How To Be Creative. Does Age Matter? The Week in New York Theater

Broadway-bound stars pictured when they were younger. Clockwise from top left: Orlando Bloom, Norbert Leo Butz, Denzel Washington, George Takei, Diahann Carroll, Krysta Rodriguez
Broadway-bound stars pictured when they were younger. Clockwise from top left: Orlando Bloom, Norbert Leo Butz, Denzel Washington, George Takei, Diahann Carroll, Krysta Rodriguez

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have,” Maya Angelou has said.

“Talent can’t be taught, but it can be awakened,” said Wallace Stegner.

Reward a new idea by giving yourself some chocolate, Joss Whedon advises.

MarkRavenhillWill playwright Mark Ravenhill’s advice, delivered last week at the opening of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, be quoted as often? Not if you go by the account of it in the BBC, which summed him up as saying that cuts to arts funding are good for the soul.

Here is a transcript of what Ravenhill actually said, and a few juicy excerpts:

To be a good artist you have to be the person who walks in to a space with integrity and tells the truth. That’s what marks you out from the audience and why they’re sitting over there and you’re standing up there: you are the most truthful person in that room.
And how do you get to be there? Chances are by being a liar, a vagabond and a thief. Now, maybe as you get to be a bigger name, you can subcontract out the shadier aspects of the job. Liar? That’s what my publicist does for me. Vagabond? That’s what my agent’s there for. Thief? What else does a producer do?…

if you meet young artists here who use the words ‘this industry’ or ‘my career path’….smile at them with sympathy….

The audience are paying money to see you be new, a freak, challenging, disruptive, naughty, angry, irresponsibly playful – whatever form telling the truth takes in your act. But always telling the truth.

The Week in New York Theater

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mark Hotton pleads guilty to inventing fake investors to con ‪Rebecca producers out of finders fee ‪

Crossing Swords from New York Musical Theater Festival
Crossing Swords from New York Musical Theater Festival

Winners of the 10th annual New York Musical Theatre Festival

LaChanzeTony winner ‪laChanze (Color Purple, Company) joins ‪Idina Menzel in cast of ‪If/Then, opening on Broadway March 27,2014.

 Inside Broadway and the musicians union Local 802  will hold “Summer Stock Jr.” Camp August 19 to 23 for 12 NYC public school students from Brooklyn ages 12-16.

BrycePinkhamKinky Boots grossed $1.6 million plus for the week ending July 28, 2013, highest ever at the Hirschfeld Theater.

Bryce Pinkham, who was in Ghost and the wonderful Orphans Home Cycle, will be Jefferson Mays’ co-star in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, opening on Broadway Nov 17.

“I think every kid who goes through their misfit phase finds Janis” Joplin, says Mary Bridget Davies, who never left her. She is the star  of “A Night With Janis” ‪


ReeveCarneySpiderman“Nerdy with an understated sex appeal” and don’t mind singing 30 feet in the air? Audtion for ‪Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.
In the show from the tumultuous start, ‪Reeve Carney is leaving ‪ Sep 15th. The producers are holding open casting calls to replace him.

Open auditions is one of the lessons that television could learn from theater, according  to The Stage. The other lessons:
longer rehearsals
not sidelining writers
vocal projection
a supportive community

Joining ‪Stephanie J Block and Will Chase in Little Miss Sunshine cast at ‪Second Stages: ‪Rory OMalley (Book of Mormon), ‪Wesley Taylor (Smash), Josh Lamon (Hair, Elf, etc.)

KarenCartwrightSmash 2014 calendar – and why nobody will buy it

BadTheaterFestThey are seeking submissions for the second annual Bad Theater Festival, at The Tank Oct 29 – Nov 2, 2013.

Did anything good come out of the first annual ‪Bad Theater Fest last year?

Bad Theater Festival (@BadTheaterFest): Anything good? International press visited.  People got trophies. Crowd had fun

Sanitation, a new musical, presented for FREE, first at The for the New City, then all around the city. Sanitation schedule

“I’m going to have to do a lot of shaving and tucking,” ‪says Neil Patrick Harris,  for his role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, opening on Broadway next Spring.

