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Wednesday, April 30, 2003

In NY: British Flops, Musicals Tops British players and British players haven't been doing well on Broadway this season. "The suspicion occurs that New York critics are tiring of British directors presuming to show them how great classics, and particularly American classics, ought to be staged." But "the really good news in New York is that the renaissance of the home-grown Broadway musical is continuing apace, though it is odd that so many of them appear to be based on old movies." The Telegraph (UK) 05/01/03

Boston Theatre Plans On Track Boston's theatre space crunch may be eased a bit next year, if all goes according to plan for a local troupe. The Huntington Theatre Company announced yesterday that it is halfway to its fundraising goal to build two new theatres in the Boston Center for the Arts complex. One of the new theatres would seat 360, the other 200, making them a welcome addition to the Boston scene, which has lacked adequate small and mid-sized venues for years. Boston Herald 04/30/03

Monday, April 28, 2003

Talk Amongst Yourselves (Not The Audience) What's going on with playwrights who feel they have to have a character talk directly to an audience to explain some plot point? It's just plain lazy. "Many playwrights have forgotten the art of exposition, of revealing the story through dialogue, of letting us find our own way. It feels like spoon-feeding to me when an actor enters, steps into a follow-spot and tells me, 'Hi. I'm Mary. This is my house. I'm a flight attendant. I just found out my boyfriend's cheating on me.' I always think, Is this a play or an AA meeting?" Dallas Morning News 04/27/03

Mobile TKTS Coming To NY Plans are underway in New York to build a mobile ticket booth - a kind of TKTS-on-wheels to "help shows below 14th Street to fill the house and spread the word. Dubbed the 'ArtsVan,' this distribution depot for downtown ducats is a project of DowntownNYC!, a not-for-profit coalition of theater companies, performing artists, galleries, museums, restaurants, businesses, and organizations and associations, formed after Sept. 11 to boost business and rally the spirits of those living and working below 14th Street." Yahoo! (Reuters) 04/27/03

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Star Turns - Hollywooders Up For The BWay Song And Dance "What gives suddenly with Hollywood stars and musicals? Inside every movie and TV actor is there an inner Merman screaming to get out? Has every screen star who played in 'Peter Pan' in grade school remembered that long ago in drama school there were three audition songs and a pair of tap shoes in the closet? And while we're asking, how many of the moonlighting movie stars would be on Broadway now if they had to sing without a mike - or if they had to dance in a movie without a virtuosic editor?" Newsday 04/27/03

"Shockingly Sexual" London Play Is A Sham The show "XXX," currently playing in London, is said to be shocking and sexually explicit to a degree not seen in the London theatre. "At a time when there's no shortage of dildos and bare butts (even bare butts that you might know) on TV, it seems that flesh on the stage is still peculiarly 'real'. Which is, you might think, an argument for the power of the theatre. But not for this show. Of course, it shouldn't be banned: all you have to do to avoid it is not to go. But it is a con: it's commerce mas querading as taboo-breaking creativity." The Observer (UK) 04/27/03

Unions Protest Non-Union Music Man A non-union production of "The Music Man" now touring America is upsetting theatrical unions. Unlike most shows, this production never was on Broadway. But its ticket prices are cheaper than the typical touring show. "The AFL-CIO and Actors' Equity announced a boycott when the show first hit the road, in Des Moines. Since then, actors union representatives have organized small public protests, garnering media attention at most stops. The only problem: the protests haven't dissuaded many ticket buyers from seeing the show." Boston Globe 04/27/03

Friday, April 25, 2003

RSC In America - Off To A Shaky Start The Kennedy Center begins a five-year relationship with the Royal Shakespeare Company. But the RSC is a troubled company right now, and its first production at the Kennedy Center amply illustrates some of the problems, writes Peter Marks. Washington Post 04/25/03

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Who Wants To Be A Producer? Who'd want to be a Broadway theatre producer? It's a business where 80 percent of projects fail, investors lose millions, and, let's face it, producers are rarely liked... But more than 300 aspiring producers have signed up for a three-day course in how to become "that rare breed of theater lovers who seldom get credit or a return on the investment." The New York Times 04/25/03

Ireland's Dreams For Scottish Theatre Kenny Ireland is leaving Edinburgh's Lyceum Theatre. He's got lots of criticism for local theatre, but he's hoping to come back for bigger things. "He has also turned the Lyceum round from a debt-ridden and under-maintained venue into a successful and rather lovely theatre. He wants to do the same for the whole of Scottish theatre and he wants to create a Scottish national theatre to make it happen. When Ireland took over 10 years ago, the theatre owed £1m to the city and had a £400,000 deficit..." Glasgow Herald 04/25/03

