Slave Play – REVIEW

Slave Play

Golden Theatre, New York 

★★★★★

Slave Play

Golden Theatre, New York

 

Reviewed by Jade Prince

Seen October 30th, 2019

★★★★★

When it comes to plays, I’m a very difficult audience member to ‘move’. I’m ginger. Soulless. Thinking back, there is only one play that comes to mind which captivated me and evoked some emotional response. But it did not leave me in my seat, unable to move until I could start to process some of what I just witnessed. There is a first for everything and Slave Play was that first for me. It’s played on my mind for hours, days, weeks.

I’m not even sure where to start of if I should post this.

Will my ramblings do the show justice?

Hell no!

It is one that you just have to see with your own eyes.

Jeremy O. Harris has created something which is revealing and brutally honest of the world we live in.

The play was totally not what I was expecting. Actually, I’m not 100% sure what I was expecting. I thought it would be a very serious, historical play about race and inequality. Silly me for assuming I could accept this show and title for face value. It was very much about those things but immediately threw you into the deep end and just when you thought you had the gist of it, Jeremy O. Harris threw in this mega curve ball which completely obliterates your current perception.

It’s a fascinating show where the discomfort it creates draws you further in. I felt uncomfortable but at the same time, I couldn’t snap out of the trance the show put me in. Audience members could approach it in two ways: either look away and attempt to ignore it (although the panels of mirrored glass made it impossible for you to do so) or you could run with it. Get into it and see the honest answers break free from the inter-racial couples in the therapy group.

I want to draw attention to the huge mirrors for a brief moment. They formed the back wall of the stage. What a genius idea! Having a show this ballsy and the audience facing this huge towering wall of mirrors was brilliant. There was absolutely nowhere to hide. You were constantly being watched, both by fellow audience members and the cast on stage regardless of where they were positioned. Yet, in a strange way, it provided an element of comfort because we were all in it together witnessing groundbreaking theatre.

In my honest opinion, which may ruffle some feathers, those who don’t like the show and take offence will be the ones which have just experienced a show that has come very close to the bone for them.

For me, this is an outstanding piece of theatre that opened my eyes further. It encouraged me to re-evaluate the world we live in.

The prime example of what great theatre should do.

(Public apology: This write up has not done the show ANY justice! This is just me rambling about, possibly, the very best piece of theatre I have seen.)

You’re all just going to have to take my word for it. Run to get tickets because this show isn’t around for long. It must close on January 19th 2020. Click here for more information of the show and to snap up tickets.

King Kong – REVIEW

King Kong – REVIEW

Broadway Theatre, New York

★★★★

King Kong

Broadway Theatre, New York

 

Reviewed by Jade Prince

Seen June 4th, 2019

★★★★

King Kong appears to have not taken the crown this Broadway season after announcing its final performance will take place on August 18th 2019. It has been a competitive season with film to musical adaptations dominating The Great White Way.

Unlike the other film to musical shows, King Kong had the upper hand. A unique, out of this world way of bringing the legendary Kong to the stage. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to ensure a longer run.

Following the story of the film with the same title, King Kong takes you on board the filming voyage from New York to Skull Island. Unbeknownst to the cast and crew, they had just invaded the king of the jungle’s territory. An unlikely bond is forged between the lead actress Ann Darrow (Christiani Pitts however at this performance we had a cover, Lissa DeGuzman) on the film shoot and Kong.

The plot and script were the biggest downfall. It fell completely flat. However, King Kong has an advantage because everything else is done to such a high standard, the audience are willing to forgive the lack of plot. I know that I was. The audience is so entranced in Kong himself that the story takes a backseat. I’m inclined to say it’s a blessing for the show.

Even before we laid eye on Kong, the audience witnessed a stunning transition on stage. In the midst of wonderful choreography, the back of the stage elevated to create the bow of the ship. Something I was not expecting! I had heard of the boat scene prior to seeing the show. In fact, reviewer Mark had seen the show and commented on this. He admitted it made him feel a little nauseous which I completely understand now! I was towards the rear of the orchestra, safely in row U but I can see why people would feel that way when sitting close to the stage. Especially with no fixed features in their peripheral vision.

