George S. Irving has died. Irving first appeared on Broadway in 1943 in Oklahoma!, only to be drafted into service two days later. He spent more than 60 years on stage, recently reprising a role he created in "So Long, 174th Street", which has been retitled, "Enter Laughing."
Dick Latessa, Broadway star of Follies, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Hairspray and The Lyons, among many other productions, passed away at the age of 87. Latessa won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.
In 1801, Washington Irving wrote of attending the theater in New York City, where he was assaulted by apples, nuts and gingerbread thrown from the “gallery gods” — the people sitting in the cheap seats at the top of balcony — onto the heads of those in the audience below. [more inside]
This year, Mr. Corden said he hoped to open the Tonys with “a song for, like, the theater kid who lives in Michigan or Nebraska, who just dreams of being on a stage. For them,” he continued, “this night being on TV is everything, and I wonder if we can open our show for them." [more inside]
"This is all hilarious, of course — a 14-year-old girl utterly fanatical about the Founding Fathers — that is until you realize that it isn’t going away." Joe Posnanski of NBC Sports on taking his 14 year old daughter, Elizabeth, to see Hamilton.
In “ ‘Hamilton’ Aside, Where the Real Tony Competition Lies' ", one of your theater critics, Charles Isherwood, says of “Hamilton”: “I do find it slightly puzzling that it was nominated in the book of a musical category, since the show is almost sung-through.” [more inside]
Cats, the popular musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber (based on the poetry of T.S. Eliot), will be adapted as a movie, to be directed by Tom Hooper. Noted for its longevity, Cats ran continuously on Broadway for 18 years, and on London's West End for 21 years. The show will return to Broadway in August, after a 16-year hiatus. Mee wow!
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.
Remembering Jonathan Larson, who died 20 years ago this week, weeks shy of his 36th birthday. The 20th anniversary tour of the show that began previews the night of his death, RENT, will launch this fall. [more inside]
The American Theatre Wing presents, Working in the Theatre: Marie's Crisis
Almost twenty years ago, RENT changed the way Broadway shows offered cheap "rush" tickets by introducing the first lottery for $20 front row seats. This year, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer/lyricist/book writer of Hamilton, introduced #Ham4Ham, a lottery show where Broadway actors from all parts of the community perform in front of the Richard Rodgers theatre while waiting to hear their names called for $10 rush seats.
Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles has announced it will bring its production of Spring Awakening to Broadway this fall. This will mark the first Deaf West production on the Great White Way for Deaf West since 2003's Big River.
This past Sunday, Café Edison, affectionately known as the Polish Tea Room, served its last bowl of matzos ball soup and shuttered. [more inside]
Tonight, 21 year-old actress Keke Palmer will make her Broadway debut in the title role inRodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, the first African American actress to play the role in any stage production of the show, first mounted as a television production on CBS in 1957, with Julie Andrews. [more inside]
Broadway's Patrick Page Shares His Personal Struggle with Depression The night I heard that Robin Williams died, I slept very little. And it wasn't just grief keeping me awake. It was fear. I know my depression is lurking just around the corner-waiting. As Harvey Fierstein says, "All it wants to do is get you alone in a room and kill you."
50 years ago tonight, Fiddler on the Roof began performances at the Fischer Theatre in Detroit. Sheldon Harnick, the lyricist, says: "I remember one audition for Fiddler. As people left I heard someone say dismissively 'Oh once they run out of Hadassah benefits there'll be absolutely no audience for it'. At the time I feared maybe they were right." [more inside]
The New York Public Library has posted four original typescripts from Show Boat, the 1927 musical by composer Jerome Kern and lyricist and bookwriter Oscar Hammerstein, along with a blog post for some historical background.
SF/F legend Connie Willis pours a preview of a near-future version of the story of backstage back-stabbing, " All About Eve" with "All About Emily" for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
Sooner Or Later is a torch song written by Broadway idol Stephen Sondheim for the 1990 film Dick Tracey, Here's it performed by Bernadette Peters for the RuPaul show in 1997. Oscar performance by Madonna. Album version. Film version .
Last night, for the first time since the 1955 broadcast of "Peter Pan", the NBC television network aired a live performance of "The Sound of Music". [more inside]
You're at a Broadway or off-Broadway show. Suddenly, a cell phone goes off, or the person next to you starts texting. If you're on stage, you could do what Patti LuPone did at Gypsy. You could write an open letter to the offender. Or, you could do what Kevin Williamson did last night.
The Tony Awards' 2012 Opening Number - What If Life Were More Like Theater? - with Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, Amanda Seyfried, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson
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]
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.
Tomorrow after 37 previews and 1000 performances, Broadway will bid farewell to the critically-lauded, award-winning, first-ever revival of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical South Pacific. [more inside]
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.
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.
Dancer Sues Movin' Out for breach of contract and sexual harassment she claims to have suffered during her run in the National Touring company of the Broadway hit. In an interesting move, the dancer, Alice Alyse, has created a lawsuit website to explain her side of the story. Perhaps she'll win, but will she ever work again?
Buying Rare Race Records in the South. Music That Americans Loved 100 Years Ago. The Cheney Talking Machine. Just three among dozens of amazing articles about early recording machines and American popular music at the astonishingly detailed site of Tim Gracyk, author of Popular American Recording Pioneers: 1895-1925. Scroll down for bios of forgotten stars, including Nora Bayes - who performed in the Follies of 1907, before Flo Ziegfeld's name became part of the title, George W. Johnson - "the most important African-American recording artist of the 1890s," and piano player Zez Confrey, whose sheet music for the 1921 hit "Kitten on the Keys" sold over a million copies and became "the third most-frequently recorded rag in history."
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.