Friday, April 19, 2019
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Opinion: The Game Changers knocking down the walls of Broadway

At its penultimate meeting of the Broadway season, the Tony Administration Committee handed down a couple of eminently reasonable rulings, along with two mild...

The road to ‘Hadestown’

In the back of a London taxicab in the fall of 2018, composer Anaïs Mitchell pulled out her cellphone to show director Rachel Chavkin...

Where politics meets art in ‘Oklahoma!’ and ‘Jagged Little Pill’

Eva Price likes her art to be political. It’s not that it has to address politics directly, but rather it has to resonate with...

How Disney chooses its next Broadway musical

Deciding which Disney property to bring to Broadway is a two-part process: there’s a brief, discerning look at the company’s empire, and then gut...

Review: ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ hits the steps, but not the story

Broadway’s proudest moments of the past couple of decades have rarely – er, make that never – included any of the long parade of...

Review: Kelli O’Hara soars in a revised ‘Kiss Me, Kate’

Spring was tardy this year, so if you are still suffering from seasonal affective disorder, you might try some therapeutic theater courtesy of the...

Review: ‘Be More Chill’s’ slick production misses a moral center

Much has been made of “Be More Chill’s” unusual path to Broadway. Originally produced to middling response at New Jersey’s Two River Theater, the...

Opinion: Expectations vs. reality at ‘The Prom’

The only thing missing from the money reviews was the money. Critics greeted “The Prom” with cheers when it opened in November at the Longacre...

Review: A classic sibling battle gains new depth in ‘True West’

Toxic masculinity may be a growing blight on society, but for spectacular proof that onstage, at least, it can also be vital entertainment, look...

Opinion: In the battle for profit-sharing, it’s a question of risk

Should actors be paid for their contribution to shows that go on to be hits? I’ve been going to the theater regularly since I turned...

Opinion: On ‘All My Sons’ and breaking with tradition

In the midst of the usual year-end rash of “Best Of” lists and seasonal jolliness came news that a spring revival of Arthur Miller’s...

Review: ‘Choir Boy’ vibrates with emotion, moves with lyrical dialogue

Spiraling in the light, fog stealthily transforms schoolboys in their locker room into living sculptures, accompanied only by the insistent atonal plinking of dripping...

Broadway Roulette asks ticketbuyers to take a gamble

While theater die-hards may handpick their shows based on performers or creative teams, Broadway Roulette is catering to a different audience: those who just...

Review: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ holds court, without the drama

“All rise!” is the exhortation upon which Aaron Sorkin’s new adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” ends, and, sure enough, before the curtain could...

Review: Christmas gone wrong at ‘Ruben & Clay’

Toward the merciful end of “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Show,” or as it is also called, “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas...

Review: A slick ‘Network’ showcases Bryan Cranston’s talent

If satire is what closes on Saturday night, as George S. Kaufman famously said, how can one explain the roaring success of Broadway’s “Network,”...

Review: ‘The Cher Show’ offers a bumpy ride through an icon’s career

Fame may be a “fleeting bitch,” according to the title character in “The Cher Show” — and who would know better? Temperamental she may be,...

Review: ‘The Illusionists’ is all tricks, but little magic

The Vegas-style entertainment show “The Illusionists” has returned to Broadway in time for the holidays. Unfortunately this latest iteration, the group’s fourth appearance on...

Building the ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ empire

At the 2017 Tony Award nominee luncheon, “Dear Evan Hansen” producer Stacey Mindich received some sage advice from Stuart Thompson. “If you win the...

‘King Kong’ director Drew McOnie wages gorilla warfare

“We tamed the beast—you and I—we brought him to this city,” crows Carl Denham, the filmmaker and impresario in the new Broadway musical “King...

Review: ‘The Prom’ finds meaning amid the glitz

“Make ‘em laugh, then make a point!” Borrowing a cultural meme to describe the new musical “The Prom” seems fair game because the show...

Opinion: To close or not to close?

Heading into the holidays, the Broadway season so far has been remarkable for the breadth of its appeal and the range of subjects. Along...

Review: With warm humor, ‘The New One’ tackles the question of procreation

In “The New One,” which has transferred to Broadway after a sold-out run off-Broadway this past summer writer and comedian Mike Birbiglia improbably begins...

Review: ‘King Kong’ is a lackluster vehicle for a star gorilla

He can’t sing a note. They definitely don’t make tap shoes in his size. And, aside from some extremely expressive growls and roars, he...

Review: ‘American Son’ takes a piercing look at our country

“Everything’s coming apart,” cries Kendra, a distraught mother who’s awaiting news of her missing boy, in “American Son,” an arrestingly topical drama by Christopher...

