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Tag Archives: Mary Faber

What I Heard: Nov. 15th-Nov. 21st, 2010

This week was pretty light in activity, but time and money can force one to sit on the couch, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite activities. I got myself off the couch twice during this week, to head off to the movies once (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and then again to attend an event at the Museum of Modern Art, aka, MoMA (photography exhibit, The Raincoats and Kathleen Hanna DJing). I also stopped into my favorite hotel bar at the Warwick on 6th Avenue and 53th Street. It’s nice and dark inside. I’m usually by myself whenever I happen to stop in, which leads me to think that the staff may suspect that I’m a hotel call girl by some of the stares I get from them. But hey, that’s part of the excitement, I guess. I met an awesome Czech bartender and I will have to go back in for more crazy conversation about European politics and Lincoln Town Cars.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Ziegfeld Theater, NYC

Harry Potter Poster at the Ziegfeld Theater, NYC

I’m a nerd. What can I say? I have read all of the Harry Potter books and faithfully attend almost every movie close to its opening, usually at New York’s last movie palace, the Ziegfeld Theater. The Ziegfeld has a huge screen, comfortable seats, great sound, and bathroom stalls complete with toilet and sink inside the stall. The Ziegfeld is a place that evokes old-fashioned Hollywood and shows just one film at a time, not like the Mega-Plexes on 42nd Street, the AMC or the Regal E-Walk. I saw Lawrence of Arabia complete with musical overturn there, and if a movie that I want to see is playing, I will go out of my way to see it at the Ziegfeld. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been split into two movies, so I’m hoping that the next installment that releases on July 15th, 2011, will play at the Ziegfeld, too. Who needs IMAX when you have the Ziegfield?

There’s really nothing that I want to say about the movie. The visuals were great and though there is a long swath of the movie that moves slowly as our three heroes go into hiding to find the horcruxes and unnoticed by Voldemort at the same time, I didn’t mind so much. The three main actors, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, have grown up on our movie screens and turned into fine young actors who I hope will develop their craft throughout their lifetime. They have certainly learned from a slew of the best British actors out there who have appeared in the Harry Potter movies. Life for a child actor can be difficult to continue in performance as they grow up and I wish them all the best on whatever journeys they make in the profession.

Daniel Radcliffe is well on his way to a long-term career on the stage. In 2008, I saw Radcliffe on Broadway in a limited-run production of Equus. The story centers around a disturbed young man who blinds several horses during a fit of religious and sexual rage and repression. The entire play is a psychological drama between the boy (Alan Strang) and his therapist (Dr. Dysart), with the therapist trying to get Strang to unload on why he blinded the horses and Dysart trying to get a grip on his own life, too. I’ve never been fond of the play. It’s too “angsty” for me with a lot of 1970s psycho-drama thrown in, but it’s a great acting vehicle for actors who are in control of their craft and was an excellent way for Radcliffe to stretch his acting wings away from Harry Potter. The production was controversial because the Alan Strang character played by Radcliffe has to appear nude onstage for one scene. A seventeen year-old naked Harry Potter sent a lot of hearts aflutter, but really, if you’ve ever seen a production of Equus, you know that there isn’t too much to see anyway. Plus, it’s not that stimulating sexually… Strang is naked while talking about how he stabbed out the eyes of horses, after all. Woot. Sexy. Not.

Radcliffe will be coming back to Broadway in February 2011 in one of the smartest and slyest musicals of them all, How To Succeed in Business (Without Even Trying). The musical, based on the book of the same name by Shepherd Mead, was first published in 1952 with the subtitle of The Dastard’s Guide to Fame and Fortune. Mead worked in the advertising firm of Benton & Bowles (one of the ad agencies based on the teevee show Mad Men), and when he retired, he wrote the satirical manual after climbing from a job in the mailroom to a vice-presidency. After several attempts to turn the book into a play, Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls) and Abe Burrows successfully created the musical, eventually winning a Pulitzer Prize for their efforts.

