A few weeks ago before I ventured off to New Hampshire (again), I finally got the chance to watch the much anticipated musical 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson'- an emo take on this nation's seventh president. Sure, it's not exactly true to history and it's more than self aware- but it's definitely one of the more original shows currently playing on The Great White Way. Infused with high energy and a sense of humor that would make any of the new wave of theatre goers proud, the Alex Timber adaptation is more than just a fun Cliffnote history lesson. It's a jolt of electricity that continues to carry the raw emotional charge led from shows like 'Spring Awakening' and 'Next To Normal'.
As another television season wraps with the conclusion of May sweeps, it's time to reveal my ten favorite television performers from this past season. While some the shows from last year's list were represented again, there has been a change in many of them in terms of who represents them this time around. Without further ado:
Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
Continues to show fresh comic chops as the show's MVP.
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Falling in love with Liz Lemon has never been so easy.
Neil Patrick Harris (The 2009 Tony Awards)
As natural of a television host can ever get.
Courteney Cox (Cougar Town)
Making us forget about Monica in one funny swoop.
January Jones (Mad Men)
Diving in head first as her character's plot thickens.
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Makes watching a singing and dancing villain so much fun.
Keir Gilchrist (The United States of Tara)
Taking full advantage of the common coming-of-age movement.
Portia De Rossi (Better Off Ted)
Deadpanning the brilliance of an over zealous character.
Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights)
Letting us believe cheering for teenagers to succeed is more than possible.
- Super Bacon: And you thought the KFC Double Down was bad. Check out this bacon-stuffed, bacon-wrapped Italian sausage covered in BBQ sauce that you can get shipped to your door for $30. Barf. (Uncrate)
- Little Hung: Just when I thought MTV programming was starting to get redeeming, they managed to disgust me yet again by launching a fictional series about a well endowed teenage nerd whose popularity skyrockets after someone in his high school took a peek in locker room. (NYMag)
- 5,001 Of Your Closest Friends: Apparently some Facebook users claim the 5,000 friends limit per account is not enough. Maybe I'm just not that popular, but I'm not even sure I know 5,000 people... (NYT)
- Facebooking Your Kidnapped Daughter: More Facebook news- A Florida man is charged with kidnapping his children over 14 years ago and moving cross country after the birth mom discovered her now 17-year old daughter on Facebook and tracked her down from California. Strangest part, the daughter wants nothing to do with mom. (FOX)
- Evan Schlongoria: Before making it big in the big leagues, Tampa Bay Ray superstar Evan Longoria liked sending pictures of his penis to woman as a pickup technique. Of course, the then-minor leaguer didn't think twice about it and like 99% of the nude pictures ever taken, it shows up the internet. (Barstool)
- Celebrate Tonight: MVP candidate Kendry Morales of the LA Angels fractured his ankle during a celebration with his teammates at home plate following a walk-off grand slam. The earliest doctors says he'll be back to play is in September. Are there Darwin Awards for this stuff? (ESPN)
- Hobbits Panic!: After word of Guillermo Del Toro dropping out of directing 'The Hobbit' films, the scramble is on for fans who can't wait to see Bilbo Baggins and Gollum before all the Frodo took center stage. Is it me or this project cursed? (EW)
- Taking Crazy On The Road: As expected, Alice Ripley will depart 'Next To Normal' later this summer to gear up for the national tour reprising her Tony Award winning role as Diana. Between this and the recently departed Bobby Spencer, it'd appear the roadshow might be better than the open-ended production sitting on Broadway. (Playbill)
In a conversation between a friend and myself about relationships, this gem arose:
"My everyday thinking goes something like this: I'll text around noon to see if we can go out tonight. That gives 3 hours to think about how to do this. Wait, but noon might be too early. How about 2? Yeah, I'll go with two. No, 2:14, that's more casual and it wouldn't seem like I'm waiting for a specific time. Or should I just call? People like phone calls, right? It seems more personal and less cowardly. But what if the voicemail picks up? No, I can't talk to a machine. I'll probably just end up blabbering about nothing and come off more of a psycho. I should stick to texting. Yeah, text. I'll text. Should I start it with a ''Hey'? People like 'Heys'. I'd like a 'Hey'. Yeah, I'll do the Hey thing. At 2:14."
