Archive for October, 2011

Meet the Blogger ……………….. Marken Greenwood, Actress

Posted on: October 24th, 2011 by Marken Greenwood No Comments

You will soon learn that I have a little problem with lateness – See Above…

KIDDING! This little gem was a promo shot for a cabaret that Patrick and I were in during our time at Michigan with Joan Morris called, “The Morning After” – my mother is so proud. But seriously, when I make it to a show, it’s usually the closing.  When I have a deadline, I’m pulling an all nighter to meet it.  When I hear a joke, I’m laughing a few seconds after everyone else.  Not kidding – hang out with me and you’ll see.  I swear, I don’t have a learning disability; I’m just the last to cotton on to everything.

Guilty pleasures: Netflix bingeing, pretending to be a normal commuter during rush hour, Prince William fantasies, ridiculously expensive coffee, planning to exercise (but rarely doing it)

What Im About: I want to hold a mirror up to life for myself and others.  I think that theatre, literature, music and art have the power to assist us in living better, fuller, more stupendous lives.  If I were Machiavelli, I’d say it’s the most palatable way of making sure history doesn’t repeat itself.  If I were Marken, I’d say it’s a way of reaching life-altering, mind-bending, heart-wrenching catharsis which allows you to gain compassion and wisdom beyond your years.

Be great in act as you have been in thought.  ~Shakespeare

So, back to the other night.  I’m trying out a new format, or if I’m gonna go all Carrie Bradshaw on ya’ll, a column.   I’m going to reflect on the theatrical, cultural, artistic, scientific, culinary experiences of yesterday.  New York locals, you may not catch that particular event, but what I hope you’ll catch the artist next time or remember that theatre company for the future.  Nonlocals, it doesn’t matter because you can’t see it anyway!  You just get to experience it through my ultra-descriptive, artfully-crafted prose.

Favorite board game: Scrabble

Favorite 90s TV show: Buffy

Theme song to your life:  Uncharted by Sara Bareillis

Idol(s): Katherine Hepburn, Anderson Cooper, Linda Goodrich, my cousin Carolyn, Charlotte Bronte

Favorite Movie:  Gone with the Wind

Favorite Disney Movie: Beauty and the Beast

Country you would do inappropriate things to get to… Why: Norway…because it’s the land of my ancestors.

Favorite Artist: Gustav Klimt

Favorite CD: Parade by Jason Robert Brown

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?: Cauliflower…because no one would want to eat me.

Do you have a horse named Whisper living in Central Park?  No.

You could say I’m a Late Bird.  Remember in Kindergarten when everyone was divided into two groups the Early Birds who went to school the first half of the day and the Late Birds who went the latter half?  Well, it’s obvious which one I was and I’ve stuck to the moniker faithfully.

And now I have effectively made my lateness work for me                     Let the blogging begin!


Disnification that Matters?! —-NEWSIES: The Musical—–

Posted on: October 23rd, 2011 by Patrick Fromuth No Comments

High School Musical…eh. Glee…PSH!

Kids these days are growing up with a lot of song and dance in their lives, but whatever happened to some good old fashion DISNEY!

A week ago today I found me some Disney… and it was about time! For the past week I have been networking and interviewing in NYC and was able to steal away for the afternoon over to the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J. to see NEWSIES: The Musical. The Newsie NAILING IT on the left of the poster above is Jordan Barrow from Fromuth Production’s STRIPPED. Click to hear Jordan’s “Nobody’s Perfect” by Jessie J

As a child growing up Alan Menken was the SOLE reason I started to sing. From Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Hercules, etc. he composed the score to my childhood. It made me raise my voice and become gay. Wait?! I didn’t mean that! Well…maybe. Nevertheless, NEWSIES was never on my radar. The first time I heard of it was when my voice teacher Johnny Steiner thought I should sing Santa Fe from NEWSIES at my Senior Voice recital/Graduation/Birthday Party at my house (as you can gather, I wanted to be the center of attention that day).

Watch at your own risk… Over acting & memory loss abounds! 

After being assigned the song, I rented the movie and was absolutely enthralled: the story, the dancing, Christian Bale’s attempt at speak-singing. Why hadn’t I ever heard about this film before? The answer is simply because the 1992 film flopped. Alan Menken’s venture away from Disney animation did not pan out so well; the plot centers around the 1899 NYC Newsboy strike against the tyrant newspaper publishers of the day (Pulitzer and Hearst) who supposedly raised the Newsies distrubution price to increase profit. Despite its troubles on the silver screen, NEWSIES: The Musical might just have exactly what it takes to make its way to Broadway.

