Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Extra!!! PIRATE QUEEN preview in the works...

Don't ask me how, but I've scored a comp to a preview of THE PIRATE QUEEN. I would never review an early preview of a show and will simply give a general impression of the goings on. The show is in from Chicago and most media have reported it is being retooled from the Chi town production.


Brian said...

I was going to call this, "I Liked It Better When It Was Called..." but David Spade's people threatened me with trademark infringement.
It's unfair to publish a review of a second preview so here are general impressions:

The performances are very entertaining. The costumes, lighting, effects, step dancing--all first class.

There's a been there feel to many of the scenes, especially the tavern number.

The Irishness has been watered down like near beer compared to the Chicago preview version, for example in changing the name of the ship from the Gaelic CEOL NA MARA (music of the sea) to THE PIRATE QUEEN. Did the director think the name would confuse people?

The beautiful lilt of an Irish song is heard sung in two religious scenes but cut off to go back to the familiar strains.

There's a song called "If I Said I Loved You." A lover of musical theatre possibly recalled "If I Loved You," from CAROUSEL or "Only Make Believe," from SHOW BOAT as similar in wording or theme but not quality. This is a second act song between the lovers and it doesn't sizzle. The stronger love story is the daddy/daughter one.

The English Queen and her Lord Governor of Ireland offer a rare attempt at humor. Here's a show about the Irish and the only chuckle comes from the English, about whom my Irish dad said you had to tell each joke to an Englishman twice [apologies to England]. The people in front of me laughed heartily when The Pirate Queen kicked her forced-marriage husband in the groin, but I didn't laugh.

I'm not saying you need baggy pants and seltzer but give me something, like a buddy for either of the lovers, to inject some levity and relieve the one-tone nature of the proceedings.

In summary, not worth $100 yet. There's a show in there somewhere. Except for the music and lyrics, I liked it and was blown away by star Stephanie Block. The audience I was in liked the show more than me. If I see the show again I will go over the individual songs and performances in detail. As of preview number two it isn't fair. A revised and different show may sail into port after this shakedown cruise.

angelissima said...

Pirates are all the rage these days.