The Height of the Storm - Opens: 9.24.19 The Great Society - Opens 10.1.19
Freestyle Love Supreme - Opens: 10.2.19 Slave Play - Opens: 10.6.19 Linda Vista - Opens: 10.10.19 The Rose Tattoo - Opens: 10.15.19 The Lightning Thief - Opens 10.16.19 The Sound Inside - Opens: 10.17.19 American Utopia - Previews: 10.4.19, Opens: 10.20.19 Tina - Previews: 10.12.19, Opens: 11.7.19 Slava's Snowshow on Broadway - Previews: 11.11.19, Opens: 11.13.19 The Inheritance - Previews: 9.27.19, Opens: 11.17.19 A Christmas Carol - Previews: 11.7.19, Opens: 11.20.19 Jagged Little Pill - Previews: 11.3.19, Opens: 12.5.19 A Soldier's Play - Previews: 12.27.19, Opens: 1.21.20 Grand Horizons - Previews: 12.20.19, Opens: 1.23.20 My Name is Lucy Barton - Previews: 1.6.20, Opens: 1.15.20 West Side Story - Previews: 12.10.19, Opens: 2.6.20 Girl From the North Country - Previews: 2.7.20, Opens: 3.5.20 Six - Previews: 2.13.20, Opens: 3.12.20 Company - Previews: 3.2.20, Opens: 3.22.20 Diana - Previews: 3.2.20, Opens: 3.26.20 The Lehman Trilogy - Previews: 3.7.20, Opens: 3.31.20 Caroline, or Change - Previews: 3.13.20, Opens: 4.4.20 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - Previews: 3.3.20, Opens: 4.9.20 Plaza Suite - Previews: 3.13.20, Opens: 4.13.20 American Buffalo - Previews: 3.20, Opens: 4.14.20 Flying Over Sunset - Previews: 3.12.20, Opens: 4.16.20 Birthday Candles - Previews: 4.2.20, Opens: 4.21.20 How I Learned To Drive - Previews: 3.27.20, Opens: 4.22.20 Take Me Out - Previews: 3.31.20, Opens: 4.23.20 Tony Awards Cut Off - 4.23.20 Tony Awards Nominations - 4.28.20 Tony Awards - 6.7.20

COMING UP ON THE SITE: 9/23: Broadway Heat: The Lightning Thief Edition Round 1 - 9/24: REVIEW: Come From Away (Re-visit) - 9/25: Thoughts on the 2019 Flea Market - 9/26: #TBT: Vintage Playbill - 9/27: The Friday 5

CONTACT US: (Email) (Twitter) @jkstheatrescene (Instagram) jkstheatrescene

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Friday 5: 5 BC/EFA Flea Market Things I Hope to Find

The third Sunday of September is one of my favorite days of each year. I love the BC/EFA Flea Market! (I appreciate the auction, but it is way out of my price range...) So this Friday 5 is what I hope to find while I'm there. (Use the email above & let us know what treasures you will be seeking!)

5 Things We Hope to Find
at the 2019 Broadway Flea Market

5. Star Gazing: Okay, so I don't do the autograph table, which would certainly allow me to see lots of celebrities. But I like my star sightings to be less formal. It's much more fun for me to chat briefly while making a purchase or just say "hello" as they pass by. I figure they don't want to be fawned over as they navigate the crowds on their way to work.  And it's funny, but more times than not, the low key interaction garners a nicer response. That said, as far as autographs go, I get my fair share of signed Playbills for the cause.

4. People Watching: Where else are you ever going to find as many like-minded people in one place? And, if we are honest with each other, theater lovers are a I love the spontaneous singing, the kids who are in a safe space to express their true selves, the older gentlemen who carry canvas tote bags. So much to see.

3. The Lights of Broadway Cards/Squigs Drawings: I love his artwork, and I've become a collector of these cards over the past year. So this will be my first time at that table. I hope to fill in a few holes in my collection!

2. Good Bargains: Well, duh! Since it's all for a charity I really believe in, it's difficult to get too upset if I see something at one table and buy it, then see it again, only cheaper. But hey, here's hoping I see some great deals. Side note: I really hope to avoid any snarky sellers like last year at the Pretty Woman table. Geez, I only asked if we could negotiate the price of a signed poster! "You do realize we are one of the hottest tickets in town, right?" Ha! Joke's on you...

