REVIEW: “How to Handle a Woman” A review of Rogers & Hammerstein‘s Carousel at the Imperial Theatre

“How to Handle a Woman”

A review of the revival of
Rogers & Hammerstein‘s “Carousel”
at the
Imperial Theatre

Disclaimer:

I am not particularly fond of Rogers & Hammerstein‘s “Carousel”. 

Even though much of the music is among my favorite in the Rogers & Hammerstein catalogue, save for the Soliloquy which to me is a cringe worthy 6 minutes – I even joked pre-show that Soliloquy was my early intermission bathroom break, to hear a brilliant Rogers & Hammerstein score played by a Broadway orchestra is one of the reasons that I decided to attend this Revival, 

Much to my dismay I did not even get that.

The orchestrations were flat, two dimensional representations, and the sound design by Mr. Scott Lehrer woefully underwhelming. Sitting in the Orchestra I expected the music to be spectacular but I was sadly disappointed – especially after the recent multi-million dollar remodel of the Imperial Theatre.

I also could just not get past “Carousel’s” main character, Billy Bigelow, the dishonest, wife-beating, carnival barker not being portrayed by a white actor.

Go ahead, get it out of your system, start calling me all kinds of names (you’d be totally wrong) but here’s the thing – perhaps it’s conditioning, perhaps it’s purism, I’m not sure, but in my mind the connotations of such a vile character being played by a Black man is just wrong. The thought kept going through my mind, ‘Why would any person of color agree to play this role?” As far as performance goes, Josh Henry nails it, and nails it strong. His smooth, silk like, baritone voice in any other role would, and have, taken me to great heights emotionally.

 Throughout the entire show I felt like I was at a performance of MCC’s Miscast. Great voices cast in the wrong roles.

 Further, while I have always felt that the part of Julie Jordan, played by a delightful, if not completely doe-eyed and confused Ms. Jessie Mueller, is terribly underwritten, there were times Mr. Jack Doyle, the Director seemed to forget Julie/Jesse was even in the show. More disappointment came from Ms. Renée Fleming, whose gorgeous operatic soprano voice is just too prim and proper to be Aunt Nettie.

 Then there’s the casting of a Middle Eastern actor, the talented and graceful ballet dancer, Amar Ramasar, making his Broadway (and possibly acting) debut, to play “Jigger”, another monster of a character. This is yet another dangerous step towards stereotyping. Every time I heard Billy Bigelow call his name I thought he was using the N-word .

 There is some good news. The shining stars of the show were most definitely the lark-voiced Ms. Lindsay Mendez who portrayed Carrie Pipperidge with a delightful and quirky style to her that played extremely well off of Mr. Alexander Gemignani’s playfully-teasing Mr. Enoch Snow. As a matter of fact, Mr. Gemignani’s performance is award worthy in my opinion.

 I must also admit to you that while I tend to tune out the seemingly obligatory ballet sequences of most early 20th century musical theater, Ms. Brittany Pollock and Mr. Andrei Chagas were graceful and visually stunning in the Fairground Ballet sequence – a great tribute to the fabulous Choreography of Mr. Justin Peck.

Santo Loquasto’s scenic design was executed well, although there were too many ‘played in front of the curtain’ scenes while scenery was being noisily shuffled around Backstage. Note to Production: PLEASE Oil the stage right light motors and the sheer curtain pulleys.

Sadly, Ms. Ann Roth’s costumes look like they have been recycled from my high school production of ‘Oklahoma!’ And what’s with those baggy pants that come up to the men’s bellies?

 The lighting design by Brian McDevitt left me squinting many times to see what was happening on stage and again, that was from Orchestra Row M – I can only imagine what it was like up in the oxygen-tank seats.

Speaking of seats, it appears to me that when they remodeled the theater after “The Great Comet“ they added many more seats then there were before. In my cushy (read expensive) Orchestra seat I was sucking on my knees or more annoyingly to her, scraping the back of the chair of the lady in front of me.

All that being said, I haven’t told you the worst part:
I DIDN’T CRY!!!
Me – the person who “cries at everything” – DIDN’T CRY!!!

If you’ll remember, I said up front that I’m not the biggest fan of this show – BUT when I DO see it I always CRY – ALWAYS! This tells me everything I need to know.

All said, the audience seemed to love the show, hooting and hollering along with their thunderous applause, it was a Press Preview, so perhaps you too will enjoy Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s Carousel as much as they did.

