/03/2013|
As the cafe closes, Amalia, still waiting, begs her "Dear Friend" not to abandon her.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||07/03/2013|
Really, OP? I have ALWAYS found "And I Am Telling You" to be an overwrought number, performed grotesquely. As a song, I just don't find it to be much. The arrangement is great, but it's a grim, dull song to me. I saw the original production, and had I not been prepped to call her performance "brilliant!", I would have found it indulgent, over-acted, and comically over the top...and sort of scary, but that is not the accepted opinion, I know.
"A Little Priest" is a terrific Act 1 closer to Sweeney Todd.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||07/03/2013|
Wow, I find "Wicked" to be absolutely Gawdawful! "Defying Gravity" is embarrassing loud camp. I couldn't believe my eyes and ears when I saw it, pee yew!
|by Anonymous||reply 25||07/03/2013|
You can put me in the "embarrassing loud camp" camp.
My other choices have already been listed, WWS and Sunday.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||07/03/2013|
The final minutes in "1776". Still get goosebumps thinking of that final image.
Later stolen by James "I've never had an original thought in my head" Lapine for "Sunday In The Park With George".
|by Anonymous||reply 27||07/03/2013|
What about the nude scene at the end of Act I of "Hair"?
|by Anonymous||reply 28||07/03/2013|
[quote]Really, OP? I have ALWAYS found "And I Am Telling You" to be an overwrought number, performed grotesquely. As a song, I just don't find it to be much. The arrangement is great, but it's a grim, dull song to me. I saw the original production, and had I not been prepped to call her performance "brilliant!", I would have found it indulgent, over-acted, and comically over the top...and sort of scary, but that is not the accepted opinion, I know.
Thank you. That's exactly how I felt about Holliday and that song after I saw "Screamgirls". In fact I think the entire show is an unbearably loud, hysterical, over the top, melodramatic mess.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||07/03/2013|
Not a great play, but the closing moment of Conor McPherson's "Shining City", right before the curtain went down, was terrifying/shocking. The entire play existed for that one moment, and it's still memorable.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||07/03/2013|
Add another "Defying Gravity" fan. I actually find the second act of WICKED a bit dull to sit through after the exhilaration of that first act finale, though "For Good" is a lovely closer.
I'll go ahead and add both "One Day More" and "Do You Hear The People Sing? (reprise)" from LES MISERABLES to the pile. I know theater snobs hate it but I still get chills from the show and cry at the end of both acts.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||07/03/2013|
The greatest moment is when fewer than 10% of the audience doesn't rush out of the theater, trying to get to their cars or subway, because they have to work the next morning.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||07/03/2013|
Don't Rain On My Parade and SITPWG
|by Anonymous||reply 33||07/03/2013|
In Rodgers and Hammer..... excuse me... Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA, the first act closer when what you think will happen with the glass slipper doesn't happen. It's a 'no she did-nt' moment. Also Ella's (Laura Osnes) final line in Act Two is a hoot. A really delightful twist on the whole fairy tale.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||07/03/2013|
In the original production of CABARET when thereis a frozen tableau of the characters at the engagement party and in the background, you heard a radio broadcast of Hitler.... Joel Grey(Emcee) walks around the patrons of the party while a bit of John Kander coda music is playing..... Grey turned, sneered at the audience and the stage front curtain of white light comes on temporarily blinding the audience which leds to intermission..
I know MARY! But i'll never forget it.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||07/03/2013|
The greatest moment I remember is the closing of The Act. The entire show has been as love story between the two main characters, Michelle and Dan. They get together. Big finale. Curtain calls. Liza comes out last for her bows, and she see says something to the effect of"Sorry, Dan, I've decided to go it alone." The show hasn't ended. The curtain calls were for the act withing The Act. It was so unexpected, it was pretty amazing.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||07/03/2013|
Wicked is a terrible, terrible show, but Defying Gravity is a great Act 1 ender and has almost single handedly kept the show alive.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||07/03/2013|
Jerusalem. Mark Rylance's character Rooster getting beaten up and then using the drum to call the giants.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||07/03/2013|
Again, the end of the first act of SITPWG.
