Tag Archives: Broadway

AG Halloween Costume, Part 2: Dress with Shoes!

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At first I thought I would make a pair of red shoes for the dress out of the extra fabric I had, but I think shoes are hard to make.  I discovered from Say Hello To My Little Friends about Tree House Studio doll shoes sold at Hobby Lobby.  I went to see if the particular Hobby Lobby store I go to carried them.  They had about 12 different pairs!  Also, I was pleased to find that they were only $5.  I bought the red sparkly flats to go with my Thoroughly Modern Millie Halloween dress.  They aren’t exactly 1920s period shoes, on the other hand they are red and AG dolls can’t wear 1920s high heels anyway.

They fit my American Girl Doll great!  I didn’t expect them to fit my Kidz n Cats doll, however I tried them on for kicks.  They are obviously not designed for Kidz dolls.  Like I said, I didn’t expect them to, so it’s okay!

I am quite pleased with the inexpensive foot covering for AG.  I will probably definitely buy more pairs in the future.  As long as the shoe stays intact, I am not too concerned by quality in general.  They do not have to be practical – they are for a doll! – , they just need to look the part.  That’s the way I see it.

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AG Halloween Costume Part 1: Dress

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I have completed the dress for my AG Doll’s Millie Dillmount costume!  The dress is inspired by the Thoroughly Modern Millie Broadway poster.  Thoroughly Modern Millie (the musical) was based on the 1967 film by the same name starring Julie Andrews as Millie.  The musical rendition of the film opened on Broadway in 2002, starring Sutton Foster as Millie.  The show won 6 Tony Awards and ran for 903 performances with 32 previews.

The costume will eventually consist of the dress, shoes, necklace and possibly headband.  This is part one!

To make the basic shape of the dress, I used this tutorial.  After cutting the fabric, I cut the armholes 1/4 inch all the way around, and lowered the neckline.

The length was perfect for this 1920s flapper dress.  When using this tutorial for nowadays outfits, leggings underneath would be most appropriate 🙂

The inside lining is a smooth fabric, which I forget the name of at the moment.  The outside of the dress is 2mm sequin fabric.  The red poly chain fringe was 4″ long when I bought it, but I cut it down to 2″.  Each row of fringe is 1 and 3/4 inch below the last, allowing the rows to overlap slightly.  I used about 55 inches of this fringe.  I bought 1.5 yards, and used almost all of it.

The back closes with Velcro.

Scroll down for more pictures!

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Original poster

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Back of dress

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Front of dress

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Newsies North American Tour!

Anthony RosenthalCongratulations to our family friend, Anthony Rosenthal!  My brother, Grayson J. Smith, was in Oliver! at the 5th Avenue Theater with Anthony last year.  Anthony was recently cast in the Newsies North American Tour, which begins October 11, as Les!  We are so excited for him!   See the full cast here.

 

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Aladdin on Broadway

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The classic 1992 Disney film, Aladdin, has been transformed into a magical Broadway musical!  The musical debuted in 2011 at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle.  In 2013 it ran a pre-Broadway tryout in Toronto.  On March 20 2014, the musical opened on Broadway in the New Amsterdam Theatre and is enjoying favorable reviews.

Aladdin, of course, is the story of a street urchin who falls in love with a princess.  Unfortunately, she can only marry a prince.  Solution?  Find a magical genie in a lamp that can grant wishes!

The cast includes Adam Jacobs as Aladdin (Broadway: Les Miserables, The Lion King), Jonathon Freeman as Jafar, who is also the voice of Jafar in the film, James Monroe Iglehart as Genie (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and Courtney Heights as Jasmine (In the Heights, Mamma Mia!).  The cast also includes Seattle actors Brandon O’Neill and Don Darryl Rivera.

The cast recording will be released on June 17 2014, and is now available for pre-order.

