Monday, May 15, 2017

New York City Center Encores! - The Golden Apple

There are currently three groups in New York City that have a series in which they revive old musicals for a limited run of approximately 4 to 8 days. Of these, New York City Center Encores! is probably the best known. They have the largest scale productions of the three groups with the most well known casts. Actors, such as, Sutton Foster, Patti Lupone, Peter Gallagher and Victor Garber have appeared in previous New York City Center Encores! shows. Some of these shows have even gone on to have cast recordings made including Pal Joey and Call Me Madam. Others have gone on to have full-scale productions on Broadway including Gypsy, starring Patti Lupone and Chicago which is still running on Broadway and is currently the longest running American musical on Broadway of all time. We recently had a chance to see our first New York City Center Encores! production when they concluded their current season with a production of The Golden Apple. For more about that, see below.
What:  The Golden Apple

Where: Encores!
              New York City Center
             131 W. 55th  St.
             New York, NY

When: May 10 -14
Me - New York City Center Encore!'s production of the Golden Apple was good. It was based on stories form Greek Mythology. I am not really familiar with the stories it was based on except for the one about the Trojan horse. In the show, they didn't actually have a horse but they did have to go into another city to get back Helen. Also, Helen wasn't kidnapped, she was seduced into leaving. The story was interesting. The characters were okay. The acting was good. They get really good people in their shows at New York City Center Encores! We had seen a bunch of the actors before in other shows. This show was all singing. The voices were nice. I liked some of them songs but not all. I don't really remember the songs now though.  The music was pretty. Out of the three groups that do revivals of old musicals, this is the only one with a full orchestra. It also has the biggest most comfortable theater. Over all, it was a fun and entertaining show. This was the last show of City Center Encores! current season, but I hope I get to see more of their shows in the future.
Mom - The Golden Apple is a 1954 musical by Johnny Treville Latouche with music by Jerome Moross. It is a retelling of parts of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Although that may sound really boring, it isn't. The show isn't a history lesson. It is really quite amusing. The story is very updated, at least by 1954 standards. It is not  necessarily updated to modern times obviously but it is still a very entertaining show. It is really quite funny and  does not take itself so seriously. The character of Helen, for instance in the original story was portrayed as an innocent maiden either taken against her will or seduced away (depending which version you believe) by Paris. In The Golden Apple, Helen is portrayed more as a flirty bored housewife married to an older man for his money and willingly coaxed away by Paris, a charming traveling salesman who seduces her through dance. Helen in this version was amusingly played by Lindsay Mendez who has previously appeared in such shows as Wicked and Godspell on Broadway. Paris was played and appealingly danced by Barton Cowperthwaite an actor and dancer who has appeared with the  Lar Lubovitch Dance Company among others.The rest of the cast was equally good including Ryan Silverman as the hero, Ulysses and Mikaela Bennet making her stage debut as Penelope his long suffering wife. The show is entirely sung which does make it hard to follow the story at times if you are unfamiliar with it. However, the voices were beautiful and sounded especially good with the full orchestra backing them up. All in all, the show was charmingly performed by a talent cast. I would highly recommend attending future New York City Encores! productions if you have the chance, and I look forward to hopefully seeing more of their productions and bringing you more about them in future posts as well.

And that's our view. Tune in tomorrow for Tips for Tuesday.
Photo credits: All The Golden Apple photos by Joan Marcus

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