More recently, I found the final few seconds of Matilda to be beautiful and moving and wonderful.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||07/03/2013|
Oh God, R39. Yes. I love a good cartwheel.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||07/03/2013|
Is that a picture of Elaine Paige projected onto the scrim in the SUNSET BOULEVARD ending clip at r2, or just some random woman who we're supposed to take as the young Norma? I couldn't tell when I saw the show with Paige, and I can't tell now. (I didn't see any of the other Normas.)
|by Anonymous||reply 41||07/03/2013|
R41, it's my understanding that they've always used stills and footage of young Gloria Swanson in her silent heyday (just like in the movie) regardless of who was playing her on stage.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||07/03/2013|
I would say "A New Argentina" from EVITA. It starts out with just Eva and Peron conversing in bed, apparently after having just performed coitus (i.e. cigarette smoking), as they discuss the political situation. Like Lady Macbeth, Eva strongarms Peron into running for the presidency and we see them work their demagogic magic, still in their night clothes as they literally seduce the nation, with banners descending from the ceiling, the stage filling up with "descamisados" waving placards/pickets and lit torches, and finally two large portrait of the real Eva and Peron zoom out and gets bigger from behind the stage (thanks to a rear projection effect) as the final note hits! Thrilling!
|by Anonymous||reply 43||07/03/2013|
[quote]THe end of Act I of "Sunday in the Park with George" - that tableau!
Couldn't agree more, I actually cried like a baby.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||07/03/2013|
[quote]Not a great play, but the closing moment of Conor McPherson's "Shining City", right before the curtain went down, was terrifying/shocking.
OK, I will probably never get a chance to see it. Can you post a spoiler.
Also, can someone tell me what happened to the set at the end of The Mountaintop?
|by Anonymous||reply 45||07/03/2013|
I've never seen SITWITHAPIG. Is it that thrilling?
|by Anonymous||reply 46||07/03/2013|
'I am What I Am' (First Act finale in LA CAGE AUX FOLLES)
|by Anonymous||reply 47||07/03/2013|
Don't think so, R42. When I saw Sunset, the film at the end was of Glenn Close.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||07/03/2013|
Trust me, r46, it's the only moment in SITPWG that is actually effective, thrillingly so, and a theatrical coup that would work even out of context. During the song SUNDAY, the characters position themselves as in the painting. At its conclusion, the proscenium frame telescopes down, a transparent scrim of the painting flies in and is lit from the front to reveal a facsimile of the Seurat original. Applause, applause. In concept, it's similar to the conclusion of 1776 (a far superior show), when the members of the Continental Congress assume their positions as in the famous Pine-Savage engraving. Scrim flies in, light go up and a Declaration with signatures appears, completing the tableau.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||07/03/2013|
I think the music helps a little, R49. And the ending with Move On is equally devastating.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||07/03/2013|
Oh, sure, the music in that instance helps. But Move On is just one big artsy cliché and hardly devastating since SITPWG has no second act. I'll never forget the late, dear Peter Evans sitting behind me at the performance, tsk-tsking his way through the show, taking exception to the show's many dramaturgical failings. I couldn't have agreed more and, though I didn't know Evans at all, I loved him instantly.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||07/03/2013|
Are we supposed to know who the late, dear Peter Evans is, r51?
|by Anonymous||reply 52||07/03/2013|
You're on a theater thread, cookie. If you don't know, look it up.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||07/03/2013|
I saw a local production of "Hair" where they updated the ending of Act II to show a portion of the Vietnam War Memorial with Berger's name highlighted.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||07/03/2013|
[quote]Jerusalem. Mark Rylance's character Rooster getting beaten up and then using the drum to call the giants.
God, yes. I don't think I took a breath for the last ten minutes of that show. Brilliant play, brilliant performance, stunning ending.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||07/03/2013|
Tyne Daly bulldozing her way back and forth across the stage during '...Roses.' Never saw Merman but saw lots of other ladies do it but no one has ever given me chills like Tyne. No, not even you Patti. To this day I think she gave the single most memorable performance I've ever seen on stage. And I saw her do it a dozen or so times. She never failed to nail every single moment.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||07/03/2013|
Me to R44 and glad to see "Blood Brothers" mentioned, one of my favorite shows, also made me cry.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||07/03/2013|
Probably 'I Hope I Get It' from "A Chorus Line".
|by Anonymous||reply 59||07/03/2013|
"Go Out There" from 'Barnum'.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||07/03/2013|
[quote]Jerusalem. Mark Rylance's character Rooster getting beaten up and then using the drum to call the giants.
