Theater Talkback: Against Ovation Inflation
From The New York Times
Something rare and wonderful happened at the opening night of the Encores! concert production of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” at City Center last week. At the end of the show, when the performers took their bows, the audience remained seated.
Let me hasten to add there was no doubt that this audience had mightily enjoyed what it had just seen. We had all beat our hands raw with clapping through a succession of showstoppers, including a tap sequence that would have made you swear the ghosts of the Nicholas Brothers had possessed its performers; an athletic series of variations on the Charleston; and a knockout rendition of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” that immortal anthem to non-liquid assets.
That number was performed by Megan Hilty, who as the gold-digging Lorelei Lee gave an original, audacious comic performance that, for the moment, wiped out memories of Carol Channing and Marilyn Monroe, her indelible predecessors in the role. It felt like one of those fabled performances (much cherished by theatergoers) that in a single, golden night thrust its leading lady into the firmament of musical stage stardom.
[Full article here]