Check out how it is REALLY done. (When you see the end of this clip you will TRULY know why I leave the singing to the professionals. Jack’s Santa Fe Act I closer and his PERFECT DISMOUNT of a last note moved me to my core. I verbally gasped as did many around me.

They were able to go back and fix a lot of issues with the movie – Christian Bale’s voice being top on my list. They added charm and heart to the characters especially to Jack Kelly, the 17 year old Manhattan Newsie leader played by the talented Jeremy Jordon. They made Jack an artist who sought escape during the storyline in the refuge of a New York Theater – making his dreams of Santa Fe grounded and believable. In addition, they added Katherine Plumber, a smart and spunky love interest for Jack, played to perfection by Kara Lindsay.

Jordan and Lindsay both gave epic performances. Their voices, comedic timing, and chemistry were terrific. Check out this clip of Lindsay tearing up the sitzprobe:

These were just some of the changes that were made making the stakes higher and accurately conveying the heart and soul of this important piece.

The show still has a bit of work to do, but I’d say the show is about 95% ready for Broadway. In my opinion, the ending was a little bit too tidy and lacked suspense. The plot needs a better build, which could be helped by easing into the full throttle choreography. The dancing, while mind blowingly athletic, is constantly at 150% from start to finish, which sadly looses its epic, awe factor toward the end. More importantly, I believe the creative team can – and should – strengthen the overarching message against child labor. The show focuses on the oppressive Child Labor issues in America and specifically in New York City at the turn of the century. However, they fail to bridge the domestic battle to the global atrocities that still continue today. With a simple and appropriate mention of the detrimental effects that these practices have on our foreign brothers and sisters, I believe Disney can make more of a contemporary impact on the horrible treatment of youth workers that still persists today.

I truly LOVED this show and hope the best for its future. It is the kind of show I wish Disney produced more often. One with heart, power, and impact. I see this show – due to its large size and, therefore, high costs – to have a limited engagement on Broadway, but I hope that I am wrong. So when it does get to Broadway…GO SEE IT! The voices, the dancing, and the passion of this story will have you remembering the magic of our Disney childhoods.

Check out this “Deleted Scene” from the Musical created by Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Michigan Alum) playing “Crutchie” and the cast of NEWSIES. Andrew explains , “A special thank you from the Papermill NEWSIES to the Fansies!
Julie Foldesi & Company perform that random/amazing part from the film where “Patrick’s Mother” serves up a voice lesson in 16 bars.”

I hope they put this pack into the show!

——————-Scorned.——————EGO Release: Part III

Posted on: October 10th, 2011 by Patrick Fromuth No Comments

This week’s EGO Release goes out to those who have loved and lost: the Scorned. Women and men alike have all been there. If you haven’t…count yourself lucky. The hurt and sadness runs SO deep that we seek refuge in the shoulder of a friend, gallons of ice cream, Adele 21 and similar songs that are able to commiserate in our despair. Enjoy the Venom, Pain, and Acceptance you find below.

Fallin – Alicia Keys

Resentment – Beyonce

You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette

Since You’ve Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson

Here are two other songs to add to the mix of hurt from Fromuth Productions’s Benefit concert: STRIPPED: Songs Searching the Spectrum of Soul 

Someone Like You from Adele’s 21

Halo, Dont Fade Away

A heart breaking mashup of Beyonce’s Halo & Kelly Clarkson’s Already Gone


———Brushing the Dust——- Off Of the Everyday

Posted on: October 9th, 2011 by Quinn No Comments

I wasn’t quite sure where to file this blog, as it crosses the lines between film and music, and recently released film and a blast from the past. But like so many other things at Watch Yo Mouth, it defies definition, and just is. So I’ll let it be and you can read it.

