Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
January 8, 2006
The Benedem Center and Byham Theatre is like no other experience. See classics as Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, the Nutcracker Ballet, Phantom of the Opera, A Musical Christmas Carol... you name it, they probably have it from musicals to ballets. It's all here in the musical city of Pittsburgh.
From journal Pittsburgh: Home of the Steelers!
, West Virginia
December 10, 2003
Inside, the dome ceiling is decorated with rose-and-green convex glass with lights that cast their own spell until curtain time. A surrealistic black-and-white print, the Dutchman, hung on stage, and I tried to regard it as I knew Senta would. David admired the performers before they were even out, noting that the extreme slant of the stage (representing a ship) must make their job more physically demanding. As the lights dimmed, he whispered, "Grimsley will be the third to sing," but I already knew that. I was ready for every one of my emotional chords to be struck.
Costumes were not beautiful, and the stage, bleak, but both were convincing. My first chord was anger; I immediately hated Senta’s father for making the dirty deal with the ghost sailor. A girl her betraying Dad calls "faithful to me" is already revealed not believable as modern woman, who would have left home long ago after a few choice words to the drinking louse! Then there is her obsessive love for the ghost! I wanted to scream out, "Listen to the male chorus!" They were singing, "Give it up. Live for today." If they meant to drink with these hooligans, poor girl would be better off with that ghost! Not a friend among the women, either! They nag at her about her "duty" to weave blankets for the drunks (a-hem, sailors). Then the one real human who thinks he loves her is so jealous, guess what he does in this "updated" American production! He shoots her dead with a shotgun! I loved it!
Food for thought takes a while to digest. Is Senta too dumb to live, or does she not have any decent choices? Whatever the case, Margaret Jane Wray sang with a strong, pure soprano that dwarfed the Symphony. Her credits include the Scala, Met, Berlin, and
Paris operas, and Greer Grimsley’s are as impressive. With all characters on stage singing together, their voices filled the room with startling crescendo. Both male and female choruses were choreographed with knee-slapping, stomping noises representing spinning loom and other reality boosters whose repetition was effective and enthralling.
Grimsley was great, but David "couldn’t believe she could sing so strong." We haven’t decided whether the Dutchman is a looser. (He turns down Senta’s love with the excuse (?) that he wouldn’t be good for her.) Is he a hero? Up next is Julius Caesar, which should not present this ambiguity.
From journal From My House to the Opera House
January 6, 2001
From journal Pittsburgh- Champions in all aspects