Me, I’m still optimistically looking forward to Lincoln Center’s revival of “My Fair Lady”

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Rogers & Hammerstein‘s Carousel

Opens Thursday, April 12th 2018

To order tickets online
https://www.broadwayinbound.com/shows/carousel/ 

To order tickets by phone,
call 212-239-6200

IN PERSON
VISIT THE IMPERIAL THEATRE
249 W 45th St,
between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue

BOX OFFICE HOURS
Monday–Saturday: 10am–8pm,
Sunday: Closed
(Beginning March 25: Noon–6pm)

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Chabad.org Live Radio – 24/6 Torah Learning

Chabad.org Live Radio

Tune in to daily Torah classes, Jewish messages, and informative learning 24/6

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For more info on Elli -- The King of Broadway www.thekingofbroadway.com
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The 6th Annual Chanukah with Elli theKingOfBroadway & Friends 2018

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I am humbled ב״ה to be presenting

The 6th Annual
Chanukah with Elli theKingOfBroadway & Friends
2018 – 5779 Edition

We are privileged to present it twice:

Sunday, December 2nd (1st Light Chanukah) @ 7:00pm
Monday, December 3rd (2nd Light Chanukah) @ 7:00pm

The theme is, of course,
Chanukah the Festival of Light & Freedom!

There will be Music, Song, Comedy, Menorah Lighting, Sufganiot, Dreidels, Chanukah Gelt & MORE!

Featuring:
Elli theKingOfBroadway
and an all-star Broadway cast!

To
Be
Announced

with Music by “The Drey-dels”
Piano (MD)
Bass
Drums
Clarinet/Sax

TICKET INFO:
$18/Chai Cover Charge – 2 Drink Min
RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!
(212) 279-4200
www.triadnyc.com

-elli-
********

Coming Soon a clip from last year’s 2nd Show
Dec. 19th 7pm @The Triad NYC

Thanks for watching and make your reservations NOW

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Brought to you by the NEW www.broadwaykingdom.com

For more info on Elli -- The King of Broadway www.thekingofbroadway.com
Facebook | Twitter | IMdB | Actors Access

For more interviews & reviews go to www.broadwaykingdom.com

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VIDEO: The 5th Annual “Chanukah with Elli thekingofbroadway & Friends 2017 – 5778 Edition

Video is at the bottom!

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I am humbled ב״ה to be presenting

The Video of

The 5th Annual
“Chanukah with Elli thekingofbroadway & Friends”
2017 – 5778 Edition

Which was Performed
Tuesday, December 19th (8th Light Chanukah) @ 7:00pm

The theme was, of course,
Chanukah the Festival of Light & Freedom!

There was Music, Song, Comedy, Menorah Lighting, Sufganiot, Dreidels, Chanukah Gelt & MORE!

Featuring:
Elli Thekingofbroadway
and an all-star Broadway cast!

Stuart Marshall
Tommy Vance
Ari Axelrod

with Music by “The Drey-dels”
Alex Rybeck – Piano (MD)
David Backer – Bass
Dmitri Z!sl Slepovitch – Clarinet/Sax
Michael Bellusci – Drums

www.triadnyc.com

-elli-
********

Here’s this year’s 2nd Show Dec. 19th 7pm
@ The Triad NYC

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For more info on Elli -- The King of Broadway www.thekingofbroadway.com
Facebook | Twitter | IMdB | Actors Access

For more interviews & reviews go to www.broadwaykingdom.com

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Interview with Keith Andrew – 12.29.17

I am very pleased to present my
Interview with Keith Andrew
of the
KeithAndrewNetWork.com
December 29th, 2017

Enjoy!

‪KeithAndrewNetWork Season Five #419
with Elli TheKingOfBroadway
https://youtu.be/BjXSbbMpcIk

#Disabilities #KeithAndrewNetWork
#YouTubeTalkShows #YouTubeShows
‪#keithandrewnetwork‬
#NeverGiveUp #ProvePeopleWrong #mentalHealth #Passion #Entertainer#Entertainment ‬

https://www.facebook.com/KeithAndrew88
KeithAndrewNetWork.com

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Brought to you by the NEW www.broadwaykingdom.com

For more info on Elli -- The King of Broadway www.thekingofbroadway.com
Facebook | Twitter | IMdB | Actors Access

For more interviews & reviews go to www.broadwaykingdom.com

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5th Annual “Chanukah with Elli thekingofbroadway & Friends 2017

WOW!

