“I think it’s a great shame that the National Theatre, which has enough money to do it, doesn’t have, at the centre of its work, a company that stays together for a period of time.”
Julie Brister, a teacher at Upright Citizens Brigade: “I think improv helps people become better humans. It makes people listen better. Improv rules are life rules. And so, if a lot more people are taking improv, a lot more people are being thoughtful in their daily life about how they interact with each other.”
The slate of nominees for 2016’s Broadway awards looks likely to be the most diverse in history – and not only because of Hamilton.
“Is it so offensive? I don’t know. People say it’s offensive because it reminds you of the Black & White Minstrel show. But, it’s a different thing altogether. … The great point of acting is that it is an act of empathy about someone you don’t know or understand. I continue to defend Laurence Olivier’s performance as Othello.”
“At Atlas Obscura, we write about places, people, and phenomena that engender wonder and delight. Usually that’s stuff like bone churches, hidden beaches, and abandoned amusement parks. But what qualifies as ‘wondrous’ depends on so many things.”
“We as fans have to learn how to rein in our “love” for these artists and realize they are human – extraordinary humans – but still humans. They get tired. They get sick. They get exhausted. And that $175 you pay for your ticket (you better not be showing out like this behind a rush ticket!) is not worth the risk of them doing permanent damage to their instrument (voice/body).”
“Tom Greenwald recalled the main goal for marketing the show: ‘Make sure that it’s never ever associated specifically with the ‘plot or subject matter,” he said, ‘And make sure that people realize that it’s a beautiful, universal, family story of self-identification, reflection, and ultimately, hope.'”
Oh, what the heck: Start your week watching British acting royalty, and British royalty, getting into the Bard in these clips from this weekend’s Royal Shakespeare Company extravaganza.
“Why should Miranda get 10 percent, plus his salary as a performer, while Diggs remains merely a salaried dude? Did they not collaborate?”
“Naeem Hayat, who played Hamlet for the final show at the Globe, described being in Elsinore as ‘probably the most surreal experience’ of his life.”
“The A.R.T. currently has 10 productions—including the likes of Once, Pippin, Finding Neverland, and Sleep No More—in or about to hit theaters around the world. It has sent eight productions to Broadway.”
“Cycles of endless, torrential rain repeatedly wiped out crops and drove up food prices. Both bread and ale demanded increasingly expensive wheat and barley. And some tried to make a quick shilling off the catastrophe by hoarding grain and holding it back from the open market — thus hiking up food bills even further.”
“Miranda’s extraordinary success is a boon to an insecure industry hungry for heroes. Theater has long been receding as a popular art form; while it’s a tourist magnet in New York, elsewhere it’s become a fairly esoteric habit for a relatively small though devoted elite.”
“Tuesday 10 September – ‘How do you learn all those lines?’ This question is the one that the public most frequently ask of actors. We laugh about it, laugh at them for being so shallow – as though learning lines were the great mystery in acting. Well, I’ve stopped laughing. It’s an age thing.”
“My first impression is that it’s strange that something I wrote 30 years ago is a musical on Broadway. To witness its tortured history, from this thing that was a quasi-victim of censorship to a mainstream Broadway musical, makes me feel very, very old.”
“I’m with Mr. Butler, albeit for somewhat different reasons. To criticize “Hamilton” because it simplifies and fictionalizes Alexander Hamilton’s life and achievements is to miss the point of the show—something that literal-minded historians too often do when grappling with historical fiction.”
“A survey of 18,000 people in 15 countries reveals, for example, that 88% of surveyed Mexicans like Shakespeare, compared with only 59% of British people; 84% of Brazilians said they found him relevant to today’s world, compared with 57% in the UK; and 83% of Indians said they understood him, far more than the 58% of Britons.”
“But the question is complicated, because this production of ‘Shuffle Along’, a show that first opened in 1921 as one of Broadway’s earliest all-black musicals, features songs from the original but an almost entirely new book. It is arguably as much a production about ‘Shuffle Along’ as it is a production of ‘Shuffle Along.'”
“If the tea leaves prove correct, the Tony Awards could wind up feeling like one big infomercial for Hamilton. Which is pretty awesome! Except for the one person from Hamilton’s creative team getting screwed out of a nomination, if not a win. Say hello to the show’s sound designer, 49-year-old Nevin Steinberg.”
“It was another landmark for the show—since only nine musicals have won the award in the last hundred years.”
“David and Ben Crystal, a father and son team, have recreated what they say is Shakespeare’s original pronunciation, or OP, as they call it – how Shakespeare’s plays would have been sounded around 1600. … The OP accent that emerges from the Crystals’ research sounds closer to the Northern English or even some American accents.” (audio)
Becoming a Jacobean playwright was so much more than a change in terminology.
“Harper Lee, the author who first gave life to the story and became this town’s most famous resident, died in February. The play, which is an adaptation of her novel, is being produced this spring for the first time by a nonprofit she” – and her controversial attorney, Tonja Carter – “created, not the local museum that had relied on it for revenue.”
The other two finalists were Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Stephen Karam’s The Humans.
Playwright David Hare: “When I was young, British theatre was like a tree in which many different birds could nest. But now it’s just for the hawks.”
“I image we’d see chaos and bloodshed in Shubert Alley if it was somehow passed over, the likes of which New York hasn’t witnessed since the Astor Place Riot of 1849, with Lin-Manuel Miranda pleading with his fans for some sanity.”
“What makes this initiative unusual is that these plays are already guaranteed full productions beyond their one-night-only staged readings.”
“It can be troubling to sit in an expensive theatre seat – that might cost close to what some people live on for an entire week – and watch actors portray the less fortunate.”
“Even at this stage of her career, Ms. Mitchell said, Ms. Birch is an important writer, in the tradition of Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield — ‘those tough women who can also do exquisite lyricism.'”
“If your friend wrote the play, do not tell her upon curtain that ‘the actors were really talented.’ Actors are popsicle sticks painted with eyes and animated by her mind and your praise can immolate itself on a bonfire stoked with those sticks, thanks.”