In light of my recent trip to Ireland and in honor of my still-Guinness-laden liver and happily-ringing ears, I wanted to take a moment to suggest two great but lesser-known films filled with Irish music. They’re available periodically on Netflix, and they’re truly films to sit down and have a pint with. Both are refreshingly un-Hollywood, devoid of the fairy-tale ending, big name actors and special effects. Neither film is concerned with a dramatic, last second saving of the world. These films are about everyday musicians, their everyday hard work, their successes, their failures, their love and lust, and the laughs they share. Both will leave you singing (another reason to watch with a pint in hand- my singing only gets better… Read: louder and more accepted the more myself and everyone else in the room consumes), and both will leave you looking for the soundtracks.

The first of my recommendations is The Commitments. 

                 It’s truly one of my favorites.

Directed by Alan Parker and released in 1991, The Commitments follows the story of “the world’s hardest working band.” Set in Dublin far before the Celtic Tiger, it is the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a man determined to assemble the greatest band to play soul music in Ireland. Collecting colorful musicians, with language equally as colorful (the movie runs 113 minutes, and the word “fuck” is used 145 times, and yes I’ve counted), Jimmy fights to get practice space, to get musical instruments out of hock, to land gigs, to keep the talented but high-tempered vocalist Deco at relative peace with the rest of the band, and to land a record deal. Through all of the laughs and language, there is a gritty purity about the music that is both saddening and inspiring. And the ending: to paraphrase Joey “the lips” Fagan, the ending is “poetry, not predictable,” which I suppose is why it’s in this blog and is not the popular Hollywood blockbuster. Check out the trailer below:

So next movie night you’re planning, try something new, let the music and the movie “grab you by the balls and lift you above the shite.” 

And as a fun musical trivia side-note, look for the kid on the skateboard outside of Jimmy Rabbitte’s window towards the beginning of the film. He is the boy used for the cover shots of U2′s albums “Boy” (1980) and “War” (1983).

The second of my suggestions is Once.

Directed by John Carney and again set in Dublin, this 2006 film is less raucous than The Commitments, but just as delightfully unpredictable and perhaps even more poetic. Featuring the vocal talents of Glen Hansard of The Frames (look up “Lay Me Down”) as the “guy,” and Marketa Irglova as “the girl,” this film follows the unlikely relationship of a broken-hearted street-entertainer from Dublin and an immigrant as they write and eventually record their own music.                                               

Again, this is the story of the everyday, not the Never Say Never of Justin Bieber or the inevitable Taylor Swift movie, and how the everyday can become extraordinary.

Perhaps it is because I am not an incredibly talented musician myself, and I don’t get to experience this on a daily basis, but there is something very powerful in the scene when the guy and the girl, having met only minutes before, walk into a music shop and sit down to a piano to make truly beautiful music. Check it out below:

It speaks to the power of human creativity, and the genuine human connection that it forges between two strangers. It is so simple and so everyday yet so important; it brushes the dust off of everyday life. Again, with an ending more poetry than predictable, Once is worth a watch.

Thanks for the read, and please, take some time out of your day or night to watch these films. At the end of a long day, there can be nothing better than sitting down to watch a truly great movie. Enjoy!

J. Finnian Quinn

Needing Neverland………………. Peter & I: The New Musical

Posted on: October 8th, 2011 by Patrick Fromuth 3 Comments

           

“You’re constantly searching the sky

and you cry out for someone to teach you to fly”

Tink. Hook. Wendy. Pan… Neverland! Icons of childhood, innocence, and the dream to stay forever young – forsaking age, wisdom, and time. There have been many adaptations of Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie’s classic tale. Stages, Screens, and now e-Books all over the world have been enthralled with the adventures of Peter Pan. But what lies between the lines? Who is this boy that defiantly refuses to conform to the norm?  Where did he come from? And more importantly, why does Peter need Neverland… for Salvation or Escape?

Who better to ask than Peter Pan, himself.

Peter Pan, also known to his Lost Boys as Chris Dwan, is a recent graduate of Syracuse University and has been involved with the new musical PETER & I from the beginning. There have been 4 readings 3 in NYC and 1 in Syracuse. Dwan has been in every one including the star studded reading featuring Julia Murney, Jack Noseworthy, Lucas Steele, Constantine Rousouli, and Emily Padgett. Leaving newbie, Dwan, the only lead yet to be on Broadway. It doesn’t seem to phase him though. It is pretty clear he’ll get his due soon enough. I had a chance to chat with the charming Chris Dwan as he prepared for the upcoming preview of the show.

FP:  So I have to ask…what is it like working with Julia Murney?