After becoming a fan of the US Soccer Men National Team for over 8 years, I finally made it to my first match this past Tuesday in the World Cup Kick-0ff Series against Czech Republic in East Hartford, CT. Even for something as meaningless as an international friendly in which close to none of the regular starters played a minute, the atmosphere was by far the most electrifying as I've ever experienced in person for a sporting event. Never have my life been part of something so uniformly patriotic even in a 4-2 loss. The crowd eruption when the US team scored on a header from a corner kick was completely deafening and something I can't wait to experience again. Oh, I'm starting to regret not going to this year's World Cup already.
After not going to the movie theater in almost three months, I made a back-to-back (well, back-to-back weekend) effort to see a couple of summer blockbusters. And that's when I realized I don't miss going to the movies at all.
Shrek Forever After
The enticing part of watching this four-quel was not the content, but the fact that all I had to pay was $4.75 for a matinee at the Tallahassee AMC when I was in town for a wedding last weekend. Instead of completely soaked into the ogre-oriented fairytale like I was with the first two installments of the film, I found myself sitting there.. judging the catastrophe that has become this once creative franchise. The jokes were dull and elementary and the "what-if?" plot felt like a bad episode of the 90s sitcom "Dinosaurs". I suppose it didn't help that the sound system keep blowing out in the theater. Perhaps Walter over at Silver Screening Room is onto something, that AMC does suck hard at maintaining its facility. At least I got a voucher for a free admission to any AMC in the nation. $4.75 matinee in Tallahassee to $20 IMAX 3D in Lincoln Center.... not so bad for my troubles.
I was ready for Sex and the City 2 to suck. Everyone and every review has hammered this thing to the point of embarrassment. That doesn't stop me however to choose it as my first midnight screening of a film in close to two years. If I had known it was going to be 2 hours and 30 minutes long, I might have reconsidered, but watching four middle-aged women having fun dressed in ridiculously over the top costume would certainly be entertaining.
The biggest problem was the sequel is that it had no plot. 2 hours and 30 minutes of random occurrences by the four ladies. Starting with a gay wedding featuring an all-male choir and Liza Minnelli and ending with stock footage of an old black and white movie, it was the perfect example of what a "connect-the-dots" script looks like- while not boring, just nothing really happens besides the signature puns and innuendoes this franchise does so well. Perhaps my friend who went with me said it best- "There was so much eye-rolling from contrived over-the-top shenanigans, I didn't think to bother checking my watch."
The most amusing thing of the night was the four or five guys sitting next to us who looked like they were scouting for dates at the female-dominant crowd.
The last few weeks has been ridiculously busy. Between work and the various out-of-town trips, I barely to time to collect my own thoughts- not even having a moment to plot an entry or two on the ol' blog. So yeah, this is one of them personal thoughts blog entries. It's what happens when you're awake at 2:30 in the morning in the New York heat.
I attended my fourth wedding of 2010 this past weekend and am going to go to my fifth wedding this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. To top it off, there's three more to go after before the summer of weddings is over. Yes, I'm usually pretty good at going to these things without dates after getting lots of practice shortly after college of just showing up and fulfill my duties for the happy couple.
But man, maybe I'm getting old(er) or the age of the betrothed are getting younger, but it's starting to take its toll. Being single has its perks obviously but one has got to wonder when you're badgered by weddings after weddings, rather or not it's time to catch my designated fish in the sea everyone's talking about.
So after traveling around five continents around the world, the winners for Season 16 of The Amazing Race is finally crowned. Just in case readers haven't gotten around to watching the thrill ride of a finale just yet, I'll refrain from revealing the winners until the end of this season recap blog. So, on to the awards!
Most Entertaining Team:
Every week they've managed to find ways to use their country charms to
turn their adventures in foreign countries into an episode of 'Howdy Doody'.
Runner-Ups: Team Brothers & Team Big Brother
Most Boring Team:
While likable, they had less charisma than teams that were eliminated
early on to the point their screentime didn't even exceed a minute.
Runner-Ups: Team Lawyers & Team Joe and Heidi
Most Likable Team:
Without a doubt, the fan favorites for this season.
Runner-Ups: Team Brothers & Team Big Brother
Least Likable Team:
Team Joe & Heidi
This one is all on Joe. He single-handedly put arrogance to a new level.
Runner-Ups: Team Models & Team Lesbians
Best Team Chemistry:
No other team showed the kind of support for each other like these two.
They knew what the other was capable and not capable of doing and won't
push the envelope too far.
Runner-Ups: Team Cowboys & Team Detectives
The Luckiest Team:
Each week became a head scratcher as fans wonder how these two
managed to fumble and tumble their way to the final three.
