Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Theatrical Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and friends!

These days, it is easy to lose sight of the important stuff, and a day like today should give us all pause to reflect on just how much we all have, instead of brooding about that which we don't. I am thankful for the "usual" things: my health, my family - including the most amazing niece and nephew ever, my friends, my job...

Seeing that this is a theatre site, thought I'd share a few things that I am thankful for in that realm.

10. I am thankful that we now live in an age where the fate of a show, on Broadway or off, is no longer determined by The New York Times. Gone are the days when a terrific show that rubs one critic the wrong way closes after an inappropriately short run.

9. I am thankful for the new TKTS booth in Times Square. It is really cool to look at, has some great upgrades (including the ability to pay by credit card) and is considerably more spacious. I might actually use it now!

8. I am thankful for all of those great discounts available, making Broadway somewhat more affordable and making audiences that much larger.

7. I am thankful for Hollywood celebrities who want to do Broadway, and who aren't afraid to admit it. I'm thinking Hugh Jackman, who hasn't turned his back on Broadway; Kelly Osbourne, who publicly pleaded to be seen for Roxie in Chicago on Broadway, during Dancing with the Stars; and any number of stars who chose to include theatre as a large part of their career.

6. I am thankful for local theatre companies who aren't afraid to put on daring productions, balancing their seasons with the tried and true with more controversial, modern fare.

5. I am thankful for local theatre patrons who by virtue of their mere attendance allow number 6 to be.

4. I am thankful to the increasing number of theatre teachers at the high school level who are pushing the envelope in terms of content and teachable moments. Cheers to every drama director who has tried to do RENT or The Laramie Project or even Sweeney Todd!

3. I am thankful for Tim Kitt, who after High Fidelity (which wasn't really that bad) and 13 (which wasn't really that bad), stuck with it and gave us next to normal.

2. I am thankful for Angela Lansbury, who could very easily retire and rest, but would rather get up every day and do an 8 show week, without complaint, in A Little Night Music. Perhaps she is a fan of even numbers - Tony number 6?

1. I am thankful for a world that has such a great thing as the Internet, where plain folks like me can carve out his own little niche and share, with anyone who will listen, his thoughts on something he cares about so deeply. And, of course, that thanks extends to anyone and everyone who takes the time to read it!

And finally... from the original production of Promises, Promises - actually the 1968 Tony Awards - "Turkey Lurkey Time". Think of it is a bridge between Thanksgiving and Christmas...and a look forward to the 2010 revival!

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