So yesterday I saw LESTAT (April 15th, matinee). It was amazing. A few ways I can do this review...characters or songs. I'll do both. Since it was that good.
A warning: I am a HUGE fan of the books (for the last 5 years), and know them inside outside and backwards. Perhaps it was the only way that I understood the story though. Oh, tons of spoilers below.
Lestat: I saw Hugh Panaro in Phantom so I knew that this guy could really sing. What I didn't know was how well he could act with an addition of half a face. He was the perfect Lestat, and to me, combined a bit of the Tom Cruise Lestat with the book's Lestat. He was suave, but insecure about a lot of things, which is almost how he should be. He personified Lestat in a way that made it perfect.
Gabrielle: I always hated Gabrielle. In the books I thought she was a real (b)itch. But she really didn't do it for me. As a singer, she's great. As an actor, I'm not so sure. She really made me hate Gabrielle even more.
Armand: I always thought that Armand was complex. And I always thought that Antonio Bandares never did him justice. He's supposed to have lost innocence, and be cold and heartless. Vicious. Which is exactly what this actor did for me. I love Armand now, and he just seems like someone who really needs to feel again to live. I sympathize and pity him also. Which is perfect. He really blew me way.
Louis: I adore Louis from the books. Perhaps that is biased because I am like him a lot. But in the show, he kind of fell through. His voice was strong, and yes, Louis has weaknesses and almost no courage, he seemed a little to submissive. But I still think he did a good job with the musical material.
Nicolas: Better than I expected. I love how they made him practically 'retarded' when he was turned. It gave his character more depth and sadness. Definitly a lot better than I thought he would be compared to how he is in the books.
Claudia: I've always loved Claudia. In the play, I wasn't so sure that I liked her that much. Granted, the singer is phenominal and she can act very well. But as a character, she falls apart for me. Her first song is filled with passion and her second song is somber. One could see that she almost didn't love Louis, like in the books, but almost depended on him for everything and has him around as a companion she can control.
Marius: I really don't know his purpose in the show. And why doesn't he sing? I'm sorry, but his entrance is one of the funniest things I ever saw. And at the end when he asks Lestat to drink from him. He's just corny and not necessary.
From the Dead: As an opening number, I really didn't like it. The very opening is also very cheesy, but frightening at the same time. To me, it doesn't fit in with the show. Not impressed.
Beautiful Boy: A very beautiful song that I could see being sung in real live from a mother to a son. I think it is the first instance that makes you care about the characters. Which to me, if you don't care about the characters in anything then it failed. A very good song all around.
In Paris: Was it me...or did I miss this song. I guess it was a shorter song, or segue type of thing. It helped to move the story along, but it could be removed and dialogue just as easily put in.
The Thirst: I thought this was the first song I was blown away by. It captured a Vampire's longing for blood in a way I never thought possible. The newborn Vampire Lestat had a lot of energy and yet mortal coil in him, and the contrast definitly made for a good fledgling Vampire.
Right Before My Eyes: Very sweet and touching. I remember in the books how Lestat struggled with leaving Nicolas and Gabrielle and I'm glad that there was a song about it. It showed that even though Lestat was undead, he still had a heart and a soul.
Make Me As You Are: I thought this song was so full of tragedy. You could really tell that Gabrielle didn't want to die. I would love to listen to this song again.
To Live Like This: Didn't really do it for me. Almost not necessary.
Morality Play: Ok, I get the point of this song. But I hated it. Very hard to understand (and it took me a long time regardless) without book knowledge.
The Crimson Kiss: Really heartwarming. Like a Mother to Son and a Father to Daughter moment. Definitly rememberable. But the whole thing with Nicolas definitly brought it back down to a 'reality'; the harshness of 'life' and death.
Welcome to the New World: A very fun song. And now that New Orleans has been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina it eminated the spirit of the city even more. Louis was so funny in the background. And the dancing was down and dirty, no clean frills here.
Embrace It: I think the only song that showed the connection with Lestat and Louis. Which is complete love and in some ways very Dominant/submissive. I really wanted them to kiss, but alas... A good song all around, I would love to hear this one again too.
I Want More: It got a little annoying (the repeating of 'I want more') but very true for Claudia. Louis and Lestat are perfect as the 'two fussy mothers' and Claudia personifies a woman trapped in a girl's body. I'm still curious as to what she wants...? Besides a grown body.
I'll Never Have That Chance: Very sweet and somber. You really feel for Claudia and her tragedy. Which is great, because it makes you feel for her and shows that she isn't just a spoiled child. Even though she is.
Sail Me Away: I've read a lot of people loved this song, but I wasn't crazy about until the end. I'm not sure that Lestat needed his own ballad, even thought it is his show. Still, it serves its purpose.
To Kill Your Kind: I loved this song. It reminded me of a few moments in Wicked, but it wasn't obvious. Full of anger and passion as well as Armand's excellent sarcastic wit. A perfect song to lead to Claudia's demise.
Embrace It (Reprise): Very touching and by the end of it I had no doubt in my head that Louis should leave Lestat.
After All This Time: My favorite song. Armand is perfectly cast, and Drew couldn't have done a better job. Lestat also delivers well when he tells Armand about Marius. Truely epic.
From the Dead (Finale): My problem with the finale is that in the books there is no ending. They keep going all the way up to Blood Canticle, while the play doesn't even touch Queen of the Damned. So to say that the play ends is kinda strange. The ending itself fell apart for me. Though I did like the touch of Lestat coming out in modern clothes. It relates it to now, and makes the entire show seem more real.
Costumes: I didn't like them. To me, they could have been a lot more catered to the time. My friend with me was wearing a white ruffled shirt (almost like what Louis was wearing towards the end) and she looked like she belonged more in the time period than the actors did. I expected a dress that matched the movie Interview With the Vampire.
Book/Musical: I thought that they did a great job of keeping the book's shape and form while molding it to their needs. One thing that I was dissapointed about was the first time Lestat meets Marius he doesn't let him drink from him, which in the books are the only reason that he survives the fire. And Claudia's making. I really think that Louis really needed to help Claudia being made in order for him to stay with Lestat. That way, it really shows that she is both of their daughters.
Overall: I loved it. I would love to see it again. I'm definitly going to buy the soundtrack. Though I'm overly critical about some things, and the show definitly needs the next week to tweak somethings, it's almost perfect. I hope that B'Way accepts the show, and would love to see it win some Tony's.
If I spelled anything wrong, don't kill me. Questions and comments are welcome!
Paramour - 1. A lover, especially one in an adulterous relationship.
2. Also concubine, courtesan, doxy, odalisque.
3. Found in O'Sailor by Fiona Apple.
Paramourical - 1. Made up by moi.
Hello. I'm Marisa. And I'm starting over. Here (eventually) you'll find icons that I plan to make, as well as blog entires. Those, however, will be screened. Ciao.