Friday, October 06, 2006

High Fidelity Catches Static From Boston Critics

High Fidelity Catches Static From Boston Critics

Last evening, High Fidelity -- the latest musical to be based on a movie -- opened during its Broadway tryout in Boston. Rather than help build buzz, the tuner caught nothing but static from critics from Beantown's two major newspapers. Additionally, one of the best theatre bloggers out there, Boston-based Chris Caggiano, weighed-in after seeing the show last Saturday.

Joan Anderman of the Boston Globe writes, "[I]n an effort to straddle the hip, indie world of its characters and the mainstream demands of Broadway, the show misses both marks....The sparks here, though, are too few and far between to ignite into an electrifying whole."

Over at the Boston Herald, critic Terry Byrne says, "[A]s a musical, the show doesn’t add up....The musical, making a two-week stop at the Colonial before heading to Broadway, is loyal to its sources but is missing an essential ingredient: great music....High Fidelity needs a tuneup before it tries to rock Broadway."

That thought is certainly shared by Caggiano, who in his always engaging, exceptional "Everything I Learned I Learned From Musicals" blog writes, "It needs work. Lots of work....High Fidelity is going to need some serious reshaping if it's going to have a chance at the Imperial....Numbers that on paper should stop the show sit limply and go nowhere. But the main culprit is Walter Bobbie's direction, which is flat and lifeless."

None of those assessments portend great things on the Great White Way. A story in today's New York Post by Michael Riedel certainly can't help, either. Riedel writes: "High Fidelity, which is based on Nick Hornby 's popular novel, is positioning itself to be the hipster show of the fall. But so far the hipsters aren't buying it. Ticket sales in both New York and Boston (where the show opened last night) are anemic."

Unless, the static turns into buzz, potential audiences may tune out this new show altogether (and this is despite an aggressive television advertising campaign in New York). In the meantime, perhaps the Imperial Theatre can begin scouting for another new occupant for early 2007 sooner than later.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for High Fidelity tickets in Boston
Click here for High Fidelity tickets in New York.
Related Stories:
Two High Flying Broadway-Bound Shows Begin Tonight (September 29, 2006)
High Fidelity Tunes In To High Capacity Imperial (August 24, 2006)

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At 11 October, 2006, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

In further ominous news for "High Fidelity," New York Post columnist Michael Riedel today reports:

"If 'High Fidelity' doesn't run long at the Imperial Theatre - and the reviews in Boston were not all that encouraging - look for the acclaimed British play 'Coram Boy' to slip into the theater in time for the Tony Awards."

And here I was hoping for a berth for "Curtains."


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