Favourite performances

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macaron
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Favourite performances

Postby macaron » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:39 pm

I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in the "other musicals" forum, but I figured we could include Les Mis as well! Basically, I thought it'd be fun to hear about some of your favourite performances in musicals. Who's stood out for you and why?

The first I think of here is Stephen Palfreman as Mickey in Blood Brothers. Mickey is the character who changes the most throughout the show, going from this adorable, plucky seven-year-old (nearly eight!) to a broken young man, and Stephen Palfreman always managed to portray him perfectly in all the stages of his life. I've seen a few different Mickeys, but no one has warmed and then broken my heart like he did. I still don't understand how they managed to perform that show night after night and break down like that every time.

Philip Stewart as the Narrator in that same show is another favourite. He's so... menacing, somehow. He had this amazing stage presence that actually creeped me out a whole lot the first time I saw him. And an amazing voice. And a great accent.

Then there's David Thaxton's Enjolras. I'm not sure if further explanation is needed here, heh, but he was basically perfect in my eyes/ears. He has just the voice I want from an Enjolras, and a sort of calm assurance while at the same time being energetic. I only saw him once and that was while he was still an understudy and I went to see the show because Kerry Ellis played Fantine, and he still managed to be thing I remember the most from that performance.

Somewhat lesser known, perhaps - Denise Van Outen in Tell Me On A Sunday. It takes a good performer to keep an audience interested all on your own for an hour and a half, and she did it. She was just so charming, and pulled off the one-sided dialogue songs in a brilliant way. I saw it with my parents, who hadn't understood that it was a one-woman show and were pretty disappointed at first, but they also ended up loving it. It's, like, ten years ago now, and it's still one of my favourite theatre experiences.

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Re: Favourite performances

Postby Acaila » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:26 pm

Oooh, good thread idea! Does it have to be people you've seen live or can recordings count?
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Re: Favourite performances

Postby macaron » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:14 pm

I'd say recordings can count, too! In this day and age, they're a big part of our getting acquainted with shows, right? ;) So come on, people, give 'em to me!

Actually, I've got a few more I want to add in based on recordings, but I didn't want to overwhelm the thread completely from the start, so I'll wait a bit. :P

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Re: Favourite performances

Postby Rachelle » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:01 pm

Craig Price as the Narrator in Blood Brothers. I've never been so blown away by a performance.
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Re: Favourite performances

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:56 pm

Here are a couple that come to mind for me from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera:

Alexander Goebel, the original Phantom in the Vienna cast, was one who I thought was okay on the cast recording, but nothing too spectacular. But eventually, a friend showed me a video of him performing "Music of the Night." I was completely blown away, mainly because it was one of the very few times watching any sort of musical, play, or film where I didn't feel for even a moment like I was watching an actor playing a role. He was the Phantom to me, and that was the case for all his other scenes, as well.

Ernst D. Suttheimer, who alternated with Goebel in the Vienna production, was also spectacular in a very different way. While Goebel played a very tragic and somewhat older, more world-weary Phantom, Suttheimer was perhaps the only Phantom in Webber's musical version who I could legitimately describe as terrifying. How he managed to scream like that when Christine removed his mask, yet still sing so beautifully afterward, I'll never know. He played an incredibly violent, insane Phantom, and yet was still incredibly sympathetic and heartbreaking -- perhaps even more so than the usual "sexy" or "tragic" Phantoms because of how clearly his psychological damage came across. People always bring up how violent John Owen-Jones' Phantom was, but with all due respect to JOJ and his fans, he has nothing on Suttheimer. :twisted:

More to come later. :)

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Re: Favourite performances

Postby MmeBahorel » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:02 am

Awww, Craig. Craig's a sweetheart - we hadn't properly chatted before, but at his first performance going on as Enjolras, he was so excited that he introduced me to his mother. One of my favourite people (and an excellent Enjolras). He wasn't working for a while, unfortunately, so I was happy to see he'd gotten Blood Brothers tour, and its so nice to hear good things about him in the role.

For mine (I've seen a lot of shows), Maria Friedman in Ragtime really stands out. So does Manoel Feliciano in the same show, different production. Both were just so natural and honest and something unexpected but right about their performances. For Maria, best Back to Before ever. For Manoel, I was crying during Our Children, and I don't usually.

