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 may seem necessary, before an American audience, to provide a primer on snooker, that English variant of billiards. But the unseen, bone-dry play-by-play snooker announcers in Richard Bean’s charming new comedy about the sport, The Nap, which opened Thursday at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, are reluctant to expend the effort.
One begrudgingly explains a few elements of the game, in an Alan Rickman-adjacent whine, “if you’re watching on the Internet in Antarctica,” or “for those on a canoe in Tahiti.” In other words, let’s assume we know the basics, and get on with the fun bits.Continue Reading
EXCLUSIVE: Investors in Scott Rudin’s celebrated revival of Hello, Dolly! have earned a profit of 5 percent, according to two people familiar with the production.
In a flop-filled business, recouping is considered the benchmark for success, and investors months ago earned back their money. The musical was the talk of the 2016-17 season, won four Tony Awards, and last week was the third-bestselling musical, behind Hamilton and The Lion King. For angels seeking prestige, glamour and the satisfaction of helping to create a revival worthy of the iconic, 1964 original, Dolly delivered and made them money.
Others, however, expected more from a production that’s grossed $126 million.Continue Reading
Pretty Woman: The Musical, the over-amplified wannabe tourist trap that opened Thursday at the Nederlander Theatre, illustrates the limits of vision-free Broadway producing.
The music is monotonous and draining, the book simplistic and clichéd (much more so than the film), and the acting wooden. The best elements are its Vegas-flashy sets (by David Rockwell) and its choreography (by director Jerry Mitchell).
REVIEW : The question at the heart of Head Over Heels is whether Elizabethan comedy and the music of the Go-Go’s go together. Sadly, the answer is no.
(See below for other opinions about the first musical of the season, which was capitalized for at least $11.6 million, according to investment papers.)
The jukebox musical that opened Thursday at the Hudson Theatre is (bizarrely) ostensibly based on Sir Philip Sidney’s 16th century Greek-mythological prose poem, The Arcadia. Thus the not-quite-iambic pentameter of the shepherd Musidorus (Andrew Durand), when he finds the skeletons of actors in the woods accompanied by a note: “These sad remains are of our theatre troupe, / Starved for lack of Serious Message.” This could charitably be called meta-commentary.
There’s cause for celebration in Bet Hatikva and Petah Tikva.
The Band’s Visit, a drama about acceptance, missed connections and the romance and ennui of everyday life, won 10 Tony Awards, including best musical. The triumph raises the profile of the quiet show about an Egyptian police band marooned in a sleepy Israeli town, who’d intended to go to a cosmopolitan city with a similar-sounding name.
Some takeaways from the CBS telecast:Continue Reading
The New York Drama Critics’ Circle voted not to give a prize for best musical this season, implicitly endorsing The Band’s Visit‘s Tony Award ambitions and rejecting Broadway’s other new musicals.
“It does bode well for The Band’s Visit,” Critics’ Circle President Adam Feldman said in an interview.
BEST MUSICAL SUSPENSE: There were just seven new musicals on Broadway this season, the fewest in at least a decade. Only one received “Critic’s Pick” from the New York Times and generally great reviews: The Band’s Visit, about an Egyptian ensemble stranded in a sleepy Israeli town. It has a now-Tony-Award-nominated score by David Yazbeck that’s packed with prospective cabaret standards. As expected, it did well, collecting 11 nominations this morning. But a source of its integrity, the understated drama — its “zero razzle-dazzle,” as New York Magazine‘s Sara Holdren put it — could be a liability with road presenters, who represent a chunk of the roughly 840 Tony voters.Continue Reading
Gerard said his contract was not renewed and he was told that Deadline, officially called Deadline Hollywood, no longer plans to cover Broadway. Mike Fleming, the co-editor-in-chief, didn’t return an email. Gerard also covered newspaper and book publishing, with forays in television and film, especially around awards season, as well as public radio, urban planning, pop, jazz, classical music and opera. “I have had a great run at Deadline,” said Gerard, who joined the online show biz news outlet in 2014.
ANALYSIS: The 71st annual Tony Awards opened with Kevin Spacey as Evan Hansen in a goofy polo shirt and cast around his left arm. The ceremony ended moments after an acceptance speech by Dear Evan Hansen‘s producer.
In between there was suspense aplenty at Radio City Music Hall. While Dear Evan Hansen, about a socially anxious teenager caught up in web of lies, was methodically collecting awards, including for score and book, Come From Away won for director, Christopher Ashley. That win raised the tantalizing possibility of an upset by the feel-good musical set in a remote Canadian province after 9/11. Ultimately, Evan Hansen prevailed in a historic night.