1. Gifts for My Theater Pals: Armed with the knowledge of each of their favorite shows, my primary goal is to find some thing extra special for them. Last year, I found a one-of-a-kind doozy for Mike. The best part is both he and our friend Val are both doing the same thing for me! Then, we keep what we find as a secret until out annual holiday dinner party. They are the best! 

If you run into them, I'd love something from Dear Evan Hansen, Moulin Rouge, Head Over Heels... but, unless it is free, they can keep the Pretty Woman poster!

📸: Lights of Broadway Cards photo by Justin "Squigs" Robertson; other photos and images from Broadway Cares


Thursday, September 19, 2019

#TBT: A Chorus Line: Original Broadway Cast Recording

I make no secret that A Chorus Line is my all-time favorite musical. I've seen it so many times, I know most of the choreography, and can recite most of the line. So it probably will come as no surprise that I love the Original Broadway Cast Recording. I got my first copy of it on vinyl when I was in 9th grade. Yes, my first. I literally wore it out. Ah, how I remember that first time carefully peeling back the cellophane and opening the double fold to see that cool 70's style photo of the "One" kick-line, then marveling at the cover, which had foil letters all down the front. Then listening to it over and over, figuring out who sang what during the montage numbers, and memorizing each of those lyrics. Okay, I am also guilty of studying the cover so I could mimic each pose on the line. (I felt like Paul, but really wanted to be Sheila...)

In the recording studio
Anyway, when I was older and got my first car, it had a cassette player in it. You can guess which cassette I bought first. Then, a few years later, when I got my first CD player, I got the CD, and later still, the "remastered and extended" CD. To this day, I still play it regularly. For the record, I also have the 2006 revival recording, and while I do like it, the original will always be my first love.

This is what happens on the last bump of "I Hope I Get It."

I can say with all honesty that I love every single song, and I'm grateful that even more music was released. Naming a favorite song or two will be impossible. But, I do have a certain affection for a few tracks. First, I love the opening number "I Hope I Get It," and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who tried dancing with Zach's steps. The ending punctuation of those chords...they give me chills every time. Then there is my go-to song for the shower and/or when I'm feeling particularly dramatic and want to belt along, "At the Ballet." (and rarely, but sometimes, I can still hit Maggie's "baaallleeeeeet," rarely...) It is so emotional. And, of course, who doesn't love "Nothing"? A great, relatable story song with a great twist ending. Most everyone has had a Mr. Carp in their lives, right? My "B Side" love lies with both versions of "One," with the theater geek in me loving the "rehearsal" version, and the music fan in me loving the reprise aka the "finale" version. The orchestrations are sublime throughout; the feel both 70's-ish, old-school Broadway, and timeless.

"One" - Rehearsal Version

"One" Finale Version

The cast recording - one of the biggest selling of all-time - is just one part of what makes A Chorus Line the stuff of Broadway legend. A real masterpiece.

Grade: A++


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

LOGOS: The Lightning Thief

The Broadway version
Both Mike and I are looking forward to this show, hoping that this latest entry in the Broadway race to be a big show for a younger audience. We both hope it does better than last season's Be More Chill, which neither of us loved. We are going into it with virtually no knowledge of its source material (just as we did with BMC), and so, at this point, all we really have to go on is a few pictures from the national tour, and the show logo.

To be blunt, The Lightning Thief logo is rather, well...dull.  The color choices are good. I love that shade of blue, and the gold bolt is pretty sharp, if maybe a little too on the nose, especially how it looks textured. It reminds me of superheroes (The Flash, mostly) which seems to fit in with pictures I've seen. Is Percy Jackson a superhero or a super hero? The title font is where they could have really engaged the potential audience, and yet, they went with a white Arial (?) bold font!!?? I'm having flashbacks to the early days of Power Point when that slanted 3-D font treatment was cutting edge. Lazy or low-budget?

I like the brick. Why'd they get rid of it?

(Off-Broadway)I like the graffiti feel of this.
And the dark blue font.
This would look great on the brick background.

I think it is interesting that I actually prefer the off-Broadway version. There's something youthful, edgy, and even a bit mischievous about it. Fun. Ah, well. The show hasn't changed, just the logo did. Here's hoping the show is more exciting.

Grade: C


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Theater Can Be Anywhere: My Trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

You know I love a good tagline!
I rarely go anywhere that I don't see theatricality. Sometimes, it is seeing the possibility of a stage version in some movie or experience. Sometimes it is the way other businesses present themselves. Still other times, most of the time, I see things that remind me of Broadway shows. Surely, I am not alone in this, am I?