Sorry , I hated that. And if a character is going to pour petrol around the stage, he damn well better light the match.
However, I do think Jerusalem has the best opening five minutes in a play
|by Anonymous||reply 61||07/03/2013|
[quote]Probably 'I Hope I Get It' from "A Chorus Line".
That was the first number in the show. Not exactly "just before a theatre curtain falls."
|by Anonymous||reply 62||07/03/2013|
"Lulamae" from 'Breakfast At Tiffany's"
|by Anonymous||reply 63||07/03/2013|
Where was that, R54? That's a very clever bit of staging - and very appropriate.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||07/03/2013|
No, R42, it was always filmed footage of each particular Norma. It wasn't done until after Patti LuPone's stint. The Betty Buckley one was particularly chilling. The Elaine Paige one did look a lot like Gloria Swanson because she was doing a pretty effective impersonation of Swanson, anyway.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||07/03/2013|
R54, R64, to be honest it sounds like a ripoff of Graziella Daniel's Falsettos. Throughout the play the backdrops have been these pastel, watercolory, loosely drawn, Hallmark card backdrops: The American flag with hearts instead of stars, etc. At the very end, the drop falls exposing an enormous portion of the AIDS quilt with Wizzer's name highlighted
|by Anonymous||reply 66||07/03/2013|
R57 Yes, I saw Lansbury. And Lupone. And Peters. Plus Maureen Moore, Jana Robbins, Betty Buckley and Laine Kazan (!) Daly is my personal favorite. I've read about the chills people got watching Lansbury. Didn't happen for me. But I did get chills with Daly.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||07/03/2013|
Can't choose a favorite, especially among the many already mentioned, but The Music Man always brings me to tears when Marian sees Winthrop sing and rips out the Harold Hill-incriminating pages from her reference book.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||07/04/2013|
The tile song, MAME, before the ending of the first act.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||07/04/2013|
Yes to the ending of JERUSALEM. It too left me breathless. Mark Rylance gave a performance for the ages in that show.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||07/04/2013|
A thin, blonde Tyne Daly singing "Some People" at a tribute to Jule Styne:
|by Anonymous||reply 72||07/04/2013|
And just for contrast, Bette Midler doing "Rose's Turn." I'm surprised there is any scenery left after she finished chewing.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||07/04/2013|
SPOILER ALERTS for SHINING CITY and THE MOUNTAINTOP
At the end of SHINING CITY, as the psychiatrist says goodbye to his patient (who has been haunted by a ghost, or at least thinks he has) and shuts the door, the ghost is there, and she indeed looks terrifying. The audience gets about three seconds of that, and then lights out.
At the end of THE MOUNTAINTOP, it turns out that the maid visiting MLK Jr. is actually an angel, ready to take him to heaven. But before they go, she shows him what his life will have meant to the civil rights movement. The set dissolves, and photographic images appear everywhere as the angel gives an incredible monologue.
Interestingly, both of these plays have endings that make them worth seeing. Without those surprises, I likely wouldn't remember the plays at all.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||07/04/2013|
Interesting, the ending of Shining City sounds similar to the ending of Woman in Black (the play).
|by Anonymous||reply 76||07/04/2013|
I've never seen the stage version, so I don't know if this applies, but the last scene in the movie version of "The Music Man" (where Zaneeta fantasizes about the band) always gets me.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||07/05/2013|
The first act finale of Fiddler on the Roof is very touching and chilling. The wedding has been destroyed by the violence of a pogrom and Tevye is holding his hands to Heaven silently mouthing why
|by Anonymous||reply 78||07/05/2013|
Nothing came close to the finale of Helen Lawson's last show where she slugged her costar then threw up on stage
|by Anonymous||reply 79||07/05/2013|
Don't Cry For Me Argentina is the final song of Evita, isn't it? Well I've listened to Donna Summer belt that song out a billion times, from her 1984 HBO concert. I don't care that it isn't technically Broadway, it's a showtune, that's enough.
