Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pirate Queen Attempts Broadway Throne Seizure Tonight

Pirate Queen Attempts Broadway Throne Seizure Tonight

After months of facing turbulent waters, first with critical pans during its Chicago tryout and then with unceasing negative buzz in New York as evidenced here and here, The Pirate Queen opens this evening at Broadway's Hilton Theatre. Will the critics find this show see-worthy?

Readers will recall that I took in the Chicago opening in what seems like an eternity ago (although it was just last October). My verdict then on what I called a "spectacular dual-edged retread":



Think Les Misérables meets Riverdance as ships passing in the night (only there were no actual ships unless you count the remarkably small scale model trotted out during one of the few battle scenes)....Unfortunately, the story was told much more coherently in the Playbill synopsis that it was on the stage....[I] found myself laughing at some key plot points (like Grania’s postpartum sword fight) while wondering how something so visually arresting could still be so predictable and ultimately boring....On the plus side... Stephanie J. Block (is) finally given a well-deserved star turn. She doesn’t disappoint as the titular Irish Pirate Queen Grace “Grania” O’Malley.

Whether or not the decision to bring in Richard Maltby, Jr. and Graciela Daniele to salvage the the tuner by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg has ultimately made any difference will soon be known. You can bet I'll be providing a round-up of the reviews tomorrow.

ADDENDUM:

According to a Playbill report, Stephanie J. Block missed key pre-opening performances due to an illness. The report notes that she began the "press-heavy" Wednesday evening show, only to bow out part way through the first act (standby Kathy Voytko took over). There is no word on whether Block will perform this evening, but the media invited to attend last night's performance "will be invited back."

Here's wishing Block, undeniably the best reason to see this show, a speedy recovery.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.

Related Stories:

Can Pirate Queen Be Salvaged? (March 23, 2007)

The Hits From Coast To Coast (March 8, 2007)
Swashbuckling On Broadway (February 1, 2007)
SOB Readers Doubt Pirate Queen Will Float (November 21, 2006)
Bailing Out A Sinking Pirate (November 15, 2006)
Critics Assail The Pirate Queen (October 31, 2006)
The Pirate Queen (The SOB Review) – Cadillac Palace Theatre, Chicago, IL (October 30, 2006)
The Pirate Queen Sails Into Chicago Opening Tonight (October 29, 2006)
Pirate Queen to Sail Into Broadway's Hilton Theatre (July 27, 2006)
The Pirate Queen Musical to Sail Into Chicago This Fall (May 15, 2006)

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