The direction of the show was stunning with the pinnacle being the huge revealing of Kong. I really appreciated how it was a gradual introduction and not a sudden thing for the audience. The suspense was meticulously crafted. The auditorium fell silent. The sound was incredible, and you felt as if you were right there in the cave. I really lost it when the teeth became visible. The gradual reveal was almost too much to handle! I will never forget my friend looking over at me and laughing because my mouth was wide open, and I was edging further forward in my seat. She had seen the show before and knew what to expect however for me, I really felt like a little kid. Very rarely do you find theatre which makes you feel that way.

As previously mentioned, we were lucky enough to see a cover in the role of  Ann Darrow. Lissa DeGuzman had a gorgeous stage presence. I can’t imagine how daunting it would be to share the stage with Kong. It would be so easy to be upstaged and cast into the shadows however DeGuzman did a fabulous job of drawing the focus to herself to avoid this. They were able to share the stage harmoniously and really complimented each other.

The puppetry control of Kong was mind-blowing! Props to the design team and team operating Kong during the show! Every single one of you reminded me why theatre is so special. It is moments like that that make it.

All in all, the technical side of this show completely outweighed the lack of story. It truly is a stunning piece and I urge you to see it!

With a little over a month left of its run, head to https://kingkongbroadway.com/index.php for more information on the show and for tickets.

 

73rd Annual Tony Award Nominations

Tuesday 30th April 2019

I have always kept an eye on the Tony Awards however this year I will be following the process from start to finish and providing my thoughts. This is helped by the fact that I was able to do my first trip to Broadway back in October 2018! I can actually witness the talent in person!

If you keep tabs on the theatre world then you know the 73rd Annual Tony Award nominations have just been released…literally this morning!

Here are Ginger in the Theatre, we have some blogs planned based around the Tony Awards this year.

The first is coming at you!

A round up of the nominations for the 73rd annual Tony Awards.

 

Best Play 

Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney

The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth 

Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus by Taylor Mac

Ink by James Graham 

What the constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck

———————————-

Best Musical

Ain’t too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

Beetlejuice

Hadestown

The Prom

Tootsie

———————————-

Best Book of a Musical 

Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

Beetlejuice

Hadestown

The Prom

Tootsie

———————————-

Best Original Score (Music and/or lyrics) written for the theatre 

Be More Chill Music & Lyrics by Joe Iconis

Beetlejuice Music & Lyrics by Eddie Perfect 

Hadestown Music & Lyrics by Anaïs Mitchell 

The Prom Lyrics by Chad Beguelin 

To Kill a Mockingbird Music by Adam Guettel 

Tootsie Music & Lyrics by David Yazbek 

———————————-

Best Revival of a Play 

Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

The Boys in the Band

Burn This

Torch Song

The Waverly Gallery

———————————-

Best Revival of a Musical 

Kiss Me, Kate

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

———————————-

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play 

Paddy Considine for The Ferryman 

Bryan Cranston for Network 

Jeff Daniels for To Kill a Mockingbird 

Adam Driver for Burn This 

Jeremy Pope for choir Boy 

———————————-

Best Performance for an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play 

Annette Bening for Arthur Miller’s All My Sons 

Laura Donnelly for The Ferryman 

Elaine May for The Waverly Gallery 

Janet McTeer for Bernhardt/Hamlet 

Laurie Metcalf for Hillary and Clinton 

Heidi Schreck for What the Constitution Means to Me 

———————————-

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical 

Brooks Ashmanskas for The Prom 

Derrick Baskin for ain’t Too Proud – the Life and Times of the Temptations 

Alex Brightman for Beetlejuice 

Damon Daunno for Rodger & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! 

