Working By Stephen Schwartz Feels Like A Chore

Working MusicalSan Diego’s Old Globe Theatre is running a revival of Stephen Schwartz’ musical “Working.” The source material for the musical “Working” is unusual in that it draws it’s inspiration from real life as opposed to a novel, a non-musical play, or film. The material is based on a 1974 non-fiction book by Studs Terkel entitled, “Working People Talk About What They Do All Day And How They Feel About It.” The songs are written by a number of songwriters most notable of which are Stephen Schwartz and James Taylor.

This new revival combines original material with new interviews to help modernize the show for the twenty-first century. The show progresses like a music review as the cast trade costumes and personas to take on different careers to highlight. In some cases the costume changes are even done on stage to highlight how even acting is a job too. One such change by Danielle Lee Greaves transforms her from a housewife into a prostitute with the aid of a couple of backstage people, a wig, and the loss of the housewife costume that was already concealing the prostitute outfit.

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Continuous City Brings Virtual Life To The Stage In San Diego

Continuous CityThanks to having attended “Xanadu” at the La Jolla Playhouse, I ended up on their mailing list for future shows. I was sent a mailer inviting me to check out a limited run show as part of their Edge series of plays. The Edge series is designed to bring new and adventurous works to the stage in the hopes of presenting groundbreaking and innovative theatre. This season’s selection is called “Continuous City” produced by The Builder’s Association.

“Continuous City” tells the tale of how modern technology from the likes of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace allow you to connect no matter where you are, as if you’re in one great big continuous city, but yet, even with the technology it’s very isolating. The story gets told through the perspectives of four people. J.V., is the project manager for a fictional social networking site called XUBU. He spends much of the time trying to run the project while juggling video conferencing calls with family and girlfriends. He’s also tasked with keeping existing investors content as the site approaches launch. Finding investors for J.V. to keep happy is Michael. In addition to battling jet lag and finding investors, Michael finds it difficult to connect with his daughter, Samantha, back home when he’s trying to use the technology to stay connected but finds his daughter growing distant without a definitive answer of when he’ll be home to be with her in person. Additionally, Samantha is left in the care of Deb, a video blogger who is out exploring the city she’s in when she’s not taking care of Samantha.

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RENT Gets Paid In San Diego With Anthony Rapp And Adam Pascal

RENT Tour With Adam Pascal & Anthony RappOn March 11th, I caught “The Broadway Tour” of Jonathan Larson’s Epic masterpiece, RENT, hit San Diego’s Civic Theatre. I went with my friend Louie Taylor. Part of the main reason I wanted to go see RENT was because the main draw of the tour is that it has been billed as featuring original cast members, Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal who would be reprising their roles as Mark and Roger respectively. An unadvertised bonus is that another original cast member, Gwen Stewart, is also reprising her role in the tour as one of the ensemble players as a variety of characters and featured solo vocalist during “Seasons Of Love.”

As the first tour since RENT closed on Broadway in September 2008, it seems all the more poignant to see such a high profile tour with Original cast members Rapp and Pascal on board. They’re no strangers to coming back to the roles that made them Broadway stars as they both were part of the original workshop shows, transferred the show to Broadway and then later to London, then recreated their roles in the film version of RENT in 2005, and then for a limited engagement in Summer 2007 returned to Broadway according to BroadwayWorld.com. These roles have been a part of their lives off and on for the last 15 years. In the interview in the Playbill handed out at the performance Adam Pascal suspects “when we’re done with this tour, I have a strong suspicion that this will be it for me and RENT. At some point I am going to be too old to do the part.”

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“Absolutely Fabulous” Send Up of Mamma Mia! The Movie

Mamma Mia! Parody With Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, and Joanna LumleyMy friend Merrick Wolfe, who served as the Company Manager for the Las Vegas production of Mamma Mia! at the Mandalay Bay for the first year of the production, always thought that the roles of Rosie and Tanya for a film version of the movie should be played by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders of the British comedy team, French & Saunders. Merrick thought this long before a filmed version of Mamma Mia! was ever set to become a reality.

Well Mamma Mia! The Movie swept the world last year with Julie Walters and Christine Baranski in the roles, but now Merrick has sort of gotten his wish in that, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, have chosen to do a send up of Mamma Mia! The Movie for the BBC’s annual Red Nose Day fundraiser celebration. They also drafted Jennifer Saunder’s partner in crime from her hit BBC series “Absolutely Fabulous”, Joanna Lumley, and have created a brilliant send up of Mamma Mia! The Movie. Dawn French plays Julie Walters in her role as Rosie, as Merrick had wished so long ago. However his desire to see Jennifer Saunders as Tanya, didn’t quite pan out exactly. Here Jennifer sends up Meryl Streep in the role of Donna, and Joanna Lumley comes in to play Christine Baranski as Tanya. Continue reading “Absolutely Fabulous” Send Up of Mamma Mia! The Movie

Ryan’s Incredible Store Is Now Open

Ryan's Incredible StoreI’m pleased to announce the opening of “Ryan’s Incredible Store” as a compliment to Ryan’s Incredible World. Ryan’s Incredible Store is powered by Amazon.com (so you get Amazon’s great prices and incredible service) with products personally selected by me.

You can select things as varied as great books like Raymond Aaron’s “Double Your Income Doing What You Love” and Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles” to the latest iPod and Nike+ technology to start your own running program like I am doing. Additionally, I have a small “ABBA” store for some of the recommended ABBA products as well as some favorite DVD’s and Blu-Ray discs.

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