And I have to single out Sherri Edelen as Mrs Lovett. She was just so in love with Sweeney that By the Sea was heartbreaking rather than comic. Trying so hard and knowing she's failing but she wants so desperately to win just a smile from him, even if nothing else. You could tell Ed Gero's Sweeney was probably calling out Lucy's name in bed and she was just going along with it because one day it would be 'Nellie', it'd have to be, right? Such a heartfelt tragedy. (and hilarious as anything in A Little Priest. She'll be playing Mama Rose this winter - I'm so excited!)
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Re: Favourite performances

Postby macaron » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:17 pm

I'm not sure if I ever saw Craig Price in Blood Brothers. I know he played the part in the West End at some point, and I know I've seen someone who wasn't Philip Stewart, but I can't remember who. Rachelle, did you see him live? Was he the threatening kind of Narrator or the sympathetic/distanced kind?

To add a couple that I haven't actually seen live - John Hill as Jason and Jenna Leigh Green as Ivy in Bare.

I think it's easy to peg Ivy almost as a villain depending on how she's played; the popular pretty girl who plays a big part in how things take a turn for the worse because she sees something she wants and decides to take it, but Jenna Leigh Green made her so much more. I never once felt like Ivy deserved any blame for what went down, and I think a lot of that was due to her portrayal. She was just a girl, as she says.

As for John Hill... He's not the strongest singer, but his acting, oh my god. This scene, called Cross, completely broke me the first time I saw it. (Who am I kidding, it still breaks me no matter how many times I've watched it.) It's one of those performances that actually haunted me for quite some time. The way he pounds on the wall, gah.

Mme Bahorel, I would've wanted to see that production of Sweeney Todd. *sigh*

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Yay!

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Re: Favourite performances

Postby Auf die Barrikaden » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:03 pm

Anthony Warlow as Jekyll/Hyde on the 1995 concept album. Not only is he the only singer I have encountered to do justice to the outstanding Wildhorn/Bricusse work but the way he conveys that role and that whole show doing a one time only record is marvelous, breathtaking and puts this as my all time favourite musical album hands down. And to all those who may say "yeah his Hyde is great but as it is a recording they used technology blabla"-yes this is true for the Confrontation but there are numerous people in the world who were lucky to meet and interview Anthony in person to who he demonstated his Hyde live. And they were out of their minds and scared as hell by him. "This is the moment" is of course the best known song, however I consider "I need to know" as the outstanding song-it sets the mark for the entire album.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tx7VzwQIe8
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Re: Favourite performances

Postby MmeBahorel » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:57 pm

Macaron, that depends on your blood tolerance. That production also featured a perfect Toby performance by Sam Ludwig, but the staging of the final scene had him emerging from the trap door under the stage, as if he had been swimming in the blood-filled sewer. Smacking his lips as he is covered in blood.

Director Eric Schaeffer had over-ordered blood for Les Mis because he initially wanted the sewers to actually be running with blood, but he couldn't get the drippy blood effect to work so scrapped it before previews. So when he scheduled Sweeney the next season, I was joking that it was to use up the blood since no one in town was doing Titus Andronicus so he couldn't arrange a swap.

I think he had to order more blood.
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Re: Favourite performances

Postby macaron » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:43 pm

I'm not squeamish when it comes to blood, so that sounds like something I would've found cool more than anything! :mrgreen: Sadly I've never seen Sweeney live at all; only the film. Really regret not seeing it in London last summer.

MmeBahorel wrote:Director Eric Schaeffer had over-ordered blood for Les Mis because he initially wanted the sewers to actually be running with blood, but he couldn't get the drippy blood effect to work so scrapped it before previews.

Huh. That sounds like an interesting idea, but I can see how it'd be difficult to actually get it to work.

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Re: Favourite performances

Postby Rachelle » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:52 pm

MmeBahorel wrote:Awww, Craig. Craig's a sweetheart - we hadn't properly chatted before, but at his first performance going on as Enjolras, he was so excited that he introduced me to his mother. One of my favourite people (and an excellent Enjolras). He wasn't working for a while, unfortunately, so I was happy to see he'd gotten Blood Brothers tour, and its so nice to hear good things about him in the role.