The story centers around J. Pierrepont Finch, a window washer who hears passages from the book, “How To Succeed in Business…” telling him to do all sorts of things to move on up the corporate ladder. His boss, J.B. Biggley, played by the funny and seasoned John Larroquette (surprisingly making his Broadway début in the show) cluelessly lets Finch take over a contest for the the World Wide Wicket Company and hilarity ensues. The cast is rounded out by Finch’s love interest, Rosemary Pilkington (Rose Hemingway), a secretary at the company, the boss’s squeeze, Hedy LaRue (Tammy Blanchard), the boss’s nephew working his way up from the mailroom, Bud Frump (Christopher J. Hanke), and lastly by Rosemary’s friend and fellow secretary, Smitty. Smitty will be played by Mary Faber, who now appears as Heather in the Broadway production of American Idiot. Faber is the second lead/featured actor in American Idiot to go on to other Broadway productions, the first being Joshua Henry, who played the Favorite Son in American Idiot in Berkeley and Broadway and now stars in the Scottsboro Boys at the Lyceum Theater. Everyone will miss Faber in American Idiot, but wishes her the best in her new role. Faber’s last show in American Idiot will take place on December 12, 2011.

The original choreography of How to Succeed in Business… was created by the Broadway legend, Bob Fosse, though he’s not credited as the primary choreographer of the original show. Fosse also did the movie version that came out in 1967. Though Fosse is dead, I do hope that they keep some key elements of his original choreography, which is Broadway all the way. And speaking of that 1967 movie version… if this Broadway production is a hit, I can completely see it being turned into a movie starring Radcliffe. After all, every great movie gets a remake for good or bad, and it’s probably time that this one did, too. Especially if the production and Radcliffe are successful on Broadway.

How to Succeed in Business (Without Really Trying) previews at the Al Hirschfeld Theater on February 27th, 2011 and opens on March 27th, 2011. Here’s a synopsis of the plot at TheatreHistory.com.

The Raincoats and Pictures by Women Exhibit – MoMA

MoMA Exhibit - Pictures by Women

I am not in the habit of attending events at MoMA. It’s not my favorite museum in the world, it’s too small, overly crowded and has line management from hell. What it has going for it, of course, is the quality and depth of its modern art and photography collection — if you like that sort of stuff — which I happen to like. I decided at the last-minute to attend this event as my friend David told me about it and he knows that I like to see old punk bands from back in the day perform, most of whom I’ve never heard of. In this case, it was a female “post punk” band called The Raincoats. The night included a very comprehensive and thought-provoking exhibit of photographs by women, appropriately titled, “Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography.” The exhibit continues until April 4th, 2011 and includes photographers such as Diane Arbus, Berenice Abbot, Adrian Piper, and Alex Prager. One of my favorites were a series of photographs from Francis Benjamin Johnson (1864-1952), one of the earliest female photographers and photojournalists. The photographs displayed from Johnson were a series commissioned by the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, an African-American school around the turn of the century that eventually became Hampton College in Virginia. The photographs depict young African-Americans doing all sorts of college and school-related activities and it’s refreshing to see images of blacks from the time period as they do their classroom exercises and physical workouts. You can view some of Johnson’s portraiture and architectural photographs at the Library of Congress.

Alex Prager - Pictures by Women at MoMA

The works of female photographic icons, Diane Arbus and Berenice Abbott were excellent, but it was the large-print photographs of Alex Prager that really caught my attention. Prager’s work has a deep sense of pathos surrounding beautiful women in potentially charged situations, all with a retro-throwback 1950s style. Prager works from Los Angeles, and her photographs have a California flavor to them with their depiction of the endless sunshine that pervades California, with a sense that something is not quite right in the perfection and beauty. Prager’s women are glammed up and find themselves in all sorts of compromising situations, but there is always a sense that they are in control, even if they have completely lost control within the context of the photograph. Visit Prager’s site for more information on her work, and here’s a list of articles about her work at the site.

The Raincoats, along with DJ Kathleen Hanna, appeared as part of MoMA’s Pop Rally events that feature “collaborations with artists and musical acts, performances, film screenings, receptions, and special viewings of exhibitions at moderate prices.” You may know Hanna as the female voice on Green Day’s American Idiot song, “Nobody Likes You,” but she’s better known as a founding member of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, and is both a legend and controversial figure in the world of feminist punk Riot Girrl culture. I didn’t hear most of her DJing because I spent so much time in the bar at the Warwick Hotel that I didn’t get back to MoMA until the line was crazy and it took almost 25 minutes just to get my ticket and wristband and get inside. I went upstairs to look at the photography, and by the time I finished, the Raincoats were playing and the crowd was thick in MoMA’s atrium. So thick, in fact, that it was difficult to move… not that anyone was moving to the Raincoats, but that’s probably because their music isn’t really danceable or moveable. I was really hoping that a moshpit would break out and some serious art would get damaged, but alas, that was only in head.

