Theatre

Harvey Weinstein Feuds With NY Post Columnist Over “Finding Neverland” Musical

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Post theater columnist Michael Riedel, based on two reviews of the pre-Broadway run in Cambridge, Mass., pronounced the show “dead in the water” and said of the critics that “if you’re going to review the baby in the cradle, strangle it.” One of those critics, Jeremy Gerard, reports on the brouhaha and Weinstein’s predictable response.

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Edinburgh Fringe Posts Another Attendance Record

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“The festival, which is drawing to a close on Monday night, said it issued an estimated 2.18 million tickets across 299 venues over 25 days. That is a 12% increase on the same point last year, which was itself a record.”

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Student Actors In Ramallah Use Theatre To Tell Their Stories As Palestinians

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“Festival participants included Palestinian students from the West Bank, a group of 12th-graders from Tromsø, Norway, actors from the UK, and trainers from Germany, Egypt and Romania who gave workshops in dance, drama, comedy and performance art. The final group performance included a movement piece reflecting the dynamics of street protest, a sketch about Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, Commedia dell’Arte scenes and monologues about self-image and harassment.”

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Thelma Holt Tells Tales

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“In the previous 15 minutes, [the legendary London stage producer] has related one story about a fellow theatre producer (unprintable), two stories about a theatre owner (possibly libellous), a yarn about an encounter with the crown prince of Japan (probable diplomatic incident) and a saga that swerves from the crisis in Gaza to David Cameron’s taste in suits.”

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To Be Or Not To Be: Playwrights On Suicide And Its Complications

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Charles McNulty: “Suicide is an intensely private act that provokes an immense public reaction. It bequeaths to those left behind fundamental questions about the value of existence, the fragility of our social bonds and the hidden life of even those closest to us. For all of these reasons, suicide has been a central concern of drama from its beginnings in 5th century B.C. Athens. What can we learn from the way playwrights have dealt with the complex subject of self-slaughter?”

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One Guy And A Bunch Of Cardboard Boxes Win Edinburgh Fringe Best Play Prize

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“A one-man play performed by an illusionist amid a sea of cardboard boxes has won the most coveted theatre prize at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Performance artist Geoff Sobelle’s show [The Object Lesson] will be heading from a tiny room at Summerhall arts centre to the Brooklyn Academy of Music after scooping the prestigious Carol Tambor Award.”

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Even After A Decade On Broadway, “Wicked” Is Casting (Exactly) The Same Spells

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“The producers have been careful, not to say monomaniacal, about replicating the experience they gave audiences in the opening months. … My return visit also confirmed how significant … young fans remain to the show’s success. The audience at the evening performance I attended teemed with bopping tweens and their families.”

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Why Isn’t The Edinburgh Int’l Festival Pulling In Any Of The Huge Fringe Audience? Asks Incoming Head

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Fergus Linehan “pointed out that the EIF has the biggest theatre audience in the world on its doorstep, but struggles to exploit it. … ‘Why do we struggle to deliver an audience that looks like even a cross section of the people in this room, or even more, a cross section of people walking down the street?’”

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Clobberation: How Four Unwary Grad Students Created A Touring Show For Teens Without (Quite) Ripping Each Other’s Throats Out

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“We set out to create and establish roles to try and mitigate power conflicts. This worked for a short while, but we found that although we had divided ourselves into the traditional roles of Playwright, Set Designer, Sound Designer, Teaching Artist, Director, Stage Manager, and Education Director, those titles meant different things to each of us. Our roles became accusations.”

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“Carrie”-the-Musical Will Not Die

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“The much-maligned musical will now drag its blood-soaked self to Los Angeles in a new production that promoters are billing as an ‘immersive’ experience” – ew! – “featuring a theater transformed into Ewen High School, the setting for much of the story.”

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Fantasy King Lear (Like Fantasy Football): Casting The Title Role

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Charles McNulty: “Liam Neeson doesn’t have the Shakespearean chops but he has that combination of paternal fury and tenderness that is just what the role requires. … Al Pacino would either be the greatest Lear in recent memory or the most embarrassing. Actually, he could very well be both at the same time. … Nathan Lane is hardly just a comic actor.” (We haven’t even told you the real curveball.)

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A Kickstarter For Producing Broadway Shows

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“Putting a new spin on crowdsourcing and the very risky business of producing Broadway shows, investors Howard and Janet Kagan have launched a new online investment platform invest.maxolev.com, offering equity in Broadway productions.” Their first venture, , begins previews about five weeks from now.

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A Depression Theme At This Year’s Edinburgh Fringe

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Lyn Gardner: “It’s always good to talk, and maybe these shows and others are a sign that we are getting better about being honest with each other about our own frailties. When I’ve discussed these shows with other people, several have opened up their own mental-health issues. That can only be good. It’s as if these shows give us permission to talk about the taboo, let down our guard.”

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Bringing A British “American Psycho” To New York (It’s Scarier Than Patrick Bateman)

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“Patrick Bateman has been haunting the theater director Rupert Goold lately. And it’s not just the ax, chain saw, and nail gun that Bateman uses on flashy A-listers … No, Mr. Goold is preoccupied with getting Bateman right for the Off Broadway run of his musical adaptation of American Psycho this winter after suffering mixed reviews during the world premiere at [London's] Almeida Theatre.”

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This Is The Most Controversial Show In Edinburgh

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“South Africa’s fearless theatre-maker Brett Bailey has made a career out of tackling the most difficult aspects of race. His new show” – titled Exhibit B – “features black people in cages, in reference to real 19th-century human zoos – and even some of the performers are uneasy about it ”

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Inside Theme Park Musical Theater

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“Theme park shows have a reputation like cotton candy’s: They’re sweet and they go down easy, but they’re not much to write home about. Part of that comes from how much they stick to a formula. Run times rarely exceed 30 minutes, the faster to get people dried off or cooled down and back to the rides. … But streamlined doesn’t mean substandard. Though the shows’ content may be lighthearted, the talent is often Broadway caliber.”

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Is This America’s Ideal Theater Company?

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“So often in my conversations with artistic directors I’m dismayed by their willingness to accept the status quo. If mindless musicals are what draws in the crowds, then mindless musical it will be … Box office becomes confused with artistic merit, making it easier to let fiscal expediency dictate taste.” But Charles McNulty has found one house that’s getting it right.

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FringeNYC – Not Your Father’s Fringe Festival? Well, It Is Now

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“Common sense might suggest that artists well ensconced in their careers would look askance at FringeNYC’s no-frills, DIY ethic … But to Ms. Prince and other longtime grown-ups, the chance to present a show cheaply in New York is a potent lure, even if each production has only 15 minutes to put up its set and 15 minutes to strike it afterward.”

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