NEA's Shakespeare Initiative Plays It Safe So the National Endowment for the Arts is paying to bring Shakespeare to the far corners of America. "On the face of it, it seems like a sound idea, but you don't have to scratch far beneath the surface to detect the icky stench beneath," writes Dominic Papatola. "By aiming high, the program targets the lowest common denominator: The NEA's decision to do a nationwide Shakespeare program speaks more to the once-controversial agency's fear of offending than it does to bringing a master playwright to the masses." St. Paul Pioneer-Press 04/24/03

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Wanted: One Saddam Lookalike A play about the Iraq war opening in London, has posted an audition notice for a Saddam Hussein lookalike. "Open auditions for the part start next week at the Riverside Studios in west London. According to an advert in today's edition of the Stage, "a black beret and flak jacket will be provided", and in a further concession to lookalikes now gone to ground, moustaches will also be on offer." The Guardian (UK) 04/24/03

XXX On A London Stage A play billed as the "most sexually explicit ever to open in London" has made its debut. "The two-hour multi-media show involves naked actors performing simulated sex acts in front of video screens depicting further explicit sexual activity. Based on the writings of the Marquis de Sade, the performance 'aims to challenge boundaries of what is acceptable without a moral judgment'." BBC 04/23/03

Sideswipe - BWay Producers Complain About NYT Reviews A couple of prominent Broadway producers have complained about New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley for disparaging shows in reviews of other shows. In a review of "Frog and Toad", Brantley wrote that: "I'd far rather spend an airy 90 minutes with the woodland characters of 'Frog and Toad' than revisit a spangled runaway elephant like 'Thoroughly Modern Millie.' " Producers of "Millie" say the swipe was gratuitous. "Perhaps very few of your readers would have noted your comments on 'Millie' - but it is very demoralizing to performers who have to get out there every night and give it their all." New York Post 04/23/03

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Shakespeare In The Towns Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, "the Shakespeare in American Communities project, which is to be officially unveiled today (the 439th anniversary of Shakespeare's presumed birthday) will bring professional-quality performances of some of his fundamental works, accompanied by educational programs, to some 100 small and midsize American cities in all 50 states." The New York Times 04/23/03

Monday, April 21, 2003

Daredevil Musical? Daredevil Evel Knievel has given his okay for a rock musical about his life. "I think it's a wonderful compliment, said Knievel, who gained fame in the 1970s by jumping his motorcycle over cars and canyons. His daredevil career left him with 37 fractures, including broken bones in both legs, before he retired in 1980." The Age (AP) (Melbourne) 04/22/03

Sunday, April 20, 2003

NY Critics Insist On Seeing Sondheim Out-Of-Town "The community of theater critics is turning itself inside out over whether to storm the barricades at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in late June and buy our own tickets to review 'Bounce.' This is the first collaboration between Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince since their brilliant partnership imploded with the failure of "Merrily We Roll Along" in 1981. Sondheim and Prince don't want national press. They claim we can review the show when a later edition plays the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in the fall. But this is a big deal. It is being offered as part of the Goodman's regular nonprofit series, which should be open to national critics. It is not an out-of-town commercial tryout." Newsday 04/20/03

TV Generation - So That's Where The Playwrights Are Going... More and more playwrights are finding themselves writing for TV, as the lines between who works for stage and who works for screen get blurry. "For young playwrights, the new opportunities offer another way to make a living as the theater world is pummeled by a faltering economy. They move to Los Angeles, dividing their time between television and theater productions, writing plays and screenplays. And they do it without hearing the cries of 'Sellout!' that met earlier generations who charted similar paths." Boston Globe 04/20/03

Can A Broadway Bomb Make It Big On The Road? Seussical the musical was not a hit when it got to Broadway, and the critics were not kind. But after a $2 million makeover, wholesale tinkering from top to bottom, the remade show has been out on the road, and doing pretty well. "The reviews in other cities have been kinder than those of the original production, and the show has performed well at the box office, if a bit unevenly. And, of course, there's a wide range of Seuss souvenirs raking in cash at intermission." Hartford Courant 04/20/03