Santino Fontana for Tootsie

———————————-

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical 

Stephanie J. Block for The Cher Show 

Caitlin Kinnunen for The Prom 

Beth Leaval for The Prom 

Eva Noblezada for Hadestown 

Kelli O’Hara for Kiss Me, Kate

———————————-

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured role in a Play 

Bertie Carvel for Ink 

Robin De Jesús for The Boys in the Band 

Gideon Glick for To Kill a Mockingbird

Brandon Uranowitz for Burn this 

Benjamin Walker for Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

———————————-

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play 

Fionnula Flanagan for The Ferryman 

Celia Keenan-Bolger for To Kill a Mockingbird 

Kristine Nielsen for Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus 

Julie White for Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus 

Ruth Wilson for King Lear

———————————-

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical 

Andre De Shields for Hadestown 

Andy Grotelueshen for Tootsie 

Partick Page for Hadestown 

Jeremy Pope for Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations 

Ephraim Sykes for Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations 

———————————-

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical 

Lilli Cooper for Tootsie

Amber Gray for Hadestown 

Sarah Stiles for Tootsie

Ali Stroker for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! 

Mary Testa for Rodger & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! 

———————————-

Best Scene Design of a Play 

Miriam Buether for To Kill a Mockingbird 

Bunny Christie for Ink 

Rob Howell for The Ferryman 

Santo Loquasto for Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus 

Jan Versweyveld for Network 

———————————-

Best Scene Design of a Musical 

Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini for Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations 

Peter England for King Kong 

Rachel Hauck for Hadestown 

Laura Jellinek for Rodger & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! 

David Korins for Beetlejuice 

———————————-

Best Costume Design of a Play 

Rob Howell for The Ferryman

Toni-Leslie James for Bernhardt/Hamlet 

Clint Ramos for Torch Song 

Ann roth for Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus

Ann Roth for To Kill a Mockingbird 

———————————-

Best Costume Design of a Musical 

Michael Krass for Hadestown 

William Ivey Long for Beetlejuice 

William Ivey Long for tootsie 

Bob Mackie for The Cher Show 

Paul Tazewell for Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations 

———————————-

Best Lighting Design of a Play 

Neil Austin for Ink 

Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer for Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus 

Peter Mumford for The Ferryman 

Jennifer Tipton for To Kill a Mocking bird 

Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden for Netwrok 

———————————-

Best Lighting Design of a Musical 

Kevin Adams for The Cher Show 

Howell Binkley for Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations 

Bradley King for Hadestown 

Peter Mumford for King Kong 

Kenneth Ponser and Peter Nigrini for Beetlejuice 

———————————-

Best Sound Design of a Play 

Adam Cork for Ink 

Scott Lehrer for To Kill a Mockingbird 

Fitz Patton for Choir Boy 

Nick Powell for The Ferryman 

Eric Sleichim for Network 

———————————-

Best Sound Design for a Musical 

Peter Hylenski for Beetlejuice 

Peter Hylenski for King Kong 

Steve Canyon Kennedy for Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

Drew Levy for Rodger & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! 

Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz for Hadestown 

———————————-

Best Direction of a Play 

Rupert Goold for Ink 

Sam Mendes for The Ferryman 

Bartlett Sher for To Kill a Mockingbird 

Ivon van Hove for Netwrok

George C. Wolfe for Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus 

———————————-

Best Direction of a Musical 

Rachel Chavkin for Hadestown 

Scott ellis for Tootsie 

Daniel Fish for Rodger & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! 

Des McAnuff for Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

Casey Nicholaw for The Prom

———————————-

Best Choreography 

Camille A. Brown for Choir Boy 

Warren Carlyle for Kiss Me, Kate

Denis Jones for Tootsie

David Neumann for Hadestown

Sergio Trujillo for Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

———————————-

Best Orchestrations 

Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose for Hadestown

Simon Hale for Tootsie

Larry Hochman for Kiss Me, Kate

Daniel Klager for Rodger & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Harold Wheeler for Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations  

 

All the best to those nominated! The 73rd Annual Tony Awards will take place on Sunday 9th June 2019.

Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts and predictions!