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Sunday, November 30, 2003

Boyd: Saving The RSC Michael Boyd has a tough job trying to re-energize the Royal Shakespeare Company. The RSC is full of problems, logistical, artistic, and perceptual. Yet Boyd has a plan. "It is based on the very old-fashioned belief that sustained collaborative work can produce theater of more lasting value, of more profound values, than any other way of working. I believe that with a core ensemble of around 40, I can provide rigorous, exciting training for everybody, including the old lags who still want to learn." The New York Times 12/01/03

Seattle And New York - Fringe Problems The New York and Seattle Fringe Festivals are facing crises of money. They won't survive without an infusion of support. Backstage 11/28/03

Miller: Can great Plays Be Produced Any More? "Arthur Miller believes that if a young playwright wrote "Death of a Salesman" today, it wouldn't have a chance of getting produced. Not that there isn't an audience for it. But the producers would not be interested, largely because of the finances involved." Backstage 11/28/03

"Angels" On TV In A New Context Getting "Angeles in America" from the stage to the TV screen puts it in a different context. "The arrival of "Angels" on television now puts this work into new frames of reference and understanding. First and primarily, because this adaptation preserves so much of the play's thematic complexity, bracing intellect and ravishing language, both its panoramic sweep and visionary intensity come through. That was by no means a given." San Francisco Chronicle 11/30/03

The Shaw Festival's Rotten Year Ontario's Shaw Festival had a terrible year. "From a creative point of view, it was not a season without high points, but from a financial perspective, this was the kind of year in which everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The result: after 10 consecutive years of budget surpluses, the once invincible Shaw Festival will be looking at about $2 million of red ink. The bottom line: A big chunk of the regular audience failed to show up — especially Americans. SARS was one big factor, but not the only one. There was also the war in Iraq, the power blackout and the declining value of the U.S. dollar." Toronto Star 11/30/03

Getting Angels From Stage To Screen "Too often, big stage deals have hit the screen, large or small, with an audible thud, making viewers wonder what was so special about the originals anyway. For some of us, "Angels in America" is a happier story. Building on his astute and graceful 2001 HBO adaptation of the Margaret Edson play "Wit," director Mike Nichols has taken the hospital bed so prominent in that drama, about a cancer patient, and wheeled it over to another, more expansive wing." Chicago Tribune 11/30/03

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Scottish Theatres In Revolt The amateur Scottish theatre association is organizing protests against the Scottish Arts Council for its funding cuts announced last week. "The Scottish Community Drama Association (SCDA), a clearing house for some 200 drama clubs across Scotland that was founded in 1926, was told this week that it will lose its £58,000 annual grant. The money is a tiny fraction of the SAC’s £60 million annual budget, but its loss left the mostly volunteer association shell-shocked." The Scotsman 11/29/03

Does Scottish Children's Theatre Initiative Cost Too Much? The Scottish Arts Council is cutting back on adult theatre to fund a new children's theatre initiative. But is this a wise trade-off? "Instead of finding new money for children’s theatre, they are cutting what seems to be the adult projects. I think that is extremely short-sighted." The Scotsman 11/29/03

Disney Takes Broadway... Having already made a mark on Broadway, Disney is planning an all out assault. "The company has another three musicals nearing production, each based on a Disney movie. Having already changed Broadway, Disney may soon dominate it, with possibly as many as six musicals running simultaneously." The New York Times 11/29/03

Friday, November 28, 2003

Broadway Perking Up After Disappointing Fall "After a disappointing October and much of November, the New York theatre has seen, in less than a week, the best reviewed shows of the fall: an adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV, starring a rapturously received Kevin Kline, and a revival of Wonderful Town, the Bernstein-Comden and Green musical, with the equally acclaimed Donna Murphy. Along with the good notices has been good box office." Toronto Star (AP) 11/28/03

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Scottish Theatre's Poor Fortunes Coming For A Long Time Scotland's 7:84 Theatre is suddenly in a precarious place, after the government announced it was thinking about quitting the theatre's subsidy. That subsidy accounts for 48 percent of the theatre's budget. "While 7:84 will tell you this has come out of the blue, concern has been growing about the company for some time. Reviews of recent productions have been mixed, two board members have resigned, and the company took a long time to appoint artistic director Lorenzo Mele. The job was, in fact, advertised twice." The Scotsman 11/26/03

