Posts Tagged ‘ginger rogers’

Tap into the holidays with Backwards in High Heels

(l to r) Benjie Randall, Christianne Tisdale, Anna Aimee White, James Patterson and Matthew LaBanca

This Holiday season the San Jose Repertory Theatre is playing Backwards in High Heels, a musical biography of Ginger Rogers, and two hours of toe tapping fun.  It is a fantastic show that is great for an all-age audience, even those who have never heard of Ginger Rogers.

Who hasn’t heard of Ginger Rogers??  Oh, just my 18 year old daughter, to my mortification.  However, when lights went up at intermission she turned to me and exclaimed, “OMIGAWD I LOVE THIS!”  As I’ve said before, this girl is San Jose theatre’s toughest critic, so this says a great deal about the show.  She is young enough to not understand many of the old Hollywood references, but the story does not depend on them, neither do they depend on the singing and dancing.  It is just a really great story about a very interesting woman.  Oh, and there is quite a lot of great singing and dancing as well!

Anna Aimee White as Ginger Rogers

It follows Ginger from age 14 in 1925 until the Academy Awards in 1940.  Much of the story is narrated by her mother Lela, played by Heather Lee.  One of the most entertaining scenes in the show is when Lela tells the story of Ginger’s alcoholic father, whom Lela divorced when Ginger was 4 – played with over-the-top physical acting and a strobe light, it appears you are watching an old time silent film.  An interesting woman in her own right, Lela ends up watching her adoring and very attached daughter grow into a strong business woman who insists on making her own decisions in life.  Not a lot of time is spent on Fred Astaire, which is probably how Ginger Rogers would want it.  She seems to have spent much of her adult life trying to convince people she could be successful on her own, not just as half of a team.

Anna Aimee White quite capably plays Ginger Rogers from a perky teenager to the self assured woman she becomes, and is a great singer and dancer.  Heather Lee is outstanding as the mother who truly wants only the best for her child but must stand back and watch her make mistakes on her own.  A surprise standout is Christianne Tisdale who plays everyone from Ethel Merman, Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, to, cross-dressed, Ginger Roger’s French fourth husband.  While Heather Lee brings a quiet seriousness to the story, Christianne Tisdale brings a lot of comedy.   Most of the cast outside of White play multiple roles, and they are all outstanding.

Backwards in High Heels
San Jose Repertory Theatre
Through December 19
$35 – $74
Tix:  408 367-7255
Online Tickets

To make it even easier for the family to enjoy this show during the holiday season, Creative Playshops are held during each Saturday matinee for children ages 6 to 12 in the Rep’s upstairs studio theatre.  Led by SJ Rep professionals, these playshops explore the imagination through interactive theatre activities related to the themes of the play.  Just drop the kids off before the show, enjoy the performance and pick them up afterward!  Single tickets are $10, Playshop subscriptions are $48.

LGBT Night: Out ‘n’ About Night will be Friday, December 10.  The evening will start with a VIP pre-show reception with wine, appetizers and a festive goodie bag.  Participants will be treated to parterre seating for the show, and immediately after the show they can meet the cast in the Curtain Call Patron Lounge.
Friday, December 10, 6pm to Midnight
Price: $49
Call the Box Office at 408 367-7255 and ask for the Out ‘n’ About rate.
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December show round-up

December is a lighter month in terms of scheduled shows, but that just makes it easier to attend them all!
These are the shows Metblogs plans to attend and review this month:


Backwards in High Heels
The San Jose Repertory Company
November 24 – December 19
The remarkable life of the legendary actress Ginger Rogers comes to life onstage!
This intimate musical dances its way through Ginger’s life with unforgettable music, show-stopping dance numbers and a captivating story that chronicles her journey from hometown to Hollywood and from one love affair to another. Best known as Fred Astaire’s dance partner, Ginger defied her overly-protective mother to become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and one of the industry’s first women to demand equal pay. Funny, moving and a visual feast, Backwards In High Heels is a toe-tapping, swirling, gliding account of her ambitious public and private life.

A Wonderful Life (Musical)

A Wonderful Life (MUSICAL)
Hillbarn Theatre
December 2 – 19
Frank Capra’s film classic has been brought to vibrant theatrical life through the remarkable collaboration of Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner Sheldon Harnick and Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Joe Raposo. The story of George Bailey and his wonderful life in Bedford Falls remains a timeless fable of dreams, disillusionment and the power of love. An uplifting chronicle of the extraordinary lives of ordinary folk, A Wonderful Life exhilarates the mind and heart as it celebrates the innate goodness in us all.  Memorable songs include One of the Lucky Ones, In a State and Christmas Gifts.


