With the 2003 film "Big Fish" (starring my love Ewan McGregor) being one of my favorites, I was itching to see the new Broadway musical ASAP. So SAP, in fact, that I saw it in previews. Now, it is the unwritten rule of Broadway that you don't review previews. However, unless you want to buy me another ticket to see the show post-opening, keep your mouth shut.
If your first introduction to the classic musical "Pippin" was a high school production, as mine was, then you probably have no desire to see it again. I know that's how most people who saw our subpar production felt, and it's also how I felt for a while, before I listened to the recording and learned what a spellbinding and deep show this is. If you haven't had your opinion changed yet, man alive you need to high-step it to Broadway ASAP and get your mind blown. Because the current revival of the Stephen Schwartz/Bob Fosse is truly producing magic far beyond what I could have hoped for. With Diane Paulus's concise direction and inspired reimagination in a circus setting, the show is more enjoyable and more entertaining than ever.
"Pippin" is a weird show. Let's just get that out right off the bat. Honestly, when I was IN it I had no idea what was happening. The show follows the post-academic trials and tribulations of the main character, Pippin (played by the adorable Matthew James Thomas), as he tries to find fulfillment upon entering the real world. That's totally the shared human experience in the first world, right? Well, Pippin is also the son and heir of King Charlemagne. Yeah, it's like the Middle Ages and these two characters are based on real people (at least in name). But historical accuracy is thankfully tossed aside. Our hero is led by the Leading Player (Tony-winner Patina Miller all Fosseed up) of a troupe through various shenanigans, both trifling and tragic, in his quest for happiness.
I agreed to see Runner Runner in the hopes that it would be so-bad-it’s-good. You want movies to either be great or terrible, right? You don’t really want movies to be in between.
This was in between. It wasn’t bad, it was actually entertaining (I didn’t leave to pee!), but it was ridiculous. Reediculous. And the dialogue! Oh the dialogue! It was incredible. Bad, of course, but so incredible.
The movie concerns the trials and tribulations of Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) (terrible name), a Princeton grad student who’s paying for school by acting as an affiliate for an online gambling website. This means that for every player he directs to this site, he gets money. Of course, he’s directing fellow students to the site, and of course online gambling is prohibited on campus. (At this point in the movie, about 3 minutes in, my companion turned to me and whispered, “I thought this was about drugs!” It just as easily could have been. The vice in question can be swapped out for anything you’d prefer without affecting the story.)
I <3 Diversions
Entertainment is a ridiculously big part of my life. I grew up in movie theatres, so in my family you have to see pretty much every movie to make it in conversation. This pop culture knowledge has extended to television, music, and, for me, the theatre. To quote Abed, I like liking things, so there's that.