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I saw it twice.
Last Edit: Delvino 08:44 am EDT 10/15/19
Posted by: Delvino 08:38 am EDT 10/15/19
In reply to: Linda Ronstadt in LA BOHEME - BillyG 02:54 pm EDT 10/14/19

I have a good friend who was in the company, and he got me in. I didn't see two complete casts, but Ronstadt opposite both David Carroll and Gary Morris. She had better chemistry with the soulful Morris, to a point*, but Carroll was the classically persuasive Rudolpho.

I can't recall that much about its limitations, infamously noted by others, but if ill-advised, the production wasn't a humiliating debacle. *Mabel and Mimi are two completely different sets of challenges for a non-actor, and as winning as the wide-eyed approach was in "Pirates," it didn't go very far with Puccini. Anything beyond presenting a sweet, girlish quality was beyond Ronstadt's range -- which she freely admitted -- and she didn't attempt much of a characterization. She found it hard to sing, and claimed it literally "hurt" to spend an evening in her upper register (which people forget: wasn't required of "Pirates." The rock Ronstadt can be heard memorably in act two, thrillingly in "Go Ye Heroes...") The other actors were lovely, and Cass Morgan found a new take on Musetta, less glamed. But don't hold me to much at this late date beyond these memories. I was delighted to see what was a hard-to get ticket, and though I never met Ronstadt, did meet the warm and friendly Gary Morris. He would go on to be a fine replacement in "Les Miz." He had no trouble singing it (within his approach; he didn't strain like LS), and his C&W troubador take was charming. He and Linda's Mimi just looked sexy together, and Morris -- on "Dynasty" at the time! -- had enough chops to play the smitten poet with a smoldering sensuality.

I did like David Spencer's libretto, which can be found at his website.

This is all reflection, no facts checked. UPDATE: I believe on my return visit I was supposed to see Patti Cohenour, but they switched out the schedule (each of the major performers did 4 a week, mixed and matched). I may have that wrong, but I do believe some think Ronstadt only played with Morris, which isn't correct.

Alan: If you know more, please augment. I welcome the corrections. I'm waxing on with what stuck to my mind.
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