Review: A reincarnated ‘Torch Song’ blazes with newfound comedy

Seeing the original “Torch Song Trilogy” off-Broadway in 1982 remains an indelible theater-going memory — so much so that I approached the current Broadway...

Investors in ‘Nerds’ musical file suit against producers

Investors of the failed “Nerds” musical are suing lead producers Carl Levin and Vicki Halmos claiming they mislead them into believing the musical had...

Review: An exquisite blend of humor and sorrow in ‘The Waverly Gallery’

To laugh or to cry? That mostly theoretical cliché becomes a matter of actual, uncomfortable urgency as you watch the superlative Broadway revival of...

Review: ‘The Ferryman’ brims with life as a threat looms

A man’s death casts a seemingly endless shadow over a family’s life in “The Ferryman,” the breathtakingly good, devastating drama by Jez Butterworth that...

Review: ‘The Lifespan of a Fact’ loses drama to the truth

Fact: I began my career in journalism as a fact-checker at a magazine in Los Angeles. Opinion: My experience with this oft-tedious task unfortunately did...

Opinion: Can off-Broadway intimacy survive a Broadway transfer?

“Will it move?” If you’re in the theater business, you know what that question is about. When a new show opens anywhere outside the Broadway...

‘Torch Song’s’ path to Broadway

“Torch Song” is heading back to Broadway thanks to an idea that almost simultaneously struck producer Richie Jackson and director Moisés Kaufman: Michael Urie...

Review: Colorful characters punch up ‘The Nap’

Snooker, anyone? Anyone? British plays may be as abundant on Broadway as mushrooms in a rain-soaked forest, but “The Nap,” by Richard Bean, may...

Opinion: Is $20 million-plus the new normal for Broadway musicals?

Every Broadway season boasts a show or two that promises big-screen thrills delivered on record-busting budgets. Back in 1987, the Shubert Organization swallowed the...

Review: An exploration of female power in ‘Bernhardt/Hamlet’

Playing the great Belle Époque actress Sarah Bernhardt, who is herself, preparing to play Hamlet, Janet McTeer proves to be a woman not only...

In ‘The Nap,’ audiences and actors learn the rules of snooker

“The Nap” has come to Broadway with a mission to popularize the sport of snooker. The first challenge: explaining what it is. Simply put, snooker...

At Sardi’s, a drink and a business opportunity

On an average Tuesday at Sardi’s, playwrights, producers and theater owners are sprinkled across the expansive dining room enveloped in deep red. They lunch on...

Opinion: Craig Zadan’s legacy will live on through Broadway, TV projects

As he accepted the fifth, and most important, Creative Emmy award for “Jesus Christ Superstar” last Sunday, executive producer Neil Meron said, “This is...

Shaping the next generation of creative producers

Before “The Band’s Visit” won 10 Tony Awards, its lead producer, Orin Wolf, learned the tricks of the trade from some of the industry’s...

Review: ‘Pretty Woman’ is a cardboard cutout of the movie

It’s very sweet that, as in the movie, the two unlikely lovers in the musical “Pretty Woman” end up rescuing one another from their...

Review: The same old story at ‘Gettin’ the Band Back Together’

Before the curtain rises on the new musical “Gettin’ the Band Back Together” at the Belasco Theatre, Ken Davenport, the show’s lead producer, who...

NYU launches Broadway Orchestra training program

New York University has launched a Broadway Orchestra initiative aimed at training the next generation of pit musicians. The initiative, which will launch with...

Grammy Awards update musical theater submission guidelines

The Recording Academy is making changes to Grammy Awards guidelines for musical theater in the hopes of revitalizing one of its leanest categories. For...

Opinion: How two Broadway musicals adapted to the #MeToo era

Rarely has the phrase “900-pound gorilla” seemed as apt as the dilemma facing Broadway producers and creatives this season — especially those who are...

Review: ‘Head Over Heels’ can’t find the beat

Summer is not officially the silly season on Broadway, but you might be forgiven for assuming so should you wander into the Hudson Theatre,...

Review: A lesson in sympathy from ‘Straight White Men’

In case you have been singing loudly with your fingers stuffed in your ears for, say, a year and a half, you have probably...

Opinion: Broadway profits keep nonprofits alive

“There’s no profit like nonprofit!” was a cherished mantra of the late Shubert Organization chairman Gerald Schoenfeld. Long before his passing in 2008, Schoenfeld...

Opinion: Raise a glass to the Tony voters

Some praise is due to the 850-plus Tony voters, a group more maligned than any industry group outside of the Golden Globes. They violate...

After the Tonys, the theater community goes to Israel

For the past 30 years, members of the theater community have attended the Tony Awards and then, win or lose, set off on a...

