last weeks stories
nesletter sign up
THEATRE - December 1999

Arts Journal Home Page
PublishingTheatreVisual ArtsArts IssuesPeople

common threadsarts watchletters
issues archive

October 02
September 02
August 02
July 02
June 02
May 02
April 02
March 02
February 02
January 02

December 01
November 01
October 01
September 01

August 01
July 01
June 01
May 01
April 01
March 01
February 01
January 01

December 00
November 00
October 00
September 00
August 00
July 00
June 00
May 00
April 00
March 00
Feb 00
Jan 00

Dec 99
Nov 99
Oct 99
Sept 99

yesterday's storiesArts BeatSearchContact Us

News Service Home`ServicesDigest SamplesHeadline Samples









  • C'EST LE GUERRE: Still very much a work in progress. Washington Post 12/30/99
  • Previously: THAT MISSING FIVE PERCENT:  When the musical "Martin Guerre" opened in London in 1996,  reviews were mixed, and its creators acknowledged it wasn't working and went back to their studios. Headed to Broadway next year, the show is about to open in Washington DC, and looking, composer Claude Michel Schonberg says, for that last five percent to make it sing. Washington Post 12/29/99
  • AN OPEN BOOK:  Oregon's Ashland Shakespeare Festival is one of the biggest regional theater operations in the US - 762 performances of 11 plays at three theaters from February to November. This year's season was its most successful, with attendance of 374,246 and box office revenues of $9.9 million. Now a judge has ordered the company to open its books to a critic who has characterized the theater as "a medieval kingdom generating record revenues on the backs of nonunion workers." (AP) Seattle Times 12/28/99 
  • NOTHING TO LAUGH ABOUT: For the first time in memory there are no recently written dramas or comedies playing on Broadway. What does this say about the health of the city's theater biz? New York Times 12/28/99 (one-time registration required for entry)
  • BROADWAY BOX OFFICE DOWN Christmas week compared to last year as some shows raise ticket prices. Variety 12/28/99
  • NEW YORK "MOST" 99 THEATER LIST: Inside the New York theater world. CurtainUp 12/28/99
  • MY FAIR ROYALTIES: A 27-year dispute over George Bernard Shaw's estate is settled over who gets royalties generated from "My Fair Lady," based on the playwright's "Pygmalion." CBC 12/23/99
  • A CAUTIONARY TALE: The lessons of Boston's up-and-down century of theater. Boston Herald 12/23/99 
  • BRUSH UP YOUR SHAKESPEARE: Economic role model and inspiration for the 21st Century. New York Observer 12/23/99
  • EQUITY ACTORS employment days/earnings hit all-time highs last year. Variety 12/21/99
  • THEATER RESOLUTIONS: Herewith one critic's resolutions for the New Year in the hopes of making the theater a safer, saner place for all of us. Backstage 12/20/99
  • A THOUSAND YEARS OF THEATER: Not much theater going on in 1000, so on to the 20th Century and highlights in show biz. Backstage 12/20/99
  • IT'S BOOM TIME IN TORONTO THEATERS, but no one knows quite why. Toronto Star 12/20/99
  • CLASSIC VIDEO: Consortium of producers and venture capitalists has put together a website to release a series of videos of classic theater productions filmed originally for television. Backstage 12/16/99
  • ALW: As in After-Lloyd-Webber. He's dominated the British musical theater scene  for a generation. But now a new crop of musical theater practitioners have come on the scene and made their presence felt. London Telegraph 12/14/99
  • PHANTOM KO's TITANIC: Andrew Lloyd Webber musical has topped $3 billion at the world-wide box office, the most revenue of any stage or film production in history. BBC 12/13/99
  • LESSONS FROM VEGAS: "The latest extravaganzas are of a different order: pageants so rich and strange that they refresh our concept of what operatic stagecraft might be, potentially as influential as the ceremonies of Robert Wilson once upon a time (but a lot more fun)." New York Times 12/12/99 (one-time registration required for entry)
  • ONCE A COWARD: The Noel Coward centenary is upon us, and some wonder whether his work still speaks to us. Los Angeles Times 12/12/99
  • And: Happy birthday Noel. New York Times 12/12/99 (one-time registration required for entry)
  • DISNEY'S "AIDA": "How is it possible for a musical to be so beautiful and so vulgar, to have such spectacular scenes and be such a mess, to launch such a promising star discovery and give her so little guidance, to produce such full-cry songs and wind up with a humdrum score?" Chicago Tribune 12/10/99
  • MARVELOUS MIDWAY: Ticket sales are up, Thanksgiving broke box office records, and Broadway is booming as the season hits midpoint. Backstage 12/10/99
  • HALF A MILLION PEOPLE IN TIMES SQUARE AND THE THEATERS ARE: Closed. New Year's Eve is traditionally a swank theater evening on Broadway, but this year the theaters and their unions have decided to stay dark. Backstage 12/9/99
  • ENDANGERED SPECIES: New report says that regional theater in the UK is in trouble. Access has been encouraged over quality with the result that in a few years there could be "a crop of new lottery-funded theatres with nothing to put in them because local authorities cannot afford to run them." BBC 12/7/99
  • EXTENDING SHAKESPEARE: Jonathan Moscone, SF ex-mayor's son, is appointed director of the California Shakespeare Festival. Comes from Dallas Theatre Center. San Francisco Examiner 12/7/99
  • MUSICAL TRUST: One of this fall's biggest hits on Broadway, the remake of "Kiss Me Kate" is a classic. Lois and Arthur Elias were entrusted with rights to the show by their close friend Bella Spewack, who wrote the musical's book with her husband, Sam, in 1948. The Eliases have been fiercely protective of their charge. New York Times 12/7/99 (one-time registration required)
  • I'm not supposed to like it, right? Village Voice 12/7/99
  • AIDA ODYSSEY: Tryout reviews were nasty and the album crashed and burned. Disney's betting again on the Elton John/Tim Rice remake of "Aida" before show heads to Broadway. BBC 12/5/99
  • And: A long way from Verdi. Los Angeles Times 12/5/99
  • WHERE ARE ALL THE LAFFS? When was the last romantic comedy on Broadway? Once a staple of American theater, comedy of all sorts seems to have gone out of fashion. “Everybody thinks this period is a glum, sarcastic, edgy, dark time. Producers don’t feel there are stars in the right alignment to produce comedies,” says one producer. Variety 12/3/99
  • JOB DESCRIPTION: Artist or manager? Try "mother, father, priest, confessor, psychologist, judge, jury, and executioner." Six theater artistic directors meet in New York to talk about their roles. Backstage 12/3/99
  • A THEATER ON THE EDGE: In this five-part series, the Chicago Tribune traces the fortunes of the Famous Door Theater, a tiny theater company that finds itself on the brink of extinction when one of its productions bombs at the box office.
  • Part one 11/28/99
  • Part two 11/29/99
  • Part three 11/30/99
  • Part four 12/1/99
  • Part five 12/2/99
  • BROADWAY THEATER REDO: Reconstruction of a crucial portion of Broadway has been rumored for two years. But now it looks like changes are afoot. Current tenants of the Judith Anderson, INTAR, Samuel Beckett, and Harold Clurman Theatres, four pillars of West 42nd Street’s Off-Broadway Theatre Row, are on month-to-month leases. The theaters may be virtually demolished in early 2000 to make room for a modern complex containing six new theatres topped by an apartment tower. Backstage 12/1/99