Dwan: JULIA. MURNEY. Performance ready in 10 MINUTES. No Joke. Her musicality is just UNREAL. The things she can do with a song. Verrrrry soft lips too…I like. She is a class act.

So how did you get started on this project?

Well, one of my professors, Marie Kemp brought in writers Matte O’Brien and Matt Vinson to workshop their new musical at SU a little over 2 years ago. At Syracuse I played James Barrie – A kid at heart and author of Peter and Wendy(the children’s novel). Then in January I had the opportunity to be on the recording of PETER & I as Rupert Buxton – a well liked and outgoing student at Oxford University. Then the Araca Broadway production company breathed new life in the show by accepting it for their new initiative for cultivating upcoming producers. The Araca Project is an intensive internship, if you will, culminating in a two week production in NYC. That’s where I got to play the iconic Peter Pan- the boy who never grew up.

Three different roles in one project? Quite versatile Mr. Dwan. Atta Boi. Which character did you most enjoy playing?

“Peter Pan- hands down.”  He is most like me, a child. For example: my favorite food is Kraft Mac and Cheese and Apple Juice (and whenever I eat it I must take a nap IMMEDIATELY following) and my room is always a mess. His character also has a great arc throughout the show. The plot really sheds a new light on the story of Peter and Wendy, it’s more real – challenging the fairytale we all know so well.

How did you prepare for such an iconic role?

My method is – PLAY PLAY PLAY! What I’ve loved most about this whole process is watching everyone work and grow together: how they get from point A to point B, learning music, or belting face (watching Julia Murney- end all be all) it all affects how I prepare.  So, I really get to learn from everyone I’ve worked with, and the actor who played Peter before me is no exception. I think my take on the role is really different. Of course I borrowed moments I loved and made other moments my own. I guess what it comes down to is that I couldn’t ignore the Peter everyone knows and loves; however, the writing really grounds the character so I’m able to make my own choices on why Peter chooses Neverland over Wendy.

“Never say goodbye, because goodbye means going away

and going away means forgetting”

Is that the hardest part of the role for you? Picking Neverland over Wendy?

With out a doubt. I don’t know if I could do it. Just look at the actress playing her, Emily Padgett. She is sensational: stunning, never marks, always belting for the sky. I mean… if Wendy was half as talented as Emily Padgett, there would be NO WAY Peter Pan could say no!…unless he was gay. hmmm… In the show I do wear little green rugby shorts, a mini tank top, combat boots, feathers and A LOT of Glitter…Maybe Peter IS gay?!

Funny, Dwan. Though, speaking of which, this show explores J. M. Barrie’s inspiration for Peter Pan and the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up: Micheal Llewelyn Davies and his gay lover. Right? 

Yes, One of the interlaced story lines follows Michael and his lover Rupert Buxton during their time at Oxford. They meet and fall in love; however, because it’s the early 1920s they find escape and solace in the bottom of a still pond on campus with their hands bound together just short of Michael’s 21st birthday. Terrible, yet in a different light, tragically romantic.

“Beat me, Burn me, Bleed me. I don’t care.

Tear me up or tear me down but need me there.” 

This show seems like it will resonate with the gay and ally community. But why now? Why is this adaptation important for a contemporary audience?

Not an easy question, Fromuth…I believe the show couldn’t come at a more opportune time considering all of the recent attention to gay suicide, bullying, DOMA, and the repeal of DADT in the media. It’s not easy finding shows these days that are current, and we have one that does it through a classic lens. As a result, creatively, PETER & I will really stand out compared to a lot of other new shows. Matt’s moving score is full of power and dynamic harmonies that will take your breath away; paired with Matte’s passionate lyrics and book, allows each member of the six person cast to live the message of the piece. You will find yourself in this show…. All you have to do is show up.

October 6th-16th

The American Theatre of Actors

54th between 8th and 9th

Tickets $18 a Pop

www.PeterandI.com 

Peter & I stars Aynsley Bubbico (TV’s GREEK, How I Met Your Mother, Jersey Shoresical), Chris Dwan, Ben Hart (Avenue Q), Geoffrey Kidwell, Emily Padgett (Rock of Ages, Grease), and Jared Zirilli (Wicked). Book and lyrics for Peter & I were written by Matte O’Brien who will also direct the show. Music was composed by Matt Vinson. Amanda Morton (16 Days) is the Musical Director for the piece.