There’s the investment, then there’s the cost of the Tonys

Going to the Tony Awards could cost some attendees up to $4,000, and that’s not counting the hundreds of thousands of dollars it took...

Opinion: It’s time to break out of the confines of Broadway

The Tony Awards on Sunday are sure to paint a happy face on the Broadway season that just concluded with record high ticket sales...

Opinion: A radical proposal for Broadway plays

If you judged the state of playwriting by this year's Tony nominations for best play, you might think some unidentified virus had wiped out...

Tony honorees shine a spotlight on behind-the-scenes crafts

A few behind-the-scenes members of the Broadway community took a brief pause from work Monday night to celebrate their Tony Honors. At the Tony Awards Honors...

Broadway casting directors and League work toward settlement

Broadway casting directors and the Broadway League have made "significant progress" toward a settlement in the lawsuit concerning the unionization of the casting directors. In...

What it takes to put on the Tony Awards

After more than 15 years producing the Tony Awards, Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss have learned the tips and tricks of putting on the...

Review: ‘The Boys in the Band’ still resonates beneath the laughs

“Thanks for the laughs,” says Harold, whose disorderly birthday celebration is the occasion on which the men in “The Boys in the Band” gather...

How ‘Mean Girls’ and more are leaning into video design

In “Mean Girls,” a large white wall can instantly transform from an African savanna to the hallway of a suburban American high school and...

Opinion: Make the Tony Awards more like the Grammys

All creative competitions are ridiculous, and in that respect, the Tony Awards are no different from the Oscars, the Grammys and the seasonal art...

As sports betting becomes legalized, the Tony Awards could be next

Betting on the Tony Awards could become more mainstream after a recent ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. On May 14, the Supreme Court...

Opinion: Small musicals punch above their weight

Even before it got to Broadway, people were predicting that "The Band's Visit" would win the Tony Award for Best Musical. And, indeed it...

Opinion: Forget the Top 40, Broadway musicals still resonate

Channel surfing a few nights ago, I alighted on PBS and had the unexpected thrill of hearing a familiar tune that wasn’t from the...

Opinion: What if Broadway revivals dared to be more provocative?

Clubby and tradition-bound as Skull and Bones, Broadway has made worthy strides toward sunlight in recent years as conventions of sex and race finally...

Chita Rivera still eyes Broadway after decades in the business

Despite working more than 60 years on Broadway, Chita Rivera never thought she would receive a lifetime achievement Tony Award, much less one alongside...

How the ending of the ‘My Fair Lady’ revival came to be

Director Bartlett Sher has not changed the ending of “My Fair Lady.” Rather he says he has “interpreted” the ending in a manner that...

What drew George C. Wolfe, Denzel Washington to ‘The Iceman Cometh’

Director George C. Wolfe does not typically do revivals, but when presented with the opportunity to work with Denzel Washington on “The Iceman Cometh”...

Review: Denzel Washington radiates energy in ‘Iceman Cometh’

When Denzel Washington, who plays the salesman Hickey in the shatteringly good Broadway revival of “The Iceman Cometh,” unleashes his dazzling smile, it’s fair...

Review: Historical exposition weighs down a solidly acted ‘Saint Joan’

George Bernard Shaw’s plays are performed so rarely on major New York stages that it’s hard not to feel grateful for a chance to...

Review: ‘Travesties’ dazzles with zany wit

“Da, da!” when translated as “Yes, yes!” is a fittingly celebratory salutation to greet the sparkling and incisive revival of Tom Stoppard’s “Travesties” which...

Review: At ‘Summer,’ the disco ball has spun off its axis

Someone really did leave the damn cake out in the rain. That’s my metaphorical summation of “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.” Fans will recognize...

Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ brings magic to Broadway

If massive success on Broadway could ever be a foregone conclusion, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” would indubitably be the show to bet...

Review: ‘My Fair Lady’ is a beautifully polished antique

Impeccable is the first word that springs to mind to describe the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady.” But...

How ‘Frozen’ on Broadway is capitalizing on its popular appeal

Reviews never bothered Disney anyway. Though “Frozen” received mixed reviews from critics, the show has maintained a popular resonance that translated into a record-breaking...

Review: A layered ‘Carousel’ finds new depth

At the core of “Carousel,” which has been revived with breathtaking emotional intensity at the Imperial Theatre, is a dark fatalism that trails the...

Review: ‘Children of a Lesser God’ struggles to connect

The challenges that all of us must confront in order to achieve meaningful human connection is the central theme of Mark Medoff’s play “Children...

Actors’ Equity pushes for creation of Tony Award categories honoring ensembles

The Actors’ Equity Association is pushing to create two new Tony Award categories that honor equity choruses and ensembles in musicals or plays. Actors’...