Weird story related to that song. I was wearing MP3 headphones tonight watching the fireworks, that song came on, and the girl laying next to sat up, that stood up and starred at me a bit. By that time I'd guessed she could hear Donna belting out the song. But it was just headphones, we were 10 ft from a busy street, the entrance to a bridge, lots of people talking, fireworks, how prominent could Donna's voice coming out of my headphones be? Anyway, Donna can belt her fucking ass off, that's for she. And this pouty woman heard it and it was too much for her. I honestly think she may have been late for her Klan rally, with that strong of a reaction. Fireworks disproportionately draw the proletariat rednecks, I guess, and judging from the crowd here in my Kansas town, definitely.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||07/05/2013|
No, R80, it's the second act curtain raiser.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||07/05/2013|
Victor/Victoria, when before the overture Liza Minnelli comes out onto the stage to inform the audience that she would not be performing in the show that night under doctor's orders... clutching said note IN HAND.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||07/05/2013|
Here's the finale of "Sunset Boulevard" with Betty Buckley--the last bars of "With One Look" begin at 4:50. yes, it is Gloria Swanson (the original Norma Desmond) projected behind her. It's a great moment--they didn't do it in the original production--LuPone just ended with the "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille" speech.
|by Anonymous||reply 83||07/05/2013|
I don't think that's Swanson, R83. It looks more like Buckley.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||07/05/2013|
"Once Before I Go" (actually the next to last song) from "The Boy From Oz".
|by Anonymous||reply 85||07/05/2013|
The end of OTHER DESERT CITIES, and Rachel Griffiths' eyes searching the audience.
|by Anonymous||reply 86||07/05/2013|
[quote]Wicked is a terrible, terrible show, but Defying Gravity is a great Act 1 ender and has almost single handedly kept the show alive.
They can fly Mary Poppins out over the audience, they can fly the Witches of Eastwick out over the audience, they can fly Spiderman out over the audience, they can fly Peter Pan out over the audience, so why can't they fly the Wicked Witch of the West on her broomstick? Having Elphaba walk off-stage and then come rolling back in standing on a black-draped airplane stairway, just doesn't cut it. Talk about cheap & tacky! I've seen high school productions done better. Great Broadway moment? Not!
|by Anonymous||reply 87||07/05/2013|
Although not a curtain closer per se, Ellen Barkin's Act II monologue during "The Normal Heart" was really a show-stopper for me. The unhinged, explosive anger, the rage, it just filled the entire theater. By the end of it, I had my mouth just hanging open by the end of it, simply astounded.
Good luck topping that, Julia.
|by Anonymous||reply 88||07/05/2013|
What distinguished Barkin's performance from others I've seen was that the discomfort of her illness was factored into her characterization and was especially manifest in that great monologue. She made an effort to overcome her pain in order to argue her point--and Barkin did it brilliantly.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||07/05/2013|
R83, are you blind? It's Buckley. Why would they use Swanson?
|by Anonymous||reply 90||07/05/2013|
[quote]Why would they use Swanson?
Because they wanted the show to run ten years with at least half-a-dozen actresses playing the lead and they didn't want to have to pay for new glamor shots to match each new performer.
|by Anonymous||reply 91||07/05/2013|
No, R91/R83. Uhhh, no.
They used the real filmed images of Close, Buckley, Paige, etc. in the finale to show the audience what they actually looked like on the screen when Norma was at the peak of her career. THAT's what made it so chilling, the contrast of the crazy loon on stage with the goddess on the screen. There's absolutely no point in using Swanson's face.
Sorry, you lose on this point in spades and please don't embarrass yourself any further. You're wrong. Move along.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||07/05/2013|
Sunset Boulevard's ending really is chilling.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||07/05/2013|
[quote]Sorry, you lose on this point in spades and please don't embarrass yourself any further. You're wrong. Move along.
I was only guessing. It was worth being wrong just to see you get your queeny old panties into a bunch. I'd be embarrassed to be as big a fan of that piece-of-shit show as you obviously are.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||07/05/2013|
Can the ending of Assassins be included here?
In the original staging, we're in the Texas School Book Depository... Oswald is encouraged to shoot JFK... the mounting tension of will he or won't here is incredible and then a single shot is fired.
That's it, end of show... just incredible. Then Booth comes out and starts singing "everybody's got the right to be happy" - he's then joined by the cast.
