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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Meet Rob Ford, The Musical

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“The 90-minute show has 10 original tunes and sees a “spiritual guide” leading Ford through the past year of his tumultuous life — including his admitted drug use and stint in rehab.”

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London’s Actors Unions Want 10 Percent Pay Bump

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“It is now campaigning for a 10% increase to the minimum weekly rate for performers appearing in shows at West End venues with a capacity of less than 800, and an 8% increase for those performing at West End theatres with a capacity above 800. West End performers on Equity contracts currently earn between £518 and £633 per week, depending on the size of the venue.”

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Rome Theater Evicts Squatter Theater Artists After Three Lively Years

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“The curtain will come down on Sunday on the three-year occupation of the Teatro Valle, putting an end to a self-management experiment that turned the storied theater here into a lively cultural hub. City officials have given the occupiers of the theater – a motley cast of actors, technicians, playwrights and sundry artists – until Aug. 10 to leave so that renovations can begin on the theater.”

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Canadian Ship’s Theatre Company Endangered By Bureaucratic Reclassification

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“Since its launch in 1997, the Amara Zee has been designated a pleasure ship, which allowed for less-stringent regulations. But recently, the Canadian authorities notified the troupe that the vessel could no longer be classified as a pleasure craft. Mr. Kirby said the change would result in expenses the company cannot afford, including hiring a crew of professional mariners, meeting stricter and costlier regulations, and restricting travel routes.”

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Broadway Will See Its First Black Cinderella

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“Apparently, being the youngest person in television history to host her own talk show wasn’t enough. Actress Keke Palmer will be making history yet again when she takes the Broadway stage in the title role of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” beginning Sept. 9.

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An Ambitious Plan For A New Flagship Theatre In South Florida

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The Coconut Grove Playhouse shut down in 2006 during its 50th anniversary season. It was $4 million in debt. The county has a plan for a small theatre to replace it. But Mike Eidson has a bigger idea: “a civic center dedicated to great theater in a modern playhouse complex would be a tremendous amenity and asset. . . . It sends a powerful and indisputable message to people who want to live and invest here that we are a serious, maturing city.”

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Let’s Just Be Blunt About Theatre’s Massive Class Divide

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“This play, this theatre, this audience will never make it into a national study about ‘diversity in theatre.’ Their productions, audience, playwrights, existence are not considered important enough to include because of the size of their budget. Their work, like the work of indie theatres all over the country, is invisible. But those audiences are having an intense, emotional, moving, unique, life-changing theatre experience. It’s not happening in New York, and it’s not happening in a 20 million dollar a year LORT, but it IS happening.”

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When The Fourth Wall Is The Naked City: Tales Of Outdoor Theater In New York

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“Alfresco settings have their advantages – the fireflies, the moon, the breeze – and their complications, too: the bicyclists, the boomboxes, the gaze of raccoons that live just below the Delacorte’s stage and often scamper on. The Times asked performers, producers and directors to talk about the perils and pleasures of acting under the sky.”

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This Is The Guy To Bring To A Bloody Knife Fight (If You’re Putting It Onstage)

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“Death is easy, but for a good eye-gouge, Broadway directors call Rick Sordelet. … A top purveyor of staged mayhem, Mr. Sordelet has created fistfights, sword duels, stabbings and gunplay for some 60 Broadway productions – as well as Hollywood films, the Metropolitan Opera, the 1995 Super Bowl halftime show, and Ben Hur Live.”

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London Theatre By The Numbers – This is A Booming Industry

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“In 2012/13 more than 22 million people went to a London theatre performance and £618.5m was taken at the box office. London cinema admissions totalled 43 million, meaning the average ticket price would need to be more than £14.40 – which it is not – for cinema to have a bigger box office figure than theatre.”

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