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Theatre Politique David Edgar says political theatre will never disappear. "For most of the 30 years in which I have been doing political theatre, it has been on its last legs. Over those years, I have spent more time than I care to consider sitting on panels in black-box theatres discussing whether this much-contested genre has any future. In fact, as I argue roundly on such occasions, the anatomising of contemporary society has been the great project of British theatre-writing since 1956, and whenever one wave seemed spent, another arrived to take its place." The Guardian (UK) 04/19/03

Broadway Hit Closes In London's West End Is it because the war kept tourists away from London's West End? That's one theory why "Contact" - expected to run for a year or more - is closing after only six months. "Contact came to the West End with an apparently gilt-edged pedigree. It was devised by choreographer Susan Stroman, and John Weldman, and was a smash hit on Broadway, where it won a string of awards, including a Tony." The Guardian (UK) 04/19/03

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Seattle's ACT Theatre Makes Money Deadline, Survives Seattle's ACT Theatre, which said earlier this year that it needed to raise $1.5 million in emergency cash by April 15 or it would close, has found the money. "It was a squeaker, but we did it," said Susan Trapnell, a former ACT manager who volunteered her time for three months to help raise $1.5 million to keep the wolf from ACT's door." Seattle Times 04/17/03

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Brazilian Passion Play Divides A Community Fifty years ago a passion play was first staged in a remote Brazilian village. "Now titled 'The Passion of Christ in New Jerusalem,' it has become the best-known religious entertainment in Brazil, the largest Roman Catholic country. The play, being performed nightly through Saturday, has grown into a lavish million-dollar spectacle that annually draws as many as 70,000 people to what is described as the biggest open-air theater in the world. It is so successful that it has even inspired a rival, dissident pageant." But last year the founder died, and attempts to modernize and show-biz it up are ignited big controversy. The New York Times 04/17/03

Ancient Athens Theatre Had Terrible Views Scientists have sonstructed computer models of Athens' Odeon Theatre, built 2,500 years ago in the time of Pericles. "They have reconstructed the world's first indoor theatre in three-dimensional virtual reality, only to find that 40% of the audience would have had an obstructed view. They say it would have been worse 'than being stuck behind a 6ft 10in bodybuilder at a modern cinema multiplex'. Athens in the 5th century BC was the home of Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides and other playwrights of the golden age. The Odeon was next door to the open-air theatre of Dionysus, near the Acropolis." The Guardian (UK) 04/17/03

ACT - Race Against The Money-Raising Clock Seattle's ACT theatre said earlier this year it needed to raise $1.5 million by April 15 or it would go out of business. No word as of Wednesday if the goal had been met, but as of Monday (03/14) "a total of $987,000 had been raised to date, approximately two-thirds the overall goal. The great bulk of that sum has come from a small group of targeted individuals, including 'board members, past supporters, general public subscribers, and people who know us,' and donations have ranged from $5,000 to $100,000." Backstage 04/14/03

Monica Lewinsky On Broadway? If Jerry Springer can be an opera, why can't Monica Lewinsky be a Broadway musical? Now she will be: "Monica! The Musical" will get its first reading at the Manhattan Theatre Club on May 7. "Its creators, hope that the reading will lead to a stage berth here in New York, where it would join unlikely post-post-ironic musicals such as Debbie Does Dallas, Urinetown and the new Zanna, Donít!" Some sample lyrics? "I feel Iíve lost my head," sings young Bill. "Donít look too hard for you will find it / Beneath my dress of red," responds the siren." New York Observer 04/16/03

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Beseiged Moscow Theatre Production To Close "The musical being performed when Chechen guerrillas seized a Moscow theater last October will close next month as audiences stay away for fear of a copy-cat attack, the play's director said." Yahoo! (Reuters) 04/15/03

More From The Humana Festival This year's offerings at the Humana Festival of new plays followed some common themes. "Bad endings in America? Mopey zeitgeist? Metaphorical navel-gazing? Armchair quarterbacking the philosophical arc of the Humana is the second-most-favorite pastime of the festival. (Relentless schmoozing is, of course, numero uno.) And because so many of this year's scripts seemed not-quite-fully realized, there was plenty of room for interpretation." St. Paul Pioneer-Press 04/13/03