For mine (I've seen a lot of shows), Maria Friedman in Ragtime really stands out. So does Manoel Feliciano in the same show, different production. Both were just so natural and honest and something unexpected but right about their performances. For Maria, best Back to Before ever. For Manoel, I was crying during Our Children, and I don't usually.

And I have to single out Sherri Edelen as Mrs Lovett. She was just so in love with Sweeney that By the Sea was heartbreaking rather than comic. Trying so hard and knowing she's failing but she wants so desperately to win just a smile from him, even if nothing else. You could tell Ed Gero's Sweeney was probably calling out Lucy's name in bed and she was just going along with it because one day it would be 'Nellie', it'd have to be, right? Such a heartfelt tragedy. (and hilarious as anything in A Little Priest. She'll be playing Mama Rose this winter - I'm so excited!)



Craig did Enjolras?? Going to look this up right now. I think he would be very like Ramin doing it. They are quite similar I think.
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Re: Favourite performances

Postby Rachelle » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:55 pm

macaron wrote:I'm not sure if I ever saw Craig Price in Blood Brothers. I know he played the part in the West End at some point, and I know I've seen someone who wasn't Philip Stewart, but I can't remember who. Rachelle, did you see him live? Was he the threatening kind of Narrator or the sympathetic/distanced kind?

To add a couple that I haven't actually seen live - John Hill as Jason and Jenna Leigh Green as Ivy in Bare.

I think it's easy to peg Ivy almost as a villain depending on how she's played; the popular pretty girl who plays a big part in how things take a turn for the worse because she sees something she wants and decides to take it, but Jenna Leigh Green made her so much more. I never once felt like Ivy deserved any blame for what went down, and I think a lot of that was due to her portrayal. She was just a girl, as she says.

As for John Hill... He's not the strongest singer, but his acting, oh my god. This scene, called Cross, completely broke me the first time I saw it. (Who am I kidding, it still breaks me no matter how many times I've watched it.) It's one of those performances that actually haunted me for quite some time. The way he pounds on the wall, gah.

Mme Bahorel, I would've wanted to see that production of Sweeney Todd. *sigh*

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Yay!


Definitely threatening, but in a really good way. I'd love to see him play Javert.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5USBzitW--8
I wouldn't say the show was one of my favourites but his performance... just Wow.
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Re: Favourite performances

Postby Majestic_Picnob » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:00 pm

Not a professional actor (yet) but I once went to see a friend play Christine in a local production of Phantom. Suffice to say, her "Think of Me" was the first time my jaw ever hung open in a theater, and I've seen plenty of professional productions. It's always fun knowing someone you're sure is going to hit it big someday, I must say. :D
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Re: Favourite performances

Postby macaron » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:53 pm

Rachelle wrote:Definitely threatening, but in a really good way. I'd love to see him play Javert.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5USBzitW--8
I wouldn't say the show was one of my favourites but his performance... just Wow.

Thanks for the link! He does sound very good. I do love me threatening Narrators!
I found a clip of Philip Stewart doing the same song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwbOyGbhRNU. Man, I love him.

Majestic_Picnob wrote:Not a professional actor (yet) but I once went to see a friend play Christine in a local production of Phantom. Suffice to say, her "Think of Me" was the first time my jaw ever hung open in a theater, and I've seen plenty of professional productions. It's always fun knowing someone you're sure is going to hit it big someday, I must say. :D

Definitely! I remember seeing a girl two years above me in high school play the lead role when the seniors put on, coincidentally, Blood Brothers. She was stunning, and although I don't know what she ended up doing after graduating I wouldn't be surprised if she's in the business of being awesome on stage somewhere.

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Re: Favourite performances

Postby MmeBahorel » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:00 am

Craig Price was first cover Enjolras in London in 2001/2. After that one time I mentioned (in January 2002), I went every time he was able to tell me in advance he'd be on because he was excellent. He was one of the people I was so sad to leave in June 2002 when I went back to the States. And then he never got promoted because there was a preference for mediocre. (or else some people auditioned better than the performed the role on a regular basis.)

There are audios out there for all the understudies in that cast (I think - can't remember if Mark Isherwood ever went on as Marius), but I'm not sure if any have made it to YouTube.
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