Entertainment News Chum

A few entertainment related items (mostly theatre) from the lunchtime news reading:

  • Pasadena Playhouse. As you may recall, we’re long time Pasadena Playhouse subscribers, but the bankruptcy combined with a lackluster upcoming season have led us not to renew. So here’s more info on the lackluster season to come… it seems they decided on the musical. No, it isn’t The Nutty Professor or Peggy Sue Got Married as they indicated in their season brochure. The musical will be: Sleepless in Seattle: The Musical. The production will be directed by Joel Zwick and feature songs written by Michelle Citrin, Michael Garin and Josh Nelson. No casting, and it is supposedly faithful to the movie (which I have never seen). Color me underwhelmed.
  • Barney Sings. One of the first shows I ever saw on stage was “The Rothschilds” with Hal Linden. Mr. Linden has a beautiful voice, which one rarely hears. The LA Times recently had a nice article on Hal Linden, including a reference to a new CD he is releasing. Some of us oldsters may remember Mr. Linden from his role on Barney Miller—a role he got from his lead performance in The Rothschilds.
  • Corrupting the Kiddies. Hard to believe, but Avenue Q is coming to a high-school near you. Of course, the high school version is very sanitized. The school edition makes the following changes: (1) The language (both dialogue and lyrics) has been cleaned-up throughout, making the show closer to a PG-13; (2) The song “Internet is For Porn” has been replaced with “Social Life is Online”; (3) The songs “My Girl Friend Who Lives In Canada” and “Loud As The Hell You Want” are cut; (4) The videos throughout the show are all now done live using actors; (5) The scenes with the Bad Idea Bears have been trimmed and amended to now focus less on drinking; and (5) A few character names have been changed – Lucy T. Slut is now just Lucy, and Mrs. T. is now Mrs. Butz. Somehow, it seems too cleaned up for me.
  • Seeing the Light. One problem that is non-existant in live theatre is an inability to see the actors. That’s not true for movies, and Roger Ebert has a nice article on the growing dimness in theaters today. He’s not talking about the scripts or the actors, but the projectionists are not projecting the image at the proper brightness. Those of you who are regular theater-goers should read this, and speak up when you are not getting the image you pay for.