Monday, April 14, 2003

What Will It Take To Revitalize The Royal Shakespeare? Has Michael Boyd just taken on the worst job in theatre? He says running the Royal Shakespeare Company is "tricky," not bad. "Recently, it's been very difficult to resist the feeling of the RSC being the largest machine in an entrepreneurial theatrical world, but what we've actually got to be is the alternative to the entrepreneurial world. We've got to be a bit of a bastion of idealism, a bastion of research and development. We need room to experiment with our work, not always feeling the need to programme conservatively. We do Shakespeare for goodness' sake. That's commercial enough in its own right.' He wants to return the RSC to the cutting edge of British theatre." The Telegraph (UK) 04/15/03

Has Political Comedy Lost Its Edge? "Many Americans, it's often remarked, who don't read the papers get their news from the likes of Jon Stewart and David Letterman. Comedy needn't have a political purpose. It can just be funny. But at its best, political humor can be subversive, pushing the world in at least a different direction. Rush Limbaugh, a former deejay, who is as much a humorist as polemicist, had this effect 10 years ago, though probably not any more. But, in general, because political comedy is so pervasive, it may have lost much of its ability to be persuasive. With political comedy now 24/7, it's startling to be reminded that the art form, as we know it, didn't exist until about 40 years ago." Washington Monthly 04/03

Sunday, April 13, 2003

This Year's Humana Fest - The Fear Flows Through Louisville's six-week Humana Festival - America's biggest festival for new plays, is winding up. "In stylistically diverse ways, playwrights featured in the 27th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays tapped into our national post-9/11 angst and let the fear flow through their funny, sobering, provocative works." Miami Herald 04/13/03

  • Humana - Mirroring Our Fears Themes of this year's Humana Festival? "Terrorism. School violence. The dangers of human cloning. They spoke in a diversity of voices, yet the writers shared a common theme: We are afraid of our world." Rocky Mountain News 04/13/03

Shakespeare And Hip Hop - They're Like This, I Tell You... Shakespeare and hip hop - a natural fit, don't you think? "It was only a matter of time before an American stage production put us in touch with Shakespeareís inner hip hop. The all-male, cross-dressing The Bomb-itty of Errors, a critically acclaimed sell-out on the Edinburgh Fringe last year, is now bound for the West End after a six-city tour. The marriage of hip hop and early Shakespearean comedy is by no means a shotgun one: they share a musicality of language, rhyming couplets, tongue-twisting obsession with wordplay and a taste for bawdiness." The Times (UK) 04/14/03

Royal Shakespeare - Time For A Makeover Directing the down-and-out Royal Shakespeare Company is called the toughest job in theatre. And Michael Boyd now has the job. Big changes are ahead he says. "At present, the RSC is 'too big for anyone to run' and 'too big for people to identify us'. He presides over an antiquated corporate structure, with 30 governors, 12 of whom are on the board. It is imperative, according to at least one governor I spoke to, that the RSC reorganise itself structurally and that creative and commercial genius coincide. Arts Council support depends on the ability to generate income by other means. Boyd has taken this on board, telling me that he and Christopher Foy, the company's managing director, will 'work seamlessly together to try and close the cultural divide between art and management'." The Observer (UK) 04/13/03

Your Show Of Shows - Does Anybody Care? "All along the Broadway are shows about the miracle of shows, from "The Producers" (about a pair of feckless producers) to '42nd Street' (about some gutsy dancers), to the current revival of the classic musical 'Gypsy' (about vaudeville, stage mothers and the historical efficacy of gimmicks). While 'Cabaret' and 'Chicago' aren't specifically about Broadway, they both celebrate the seedy glamour of song and dance. All this self-awareness does raise the question of whether the audience, a good percentage of which probably consists of tourists, are as entranced by show themes as show people are." The New York Times 04/13/03

Friday, April 11, 2003

Sondheim & Friends Trying To Keep NY Critics Away From Show? Stephen Sondheim, John Weidman and Harold Prince are New York theatre legends. And they have a new show. It's opening in Chicago. And they don't want New York critics to come see it. "The three Broadway bigwigs are trying to keep the national theater press away from their new musical, 'Bounce,' which will have its world premiere June 30 at the Goodman Theater in Chicago. They have instructed the theater not to invite - or make press seats available to - any critic or reporter outside the Chicago area. Nice try, boys, but no dice." New York Post 04/11/03

Shakespeare In A Sex Clinic? "While it hasn't yet shaken the stage-driven foundation of traditional theatre and dance, site-specific theatre is certainly rousing a state of artistic excitement on Canada's West Coast. The charge is being led by innovative young companies that all agree site-specific theatre should involve more than just plunking a script into an offbeat locale." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 04/11/03

