“What we found was that scalpers took in more than $15.5 million from the 100 performances before Mr. Miranda’s final show. The 32 performances between the June 12 Tony awards — where “Hamilton” won 11 statues — and July 9 may have brought in more than $10.5 million for scalpers alone.”
Laura Collins-Hughes, reflecting on Brenda Withers’s new play The Kritik: “I did what so many young critics do. In love with the sound of my own voice, unaware of how lastingly harmful meanness could be, I was sometimes far harsher than I should have been.”
A day after news media picked up on social media criticism that only five of 15 cast members for a first concert reading of the work-in-progress, a stage adaptation of the hit 1998 animated film about Moses, were nonwhite, Dreamworks and the producing theater called off the event with no explanation.
“Beginning on Tuesday and continuing for three months, TKTS will sell tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway productions from a box office inside [Lincoln Center’s] David Rubenstein Atrium … The Lincoln Center venture is an effort by TKTS, which sells predominantly to tourists, to see if it can increase the number of tickets sold to New Yorkers” (who tend to avoid the flagship TKTS location in Times Square).
The project in question is the in-progress stage adaptation of the 1998 Dreamworks animated feature The Prince of Egypt, about the life of Moses. The script and score will get their first public reading in a free outdoor performance next month on Long Island, and a social media fracas broke out over the false impression that the cast for the reading is all-white. (In fact, five out of the 15 Equity performers currently engaged are nonwhite.)
“[Ian] Pai, who helped compose many of the show’s wordless songs and served as the musical director for shows in several cities, … [is] asserting that he only recently learned that he’s been underpaid for decades for contributions integral to Blue Man’s success.”
“Despite its reputation and position in the city’s cultural firmament, many New Yorkers never realized that … the Big Apple is a nonprofit institution. Begun … in the 1970s, the circus was founded with a Robin Hood spirit that some families would pay full price; those lacking the means would pay nothing.”
“The existence of the ‘frozen in time’ theatre is not widely known but it is considered one of the most architecturally significant and historic parts of the [Alexandra Palace] entertainment complex in north London, built in the 1870s as ‘the People’s Palace’.”
Anne Midgette: “With its emphasis on spectacle and size, Phantom certainly reflects a particular era of musical theater: the stage equivalent of 1980s-style big hair.”
Philip Kennicott: “Phantom looks better today than it did when it was new … [it] seemed to me then as it does now a testament to the degradation of theatrical taste.”
Nelson Pressley: “Now I sort of like the kitsch.”
“Performers, audiences, and spaces can influence and manipulate each other, and the input-output system. In the classic theatre—the technician over there is sitting in the dark and is not supposed to be seen. But they’re there and they’re everywhere. The interesting thing is the whole theatre space is rigged in a very hierarchical way. But the Internet of Things is modular, so the idea is that everybody in the room can potentially become the operator or performer of a given system.”
“I think my community has been really excited. The response has been like, ‘It’s time!’ It’s 2016 and it’s time for us to be represented onstage and to be given these kinds of opportunities. I’ve received a lot of messages and letters from younger people with disabilities and they’re saying, ‘I never thought that Broadway is possible, but now it is.’ And that’s really exciting.”
“I don’t understand how a battle for equal rights under law devolved into an unintentional shift toward behavioral sameness in our artistic representations and daily lives.”
“Patrons will decide the value of their experience at our shows. The price is up to them – and they won’t pay a dime until after the show.”
A lot happened at the country’s largest theatre conference, and it happened during some intensely theatrical times in our nation’s political history. What does it all mean?
“‘I wanted to be a dragon, but it would have taken a year to put that costume together,’ he said. ‘I wanted my wife to be the mother of dragons from Game of Thrones.’ Pat said no. ‘I told him I’m a little old for that,’ she said. ‘That’s a job for a 21-year-old, not a 55-year-old.'”
