“The deal, which was announced by a lawyer representing more than two dozen actors and dancers who were part of the show’s development and first productions, is a major victory for the cast and could have ripple effects in the theater industry, where the huge success of “Hamilton,” and the lack of profit-sharing, catalyzed a growing debate about actor compensation.”
“Given the relative paucity of minority stories, why would an investor be drawn to them? Why risk $100,000 on an unknown black writer when you could put it into the next David Mamet/Al Pacino collaboration?”
“With all the hoopla and hubbub, it’s tempting to think all the other shows are Aaron Burr. Imagine working on a big new show for years, pouring millions into it and then finally finding a Broadway theater, only to discover that all anyone wants to talk about is the cool nearby rival?”
“[The] global entertainment behemoth that has 17 different shows running worldwide is once again trying to establish a long-running production in New York City, the major-league market that has most stubbornly frustrated its ambitions. … So now Cirque is trying a high-wire hybrid – a combination of theater and acrobatics, with a splash of old Hollywood, in one $25 million musical called Paramour.”
“[The rep system] is not really functioning much these days. Directors are less willing to run a company – an ongoing company – because the temptation, if you do have a big enough budget, is always to spot cast, but what you don’t get is a sense of continuity,” Alan Ayckbourn said.
“STX Entertainment is in advanced negotiations to make Gypsy with the Grammy and Oscar winner taking the lead role, and Oscar winner Barry Levinson (Rain Man) directing.”
“The show dramatizes that our founding documents weren’t handed down on stone tablets, and the founders weren’t saintly philosophers. They could be vain, petty, self-destructive; they fought each other as viciously as they fought the British.”
“While the play had its world premiere at the National Theatre in London, in collaboration with Headlong, the creative team and cast wanted a future life for the show. When a West End or New York transfer didn’t come together, they tried another way.” NT exec Tim Levy explains how it happened (and might happen again).
The keynote speech at this year’s American Theatre Critics Association conference in Philadelphia.
“You may not care much for the song (‘I wish I was your cigarette, smoked on through your lips/killing you softly with my tar and seeping out your nostrils’), but what’s undeniable is the vocal prowess of Ms. Blanchett.”
“In an ensemble theatre company, often it’s actors and other artists who hold the keys to what type of work is produced and which artists the company chooses to work with in the future. Oftentimes, these companies are made up of wonderfully talented white artists. They hit a brick wall, however, when they aren’t willing to give up opportunities in order to grow diversity in their artistic family.”
“While the most recent critiques of ‘Hamilton’ have focused on race, some scholars have also noted that it’s an odd moment for the public to embrace an unabashed elitist who liked big banks, mistrusted the masses and at one point called for a monarchal presidency and a Senate that served for life.”
“Armed with what she refers to as ‘pedestrian singing’ abilities and ‘passable acting,’ she loved working in the ensemble — standing out in the group as much as possible, but also being protected by the group just the same.”
“The gathering drew 5,000 people this year; organizers hope it will draw up to 15,000 next year. The convention, inspired by ComicCon and a multitude of other pop culture fan gatherings, consisted of panels, workshops, performances and presentations by theater artists and theater industry officials.”
It had to happen eventually, we guess. A student production at an elite Auckland secondary school used a prop that was, in fact, a real straight razor covered in duct tape and silver paper.
“Some of the most successful actors cite their setbacks and failures as their most formative experiences; experiences that have moved them forward and propelled them to success. … So how can you, as a working actor, become more resilient?”
“I also heard more than once that a lot of stand-ups think that nobody in the mainstream media gave a darn about their art form before it broke out, so why should they now be accommodating when they get no financial benefit? Good point.”
“The producer Jeffrey Seller struck gold with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit about the founding fathers. Now he has a new challenge – managing a runaway success.”
“Emma Smith, professor of Shakespeare studies at Oxford University, said her first reaction on being told the stately home was claiming to have an original First Folio was: ‘Like hell they have.'”
Over his 11 years as general director of the Théâtre du Châtelet, Jean-Luc Choplin made the American comédie musicale the heart of his programming, producing one critically praised hit after another, even exporting productions to Broadway and winning Tonys. Next January, Choplin steps down and the Châtelet closes for a 2½-year renovation. What then?
“In acting classes, students grapple with the effects of technology on their brains, bodies, and social selves. Cellphones must be turned off and put away. The goal is to disconnect with technology and to connect with one another and themselves.”
Lyra Monteiro: “My argument is basically that the play does a lot of this thing that we call ‘Founders Chic’ … It’s still white history. And no amount of casting people of color disguises the fact that they’re erasing people of color from the actual narrative.”
“Ultimately, there may be as many as seven “Hamilton” companies, in addition to the one on Broadway, performing at the same time in multiple American and international cities. Ticket revenues, over time, could reach into the billions of dollars. If it hits sales of a mere $1 billion, which “Hamilton” could surpass in New York alone, the show will have generated roughly $300 million in profit on the $12.5 million put up by investors.”
“Four years later, the promise of those ecstatic opening days has faded amid charges of mismanagement and mounting financial problems, according to a number of people closely associated with the Howard who were interviewed for this article.”
“When in the course of human events – and musical-theater history, too – an idea gets repeated, it can still be revolutionary.”
“As we grow older the balance between men and women actors never changes, but the opportunities for men somehow far outnumber those for women. As a result of this imbalance, women have become disposable in the modern theatre.”
“I guess my experience of the real world is that there are a lot of strange moments in which people don’t know what to say. So that ends up in my plays. But it’s weird, I still find it confusing that I’m known for my pauses.”
“No-one has won as many Oliviers for acting since the awards began 40 years ago.
As she collected her award she joked that she was ‘livid’ because she had lost a bet with her grandson.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, as a matter of fact – but not for Hamilton. (Full list of winners at the link.)
“How did Eubie Blake, whose parents were both slaves, end up having a deep, deep desire to write musicals? He could write rags. He could write pop tunes. What he really wanted to write were Broadway shows. It’s astonishing to me that the child of slaves said, ‘I want to write a Broadway musical.’ That’s an extraordinary thing. Why would he want to do that? Why would anybody want to write a musical?”