Guthrie Layoffs Minneapolis' Guthrie Theatre is laying off employees in an attempt to shore up the theatre's budget. "The layoffs, combined with voluntary resignations, union wage concessions and hiring freezes, could save about $3 million and will help the theater reach its $17 million budget." The Star-Tribune (Minneapolis) 04/11/03

Thursday, April 10, 2003

NEA Chairman Dana Gioia's view of Theatre in America: "It cannot be a coincidence that the three greatest eras in theatre - which I would define as Athenian drama, Elizabethan drama, and 19th Century Italian opera - existed in those rare moments when all classes attended the theatre together. The dramatists had to find a way to create works that spoke across classes of people rather than flattered one particular group. So I believe we must aim high in quality and as broadly as possible in terms of audience. Anything less would be unworthy of a great public agency." Backstage 04/09/03

The Kentucky Derby Of Theatre The plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival can be surprising, but "perhaps the strangest spectacle of all is an overflowing international crowd of press, theatre pros, alumni, locals, and just-plain theatre junkies who descend on a city block of this courtly, urbane Kentucky city to binge on eight programs of nothing but new plays by living American writers." Backstage 04/09/03

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

London Theatre Gets Political Who says the theatre hasn't been political? To Michael Billington's surprise, over the past few weeks London theatre has been "startlingly repoliticised and has confronted, directly or obliquely, the conflict in Iraq. The Guardian (UK) 04/10/03

Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Milo Cruz's Excellent Week Playwright Nilo Cruz has had a good week. "Over the weekend, at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Ky., Mr. Cruz, a 42-year-old Cuban-born New Yorker, was awarded $15,000 by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for his play 'Anna in the Tropics,' which had been anointed by the American Theater Critics Association as the best play of last year not to have been produced in New York City. Then on Monday Cruz won this year's Drama Pulitzer - in a "rather large surprise in the theater world." The New York Times 04/09/03

This Year's Pulitzer - The Little Play That... Nilo Cruz's little-known play "'Anna in the Tropics" wins the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, triumphing over high-profile Broadway competition - Edward Albee's "The Goat or Who is Sylvia?" and Richard Greenberg's "Take Me Out." "Anna" was born when Cruz got the idea of writing a play about a cigar-factory tradition brought years ago from Cuba to Florida. The Nando Times (AP) 04/07/03

Where Are Broadway's Musicals? There have been plenty of plays this season on Broadway, but only a few musicals - and none besides "Hairspray" (and maybe "La Boheme") - have emerged as genuine hits. Why? The Dallas Morning News 04/08/03

Monday, April 7, 2003

Almeida Theatre To "Surprise" Michael Attenborough, the new director of London's Almeida theatre, says that when the theatre reopens in May it should be constantly "causing surprise" and that "musicals, classical and new theatre will be part of his 'eclectic' long-term vision for the revamped venue." BBC 04/06/03

Ian McKellan: Shakespeare Was Gay? "Sir Ian said the complexity of the sexuality in Shakespeare?s comedies with their cross-dressing and disguises was immense'. We don?t really know for sure if Shakespeare was gay and it is not especially that important. But was he interested in the variety of human sexuality? Absolutely. Did he know about it? Better than anybody." The Scotsman 04/04/03

Sunday, April 6, 2003

Study: Stage Fog Harms Actors A new study says that fog used in theatres and in movies is harmful to actors' health. "Compared to the control group, the entertainment industry employees had lower average lung function test results and they reported more chronic respiratory symptoms: nasal symptoms, cough, phlegm, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath on exertion, and current asthma symptoms, even after taking other factors into account such as age, smoking, and other lung diseases and allergic conditions. The entertainment industry employees also had increased rates of work-related phlegm, wheezing, chest tightness, and nasal symptoms." Backstage 04/06/03

Theatrics Of War "Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can really kill you. Words, metaphors, stories, can convince complete strangers that they have an obligation to disembowel you. Before anyone makes a smart bomb, they have to be persuaded, by smart words, that they should. Words create what Shakespeare called an "imaginary puissance" that can have lethal consequences. An imaginary garden, with real tanks. If you doubt that literature can 'cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war', consider four words enshrined in every library in the English-speaking world: 'God fought for us'." The Guardian (UK) 04/05/03

