Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • La marquise de Merteuil: Operaasport – thanks for your opinion which has shed alot of light on La... 11:40 AM
  • Grane: If that’s the one that was televised, I remember thinking Pavarotti looked like a cadaver next... 11:38 AM
  • quoth the maven: The pun? Oh that’s right, she’s black! And you said “whitewashed .”... 11:36 AM
  • alejandro: I just read Taylor Swift may be playing Joni Mitchell in a biopic. It’s killed my buzz... 11:36 AM
  • pavel: One definition of a tragedy is “A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought... 11:33 AM
  • alejandro: This is true, but Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with much. I am not sure how Davis and... 11:31 AM
  • La marquise de Merteuil: La Battle – who is a real guilty pleasure of mine – was the last of the... 11:29 AM
  • operaassport: She sounds like a bath towel! 11:22 AM
  • operaassport: Tragedy? The Holocaust was a tragedy. Battle was just a train wreck. She was more than just... 11:22 AM
  • operaassport: The reality is that Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with serious black actresses.... 11:19 AM

Blood types

“The finale of Sweeney Todd left the stage of Avery Fisher Hall littered with corpses, but the evening, for all its flaws, felt vibrantly alive. If only the Met could get similarly revved for its production of Wozzeck. On Thursday night, the opera, whose graphic violence quotient is small potatoes compared to the Sweeney Todd bloodbath, played to a listless half-empty house.” [New York Observer] (Photo: Chris Lee)

Hats off!

The stunning New Broadway Cast Recording of Sondheim’s Follies is currently on sale on Amazon for an astonishing $4.99: that’s to download the entire two discs’ worth of music and dialogue from the current Broadway revival of this landmark musical. Though La Cieca was on the fence about this production, she can recommend without reservation this recording, produced brilliantly by Tommy Krasker.   Read more »

Topper

“…to a certain degree, good critics are no longer necessary to find. The phrase ‘Everybody’s a critic’ has taken on a universal cast. The internet encourages people to share their opinions with the world. In the theatre, the buzz created by chatroom chatters has become increasingly important to a show’s reputation before it opens. There are thousands of critics tapping away their opinions to whoever will listen – so who needs a paid pontificator to tell you what your opinion should be?” Stephen Sondheim rebuts Michael Kaiser and ponders the utility of Sanskrit to the librettist in excerpts from his new book Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany. (Photo: Getty Images)

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“Then, with financial assistance provided by the United Negro College Fund, Bess got a degree in medical transcription…”

“Instead of Bess’s leaving their Charleston ghetto for New York by herself, with the crippled Porgy giving chase some time later, the Broadway version would include a newly invented scene in which Bess tries to persuade Porgy to start a new life with her up North. She leaves, followed by Porgy; one final stage picture that was considered had the two looking at each other at a distance. The intent was to indicate that Porgy and Bess would be reunited.” [New York Times]

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The folly of fidelity

Our Own JJ returns to the pages of Capital New York to reflect on the current Broadway revival of the Sondheim-Goldman musical Follies: “one gorgeous zombie.” (Photo: Joan Marcus)

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It ain’t necessarily bold

Musical theater doyen Stephen Sondheim is not amused by plans to “revamp” (or, La Cieca might venture to pun, “devamp”) Porgy and Bess, thus “to transform the classic 1935 opera into a commercial Broadway musical.” La Cieca thinks this controversy will make for a very interesting sidebar in the ongoing Regie debate.

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Once more unto the “Beached”

The snafu over “homophobia row opera” Beached by Billy Elliot creator Lee Hall has been resolved thanks to a small lyric change.

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Who is Heidi?

UPDATE: La Cieca has just heard from Rosalind Elias‘s management with the news that the veteran mezzo will indeed transfer to Broadway with the Kennedy Center company of Follies. Apparently Playbill was given erroneous information.

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