The Raincoats hail from the United Kingdom and have been around since the late 1970s. The two founding members of the band, Ana da Silva and Gina Birch met at art school and formed a band in 1977 with members of The Slits and other female bands of the time. Their music certainly has an art school feel to it with its dissonant vocals, violin, and eclectic lyrics and music presentation. Kurt Cobain was really into The Raincoats, and wrote that their lyrics made him happy, which was probably a tall order to fulfill.

The Raincoats – “Fairytale in the Supermarket” – MoMA, Nov. 20, 2001 – pristeen t

As to the performance, if I knew their music from back in the day and felt the way that Cobain did about their lyrics, I may have enjoyed myself more, but as it was, I probably should have stayed at the Warwick Bar. I could overlook the rusty nature of the band and their several false starts and the washed-out sound in the space, but the entire evening was a bit too much on the art school and feminist polemical side of the musical equation for me. I sometimes break out in hives at events that take place in museums and I’m not that comfortable in them for the most part, particularly at MoMA. I couldn’t hear most of those lyrics that made Cobain happy, though one from a new song could plainly be heard, “When you ask me if I’m a feminist, I say, why the hell would I not be?” Uh, OK. Toward the end of the show, Hanna came onstage and they sang an Ari Up (of the Slits, who recently died at the age of 48), song together and ended the set with The Raincoats’ most well-known song, “Fairytale in the Supermarket.”

The Raincoats with Kathleen Hanna sing Ari Up’s “Vindictive” at MoMA – jennpelly

Whatever my feelings on the band or the show are, The Raincoats are loved in feminist post-punk music circles, and if you’d like to check out some of their work, they have music on sale at their site and here’s their MySpace page with a few tunes on it as well. Here’s Kathleen Hanna’s take on the band and their music. Here’s some other reviews of the show and scene: Crawdaddy; Pelly Twins Blog; Artforum.

What We Didn’t Hear: Jesse Malin featuring Green Day – Nowhere….

I said last week that I’d briefly mention this, so here goes. Sometime this year Jesse Malin and Green Day got drunk together and wrote/recorded a song called “Depression Times” with Malin on vocals and featuring Green Day on instruments and back-up vocals. The song was going to play on Rich Russo’s Sunday night show on RXP101.9, but at the last minute, Russo said he had “equipment issues” and the song didn’t materialize. A week went by and no song and a third week later, RXP DJ Matt Pinfield announced on his Facebook that the song would début on RXP’s morning show and again, it was pulled at the last possible moment. This leaves me wondering if the song actually exists or if it’s just a figment of someone’s imagination. I have no idea what is happening, but someone has pulled the song three times and since Russo’s original tweet about playing the song was posted on Green Day’s official site, it’s probably not Green Day. I know that the music industry is a bit unpredictable, that’s a given, but after three failed attempts to get the song heard just once, few people on the Green Day Community forum believe that it exists in the first place and some are beginning to not care. I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see and be pleasantly surprised (I hope) in the end, when it does materialize.

For a little background on how “Depression Times” came about as well as Malin’s friendship with Green Day, here’s two snippets of interviews with Jesse Malin:

Über Röck Magazine, Jesse Malin, Exclusive Interview

When you toured with Green Day did you ever think they’d go on to be such a world wide phenomenon? Do you still keep in touch with Billy Joe? I always believed that they were a very powerful band and Billie is a real and talented writer. Who knew a punk rock opera would connect so well. I remember when Mike Dirnt told me about it one night while I was DJing at Niagara and I thought he was out of his mind. Now they’re gonna be on Broadway. I talk to Billie Joe regularly. He’s a good friend. I recently recorded a song with the three Green Day guys called ‘Depression Times’. Maybe it’ll come out some time soon. We might name the band Drunk In New York.

Distorted Magazine – Three Cords and an Attitude: Jesse Malin

Jesse Malin - Three Chords and an Attitude - Distorted Magazine

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Two Nights with an American Idiot, Part II: The Arrangement and The Cast

Green Day's American Idiot at the Berkeley Repertory Theater

Green Day's American Idiot at the Berkeley Repertory Theater

I’ve been struggling with this post. My home computer also went bust. It’s not been the easiest to critique Green Day’s American Idiot, and it’s gotten to be quite long, so I’m going to break it up into several posts. The first one focuses on The Book. The second post will focus on The Arrangement and The Cast; the third and last on The Choreography and The Direction with some concluding remarks.

