THEATER TALK: While we wait, SCHMIGADOON! offers great fun for fans of musicals (and anyone who was ever in one)
Anthony and Peter embarked on an exciting adventure this week. While they wait for theater to return in person, they - like many Broadway fans- found "Schmigadoon!" a great cross-pollination of talent, genres, and contemporary issues.
The setup: On a couples backpacking trip which they hoped might jumpstart their relationship, a couple discovers a magical town living in a 1940s-1950s musical (think BRIGADOON, OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL, FINIAN'S RAINBOW, THE MUSIC MAN, and more). She is charmed; he hates musicals; but either way they can't leave until they each discover true love. If you love musicals (and we assume that if you're reading this you do) we think you'll love SCHMIGADOON!
The six part series is available on Apple TV Plus for a monthly subscription fee, but free 7-day trials of the online streaming service will allow you to sample at least an episode or two.
As mentioned on-air, an antecedent to SCHMIGADOON! was the opening to the 2012 Tony Awards where Neil Patrick Harris sang "What if Life Were More Like Theater?" which, in addition to listening to Theater Talk, is a very enjoyable way to spend five minutes, just by clicking here.
SCHMIGADOON! stars a mix of Broadway and television stars including Keegan-Michael Key as Dr. Josh Skinner, Cecily Strong as Dr. Melissa Gimble, Fred Armisen as hen-pecked Reverend Howard Layton, Kristin Chenoweth as the strict Margaret/Mildred Layton, Dove Cameron as the flirty Betsy McDonough, Jaime Camil as Doc Lopez, Alan Cumming as Mayor Aloysius Menlove, Ariana DeBose as Emma Tate, Ann Harada as Florence Menlove, Jane Krakowski as Countess Gabriele Von Blerkom, Martin Short as The Leprechaun, and hunky Aaron Tveit as bad boy (think Billie Bigelow from CAROUSEL) Danny Bailey.
With Lorne Michael and Cecily Strong (among others) as producers, and Bowen Yang as one of the writers, the show is SNL clever. All the songs were written by the showrunner, Cinco Paul, who shares other credits with Ken Daurio, a creative duo perhaps best known for the "Despicable Me" movie trilogy.
Episodes 1 and 2 (of 6) of SCHMIGADOON! premiered on July 16 on Apple TV+, with one episode to be released each week through Friday, August 13. Apple TV+ offers a 7-day free trial, so if your budget is tight, you could hold out until the second week in August and then binge-watch until your free trial is up. All episodes were filmed in Vancouver, B.C.
BUFFALO THEATER NOTES:
If you missed last week's episode of Theater Talk, the big news was that the Artie Awards are on!
Event: WBFO presents the 30th annual (2019-2020) Artie Awards
Date: Monday, September 20, 2021
Time: The ceremonies start at 7:00 p.m., but come early for red carpet photo ops
Location: Shea's 710 Theatre (thank you Michael Murphy and staff)
Hosts: Anthony Chase, Charmagne Chi, and Amy Jakiel
Music Direction: Allan Paglia
The last (almost) full year/season, the Artie Awards were originally scheduled to be held on Monday, June 15, 2020. However, because of COVID-19, the Artie ceremony was postponed. Nominees were announced, but awards would not be presented until we could gather together as a community. And that time has come. (For nominees, see below, click here, or visit https://artieawards.webs.com/20102020.htm). Theater Talk thanks Doug Weyand for his meticulous stewardship of the archives and event production.
Meanwhile, local theaters continue to announce plans for the Fall and Winter of the current 2021-2022 season. For a chatty overview, please read Javier Bustillos' column "STAGEFRIGHT" appearing in under "Theater News" in Anthony's blog theatertalkbuffalo.com.
Shakespeare in Delaware Park is NOT sold out (despite what you may have heard) and continues into August. Read Peter's review here.