The Roundabout revival of The Winslow Boy will open Oct 17. Cast includes Michael Cumpsty, Roger Rees, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Actress Eileen Brennan, who was in the original Hello, Dolly on Broadway, and in films such as Private Benjamin, has died at 80.


Today is Juliet’s birthday, as crafty actor/scholar Dan Blackbound figured out.
She turns 14 in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on this date.

Jilting Juliet on her birthday: Finn Wittrock (Death of Salesman) exits Romeo role in ‪@classicstage production to be in a film

Good news about ‪@classicstage ‘s Romeo & Juliet: Joining cast William Hurt, TR Knight, & Daphne ‪@VegaRubin

Are Denzel Washington and Orlando Bloom too old to play their new roles on Broadway? 

Denzel Washington is playing Walter Lee Younger in "Raisin in the Sun" at age 58; Sidney Poitier was 34. Orlando Bloom is playing Romeo at age 36. Leonard Whiting was 18.
Denzel Washington is playing Walter Lee Younger in “Raisin in the Sun” at age 58; Sidney Poitier was 34.
Orlando Bloom is playing Romeo at age 36. Leonard Whiting was 18.

The better-known NYC mayoral candidates in a recent forum agreed the city should spend more $ on arts education.

Did you know State law requires a minimum amount of instruction in music, dance, visual arts and theater?
But few schools meet that minimum

EthanHawkeHamletposterRecent graduates with technology degrees are having a tougher time finding a job than their peers in the arts. The unemployment rate for recent grads with a degree in information systems is more than double that of drama and theater majors, at 14.7 percent vs. 6.4 percent, according to a recent Georgetown University study.

Thirteen years after updating Hamlet to a modern day NYC setting, Ethan Hawke is reteaming with writer-director Michael Almereyda on William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. Hawke will star in the contemporary-set romance set against the backdrop of a war between dirty cops and drug-dealing bikers.

Hawke is also starring this season in a Shakespeare play on Broadway, “Macbeth.”

2013AveQ0081Avenue Q tenth anniversary

Thursday, August 1, 2013

IdinaMenzelAnthonyRappIt’s official: Revival of Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington, Anika Noni Rose, Diahann Carroll, opens April 3 at the Barrymore

Anthony Rapp joins Idina Menzel & LaChanze in the cast of If/Then on Broadway — a mini-reunion of original “Rent” cast members.

Miss Trunchbull will be played by Craig Bierko, Miss Honey by Jill Paice in Matilda on Broadway starting September 3rd


First (wet) look at First Date


First look at Big Fish


Poll: Which Broadway show are you most looking forward to in Fall 2013?



New York Theater July 2013 Quiz: Answer these ten questions to see how well you were paying attention to the theater news.

Zachary Levi just won Broadway Spotted’s Broadway’s Sexiest Man Alive

Should we follow up with a Broadway’s Sexiest Man Dead contest?

Robert Alda, Fred Astaire, Yul Brynner, Maurice Chevalier, Robert Goulet, Cary Grant, Jerry Orbach

The Twitter Wit and Wisdom of Brian d’Arcy James

BrianDarcyJamesMispronouncing tomato (or potato) is not cause for calling anything off, much less THE WHOLE THING.

When I’m feeling low I remember Hot Butter’s POPCORN was a hit in 1972. Then I still feel low, and annoyed.

Starting a KickStopper campaign for my new musical PAMPHLET THE MUSICAL. It’s about a pamphlet. Pay me not to do it.

The 17th annual New York International Fringe Festival is beginning a week from today. Have you figured out what you want to see? Some performances are already sold out!


diahanncarrollDiahann Carroll, 78, will return to Bway for the first time in 30 years to play Denzel’s mother in Raisin in the Sun

You may know her only from Smash, but First Date is 29-yr-old Krysta Rodriguez‘s SIXTH Broadway show.


Woodstock at Bryant Park



Last day to see ‪Billy Magnussen in ‪Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike.  But you can always ogle him

George Takei, soon to star in Allegiance on Broadway, talks about his childhood internment as a Japanese-American, and the acting career that led to Star Trek

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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