Theatre

Rave Reviews Mean A Lot Of Disappointed Audiences

The Father by Florian Zeller

“The price of the tickets, the commitment to giving up an entire afternoon and evening, and the glowing reviews had all piled on the anticipation to such an extent that this was going to have to be a really astonishing piece of theatre for it to really deliver.”

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Return Of The Repressed? John Cameron Mitchell Will Be Playing Hedwig On Broadway

hedwig jcm

The writer and original star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch “said he was initially reluctant to play Hedwig again after his yearlong run downtown and then in a 2001 film adaptation. But as he watched [Neil Patrick] Harris, Andrew Rannells and Michael C. Hall in the role over the last seven months, … ‘I was kind of itching to do it, and if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it, because I’ll be too old.'”

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Roman Polanski’s Vampire Musical Is Still Undead

polanski vampire

“For those who savor a good Broadway catastrophe, Dance of the Vampires is near the top of the shortlist of infamy. But for the Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski, that flop 2002 musical, based on his 1967 film The Fearless Vampire Killers, deserves – no, demands – another chance.” And it’s getting one, in Paris.

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“A Capacious Sensibility” – Mike Nichols As Theater Director

mike nichols spamalot

“It made perfect sense that the man who was one of the original producers of the musical Annie was also the Broadway director of Hurlyburly, David Rabe’s cocaine-strewn drama about Hollywood hedonists. Or that after hitting box office gold with the musical spoof Spamalot, he switched gears and concentrated on dramas by Clifford Odets, Arthur Miller and Harold Pinter … He had tremendous instinct not only for what was funny but what could grab an audience, surprise them, wake their minds, move them to indignation or, better yet, tears.”

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Can Theatre Make Audiences Better Citizens?

dialogue

A report from early this year argues that performing arts “are inherently social arts and provide a necessary opportunity to develop the skills of socialisation and communication required by a healthy democracy.” Maddy Costa writes about how she’s exploring that idea in her London theatre festival, Dialogue.

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Shubert Organization, A Broadway Giant, Buys Off-Broadway Theaters

shubert

“The Shubert Organization, which owns 17 of Broadway’s 40 theaters, has completed a deal to take over New World Stages … The move creates a significant opportunity for the Shubert Organization to shepherd fading Broadway shows out of their theaters and into New World Stages, where new profits might be reaped because of the lower Off Broadway production costs.”

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Can A City Have Too Much Theatre?

blacktop

“Overall, theatergoers seem to be increasingly reluctant to commit to season tickets. They prefer flexibility, and most companies sell some version of a flex pass that allows theatergoers to choose an a la carte menu from the season.”

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Tony Committee Agrees To Consider Reviving Sound Design Category

tony award

“The Tony Awards administration committee … on Thursday asked the rules committee for the Tonys to review a request by theatrical sound designers, Broadway actors, and many others to restore Tony Awards for best sound design for a play and for a musical. The administration committee eliminated those two awards in June.”

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Declan Donnellan Remembers Cheek By Jowl’s All-Male “As You Like It”

as you like it

“To many at that time, an all-male Shakespeare production seemed like a one-off curiosity that would lead nowhere. … We were nervous opening with this strange experiment; the first performance was in Farnham and the following week was Rio. … The news slowly started to spread. Soon festivals were inviting us to perform in other countries.”

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“Trespass Theater” At A Superfund Site (Ew)

gowanus theater

“While [most site-specific] productions are held in controlled and sanctioned spaces, [Jeff] Stark’s works take place in locations like abandoned power plants and disused subway stations, with no permission or permits, and are subject to a rude lack of cooperation from the real world.” The play at hand: an enactment of the Persephone myth at Brooklyn’s notoriously polluted Gowanus Canal.

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In Immersive Theatre, How Active Should The Audience Be?

Bordergame

“In the past, it was all so easy. When you bought a theatre ticket, you could be pretty confident that you would sit in a row with other people, watch the play in the dark and clap at the end. …No longer. Audiences are increasingly asked to be participants or collaborators; to take part, sometimes to follow instructions, and occasionally even to have agency.” But many remain reluctant. Should they?

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“Duck Dynasty”, The Musical Is Headed For Vegas

duck dynasty

“They’re not exactly the von Trapps trilling about edelweiss, but the Robertson family of the reality series Duck Dynasty wants to sing to you about faith and food, duck calls and swamp moss. And they’ve convinced a team from Broadway to bring their story to the stage, in Las Vegas for starters.”

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These Broadway Producers Turned Down $400K To Move To A Different Theater

400k not to move

“That’s a tidy sum in an industry where many plays cost $4 million to produce, and most end up losing money. But with Broadway’s 40 theaters nearly all booked, and plenty of shows waiting for vacancies, the recent jockeying for the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater reflected the imperative of producers and directors to hold fast to a prime theater that finally comes their way.”

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When The Author Of “Catch-22″ Wrote A Musical Comedy

Joseph Heller

Howe & Hummel has never been performed. It hasn’t even been published. In the 50 years since [Joseph] Heller completed it, it’s never had so much as a public reading. Only two copies of the typescript survive. … In subsequent years, Heller would rewrite reality as artfully as Howe and Hummel, and erase Howe & Hummel from his life. His autobiography spares not a word for the project he devoted so many months to.”

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Why You Didn’t Get Called To Audition: A Director Explains

audition

“With the best will in the world you cannot see everyone who applies or is submitted by their agent. Even on a fringe profit share production there are over 1,000 CVs to consider. … So how do you pick just 75 candidates?” Phil Wilmott explains how he does it – and he doesn’t like it any better than actors do.

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