Review: ‘Mean Girls’ is funny, but not fresh

Does it make me a mean girl if I say that “Mean Girls,” the new Broadway musical based on — well, duh! — is,...

What determines Broadway ticket pricing

As Broadway welcomes more first-time theatergoers, Mike Rafael is trying to figure out how to get them to come back a second time. Rafael,...

Review: ‘Three Tall Women’ looks at life head on

Unless you have a raging fever, an ice bath wouldn’t seem like a particularly pleasurable experience. And yet “Three Tall Women,” Edward Albee’s late-career...

Review: ‘Rocktopia’ feels like a Vegas act on Broadway

If only what happened in Budapest stayed in Budapest. I have nothing in particular against the city, really. I quite enjoyed my one visit...

Review: ‘Lobby Hero’ is a small play about big ideas

Life is never simple. Nor is trying to figure out what kind of lives we aspire to lead. Even if we can decide what...

Review: ‘Angels in America’ is as resonant and urgent as ever

“The world only spins forward,” says Prior Walter, ravaged with AIDS but still enduring, in the culminating speech of “Angels in America,” Tony Kushner’s...

Review: ‘Frozen’ freezes up on stage

Should hell freeze over — and given global environmental trends, well, who knows? — it’s possible that “Frozen” will not be Disney’s next from-now-until-eternity...

Why theater professionals are looking to football to increase diversity

Theater and football may have something in common. The League of Professional Theatre Women, an advocacy group for women in theater, is taking a...

Review: ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ provides fun for Buffett fans and the masses

Jimmy Buffett believers, also known as “Parrotheads,” are going to have a whale of a good time at “Escape to Margaritaville" which opened at...

The designer behind the art for ‘The Cher Show,’ ‘Tootsie’

Everyone already knows who Cher is. So when Drew Hodges set out to create the artwork for “The Cher Show,” which will premiere in...

How the Broadway League plans to bring in new audiences

The Broadway League is hoping to bring a younger generation, and their parents, to Broadway shows using discounts and experiential activities. Fifteen Broadway shows...

Review: Bernadette Peters shimmers and delights in ‘Hello, Dolly!’

All those who declined to take out a second mortgage to buy a pair on the aisle for Bette Midler in “Hello, Dolly!” can...

How ‘Mean Girls’ got ready for its Broadway bow

“Mean Girls” is heading toward its Broadway opening with five new songs, including a revamped anthem for Regina George in the first act. The creative...

Why the JOBS Act has not caught on with Broadway producers

Broadway producers have the ability to reach out to a large, untapped pool of investors, but few have taken up the option. Under the Jumpstart...

‘Frozen’ director Michael Grandage on how the show took shape

In the fall of 2016, Michael Grandage received a phone call from his agent who asked if he would consider helming the Disney musical...

The triumphs and challenges of bringing ‘The Band’s Visit’ to Broadway

“The Band’s Visit” has already been lauded as the best musical of the season by scores of reviewers. The show has been selling out...

What stands in the way of Broadway casting directors unionizing

The battle that Broadway casting directors are fighting over unionization already took place a decade ago in Hollywood. Casting directors in Hollywood received health and...

The men and women keeping ‘Phantom’ in shape at 30

After three decades of working on “Phantom of the Opera,” its vendors have lost count of how many masks and costumes they have created...

Broadway is becoming more diverse, but some areas still lag behind

The Broadway season that sparked the hashtag #TonysSoDiverse was the most diverse season in a decade. The 2015-2016 Broadway season, which included the opening...

Review: John Lithgow hosts a fireside chat in ‘Stories By Heart’

John Lithgow is a mighty fine actor, and an all-around decent fellow judging from two hours spent in his company at his solo show,...

Broadway Week aims to fill seats and bring in new audiences

As Broadway readies for the winter downturn, 19 shows have opted into NYC Broadway Week. During the week, the 19 shows are offering select...

Why audiences are buying tickets to ‘Waitress’

Call it the Sara Bareilles effect. “Waitress” has played more than 700 performances on Broadway, after opening in the same season as “Hamilton,” which...

Casting directors ready response as Broadway League suit progresses

Seven Broadway casting offices have until Jan. 22 to respond to allegations of violating antitrust laws as the lawsuit filed against them by The...

Tax bill includes one provision that helps Broadway, others that hurt

The Republican tax bill has one provision that could boost Broadway investment and others that may weigh down some of its working members.  The tax...

The future of Broadway advertising, according to SpotCo

After 20 years working on Broadway, advertising agency SpotCo can make some predictions about what’s to come in the advertising industry. The first is an...