  • Previously: Shocker - Scotland's 7:84 Loses Government Funding In a surprise move, one of Scotland's best-known theatre companies - 7:84 - has lost its core funding from the Scottish government, and its future is in doubt. "It stands to lose about £225,000 a year – half of its annual income – as part of a package of cuts, worth nearly £1m, from nine organisations." Glasgow Herald 11/25/03
    Posted: 11/25/2003 6:43 pm
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Shocker - Scotland's 7:84 Loses Government Funding In a surprise move, one of Scotland's best-known theatre companies - 7:84 - has lost its core funding from the Scottish government, and its future is in doubt. "It stands to lose about £225,000 a year – half of its annual income – as part of a package of cuts, worth nearly £1m, from nine organisations." Glasgow Herald 11/25/03

Luring Musicals To Town Connecticut's Goodspeed Musicals has a $45 million theatre it wants to build. Now the theatre is being enticed to Middletown with a package of incentives. "If accepted, the Goodspeed offer would be the cultural crown jewel Middletown is seeking for its downtown development, which includes a newly built hotel, restaurants and cinemas and a tourist-friendly link to its proposed South Cove riverfront development." Hartford Courant 11/25/03

Beatty: Broadway Needs Actors, Not Stars Ned Beatty is one of America's most respected stage actors, currently starring in a Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The production is receiving good reviews, but in an interview, Beatty appears to rip his co-stars, Hollywood darlings Jason Patric and Ashley Judd, for being part of a new theatrical culture which favors celebrity over acting ability. "In theater you want to go from here to there, you want it to be about something... Stage actors learn how to do that. Film actors often don't even think about it. They do what the director wants them to do, and they never inform their performance with — call it what you wish — through-line, objective." The New York Times 11/25/03

Monday, November 24, 2003

National Theatre Cleans Up At Awards London's National Theatre was nominated for ten Evening Standard theatre awards, and won three. London Evening Standard 11/25/03

A New "Chants Laureate" For Football Football chants are a staple of any game. But art they art? Apparently so. Next year a sponsor has put up money for a £10,000-a-year "chants laureate" to be chosen from stadium crowds. "His or her role will be to rove round matches and 'compose chants observing key moments within the season'. The search to recruit the new bard is to be led by five judges headed by the poet laureate Andrew Motion, who is paid a mere £5,000 in his 335-year-old post for composing verses for the royal family." The Guardian (UK) 11/24/03

Sunday, November 23, 2003

The O'Neill's Needs - An Artistic Director Connecticut's O'Neill Center is close to choosing a new artistic director. "The artistic director (wanted: a dynamic, inspiring leader with a large Rolodex) will be expected not only to save but to seize the day, to give the O'Neill something it has lacked: a clear, comprehensive and persuasive case for its existence. And to help bring in more money." Hartford Courant 11/23/03

Timelessness vs. Timeliness Some theatergoers can only roll their eyes at the lengths to which some contemporary directors will go to "update" classics like Shakespeare for the modern era. But, says director Michael Bogdanov, such modernizations are absolutely necessary for the classics to remain relevant to today's audiences. "By removing the barriers that exist between the language and the audience, by allowing them to identify with the characters clearly, by associating the events with contemporary politics, I allowed the plays to breathe." The Guardian (UK) 11/22/03

Is Canada Ready For Its Theatrical Close-Up? Canadian fiction has long since come of age on the world stage, but what about Canadian drama? "If its meta-narrative is to be taken at face value, the defining wave of English Canadian theatre in the late 1960s and early seventies has morphed from telling local stories into building a national identity, with international recognition viewed as an added bonus, if it happens." But now, a series of international partnerships and a wave of productions in Europe suggest that Canadian playwrights are finally being elevated to global status. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 11/22/03

Budget Woes For Boston's Wang When Boston's Wang Center announced last month that it was severing ties with the perpetually strapped Boston Ballet, and that it would replace the company's Nutcracker performances with a touring Rockettes show next season, it was seen as a severe blow to the ballet company. But upon closer inspection, it may be the Wang Center which is in the more serious fiscal hole: "It has steadily been beaten out for marquee productions by for-profit Broadway in Boston, a division of Clear Channel Entertainment... And the Wang's attempts to invest in productions such as last month's Thoroughly Modern Millie have so far resulted in losses." Boston Globe 11/23/03