Runner-Ups: Team Cowboys & Team Brothers
Best Individual Player:
Steve (Team Father/Daughter)
Making wise decisions (leaving the backpacks) and good moves (ducktaping
that car), Steve seem to know what to do in all the right moments.
Didn't contribute once to the team and actually dragging the team behind,
forcing teammate Jeff to carry the weight until it became way too much.
Runner-Ups: Jody (Team Grandma/Granddaughter) and Adrian (Team Sweethearts)
The apparent frontrunners after 2 episodes, their clean game got them far
in midst of near-eliminations and obstacles.
Runner-Ups: Team Father/Daughter & Team Big Brothers
They sure were mean, bitchy and judgmental. Brandy's Cruella Deville
impression might as well one of herself.
Runner-Ups: Team Models & Team Detectives
So there ya go. Another globe-trotting season of The Amazing Race. Regarding the finale, I had a strong inkling last week that Dan and Jordan would somehow manage to pull out this win. What I didn't expect was their initial catty-ness and cutthroat method to get there in the beginning, it's the strongest (and right) move and they shouldn't be judged for it. It's a million dollars, afterall! It turns out Brent & Caite were no factor at all and it appears the virtual reality world was too much for Jet & Cord to overcome.
My words fumble more so than usual when talking about music. It's just that I usually don't know what to say due to my weak knowledge of the genre- either that, or I'm simply embarrassed by my preferences because they're usually pretty generic. Either way, I believe it's time to take a step out of my box and reveal all the cheesy goodness when it comes to my iTunes. Thanks for Andrew for giving me that extra push over the ledge.
1. Hit shuffle on your iTunes, what's the first song to play?
'Back 2 Good' by Matchbox Twenty. Okay, this one wasn't too bad. There are definitely worse things that could've played.
2. Name Your Top Five Musicians/Bands of All-Time.
Okay, here is where it starts to go south. I'm going with the every four years approach on this question. Starting at the age of 7 until now, I'll list my favorite artist for every four year span. I was obsessed with New Kids on the Block or NKOTB as they were later known when I was 7-11 From middle school (mid-90s), I couldn't get enough of Mariah Carey. Oh, how I miss the Mariah of old. Onto high school where I somehow avoided the grunge era and won't with the goodness that was Third Eye Blind. 'Jumper' still get plenty of hits on my iPod. In college (early 00s), you throw in the first beats of any Beyonce song and I'll be ready to go and post college, well... it's tricky, I guess my favorite artist to come out of the last four years is the Gaga.
3. What was the first 8 track/record/CD/cassette/MP3 you own?
The thought that there are some kids out there that will never own even a CD is horrifying. I always liked physically holding my music and I physically held the Backstreet Boys' debut album first. Yes, I'm on Team BSB.
4. Of all the bands/artists in your collection, which one do you own the most albums by?
Going with longevity, The Beatles. That's probably because they were around the longest.
5. What was the last song you listened to?
6. What song sums you up?
None. It really depends on my mood. Sometimes I could feel like Tubthumping, some other times I feel like Stayin' Alive, or listening to Music of the Night... and on rare occasions, I feel like One Less Lonely Girl.
7. What's your favorite local band or band that originated from your area?
Oh boy, the choices for a Brooklyn-ite are endless. Let's go the hipster and indie route and say Here We Go Magic. They're probably not my favorite band ever to come out of this fine borough, but they're certainly on my mind.
8. What's the greatest concert you've ever been to?
Yikes. I haven't been to a concert in ages and honestly, none of the ones I've been to before can qualify as "the greatest".
9. Which musician would you like to hang out with for a day?
Adam Guettel and I would have plenty to talk about. He'll do most of the talking since I'm curious as to how someone can write such a beautiful composition and lyrics to go along with it.
10. What was the greatest decade for the music?
I love the '90s probably because that's when I came out of my shell. Besides that, I'm in love with '20s jazz.
11. What is your favorite music soundtrack?
Finally, a question I'm not struggling to answer.
12. What the worst CD/album you've ever bought?
How I regret purchasing Aqua's album.
13. What your favorite band/artist t-shirt or poster?
I used to love Bebo Norman 'Big Blue Sky' t-shirt.
14. Rolling Stones or The Beatles?
Even I can tell this is another easy one.
15. What is the one song you'd like to be played during your funeral, birthday and a date?
I'm going to go with some recent showtunes for all three.
Funeral: That's right bitches, I'll be coming back to haunt ya'll.
