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The fanclub dinner was a big success! We met at Marathon Grill, just two blocks from the theater. Present were fans from Houston, Michigan, northern and southern Jersey. We celebrated Eric's birthday belatedly with handmade E and K cookies. Everyone (including our lone male, Jake with the crooked little finger) got official Eric Kunze fanclub rings. Eric's fans are all so nice. We always have a great time together. Afterward we attended the show and were able to visit with the cast, including Angelica-Lee Aspiras and Melinda Chua, in the lobby following the performance.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
The theater was sold out, except for one seat left in the upper balcony, back row, which I snapped up. It was a treat to see the capacity crowd clap, whistle and roar in appreciation after the musical numbers. Apparently, there have been standing ovations every night and this was no exception. Every person stood, from the upper balcony to the front row.
The reason for that is, this cast is exceptional. Eric is joined by his Houston Kim, Melinda Chua. They know each other inside and out, having done the show so often together, every move looks entirely natural and believable. They have worked with Philip Michael Baskerville before as well and he always turns in consistently excellent performances. The part of the engineer always has been a scene stealer and show stopper, but the spin Bobby Martino puts on the role takes it up a whole other notch. I don't know how he does it but he elicits real sympathy for his sleazy character expecially during the re-education sequence.
Having seen Eric perform this role at the Muny and at TUTS in Houston, I felt he played his character in a slightly more hardened, jaded way than before. That made his falling in love with Kim all the more poignant.
The pivital helicopter scene is a challenge depending on the limitations of the venue. Director Bruce Lumpkin is especially inventive here at the Walnut and is able to use smoke and mirrors for a realistic evacuation sequence. I've seen the show produced four different times. I've never been quite so moved to tears as this production. Kudos to the entire cast, director and crew for their superb work!
(written by Maggi Wunschl)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Toi, toi, toi!!!!!
That's the opera equivalent of "break a leg", the pre-show good luck wish. It's to represent spitting, and properly done, it is said over the left shoulder of the recipient of the wishes. So, to Eric and the cast of Miss Saigon on the opening of the show, "toi, toi, toi".
Monday, May 23, 2011
"I have been a subscriber for nearly a decade. While I truly enjoy most productions, rarely am I as blown away as I was by Miss Saigon. Thank you for a fabulous night of theatre."
"Another Standing O last night at MISS SAIGON! The "Heat is On" with this fantastic cast gracing the Walnut's stage. We're all very excited for Opening night next week!"
"Such an amazing production!!!! I am honored to have seen it!!!! And the cast was out of this world!!!!!"
And on Eric's Fanclub Facebook page:
"I saw the show last night at WST. Such an amazing voice!"
"I agree with Ella!! You were amazing!!!"
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Eric was asked to participate in a high school project in the Philly area where Broadway actors are asked questions by the students about their careers and the business in general. They asked Eric, who is starring in Miss Saigon at the Walnut Theater and because they will be attending. This is Eric's response to the questions asked:
I'm glad to be able to participate and hopefully help out with this project!
I first played the part of Chris in Miss Saigon with the Broadway company, and have since played the role in MANY productions across the country. I have never actually counted how many performances... I think that would be very daunting...however, being that the material is SO well written, the challenge of playing the role so many times NEVER gets old or boring in the least. It is both a challenge and a pleasure to sing this music night after night, providing respect for the piece and also the veterans and victims of the Vietnam War.
In my opinion, that point is one that Bruce focuses on with great intensity with his direction. He searches for the truth and drives it home through his directing- letting the audience experience and react to it their own way. I am always learning new things about both myself and this piece when I work with him.
I think its important for the students to realize that the climate of the world today is not too far from when this story takes place. It is still very relevant and holds its own to many generations that will see it.
I hope you and the students enjoy it!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
More exciting Eric news today: Eric's CD, "My Collection" was given a very good review in the summer edition of "The Sondheim Review" by writer Andy Propst. The publication is available at bookstores and newsstands in NY or you can order it via this link.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Performers include (subject to change): Josie Andrews, Taylor Bright, Melinda Chua, Jeffrey Coon, Ben Dibble Joilet Harris, Eric Kunze, Ben Lipitz, Brandon O'Rourke, Katie O'Shaughnessey, Peter Schmitz and Denise Whelan.
Tickets are available for purchase now! $35 for Orchestra and Mezzanine Seating, $75 for premium seats plus a complimentary pre-show cocktail
$250 for Gala Tickets: VIP seating, complimentary pre-show cocktail, and access to the exclusive VIP Party which follows the concert – the stars will be in attendance!
To purchase tickets to the Gala, call the theatre at 215-574-3550 or visit our website. Proceeds go towards the Education and Outreach department, which helps support over 100,000 kids a year.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Eric will soon be appearing from May 17th to July 17th at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia as Chris in "Miss Saigon". Tickets here.
Thank you all for your overwhelming response and support!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Eric's CD got a great review from TheaterMania.
By Andy Propst:
Kunze's graceful tenor voice seems custom built for the big anthems of the British poperas, and a host of them are included on this disc that's a retrospective of his career, including a particularly satisfying "Gethsemane" from Jesus Christ Superstar and a terrifically considered "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miz. There are a couple of nice surprises in the mix, too, such as Stephen Schwartz's haunting ballad "Fathers and Sons" from Working.
Here is a link to the entire article.