December 27, 2006

Jennifer Holliday: Not Going

Filed under: 2cents,Broadway,Links,Music,News — offoffbway @ 3:36 pm

Another Jennifer tidbit – Greg Braxton of The Los Angeles Times (reprinted in the Kansas City Star) interviews Ms. Holliday, who says:

Instead of being swept up in the hoopla over the new film adaptation of “Dreamgirls,” Holliday is being swept aside.
“Why is it necessary for them to wipe out my existence in order for them to have their success? It’s scary that they can be so cruel.” [said Holliday]

Well, I don’t think they thought about you at all, actually. Which may not be nice, but when studios produce a $75 million dollar movie, they usually aren’t that concerned with being nice. I don’t think the movie will do any damage to Holliday’s legacy, although admittedly future generations may see Hudson’s version as ‘definitive’, which it isn’t. Then again, this show business, and actors, especially stage actors, always get shafted (see also: Kathleen Chalfant not getting to play her role in Wit for just one glaring example).
As much as we do feel that Holliday is a little over the top in her criticism, this seemed unnecessary:

After weeks of suffering privately with the constant “Dreamgirls” onslaught — particularly the raves surrounding the other Jennifer — she said the final crushing blow came the night before her Ars Nova stint when she watched Hudson on “Entertainment Tonight” as Holliday’s version of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from the original cast recording played during the segment.

“When I saw that, I just gave up,” she said. “I thought, ‘This is a hopeless situation. I am being canceled out as an artist.’ ”

Memo to Dreamgirls the movie’s producers: play the new version of the song. If not that’s just mean.

Kansas City Star | 12/25/2006 | It’s no ‘Dream’ for Jennifer Holliday

October 19, 2006

A better question is, can Mel Brooks write music?

Filed under: 2cents,Broadway,News,Opinions — offoffbway @ 9:40 pm

They were having trouble casting Mel Brooks’ latest money machine (or so they hope – The Producers isn’t doing the kind of business that it once was), and they ended up casting Bryan D’Arcy James (who’s a good actor, but *yawn*. Obviously Greg Kinnear, Jimmy Fallon and Brooks’ mailman all said no). As for the rest of the casting, Kristen Chenoweth, you’re ok, but I’ve seen Madeline Kahn, and you, madame, are no Madeline Kahn. Shuler Hensley as The Monster is great casting, although it won’t sell a lot of tickets.

What will sell tickets is Mr. Brooks’ name. Thing is, Mel Brooks writes music by, well, humming. That’s right folks, he just does a “dum dum de dum dum de dum dum” and then someone else makes that into notes that the orchestra can play. We love Mel (at least the early stuff, although ‘Spaceballs’ had its moments), but come on. Do we really expect him to be able to pen a second Broadway score when he can’t even read a note of music? Of course, Andrew Lloyd Webber is a musician, and it didn’t help him a lick when it came to those songs (OH NO HE DIDN’T!). Basically, there’s no accounting for taste in this business.

With both of these, we’d much rather see the movie. The ones with Gene Wilder in them. And Madeline Kahn.

PERFECT PITCH? – New York Post Online Edition
Young Frankenstein
The Producers (Movie-Only Edition)

October 16, 2006

Recipe for a hit: show about dumb celebrity

Filed under: 2cents,Listings,Press Releases — offoffbway @ 10:24 am

Oblivious To Everyone
Photo by Robbie Renfrow

Not to knock anyone’s success – we’re thrilled when an off-off show moves to a larger theater – but it seems that our obsession with celebrities spans all mediums, even off-off Broadway theater. Case in point: Oblivious To Everyone, a show about none other than Paris Hilton. (We were going to say “celebutard” or some other trendy insult but it seems… unfair.) Not that we’re cynical (yesweare) but is this all it takes to move a show? Do it about the same moron that every celebrity weekly puts on their cover?
OK, to be fair, we haven’t seen it. Maybe it’s good. We just hope this doesn’t lead to every enterprising nitwitty young FringeFest wannabe putting out a show about Nicole Richie or Lindsay Lohan.
Again, though, we don’t begrudge anyone their success. Oblivious To Everyone – may it run ten years.
The Tinkerbell Hilton Diaries: My Life Tailing Paris Hilton

October 13, 2006



October 11, 2006

This show it sounds a-crappy

Filed under: 2cents,Broadway,Links,News — offoffbway @ 5:53 pm

photo from
Michael Riedel reports in the New York Post that “The ax is swinging again at The Times They Are A-Changin’, the new Twyla Tharp musical based on the music of Bob Dylan.” As usual, the blame seems to be falling on the performers rather than on, oh, I don’t know, the concept itself. (Try to imagine the initial meeting for this show. “Hey! It worked for Billy Joel! This is the same thing, right? Right? Someone get Twyla in here!”) According to Riedel (and while some people don’t like him, he’s usually factually correct), the show is on their 3rd leading lady. Here’s a list:

October 3, 2006

Filed under: 2cents,Listings — offoffbway @ 6:21 pm

Makeout Session
The web site for ‘Makeout Session’ is cute. Blistex navigation elements, very nice. Not nearly enough photos of folks makin’ out, however, especially for a play that claims to be An exploration of love, and an exploration of the overwhelming question “are they going to kiss?” Well, maybe they’ll post more soon.

Makeout Session | A New Play by Kenan Minkoff

July 28, 2006

‘Awesome 80’s Prom’ Wins ITA Award

Filed under: 2cents,Awards,Clubs,News — offoffbway @ 10:29 pm

Awesome 80's Prom
What is the ITA Award, you ask? The Improvisational Theater Association, you dummy.
Look, any show that makes theater out of Brat Pack-era stuff is okay by us. And what they (the ITA) say makes sense: “The ITA created these awards in celebration of the unique form of interactive or ‘reality theater’ that has been a part of the legitimate theatrical landscape for decades and has produced some of the longest running shows in New York City and around the world, including Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding, The Donkey Show, De La Guarda, and The Awesome 80s Prom. Despite the length and success of these runs, prior to the ITA, there has never been an organization that has recognized and honored the achievements of these unique productions.” And besides, if the film industry can have a separate award for every film that gets made, why can’t the thee-tah add a few more statues to the industry’s mantle?


May 21, 2006

Performance Art: When Weird Becomes Normal

Filed under: 2cents — offoffbway @ 8:50 pm

Performance Art

The novel JackFish by J Milligan is about a hitman from Atlantis (yes, that Atlantic). The book features a character named Chloe Mitosis, a performance artist of the “outrageous” kind – huge performance pieces featuring foamy substances, people in animal costumes, images of Jesus. When reading this book (which is a lot of fun – here’s a review in the Voice if you want a second opinion), it occurred to us that the most outrageous and provocative performance art would probably be one where the person gets up and reads the Bible for three hours. Or something equally low-key. At some point, does the whole chocolate-smearing thing get old? When does the shocking become mundane?

Just a thought. Agree? Disagree? Think we’re geniuses? Annoying? Both? Leave a comment, or email us. We want to know what you think.

(Note: we don’t mean to pick on Karen Finley, or whoever those people are in the photo above. Nothing personal.)