Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber were among the collaborators and friends who spoke about the legendary director and producer Hal Prince at his memorial today at the Majestic Theatre. Prince died on July 31 at 91. Continue Reading
John Simon, the theater, movie and music critic who died last night at 94, took erudition to another level.
Never mind that English was his fifth language — after German, Hungarian, French and Serbo-Croatian, the language of his native Yugoslavia — every review sent you to the dictionary. He could be cruel, famously so when reviewing actresses’ looks, but also loyal. Betty Buckley wrote on Facebook this morning about her “abiding gratitude for his support of my work through all of these years and his friendship.”
When Bloomberg News hired Simon as its theater critic, in 2005, after 36 years at New York magazine, arts editor Manuela Hoelterhoff assigned me the fun task of interviewing him in the book-lined Upper West Side apartment he shared with his wife, Patricia Hoag Simon. I found him to be soft-spoken, thoughtful and unapologetic, except regarding his early assessments of Stephen Sondheim and Adam Guettel. Excerpts follow.Continue Reading
Tootsie , the Broadway musical adapted from the 1982 movie about a struggling actor whose career takes off when he plays a woman, will close on Jan. 5, the production announced tonight.Continue Reading
The Broadway League and Actors’ Equity Association reached a tentative pact that will raise the weekly minimum for Broadway actors 3.5 percent to $2,168.Continue Reading
The Prom, the $13.5 musical comedy that developed a cult following but not a mass audience since opening in November, will close on Aug. 11.Continue Reading
Hadestown’s strong sales and its Tony Award for Best Musical may advance the cause of female theater artists more effectively than any speech advocating for industry inclusiveness.
The inventive folk opera, which won eight awards at Radio City Music Hall Sunday night, is an all-but-guaranteed hit — and just the latest musical written in part or entirely by a woman to demonstrate staying power.
Of the dozen new musicals running on Broadway longer than a year, six have a female composer, lyricist or book writer. (They are Wicked, Waitress, Mean Girls, Frozen, Come From Away and Beautiful, the Carole King jukebox show.)Continue Reading
EXCLUSIVE: In competitive Tony Awards contests, can producers who vote for their own shows have an outsized impact? Apparently.
I obtained a list of voters in the 2017-18 season — which I’m told is largely current — and cross-referenced it with names above the title of this year’s Best Musical nominees.
I counted 17 Tootsie producers and co-producers who were eligible to vote, 16 on Ain’t Too Proud, 12 on Hadestown and nine on The Prom. With just 831 voters, those margins aren’t negligible. 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 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