“Even though I have been an artistic director myself, we should see the end of artistic directors. The idea that one person has the knowledge, vision and know-how to create all the necessary work that a building needs in terms of output is a bit old-fashioned.”
Laura Benanti, on when she was in the 2003 revival of Nine: “I’d scurry out onto the stage, tip my head for one second, then walk backward to my place in line and turn my face from the audience. Chita [Rivera] was like, ‘You look crazy.’ … She told me I needed to be in the tabletop position for three whole seconds. She’d stand in the wings during my bow and yell ‘One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand! Release!'”
“The man with the parrot on his shoulder was preening as he examined necklaces before a vanity’s mirror. The woman in a feathered dress was clutching a crystal on the floor. All around them, under a canopy of suspended couches, chairs and wicker baskets, expensively suited executives of Hermès, the French luxury-goods company, were beaming.”
Iranian-American graphic artist Hamid Rahmanian has combined computer generated background with the centuries-old techniques of shadow puppetry – common in the medieval Near East but since lost – to perform an adaptation of a Romeo-and-Juliet-style episode from the Shahnameh.
Kevin Moore replaces Jennifer Bielstein who stepped down in March 2016 after 10 years at Actors Theatre to take the position of Managing Director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“The theater critics for The New York Times, Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood, along with the theater editor, Scott Heller, recently compared notes on the year that was, and what it might mean for Broadway’s future.”
“For works of art it is extremely unhelpful as we all know works of arts are enigmatic, complicated things.” He went on to argue that stars did not leave much room for “ambiguity” with certain productions, where a “wonderful play has been given a poor production” or vice versa.
“The affair began as a grudge match between two actors, but escalated into a street riot outside the Astor Place Opera House in which at least 22 people died. The Astor Place Riot still counts as one of the bloodiest episodes in New York’s history. The cause of the incident seems, by contemporary standards, hard to credit: who played the better Macbeth – an Englishman or an American?”
“Of course, the subject is French: the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec cavorting in the scandalous Montmartre district of Paris. And the show’s music brings the sound of Gallic authenticity. But there are also major Broadway names attached to the work, titled My Paris, which opens at the Long Wharf Theater [in New Haven] this week.”
“Your work-life balance will be perfect because there is no distinction between the two. … Get used to early mornings and late nights. There is no luxury of being an owl or a lark. You have to be both, and be fit at all sorts of times of day to produce deep emotions or light-hearted frivolity at the drop of a hat, whatever you actually feel. Ten or 20 times over if required.”
“The show, called The Complete Deaths, aims to re-enact every onstage fatality in the Shakespearean canon: stabbings, smotherings, poisonings, bear attack, being turned into baked goods, the lot.”
“The Outer Critics Circle, a group of theater writers from outside New York, announced the winners of its annual awards on Monday, giving four prizes to ‘She Loves Me’ and three to ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night.'” (Full list at Outer Critics.)
This playwright thinks so: “His main point was pretty simple: that if after the war the big European powers imposed new boundaries which crossed lines of tribe and loyalty it was asking for trouble.”
Voted on by a group of New York-based theater critics, the awards serve as quantifiable validation from the critical community as both productions head into the Tony Awards. (The winners’ list this year doesn’t represent a dis on the Broadway juggernaut “Hamilton”; that show won the NYDCC trophy last year, in its Off Broadway incarnation.)
In an essay for the Times, Everett recounts how he came to be playing Wilde in David Hare’s The Judas Kiss – and what it was like to do the show the evening that the UK parliament passed marriage equality.
No less than the home of Molière, Racine, and Voltaire, the Comédie-Française will be transmitting its performances to moviegoers, beginning in October, with three productions presented in 300 cinemas in France, Belgium, and Switzerland. The broadcasts will subsequently be offered to the rest of the world in subtitled versions. (in French; Google Translate version here)
Across the board, the topic of arts education demonstrated the most acute concern from respondents, scoring an average of 2.24. The deepest pessimism came from respondents in Yorkshire and Northern Ireland. Most respondents (84%) were more negative than positive about the prospects for arts opportunities in schools over the next 10 years, with one in three declaring they were deeply pessimistic about the future.
“Show-Score features reviews from both critics and members who are regular theatergoers—each show gets two scores based on what critics and consumers think. The site has about 50,000 members so far, who have written 80,000 reviews of New York City shows.”
“As these Tony nominations attest, “Hamilton” has ushered in a new age of multiculturalism on Broadway, where talent at long last appears to be a determining factor of success. There can be no backpedaling from this position. History has arrived, laggard as usual but unmistakable. Just look at the shows being honored this year.”
Three New York Times theater writers talk about where the races will be, the omissions (where’s Audra?), and whether there are any categories in which Hamilton could be defeated (maybe).
“David Greig, the Royal Lyceum’s artistic director, has vowed to wake the ‘sleeping giant’ of Edinburgh’s culture scene outwith the summer festivals by staging work in different venues and unusual spaces, as well as embracing different art forms at its home.”
“During the theater season of 2014 to 2015, about 30 percent of roles at the city’s most prominent theaters went to minority actors, up from 24 percent the previous season, the organization said. That is the highest percentage in the nine years that the group has been studying the issue.”
Michael A. Jenkins, 74, a well-known figure who has been DSM president and managing director since 1994, spoke with emotion last week as he gave his version of the break and showed reporters a copy of the age discrimination complaint he filed March 22 with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
On Tuesday, the show was singled out in every category of theatermaking: acting, writing, directing, design. In a few categories, including lead actor and featured actor in a musical, performers from “Hamilton” will face off against one another.
“Today, it’s impossible to imagine contemporary musical theater without Rent‘s influence, but as with any new musical, its evolution was far from smooth. Here, the cast of characters who brought Rent to life recall the winding path that led to Broadway history.”
Producers called off Saturday’s matinee and evening performances of the Christopher Marlowe play, which stars Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), following floods at the venue, the Duke of York’s Theatre.
“Unlike last year, when ‘Hamilton’ took home 10 awards for its production at the Public Theater, this year’s prizes were more evenly divided.”
“Barely once each Broadway generation — ‘A Chorus Line’ in 1975, ‘The Producers’ in 2001 — a juggernaut so powerful comes along that it causes competitors a brief moment of despair. And then, just as quickly, it sets off a round of tactical maneuvering.”
“All of us theatre people start just enthralled to this art form and wanting to participate in any way we can. The most visible way to do that is acting, and most of us try that first and are terrible at it. Not a few of us drop out and just become lifelong audience members, but others keep trying to hang on and do something around the theatre. I’ve always been a writer, and at first I thought playwriting would be it. But I guess I’m only good at writing in my own voice.”
“I missed Soho Repertory Theatre’s Blasted because stuff got in the way. I missed the original production of Ruined, and Meryl Streep in Mother Courage. I meant to go. I wanted to go. They were seminal events in the history of Western theatre. But life kept me busy. I can’t recall what kept me away. Just ordinary things. I didn’t make time for the ecstatic experience of being there. There are always a million reasons not to go and to save the money for something more important.”