Pacific Overtures at Signature is WONDERFUL!
Last Edit: DistantDrumming 10:18 pm EDT 03/14/23
Posted by: DistantDrumming 10:17 pm EDT 03/14/23

Great cast of actor/singers with beautiful voices and compelling and nuanced performances in an intimate space that perhaps ends up putting a bigger emphasis on realism and naturalism than the original production (while still skillfully integrating kabuki and the presentational.) The orchestra (12 pieces, I believe?) played Tunick's reduced orchestrations beautifully. I love the Original Cast Recording, but I'm not so familiar with the show to be able to catalog all updates from the original production or subsequent revivals, but, I did note...

-Female roles were played by women (other than the Shogun's mother... a very funny Andrew Cristi)

-Kayama and Tamate (husband and wife) actually sing There Is No Other Way themselves, as opposed to it being sung by other on stage performers -- and, GOSH, were their voices gorgeous together -- Daniel May and Quynh My-Luu

-Next's 'factoids' have definitely been updated. And there is a very cool and surprising element of the staging of that number that is new. (I still think the song itself is dated and a touch.... icky in its paternalistic sounding lyrics... but the rest of the score is flawless, so I'll live)

The production design could be a little bare at times -- intentionally, I know -- but that's a minor complaint. There were some moments of impressively dramatic or beautiful lighting, staging, sound design, though. And, honestly, with material this rich and performances these strong, I'll take it.

If you make it to DC, I'd grab a ticket.

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Next: re: Pacific Overtures at Signature is WONDERFUL! - richmurphy 08:29 am EDT 03/16/23

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