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Thoughts on ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott Part I

Introduction

My first experience with the story of Little Women was the 1994 movie.  A few years ago I attended a performance of the production Little Women: The Musical.  I did not see the musical on Broadway.  After seeing two considerably different renditions of the book, I decided to read the novel.  As an author myself, I was interested in seeing what Louisa May Alcott had in mind for her characters and their tales.

The Novel

The novel tells the story of the four March sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy growing up in Concord, Massachusetts during the time of the Civil War.  The book was written by Louisa May Alcott in 1869 and was based on her childhood.  The main character of the book is Jo, who Alcott modeled after herself.

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The Musical

I’m going to do a quick recap on the musical, for those who are unaware of it.

Little Women: The Musical was written by Allan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland.  It attempts to throw in a bit of comedy into the story taking place during the Civil War of America.  For example, Beth is playing the piano when Mr. Laurence enters the March home.  He looks at her and says ‘Which one of the dreadful March girls are you?’ she replies, dropping a quick curtsy ‘Dreadful Beth’.  After which, the audience chuckles.

It premiered on Broadway in January 2005 starring Sutton Foster (Broadway credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Drowsy Chaperone, Shrek: The Musical, Anything Goes) as Jo.  The cast also included Maureen McGovern (Pirates of Penzance, Nine) as Marmee, Jenny Powers (Grease, Follies) as Meg, Megan McGinnis (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Beauty and the Beast) as Beth, Amy McAlexander as Amy, Danny Gurwin (The Full Monty, Urinetown) as Laurie. The musical has a small cast which can be made up of as few as eleven members doubling some roles.  There is no ensemble.

The basic plot of the musical is very near to that of the novel.  Much of the unnecessary parts that do not enhance the plot greatly are removed.  I have witnessed the creation of a new Broadway caliber musical Secondhand Lions: A New Musical through actor Grayson J. Smith, who is my brother.  Because of this, I can understand and appreciate the changes that occur with an adaptation.  Events are switched and overlapped to save time.   It is very easy to understand the reason for timeline changes, as they quicken the pace of the plot.

Despite portions of the story in the novel being cut and patched, the musical still runs about three hours including intermission.  Most musicals are two hours long.  The novel’s plot is extensive and the events need time to take place over.

The musical can easily make the audience laugh and cry at numerous times throughout the show.  The script allows the actors to portray their roles with such emotion, that the audience has no choice but to get enwrapped in the lives and relationships of the March family.  The audience cried when they cried and laughed when they laughed.

Some musical numbers include Take a Chance on Me (sung by Laurie), Finest Dreams (Jo, Meg, Beth, Amy) Five Forever (Jo, Meg, Beth, Amy, Laurie), Some Things are Meant to Be (Beth, Jo) and the most well-known sung from the score, Astonishing (Jo).  The music itself altogether lasts more than an hour, with about 1 ½ hours of dialogue.  The musical has the right balance of dialogue and singing.  Dance is generally only found in the numbers Finest Dreams and Five Forever, as the rest are duets or solos.

I enjoyed the musical in the experience I had.  I bought the Original Cast Recording on iTunes, and continued to enjoy the music.  Now, I have every song by memory and own the piano arrangement book.  In addition, I have met Jenny Powers who performed as Meg in the original production on Broadway.

All to say, I am a fan of the musical.  I state this clearly, because I am going to criticize it in the following parts.  I will not be negatively criticizing it.  I will be criticizing it as a seasoned chef would criticize a well-made dish and point out its high parts and low parts.

The Movie

I am also in favor of the movie.  I own it and have watched it many times.  I believe that in most respects it represents the basic plot of the novel well.

In the Next Part

I have read the novel over three times, in the past two years.  Each adaptation of the novel has its strong points, and yet they are different.  In addition, each adaption is altered from the original story to accommodate the audience it is aimed at.

In the following parts of ‘Thoughts on Little Women‘, however, I intend to go deeper than the basic plot of the novel, and compare the adaptions.

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