  • How Much Should Competence Cost? "Josiah Spaulding Jr., the president of the Wang Center for the Performing Arts, isn't just well paid. He's among the highest-paid leaders of a nonprofit performing arts center in the country, earning more than the directors of a range of institutions that, budgetwise, dwarf the Wang Center. Spaulding's compensation package for the fiscal year ending in May 2002, the most recent available, was $536,159 a year. This figure was the first thing a group of nonprofit experts noticed when they were asked to review the Wang Center's Internal Revenue Service filings." Boston Globe 11/23/03

Thursday, November 20, 2003

A Mechanical Performance That "Sings" The assignment: write theatre for machines that interact with audiences in new ways. "The project is called the Technology Plays, a theater experiment that is trying to take the old man-versus-machine theme to new extremes. The writers, led by Mr. Dresser and Mr. Kennedy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Ironweed," have fashioned an unsettling exhibition challenging conventional notions of what theater can be and how it can be delivered." The New York Times 11/20/03

New Leadership For Bolshoi Theatre? There are rumors the Bolshoi Drama Theatre might get new leadership. It's long overdue, as recent productions prove. "After Georgy Tovstonogov's death in 1980, an adequate replacement was not found, and it was decided that the new artistic director would concentrate his efforts on preserving the legacy of the late legendary director. The most important thing was not to ruin the house that Tovstonogov built. Now, that house has become old, feeble and fragile. After being denied fresh blood and any new influence at all for so many years, the BDT troupe finds itself in an unappealing state of stagnation." St. Petersburg Times 11/21/03

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Broadway's Bumpy Fall "All across Broadway, producers, landlords and investors are suffering through one of the bumpiest fall seasons in recent memory, a snake-bit period that has seen one show close in previews ("Bobbi Boland"), another close in rehearsal ("Harmony") and a Stephen Sondheim show ("Bounce") close out of town." The New York Times 11/20/03

Closed - Three High-Profile Projects Trip On The Way To Broadway "In the last week, three shows headed for Broadway - the long-gestating Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical "Bounce" in Washington, D.C., the Barry Manilow-Bruce Sussman musical "Harmony" in Philadelphia, and Nancy Hasty's play "Bobbi Boland," which had already begun previews at the Cort Theatre - closed before opening here to critics and audiences. New York-bound projects failing are not uncommon, but three high-profile shows in a row facing this fate is most unusual." Backstage 11/19/03

Actors Union Fighting Non-Union Roadshows The Actors Equity union is launching a campaign to fight non-union Boradway roadshows. "We've reached a crisis stage. According to our latest statistics, 40% of all road tours are non-Equity. Producers are using new strategies to avoid or circumvent our contracts, thus robbing us of workweeks and desperately needed health contributions." Backstage 11/19/03

Children's Theater On The Rocks In Pittsburgh The Pittsburgh International Children's Theater is seriously strapped for cash, and the situation is so dire that the company will be asking its audience to help out at this week's performances. The company has a $60,000 deficit, which is roughly the same amount that the city of Pittsburgh used to give the group in goods and services each year. That donation was scrapped this year, leaving PICT scrambling for alternatives. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 11/19/03

If You're Gonna Fail, Fail Big In what is being described as one of the most disastrous flops in a dismal Broadway season, actress Ellen Burstyn's new one-woman show, The Oldest Living Confederate Widow, has closed after only one official performance. The production cost $1.2 million to mount, but Monday's opening night box office take was only $2000. New York Post 11/19/03

  • Negative Bounce "The producers of Bounce, Stephen Sondheim's first new musical in nine years, confirmed yesterday what many Sondheim fans had already suspected: the show, which received lukewarm reviews in two tryout runs, is not coming to Broadway anytime soon." The New York Times 11/19/03

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

The Art Of Cinematic Theatre Film has more and more of an impact on theatre. "But film is not just part of the visual texture of theatre. It has also had a huge influence on the structure of modern drama. Brecht, in defining epic theatre, uses the cinematic term 'montage.' And modern writers are far more likely to be influenced by the filmic juxtaposition of images and ideas than the old Aristotelian principles of unity." The Guardian (UK) 11/19/03

Saving Eccentricity - Fixing Up The Young Vic London's Young Vic is "one of the London luvvie world's shaggiest buildings," a space beloved as "one of the most intimate and successful theatre spaces in the country." Now, after 33 years, it's time for a refurbishment. But how to do it without spoiling the feel of the place? Financial Times 11/18/03

