st james theater

List of Broadway Theatres & Their Visibility

I have compiled a list of every Broadway theater and the general reviews I have read on their visibility to be used as a reference for all those broke theatre kids out there. I would also like to add that each show has its own discount ticket policy- standing room, student rush, lottery, regular rush, etc. And you should check out that and the general popularity of the show (i.e. your chances of getting the one of the limited number of discounted tickets) before buying your own ticket.   

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Samurai Shopper | The Sweet Smell of Raúl Esparza
By: S.S. Fair

Actors go to great, often absurd lengths preparing for roles: Robert De Niro gained more than 60 pounds to better portray Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull”; Nicole Kidman did Cyrano de Bergerac one better by growing a formidable Virginia Woolf-like nose in “The Hours.” But real method acting is less complicated and literal than that. It’s about making connections to sensory experiences — sights, smells, tastes, sounds — in order to flesh out a character’s character. The consummate Broadway actor Raúl Esparza is very clever in this regard: he picks a cologne/perfume for each role he takes and wears the scent until the the show shutters.

“A particular smell puts me in a place so much faster than any intellectual work I could do,” he explains. It makes perfect, Proustian sense. Right now Esparza is starring as the religious con artist Jonas Nightingale in “Leap of Faith,” a musical adapted from the 1992 film of the same name. The Samurai Shopper attended a preview weeks ago and said: Positively electrifying! Audiences were ecstatic. The almighty critics, however, were not. Though “Leap of Faith” won a Tony nomination for Best Musical, Esparza takes his final bow at the St James Theater on Sunday; all the fire and music in his performance will be history.

But the sweet smell of Raúl will undoubtedly linger on. Esparza’s been sporting Tom Ford for Men for his role as the flimflam man. “Tom Ford smells musky on me and a little bit trashy, in a good way,” he said. “And it’s not ridiculously expensive; it’s something Jonas — my character — could afford. The cast likes it, too.”

In “Speed the Plow,” Esparza went with Red, a honking, hyper-masculine scent by Giorgio of Beverly Hills from the ’80s. “It reminded me of a truck stop on the Florida turnpike,” he said. “It was so, so wrong. I smelled it and I was back in high school. My character was a cokehead, wore power suits and drank till he couldn’t see straight; today he’d be one of those frat-boy investment bankers, an overgrown boy.”

Esparza also chooses scents for sentimental reasons. “As the M.C. in ‘Cabaret,’ I wore Guerlain’s Imperiale because my grandfather used to wear it,” he said. “My grandmother would spray handkerchiefs with it when I had a headache, and put it on my head. It worked. As Lenny in ‘The Homecoming.’ I wore Old Spice because my dad always wore Old Spice.”

Everyone’s dad wore Old Spice. “I’m drawn to those tobacco-y musky smells,” Esparza admitted. This was the Samurai’s cue to whip out Frapin 1697, tobacco-rich, rum-laden and smelling like Havana. Esparza, a Cuban-American, was hooked: “Mmm. Cigars, leather, burnt sugar, espresso that’s been boiling for too many hours.” He died for Tom Ford’s Black Orchid. “This could be Jonas in ‘Leap of Faith’ too. Totally Jonas!” Ouarzazate by Comme des Garçons struck another chord. “This is Sundance, not the film festival but the actual town, the mountains and again, the woods and smoke.” Richwood, by Xerjoff XJ at $670 per 100 milliliters caused the first nose wrinkle: “Too rosy and sweet.” But as it dried down he had his epiphany: “Actually, this smells amazing.” Then the Samurai went in for the kill: Copper Skies by Kerosene, chockablock with amber, tobacco — loud, macho spices that end in a delicious whimper. Esparza was halfway to olfactory heaven. “These may be great for some future characters, but right now they’re for me.”

No matter the vagaries of life on Broadway, Esparza’s done time with the best of the best: Shakespeare, Stoppard, Sondheim, Pinter, Mamet. Whatever’s next, I’m certain he’ll come up smelling like roses. Or tobacco, amber, citrus.



Jesse & Rachel | Shot at the Night  

infinity8tattoo‘s tumblr is all about the TV show Revenge, but 4 days ago she made an epic fanvideo about the relationship Rachel & Jesse share over the entire show of Glee.

Her video description from YouTube:

// I think it’s  i n e v i t a b l e //

So I made this promise that if Jesse and Rachel ever ended up together, I’d make a video for them. AND I CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. I’m still in disbelief and I don’t think I’ve ever grinned so much being able to make a video for a ship of mine that’s actually endgame. And in case you missed the last shot, it’s the banner of their musical at ‘St. James Theatre’, aka THEIR theatre. I’M FINE.

Pairing: Jesse + Rachel
Song: Shot at the Night by The Killers
Glee seasons: 1, 2, 3, 6
Please watch in HD and enjoy! x

I also left her a long comment. The highlights:

Wow this is beyond epic. Your really high quality source footage combined with the beautiful coloring effects really adds a lot to the vid, actually - it’s hard to pull my eyes away. It’s just so mesmerizing.This vid impressed me so much. Your song choice was PERFECT. I never heard it before but now I love it and really, it fits them so well. And all of their voiceovers that you included! I can totally see how much you ship them. I’m so glad you made a vid for them. Even if they hadn’t ended up together, you still should’ve vidded them - the St. Berry fandom deserved a vid tribute using your epic skills, either way! Oh and thanks for pointing out to me the St. James theater thing - the props and set departments add so much to scenes, so many little details that are so easy to miss. That is so cool. 

Something Rotten is on Broadway and you should see it

Recently there has been a hue and cry about the lack of original musicals on Broadway. They are now based on movies or books that are well known in some circles. There are very few surprises because the viewer has seen or read it before. Where are the original works? Where is the Broadway that surprises and entertains without the audience knowing the whole story before they enter?

I can tell you that it is currently in the St. James Theater and it is brilliant to behold.

Honestly the first time I heard about this play was when it showed up in my facebook feed. I liked it and saw all kinds of things they were posting. A lot of these things made me smile or laugh. But I still didn’t really have any idea what the play was about really except it was billed as a new musical of the first musical.

Peter and I decided on a whim to go see it during previews and got really nice seats for a really good price. We sat down and looked at the Playbill.

“What’s this play about?” Peter asked.

“I honestly have very little idea but they don’t like Shakespeare,” I replied.

“How do you know that?”

I pointed to the song title ‘I hate Shakespeare’.

The curtain went up, the show began, and I haven’t laughed that hard in an age.

Imagine Shakespeare as a rock god, imagine how the other playwrights felt about Mr. Rock god. Imagine a struggled theater company trying to come up with the next big thing before Shakespeare does. Add Nostradamus (kind of) to the mix and you get Something Rotten. Oh and there are Puritans threating the theater for good measure and a rather nice subplot.

It is a slick production that both makes fun of the musical form and expands upon it. It starts one way and then turns another and then another turn.

The songs are great. There is a show stopper in act one that had everyone on their feet after it was done.

Directing is solid.

And the actors do know all their lines as promised in the promotional material. Side note that three of the four male leads were all in the TV series Smash.

I really don’t want to give more of the plot away than what little bits I have because I want the audience to go in as clueless as I was and walk out with a smile as big as mine was mulling over what I just saw.

So put it on your list of Broadway shows to see for it is the first MUST SEE in my book in quite a long time.

I am grateful that we just happened into Something Rotten.