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Maybe he walked, cable cars scare him. (Concert review) 
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:12 am
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Has anybody mentioned or noticed this yet?

Marti Pellow seems to have an odd way of attacking notes - as if he's a millisecond behind on every beat. It sounds lethargic and lilty to me. In particular:

In "Story of Chess": "Each game of Chess means there's one less..." and "And in the end, we see a game that started..."

In "Arbiter's Song": Well, pretty much the whole thing. But the verses in particular.

**Waits for somebody to throw a fit and praise Pellow's technique as the correct way to sing, thereby implying Vichysois is somehow inadequate**


Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:06 am
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Broadway Legend
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:21 pm
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You're inadequate! Pellow's technique is flawless and should be praised.

On a serious note, Pellow's style is special, but it is why he fit the part of The Arbiter so well. He has a very "precise" way of hitting the notes, even though he sometimes hit last minute.

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Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:30 am
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

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I suppose I should have qualified - I do like his Arbiter. The attitude his style suggests, a kind of dignified nonchalance - a la "I see nothing other than a simple boardgame," fits the character well.


Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:37 am
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Broadway Legend
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Yes, and as I hope you realized, I was just messing around with you, I completely understand what you are saying, and if I should give my completely honest opinion, this is it:

When I saw him in Concert he was fabulous! He was one of the best things about the concert.

A year after when I heard him on the CD he was AWFUL! And I had no clue of what had happened.

Then I saw the DVD, and he was fabulous once again!

So I really think Pellow is a man to watch and hear, because if I only hear, I don't like it.

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Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:22 pm
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Fresh Face
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I didn't like him at all -- watching or hearing. Esp. hearing. Too much vibrato. Too much like an opera singer for a Chess lead!

High-baritonne wrote:
Yes, and as I hope you realized, I was just messing around with you, I completely understand what you are saying, and if I should give my completely honest opinion, this is it:

When I saw him in Concert he was fabulous! He was one of the best things about the concert.

A year after when I heard him on the CD he was AWFUL! And I had no clue of what had happened.

Then I saw the DVD, and he was fabulous once again!

So I really think Pellow is a man to watch and hear, because if I only hear, I don't like it.


Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:51 pm
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Broadway Legend
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A former rock artist too much opera? Wow, no offense, but that sounds weak. Although I agree to a certain extent, but I felt he was excellent for the part, the only Arbiter I've ever seen / heard who is better is Espen Hana.

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Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:09 pm
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

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No offense taken. My goal posts for that role is Björn Skifs (esp the reprise on concept album). Balls-to-the-walls rock with no trace of vibrato.

If anything, I'd say that Pellow's performance was one of the biggest casting disappointment for the London concert. Really brought the energy down for me. His voice actually sounded muted compared to the rest.

High-baritonne wrote:
A former rock artist too much opera? Wow, no offense, but that sounds weak. Although I agree to a certain extent, but I felt he was excellent for the part, the only Arbiter I've ever seen / heard who is better is Espen Hana.


Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:42 pm
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Broadway Legend
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Strange how two people can have such different opinions. I must ask, did you see the concert? Because as I said, Pellow should be seen, and I think his live performance was what made the impact on me.

In my opinion Groban was definitely the weakest link of the concert. David Bedella and Marti Pellow were two of the strongest. I liked both Pascal and Menzel, it's just that I know of actors who would do their parts so much better.

But let's not turn this into a dream cast thread, although it would be fun to read everyones opinions on that subject.

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Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:43 pm
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

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Yeah, I actually saw the concert before I heard it. I immediately was disenchanted with the casting of Pellow in that role. He really killed the energy of the show for me. My fiancee', who had not really heard other interpretations of Chess, also felt he was "lame" and needed more "oomph." When I played her the original concept album to see if that did it for her, she felt that was lame, too, in an 80s-pop kind of way.

Groban.... the weakest link? Hmmm... Interesting assessment. Surely, he doesn't have the gravitas or personality that Tommy K brought and defined the role as. But, in other way, he redefined that role as a softer, younger, more impressionable Anatoly, which is interesting in its own right.

High-baritonne wrote:
Strange how two people can have such different opinions. I must ask, did you see the concert? Because as I said, Pellow should be seen, and I think his live performance was what made the impact on me.

In my opinion Groban was definitely the weakest link of the concert. David Bedella and Marti Pellow were two of the strongest. I liked both Pascal and Menzel, it's just that I know of actors who would do their parts so much better.

But let's not turn this into a dream cast thread, although it would be fun to read everyones opinions on that subject.


Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:42 am
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:12 am
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High-baritonne wrote:
Yes, and as I hope you realized, I was just messing around with you.....So I really think Pellow is a man to watch and hear, because if I only hear, I don't like it.
'

Yeah, I did realize you were joking. But thanks for the clarification!

As to the latter portion of the post I quote, I think the singing style gets some validation from his physical presence, which conveyed a serious and dignified nonchalance. To that end, however, I'd prefer a vocal powerhouse with a reserved physical temperament - how I imagine Michael Cormick from the Danish production to have been.


Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:30 am
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Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer

Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:51 am
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Frankly I thought Pellow was awful. His singing and acting were pretty atrocious. My favorite Arbiter is Raul Esparza in the Actor's Fund concert. I thought that was perfect casting.


Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:01 am
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Yeah, either Raul or Michael are fine. I'm also fond of when Matthew Morrison did it in LA a couple years back.

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Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:36 pm
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