As they end their song, they each raise and arm over their head and fire their weapons.
|by Anonymous||reply 95||07/05/2013|
What about the end of Act I in 42nd Street where the houselights come up and the director announces the star has broken her leg and can't continue. Pretty original.
|by Anonymous||reply 96||07/05/2013|
Liza Minnelli in Flora the Red Menace
|by Anonymous||reply 97||07/05/2013|
Kc guy at r35, it's always nice to hear from you.
|by Anonymous||reply 98||07/05/2013|
"Sorry, you lose on this point in spades and please don't embarrass yourself any further. You're wrong. Move along."
WARNING! WARNING! We are approaching core meltdown!
|by Anonymous||reply 99||07/05/2013|
"What about the end of Act I in 42nd Street where the houselights come up and the director announces the star has broken her leg and can't continue. Pretty original."
I think it was more effective when they ended the entire show by announcing the actual director, Gower Champion, had just died.
I wonder, though, if that worked as well for the performance besides the one I saw on opening night.
|by Anonymous||reply 100||07/05/2013|
"One" which is the final song of "A Chorus Line."
|by Anonymous||reply 101||07/05/2013|
[quote]What distinguished Barkin's performance from others I've seen was that the discomfort of her illness was factored into her characterization and was especially manifest in that great monologue. She made an effort to overcome her pain in order to argue her point--and Barkin did it brilliantly.
Let's consider her real life pain from multiple plastic surgeries as well as the Golden. She threw all those files in the air because the lovely Music Box had a fucking mobile home with chickens living under it while she had that ugly ass boring square theater with the mean lezzie usher.
|by Anonymous||reply 102||07/05/2013|
The Kristin Chenoweth revival of Gypsy. She kept jumping in the air to try to reach the lights but the audience drowned out her last 'for me' with laughter rivaling a Carol Burnett skit.
Poor thing was a yard or two away from the closest light. Earlier it was very annoying when she kept slipping out of her heels to show the audience she was shorter than all her children.
She gets points for playing 'Little Lamb'
|by Anonymous||reply 103||07/05/2013|
Aww, that's nice R98. Hope you had a nice 4th... and have a few shows coming up!
|by Anonymous||reply 104||07/05/2013|
R97 -I could have seen Flora but chose "Baker Street" instead. Heck, I could have seen "Do I Hear a Waltz?" insteads of Baker. Not that I didn't enjoy Baker Street but looking back it would have been nice to have seen Liza and her very young and raw talent. "Sing Happy" always gives me goosbumps, it is that good. I finally did see a production (Equity Library Theatre) of "Do I Hear a Waltz?" in the 70's.. Rosalind Harris who played the oldest daughter in Fiddler on the Roof movie played Leona.
|by Anonymous||reply 105||07/05/2013|
Not an ending but a beginning: the opening sequence of Stephen Daldry's An Inspector Calls (1993/94 Broadway season) had me hyperventilating.
|by Anonymous||reply 106||07/05/2013|
I agree R106. Pretty impressive that first scene.
|by Anonymous||reply 107||07/05/2013|
Loved that sequence with the Hermann Vertigo music, R106!
Was that where the entire curtain was dropped all the way to the floor, or was that the end of Act 1? That is one my favorite sequences in all theater.
The play was a total potboiler, but the reading, acting, and staging were across the board brilliant. There were at least three spectacular coup de theatre, including of course, the tipping house.
To the person who asked about "Mountaintop", the person who described it didn't quite tell you what happened. Martin Luther King finally finds out the maid is Death, and in that moment of recognition, the entire set dissolves by the side walls and ceiling flying up, and the motel room itself (which is a perfect replica of the room he stayed in) flipping up onto the back wall of the stage very quickly so the audience's perspective is as if they were looking down from the ceiling. Everything is perfectly anchored, beds, sheets, chairs, phone, used water glasses, etc. It's quite cool. Then that pulls back and blacks out to huge projections that tell major moments in history while Death does a climactic monologue about how things change which brings big applause. The play was pretty lightweight, but that was an unforgettable moment.
|by Anonymous||reply 108||07/05/2013|
[quote]Don't Cry For Me Argentina is the final song of Evita, isn't it? Well I've listened to Donna Summer belt that song out a billion times, from her 1984 HBO concert. I don't care that it isn't technically Broadway, it's a showtune, that's enough.
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina" is sung at the beginning of Act II, after Peron has won the presidency in a landslide victory and he and later Eva address the adoring crowds from the balcony of the Casa Rosada.