Is Too Much Video Creeping Onstage? "The artistic power of cinema has had beneficial effects on theatre - in, for example, a greater economy and fluidity in writing and staging - but the dark side has been that stage productions now seem to be apologising for not being films, like someone changing their appearance to look like a rival in love. Modern art has encouraged the use of 'mixed media', but the extended use of video in theatre always feels like a defeat. The point of theatre is that the performance is created as we watch." The Guardian (UK) 04/05/03

Do Politics Keep Plays Offstage? Irish playwright Gary Mitchell finds that it's difficult getting his plays performed because they're set in Ireland, and they include political themes. "There are political reasons that prevent certain plays and films from being performed. Would a script about Jesus written by a born-again Christian be produced today? Would a political play written by a member of the Monster Raving Loony Party or the Conservative Party be turned down because it was dreadful - or would it be because the politics of the piece were not popular, or conflicted with the sensibilities of the theatre's board, or the agenda of the artistic director?" The Guardian (UK) 04/05/03

Friday, April 4, 2003

Seattle Rep Cuts Staff, Season Seattle Repertory Theatre is the latest arts organization to make cutbacks. "Managing director Benjamin Moore said a full-time work force of 102 annual and seasonal employees will go down to 93, and the number of productions next season will decline from nine to six. Moore is projecting income of between $6.5 million and $7 million next season, down from revenues of $8 million this year." Seattle Post-Intelligencer 04/04/03

Pasadena Playhouse - How One Theatre Makes The Cut Pasadena Playhouse is cutting staff and changing its schedule in an attempt to shore up its budget. "Donations to the playhouse in 2002 fell short of a $1.4-million goal by $300,000, and the 2003 season has attracted 9,842 subscribers, compared to 11,249 at this time last year. As a result, out of 43 full- or part-time staffers, 10 whose salaries were higher than $35,000 took temporary pay cuts of 20% starting in late January. Two box office workers were laid off, after the box office and telemarketing offices were merged. The playhouse's director of development left in February and has not yet been replaced. The playhouse's publications editor was laid off, a publicity firm's contract was not renewed, and the playhouse newsletter was suspended." Los Angeles Times 04/04/03

Thursday, April 3, 2003

Cast Travels To O'Neill's Home For a Touch Of Reality The Broadway cast of Eugene O'Neill's "A Long Day's Journey Into Night" - including Vanessa Redgrave and Brian Dennehy - take a field trip to Connecticut to visit the playwright's childhood home. "It's nice for me to have certain things here in my head. It just gives me a visceral sense of what things mean. Like when [the character of the younger son, Edmund, says], `I don't want to go upstairs until she's gone to bed,' suddenly means something else when you've seen how oppressive the ceilings are. Suddenly you have a mental picture for what it means to these boys to go upstairs. Of course, I'd stay up until 4 in the morning drinking if it meant avoiding going up there." Hartford Courant 04/03/03

The Broadway Producer Who Made It Broadway producer Cy Feuer's memoir of life in the theatre is the classic American story. It's an old - and compelling - message: "This is America, where any kid can become president, or at least producer of "Guys and Dolls," "Can-Can," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Cabaret." That's what Cy Feuer did."
Washington Post 04/03/03

Seattle's ACT Theatre Raises Half Of The Money Needed To Stay Open Seattle's ACT Theatre, which declared an emergency and said it would close if it wasn't able to raise $1.5 million, says it has raised half the money. "The theater has received pledges of $750,000 out of the $1.5 million needed to keep the organization going. That amount includes gifts of $5,000 to $100,000 from 15 individual donors, all Seattle-area residents. "We're cautiously optimistic about making our goal of raising the full $1.5 million by April 15. We've approached people in a very targeted way and have actually heard only one 'no.' Everybody else has said yes'."
Seattle Times 04/03/03

Boston Theatre Box Office Down Since War War is not good for Boston theatre. "Since the fighting started, business is bad, as bad as it was after Sept. 11. People are afraid. They just want to go home now. Indeed, there is a palpable sense of malaise at Greater Boston theaters and concert halls this spring, say local presenters, producers, and performers. 'It's very hard to get people out of the house to see anything but light entertainment at this time, and I can't say I entirely blame them'." Boston Globe 04/03/03

Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Broadway Box Office Down Broadway box office was down in the second week of the war (is there really a connection between how many tickets Broadway sells and the war on Iraq?). Anyway..."Total box-office receipts for the 27 shows on Broadway skidded to $12.5 million, down from nearly $12.9 million the previous week." Hartford Courant (AP) 04/02/03

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