“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious — the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science”~ Albert Einstein
Broadway Spring 2014 has begun with Beautiful. Will it end with Hee Haw? (Scroll to ’10’)
There is much beautiful about January — deep discounts for shows both on Broadway and Off-Broadway, and a half dozen winter theater festivals bringing the cutting-edge from around the world at cut-rate prices.
Some beautiful news: The most beautiful building the theater district has been saved, and two new shows were announced for Broadway this past week. (Scroll to 8.)
Some beautiful discussions: Should critics make nice? What Broadway show are you most excited about? When are you most likely to attend a Talk Back — when you hated the show, or when you found it beautiful?
Week in New York Theater, January 6-12, 2014
Monday, January 6, 2014
Broadway Poll: What is the most exciting show in Spring 2014?
Voters weigh in. There is a clear front-runner, but the season is young.
9 Questions that August: Osage County & The Sound of Music provoke about theater
The conversations about the film adaptation of the play August: Osage County and the live television broadcast of the musical The Sound of Music have not been kind. But the snark and the brawls have provoked some intriguing questions—about the transition of a work from stage to screen and vice-versa, and the changes in theater’s place in the culture.
e.g. 1. What does it say that the biggest “theater” stories at the end of 2013 were about a TV show and a movie? Has the definition of theater changed? Can you call it theater if you’re not breathing the same air as the actors?
Tickets now on sale for Broadway Week. The most desired shows go fast.
Off Broadway Spring 2014 Preview Guide
First poster from Of Mice and Men, featuring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd
Should Critics Make Nice?
Critics should always be nice, say Jill Dolan (“Critical Generosity”) and Polly Carl (A New Year’s Diet for the Theater)
Critics reacted, not nicely:
Peter Marks (Washington Post) Calls for “critical generosity” come from people who don’t need to tell the public what’s worth and what’s not worth seeing. Generosity of spirit is not a bad thing. But the canard that critics like to destroy drives me up the wall.
Russell Warne: I have lived in a world where critics all make nice & “nurture”; it’s an awful artistic hell
Wendy Rosenfield (Philadelphia Inquirer): What makes me angriest is that it’s couched as a kind of feminist perspective. It’s not
George Hunka: If we’re not to be bland cheerleaders, then we’re going to get our hands dirty and make a few enemies once in a while — it comes with the territory of criticism.
Harold Pinter’s stage adaptation of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past will get a staged reading, January 16 at the 92nd Street Y.
The original cast recording of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (George Grizzard, Uta Hagen, Arthur Hill, Melinda Dillon) will be available from Masterworks Broadway in February.
People are sick of owning stuff, and now prefer experiences – like the arts – argues Peter Aspden in the Financial Times. But will that be good for the arts?
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” the hit play that has been in London for 18 months, is set to open in Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theater in October, 2014, with an American cast. The play is adapted from a novel by Mark Haddon about an awkward mathematical savant who solves a mystery.
It’s official: Holler If Ya Hear Me with music by Tupac Shakur, directed by Kenny Leon (Fences, Raisin in the Sun), begins at Broadway’s Palace on May 26th, and opens on June 19th.
The most beautiful building in theater district has been saved, 1552 Broadway.
Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land have been extended to March 30th.
Tickets on sale starting today for #KidsNightonBroadway February 24- March 2 (ages 6-18 FREE when accompanied by full-paying adult) “It’s important that kids come to theater;they get to see life through different characters”- Idina Menzel, Kids Night Out ambassador.
Poet and playwright Amiri Baraka, born Everett Leroy Jones 79 years ago, has died. His most famous play: Dutchman
A review in the New Yorker of a 2007 production of Dutchman starring Jennifer Mudge and Dule Hill, both now on Broadway
Tourists bought 66% of all Broaday tickets (foreign tourists, 23%), according to The Broadway League. In the 2012-2013 season, the average Broadway theatergoer was 42.5 years old; 79% were white.
Training for Rocky
Andy Karl: Boxing’s the most challenging workout ever…but I’m dealing with the injuries and enjoying it! I’ve gained 10 pounds. #Abs #MyNeckHurts
James George III: I got private boxing coaches months before rehearsal to prepare; gym; eating a lot.
Jennifer Mudge: My training for Gloria.. Umm drinking & disco
Winter Theater Festivals
January is the month for theater festivals in New York – more than at any time other than the summer – and the stars are out this year in them: Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson, Star Trek’s Captain William Kirk, and Rodney King (“Can we get along”)
Hee Haw on Broadway?
Hee Haw the musical, based on old corny TV show, is aiming for Broadway in Spring 2015, says the New York Post.
Charles McNulty: Shoot me now
Actors fume over Kinky Boots and Newsies contracts. “These are two of the most successful shows of the last three years and they want to pay us half what we’d make on Broadway” on tour
Glee’s Phoebe Strole and Jon Rua (Hardbody) join David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu at Signature Theater.
Karen Ziemba will join Zach Braff in Woody Allen’s ‘Bullets Over Broadway’
Mark Rylance-led Twelfth Night and Richard III recoup $3.1 Million investment.
It’s not what the producers wanted, but the two plays will be treated separately for Tony Awards consideration.
To Talkback or Not To Talkback
How often do you stick around for the Talk Back? Do you do it even if you don’t care for show?
@NewYorkTheater I don’t believe in Talkbacks. You talk about the show with your friends at the bar, not hold court over an audience.
— Dom DeGaetano (@DomDeGaetano) January 11, 2014
Emilie de Angelis @emiliedeangelis Audience research shows they love #talkbacks. It keeps them coming back. A bar is open late.
*@NewYorkTheater from MY MOM (@marjoriewt): “Of course you do! It’s particularly necessary when the show’s not met your expectations.”
— chandra thomas (@truechandra) January 11, 2014
@NewYorkTheater always! But primarily to see actors in their own bodies after watching them in character bodies. #artisticathletes
— Marcia Polas (@polaspilates) January 11, 2014
@NewYorkTheater Almost never: only if it’s someone I admire immensely. And even then there’s too strong a chance of audience self- promotion
— Sandy MacDonald (@SandyMacDonald) January 11, 2014
@NewYorkTheater Yes, esp. if I didn’t like the show. It’s a chance to learn something about writers’ intentions & perhaps find a take away.
— Robin Riegelhaupt (@reviewingdrama) January 12, 2014
@NewYorkTheater In 2013 I only sat through one talkback. That tells you how often they get me to stick around.
— Russell Warne (@Russwarne) January 12, 2014
@NewYorkTheater I hate talkbacks that just recycle questions that could arise from any play. I want something that operates as “Act 2”
— Michael Dove (@michaeldove) January 12, 2014
@NewYorkTheater Talkbacks: I find the actors want to talk about the text while the audience wants to talk about the acting.
— Raymond McNeel (@RaymondMcNeel) January 12, 2014
Ending today: Fun Home, Betrayal, Peter and the Starcatcher, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream
My review of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
The creators of “Beautiful,” the beautifully performed and tuneful new entertainment now opened on Broadway about Carole King’s early songwriting career, faced a challenge — the same challenge faced by the creators ofMotown The Musical, A Night With Janis Joplin, Mamma Mia and Jersey Boys, to name just currently playing shows: How to turn a playlist into a Broadway musical.
The Beautiful solution more or less follows the formula. The story serves as an efficient delivery system for Carole King’s surprisingly diverse hits – not much more, nothing less. But there are also some secret weapons. One of them is Jessie Mueller.
Something can be a labor of love AND you can get paid for it. “Love” shouldn’t become a euphemism for “not paid.”
— Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater) January 12, 2014