San Jose Short Film Festival
Camera 3 Cinemas
December 9, 11, 12
If you can’t wait for Cinequest 21 to begin (March 1) here is a great festival that will feed your film hunger: Presented by Emerging Artist Productions, the Second Annual San Jose Short Film Festival is dedicated to honoring and promoting short films while providing an outlet where local and national filmmakers, scriptwriters and all-around movie mongers can showcase their creative talent.

Nutcracker
Ballet San Jose
December 11 – 26
I don’t believe we will be attending this show, but no Holiday show list is complete without mentioning our own beautiful Nutcracker ballet.   This triumphant tale of Maria and her beloved nutcracker will delight audiences, young and old alike.  The theater itself is a wonderland of surprises, replete with lavish lobby decorations, a boutique of ballet and holiday treasures, choirs singing carols, the “Pocket Lady” passing out free toys, and characters from the show posing for photos and patrons.  A Not-to-be-Missed Treasure of the Season, and a Gift for the Holidays!

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It’s time to start planning your November show nights!

We survived the many great October shows, now we have an even more packed November!  This month I can honestly say I am VERY excited about every one of these shows.  These are the ones we are set to review this month – get your tickets now!

Flying Karamazov Brothers

The Flying Karamazov Brothers
The San Jose Repertory Company
November 10 – 14
Welcome to the zany world of The Flying Karamazov Brothers, where the daring and goofy take center stage. This ground-breaking blend of nouveau cirque, comedy, theatre, music, and, of course, juggling is nothing short of genius. Innovative and unique, they display their juggling prowess in such show stopping numbers as “The Gambler.” In this daring act, the Karamozov champion Dimitri will juggle three items presented to him by audience members. If the champion succeeds he gets a standing ovation. If he fails, he gets a pie in the face! This exuberant and hilarious off-Broadway rave is full of fast-paced virtuosity and fun as the four brothers deliver a stupendously entertaining evening like you’ve never experienced.

As if that wasn’t fun enough: The audience is encouraged to bring zany items to the theater for the Karamazov champion to juggle!

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night
San Jose State University Theatre
November 12 – 20
Theater director Kathleen Normington and English Professor Dr. Adrienne Eastwood are continuing to draw a great deal of attention with their provocative steampunk Shakespeare production.  Director Normington intends to use the steampunk aesthetic to style the production and highlight some of the themes of disguise and gender ambiguity within the play.  Dr. Eastwood, as dramaturge, is helping to guide the marriage of steampunk visuals with Shakespeare’s written words into the creation of a beautiful new version of the play.  This combination is sure to bring Twelfth Night’s message to a wider audience in unexpected ways.  DO NOT MISS this innovative vision that will stay true to its original ideas.

Tosca

Tosca
Opera San Jose
November 13 – 28
She’s a superstar: brilliant, beautiful, and spoiled. Yet Floria Tosca, despite her wealth and privilege, cannot save her aristocratic lover without consenting to debase herself. An opera diva as wildly popular in 1800 Rome as any rock or movie icon today, she finds that living for “art, love, and prayer” isn’t enough to protect her in a society run by wicked, powerful men. She is a beauty pursued by a beast determined to have her, and killing her stalker – chief of the secret police, Baron Scarpia – still doesn’t end her suffering. Suicide is her final act of defiance

The Color Purple

The Color Purple
Broadway San Jose
November 23 – 28
A soul-stirring musical based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and the moving film by Steven Spielberg. It is the unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who finds her unique voice in the world. Nominated for eleven Tony® Awards, THE COLOR PURPLE is a landmark theatrical event, a celebration of love, and a Broadway phenomenon. With a joyous GRAMMY®-nominated score featuring jazz, gospel and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE is capturing the hearts of young and old, and uniting audiences in a community of joy.


Backwards in High Heels

Backwards in High Heels
The San Jose Repertory Company
November 24 – December 19
The remarkable life of the legendary actress Ginger Rogers comes to life onstage!
This intimate musical dances its way through Ginger’s life with unforgettable music, show-stopping dance numbers and a captivating story that chronicles her journey from hometown to Hollywood and from one love affair to another. Best known as Fred Astaire’s dance partner, Ginger defied her overly-protective mother to become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and one of the industry’s first women to demand equal pay. Funny, moving and a visual feast, Backwards In High Heels is a toe-tapping, swirling, gliding account of her ambitious public and private life.

A Wonderful Life (Musical)

A Wonderful Life (MUSICAL)
Hillbarn Theatre
December 2 – 19
Although this show starts in December I want to make sure you are all notified in time.  Hillbarn has been putting on consistently fantastic productions, and has been selling out of many shows.  I’ve had my fill of Wonderful Life over the years, but I am truly excited to see Hillbarn’s new musical version.  I’m sure it will be a Don’t Miss production!

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