Birthday: I love me some cheesy dance party.
Date: Perfect description of a much anticipated date, minus the prancing around.
The surprising thing is how the three are interchangeable.
- Full Eyes, Clear Hearts, Can't Lose: While the fourth season of Friday Night Lights has already aired on DirecTV last winter, the network broadcast premiere on NBC begins tonight. Get ready for the show's best season since its freshman effort. (NBC)
- The "Bieber": Similar to "The Rachel" haircut of the 90s, Justin Bieber's haircut became very popular with the tween boys community- except they're too embarrassed to ask "The Bieber" at their local barbershops. (NYT)
- Same Ol' Love Story: Believing firmly of the "Don't fix what's not broken" philsophy, Taylor Swift tells MTV that her third album will be about "boys and love". (MTV)
- Twilight Yo' Babies: The US Department of Social Security released the most popular baby names from last year and surprised... Isabella and Jacob are on the top of the list. Take that, Team Edward! (SSA)
- Hey Stella!: Rachel Weisz is rumored to be part of the latest Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire next season playing Blanche DuBois. She seems more like a Stella to me, so why not cast her there and get Cate Blanchett back as the feisty psycho diva? (Playbill)
- More Euphemisms: Hearing about opponents of gay marriage caught in gay sex scandals no longer surprise me. The latest being George Alan Rekers who hired an escort off Rentboy.com for his European trip because he "can't lift luggage", whatever that means. The escort said Rekers paid for plenty of nude massages including "The long stroke", whatever that means as well. (NYDN)
- Canadian Football: Major League Soccer just announced Montreal is join their league in the 2012 season after Portland and Vancouver start their inaugural campaigns next season. With Toronto in the mix already since 2007, there are now more professional soccer teams in Canada than basketball and baseball. (ESPN)
- No Sexting Zone: I'm not sure how research is done, but a recent study claims that 1 in 10 people under the age of 25 says it's okay to text during sex. The mental image is frightening. (Advertising Age)
The only thing I can think of that's missing from this trailer is a full-on musical number. Even without so, it's oh-so-true in so many ways and hilarious because of it. My favorite part being "Lead female's name!". So, can you think of any Best Picture winners that could literally just plug in dialogue from their film to this trailer?
Ah. Tony nomination morning is almost as exciting as Oscar nomination morning. Okay, maybe not. Perhaps he excitement level is equivalent to that of maybe the Golden Globes' nomination announcement, which is a fitting comparison considering how both are notorious for favoring big names to the point when they snub them (a la Julia Roberts), it's bigger news than the folks that actually got nominations.
But guess what, the Tony committee resisted the urge to draw in audience by giving every big name with a mediocre performance a free pass this year. No Nathan Lane, no Hugh Jackman, no Daniel Craig, no Kristin Chenoweth, no Bebe Neuwirth and no Vanessa Williams. Not even theatre favorites Cheyenne Jackson and John Gallagher Jr. broke through. They even favored shows that closed months ago (Ragtime, Finian's Rainbow) as opposed to ones that are brand spankin' new (Promises, Promises).
Granted, the leading actor in a play category reads like a who's who of Hollywood "actor-dom", but the word of mouth on these performances were strong from the get-go and supposedly well deserved.
The biggest shocker for me this morning was how American Idiot mustered up only three nominations, none for their actors or even director Michael Mayer, but somehow still managed to get the golden Best Musical nod- a prerequisite if you want to perform during the Tony telecast. Were the committee not convinced it's not a modern incarnation of the recent heralded Spring Awakening? Well, at least The Addams Family failed to get in on the fun, making this the first time in six years that a musical based on a film is not nominated in the category. Another amusing bit is that Jay-Z is now a Tony nominee for producing 11-time nominated Fela!.
A quick look at the rest of the nominees indicates Fela! is undoubtedly the frontrunner, though I'll be routing for Memphis myself, while Red and Fences are leading things on the play side. Watch out for my predictions later this month, but for now check out the full list of nominees here.
After the first episode of this season of The Amazing Race, my picks to make it to the final three were The Cowboys (Jet & Cord), Father/Daughter team (Steve & Allie) and Team Lesbians (Carol & Brandy). One out of three ain't too bad, and if it wasn't for a non-elimination leg, I would've gone 0-for-3.