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I am humbled ב״ה to be presenting

The 5th Annual
“Chanukah with Elli thekingofbroadway & Friends”
2017 – 5778 Edition

We are privileged to present it twice:

Monday, December 18th (7th Light Chanukah) @ 7:00pm
Tuesday, December 19th (8th Light Chanukah) @ 7:00pm

The theme is, of course,
Chanukah the Festival of Light & Freedom!

There will be Music, Song, Comedy, Menorah Lighting, Sufganiot, Dreidels, Chanukah Gelt & MORE!

Featuring:
Elli Thekingofbroadway
and an all-star Broadway cast!

Stuart Marshall
Tommy Vance
Ron Orlovsky
Ari Axelrod

with Music by “The Drey-dels”
Alex Rybeck – Piano (MD)
David Backer – Bass
Michael Bellusci – Drums
Daniel Bennett – Clarinet/Sax (Dec 18th)
Dmitri Z!sl Slepovitch – Clarinet/Sax (Dec 19th)

TICKET INFO:
$18/Chai Cover Charge – 2 Drink Min
RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!
(212) 279-4200
www.triadnyc.com

-elli-
********

Here’s a clip from last year’s 2nd Show Dec. 28th 7pm
@The Metropolitan Room NYC

Thanks for watching and make your reservations NOW

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Brought to you by the NEW www.broadwaykingdom.com

For more info on Elli -- The King of Broadway www.thekingofbroadway.com
Facebook | Twitter | IMdB | Actors Access

For more interviews & reviews go to www.broadwaykingdom.com

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Elli does Reggae with The Amazing Bottle Dancers

Elli does Reggae
with The Amazing Bottle Dancers

Upside Down

Vincz Lee feat Popcaan, Cali P, FireFly & Riga


Filmed in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Available on Itunes https://itunes.apple.com/ch/album/ups…
Video directed by Goodwiine
© Hemp Higher Productions

The Amazing Bottle Dancers
2015-10-14 11.32.09
Cheyenne GrossElliBrian Henry
Spencer Ryoma Baumgart

https://www.facebook.com/bottledancers/
https://twitter.com/BottleDancers

Vincz Lee:
http://www.vinczlee.com

FireFLY:
https://www.facebook.com/fireflylifei…

Riga:
http://www.hemphigher.com/

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Brought to you by the NEW www.broadwaykingdom.com

For more info on Elli -- The King of Broadway www.thekingofbroadway.com
Facebook | Twitter | IMdB | Actors Access

For more interviews & reviews go to www.broadwaykingdom.com

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Elli sings at “Honor Thy Father” at The Metropolitan Room 01.12.16

Elli was asked to sing at
The Metropolitan Room
Tuesday, January 12th 2016
for

“HONOR THY FATHER”
A celebration of all fathers
and the story of the life of one sole survivor in particular, Bernie’s Father, Murray Furshpan
with the always amazing, Barry Levitt on the piano

The evening featured Julie Budd, Anita Gillette, Mark Nadler, Sara Zahn, Jim Brochu, Tom Gamblin, Elli thekingofbroadway, Lina Orfanos, Liz Mckendry, and Gary Crawford, Denise Spann-Morgan and Steve Schalchlin with Barry Levitt on the Piano

“The evening featured many singers who had relatives that experienced the horrors of the Holocaust, some relating their own family histories.

Steve Schalchlin, at the piano, opened with self-penned “Somebody Save Me a Seat,” the evening progressing as musical director Barry Levitt took over; singers offering up songs centered around love of family with great heart, emotion and memories such as Gary Crawford’s rendition of Steven Lutvak’s “Museums;” Lina Orfanos sung in Hebrew; Mark Nadler offered a one-of-a-kind “Ragtime;” Elli the King of Broadway sang Jerry Herman’s “Shalom” and “Milk and Honey” and Denise Spann-Morgan soared on the Exodus song, “This Land is Mine.”

Throughout, Bernie continued speaking about the man with endless soul and talent as a plasterer and craftsman – who plied his skills to such a degree that he was sought after to renovate John Lennon’s kitchen and bath. But most importantly, Murray was a Mensch (a person of integrity and honor).” from http://www.theaterpizzazz.com/honor-thy-father/

Original Video taken by Brad Naprixas

Elli sings a medley from Jerry Herman’s “Milk and Honey”

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Brought to you by the NEW www.broadwaykingdom.com

For more info on Elli -- The King of Broadway www.thekingofbroadway.com
Facebook | Twitter | IMdB | Actors Access

For more interviews & reviews go to www.broadwaykingdom.com

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Elli @ The Metropolitan Room’s 2nd Annual 24 Hour Variety Show 01.03.16

Elli performs a quartet of songs
at
The Metropolitan Room’s
2nd Annual 24 Hour Variety Show
01.03.16

Accompanied by the awesome
Matt Baker
http://www.mattbaker.com.au

Thanks to Bernie Furshpan
and the entire Metropolitan Room Staff

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Brought to you by the NEW www.broadwaykingdom.com

For more info on Elli -- The King of Broadway www.thekingofbroadway.com
Facebook | Twitter | IMdB | Actors Access

For more interviews & reviews go to www.broadwaykingdom.com

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You just never know…

B”H – Thursday Sept. 24th 2015 – The day after Yom Kippur 5776

You just never know..

