Thanks to Hamilton, The Lion King, Harry Potter and other blockbusters that draw fans from around the world, Broadway reported a record $1.8 billion in sales — up 7.8 percent — for the season that ended on Sunday.
What the Constitution Means to Me and Hadestown, two of the most of the acclaimed Broadway shows of the season, were both developed at New York Theatre Workshop. Last night, Artistic Director James C. Nicola received an Obie Award for lifetime achievement and discussed theater’s role as a haven and a vehicle for rebellion. An excerpt of his acceptance follows:
Somewhere along the way, I understood the absolute primacy of sitting in a dark room, with other people, watching other humans re-enact, ritualistically, that which we lived in daylight outside the holy space.
While accepting a lifetime achievement award at the Obies last night, Founding Artistic Director Jeffrey Horowitz described how an apartment fire helped him create the nonprofit Theatre for a New Audience.
Thank you to Michael Feingold and the OBIE Committee….Over four decades ago, when I was an out of work actor, on a very hot and humid New York summer’s day, while waiting for that big break to come, I decided to engage in a little D.I.Y. and polyurethane the wooden floor of my studio apartment. Continue Reading
For female musical theater composers, this season has been a mixed bag. Of eight original Broadway scores, just one, Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown, was written by a woman. Yet with its standing-room-only audiences and 14 Tony Award nominations, the folk opera appears to be a hit, a sign that non-traditional work — by a man or woman — can defy conventional wisdom of what belongs on Broadway.
It’s been a few years since an old-fashioned mainstream comedy won best musical at the Tony Awards. Tootsie could change that.
Its primary challenger appears to be the acclaimed New Orleans-infused folk opera Hadestown. But don’t count out the thriving Temptations musical, Ain’t Too Proud, or the inclusive comedy The Prom.Continue Reading
Students of Rupert Murdoch may wonder why an 88-year-old multi-billionaire would devote his last years to destabilizing democracy, promoting division and thwarting efforts to slow climate change.
“There is no why,” newspaper editor Larry Lamb (Jonny Lee Miller) says early in James Graham’s absorbing Ink, as part of a discussion with the young Murdoch about journalism’s five “W’s.” (Who, What, Where and When are the others.) “Sometimes shit just happens.”
Ever-so-timely, although ripped from headlines a half-century old, Ink chronicles The Sun‘s first year under Murdoch control, 1969-70.Continue Reading
Disturbing, timely and leavened by dry wit, What the Constitution Means to Me is an impassioned play about American governance that may renew your faith in Broadway.
Heidi Schreck, who wrote the autobiographical appraisal of U.S. democracy and appeal to improve upon it, plays herself, both at present day and at 15 years old.Continue Reading
Ain’t Too Proud isn’t too original, but it should appeal to fans of the Temptations, the most successful African-American recording group in history.
The musical’s five leads gorgeously harmonize on such hits as “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me),” “My Girl” and “I Can’t Get Next to You.” Sergio Trujillo’s kinetic homage to the group’s original choreography includes dazzling splits, slides and spins. Continue Reading
Cementing his position as Broadway’s most prolific and arguably most powerful producer, Scott Rudin said today that he’s reviving The Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman, in October 2020.Continue Reading
Set in suburban Jersey and based on Ned Vizzini’s out-there 2004 novel, Be More Chill is about a frustrated high school junior named Jeremy (Will Roland, best-known for Dear Evan Hansen), who swallows a grey pill that’s a Japanese supercomputer called a SQUIP. It implants itself in his brain and guides him through the intricacies of teenage social protocol. Continue Reading