Tag Archives: Cyndi Lauper

Nr 460: The SpongeBob Musical (2016)

6 Jan

Chicago: 2016
Broadway: 2017 (327 perf.)
Tv version: 2019

Book: Kyle Jarrow, based on SpongeBob SquarePants by Stephen Hillenburg
Music & Lyrics: David Bowie, Brian Eno, Panic at the Disco, Tom Kitt, Jonathan Coulton, Cyndi Lauper, Rob Hyman, Alex Ebert, Sara Bareilles, Andy Paley, Tom Kenny, Lady Antebellum, Yolanda Adams, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Plain White T’s, T.I., They Might Be Giants

Just so you know, if you’re not a SpongeBob fan, it all takes place underwater.
The story: SpongeBob, a relentlessly cheery fast-food worker with self-esteem issues, learns that his beloved Bikini Bottom is in danger of being destroyed by an undersea volcano called Mount Humongous that’s threatening to blow sky-high. So he, his BFF Patrick Star, a starfish, and the brilliant scientist Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel (don’t ask), must come up with a plan to save their world.
Among the obstacles on the path to hero-hood: xenophobic prejudice (Sandy is disdained as a mammal), the bureaucratic paralysis of the mayor, panic-rousing media coverage and the villainous obstructions of the evil Sheldon Plankton and his wife, Karen the Computer.

I actually thought I was going to hate this musical. I mean come on, SpongeBob the Musical???? And because the cast album contained songs by a lot of different pop composers I also thought this was something of a juke box musical.
But, boy, was I wrong!
Nickleodeon, the cable channel for kids where SpongBob the animated series airs, brought a live version of the Broadway show to our home screens.
Lucky us! For this is an absolute marvel of a show. Just 5 minutes in and I was hooked. The music is so good, the sets and costumes are amazing, the cast is perfect down to the smallest planktons and sardines and the choreography is utterly brilliant. I was totally enthralled.
The show is totally bonkers – in a very good way. Don’t let adult thoughts of ”that isn’t even logic” or ”this is so unrealistic” disturb you from enjoying this show. Indulge yourself in the madness and pleasures of Bikini Bottom (just that name, aargh, love it, and yes they make fun of it in the show). Do what I did: I just sat in my recliner and laughed, cheered and even shed a little tear.
This show is so sunny, positive and life affirming, just what we need right now.
The cast album was on repeat in my flat for a long, long time afterwards. And every time I feel a little blue I play Best Day Ever, the best pick-me-up-song ever!

The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won one: Best Scenic Design of a Musical.
It also won 6 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Musical, Actor, Featured Actor, Director, Sets, Wigs and Hair of a Musical.
And 4 Outer Critics Circle Awards: Outstanding New Musical, New Score, Director and Actor in a Musical.

The show was retitled for Broadway and the North American tour, now it’s SpongeBob Squarepants – the Broadway Musical.

For what it’s worth — and we’re talking millions of dollars here — you are never going to see as convincing an impersonation of a two-dimensional cartoon by a three-dimensional human as that provided by Ethan Slater at the Palace Theater. Mr. Slater plays the title role in SpongeBob SquarePants the Broadway Musical the ginormous giggle of a show that opened on Monday night.

…you will probably adore this musical if: a) “SpongeBob” was a formative influence of your childhood; b) you are a stoner who tokes up to watch reruns of the show on YouTube (categories a and b are not mutually exclusive); or c) if you are (like my date for this show) a parent of “SpongeBob”-bingeing progeny and found its sensibility crept into, and wallpapered, your weary mind.

… you may indeed enjoy such improbable spectacles as a misanthropic squid named Squidward (Gavin Lee, wearing four-legged pants) doing a virtuosic four-footed tap dance with a Busby Berkeley kick line of pink-sequined sea anemones. Or a heavy-metal boy band made up of sea skates on skateboards, with music by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith. Oh, I forget to tell you. The show’s songs (supervised, arranged and orchestrated by the composer Tom Kitt) have been written by a plethora of pop-rock eminences…

Christopher Gattelli’s choreography of his sexually ambiguous ensemble (genders blur when wet) is perversely brilliant, suggesting piscine movement through breakdance and vogueing gestures instead of the expected swimming motions. But no one matches Mr. Slater in conveying the physicality of the life aquatic.
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times

Children should feel free to take their parents to Tina Landau’s psychedelically inspired version of the whimsical kiddie cartoon show … But Landau’s hallucinogenic stagecraft transcends the show’s television origins by speaking a visual language that’s three-dimensional and boldly theatrical.

