Monday, July 16, 2007

TBWHM Vassar program and info

Hey everyone:
I realize I am a couple of days late with this review and program from Vassar's TBWHM performances but I still wanted to share some extra info with anyone who was interested or who wanted to make their own comments and reviews of the 3 performances.

I scanned in a copy of the 8 page program that was handed out and I placed it here for viewing in case anyone wanted to see how the Acts were laid out or who the readers and musicians were. I think if you click on the picture you will be able to read it.
Everyone was quite talented.

I was at the Friday evening performance.
I know that Brian in NY gave a review on Pete's blog the next morning so I will not cover what he covered and I agreed with everything he observed although I did not get to meet Brian that night. I did , however see GeorgeL from CT and gave him a shout out. HI GEORGE!
So, let me just say that it was WONDERFUL to hear this STRONG music live again after having withdrawls since the Endless Wire tour ended in the U. S.

Everyone performed in a British accent. Some seemed forced and some seemed natural.
Josh and Leila had wonderful voices although Leila did struggle a bit in the beginning, she came around about 3 songs into it. Gabriel was well suited for the role (he reminded me of Michael Palin a bit in appearance) he was very happy to be there and it showed although I thought his voice was the weakest of all the performers. Nevertheless, I give them all a tremendous amount of RESPECT since it was said that they only had 8 days to prepare (which was surely the reason they were still reading their parts out of notebooks on music stands).
Many of the songs were extended from their album and tour versions and it was a pleasant surprise with some songs even having extra verses I had never heard before.
'She said, He said' was beautifully sung and was one of the top numbers in terms of cohesiveness.
'Mirror Door' was badly botched in a few places as sung by Ray High. He did try hard and the song did rock, but many lyrics were missed (and there was an extra verse)
'In The Ether' was expanded as well and featured a beautiful duet in the middle. I really enjoyed it as well as it's recurrance throughout segments of the performance, such a beautiful & thought provoking theme.
The 2 guitarists were phenomenal. Soloing away in several places. Pete would have been proud!
There is so much more that I am forgetting I am sure...
All I can say is that for me it really drove home & brought depth to the novella. You could really see more of their relationships, interactions and overall characters in a way that you could never glean from simply reading the novella on paper. They really brought each character to life in a special way. Josh had a little bit of rock star in him (as a performer) and he was the one who really let loose and jumped around and even came out to perform barefoot in the second Act. He was my favorite.
The performance was a special and touching foregleam into how truly AMAZING this play/novella/musical can and will be when it is adapted for a full Broadway or West End production with a proper Mirror Door with exploding fireworks and not three simple black steps leading to nowhere atop which Gabriel simply stands facing the curtain.
So, again, it is the power of Pete's music that really gives life to this story. Previously it was hard for me to read TBWHM and imagine how everyone and every song fit together, and now, with the help of this excellent first step, I am able to dive into TBWHM more deeply than ever.
I have deep respect for everyone who was involved and I would love to see their interpretation again after having about a month to get to know their characters and the music.
Anyone wishing to post their reviews or comments, please do.

Thanks again, Pete, for what is sure to be the next powerful Broadway musical backed by fantastic and meaningful Who tunes.

ROCK ON, Everyone...
& thanks to Patti for coming with me...


Lin-no-da said...

Here is a copy of Brian in Ny's review that he posted on Pete's autobio blog page two days ago...

Brian in NY said...
I was fortunate enough to see TBWHM premiere last night at Vassar college.

When I say the performance was done in workshop mode, I mean the four players (Gabriel, Leila, Ray and Josh) all essentially were wearing street clothes, working off of notebooks for the lyrics and on stage with no props and the five piece band right on stage with them performing.

My wife knew the music but didn't know the story but now wishes to read TBWHM so she can get more into the characters.

Gabriel had some good cracks about getting to close to "internet fans" (us!).

The first act was primarily music with sparse dialogue so you had to rely on the music to tell the story. You needed to pay attention to get the story. The second act had more dialogue to spell things out.

Think of this performance as the equivalant to a rough draft of a written piece. There was no props, wardrobe etc... like you would have expected. My wife and I were just as much entertained by the story regardless. We were expecting a proper play but went away being more interested in the workshop process of performing the piece as a standalone piece.

I was next to some elderly people who were enjoying the show but I think dialogue would have helped them more in the first act to spell some of the roles and themes out to them.

The music was rock and roll and performed by professional players, two guitarists who were great and a bassist who was also great. The drummer filled the little theater with powerful drumming and the keyboardist acted as conducter and musical director as well. His image was projected upstairs behind me on two huge screens to conduct the players throughout.

The theater only held roughly 375 people, it was nice and cozy.

Fizwho kept up tradition and scammed a front row seat for the second act :)

14 July 2007 15:11

Tink said...

Thank you, Lin. I felt like I was there. ;o)

I can't believe that you scanned all those pages. God bless you, woman!

I love reading the "playbills." :o)

Janice said...

Nice Lin ~
Thank you so much!

ROB said...

Thanks Lin,

I really dug your review and the nicely scanned program. Your time and hard work is greatly appreciated!


The Ones Who Heard Music said...


This was great. Thank you.

BlackVelvetLace said...

Thank you Lin!!


lryicsgrl said...

Awesome job Lin.....

Lin-no-da said...

Thanks for all the thanks...

I just wanted to make sure that those who were not able to attend got the down-low as I would have expected if I could not have gone.



I googled all the performers and it turns out that they are pretty well known and the guy who played Josh (Jon Patrick Walker) is actually married to Hope Davis the actress, I knew I had seen him before somewhere.

Lucy said...

Lin, once again, thanks for this post. I still haven't had time to read the whole thing yet...

One day I'll catch up. :-)

Lucy said...

Had time to read your review, Lin.

I would've loved to see that Michael Palin guy. :-)

And I like your word: foregleam. :-) Did you coin that??

I can imagine that this musical brought the novella to life quite nicely, despite being a bit rough around the edges. I'm sure the actors and the music made the story easier to follow than just reading it alone. But then again, reading the novella is probably a prerequisite for viewing such a performance. Again, I wish I could've been there. You saw something quite special and I'm glad that you did. :-)