The Arrangement: Tom Kitt’s score does justice to and expands on Green Day’s music through the music and vocal arrangements. Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt have great voices and are able to lay down some smooth emotive harmonies between them, but hearing American Idiot in song layers with choral intensity by a strong vocal cast is a treat. Comprised of the entirety of American Idiot, plus two b-side cuts from that album (“Favorite Son” and “Too Much Too Soon”), it’s combined with four songs from the band’s current record, 21st Century Breakdown (“21 Guns,” “Last Night on Earth,” “Before the Lobotomy,” and “Know Your Enemy”) and joined by a beautiful song never before recorded (though heard somewhat in the unreleased AI documentary Heart Like a Hand Grenade), written by Armstrong for his wife, Adrienne, when he was 19 (“When It’s Time”). It’s 90 minutes filled with a strong five-piece rock band joined by three strings of violin, viola, and cello.

American Idiot Song List

American Idiot Song List

Kitt masterfully takes the orchestration for a choral ride while keeping the structure of the original music intact. It’s loud and bombastic when needed, tempting the Green Day fan to bop their head but probably leaving traditional theater goers wondering if they are allowed to tap their feet. Having sat through another rock and roll musical a lot lately, Lizzie Borden (full disclosure: I was in the original production of this show which depicts America’s favorite 19th-century murderess, Lizzie Borden, and love the music, literally, to death), I find myself during that show one of the few people in the audience willing to move my head at all during the production. I feel like a freak sometimes because of it, but you know, you have to do what you have to do. I will admit that on the first night of seeing American Idiot, I fell into the “audience member who refuses to move” theater etiquette category.  I was in a hyper-critical mode because frankly, while I have no stake in the production of American Idiot, I want it to be as successful and as good as it can possibly be and not an embarrassment. I love this album too damned much. Since I’m not the greatest fan of traditional musical theater (and frankly, American Idiot borders more on the side of traditional musical theater than not), my hyper-critical critic’s cap was firmly screwed onto my head the first night. On the second night, I decided to ride the wave and was swamped by the musical tsunami. The music is the star of the show.

As I mentioned previously, the book is a bit rushed through due to the timing and intensity of the musical and visual onslaught, leaving the cast with little time to really portray the emotional quality of the louder and faster songs. One of my few critiques of the music is that the cast hasn’t completely allowed themselves to wrench the emotional velocity of the music out of Green Day’s hands and own it. Sure, the cast has a surface of emotion, but anyone can sing Green Day songs loud. My question to the cast is: can you feel them loud? Once they firmly and unequivocally do that, I can only believe that they will find the emotional heart-shaped hand grenades of the material.

Some of my favorite arrangements were “Holiday,” “Favorite Son,” “St. Jimmy,” “Give Me Novacaine,” “Before the Lobotomy”/”Extraordinary Girl,” “We’re Coming Home,” “Whatsername,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Letterbomb” and “21 Guns” (though the choreography for “Letterbomb” and “21 Guns” had some unfortunate moments visually for me), primarily due to the arrangements and emotional depth that the actors were able to find in the performance of them. (I’ll talk about this more under The Cast section.) “Give Me Novacaine,” started off by Michael Esper, has just the right touch of pathos and reflection to get the song’s emotional arch off to a good start. By the time Tunny finds himself in the war zone and under attack from a blaze of hard-hitting drums, guitars and the electronic boom of cannon and strobe lights, “Give Me Novacaine” becomes the most successful combination of music, staging, and acting with “Before the Lobotomy”/”Extraordinary Girl” coming a close second.

Kitt nicely overlays and intertwines some songs, such as “Know Your Enemy” with the refrain “nothing wrong with me, this is how I’m supposed to be…” from “Jesus of Suburbia,” and it works particularly well with “Before the Lobotomy” and “Extraordinary Girl,” from two different albums. While I’m not a huge fan of the staged flying that takes place during this song combination (it always reminds me too much of Peter Pan), the fly work was moving, particularly for me on the second night. I could almost feel the morphine dripping through Tunny’s veins as he and the Extraordinary Girl made their way through the upper echelons of the open theatrical space.

