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Best American Musical. Prison Shows. Who’s An Artist (Who Decides?) The Week in New York Theater

Who is an artist – and who gets to decide?  Is it the IRS? Do you have to make a living at it? Do you have to have a degree in it? Do you have to be better than average at it? Do you have to be acknowledged by other people as having artist talent?  Those are the questions hovering over several interesting studies and stories, linked to below.

 

The Week in New York Theater

29

Closing today:

Virgil Lil O Gadson and Katrine Plantadit in After Midnight

Virgil Lil O Gadson and Katrine Plantadit in After Midnight

After Midnight

LBJ (Cranston) with MLKing Jr (Brandon J. Dirden)

LBJ (Cranston) with MLKing Jr (Brandon J. Dirden)

All The Way

Larry Pine and Patrick Page

Larry Pine and Patrick Page

Casa Valentina

30

ken-watanabe-kelli-oharaThe King and I revival will star Kelli Ohara and Japanese film star Ken Watanabe. Opens April 16, 2015, at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater.

A stage version is in the works of the 1996 film, which starred Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton.

A stage version is in the works of the 1996 film, which starred Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton.

Second try at First Wives Club. A musical of 1996 film, rewritten by Linda Bloodworth Thomason (Designing Women) aims for Broadway 2015-16

Happily married producers The Guttermans (All The Way) plan to adapt The War of the Roses, about ugly divorce, for Broadway 2015-16.

It’s not just Shia: The behavior of Broadway theatergoers has greatly deteriorated

WHO IS AN ARTIST? # 1

Everyone’s an artist in kindergarten. But then fear of being judged ends most “careers” around fourth grade

Theater graduates are starting their careers deeply in debt. Is there a solution?\

Chris@clippersncrows : As soon as the MFA became the minimum for entry into the NY theatre world, this was inevitable. A couple of generations ago, one could apprentice and have a good career. No more the case for a lot of reasons.

July 1

From top left clockwise: Eli Wallach, Neil Patrick Harris, Lin-Manuel Miranda, a scene from Holler If Ya Hear Me, Ruby Dee -- all questions on this month's quiz.

From top left clockwise: Eli Wallach, Neil Patrick Harris, Lin-Manuel Miranda, a scene from Holler If Ya Hear Me, Ruby Dee — all questions on this month’s quiz.

New York Theater June 2014 Quiz

 

Raymond Crowe, James More, Adam Trent, Luis de Matos, Aaron Crow, Dr Scott Lewis, Yu Ho-Jin.

Raymond Crowe, James More, Adam Trent, Luis de Matos, Aaron Crow, Dr Scott Lewis, Yu Ho-Jin.

The Illusionists, with seven “international stars of magic,” brings magic back to Broadway (Marriott Marquis) November 26-January 4

WHO IS AN ARTIST? #2

Only 15 percent of those with arts degrees in New York City are making their living as artists. Those who “make a living” at it have a median income of $25,000. (This and other statistics about artists in NYC from Hyperallergic.)

“Make plays for your audience instead of finding an audience for your plays”~Seth Goden to Broadway.

2

Ellen Burstyn leads cast of The Cherry Orchard at The Actors Studio (432 W 44th St) July 10-21 (Thursdays-Mondays only) FREE.

WHO IS AN ARTIST? # 3

Who determines if you’re an artist? For Venus DeMars, it was a tax auditor who decreed she’s just a hobbyist  (This too long story has a happy ending: The Minnesota Department of Revenue changed its mind. Venus DeMars is now officially declared an artist)

Julie Crosby, who departed Women’s Project Theater after 9 years, talks about her experiences. “I don’t know anymore what a woman’s issue is,” she says; she did NOT do women issue plays.

Seeing Double

The Last Ship is both a new television show and Sting’s new broadway-bound musical. 

Allegiance is both a forthcoming NBC TV series about Russian spies and a Broadway show about the internment of Japanese during World War II.

The River is:

1 a movie with Mel Gibson and Sissy Spacek

2  a Bruce Springsteen album

3 a forthcoming Broadway play starring HughJackman

3

Is Orange The New Black? The Truth Behind Prison Shows?

JosephAssadourian3byJonathanMandell (1)

Eight months after his release from prison, Joseph Assadourian is portraying some eighteen different characters in a solo show he wrote called The Bullpen…But this is not the gritty prison drama we have come to expect—the kind that people with actual experience in prison see as exaggerated and exploitative…an entertainment landscape that has never tired of lurid prison shows, most recently the surprising hit on Netflix.

OrangeistheNewBlackscene1

NYC will spend $23 million to hire 120 new arts teachers and boost arts resources in its public schools . Right now, 28 percent of NYC public schools lack even one full-time certified arts teacher.

DianePaulus100

The DailyNews list of 50 most powerful women in New York includes director Diane Paulus.(But is she even in NY?)

Broadway Facing Reality?

The winner of So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 will join the Broadway cast of On The Town in Spring, 2015.

What other reality contests should have a direct pipeline to Broadway shows?

The Bachelor winner for Phantom of the Opera? Top Chef winner for Sweeney Todd? America’s Next Top Model for Violet? How about the winner of RuPauls Drag Race getting a role on Kinky Boots?

Seven years ago, critic Terry Teachout began using the term “commodity musical” for bad Broadway adaptations. It’s worse now, he wrtes.

Seth Christenfeld @earbox: I would argue that musical theatre writng has never been healthier or more diverse. Producing, on the other hand…

4

American History Musicals
July 4th Poll: Favorite American History Musicals

Austin Tichenor ‏@austintichenor: 1776 my #1, Assassins my #2. What’s yours?

Erin Grand@astroeringrand  Ragtime is my favorite. (Though I do love 1776 and Assassins…) Can I just pretend Rent is US history?

Bob Mondello@Bob_Mondello BEN FRANKLIN IN PARIS, obviously. Robert Preston floating to the proscenium arch in a hot-air balloon. Fab!

Benedict the Mad ‏@benedictthemad Parts of South Pacific (You’ve Got to be Taught) and Showboat (Old Man River) tell some hard truths well.

What would you do with $259 million? Lottery winner, ex actor Roy Cockrum plans to set up a foundation to help the performing arts.

5

List of theater-related books for summer reading by Jan Simpson (eg Tim Federle’s 2 novels)

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About 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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