Category Archives: Broadway

‘West Side Story’ to hold chat-backs in English and Spanish

The national tour of West Side Story, opening tonight in Orlando and running through Sunday, will hold talkbacks in English and in Spanish Thursday at Barnes & Noble on Colonial Drive.

This production, directed by librettist Arthur Laurents, was noted for translating some of the dialogue and the lyrics to a couple of songs to Spanish. (In the Heights’ Lin-Manuel Miranda did the translations.) The Broadway production returned some of that language to English several months later. It will be interesting to see tonight how much of the Spanish remains on the tour.

In any case, here’s an opportunity for Spanish speakers, as well as English speakers, to mix with the West Side Story cast. Here’s the official word:

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What’s the greatest musical of all time?

A silly question, I think — how on earth could you choose?

But it’s fascinating to read what five well-known musical-theater fans (including Frank Rich, George C. Wolfe and Nora Ephron) think about what makes a great musical and why they are drawn to the shows they are. I often don’t agree with them, but this article from New York Magazine makes for really good reading.

What about you? What’s your favorite, and why? (And I’m sorry, but it can’t be that you were in it in high school.) Let’s hear it.

Tony nominee to give master class in Volusia

Tony nominee Gavin Creel (Hair, Thoroughly Modern Millie) will give a master class from 3 to 5 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 15, at Silver Sands Middle School, 1300 Herbert St., Port Orange. The cost is $25.

An addition to this info: Creel’s workshop will be in both singing and acting. He’ll also do a Q&A with the audience.

Anyone interested should contact chorus director Tosha Williams at 386-495-1465 or email her.

Return to the ’80s with folks from ‘Rock of Ages’

Here’s your chance to meet some of the head-bangers from Rock of Ages, the 1980s “hair band” show that opens at Bob Carr tonight:

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‘Wicked’ headed for TV

All I can say about this story is: Eight hours of Wicked? Holy crap.

Theater review: ‘Young Frankenstein’

By Elizabeth Maupin

Every so often, in the Mel Brooks-Thomas Meehan musical version of Young Frankenstein, a bunch of Transylvanian villagers run across the stage in search of the monster.

One of them carries a big, scary-looking pitchfork – and it’s that pitchfork that haunts me long after Young Frankenstein is through.

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Miss Didi goes Broadway

Well, here’s a star in the making. Orlando’s own Douglas McGeoch, aka Didi Panache, has won a walk-on in the current Broadway revival of La Cage aux Folles.

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A rousing return to ‘Les Mis’

(Caution: A spoiler or two below:)

It’s not often that the people around you in a movie theater applaud at the end of the show.

It’s even less often that the people around you in a movie theater find themselves applauding at the end of a musical number. And you’re among them. Again and again and again. I mean, the actors and musicians on the screen are not there to hear you. But somehow it feels right all the same.

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Sondheim talks (and talks, and talks …)

Stephen Sondheim, now 80 and in a ruminative mood, is pushing a new book called Finishing the Hat, in which he writes about his lyrics, and others’.

Yesterday he spoke with Terry Gross on NPR‘s Fresh Air about the book. You can read about the interview here and listen here.

Tony-winner Karen Olivo to perform in Winter Haven

Karen Olivo, a Tony Award winner for her role as Anita in the current Broadway revival of West Side Story, will return to her old stomping grounds in November with an appearance at Theatre Winter Haven, where she was active as a teenager.

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Only in the theater …

In the Heights on Broadway at the Richard Rodg...

Image by feastoffun.com via Flickr

This is what happens when you let theater people get married. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote and starred in In the Heights, got married last weekend to Vanessa Nadal. You can’t beat their wedding video:

Theater review: ‘Chicago’

Strip Chicago of its razzle-dazzle, and what have you got?

Maybe that’s an unfair question. Chicago is all razzle-dazzle, nothing more, and the hit musical rises and falls on how razzling and dazzling its razzle-dazzle can be.

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Marian Seldes, and why she rocks

Those of you who watched the Tonys last night saw Marian Seldes, one of the last grande dames of the American theater, who deserves every grande adjective she gets.

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Eatonville’s Norm Lewis to be featured on Sondheim recording

Norm Lewis, who grew up in Eatonville and graduated from Edgewater High School, will be among those on the Broadway cast recording of Sondheim on Sondheim, which will be recorded this weekend and released in August.

Along with Lewis, the cast features Barbara Cook, Vanessa Williams and Tom Wopat, plus Leslie Kritzer, Euan Morton, Erin Mackey and Matthew Scott. Among the songs is Lewis’s rendition of the Sondheim classic “Being Alive.”

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Arthur Laurents creates new play award

Playwright Arthur Laurents, who wrote the books for West Side Story and Gypsy and is still directing on Broadway in his 90s, has created a new play to help both plays and playwrights. The concept is to give a chunk of money to emerging writers and then provide more money to get those writers’ works produced.

The point is to help all those playwrights who win multiple awards but still see their scripts languish in a drawer.

The $150,000 grant — $50,000 to the playwright and $100,00 to the theater producing his or her work — will be called the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, after Laurents and his longtime partner, Tom Hatcher, who died in 2006.

Here’s the story from the New York Times.

Sean Hayes to host Tonys

This was announced yesterday, but with so much Fringe stuff to do I wasn’t able to pass it on. Sean Hayes, of Promises, Promises and Will & Grace, will host this year’s Tonys June 13.

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Theater review: ‘Spring Awakening’

Every generation has one – that big Broadway musical that tells the story of who you are. For my generation, those of us who grew up in the 1960s, it was Hair (although even in high school I wished for a show that wasn’t quite so dopey). For those who came up in the ‘90s, that musical was Rent. And for those who are hitting their stride now, it’s Spring Awakening, a remarkable show that understands exactly what it is to be young and alienated and yearning for something more.

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Postcard from Broadway: ‘Million Dollar Quartet’

Thinking about the Tony nominations for best book of a musical, after I’ve been seeing Broadway shows all week, is what you might call a mind-blowing experience. Night after night we’ve seen musicals in which the story-telling is completely inept. Sometimes it seems as if there’s no book at all.

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Postcard from Broadway: ‘La Cage aux Folles’

If you’re a fan of La Cage aux Folles, as I am, you shouldn’t worry that its latest Broadway revival has gone all dark on us. Director Terry Johnson and London’s Menier Chocolate Factory, where this production originated, haven’t given La Cage the Cabaret treatment – strung-out and seedy – and they haven’t treated Jerry Herman’s and Harvey Fierstein’s huge-hearted musical as if it were a stripped-down John Doyle production of Company or Sweeney Todd.

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Postcard from Broadway: ‘Fela!’

The first act of Fela!, about the late Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, is a dance concert with political pretensions – a celebration of Kuti’s Afrobeat sound without any clear articulation of who he really was or why you should care.

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