However, the tune is first heard during "Oh What a CIrcus" early in Act I, which then morphs into a "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" PREprise. The song is later reprised toward the end of Act II when Eva is renouncing the vice president and pretty much politics due to her failing health.
At any rate, "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" doesn't end either act.
|by Anonymous||reply 109||07/05/2013|
Wail, ex-cuze-may-uh. Ah doe-nt spea-uhk argentinian.
|by Anonymous||reply 110||07/05/2013|
Oh, but R91/R94, you sounded so sure of yourself! And you were wrong. Poor baby. Better luck next time.
|by Anonymous||reply 111||07/05/2013|
And we see the ongoing meltdown is still in progress...
|by Anonymous||reply 112||07/05/2013|
The finale of the original Nine with the women in white costumes mirroring the black ones they wore throughout the show. And the doves being released. Gorgeous.
|by Anonymous||reply 113||07/05/2013|
R108, thank you. I had heard something about the set turning upside down, which didn't make much sense.
Thank you to whomever mentioned "An Inspector Calls". Was that ever filmed, even for archival purposes? It was truly wonderful theater.
|by Anonymous||reply 114||07/05/2013|
Oh, shut the fuck up, R112. R83 got called out on being wrong about something and then got bitchy and defensive, calling Sunset Boulevard a pile of shit. Which it was but that's beside the point. No meltdown going on here, I was just slapping down a nasty queen who should just admit he was wrong without turning it into an attack.
|by Anonymous||reply 115||07/05/2013|
It's not at all the same production but you can watch a complete BBC version of AN INSPECTOR CALLS on Youtube. The cast includes Margaret Tyzack, Simon Ward and Nigel Davenport. Good shtuff.
|by Anonymous||reply 116||07/06/2013|
Or in other words, you were having a meltdown.
|by Anonymous||reply 117||07/06/2013|
Thanks for the more detailed response. I had a horrible cold the night I saw the show and was many a medication, so my memory of the play's conclusion pails in comparison to what you recall. Wish I could remember the ending as well as you do, cause that's why the play is worth remembering.
|by Anonymous||reply 118||07/07/2013|
How about the finale of the last Cabaret revival, set in the concentration camp. That was a kick in the stomach.
|by Anonymous||reply 119||07/07/2013|
You know, Idina Menzel may be not much more than a belter, but there's something about the way she screams the bridge to "Defying Gravity" that's been known to give me chills.
|by Anonymous||reply 120||07/07/2013|
I've always felt the role of Elphaba allowed a true showcase for strong singer. Much more then G(a)Linda...
|by Anonymous||reply 121||07/07/2013|
But then you've got classically trained Kristi Dawn on the OBC album against "I Have One Volume: Loud" Menzel.
I also think "There's A Fine, Fine Line" at the end of Avenue Q's first act is really quite lovely.
And of course, Michael Bennett's fabulous choreography to "Turkey Lurkey Time" in "Promises, Promises."
|by Anonymous||reply 122||07/07/2013|
VOTN, thanks for reminding us of the wonderful TURKEY LURKEY TIME.
Here's a performance from the 1969 TONY Awards with Baayork Lee (A Chorus Line) Margo Sappington (Oh! Calcutta!), and Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line). And the fun choreography of Michael Bennett.
As conceived by Bennett "with stunning energy and inventiveness", "Turkey Lurkey Time" is a dance performed by three secretaries at an office Christmas party. Their infectious singing and gyrations build into a frenetic chorus dance, as the office staff copy the trio, climaxing with some atop the office desks. The number, in 1960s disco-style, was a showstopper. According to Neil Simon, "we were having some problems at the end of the first act ... the number [Bennett] came up with didn't just solve the problem, it was a sensation." Some of the dancers later claimed they had needed regular trips to the chiropractor, so severe was the strain of Bennett's relentless head-bopping choreography
|by Anonymous||reply 123||07/07/2013|
Watching Donna McKechnie snap her head around like that makes my head hurt. But I don't think you can argue with results. "Turkey Lurkey Time" may not be that great a song, but combine it with that dancing, I don't think I've ever seen so much energy on stage at one time before.
|by Anonymous||reply 124||07/07/2013|
Oddly, I did a Turkey Lurkey marathon last night. Who is the dancer who is in purple on the Tonys and does Donna's part on the Ed Sullivan show? I love her performance. It is really amazing that the green dress was considered too low cut for television and they made Baayork Lee wear a collar to cover.
