October 10th, 2019

eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

Not the greatest Queen

Today was all kinds of productive. Lots of laundry, starting to reclaim my house. I'm going to bed feeling accomplished, even if I didn't get to writing stuff.

Last night, we went out with friends to see the Queen musical, "We Will Rock You," in San Jose, with dinner at Morton's first. Dinner was good, but not nearly as good as I expected for the price point. As for the show...it was slightly disappointing. Craig and I saw it when it was first released in London in 2002. The show is cheesy as hell, but because of the music, it was a ton of fun. So much fun that we saw it two more times in London, including taking Alex and Alicia when they were still pretty young. So when the tickets for the touring show became available last winter, we jumped on them.

Well. They've updated and changed the show. Some of the changes are good, modernizing references and such. Some of them drag the show down. They changed out at least three of the big numbers in the first act with practically unknown Queen songs which completely kill the pacing. And the pacing is the one thing the show has going for it besides the music under the best of circumstances. They also turned the character of Pop from an older, stoner-type guy, into a young surfer type, which completely changed the vibe of the second act.

Throw into that the fact that there were serious sound issues in the first act, and we were really worried that we'd made a huge mistake by going when intermission came around. We were in the 4th row of the orchestra in the middle, and we could barely hear any of the principles in the first act. We couldn't hear Killer Queen at all. They seemed to fix it for the second act, which helped a lot. The female lead, Scaramouche, was replaced during intermission with the understudy who, while a good enough singer, was so shrill for her speaking lines, everybody was bitching about her as we were walking out of the theater. I overheard the phrase, "shrieking banshee," mentioned more than once. The guy playing the lead had a great voice, but he played the character with crazy eyes which made Galileo come across as a psychopath (especially when he's doing it and smiling during the beginning of Bohemian Rhapsody when he's talking about having just killed a man) and not very sympathetic at all.

So maybe not the best way to experience the show. I don't even know if I'd recommend it. I know the sound issues won't affect every performance, but there are still other factors that drag it down. Which is such a shame, because the original production was just so much damn fun.