It continues to bother me that rock concerts and stage musicals pump up the volume way too high. I'm still investigating earplugs, but it's annoying that they're necessary. I never have this problem with classical concerts.
Not too loud was Series A of Summer Shorts at 59E59. They included Nancy Giles' warm and charming take on black hair products, the experiences of a recent widow, a couple about to embark on a vacation tryst (or are they?), and another couple celebrating an anniversary (or are they?) in song. Despite the mixed reviews, I found this and its companion Series B satisfying evenings of theater.
I think I only saw part of the movie "9 to 5" on TV, and it didn't leave much of an impression. Still, I was up for seeing the Broadway musical before it closes on 9/6. The show was fast-moving, with scenery constantly rising up and changing to depict a 1979 office and other locations. Megan Hilty, who played the Dolly Parton character, was terrific, and Allison Janney, while not the greatest singer, humanly portrayed Violet. We had understudy Gaelen Gilliland for the Jane Fonda character, and she was excellent. Dolly Parton's songs were not particularly memorable (sorry, Dolly - luv ya anyway), and I didn't appreciate the "stoned scene" (ick, drunk scenes), but overall lots of fun.
Even more fun (in fact, a complete hoot) was "The Toxic Avenger" at New World Stages. I was going to say the music by Bon Jovi member David Bryan wasn't memorable, but hearing it again on a fan site I remember it (UPDATE: I'm listening to the soundtrack on Rhapsody and loving it). The energetic cast including Idol contestant Diana DeGarmo were all great (5 people played multiple parts), and everything was over-the-top in a good way. Don't see this if you're offended by blind jokes.
I also saw "Eat, Drink and Be Merry" (Fringe Festival) produced by NPLer Blackpool. Outside the theater he introduced me to a man who I later learned was the author/composer. The show followed a couple "Adam and Eve" through time, especially highlighting their relation to food. The cast was talented (the tall, thin redheaded emcee reminded me of BEQ), the costumes were fun and colorful, and I was humming the last song all the way home which is more than I can say for "9 to 5" (sorry, Dolly).
I still hope to get to Fringe plays with my cousin Rachel and ennirol.