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The New Classics: A SEPARATION

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Entries in musicals (520)

Tuesday
May142019

Stage Door: A startling new take on "Oklahoma!"

by Deborah Lipp

Gabrielle Hamilton, nominated for a Chita Rivera award, for a very different take on the dream ballet in "Oklahoma!"

Wow, that was a lot.

Leaving the new Broadway revival of Oklahoma!, a reconceptualization of the show that pulls no punches, I felt a little staggered, like it was too soon to have a celebratory dinner afterwards. (Context: I’m assuming you know the basics of this classic of musical theater, and I won’t consider any of its points “spoilers”. I will hold back potential spoilers, though, for this version.)

Daniel Fish’s unique production changes not one word, either spoken or sung, but it all feels very new...

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Monday
May132019

Doris Day (1922-2019)

by Nathaniel R

"Legend" and "Icon" and "Classic" are all overused words in showbiz prose, and we're as guilty of anyone at letting those words fly out with abandon. But they're nothing like overstatements when it comes to the career of Doris Day, one of the 20th Century's most beloved and successful stars. She began her career as a teenage big band singer and nine years later debuted on the big screen in her most regular genre, the romantic comedy (with or without songs) via Busby Berkeley's Romance on the High Seas (1948).

She was an instant hit with audiences but it took a few more years for her true classics to emerge...

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Thursday
May092019

Stage Door: The musical adaptation of "Tootsie"

by Nathaniel R

“I was a better man with you as a woman than I ever was with a woman as a man.” So went the famous arc-completing line in Tootsie (1982) that resonates backwards through the movie, and carried you out of the theater, not just on a comic high but with zeitgeist capturing depth. Though it’s little remarked upon today in the now-now-now of popular culture, the early 80s were a cinematic time rife with the questioning of traditional gender roles just like our culture is today. Hit films like Victor/Victoria, Yentl, Mr. Mom,  and Tootsie all arrived in quick succession, though the then preferred vernacular was androgyny and gender-bending, as opposed to today’s non-binary and genderqueer designations.  It’s not surprising, then, to see Tootsie come round again to popular culture in 2019 in the form of a Tony-nominated musical comedy. What’s more surprising is that that resonant quotable capper is one of the few famous lines to be lifted directly from the movie.

As shocking as it is to type, they wrote new jokes!  This is, as you may have guessed given Broadway’s strange new role as a regurgitator of old movies, not the norm…. 

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Tuesday
May072019

Showbiz History: Evita, Black Widow, and Fred & Ginger

six random things that happened on this day in showbiz history

1919 Maria Eva Duarte de Peron is born in Argentina. She will later be known globally by just one nickname "Evita." Her story will inspire a 1979 Andrew Lloyd Webber stage sensation (starring Patti LuPone) which wins 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Later it becomes a successful 1996 movie musical with Madonna (picture above in a promotional photoshoot for the film) in the leading role, which everyone including Michelle Pfeiffer and Meryl Streep wanted at the time. Madonna takes the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical...

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Monday
May062019

Box Office Special - Broadway Grosses Post Tony Nominations

by Nathaniel R

With the movie box office being so boring these past two weeks (surprise: Avengers: Endgame is still sucking up all the money in the world) we're turning to Broadway grosses, which we never discuss, for a detour. Why? Well, just to see how quickly the Tony nominations make a difference. This is purely anecdotal but on the various discount apps and sites that you can belong to you start noticing the shows that fared poorly on each year's nomination morning almost immediately popping up at discounted rates. If a show sells out, even through heavily discounted tickets, it surely kills the sting of being shunned for awards.

If you aren't well-versed in Broadway the grosses are a bit complicated so bear with us as we try to explain...

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Monday
May062019

Auditions: "La La Land"

Our new series from Ginny O'Keefe, who knows from auditions as an actress in Los Angeles...

One of the most notable audition scenes in recent years comes from the sugar-coated musical hit film about how hard it is to make it Hollywood, whether you’re an aspiring actress or an attractive White guy who (for some reason) really wishes jazz music would go back to its roots. [I can’t even tell you how many White guys I’ve met in LA who constantly preach about how we need to save jazz music ... /sarcasm]. Yeah, you guessed it. This week's audition is from La La Land.

This film has its flaws. One of which is casting two A-list actors who pretend to be struggling artists in the unforgiving Tinseltown. (I personally think this film would have come across better if they cast two unknowns for the lead roles. Keep John Legend though, he’s good).  

But one particular sparkly gem in this film is an audition scene which puts Emma Stone’s character, Mia, in the spotlight to show her talent and how good she really is. Sometimes (most of the time) in Hollywood, good just isn’t enough...

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