“Death of St. Jimmy,” “East 12th Street,” Nobody Likes You,” “Rock and Roll Girlfriend” and “We’re Coming Home” (songs that comprise “Homecoming” from the album) are arranged as one continuous song bringing the story to its whirlwind denouement, though “Nobody Likes You” is also appropriated for a portion “21 Guns.”

The vocals particularly soar when the parts are given over to the women: Mary Faber in “Dearly Beloved” and “Nobody Likes You” (parts of the “Jesus of Suburbia” and “Homecoming” movements), Rebecca Naomi Jones (“Letterbomb”), Christina Sajous (“Extraordinary Girl”) and Alysha Umphress, who plays Heather’s friend during “Too Much Too Soon.” Armstrong’s high voice translates well for women (Faber was just fantastic) and I loved the hearty primal scream that Jones let out during “Letterbomb.”

All in all, I thought that the music was fantastic. It’s not a Green Day concert and fans looking for that experience are seeing the wrong show. On the whole, the music was vibrant, exciting, and the band sounded great. While Billie Joe, Mike, and Tre might lurk onstage psychically for the Green Day fan, after a while the band and the cast come pretty close to making you forget that Green Day are not onstage. And that is rare feat, indeed.

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“You have to search the absolute demons of your soul to make a great record.” — Billie Joe Armstrong on making 21st Century Breakdown

The Cast: Rolling Stone previously ran a nice piece on each of the cast members of American Idiot, which you can view here. You can also view a .pdf of the American Idiot program here.

The cast, among them young veterans of Broadway and off-Broadway such as John Gallagher, Jr. (Spring Awakening), Tony Vincent (Rent), Mary Faber (Avenue Q), and Rebecca Naomi Jones (Passing Strange), is strong and talented. All have amazing voices and they obviously love the music, are incredibly enthusiastic, and are having, as the song goes, the time of their lives (shoot me for even going there). It’s a treat to hear them sing. The entire vocal cast is phenomenal. There’s not a bad voice in the house, and some rise to the challenge of bringing both the emotional quality of their parts together with the songs, particularly Tony Vincent (he’s scary dynamite as St. Jimmy), Michael Esper and Mary Faber, Joshua Henry as the Favorite Son (a cameo anyone would drool over to have), and Matt Caplan.

John Gallagher, Jr’s voice is strong; he sings and performs the songs well, but unfortunately, I could not believe him in the role of Johnny nor the essence of the relationships that he as Johnny, has with Will, Tunny, Whatsername or even St. Jimmy. He never seemed to completely personify the angst and rage — the absolute demons of his soul as Billie would say– that the character obviously possesses. He seemed overwhelmed and flat in the role to me, and not the vibrant, enigmatic character that is sketched out in American Idiot. As the whirlwind center of the impetus to get Will and Tunny to leave Jingletown, the one that gets Whatsername to shoot up despite her reluctance and the one who conjures up his deepest, darkest evil as St. Jimmy, he’s the tornado that sweeps everyone into the vortex with him. And when he realizes how destructive his demons are, how close on the edge of destruction he is, he’s got to claw himself up from the abyss in a real, heartfelt way that should have torn my hand grenade heart out and made me want to throw it far away from everyone to keep them safe.  The music did this for me on the second night and not his portrayal of Johnny. (I keep coming back to the “Heart Like a Hand Grenade” metaphor; I’ll talk about this more in the conclusion… if I ever get there…)

In the slight monologues that he’s given he often sounds canned, as if he’s screaming the letters home instead of expressing his inner life. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s how he’s been directed by Mayer, I suppose, but he unfortunately brings little variety or emotional depth to the inner monologue that he’s presenting or range to the character. Some may view this as my not being able to remove Billie Joe from the American Idiot equation or thinking too much of the intensity of the AI music videos created by director Sam Bayer, and this may be true to some extent. Ultimately, while I enjoyed his performance, per se, I was not convinced that his rage and love led him to his dark persona of St. Jimmy, which left a one-dimensional Johnny for St. Jimmy to play off of. Sadly, for me, he’s not the right actor to portray the part, but he is a good actor and I hope that he soon embraces the demons and develops a deeper portrayal of Johnny.

