I first saw Todd in '91...yes, think of all that I have missed. I have seen many a great show....it becomes harder and harder to be totally objective. With the AWATS show, I believe I got a glimpse of what it would have been like to see Todd is his earlier years.
You must make every effort to see this show. It will become, by reputation, a classic...gaining momentum when it sinks in to those who have witnessed it. The amount of work Todd puts into this production is very heartwarming...his treatment of this project is generous and tireless and I believe reveals a lot about himself and his desire to move his audience and to be their muse.
There is no casual Todd banter/political satire...no stalling or lulls...this show is all about his music and concepts where the performance speaks for itself. I have not seen him work so hard and keep to such a scripted production ever...
It is true that the opening Utopia set was poor due to horrible sound and frequent flubs. It could be that Todd wanted a contrast in sound between this set and AWATS...the audience is confused and disappointed with the result. The sound should have been excellent to showcase this Utopia moment. The contrast between any set and the AWATS set is almost indescribable and the fact that you get to see two completely different sets is historical.
It is hard to articulate my thoughts about this show because I am still trying to internalize the uniqueness of what I witnessed. Todd puts out so much effort and soul wrenching dedication in this show that I was wondering how spent he must be after the show. But I also wonder that maybe this amount of energy is what I missed in not seeing his " early years " performances. In AWATS he sings with everything he's got....no holding back. His performance/theater perspective and execution is A+ Theater. This professionalism has no rivals in today's market and I am wondering if the industry watchers knew Todd had this in him... The fact that Todd put this amount of work into this show and remains so professional throughout the night is very revealing to me....maybe not so revealing to those who saw him since the beginning...but revealing to me.
Seeing AWATS is like entering a special room in Todd's house that he may not open to the public again.