Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Audra's Turn

Is there anything Audra cannot do? She is a mother, she is married to Will Swenson, and she owns the stage every evening at The Richard Rodgers Theater, and she is amazing with a capital A.  She is one of those actors who has such a magnetic presence on stage. I found myself staring at her permanently. And that voice - quite possibly the most wonderful voice on Broadway right now - a soprano that doesn't overwhelm, and you can relate with it. And the show? This "scaled-down" version of the opera is great, and I understand what Diane Paulus is trying to do to make this opera palatable to modern ADD affected audiences. And I think she succeeds. Sure, seeing the whole opera is probably a more fully-realized experience, but I honestly don't think they have hurt the piece with their cuts. It's still a very emotional piece of theater, in my opinion. It's less gritty, and the rough edges have been softened, but it still works. I remember sitting breathless, feeling that I cannot take this anymore, what's onstage. Porgy's goat cart is replaced by a cane here, but you don't care, I wish I could say a lot more about Norm Lewis' performance other than it was good, for I found myself always staring at Audra. 

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