Well, as fate would have it, a couple weeks ago, I was in Cleveland. Naturally, that meant a trip to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I love music, so I was pretty much thrilled the whole time. The way many of the exhibits are set up are traditional museum - objects in glass cases, labeled. And we are talking things that are priceless and decades old, so it makes sense. But the way the displays are presented are consistently theatrical. Stage lighting is used throughout, and as you work your way through the decades, the settings of the rooms change. There's even a complete "garage" set up, where you can try out different garage band instruments, and even play a whole song with an impromptu garage band! There is a big multimedia show that shows highlights from induction performances. It is dazzling. And I didn't see one cell phone. Refreshing.

Included in this display is a poster and
 dress from the great Ruth Brown - star
of the original Hairspray film, and
Broadway's Black and Blue

His name is in lights! Can't get much more Broadway than
that! Plus, his catalog was the score for All Shook Up!

I searched high and low for a piece of
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark...

There was a musical called Motown that used that logo.

Beatlemania ran a long time...

Rumor has it that Dreamgirls was influenced
by The Supremes

Here's a guitar with Green Day painted
on it. They were involved with a little
skit called American Idiot...

These are Billy Joel's handwritten lyrics
for a draft of the song "My Life." It was
not in his musical Movin' Out. It ran for
1,303 performances without it.

There is a lot going on in this case. Isn't
that one guitar the logo from the last
revival of Virginia Woolf? And that suit,
wasn't that in Blood Brothers?
The History Boys
? Matilda?

And Broadway's Bruce Springsteen is a Kennedy Center Honors
recipient. This is his award. It is beautiful in person.

As you can see from the pictures, there are Broadway influences all over the place. This is one museum that is fun, educational, and full of history. Broadway needs this kind of treatment. I know there is a Broadway Hall of Fame, and it is a huge honor to be named to it. But really, your name is on a wall. One section has bathroom doors on either side. Classy.Considering how much of an achievement it is, why aren't there displays? Clips of performances? Set models? Costumes? And a multimedia show!!?? It's Broadway for Heaven's sake! The real shame of it all is that to even see the Broadway Hall of Fame (correct me if I'm wrong) you have to have a ticket to Wicked.

P.S.: I know there's a Broadway museum in the works. I'll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, if you get to Cleveland, go to this museum! It rocks.


Monday, September 16, 2019

Where Are They Now? Ms. Broadway Update: Krysta Rodriguez

Last week, we did an update of a former Mr. Broadway (the great Joshua Henry HERE). This week, we take a look at what Ms. Broadway April 2010, Krysta Rodriguez has been up to. The last time (HERE), she was just opening in The Addams Family. So much has happened in the last 9 years. Her career has really taken off - on stage, on TV - but probably her biggest success was a triumphant victory over breast cancer.  Now, she's fresh off a professional triumph - Hercules at the Public Theater's Central Park venue. We can't wait to see what she does next!

Where Are They Now?
Ms. Broadway Update:
Krysta Rodriguez

First Date (Casey - Longacre Theatre)

Smash (Ana Vargas - NBC Television)

Spring Awakening (Ilse - Brooks Atkinson Theatre)

A Chorus Line (Diana - The Hollywood Bowl)

Disney's Hercules (Megara - Delacorte Theatre)

Here's to a long career and continued success, Krysta!


Friday, September 13, 2019

The Friday 5: 5 Broadway 'One' Songs

Numbers. Numbers. Everywhere numbers! Palindrome week... For theater fans it might be, "a 5...6...7...8" or it might be the list of musical numbers in a musical's Playbill. This week's Friday 5 is about a very specific Broadway number. It's been called a "singular sensation." Here is a countdown of my 5 favorite "One" songs:

The Friday 5:
5 Broadway
"One" Songs

5. "One Brick at a Time" from Barnum (from the London cast taping, starring Michael Crawford)

4. "One Last Kiss" from Bye Bye Birdie (from the studio recording of the film soundtrack. This version is not in the film - only a "rehearsal" snippet is in the movie.)

3. "One Day More" from Les Miserables (from the 10th Anniversary Concert. It's probably my favorite version of this gorgeous song.)

2. "One Hand, One Heart" from West Side Story (from the 2009 Broadway revival - that's Matt Cavenaugh, not Jeremy Jordon)

1. "One (Finale)" from A Chorus Line (from the 2006 Broadway revival. Check out the sass on Jason Tam's face at the very beginning! For my money, still the greatest Broadway finale ever.)

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

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