Monday, November 17, 2003

Computers Have a Go At Figuring Out Shakespeare Did Shakespeare write his own plays? A group of scientists is using computer analysis to find out. The method depend on comparing patterns of at least 30 common words. "You otherwise hardly notice such words but with a computer you can detect patterns of usage and they become important. You find that individuals have their own kind of profile." Discovery 11/17/03

Charlotte Rep AD Resigns Michael Bush has resigned as artistic director of Charlotte Repertory Theatre. "The artistic quality of Michael's product has been nothing short of superb. Unfortunately, during these challenging economic times, we failed to attract a sufficient audience to support the increased costs." Backstage 11/17/03

"Producers" Sets Broadway BO Record Just last week stories were being written about The Producers losing steam at the Broadway box office. Then Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick agreed to return to the roles they originated. Presto - a box office record. "The show sold some 6,000 tickets in less than 90 minutes, both in person and through Telecharge, after the box office opened at noon. By 10 p.m., when the St. James's box office closed, more than 39,000 tickets had been sold, the producers said, and the day's take stood at nearly $3.5 million. Orders were still being taken through Telecharge. The previous record for one-day sales was also held by "The Producers," which sold $3.3 million in tickets on the day after the show's opening in April 2001." The New York Times 11/17/03

Sunday, November 16, 2003

RSC On The Rocks - Can It Be Saved? (Some Wonder) The Royal Shakespeare Company has had some rocky years recently. But the larger measure of the company's dire situation is beginning to dawn. "There are fears it might be too late to save a company riddled with debt, lacking a London base, rumoured to be cutting costs on productions, stunned by the resignation of its chairman, 'on trial' for its public funding and trailing in the wake of the powerhouse National Theatre and Shakespeare's Globe. Some observers have already begun to think the unthinkable: that the Arts Council might axe its £13.3 million grant to the RSC. There is even speculation in theatre circles that the RSC's right to use the term 'Royal' could be in jeopardy." The Observer (UK) 11/16/03

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Role Reversal - Michael Grandage On Top "Ten years ago, Michael Grandage was a struggling actor who could barely afford to go out for dinner with his friends. Today he has arguably the best job in British theatre, having last year succeeded Sam Mendes as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse in London." The Telegraph (UK) 11/14/03

Friday, November 14, 2003

Taboo - It's Rosie's Fault Critics are panning the Rosie O'Donnell-produced "Taboo," which opened on Broadway this week. Clive Barnes says that while the show was an eccentric charmer in London, on Broadway it's just out of place. "The Plymouth Theatre is not that kind of place at all, and a professional Broadway producer would have seen that at once. First-time producer Rosie O'Donnell, attracting more attention to herself than David Merrick in his heyday, seems almost virginal in her lack of experience." New York Post 11/14/03

  • The Return Of Cats? Ben Brantley forgot for a moment where he was at the opening of Taboo. The show, he reports, is "a dressed-up, low-down temple to the holy trinity of sex, drugs and soft rock 'n' roll, and the sort of place where good boys and girls go bad real fast. So why do I keep waiting for one of them to step forward and belt out "Memory"?" The New York Times 11/14/03

Thursday, November 13, 2003

2000-Year-Old Play Sees Light Again "A Greek play is to be staged for the first time in more than 2,050 years after fragments of the text were found in Egyptian mummy cases." The Guardian (UK) 11/14/03

Seattle Fringe In Danger The Seattle Fringe Festival is in crisis, and must raise $120,000 in the next six weeks in order to survive, according to its executive director. The fiscal crunch will apparently not affect the separate FringeACT theater festival presented each spring in Seattle, but the main FringeFest has suffered mightily in recent years from slumping ticket sales and a drop in corporate and individual giving. Seattle Times 11/13/03

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Billington: Don't Trifle With Classics Michael Billington is distubed by a "disturbing European trend that Britain has largely escaped: one where the director is an unassailable monarch and classic texts are pieces of clay to be shaped to his often infantile needs." The Guardian (UK) 11/10/03

UK Theatre: What About The Littlest Among Us? Regional theatre in the UK is having a great year. But (and isn't there always a but?) "What about Britain's smallest theatres - those that have to balance their books on seating capacities of 300 or less, those that receive little or no core funding, never see a national reviewer and are still waiting for some of the Arts Council's £25m injection of cash?" The Guardian (UK) 11/13/03

