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Monday, December 6, 2010

Handel’s Messiah Rocks! (Broadway In Chicago GUEST REVIEWER MICHAEL PETERS)




Usually, I only go downtown for an audition (or because the only Arby’s in the city is there and I can’t get enough of that Horsey Sauce). So I literally leapt at the chance to go down to one of the big awesome theatres that I’ll never work at to see Handel’s Messiah Rocks!

And folks, I was not disappointed.

After stepping up to the press table and giving the nice lady my Reviews You Can Iews press credentials, she couldn’t seem to find my tickets, but she went to the box office and came back with THE BEST FREAKIN’ SEATS IN THE HOUSE IN THE SECOND ROW! I was so excited to sit so close to the performers and be right in the middle of the action.

So, before the show started, I was totally RIGHT THERE BY THE STEPS TO THE STAGE when all these people my age came out INTO THE AUDIENCE to welcome us to the show! I love when they do that! It makes me feel like I’M a part of the show too!

Then holy cow the show started!

Messiah, as you may or may not know, is the super-famous oratorio by George Frideric Handel, and is one of the most popular works in Western choral literature (and is viewed as totally sacred by music nerds).

But I can tell that the producers of Handel’s Messiah Rocks! totally agree with me that the score is super boring and old because they got a really awesome guitar guy and a totally awesome low-slung bass guy and a sweet electro-drum pads guy to amp up that stodgy old score.

And, as the title of the show would indicate, the band made it ROCK. THE FUCK. OUT.

There were three totally amazing rock ‘n roll singers, too. There was a guy who hit the super high notes and moved his arms around a bunch like he was feeling it, credited as “The Tenor” in the program, who looked like Andy Lawfer if he dressed like Conway Twitty if he were Kid Rock.

And then there was this other guy “The Baritone” who apparently beat Britney Spears in Star Search and is a huge Broadway star (Watch an interview with him here! ). He was amazing. He moved his mouth around a bunch while he was singing to make the sound come out better. He looked like Eric Roach if Eric Roach didn’t look like Eric Roach at all and was gay!

Finally there was this really awesome lady singer who had a bunch of really pretty purple dresses and sometimes wore a studded leather jacket. I think she was on Flavor Flav or Rock of Love or one of those celebrity love shows and that’s how she got famous. But boy is she talented in singing too!

And then there was also a choir who came out sometimes. They were great. Big theatre spectacles are awesome for choral performers because they don’t have to sing as much and can concentrate on the intricate choreography (which added a great deal to the spectacle).

It was a really awesome play/show/concert that got even more awesome at the end when the choir and all of the lead singers came out to do that Hallelujah Chorus part that everyone knows, and they let/made us sing it with them too because they know that everyone knows that part! Audience participation is my favorite, especially when I’m in the front row and can’t escape the desperate, pleading stare of the performers! I was so full of the spirit that I ran out of the theatre in the middle of it to spread the word.

While it was totally awesome and inspiring especially in this Holiday Season, I do have a few criticisms. They kept the stupid old strings and brass parts that made it sound like Handel a little bit, but I think the band could have rocked the fuck out more if they had some Vanessa Mae electro violins and maybe invented an electro horn or something for the show. Electric technology makes everything sound way better, and especially rock more. Also, none of the choir performers were credited in the program, which was lame because I thought I knew some of them and wanted to see how they got that job.

But all in all, it was a truly inspiring performance. It was only here this weekend, and has to move on to another city, but I wanted to get this out there so you can catch it in your town. I’ve got news for you people: if you thought that classical choral works were stupid, and that Jesus wasn’t cool anymore, you’ve got another thing coming. He is risen…TO ROCK!


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1 comment:

  1. I only go to church when I feel like singing, or at easter and christmas, and I notice that all these christians stand up when the hallelujah chorus starts, as though it's the national anthem or something. I bet they think it is the national anthem. Dummies.

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