Friday, August 30, 2019

The Friday 5: 5 Burning Question of Broadway - The Masters

A couple weeks ago, The Friday 5 revealed some of Broadway's most burning musical questions. They came from a variety of shows by a variety of writers. So we got to thinking... did the Musical Masters have any burning questions? They sure did! Here are some of our favorites from the likes of Alain and Claude-Michel, Alan and Frederick, John and Fred, and of course, Andrew and Stephen! In fact, they are so masterful, that each of the 5 shows below have not one burning question, but two! Did your favorites make the list? Or do you have more questions? Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

The Friday 5:
5 Burning Questions of Broadway
The Masters Edition

1. "Do You Hear the People Sing?" and "Who Am I?" from Les Misérables

2. "Why Can't the English?" and Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" from My Fair Lady"

3. "So What?" and "What Would You Do?" from Cabaret

4. "What's the Buzz?" and "Could We Start Again, Please?" from Jesus Christ Superstar

5. "Could I Leave You?" and "Who's That Woman?" from Follies

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****
(P - T)







Thursday, August 29, 2019

#TBT: Playbill: Black & Blue: August 1989

1988 - 1989 was a bad season for musicals. But there were two great shows, and they were perfect for theater lovers of all types. And both were musical revues (not to be confused with jukebox musicals). Both celebrated the greatest of their respective subject. One was Jerome Robbins' Broadway, the other was Black and Blue, subject of today's #TBT. I had the privilege of seeing both, and I loved them both.

This show came to Broadway by way of of Paris under the helm of two Argentinian theater moguls, and featured some true jazz royalty including singers Ruth Brown, Linda Hopkins and Carrie Smith, legendary "hoofers" Bunny Briggs and Jimmy Slyde, and Broadway favorites Eugene Fleming and a young Savion Glover. It was big and intimate, classic and modern, austere and opulent. And it was a real treat.

Black and Blue: A Musical Revue
Minskoff Theatre
32 previews, 829 performances
August 1989 Company: Ruth Brown, Linda Hopkins, Carrie Smith, Bunny Briggs, Ralph Brown, Lon Chaney, Jimmy Slyde, Savion Glover, Eugene Fleming. Choreographed by Cholly Adkins, Henry LeTang, Frankie Manning, Fayard Nicholas. Conceived and directed by Claudio Segovia and Hector Orezzoli.

August 1989 was a time of flux on Broadway: you could see works by some Broadway masters - Jerome Robbins, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Wendy Wasserstein, Neil Simon. Into the Woods was days away from closing, the first-ever revival of Sweeney Todd was beginning previews. It was also your last chance to see Anything Goes, Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Dress Casual and Shenandoah. And there were a ton of modern classics to choose from, too.



Wednesday, August 28, 2019

ONE HIT WONDERS: Tony Winners Won and Done

Anais Mitchell won the 2019
Tony for Best Score for her
Broadway debut, Hadestown.
Will she be back?
Last week, we ran a very successful article about Tony Award winners who have been missing in action on Broadway since their victory. This week, we take it a step further! These are Tony Winners  from the past 15 years who accomplished an amazing milestone: they made their Broadway debuts and won the spinning silver disc for it. But none of these people have been back on the Great White Way since. Maybe they went on to Hollywood glory, maybe they went back to their Hollywood glory. Perhaps they went back to the opera world they came from. Maybe they took time to simply grow up and finish school. Whatever the reason, they haven't been back.

I'm sure we'd be glad to have you back, so how about it?

Tony-winning One Hit Wonders

Dan Fogler - Debut: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as William Barfee 
Tony: 2005 Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Since the Tony: TV, film and voice work, including The Goldbergs, Fantastic Beasts..., Kung Fu Panda

Kiril Kulish/Trent Kowalik - Debut: Billy Elliot: The Musical alternating (with David Alvarez) as Billy Elliot
Tony: 2009 Best Actor in a Musical
Since the Tony: Kiril: TV: Dancing with the Stars; Theater: Baz - A Musical Tour de Force (Vegas), Chasing Mem'ries (regional - choreographer)
Since the Tony: Trent: Graduated from Princeton in 2017, continues to dance and teaches dance

Paulo Szot - Debut: South Pacific as Emile de Becque
Tony: 2008 Best Actor in a Musical
Since the Tony: He continues to sing opera at the Met and major stages worldwide.

John Lloyd Young - Debut: Jersey Boys as Frankie Valli
Tony: 2006 Best Actor in a Musical
Since the Tony: He returned to Jersey Boys several times, starred in the film version, and has sung for several presidents and heads of state. An acclaimed concert vocalist, he records regularly.

Catherine Zeta-Jones - Debut: A Little Night Music as Desiree Armfeldt
Tony: 2010 Best Actress in a Musical
Since the Tony: She has made several films, including Rock of Ages, and appeared in the TV series Feud: Bette and Joan


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Around the U.S.A. in 80 Musicals: Part VI: The Pacific

As the summer draws to a close, so does our national tour Around the U.S.A. in 80 Musicals. Today, we close out this series with a look at nine shows that take place in the Pacific states. Down the West Coast and over to Hawaii, these show encompass the spectrum from big hit to disappointing flop, from critical darling to critical snub, from the early 20th century to modern day.

So far, Alaska has yet to have a show to call its own. Any writers out there looking for a setting?

Around the U.S.A. in 80 Musicals
Part VI: The Pacific


City of Angels

Flower Drum Song

Legally Blonde

The Most Happy Fella

Pretty Woman: The Musical

Sunset Boulevard

72. City of Angels - Setting: Los Angeles, late 1940s (1989, Virginia Theatre, 879 performances )
73. Flower Drum Song - Setting: San Francisco's Chinatown, 1950s (1958, St. James Theatre, 600 performances)
74. Legally Blonde - Setting: Delta Nu House, Southern California (2007, Palace Theatre, 595 performances)
75. The Most Happy Fella - Setting: San Francisco, Napa, California, 1927 (1956, Imperial Theatre, 676 performances)
76. Pretty Woman: The Musical - Setting: Hollywood, 1980s (2018, Nederlander Theatre, 420 performances)
77. Sunset Boulevard - Setting: Los Angeles, 1949-1950 (1994, Minskoff Theatre, 976 performances)


Honeymoon in Vegas
78. Honeymoon in Vegas - Setting: Hawaii (2015, Nederlander Theatre, 93 performances)


Different Times

79. Different Times - Setting: Portland, Oregon, 1905-1970 (1972, ANTA Theatre, 24 performances)


West End Theatre c. 1903
80. Me Him and I - Setting: Seattle (1904, West End Theatre, 24 performances)

Catch up on the first 71 musicals:

Part I: Northeast: HERE
Part II: Southeast: HERE
Part III: Midwest: HERE
Part IV: Southwest: HERE
Part V: The Rockies: HERE

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