Why Non-Profit Theatre Doesn't Belong On Broadway John Heilpern says the Manhattan Theatre Club's latest offering is just more evidence why it's a bad idea for non-profit theatre to go to Broadway. "The Manhattan Theatre Club’s expansion into Broadway at the Biltmore as another dangerous example of nonprofit-theater "Broadwayitis." In my view, the entire purpose and lifeblood of the uncommercial theater isn’t to become part of Broadway, but to offer a radical alternative to it." New York Observer 11/12/03

Lloyd-Webber: West End Theatres At Disadvantage Andrew Lloyd-Webber tells a parliamentary committee that London's commercial theatres are at a big disadvantage to non-profit theatres. " 'We are not on a level playing field with the public sector'. He said central London's theatres were crumbling while state-backed venues picked up grants to fund revamps." There is a proposal to grant tax breaks to the theatres to help refurbish them. BBC 11/12/03

Monday, November 10, 2003

Eubie Blake Musical Gets A Second Chance (60 Years Later) "More than 60 years after its premiere, the musical that Eubie Blake and Andy Razaf considered their masterpiece - 'Tan Manhattan' - finally is getting a second chance. To the songwriters' considerable dismay, the show died in February 1941, after just a few engagements..." Chicago Tribune 11/10/03

Royal Shakespeare Company Denies Demolition Plans The Royal Shakespeare Company denies it hs decided to tear down its Stratford theatre. "The Sunday Times said plans to demolish the RSC's grade II-listed venue to make way for a £100m 'theatre village' were being scrapped. An RSC spokesman said demolition was 'the least likely of our options' but no definite plans had been finalised." BBC 11/10/03

Sunday, November 9, 2003

When Pop Drives Theatre "Back in the days of Rodgers and Hammerstein, there wasn't much of a difference between showtunes and pop tunes. The songs sung from Broadway stages had a multigenerational appeal, received wide radio airplay and were the staples of Your Hit Parade. Today, that trend is reversed: Instead of Broadway driving pop music, it's the other way around." St. Paul Pioneer-Press 11/09/03

Sondheim - Listening To Audiences A new Stephen Sondheim musical (his first in nine years) is preparing for Broadway, and producers are studying the audiences. "The conventional wisdom is that you are better off listening to the audience as a group than to any one individual member of it. As far as critics' responses, because each review reflects the opinion of just one person, the show's collaborators tend to discount them. In the case of Bounce, most notices have sounded disappointed. It's not that critics dislike the musical; it's more that they think it's a minor work. Some, though, have added that even below-average Sondheim is better than almost everything else." Baltimore Sun 11/09/03

Friday, November 7, 2003

Behind The O'Neill Leadership Story It looks like the O'Neill Playwrights Conference is close to nameing a successor to James Houghton, who left as artistic director last week. "Mr. Houghton left the O'Neill after discovering that its board had decided to centralize control to reduce costs without consulting him. In a telephone interview on Tuesday, he said he would have cooperated with the centralization and would never have changed the submissions policy if he had known about the board's cost-cutting plans in advance." The New York Times (2nd item) 11/07/03

Thursday, November 6, 2003

  • Why Did James Houghton Leave The O'Neill? James Houghton's departure as artistic director of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference took many by surprise. "The sudden resignation took the theatre community by surprise, coming just five weeks after Houghton's decision, announced publicly Mon., Sept. 15, that the O'Neill would 'suspend' indefinitely its longstanding policy of open submissions, a move that quickly provoked discord in the national playwriting community. The resignation also came following the O'Neill's receipt of a letter, written by a three-time Playwrights Conference alum, questioning Houghton's claim that the decision was largely based on the state of the institution's finances." Backstage 11/06/03

  • Previously: O'Neill Director Resigns "James Houghton has resigned in a pique as the artistic director of the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the country's leading workshop for new plays, saying he was excluded from the board's reorganization plans." The New York Times 10/30/03

