Wednesday, April 25, 2012

American Idol Top 6 - Review 2012 April 25

Top 6 - Night of Queen

Wow, I'm not normally a fan of the group numbers but this group number just does no justice to Queen's legendary music. Roger Taylor and Brian May sound good like always, but seriously, they look more like Uncle Fester's relatives than rockers.

1. Jessica Sanchez "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Not her best effort but vocally she's really starting to own the stage.

2. Skylar Laine "The Show Must Go On"

Hmm, just like Jessica, she seems to be struggling with the rock format. Vocally she's doing reasonably, but it's almost like she's just trying to survive. Money note was fine.

3. Joshua Ledet "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"

Nice interpretation. He really feels comfortable with his vocal style. Excellent

4. Elise Testone "I Want It All"

One odd note to start. Very rocker and powerful. Not sure if the tv audience enjoyed, but she did well.

5. Phillip Phillips "Fat Bottom Girls"

He's singing it flat to me, and he's sucking the melody out of the number. It is a good choice for him though because it fits his vocal style.

6. Hollie Cavanaugh "Save Me"

Some odd notes but she fixed it for the money note. It was a less than impressive rendition.

Rankings Top to Bottom

1. Jessica

Oh she's back to doing a ballad and is clearly in her element. That was so tender and lovely.

2. Skylar

She's equally in her element here. She is so at home here and her vocals soar.

3. Joshua

He did pretty well. I liked that vocal again.

4. Elise

It was an ok song to me. She sounded fine, but the song choice might be the problem.

5. Phillip

I totally did not get that song choice. He sounded ok, but that was a weird song for the competition.

6. Hollie

Wow, she's really coming on strong as the season progresses. She's totally doing a Syesha late run to me.

Rankings Top to Bottom

Combined, my rankings Top to Bottom are

Jessica tied with Joshua

Skylar tied with Elise

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Moliere's The Bungler at A Noise Within - 2012 April 22

Moliere's Bungler is a masterpiece, but there's no doubt that the translation could easily leave today's audience cold.

The masterful folks at A Noise Within in Pasadena, California, however, once again impressed. They added delightful musical elements to reinforce the comic moments. Who knew a sousaphone could be so funny? "Spain"!

We laughed and smiled throughout. It didn't feel like an ancient work at all. The cleverly translated prose was a joy.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

American Idol Top 7 (again) - Review 2012 April 18

Top 7 - Second Chance - Songs of the past decade and Soul Train songs

Going to be a really tough show I think.

1. Hollie Cavanagh

Adele is big and this song fits her voice. First time throughout this competition where I thought she sounded good.

2. Colton Dixon

Lady Gaga? Really? Nice try on the rock sound, but he's not as butch as she is so it's not really working for me. Really weird faces today. Some bad low notes.

3. Elise Testone

Wow, this is so low. Her performance is always nice and slick, but it's not a wow song. It was a solid performance though.

4. Philip Phillips

Like Elise, this song isn't memorable. But he did it quite well with tremendous restraint, sex appeal and great vocals.

5. Jessica Sanchez

Love the stage. This is a really good performance, though not as sensual as it could be. This girl has some amazing vocal control at her age.

6. Skylar Laine

Skylar does Gaga with a twang? Hmm, not sure about this version. The performance is good though. Nice money note.

7. Joshua Ledet

Love his vocals. It's really good for his voice and he seems to feel at ease singing this.

Ranking from Top to Bottom for Song 1 Jessica Hollie Joshua Philip Elise Skylar Colton

Soul Train

1. Hollie

Good song choice. Not as good as her first song, because her flat notes came back. Good money note.

2. Colton

Love the stage but this performance did not do much to impress me. There were a couple flat notes. The interpretation was nice.

3. Elise

Her voice is quite competent but there's a detachment there that makes it seem less exciting. She needs a better song.

4. Philip

That was a wonderful song choice, rendition and vocal for him

5. Jessica

For a song about Tenderness, she pounded it into the ground. I mean, she sounded great but she's always so much on steroids. She's a lot stronger than the last couple weeks.

6. Skylar

She's got natural entertainer skills. I liked this one more than the first one.

7. Joshua

His vocals are quite strong. I can see him selling records if he can keep the stress of homesickness at bay.

Ranking from Top to Bottom for Song 1 Joshua

So what's the final ranking for the night? This is tough. I'll arrange them as follows.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Billy Elliot at the Pantages Theater 2012 April 13

First let me start with a simple comment : Billy Elliot is my favorite musical for the decade 2000-2009.

Given that, it's tough to capture some of the vitality and political power from the London productions. This is my fourth time catching this show (2 in London and 1 on Broadway).

