May 14, 2008
The Tony Awards nominations have been announced and we think we should be pleased. Why? A couple of “smaller” shows (read: transferred from off-Broadway and/or have no stars in them) received a lot of attention, such as “In The Heights” and “Passing Strange.” Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” – or rather, “Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein” as it is officially known – received only 3 nominations, and none in the Best Musical category.
Are you asleep yet?
In case you haven’t guessed, we sort of don’t care much about this. But why not? Small is better, small is the new big, blah blah blah. The truth is, you don’t get to Broadway without a crapload of cash behind you. It’s a little bit like being so excited about Barack Obama’s “outsider” status. Do you really believe that someone can run for President without tons of money and connections? How “outside” could he possibly be?
When “Urinetown” was nominated and won lots of awards, that was a little different. This was a couple of guys who toiled on tiny stages for years, had no intention of making a run at Broadway, and got there anyway. I’m not knocking “Passing Strange”, which has a little bit of that pedigree. “In The Heights” seems like just more of the same. Regardless, it’s all Broadway, it’s $100+ for a ticket, so screw ’em.
January 4, 2007
In our continuing efforts to put as much information about the original production of DREAMGIRLS as we can, here’s a piece by David Hinckley from the New York Daily News talking about the first three Broadway D’Girls (there’s something they’ve probably never been called before).
New York Daily News – Theater – How the first Dreams came true
October 19, 2006
They were having trouble casting Mel Brooks’ latest money machine (or so they hope – The Producers isn’t doing the kind of business that it once was), and they ended up casting Bryan D’Arcy James (who’s a good actor, but *yawn*. Obviously Greg Kinnear, Jimmy Fallon and Brooks’ mailman all said no). As for the rest of the casting, Kristen Chenoweth, you’re ok, but I’ve seen Madeline Kahn, and you, madame, are no Madeline Kahn. Shuler Hensley as The Monster is great casting, although it won’t sell a lot of tickets.
What will sell tickets is Mr. Brooks’ name. Thing is, Mel Brooks writes music by, well, humming. That’s right folks, he just does a “dum dum de dum dum de dum dum” and then someone else makes that into notes that the orchestra can play. We love Mel (at least the early stuff, although ‘Spaceballs’ had its moments), but come on. Do we really expect him to be able to pen a second Broadway score when he can’t even read a note of music? Of course, Andrew Lloyd Webber is a musician, and it didn’t help him a lick when it came to those songs (OH NO HE DIDN’T!). Basically, there’s no accounting for taste in this business.
With both of these, we’d much rather see the movie. The ones with Gene Wilder in them. And Madeline Kahn.
PERFECT PITCH? – New York Post Online Edition
September 8, 2006
…while NYC Theaters do, um, nothing.
That said, maybe this makes sense. 9/11 is a very tough topic for New Yorkers to handle, for obvious reasons. In many ways, we don’t really want to remember it. And The Guys did start out here, at the Flea Theater. And to be fair, it is entirely possible that there are theatrical 9/11-themed events going on in the Big Apple that we know nothing about. Down and dirty reporting is not our strong suit.
Playbill News: Canadian Theatres Remember 9/11 With Performances Benefitting Firefighter Charities
August 11, 2006
It’s been 10 years since the first New York International Fringe Festival. In a way, it seems like it’s always been here, and also that it started yesterday. A few stats from Jason Zinoman’s article in Time Out New York:
The budget is now $800,000. 10 years ago it was $74,000
About 20,000 tickets were sold in 1997. Last year, about 70,000
There are basically the same number of shows now as there were in 1997
Zinoman’s article is worth a read, but here’s the last line to whet your appetite: How many shows about blow jobs, clowns and Tom Cruise can one city take? Indeed.
July 16, 2006
Again, this should be the title of a FringeFest show. Basically, the woman was cast in a touring production of Movin’ Out, the musical based on Billy Joel songs. Then her breasts got too big and they fired her. Considering the fact that Twyla Tharp “fired…the show’s assistant director and choreographer after Tharp learned the news” that his wife (also in the show) was pregnant (source), it seems pretty believable that excessive cleavage might’ve been the reason for this dancer’s firing. Not that we know. Just a guess. More pictures by following the link below.
Alice Alyse Broadway Dancer Fired for Enormous Breasts (Video, Photos) » Outside The Beltway | OTB
July 14, 2006
The Featured Review, Three Sisters, assesses a contemporary playwright’s updated version of a classic Chekhov play. No longer in turn-of-the-century Russia, Olga, Masha, and Irina are now exiled to the outer boroughs of Manhattan and longing for their beloved Upper West Side duplex.
Okay, that’s just a little too contemporary for our taste. Do they also have pet cats? And was the duplex rent controlled? Did the landlord lock them out when they left the house unattended for the first time in 25 years? Do they browse open houses while waiting for their brunch reservations? Ah, Chekhov, we hardly knew ye.
offoffonline – review – Three Sisters – Rising Phoenix Rep