Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gigi At the Kennedy Center

I went to see another play last weekend. This one was the pre-Broadway production of Gigi at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts with  playing the lead role.

And I was one of those folks!

The first thing I noticed was the impressive stage setting. There was an ornate staircase with a structure reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower in the background. It was enough to make me forget the $23 parking fee. Well, almost... It truly did set the proper tone for turn-of-the-century Paris.

I'm hardly an expert on musicals, but I thought it was one of the best I've seen. The singing and dancing was quite good, and a few of the scene changes went by before I even noticed them. That means they were done well and the story was interesting. The orchestra was a little loud, especially in the first act, but that is why they do these pre-Broadway runs—to fine-tune the performance. I don't think they'll need to do a lot of work because I didn't see much that needs fixing!

For those familiar with the movie or previous versions of the play, some songs have been added and others rearranged. What the director did seemed to work. My favorite songs are Thank Heaven for Little Girls, Paris Is Paris Again, The Night They Invented Champagne, and I Remember It Well.

For more information on the story and the cast, here's a blurb from the Kennedy Center:
Set in the magical world of La Belle Epoque Paris--where fashion, glamour, and passion prevail--Lerner and Loewe's celebrated musical is a romantic comedy about one young woman's journey to find her true self... and her true love. 

Starring Vanessa Hudgens as Gigi, this Tony and Academy Award-winning musical features glorious songs such as "Thank Heaven for Little Girls," "I Remember It Well" and "The Night They Invented Champagne." Following its run at the Kennedy Center, this glistening, re-imagined production by Call the Midwife‘s Heidi Thomas and Follies director Eric Schaeffer will bring Gigi back to Broadway for the first time in 40 years! 

This highly anticipated, limited premiere engagement also features Tony Award winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza) as Mamita Alvarez, three-time Tony nominee Dee Hoty (Footloose) as Aunt Alicia, two-time Tony nominee Howard McGillin (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Anything Goes, The Phantom of the Opera) as Honore Lachaille, Corey Cott (Newsies) as Gaston Lachaille, and Steffanie Leigh (Mary Poppins) as Liane d'Exelmans.

"I can't imagine a better place to premiere this re-imagined production of Gigi than Washington. This city, designed by French-born architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant, is a perfect match for this wonderful show."
--Eric Schaeffer, director

Recommended for age 10 and up.
Performance Timing: Approximately 2-1/2 hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

All in all, I have to give it my recommendation.

Gigi image source:
Gigi image source:

One warning, however. You may leave the show with an incredible urge to drink champagne—not necessarily a bad thing...

This post was reblogged at: Vanessa Hudgens Brazil

© 2012-2014 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

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