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
EXCLUSIVE: Broadway’s oddest and most enduring financing-scandal-turned-courtroom-drama has closed.
After six years, 471 legal filings, one trial and another that had been on tap, Rebecca producer Ben Sprecher has ended his effort to hold his former press agent accountable for the collapse of his musical. Last month, Sprecher settled his personal lawsuit against publicist Marc Thibodeau, obviating a second trial concerning the aborted Broadway show.Continue Reading
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
“I always thought that my lot in life was to help people en masse,” pontificates Susan Sarandon as an unbearable community theater diva in Jesse Eisenberg’s half-baked new play, Happy Talk.
“Through my work. People see me on stage. They see the human condition — it filters through me — and maybe they learn a little something about themselves,” Sarandon’s character, Lorraine, says.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.
LONDON — Man of La Mancha is being revived at the London Coliseum, starring Kelsey Grammer as a blustery Don Quixote. Directed by Lonny Price, with the English National Opera’s 30-piece orchestra, it’s a luscious delight.
For the show — the 1966 Tony Award winner for Best Musical — lyricist Joe Darion and composer Mitch Leigh crafted a perfect score, built on a base of Spanish guitars periodically punctured by explosions of brass.Continue Reading