Last night, the teams continue their trek around Shanghai, where more cabbie trouble ensued and more cultural insults were made. At the end, it was Michael & Louie, who were the only team this season to win three consecutive legs, that got Phil-iminated. So here we are, three teams with not one racer over the age of 30, racing from Shanghai to San Francisco for a million dollars. In alphabetical order, they are:
Brent & Caite
# of Times Finished First: Once (Week 11, Shanghai)
Strongest Leg: Week 10, Shanghai. Even though they came in second, they didn't make a single mistake.
Weakest Leg: Week 4, Germany. It was not pretty for the models when they started the leg in a hospital room and ending the day with Caite's bad leg.
Stronger Player: Brent
Strengths: Determination when applied, being at the right place at the right time & good ol' fashion player hating.
Weaknesses: Bickering, counting (Caite) and not reading directions.
Summary: The bickering couple starting the race relatively weak, but as their
annoyance factor raised, so did their game.
Odds To Win It All: 1 to 3
Dan & Jordan
# of Times Finished First: Once (Week 9, Singapore)
Strongest Leg: Week 7, The Seychelles. Even though they came in second, they proved their bond and what they were capable of.
Weakest Leg: Week 2, Chile. Not even remotely close to warmed up and not knowing how to drive a stick shift were nearly fatal.
Stronger Player: Dan
Strengths: Knowing what the other person is capable of, constant encouragement & flying under the radar
Weaknesses: Foreign languages, stick shifts & being caught too laid back
Summary: Not many people gave these two any chance to go this far, but the adorable brothers and their support for each other got them here with some very sporadic results.
Odds To Win It All: 1 to 5
Jet & Cord
# of Times Finished First: Four (Week 2, Chile; Week 3, Argentina,
Week 8, Malaysia & Week 10, Shanghai)
Strongest Leg: Week 8, Malaysia. Going from last to first with a speed bump, they only saw one team for 30 seconds before dusting them to the pit stop.
Weakest Leg: Week 7, The Seychelles. They made too many mistakes and were spared elimination. The only time these two showed frustration during the race.
Stronger Player: Jet
Strengths: Staying calm under pressure, attention to details, and... well, everything?
Weaknesses: Besides being caught outside of their comfort zone. Street smarts.
Summary: The fan favorites are also the favorites to win them all. Running strong legs after strong legs, minor blips and all haven't slowed them down yet.
Odds To Win It All: 3 to 5
So there you have it, which team do you think will take it all? Will Jet & Cord's dominance continue? Can Brent & Caite actually pull this off with bitterness driving them? Can Dan & Jordan fly under the radar to pull off the upset? My pick? As much as I'd love to see Jet & Cord ride into the sunset as champions, I can't help but shake off the feeling Dan & Jordanare going to win it all.
In many ways, the longtime rivalry between Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir is hilarious to me. The two male figure skaters and their war of words continue to escalate this past week when their respective popularity is at an all-time high after the Winter Olympics where Lysacek took home the gold medal. Oh these boys just need to take out their sparkly rulers and get it over with. Here's a brief rundown of the latest episode of what I like to call The War On Ice:
1. The 'Stars on Ice' organization invited Evan but not Johnny for their post-Olympics US tour.
2. Johnny Weir cries foul and reveals the 'Stars on Ice' committee told him he was not 'family friendly' enough.
3. When prompted by The Indianapolis Star about the situation, Evan says "they are very selective about who they pick" and that they "only hire the best to skate."
4. In response, Johnny went on The Wendy Williams Show and calls Evan a "slore", the lethal combination of 'slut' and 'whore', in regards to Evan dumping Johnny's best friend and fellow figure skater Tanith Belbin for US Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin.
5. Johnny tells People that the two "are at war" and "the claws are out" before telling people not to vote for him on Dancing With The Stars.
6. Evan releases a statement calling Weir "an accomplished and talented skater" and apologizes for the remarks he made during the interview.
Someone should really turn all this into a movie, oh wait- they did.
Disney is employing the cliffhanger strategy for this summer's Pixar film 'Toy Story 3', releasing only the first 65 minutes of the film in college markets before cutting to black and sending the audience home. A few questions come to mind when I heard about this. Why would 'Toy Story 3' need a risky marketing tool when it's one of the surest blockbuster hits on the summer? Are college kids really the demographic they're concerned about? And is this overall a good idea?