Rabbi Deutsch & Sons Esrog

No, this is not me….

Today, on my way home from shopping for a Lulav & Esrog and some food supplies for Sukkos I had an interesting ride in a LYFT car. (Use Code Elli49 to sign up and get $20 toward a ride!)

While chatting with the driver, he said he is only in NYC 5 years and is originally from Tajikistan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tajikistan) where they speak Tajik a dialect of Farsi (Persian) and Russian!

We had a wonderful discussion about the Jewish things he knows of, he asked me to tell him about “the coming holiday called Sukkot”. He said that he lives in Midwood near an Iranian Synagogue and can understand everything that everyone is saying on their way to/from Shul! (Note to self….)

While in the car, a friend called me sounding a little depressed, so I did my best to try and cheer him up and at one point in the conversation he asked me for my opinion on, “what’s the meaning of life? Is there a purpose?”

I explained to him that every person he asks will have a different outlook but my outlook is I was born a Jew and the purpose of my life is to follow HaShem’s Torah and do as many of the 613 mitzvahs as I can in my lifetime.

I was surprised that he understood what I was talking about and asked me if I could count how many mitzvahs I had done in the past week. I explained that it doesn’t actually work like that – we don’t keep a running count – but that I did attend services on Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year, I kept the Sabbath in between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, I fasted on Yom Kippur, spent the entire day in the synagogue and didn’t return home until almost an hour after the fast ended. I only eat kosher food, tried to be kind to my fellow man and generally spread as much joy as possible.

He then asked me how I know if I’m actually doing anything good and being effective?

I told him that not always is the purpose for everything you do open & revealed. Most of the time you just do what needs to be done and hope that along the way you affect somebody positively.

I related a story from just this past week. I met Brad in the city and we only had a few minutes from the time he got there until we had to be at our event. We decided to eat dinner after the event and to just go into Walgreens and get a quick nosh to hold us over.

We looked for a place to sit down and eat and finally found a ledge on the corner of the store that we could kind of squeeze onto.

While we were sitting there a couple from Israel noticing my beard and Yarmulkah came over to us looking very confused and asked if I could help them get to 770 Eastern Pkwy. the Lubavitcher headquarters in Brooklyn? Chabad-Lubavitch-Orthodox-Jewish-spiritual-center-770-Eastern-Parkway-Crown-Heights-Gran-Rebbe-Manachem-Mendel-Schneerson-Andrea-Robbins-Max-Beecher-Photography-Crown-Heights-Brooklyn-NYCI was only too happy to help and proceeded to give them the fastest route. The conversation was in Hebrew, and the lady had scribbled some numbers on a piece of paper from someone else that had given her instructions that confused her. She couldn’t seem to understand why my instructions differed from the ones she’d been given. I explained again and thankfully we were close enough to Times Square that I could point and show her where the 3 train would take her quickly to her destination. With a smile they thanked me and went on their way.

Without missing a beat, Brad turned to me and said, “See! That’s why we sat here!”

We can’t always wait for those moments to come. We always have to live **as if** that moment will always come.

“…and that’s what life is all about for me”, I said.

The Baal Shem Tov said “For 70, 80 years a Neshama (Soul) wears and tears just to do a favor for another.”

Our conversation came to an end as I arrived at my home, and I believe that it had a positive effect on my friend. I also believe it had a positive effect on my driver as well, as he insisted on carrying all my packages into the house for me!!!

You just never know what one kind word can do…

The Lubavitcher Rebbe quoted many times that it takes “JUST ONE MITZVAH to tip the scales and bring…

MOSHIACH NOW!”

Moshiach Now 1

-elli-

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Brought to you by the NEW www.broadwaykingdom.com

For more info on Elli -- The King of Broadway www.thekingofbroadway.com
Facebook | Twitter | IMdB | Actors Access

For more interviews & reviews go to www.broadwaykingdom.com

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