Confronting An Ugly Past Russians are not generally eager to discuss the dark period in which Josef Stalin ruled their nation, and who can blame them? During his rule, Stalin ordered the killing or banishment of more than 10 million of his countrymen, a human catastrophe which even today is underrecognized as one of the great governmental crimes of the 20th Century, and which Russia has never fully confronted. "Indeed, though millions of their compatriots died or were imprisoned on Stalin's watch, many Russians don't consider him among the 20th century's most evil men. In a poll early this year, a clear majority of Russians said Stalin's role in the country's life was, on balance, positive." Now, a new play being produced in Moscow is putting the horror of the Stalin regime on full display, and forcing modern Russia to acknowledge and deal with the dictator's true legacy. Newsday (New York) 11/05/03

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Teachout: Why The Producers Doesn't Have Legs So why is The Producers fading on Broadway? Terry Teachout believes he knows: "To see 'The Producers' is to be immersed in that older style of comedy, and for anyone born before 1960, the experience will be as nostalgic as a trip to the county fair. Somehow I doubt that was what Mr. Brooks had in mind, though. My guess is that he still thinks it's titillating, even shocking, to put swishy Nazis on stage. It's no accident that he hasn't made a movie for years and years: Broadway is one of the last places in America where he could draw a crowd with that kind of humor, and it's not an especially young crowd, either." OpinionJournal.com 11/06/03

  • Previously:  The Producers Failing To Produce "The Producers opened as a monster hit on Broadway. It was supposed to stay that way, packing houses for years. But it hasn't turned out that way. "Less than three years after its incomparably auspicious opening, The Producers, in the eyes of many on Broadway, has become an underachiever. Its box office grosses, which set record highs — more than $1.2 million per week — in its first year, have fallen about 20 percent in the last 12 months. It now ranks below newer shows like Hairspray and Mamma Mia! as well as The Lion King." The New York Times 11/02/03

The Science Of Theatre (Why Not?) There have been a number of plays in recent years that take up science as a topic. But most of them bury the science behind personalities. But why not put science or math upfront? "Doing mathematics can often feel like the creative process of a theatre improvisation. You set up a tableau with conditions for collisions of ideas and let the thing run. Very often it gets nowhere - but sometimes there is a dynamic created that clicks. Like the rules of a theatre game, the conditions push you in extraordinary unexpected directions that too much freedom would stifle." The Guardian (UK) 11/04/03

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

A Lift For "Producers" - Lane And Broderick Return After months of lagging ticket sales, the Broadway production of The Producers is bringing back the show's original stars - Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. "The show's producers want to make the most of the stars' return. The show's regular tickets cost $30 to $100, and the producers are also expected to sell nearly a hundred $480 tickets in the best rows of the orchestra for each performance through Broadway Inner Circle. With the new $480 tickets, the show is likely to post the highest box office take on Broadway, as much as $1.3 million a week." The New York Times 11/05/03

  • Previously: The Producers Failing To Produce "The Producers opened as a monster hit on Broadway. It was supposed to stay that way, packing houses for years. But it hasn't turned out that way. "Less than three years after its incomparably auspicious opening, The Producers, in the eyes of many on Broadway, has become an underachiever. Its box office grosses, which set record highs — more than $1.2 million per week — in its first year, have fallen about 20 percent in the last 12 months. It now ranks below newer shows like Hairspray and Mamma Mia! as well as The Lion King." The New York Times 11/02/03
Sunday, November 2, 2003

Colorado's Top Theatre School Takes Some Whacks Colorado's top theatre school is the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. But budget cuts to state colleges have decimated UNC's theatre program.
Denver Post 11/02/03

New Life For Tennessee? Tennessee Williams' plays have not worn well in recent years. But "nobody wrote like him - with the beautiful agony, compassionate brutality and sexually complicated women. On the other hand, no one overwrote like him either. Did the sexual revolution and gay liberation let the air out of his theatrical high-compression chambers? Are we so casual about our internal lives that even gorgeous imagery about sensual menace seems less majestic than ludicrous? If so, can his time come again? People in important places are betting that it can." Newsday 11/02/03

The Producers Failing To Produce "The Producers opened as a monster hit on Broadway. It was supposed to stay that way, packing houses for years. But it hasn't turned out that way. "Less than three years after its incomparably auspicious opening, The Producers, in the eyes of many on Broadway, has become an underachiever. Its box office grosses, which set record highs — more than $1.2 million per week — in its first year, have fallen about 20 percent in the last 12 months. It now ranks below newer shows like Hairspray and Mamma Mia! as well as The Lion King." The New York Times 11/02/03

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