yes and no....
Posted by: DistantDrumming 02:00 am EST 02/11/24
In reply to: re: Anyone see Sweeney with Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit yesterday? - ryhog 08:04 pm EST 02/10/24

...of course, one can't judge the totality of a performance from just audio from their very first public show. And, yes, of course, there are elements of a theatrical performance that do not translate to a recording, no matter the quality. And, yes, performances grow and evolve (and sometimes improve) over the course of previews/early performances. No denying any of that. My comment wasn't about the totality of their performances. Strictly upon their singing. To me, with Sutton, what I heard was a little less about vocal suitability for the role than with choices that I think could easily improve during her run. Lord knows Annaleigh Ashford's accent work was atrocious, but at the two performances I attended she was at least consistent. Sutton sounded like... Edith Bunker trying (and not trying) cockney -- oy, the squawking -- the seagulls from By the Sea arrived early in this production!

But, while those are things that can develop and improve over the course of Sutton's performances, I don't think Tveit can do the same. I don't think you can change the entire placement, color and character of your singing voice over that same period. Tveit's poppy tenor does not work here. He even sneaks in a maniacal comic book villain "mwah ha ha ha!" ad lib in Epiphany (presumably, an attempt to add some more darkness to his bright sounding vocals.) He's obviously talented, but round peg, square hole. I mean, I wouldn't wanted to have heard Len Cariou or George Hearn sing Fiyero.

I don't say this with any glee. In fact, I LOVE it when a performer defies expectations. I remember going into Audra's Lady Day performance so deeply skeptical of her vocal suitability and, then, eating my hat.
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