Sunday, August 20, 2006
Last chance to see Patty LuPone play the tuba
We just saw the incredible restaging of "Sweeney Todd'' on Broadway with Michael Cerveris and Patty LuPone. Scary, pitch-perfect, wonderfully imaginative. It's not every day that you get to see LuPone act and sing and shake her booty while dressed up like a 19th Century London slattern and, at the same time, playing a drum kit, a tuba (actually, a baritone) and triangles. In fact, all the actors play instruments --- flute, violin, cello, etc --- which explains why it's almost impossible for this production to find understudies for any of these parts. I guess that if someone gets sick, the producers just pump them full of Biaxin and shove them out on the stage. It is amazing that we got tickets at all and that I could afford them; my budget is so limited that my theater going experiences are usually restricted to off-off-off-off Broadway productions such as "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well And Living In Paris'' performed by trained squirrels and a gerbil in somebody's basement on the outskirts of Queens --- so it's great that we actually saw a bonafide production. They even moved up our seats so we were way close to the stage, at the front of the balcony. See it while you can. It's in its last 17 performances and closes Sept. 3. The only drawback of the day was almost getting into a brawl in the southwestern edge of Central Park with a horse and carriage driver who was hassling us to take his stupid tour and wouldn't take no for an answer. I can't stand the hack drivers. They are mean to their horses and look ridiculous with their chimneysweeper hats. Anyhow, I told the guy to get stuffed, or the rough equivalent of that. The actual words I said to him are "work inappropriate'' so I won't repeat them here.