On a related note, who was the lead dancer in the film Sweet Charity- Rich Man's Frug?
|by Anonymous||reply 125||07/07/2013|
[quote]Who is the dancer who is in purple on the Tonys and does Donna's part on the Ed Sullivan show?
Margo Sappington (Oh! Calcutta!),
|by Anonymous||reply 126||07/07/2013|
A tiny Stephanie Mills standing front of the stage alone in a spotlight singing "Home" in 'the Wiz", was pretty thrilling to me as a kid.
|by Anonymous||reply 127||07/07/2013|
The Sound of Music, the reprise of Climb Ev'ry Mountain as they scale the alps , the last we see of them while the wonderful orchestra ends on the last few notes of the song The Sound of Music. I get Mary Tears.
|by Anonymous||reply 128||07/07/2013|
R128. Good choice. I had forgotten that the last scene in Act One in the stage version belonged Patricia Neway, not Mary Martin.
|by Anonymous||reply 129||07/07/2013|
R128, I saw a local theater production last year, and when the family escaped at the end, the director had them come off the stage, into the house and up the aisle. Surprisingly moving!
|by Anonymous||reply 130||07/07/2013|
Not Sappington but Julete Stites. Sappington left before the original Tony Broadcast.
|by Anonymous||reply 131||07/07/2013|
[quote]Not Sappington but Julete Stites
And juliene Stites took over the Donna McKechnie role when she left Promises, Promises.
|by Anonymous||reply 132||07/07/2013|
That is in fact Stites in this clip doing her role. She could really rock that long hair.
|by Anonymous||reply 133||07/07/2013|
The correct name is Julane Stites.
|by Anonymous||reply 134||07/07/2013|
Even though about 20 people saw it during its disastrously short run, the incomparable Georgia Brown delivered a powerhouse 11 o'clock number, Encore, Encore, in Roza. Not a dry eye in the theatre as it was a Holocaust-related song and she relived the concentration camp in those few shattering moments.
|by Anonymous||reply 135||07/07/2013|
[quote]The Sound of Music, the reprise of Climb Ev'ry Mountain as they scale the alps , the last we see of them while the wonderful orchestra ends on the last few notes of the song The Sound of Music.
A truly great ending R128
|by Anonymous||reply 136||07/08/2013|
THE MOUNTAINTOP was not redeemed by the ending, which would have been very powerful if the rest of the play hadn't been a piece of garbage.
The "concentration camp" ending of that CABARET production wasn't a kick in the stomach, it was a kick in the testicles. In other words, a cheap shot, and totally reprehensible.
I've always love the end of Act I of THE KING AND I. For the first time, the king admits that he did promise Anna a house of her own, and he promises Buddha that he will give it to her. As he does this, we hear soft strains of "Something Wonderful" as underscore, and Anna is moved to tears. Then she and the king indulge in a brief "your head shall not be higher than mine" battle, and the curtain falls.
|by Anonymous||reply 137||07/08/2013|
Why was the concentration camp ending a cheap shot and reprehensible, r137? To me, a cheap shot and reprehensible would be inserting the Holocaust into a work that had nothing to do with it - but CABARET has a lot to do with it.
|by Anonymous||reply 138||07/08/2013|
For anyone that missed it, the opening paragraph of Frank Rich's review of the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls:
[quote]WHEN Broadway history is being made, you can feel it. What you feel is a seismic emotional jolt that sends the audience, as one, right out of its wits. While such moments are uncommonly rare these days, I'm here to report that one popped up at the Imperial last night. Broadway history was made at the end of the first act of Michael Bennett's beautiful and heartbreaking new musical, 'Dreamgirls.'
Full review at link.
|by Anonymous||reply 139||07/15/2013|
[quote]On a related note, who was the lead dancer in the film Sweet Charity- Rich Man's Frug?
|by Anonymous||reply 140||07/15/2013|
Yes, "Sunday" from Sunday in the Park with George. (Btw, I've seen several productions and nothing will ever equal the original with Patinkin and Peters. I don't love them in everything, but this was a case of perfect casting and great performances.)
|by Anonymous||reply 141||07/15/2013|