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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: London
Cooper really does turn into a 1930s American (not one of you modern chaps!) and Wildor is a good enough Russian diva.

There are no Balanchine Trust endorsements, but then does the Balanchine Trust cover dance excerpts for a musical. I mean, Balanchine worked for the production, not the other way round, so copyright would reside with the production owners.

Still, you have provoked my curiosity and i am going to try to get an interview with Cooper to ask him personally.


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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: Jamaica, Queens, New York
Hey, who are you calling a 'modern chap'? And what sort of cultural credentials go w/ somebody whose Saturday consists of "On Your Toes" at the Royal Festival Hall followed by "Pizza Express" at god knows where ;) ...

Yes, no doubt you're right about the whole copyright thing. I'll be right here to read the Adam Cooper interview...

Not to get too far off the subject, but about the whole American/Britisher impersonation thing -- I just started "Theory of Everything: Origin and Fate fo the Universe," an audiobook by physicist/cosmologist Stephen Hawkings and it starts out with a caveat that goes something like:

...this lecture is given with a computer and voice synthesizer [Hawkings has ALS]. I apologise for its American accent but I have not been able to teach it 'proper English' ...

<small>[ 14 August 2003, 07:33 AM: Message edited by: Jeff ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:12 pm 
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Location: London
Pizza Express has air conditioning, Jeff. Do you know what that means? Have you read what temperatures we have here??

I think Englishers do American better than Americans do Englisher, don't you think? From the examples you can think of..


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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:05 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Just for the record, Pizza Express provide elegant restuarants around London which are a great boon to dance goers. A long way from the unsavoury pizza shops seen on the wrong side of the Atlantic.


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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 457
Location: Jamaica, Queens, New York
Well, at least in London the air conditioning works (unlike this afternoon on the U.S. East coast). Actually, I thought that Pizza Express would be more like some sort of pizza shanty judging only by the name.

Here's their website: http://www.pizzaexpress.co.uk/indexf.htm

Yes, that looks much better than the last place I got pizza -- it was worse than the ones I make myself and that's saying a lot!

Can anybody answer me this -- has "On Your Toes" been re-thought or just re-done. In other words, is the Cooper "OYT" hommage, revival, or parody?


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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
From Emma:

Quote:
I think Englishers do American better than Americans do Englisher, don't you think? From the examples you can think of..
The only people who can tell how well the English do American accents are Americans. While I have heard some excellent accents (notably Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson in "Dead Again" and Peter Sellers as the American President in "Dr. Strangelove," most of the English actors I've seen (the ones I know are English, anyway) who attempt American accents slip up. Now even I can hear American actors slipping up trying to sound English, so maybe that means your people are generally doing a better job than my people, but I have a feeling I might not think as much of the job your people are doing as you do.

Bob Hoskins is another good one.

<small>[ 14 August 2003, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:13 am 
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Location: London
You haven't heard mine. I study my American colleagues at work all day and can do good parodies of them. That means I can do good New York accents - various parts - and Virginian. Of course, there's quite a few accents in the US I haven't got to yet.

Jeff- it's the real On Your Toes with all the same music and acting, it's just a new production insofar as the chreography goes and that's what I want to ask Cooper himself - how much of the choreography is new, and how much faithful to the original, remembering that Balanchine didn't choreograph everything plus there was a restaging in the fifties.


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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:27 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England
On Your Toes – 14/08/03

Yes, I’d say the accents in this show are pretty good (not perfect) although it’s testament to the gap between on and off-stage life that it’s actually Mukhamedov, the only genuine Russian, whose accent sticks out. I found Wildor’s hammy Russian and whining diva persona a bit annoying but her dancing was great so she is forgiven.

As for the rest of the show – so, so is all I can muster. Many of the components were good; the costumes, the sets and lighting (which do a dance of their own), the orchestra, the company. It was a quality production without doubt, but if the plots and songs are weak it’s going to take an awful lot of fireworks to distract us from that.

It goes without saying that all musical theatre plots are far fetched, but there still needs to be some conviction among the characters, some passion and some motivation for people’s actions. Emotions should be hyper real, not just painted on. In the second half of On Your Toes the idea of a coherent plot is pretty much thrown away, and for anyone who can’t see the front row at the climactic moment, it takes a while to work out what’s happening.

Nevertheless, the show is fun and enjoyable, and it’s the dancing that we’ve really come to see. There’s some dazzling tap dancing, especially from Cooper whose long loose limbs make him a great hoofer. Throwing himself around the stage with abandon, he’s clearly enjoying the freedom and the chance to be a showman.

His choreography has a hint of Jerome Robbins and a whole lot of Fred Astaire. The ‘Russian ballet’ Princess Zenobia will be a dose of déja vu for anyone who recently saw the Kirov do Scheherazade and the Balanchine mini ballet Slaughter on Tenth Avenue gives Cooper and Wildor as a couple a chance to show off. They are great together – as you’d expect – he is cool and masterful, she is lithe and coquettish.

Wildor’s earlier pas de deux with Mukhamedov is equally effortless and they play it for laughs in the way only truly assured dancers can. There’s plenty of humour, although the actual jokes are lame it’s all very tongue in cheek but there’s a great moment when a group of bellboys wheel in the girls on luggage trolleys.

In keeping with national stereotypes the Russian dancers don’t have a sense of humour. When they first take up their jazz ballet steps the ensemble is quite messy and can’t keep in time, and I’m not sure whether it’s intentional. I can’t tell whether I’m watching characters or dancers. This is what stops the show from igniting.

But when Kathryn Evans sings You Took Advantage of Me you know you’re watching a great actress, a real Broadway broad. For the first time in the show she takes us somewhere with a song and commands the audience’s attention with the least amount of physical effort. Actress Anna-Jane Casey’s songbird-like rendition of Glad to be Unhappy also deserves a mention. For the record, Cooper’s singing is unexpectedly good but it’s his dancing that he’s famous for and quite rightly so.

As other critics have commented, this show is lacking in fizz. I was desperate for someone to shake up the bottle. Part of the problem is that the Festival Hall just doesn’t suit musical theatre. The production of Follies here was the same. The venue saps the atmosphere, and to turn On Your Toes from a pleasant moving picture to a real theatrical experience, atmosphere is crucial.


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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2003 4:36 am 
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Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
On Your Toes
By Lisa Martland for The Stage

If ever there was an example of how a good or bad libretto can play an integral part in a musical's long-term success it is this latest revival of Rodgers and Hart's 1936 show.

Unlike Anything Goes, the book for On Your Toes has not been edited or revised and it shows. While director Paul Kerryson has worked hard to breath new life into the piece, the results remain underwhelming.

click for more


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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 945
Location: Maryland USA
National Dance Awards
Critics Circle

Congratulations to Adam on his nomination for Best Choreographer (Musical)
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<small>[ 10 November 2003, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: corrival ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:09 pm 
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Location: London
interesting news, thank you, corrival


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 Post subject: Re: On Your Toes ....Adam Cooper at the Royal Festival Hall
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 945
Location: Maryland USA
Wow, in addition to winning the Critics Circle National Dance Award for Best Choreography (Musical) Adam has also won the Audience Award :D
Audience Award -The National Dance Awards celebrates the best in British dance through a special prize chosen solely by audience members.

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