Monday, May 29, 2017
Thursday, May 18, 2017
It was my first time at the Valley Performance Arts Center to see Man of La Mancha. I am only familiar with two songs from this musical and since I have not seen this before, I decided to see it. Fortunately, my friend graced me with his presence so I was set for a fun event.
First off, I thought Davis Gaines as Don Quixote was fantastic. He had a powerful voice that is so becoming of the character. I also like Roland Rusinek as Sancho Panza. Nikki Crawford as Aldonza was not bad either. In fact let me just say that all the performers were good.
Secondly, I like the VPAC theatre. It was clean and modern and the acoustics were pleasantly effective. It was easy to find and parking was a lot better than Theaters in LA.
Thirdly, the stage set was wanting. The stage never changed except for a stair that goes up and down. Whenever they portrayed a new place, they just brought in a flat piece of wood that served as a table or bed. I would have like changing stage set so that I do not have to imagine where they were suppose to be.
Lastly, I like most of the songs of the show. Special mention to "Man of La Mancha". The tap number with the horses was very amusing. "The Impossible Dream" of course is a classic that many knows. I was teary eyed with that number. "I'm only thinking of him" was a good melodic song. The microphone of Padre unfortunately did not work so we could barely hear his voice in that trio medley number. What a shame. Some of the other songs were sort of forgettable.
3.5 stars out of 5.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
What can I say, I like the songs of Whitney Houston and I like Debra Cox. So it did not take much to agree to see this when my cousin invited me.
After seeing the show, I must admit it was underwhelming. I have always had a problem with musicals built around existing songs. The story tends to be...unpolished. Although it was built on the characters and general story of The Bodyguard movie, the general feeling I got from the fusion of the story and songs was "forced".
On the other hand, Debra Cox as Rachel Marron was still delightful to watch. She can act and sing and seems ageless. This would have been the 4th time I have seen her perform on stage. This last time was the least impressive though. Why? Because it seems her voice was worn out from all the performances since Broadway. The delivery of the high notes was almost hoarse. There were only a handful of characters that actually sang on the show so Debra did most of the singing.
The set design was effective and effortless. It brought me to the place they portrayed. Dance numbers were diverting with the half naked muscled male dancers. It sometimes felt like watching Debra in concert with dancers flocking around her.
Other actors did their job well enough. Judson Mills as Frank Farmer and Jasmis Richardson as Nicky Marron were good. Special mention to Jorge Paniagua as the Stalker. He was spooky and his appearances successfully got me unnerved.
Despite of the familiar well loved songs, Debra as the lead and occasional funny moments, I will only give this a 3.5 star out of 5.