Other Writing

 

Dramatics: Lin-Manuel Miranda is in the show

May 15th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Lin-Manuel Miranda—bookwriter, lyricist, composer, and star of the Broadway hit musical Hamilton—has already given a matinee performance and served as master of ceremonies for a streetside #Ham4Ham show. He is optimistic there will still be time for a nap after talking with this writer and before a second performance of Hamilton in less than two hours. “The sense of community I get from doing it is really why I’m here,” he says, sipping a cup Continue reading...

The Stage: Will theatregoers buy two years of tickets just to see “Hamilton”?

May 13th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Of all the differences in arts marketing between America and the UK (and Europe), perhaps the most significant is our dearly held concept of the subscription. Under this plan, tickets for an entire season are sold essentially as one unit, yielding a discount over individual ticket prices and a year’s worth of cultural programming for the purchasing patron, and significant advance sales for the producing or presenting organisation. A fundamental tenet for arts sales here for many decades, albeit Continue reading...

The Stage: When ‘bound for Broadway’ doesn’t mean bound for glory

April 29th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

The day before the new musical Diary of a Wimpy Kid began previews at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, a headline in the St Paul Pioneer Press asked whether it was "bound for Broadway." A month before the new musical Anastasia, based on the animated film, begins previews at Hartford Stage, the trade publication Variety (among many publications) has announced that it "aims for Broadway next season". The list of shows reportedly headed to Broadway goes on. That’s not to suggest Continue reading...

The Stage: How should theatre combat discriminatory laws?

April 8th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

The recent laws passed by the states of North Carolina and Mississippi, which condone discrimination against LGBTQ citizens under the guise of religious freedom are, so far as I’m concerned, a national shame. That other states have attempted or will soon attempt to pass similar legislation is frightening. I can only hope that these decisions will be swiftly challenged, taken to the supreme court, and repealed as unconstitutional. Composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, known internationally Continue reading...

The Stage: I could tell you about this play, but then I’d have to kill you

March 28th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

I’m seeing Brian Dennehy in a play tonight. I know next to nothing about it. Apparently, neither does Brian. The play in question is Nassim Soleimanpour’s White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which began a once-a-week New York run earlier this month after a number of international productions. I’ve chosen to write about it before seeing it because that seems entirely consistent with the play’s promotion – as well as its direction to the actors who take it on – which is to say that one is supposed Continue reading...

The Stage: Introducing the six-month theatre interval

March 18th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

I’m writing this column during an interval. I’ll still be waiting out that interval when I write again next week. In fact, I won’t be getting in for Act II until September, after which I’ll wait about six weeks for Act III. Of course, this is an exaggeration, but as I try to explain the experience of seeing Richard Nelson’s The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family, it gets at what Nelson is doing with his new trilogy, akin to what he previously achieved with his quartet, Continue reading...

The Stage: Why “Nerds” failure to boot up will be erased from Broadway’s memory

March 11th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

The fact that Nerds, a musical about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs which has been in development for a decade, cancelled its Broadway run less than a month before its first preview, shouldn’t be entirely shocking. After all, the marquee of the Longacre Theatre, where it was to begin performances, still carried the logo for Allegiance, the musical that closed there in February. At 5 pm on March 8, the day of the announced cancellation, the lighted display cases on the front of the building were Continue reading...

The Stage: Theatre needs fans in its offices, not just in its seats

February 19th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

I guess my dash from row O to row A the other night pretty much erased any pretence of professional distance. Especially once Entertainment Weekly magazine saw fit to write about it. My so-called sprint was occasioned by my attendance at Monday night’s live broadcast of the opening number from the musical Hamilton, which was being performed at its home at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York as part of the recording industry’s annual Grammy Awards. My seating shift was in response Continue reading...

The Stage: Why not have a selfie call after the curtain call?

February 12th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

During the curtain calls, I watched, as I so often do, while ushers made a valiant effort to stop theatregoers from taking pictures. So imagine my surprise when, barely minutes later, with the cast off to their dressing rooms, the house staff made no attempts to stop patrons from photographing the play’s final tableau, which was unshielded by a curtain and still under moody stage lighting. I approached a woman who appeared to have a house management function and asked whether it was okay Continue reading...

The Stage: Ticket bots are wreaking havoc on Broadway prices

February 5th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

“I have a guy.” I used to hear this phrase a lot, from various people not in the theatre industry, who always seemed to be able to acquire tickets to sold-out Broadway shows with ease. I don’t hear it so much anymore, because now everybody has a guy, whether 'he' goes by the name of StubHub or Ticketmaster Fan-to-Fan resale or something along those lines. In 2007, when New York State lifted caps on the amount that ticket resellers could charge over face value, long-standing opposition Continue reading...