I was so torn about the above that I asked Dawn (another diehard Green Day fan and theater buff), who went out to Berkeley to see the show what she thought of Gallagher. Her response was similar to mine, but she explained it a lot better in the following :

I agree with everything you write. My problem with him as a character is “I don’t care if you don’t care” — which is ok as sentiment in the show but not ok if that’s the way the audience feels about the lead character. And I do think it’s largely the delivery of the few spoken “letters” — if he’s so disillusioned by his parents and everything in Jingletown then why the hell is he writing them? You don’t get that from the letters — even the one he sends to Will. It’s all random rage. And we get that. We lived through the Bush administration, too. And there’s nothing I would have liked to do than to tune in, turn on and drop out. Certainly the time to do that is in your late teens / early twenties. But Johnny needs to believe that he’s dropping out to something better and you just don’t ever believe that he remotely thinks that he’s doing that — whether he’s going to what is clearly NYC or returning home. The rising and destruction of expectations is what makes that character human, and I don’t think Gallagher delivers that nuance. So he remains very two dimensional, which is not ok if that character is the most fully developed character. All the other characters are foils. And if their character’s development directly reflects the main character development, then they become one dimensional (as is clearly evident for Will, Tunny, Heather, and Whatsername). Only St. Jimmy really escapes that trap because he IS Johnny’s Id or addition. To me, that was the most fully developed character and the dude’s not even real. Which brings Gallagher’s shortcomings even more to the fore.

I’ll have to expand more on what Dawn writes above in The Direction section because I think it weighs directly on what needs improvement in the show. But for now, the rest of the cast:

Tony Vincent, as Johnny’s doppelgänger, St. Jimmy, grabs the character by the throat and never lets go. This glammed-out hardcore has issues and he doesn’t give a shit about how much danger or turmoil he creates in the lives of those around him. It was a treat to hear Vincent sing “St. Jimmy” and “Know Your Enemy” as his voice is the strongest of the cast males and is as clear as a bell. As a huge fan of the song, “St. Jimmy,” Vincent had a big challenge in my eyes, as of all the songs, it’s difficult for me to view “St. Jimmy” outside of Armstrong’s live performances of the song as he chews up the stage and spits out the audience. If there was ever a fan moment of Billie Joe’s shadow onstage for me, it was during this song. Vincent made me (almost) forget Billie Joe and I commend his performance of it as well as relished the moments he had onstage.

Michael Esper as Will probably has the easiest storyline to portray of the three friends, as the reluctant, bitter and unready father and distant boyfriend. He also has the most emotive of songs, the first part of “Give Me Novacaine” and “Nobody Likes You” and both of his turns singing these songs got to me. I almost felt sorry for him during “Nobody Likes You,” even if the character is such a terrible and irredeemable, lout. Esper portrays a quiet and persuasive melancholy as Will and he and Mary Faber as Heather, who I thought had the most resonant female voice in the cast, were quite believable as the harried and young couple.

Matt Caplan gives a solid performance as well, especially since he doesn’t have that much time to establish why his character one minute is melancholy in the city and the next minute is joining the army. He and Christina Sajous have a nice chemistry during “Extraordinary Girl,” and Sajous, who graduated from my Alma mater, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (as did Theo Stockman from the chorus) uses her body and voice extremely well during this sequence and during the raucus bus ride to the Big City during “Holiday.”

Rebecca Naomi Jones as Whatsername was powerful and worked well as Johnny’s love interest. I was a little confused script-wise how she changed from the sweet girl who Johnny spots in the window to the helion in “She’s a Rebel,” with a purple streak in her hair, but maybe I was just missing something. Her portrayal of the character was good though I wish she had more to play off opposite Gallagher. There was one moment in particular that I connected to in her portrayal of Whatsername and that’s when Johnny convinces her to shoot up for the first time, the look of terror and trust in her eyes was a nice touch. She was also fantastic at capturing much of the raw grittiness of “Letterbomb,” a perfect song to tell Johnny off after he pulls a knife on her. Unfortunately, I was distracted somewhat by the choreography of this song with its “Acid Queen” arm windmills that made me cringe. The Broadway aspects of the choreography didn’t sit well with me throughout the show, but I’ll have to explain what I mean in the next post.

On a last note, Dawn hit a vital point in regards to the characters: they are, with the exception of St. Jimmy, one-dimensional. But as with the choreography, I’ll save that for the next post… and hopefully I’ll get there…