Monday, December 10, 2018
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Where Harper Lee meets Aaron Sorkin in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

Despite penning multiple award-winning television series and films, Aaron Sorkin still feels more at-home writing plays. “To me, corny as it sounds, theaters are...

Why producers and theater owners turn to holiday bookings

Sometimes on Broadway, you have to mobilize quickly. Take producer Jeffrey Chrzczon. He scored a prime Broadway theater, the Imperial, for his new Christmas-themed show...

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...

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: ‘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...

Marin Ireland launches pilot mediation program to address sexual harassment

After a multiyear push, actor Marin Ireland and attorney Norman Siegel have launched a pilot mediation program to help resolve sexual harassment issues in...

How ‘Farinelli and the King’ found its light

Against the din of New York traffic and the lights of Times Square, the Belasco Theatre appears to have traveled back in time. To achieve...

Review: In ‘Farinelli and the King,’ music soothes us all

“Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” So wrote 17th-century playwright William Congreve. With that...

Review: ‘The Children’ is an exquisite look at human life

The room is a very modestly furnished kitchen: mismatched chairs around a table, a miniature refrigerator, a scruffy but cozy-looking armchair, slightly out of...

Review: ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ is far from ‘a simple sponge’

A new kind of cockeyed optimist has arrived at the Palace Theatre in the form of SpongeBob SquarePants, the indefatigably cheery anthropomorphic hero of...

Review: A heartwarming breeze from ‘Once on This Island’

Continual waves of radiance, warming the blood and stirring the heart, flow forth from the sand-covered stage of the Circle in the Square Theatre,...

Review: ‘The Parisian Woman’ delves into current politics, but with little effect

Sleepy times, right? No drama emanating from our nation’s capital. Barely enough sensation to fill a single page of a broadsheet. Nary a shocking...

How ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ created its rap, pop and gospel score

In the “SpongeBob SquarePants” universe, a pineapple, a sponge and a squirrel coexist under the sea. To create a theatrical version of this illogical...

Review: ‘Meteor Shower’ misses the mark with its scattered plot

The stars supply most of the fireworks in “Meteor Shower,” a scattershot – and even scatterbrained – comedy of bad manners by Steve Martin...

New York theater tax credit brings money upstate, but issues for producers

A New York state tax credit is bringing Broadway tours and economic activity upstate, but causing headaches for some producers. The Empire State Theatre...

Tax provision would allow Broadway shows to expense initial production costs

A provision in the proposed U.S. Senate tax bill would allow “qualified theatrical productions” to expense all of their initial production costs and allow...

Review: ‘Latin History for Morons’ gives us footnotes, not a lesson

In spite of significant limitations, it would be churlish not to acknowledge the ambitious aims and wide-ranging scope of “Latin History For Morons”, a...

Review: In ‘The Band’s Visit,’ small moments are made profound

The opening of “The Band’s Visit” at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, after a triumphant off-Broadway run last spring, is very good news for many...

Broadway veterans reflect on decades in the industry

Actor Beth Fowler got her big first break in 1970, when she briefly took over the lead role in “Gantry” from Rita Moreno while...

Review: ‘Junk’ teaches a lesson in high finance

A business degree is not a prerequisite for an appreciation of “Junk,” a new play by Ayad Akhtar about the heady heights and ethical...

How ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ went right

“The Play That Goes Wrong” is not the typical Broadway success story, but it has outlasted the competition. The play does not have a star at...

How Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan platform is faring on Broadway

Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan has narrowed down the number of resellers to less than 5% of all tickets sold across all genres, but it still...

‘Carousel’ marquee bucks Broadway tradition by listing all cast names

“Carousel” made Broadway history before its opening by listing all of its cast members on the digital marquee, rather than just the leads. The...