“From 8 August, a host of comedians, authors and politicians, including Stewart Lee, Omid Djalili and Ian Rankin, are to stage a [non-stop] complete reading of Sir John Chilcot’s 6,000-page report on the Iraq war, invasion and occupation.”
“Who wants Cats again? I posed the question to people of all stripes and have come to realize that the question is itself a theatrical acid test: It gives way to passionate replies on both sides. No one seems indifferent.”
For Leslie Odom Jr., Philippa Soo, and Daveed Diggs, there are films, television shows, a new musical, and a cabaret show. For Lin-Manuel Miranda, there’s probably world domination. (Don’t smirk – it’s just possible his father could be working in the White House next year.)
“Theater rewards the fresh take – a new work, or a new set of eyes on a familiar story. But Broadway this year is home to three shows that are being directed by men who oversaw the same shows, also on Broadway, decades ago. Why are they back? Here are edited excerpts from conversations with the directors about their experiences and expectations the second time around.”
“Arizona Theatre Company has raised the $2 million necessary to keep the organization on stage, the group announced Monday. … Last week, the board decided to give notices to employees on Monday. Soon after, many donors began to open pocketbooks rather than just give verbal support.”
You know how: “There’s no doubting that Miranda’s smart, sharp, multi-Tony-award-winning retelling of the life of the man on the $10 bill, from his Caribbean childhood in St Kitts and Nevis to his untimely death in New York’s Greenwich Village after a duel, is reaching parts other musicals can only dream of, thanks to its inventive combination of thoroughly modern music and a good old-fashioned tale of ambition, jealousy, desire and despair.”
Or at least, hip hop’s love affair with Broadway goes back way before Lin-Manuel Miranda even had one major hit show (don’t miss that time rapper k-os opened a track with a sample from Sound of Music’s nun chorus).
“We were both winning awards, but we couldn’t come to each other’s [ceremonies] to celebrate each other.”
“Our original goal was, ‘Let’s entertain people who have our sense of humor — who like that wordplay, who like that absurdism,’… But then all these people showed up, as I predicted, who were there out of guilt or curiosity or a sense of ‘I want to learn more about someone in my family.’ We’re not writing for them, but we understand those people come and we’re happy to have them.”
“An AD is only ever a custodian, and a publicly funded theatre should never be a personal fiefdom. Every theatre that is genuinely interested in serving artists and audiences must undergo constant reinvention, and sometimes that will include the need for new blood.”
“Her doctor advised her against returning to the show, and the Cherry Lane Theater decided to end the run, which had been scheduled to continue until July 31.”
“The better playwrights are inevitably drawn more to questions than answers, but in turbulent times a God-like neutrality can seem like an abdication of responsibility. To put the matter in Yeatsian terms: Why should the best among us, our writers, lack conviction, while the worst, a tough call but let’s go with our representatives in Congress, be full of passionate intensity?”
“Until last August, when they engaged a general management company, Ms. Nichols (who makes a part-time salary with the troupe) and Mr. Tucker (who makes a full-time salary) had been shepherding Bedlam’s rise themselves, building a board of directors and gradually hiring people to take on some of their too many tasks. Still on their wish list, among other things: a managing director.”
“One thing that did not get spoken on Monday night – the subject is vast, and the time was brief – is the role that theater people and other artists bring to the telling of stories. Whose stories get told, and whose get ignored? How are the stories told? Who tells them? Who listens? What is the role of theater and other arts organizations in expanding the conversation, in making it emotionally understandable and at the same time spreading more light than heat? Who gets hired? Who doesn’t? These are essential questions that contemporary artists and their followers need to confront.”
“[Game of Thrones star Kit] Harington rejected claims made by the award-winning theatre producer Richard Jordan in The Stage newspaper that audiences had behaved inappropriately at the final night of Harington’s Doctor Faustus … ‘I have been a theatregoer since childhood and I didn’t feel that our audiences were disrespectful in the slightest.'”