I was disappointed that the giant dancing dresses were reduced to human sized mannequins. It totally reduced the fantasy element of the Michael and Billy's number. And, just like my disappointment with the Broadway version, the lack of a real elevator at the end of the play reduced some of the impact of the final song.

The dancing, though, was phenomenal as always. The performers were quite impressive for a road show all around.

If there was a significant disappointment, it was in Billy's voice. I'll decline to say which Billy we had, but he may have just recently gone through puberty and his voice seemed less than adept.

On the whole, we were satisfied with the production.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

American Idol - Top 7 - Reviewing "Saving Jessica Sanchez"

FOX must be trying to rev up the ratings. Or maybe Facebook and Google aren't doing enough to promote American Idol this year.

Because this can't be right. Seriously, It's Jennifer Hudson / Chris Daughtry all over again.

Thank goodness for "The Save". Jessica Sanchez, young and still growing (literally) in front of our eyes, just cannot go this early.

As a reminder, here were my rankings from the other night, top to bottom.
Skylar Laine
Elise Testone
Joshua Ledet
Jessica Sanchez
Philip Phillips
Colton Dixon
Hollie Cavanaugh

It's exactly as American Idol presented.

Except the wrong threesome appeared in the bottom 3!

What on earth is going on here? It's the first time this year that I've totally batted out on my prediction. 

Anyway, it sounds like I'll have to spend a couple hours every Wednesday night once more making sure that I vote. I vote for things I care about (local, state, federal elections, American Idol season 7 and 8) and when I think there's an injustice (Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry). I was pretty shocked that weak in weak out week in week out Hollie would be going home finally, but this just seemed wildly off.

Just my two cents. We'll see what happens next week!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

American Idol Top 7 - Review 2012 April 11

Top 7 Review

Here we go. We now get to the part of the show where it gets a lot more difficult. The top contestants are pretty much all that's left. We've lost some of the early obvious ones who were not going to win.

There's really only Hollie left who has been consistently close to getting voted off. But that doesn't always suggest bad luck. Syesha was in the bottom a couple times and she ended up with at number 3 and a nice career.

And the theme: Anything from 2010 on...

1. Skylar Laine

She's doing Pickler? The notes were quite good. She carries the country sound really well, and actually sounded better than Pickler on this song.

2. Colton Dixon

He's singing like a colorful emo kid. He's got lots of falsettos in this piece, and he's pretty much on pitch. He did pretty well.

Duet - Philip Phillips and Elise Testone

I love this song and the arrangement worked, but I think their two voices didn't blend together so hot.

3. Jessica Sanchez

She introduced us to her Filipino family and then grows seductively into her big vocals. She's got some pipes.

4. Joshua Ledet

Pretty energetic performance. The looks and vocals were quite good.

Duet - Skylar Laine and Colton Dixon

They do sing well together. They're look like they're enjoying it, too.

5. Hollie Cavanaugh

Powered up, but sort of pitchy.

6. Philip Phillips

It was a nice sound again, but his facial ticks are now starting to get on my nerve.

Trio - Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, and Hollie Cavanaugh

It's way too low for all three of them. It sounds creepy

7. Elise Testone

Gaga song - sounded really good for her voice.

My Rankings, top to bottom:








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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

American Idol Top 8 - Review 2012 April 4

Top 8 - Music of the 80s

1. DeAndre Brackensick

Somewhat tepid falsetto tonight to me. The scales are nice, and he looks very casual, but it's not very assertive. Why are they so into him?

2. Elise Testone

She's very polished. The slower parts were weaker, pretty flat, but her finale was very good.

Duet : Colton and Skylar
Fairly predictable Islands in the Stream. They don't really have good chemistry, but Skylar's voice matches this piece especially.

3. Philip Phillips

He's got his sound on with Genesis, but there are a couple flat notes. The weird faces and ticks are getting creepy.

Duet: DeAndre and Hollie
What is she wearing? Her voice fits the song pretty well.

4. Joshua Ledet

It's a good song choice for him, but I am starting to get biased because I think he overdoes it. Had no idea he was that young.

5. Jessica Sanchez

Like Joshua, she can over do it, but in this song she holds back nicely. Nice money notes. She's so young and sounds so good.

Duet: Philip and Elise
They really don't sing with each other, other than via harmony. Big question: Who was actually raspier? Nice sound.

6. Hollie Cavanaugh

She sounds better than last week. Well check that. Started to go off pitch bad. Better money note.

Duet: Joshue and Jessica
Quite a good sound to it. Looked good together

7. Colton Dixon

Good song choice. That was a pretty good interpretation and only had a couple weird notes.

8. Skylar Laine

Excellent. Best of the night.

Joshua Colton


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