(The plot) … is actually a lot scarier than any of the problems that arise in the TV show, but this is Broadway, where things tend to get inflated.
Here, that inflation surfaces in the score. Instead of working with a simpatico composer and lyricist, Landau, in the adventurous spirit of a Steppenwolf director, has stacked the show with individual pop songs written by individual songwriters … It’s not as much of a gimmick as it seems, but without a signature sound, there’s no signature style. What there is, though, is plenty of giddy, goofy fun for all.
– Marilyn Stasio, Variety

(Resulting in a show that) ”is as perfunctorily entertaining as it is insistently forgettable”.
– Alexis Soloski, The Guardian


Bikini Bottom Day/Super Sea Star Savior/Best Day Ever
When The Going Gets Tough
At the Tony Awards: I’m Not a Looser
Gavin Lee (Squidward), Ethan Slater (SpongeBob), and Wesley Taylor (Sheldon Plankton) perform ”You Could Drive a Person Crazy” from COMPANY

Dag 186: Kinky Boots

9 Jun

Kinky Boots (2013), spelas fortfarande
Musik & sångtexter: Cyndi Lauper
Libretto: Harvey Fierstein, baserad på filmen med samma namn från 2005 som var skriven av Geoff Deane & Tim Firth och baserad på verkliga händelser: historien om Divine så som den hade berättats i BBC dokumentären Trouble at the Top.

Charlie Parks ärver en skofabrik efter sin far.
Fabriken är på väg att gå i konkurs eftersom den bara tillverkar ”funktionella” skor – nått som inte är så efterfrågat längre.
Lauren som arbetar på fabriken (och är förälskad i Charlie) föreslår att de ska börja tillverka skor för dragqueens, en ännu inte exploaterad del av skomarknaden.
Charlie går motvilligt med på idén och det gör att den konservative Charlie möter den extravaganta dragshowartisten Lola och hennes kolleger ”The Angels”.
Tillsammans slår de ihop sina påsar och bestämmer sig för att försöka marknadsföra en serie extraordinärt glamorösa och extrema skor och stövlar som klara av att bära upp även den störste av män.

En feel good komedi med drugor? Såna har vi sett ett flertal av de senaste åren (Pricilla – öknens drottning, La Cage Aux Folles m fl), finns det behov av en till?
Absolut, åtminstone så länge som showerna har så bra musik som den här har.
Cyndi Lauper står bakom musiken och hon visar att hon fortfarande har kvar sin förmåga att skriva bra låtar.
Här blandas starka poplåtar med en dos pubrock, lite glamdisco, syntpop, R&B, soul och rock. Det är en väldigt vital och härlig samling sånger.
Jag blev omedelbart otroligt förtjust i den här skivan. Musiken är lika feel good-ig som showens handling är.
Rekommenderas för både Cyndi och Broadway fans.
Den skönaste nya musikal jag hört på länge.

Take What You Got, Step One, Everybody Say Yeah, Raise You Up / Just Be

Showen har vunnit:
6 Tony Awards : Bästa musikal, bästa musik,  bästa manliga huvudroll i en musikal, bästa koreografi, bästa orkestreringar och bästa ljuddesign
En Drama League Award för Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical
Tre Outer Critics Circle Awards: bästa nya musikal, bästa manlige skådespelare i en musikal och bästa musik.
Plus en Drama Desk Award för bästa manliga skådespelare.

Castskivan debuterade på 1:a plats på Billboards Cast Albums Chart och på plats 51 på Top 200 listan.

Harvey Fierstein som skrev librettot är en av två (den andre är regissören/koreografen/skådespelaren Tommy Tune) som vunnit Tony Awards inom 4 olika kategorier.
Han vann 2 Tonys 1983: bästa pjäs och bästa manliga huvudroll i en pjäs för Torch Song Trilogy (Arnold heter den svenska översättningen, aktuell i höst på Stockholms stadsteater med Rikard Wolff i titelrollen).
Han vann en Tony för sitt libretto för musikalen La Cage Aux Folles 1984.
Och sen fick han en Tony för bästa manliga huvudroll i en musikal för sin insats som mamman, Edna Turnblad i musikalen Hairspray 2003.

They’re dazzling, dangerous and devil-red. They’re the infamous footwear giving Broadway’s ever-joyful but sometimes too pointed new musical “Kinky Boots” its name.
Thanks to director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell, the high-heeled traffic-stoppers make their first appearance in head-turning fashion. It’s like a “Hello, Dolly” star entrance, but instead of a staircase, it’s a factory conveyor belt. Hello, Kinky.

It’s another reminder of what musicals have in common with shoes: They can both lift you up. Even with some stumbles, Kinky Boots is a high time.
– Joe Dziemianowicz, The New York Daily News

(Cyndi Lauper)…this storied singer has created a love- and heat-seeking score that performs like a pop star on Ecstasy. Try to resist if you must. But for at least the first act of this tale of lost souls in the shoe business, you might as well just give it up to the audience-hugging charisma of her songs.
Kinky Boots, with a book by Harvey Fierstein and directed by Jerry Mitchell, is a reminder that you don’t always have to be a masochist to enjoy being smashed by a steamroller. From the outset, this show comes rushing at you head-on, all but screaming: “Love me! Love me!” It’s a shameless emotional button pusher, presided over — be warned — by that most weary of latter-day Broadway archetypes, a strong and sassy drag queen who dispenses life lessons like an automated fortune cookie.
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times

Kinky Boots on Broadway
Från filmen Kinky Boots: These Boots Are Made For Walking

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