Another thing I have to wonder if that if I would want to pay for a full price ticket when the film is actually release so I could sit through the first half of the film again just to see the second half. I don't think I have the patience for that- especially for a film I'm eagerly anticipating. I can't help but think of this ploy being similar to theatre (shocker!), where the audience has the option to walk out during the intermission if they deem they longer want to see the rest of the show after the first act. (NYT)
- Casual Friday Everyday: Details Magazine gave ten suggestions to folks who don't want to wear pants to work, though there's a creepiness factor about being nude inside a Barney Dinosaur costume while surrounded by kids. (Details)
- CSI: Apple: Jason Chen, editor of Gizmodo- the site that leaked information about the upcoming iPhone, came home to find detectives has ransacked his place and seized his computers, hard drives and digital cameras. Now why can't the police be this adamant about other, more tragic investigations? (NYDN)
- Girl Scout Cookie Spokesperson: Following his television debut during last week's SNL Weekend Update, fans suddenly became obsessed with getting John Mulaney more camera time. Honestly, I thought he was a bit dull, this New York magazine interview just confirms it.
- Trumpin' Races: It's no secret I'm a huge fan of 'The Amazing Race', and now it's no secret Donald Trump is jealous of the globetrotting show winning seven straights Emmys for Outstanding Reality Competition Program calling it "undeserving". Mr. Trump, your show had Sinbad on... Sinbad! You don't win Emmys with Sinbad! (EW)
- US Soccer Glory?: ESPN debates rather we'll see United States winning the World Cup in my lifetime. It's intriguing and filled with both optimism and a defeatist attitude. Also, the latest FIFA Rankings show the Yanks jumped two spots and is now ranked #14 in the world. (ESPN)
- Golden Host: Ricky Gervais has been invited back to host the Golden Globes again next year. I think this is an excellent decision and hopefully will become a tradition like Bob Hope and the Oscars. Mel Gibson, you've been warned. (Zap2It)
- High Art: A Georgia man is arrested about selling fake vintage horror posters to collectors, swindling over $1 million in the process. (NYT)
- All About The Green: 'American Idiot', the Green Day musical, is deemed a bonafide hit after grossing close to $780K last week on The Great White Way. The sad part of this is that 'The Addams Family', a show that was critically panned made close to twice that amount, coming in at $1.4 million. (EW)
Yes, this is indeed your biweekly blog entry about 'Next To Normal'. I went ahead and saw the newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner again this past Monday and realized something. Due to replacements and understudies- I haven't seen the same cast combination once out of the five times I've seen this show.... that and I forked over more than $300, but I try to think positive.
Since I've always admired the intensity and feistiness Alice Ripley pours into Diana, it was a little jarring when her understudy Jessica Phillips portrays it a little more tame but with a lot more emotions. It took all of the first act for me to get used to Phillips, but as soon as the second act opened up, I was game for her idea of Diana being in a much deeper internal pain. If the rumors are true that Phillips will eventually replace Ripley, I think I'll be okay with it. I can deal with painfully tragic women.
The thing I miss most about Aaron Tveit's version of Gabe is the boyish charms he brings to a rather innocent character, not to mention his confidence on stage commands audience attention. The first time I saw Kyle Dean Massey's Gabe, it was his second show back and he had a cold and sounded nasally- very apparent when he has to go toe-to-toe with Alice Ripley & Bobby Spencer during "You Don't Know/I Am The One". This repeated viewing of a healthier Massey was such a drastic improvement. His Gabe is more haunting and sly, with the sort of charisma necessary for a heartthrob. Maybe it's the way he looks at you with those deep socket eyes like he's trying to undress you and buy you flowers at the same time.
Finally, Dan has always been my favorite character in the show. I love how caring and protective he is of his clan and much of it has to do with Bobby Spencer. He makes my eyes watery every time during "A Light In The Dark" and again during "I Am The One (Reprise)", one time I actually heard half the theatre sobbing during the latter number. The idea of going to see the show again was because Spencer would be departing the production and the man who would be replacing Spencer is the man Spencer himself replaced during the show's transition from Off-Broadway to Broadway, Brian Darcy James- who opted to do 'Shrek: The Musical' instead of this. I've heard good things about James's version of Dan and I look forward to seeing it later this fall/winter.
So am I ready to call 'Next To Normal' my favorite stage production of all-time over 'The Light In The Piazza'? Umm... yes. Yes, I am. Though things might change again whenever Matthew Morrison and Kelli O'Hara decide to share the stage again for my amusement.
Also, believe it or not, another musical that's no longer on Broadway actually got more repeated viewings out of me (Nope, not 'Piazza'), but it's far too embarrassing to admit- even on the interwebs.