"The statistics tell us that changing the way we think of race and ethnicity in the theater will not be easy. Of Equity’s 50,823 active members, 68% identify themselves as Caucasian." -- Actors' Equity President Kate Shindle, on the Hamilton casting debacle, and the real problem of diversity in theatre. [more inside]
He wanted to do not “Shuffle Along” but the making of “Shuffle Along” (official title: “Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”). He would tell the story of the original creators and cast and how they pulled it off ... Interesting approach, you say, sounds great. But to make it work, you couldn’t stint on the dancing and the songs. Those were what made the show go: syncopation, fire, artistry.
On Monday, the cast of Broadway's Hamilton will be going to the White House today to test a pilot version of its educational program as well as perform a concert of “Hamiltunes” for the kids and the First Family. [more inside]
Shocking As It Is to Believe, the Theater May Be in a New Golden Age One reason: Audra McDonald, Broadway’s greatest voice, is back.
In the Room Where It Happens, Eight Shows a Week and 8 Places to Celebrate Alexander Hamilton's birthday in New York and Beyond
RIP: Workshops. WTF is a Lab? "Now you're confused. 'Then, what's a Lab?' 'It's the exact same thing as a workshop, but without the good shit." [more inside]
Neil Patrick Harris is getting glowing reviews for his turn in the title role in Hedwig And The Angry Inch, now playing on Broadway. But wait, why is "internationally ignored song stylist" Hedwig even playing Broadway in the first place? Because the Belasco Theater was suddenly available because Hurt Locker: The Musical opened and closed on the same night. In fact, the floor of the theater is found to be littered with discarded Playbill magazines for the failed production. [more inside]
The revival of Death of a Salesman starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman is taking Broadway by storm. It's directed by Mike Nichols and also stars Andrew Garfield. It's one of the theater's most respected works. But there's a bittersweet irony with this revival. "Tickets for the original run, in 1949, cost between $1.80 and $4.80; tickets for the 2012 run range from $111 to $840. After adjusting for inflation, that’s a 10-fold increase, well beyond the reach of today’s putative Willy Lomans." "Certainly few middle-class people, or at least anyone from any “middle class” that Loman would recognize, are among the audiences attending this production."
Standing in the wings and hoping someone on stage will get injured was never part of my big Broadway dreams. I had been working professionally long enough to know that many actors considered swings to be the second-class citizens of Broadway, the spares whose talent wasn’t distinctive enough to merit their being seen on stage every night. I knew those generalizations to be false, and though they stung, I had reasons beyond my pride for wanting my own track in Chicago. [more inside]
Susan Blackwell is an American actress, writer and singer, best known for playing herself in the musical [title of show]. The web series "Side by Side by Susan Blackwell" chronicles her unconventional encounters with Broadway celebrities: sorting laundry with Daniel Radcliffe, feeding goats with Jonathan Groff, researching rectal surgeries with Norbert Leo Butz, naming dogs with Zachary Quinto and consulting a ouija board with Andrew Rannells, to name a few. [more inside]
This week, the world will finally get its first look at Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. But the most expensive musical in Broadway history has already had an epic run—battling bankruptcy, broken wrists, unruly technology, and one comic villain disguised as a Post columnist. And at the center of it all, perched over her “God mike,” is the relentless and inventive Julie Taymor. (previously)
Defamation by Twitter Broadway actor Marty Thomas has filed papers in court asking that the identify of the "bwayanonymous" Twitter account (cache) be revealed, after the account made a post alleging Thomas has crabs.
Theatre composer Jason Robert Brown (bio) tries to explain to a young fan why it’s wrong to download sheet music from the Internet for free. Via.
Musical fans, meet Seth Rudetsky. Watch him (YT links) deconstruct "Turkey Lurkey" and Barbra Streisand or accompany Raul Esparza on "Defying Gravity." Learn from his Broadway 101 parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6a and 6b.
Broadway.com has been doing a video diary of Legally Blonde: the Musical as it moves toward Broadway. See the first rehearsal with director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell, visit a costume fitting, or catch a sneek peek of the show's pre-Broadway tryout in San Francisco. Legally Blonde starts performance in New York City on April 3rd.
The Internet Broadway Database From The Prisoner of Zenda, which opened Sep. 4, 1895, to (well) Urinetown, due to close in January, a comprehensive hyperlinked database of official Broadway performances through the years.
The Show Must Go On. Is it appropriate for Broadway shows to be up and running again? True, the Mayor prescribed it as a way to show how unaffected we are by terrorism, yet I couldn't imagine sitting in the audience at The Producers, laughing at "Springtime for Hitler," mocking the foolishness of that regime of hatred when the product of another regime of hatred lays smouldering just a few miles to the south.
The Roundabout Theater postpones its Assassins revival. This was probably the right decision, though for those who know the show--and that might not be many--it happens to address better than most things all the issues our country is currently facing. Check out Sondheim.com where they've changed the page to simple text featuring perfectly fitting lyrics for the moment we're in.
John Cullum to star in off-Broadway musical URINETOWN! No comment, other than I like the fact that none of Cullum's tv credits (Northern Exposure, ER) are mentioned in the article.