‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Defies Winter Chill At Broadway Box Office
An unlikely media sensation gets caught up in the Twitter-enhanced mythology that distorts his true nature as he becomes a national hero: Donald Trump? Evan Hansen? Both had big weeks in dark times (but while each character profits from alternative truths, only one sings. Also, he’s not real).
While Trump moved into the White House, Dear Evan Hansen — the first musical of the season to look like a significant hit — was one of the few shows to buck the seasonal plunge into… Read
Video: Ben Vereen’s Wrenching ‘Wonderful World’ – “It Ain’t Over!” – At Broadway’s ‘Concert For America’ Alt-Inaugural Ball
Second Update, 9 A.M.: Here’s Ben Vereen’s emotion-packed performance of “What A Wonderful World” at yesterday’s Concert For America at new York’s Town Hall. And, below, part of Chita Rivera’s astonishing performance of “America” from West Side Story.
UPDATE Saturday morning: The organizers of Friday’s sold-out Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out! said this morning that the event, at which all the performers donated their talents, had raised more than $100K. The… Read
‘La La Land’ & ‘Hidden Figures’ Among Artios Award Winners
The Casting Society of America gathered tonight to honor casting in film, TV and theater at the 32nd annual Artios Awards. The conventional wisdom of the 2017 Oscars is undisturbed as the year’s award-season regulars all took home wins in their respective categories.
Damien Chazelle’s modern musical La La Land won for the award for Feature Big Budget – Comedy, another feather in the nearly universally acclaimed film’s cap. But La La‘s closest competition didn’t go home… Read
‘Jitney’, ‘Under The Radar’ Reviews: August Wilson’s Genius Shone Through From The Start
Among the achievements of the American theater over the last century, August Wilson’s work ranks comfortably with the best. Any one of the plays he wrote — one for each decade of the 1900s — would put him there; taken together they aren’t just an unparalleled series; they’re the paradigm of lyric realism, tours of experience whose unblinking record of the lives of African-Americans is suffused with poetic imagery, flights of fancy and spiritual reverberation. Everyone has… Read
Bye Bye, So Long Farewell – Lively Broadway B.O. Bids Godspeed To ‘Jersey Boys’
Broadway’s bleak mid-winter wasn’t too bleak after all, despite an overall drop at the box office last week. Several hits still did hit-show business and a smaller roster, as long-runs departed to make way for spring blossoms, still managed to sell better than 90 per cent of the available tickets. Three shows closed up shop, notably Jersey Boys, which ended its sensational 12-year, 4,642 performance run at Jujamcyn’s August Wilson Theatre, with two weeks of SRO… Read
Dick Gautier Dies; Broadway’s Conrad Birdie, ‘Get Smart’s Hymie The Robot Was 85
As a swivel-hipped rock and roller, Conrad Birdie had a lot of living to do, the unknown actor Dick Gautier sang in the 1960 Broadway smash Bye Bye Birdie. At first a reluctant leading man, Gautier played many roles, including cabaret singer, stand-up comic, character actor and caricaturist. He was best known to TV audiences as Hymie The Robot on six episodes of the Mel Brooks/Buck Henry-created spy spoof Get Smart, culminating in Hymie’s role as best man at the wedding… Read
NYC Funds 11 Arts Nonprofits For Diversity Management Training Programs
New York City has named 11 nonprofit cultural organizations as recipients of $2 million in funding to develop a more diverse workforce on the management side of the performing arts. The money will be used to create “a more diverse pipeline of paid training and mentorship opportunities,” according to the announcement from the city’s cultural affairs department, “to cultivate a more inclusive and dynamic workforce, connect with new audiences, and promote a theater sector… Read
Martha Swope Dies; Leading Photographer For Theater And Dance Was 88
Martha Swope, who photographed Broadway stars and prima ballerinas onstage and in mufti during a career that began in the late 1950s and extended into the 1990s, died Thursday in New York. The cause, the New York Times reported, was Parkinson’s disease. She was 88.
For more than four decades, Swope’s elegant, usually monochrome publicity photographs of Broadway and off-Broadway shows, as well as of classical and modern dancers, set the bar for performing arts photography… Read
Tony Awards Reclaim Radio City Music Hall For 2017
The 71st annual Tony Awards will return to Radio City Music Hall this spring, after detour uptown to the smaller Beacon Theatre last year. CBS, which has presented the Broadway awards since 1978, will telecast the ceremony live June 11, beginning at 8 P.M.
Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment will return as executive producers. Weiss will also serve as director for the 18th consecutive year.
The Tonys were first held at Radio City in 1997. The… Read
‘Candide’ Review: The Best of All Hal Prince’s Worlds
The fever dream that is Leonard Bernstein’s Candide is born again with the reconstituted New York City Opera, along with the happy delirium that is the hallmark of Harold Prince’s revival of this landmark work. Far too much intellectual energy has been spent debating the show’s place in the repertory — is it opera? musical theater? — and in an amusing twist, this production is being presented at Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall. Call it what you will, Candid… Read
‘The Present’ Review: Cate Blanchett Shocks Broadway Into The New Year
Casually removing her bra or tying a pink ribbon into a perfect bow atop her head, Cate Blanchett makes erotic art of the inconspicuous act. That’s a neat trick and a handy gift for the actress playing one of Anton Chekhov’s two types of women, the ethereal beauty undone by ennui. (Type two is the non-beauty undone by idealism. We’ll get to her shortly.) In The Present, which opened Sunday at the Barrymore Theatre, the star is first seen holding a gun — as crucial to the… Read
Post-Holiday Pain Not So Bad At Broadway Box Office
January and February are the times that try Broadway producers’ souls, as tourists head home, winter twofer sales set in and weak shows are culled from the herd. The box office fell sharply from Week 32, the last of the year, with many shows doing nine performances (or, the case of The Illusionists magic act, nearly double that) with sky-high tariffs tacked on.
It could have been a whole lot worse. With three fewer shows, Week 33 still managed to pull off a $3.2 million… Read