Sunday, July 15, 2007

Some People Aint Me

The ABC Family commercials promoting a re-airing of Beautiful Girl showed Marissa Jaret Winokur and said "Before she hit it big in Hairspray, she was a Beautiful Girl." I believe there is something wrong with that rendering of history. I feel like the error probably was the result of someone telling an ad-copy guy "She is from Hairspray" and the ad-copy guy taking that to mean the movie Hairspray. Just a guess.

Anyway, last week was sort of a slow week in theater. Boring rumors about Grey Gardens. Claire Danes was finally announced. Xanadu is more successful than anyone thought it would be. I read two stories on Seussical (a show I support in my heart). Variety also put up a few stories about advances, but I didn't read those because I never believe them.

I had tons of work to do between the time I last posted and now, so I didn't really chat with my insiders and I'm not up on any gossip. I did take a break from my stacks of notes yesterday and watch The Notorious Bettie Page. I share this with you because there are theater elements to it. It reminded me that John Cullum never stops working--a Tony nomination this year and he'll again be on Broadway in the fall in that Mark Twain play. It features Dallas Roberts and Sarah Paulson, who were supposed to be Glass Menagerie costars. Many of the other actors in it are theater people, also. But really I just bring it up just to tell you all that Gretchen Mol (who I frequently call "The IT girl that never was") was a great, great Roxie in Chicago. She was one of my favorites, if not my very favorite. I don't think I've ever said that here before.

So, I really have to go back to work, but I promise on Wednesday to answer some questions that have been emailed to me. For an end note, I need to say something about Gypsy. Those of you who know me, know that I almost always take my mother to musicals with me. (People have asked me why this is and there are many reasons, that I don't think any of you care about.) So she saw Gypsy with me. And I just spoke to her on the phone. The conversation included this line: "Cara, do you think he was drunk?" The "he" in that sentence is Ben Brantley. Now, often my mother and I disagree, but I share her puzzlement at the Gypsy review. Here is why: I often disagree with critics about whether shows/performances work, but I don't think I've ever read a review where I so thoroughly thought the critic was describing a different performance. I thought LuPone gave an earthy, grounded performance, which Brantley seems to say. But I thought her whole characterization created a Rose that was angry and not likable (which I personally thought was a valid take, that I wholeheartedly applaud, but that is a side point). He basically says the opposite about her take on the role. So both my mother and I will be confused for the night. She did offer a theory that "maybe Patti gives a different performance every night," which is something I often say about Jessica Boevers, not really about Patti LuPone, but I guess it's possible. Otherwise, I think we can just chalk it up to the fact that there is no objective standard on which to judge a performance. We all see different things in the same thing.

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