Very much so! I saw the show three times in preview week, twice at the midpoint of the run, and twice the final weekend. It was almost like seeing three different shows, there were so many ongoing changes.
There wasn't really anything wrong with the show; it's just that people weren't ready to have someone try to MURDER Annie! Miss Hannigan was the primary focus of the show, and the audience didn't want to see an adult musical about Miss Hannigan. They wanted to see moments between the girl and the dog, the girl and Warbucks, that sort of thing and that's all they cared about. Martin said that three minutes into the first preview he could tell from the audience that the creators had written "the wrong show."
Length was a problem too; the first preview was three and a half hours long, and drastic cuts had to be made over the course of the run. Tricia and I were in something like the fourth row at the first preview, and we found ourselves next to Danielle Findley's mom and dad. Naturally, we had to join them in a standing ovation at the end, and we were the only four doing so in an auditorium of about 2,000. How embarrassing!
The opening night was delayed for a week till the first week of January in order to prevent even worse reviews. But the reviews still caused the coming Broadway opening to be cancelled. I still have Xeroxes of my tickets dated March 1, 1990 at the Marriott Marquis, which I made before I sent them back for refund.
The talent in this show was second to none. Danielle Findley was wonderful and deserves a lot of credit for bearing up under changes being made from performance to performance. And then of course there was Harve Presnell and Dorothy Loudon and Ray Thorne. Can't get any better than that. And Lauren Mitchell was, and probably always will be, my favorite Grace of all-time.
I am very glad they did the CD, to show people that there really was a lot of good stuff in A2:MHR, and it shouldn't be totally forgotten.
Posted on Aug 1, 2008, 5:16 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206