“But when you’re young, gifted, gay and black and the theatrical world is toasting you as the next great one, it makes sense to proceed with caution. You never know when the fickle star-making gods will turn on you.”
“It had the potential to be one of the most galvanizing cultural events of the season: a dozen Syrian women, refugees from that besieged country, performing in Washington a version of a 2,500-year-old Greek tragedy revised to include their own harrowing stories. But now the … State Department rejected the women’s applications for entertainers’ visas for the performances … because it is not convinced that the women would leave.”
Suspecting there’s a golden ratio that might help explain “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Lion King” or “Wicked,” mathematician Marc Hershberg gave it a go, crunching the numbers as part of his graduate studies in the Department of Organizational Behavior at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
The report authors said that while audiences were price sensitive, they were more concerned about value rather than price: “Audiences are willing to pay more for particularly excellent work, but are frustrated by unexplained extra fees or when they pay more for substandard work. They also appreciate the excellent value of the lower prices of amateur productions.”
“Having been administered by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia since their 1995 founding, the Barrymores threatened to disappear when the alliance dissolved in 2012. … But this year [there are] nominations in 26 categories.” Yet a few local companies, including the Walnut St. Theatre, are declining to participate.
“‘Just think, says Sir Lancelot, of his nuptials to a young man named Herbert in Monty Python’s Spamalot, In a thousand years time, this will still be controversial. The administration of the South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Junior/Senior High School seems determined to prove the gallant knight prescient.”
Yes, ShakesBEER is actually the name of a theater project: It’s Shakespeare-meets-pub-crawl. Then there’s Shotspeare: Shakespeare-meets-drinking-game. And there’s Drunk Shakespeare (the actors get drunk as they perform), a New York version of Scotland’s S—faced Shakespeare. They’re putting the bar back in Bard. (Sorry.)
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.
“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.”
“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.”
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?”
“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.”
“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.”
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?'”
“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.”
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.)
“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,