Jeff - Who do you follow on social media? Why? - J.T., Coxsackie, NY
Hey, J.T.! Thanks for writing. (How do you say your hometown's name!?)
Well, first of all, I don't do Facebook at all. But I follow a lot of people on Twitter and Instagram. I assume you mean Broadway types, which nearly all of them are. I follow them for a variety of reasons. I follow all of the current shows (except Kiss Me, Kate, which doesn't have its own handle) to keep up on announcements and fun fan shares.
As far as performers/creatives, there are many, and here are my favorites:
- Betty Buckley (@BettyBuckley) - she's Broadway royalty. And I love her warmth, honesty (often brutal!) and her politics.
- Donna Murphy (@DMurphyOfficial) - She is calm in the face of insanity. And her grace, respect for others and genuine empathy are a standard I aspire to.
- Stephanie J. Block (@StephanieJBlock), Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) and Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) - All 3 for the same reasons: Not only are they wonderfully talented, but they are wonderful people. Their devotion to their children and families, matched with a smart awareness of the world we live in, and a wicked sense of humor make me interested in what they have to say beyond the curtain call.
- Alan Henry (@AlanHenry) - This super funny Canadian transplant and Broadway World writer, is fun to tease with - and he teases back! But he also approaches the art form with his heart on his sleeve, and the excitement of a fan, not just a guy in the biz.
- Alex Wyse (@alexwyse) - I love him as a performer, and as just an all-around nice guy. He's also one of the funniest people on Twitter. Sometimes, when I feel a little down and jaded, I look him up and read is Tweets. This is a guaranteed laugh.
- Jelani Alladin (@JelaniAlladin) - What a pleasure it was to share in his excitement, anxiety and pride in making his Broadway debut in Frozen. Even out of the show, he supports his show family, and is always good for a smile.
- Claybourne Elder (@Claybourneelder) - See what I wrote about Stephanie, Audra and Laura. It is all true for him, too!
- Jose Solis (@josesolismayen) - A writer, critic and all around great guy, I so admire is social consciousness and his undying commitment to raising awareness on issues of equality, inclusion and under served communities. Follow him. I guarantee you'll learn something.
Jeff - I read recently that you've been seeing shows on Broadway for 35 years. That's older than I am! How many Broadway shows have you seen? Don't you get tired of it? - Tarran, Milford, DE
Thanks for your interest, Tarran. Actually, it will soon be 36 years. And thanks for making me feel old! 😎
Your question is perfectly timed! As it turns out, when I see Tootsie in May, that will be my 300th unique Broadway show! I can't believe it! I've seen many of them multiple times, and I've also seen hundreds of National Tour shows, too. (That doesn't count the hundreds of regional shows, either.) You'd think I'd be tired of it, right? Well, I'm not. I am excited every day to look at the theater headlines and skim the chat rooms. I'll admit that there are times when there's a lull in shows that really excite me. But I have yet to see a show that didn't have something to offer (even shows I generally hate). That said, it is more difficult to find shows that are real games changers on my all-time favorite list; my standards keep going up and up. But it is that search for perfection (and innovation, theatricality, serious or just fun) that still makes that moment when the house lights dim and a new show happens before your eyes hopeful and thrilling.
Jeff - Love your blog! Nice to know I'm not the only one who collects show stuff, especially those Lights of Broadway cards. My kid collects baseball and Pokeman cards, I collect those. How do you get them? Thanks! - Mycha, Far From Broadway, Canada
Well, Mycha, first, thanks for the compliment - I'm glad you enjoy what we do! And it's a relief to know that other "grown-ups" collect these cards. So, I'm not sure how to answer your question, so I'll go basic. I buy them from their website: http://www.thelightsofbroadway.nyc/ . They are great about answering questions and the quality of the shipping is top notch.
Recently, a couple of readers and I have begun trading cards and it's a lot of fun filling in our collections! If you (or anyone reading this, of course) are interested in doing that, email me your lists - the cards you have to trade and the cards you are looking for! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to hear from many of you!
If you have questions or comments, please email or Tweet us at the address above.
📸: thelightsofbroadway.nyc, Justin "Squigs" Robertson