Art


Posts filtered by tags: Musicals[x]


 

Bubbling Brown Sugar

It is true that historically the American musical theatre has been dominated by white artists and white stories. There have been a couple of periods of increased activity and evolution in the black musical, in the 1910s and 20s, and again in the early 1970s, but only recently have black artists and stories taken a more active, more visible role in moving our art form forward.New Line has produced Passing Strange but no other explicitly black musicals. We are proud that our casts are always dive...
Tags: New York, Musicals, Theatre, America, History, Chicago, New York Times, Amsterdam, Broadway, African American, New Orleans, Savion Glover, Theater, Buffalo, Alice Walker, Black Lives Matter


We Can Make It Our World

The credits for Head Over Heels say "Based on The Arcadia, by Sir Philip Sidney." But it's so much more complicated than that.First of all, there are two Arcadias. Sidney wrote it, then later substantially rewrote it, and the two versions are called The Old Arcadia and The New Arcadia. And there are some huge differences between the two.But also, to say that Head Over Heels is "based on" Arcadia is only vaguely true. Maybe "inspired by" would be more accurate. The show's creators, Jeff Whitty a...
Tags: Politics, London, Musicals, Theatre, America, Sexuality, Broadway, Theater, Shakespeare, Arcadia, Aristotle, 1980s, Delphi, Mira, Plato, Pamela


We Are Alive. We Got the Beat.

In Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's musical A Little Night Music, Madame Armfeldt tells Fredrika that the summer night smiles three times -- "The first smile smiles at the young, for they know nothing. The second at the fools who know too little. And the third at the old who know too much."It's a wonderful way to start this beautiful musical about music in triple time and humans in love triangles.But it occurs to me that it applies to Head Over Heels too. Maybe because it's more of a univers...
Tags: Politics, Musicals, Theatre, Earth, Sexuality, Stephen Sondheim, Broadway, Theater, Shakespeare, 1980s, Mira, Pamela, Scott Miller, Gilbert Sullivan, Hugh Wheeler, Musical Comedy


Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels is sui generis.I love that term, sui generis. It means it's totally unique, literally, "of its own kind." So many shows New Line has produced fit that description -- Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Bukowsical, Threepenny, Bat Boy, Urinetown, Yeast Nation, Assassins, Celebration, Lizzie, Jerry Springer the Opera, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Man of La Mancha, Spelling Bee, Floyd Collins, Hair, Forbidden Planet, Hedwig, Sunday in the Park... I could go on for days.Head Over Heels is ano...
Tags: Politics, Musicals, Theatre, Sexuality, Broadway, Theater, Shakespeare, 1980s, Sondheim, Pamela, Scott Miller, Michael Mayer, Musical Comedy, Rock Musicals, Jeff Whitty, Go-Go's


You still hear the people sing: Les Mis protest anthem blazes from France to China

The defiant lyrics to the classic Les Misérables track are reverberating through uprisings in Hong Kong and ChinaIt has soared during an airport sit-in, united street protests and drowned out the Chinese national anthem at a school assembly. Do You Hear the People Sing?, the defiant chorus from the musical Les Misérables, has become a song of protest in Hong Kong and, more recently, mainland China. Explicit references to Li Wenliang, the Wuhan doctor censured for his warnings about the coronavir...
Tags: Hong Kong, Science, Musicals, France, China, Theatre, UK News, World news, Culture, Asia Pacific, Stage, Les Miserables, Wuhan, Weibo, Les Mis, Herbert Kretzmer


Best NYC shows with LGBTQ characters

There’s no place like home — just ask Transparent star Alexandra Billings, who recently became the first openly transgender actress to play Madame Morrible in the Broadway production of Wicked. After her inaugural performance, Billings wrote on Instagram, “Last night I had the honor to be placed gently and with loving hands into the glorious Land of Oz…Where home is defined by truth and the power of chosen family.” Wicked, the girl-power prequel to The Wizard of Oz, has always had a home in ...
Tags: Travel, New York, Hollywood, Musicals, Wales, New York City, Theatre, Bette Davis, Stephen Sondheim, Broadway, Theater, Plays, Lily, Busch, Peppermint, All


'Twas a Year Full of New Line, 2019

'Twas a year full of New Line, a wild cavalcade,A trio of shows, like a misfit parade,Exploring the Others, the Different, the Weird;Yes, all of the folks that the mainstream has feared.And watching those Misfits and Others succeedAgainst primal forces of hate and misdeed,Spun lessons those people in power should heed.La Cage is a classic, subversive, old thingThat we shrunk to human proportions last spring.It isn't a comedy, deep in its heart;It's a drama of family and love and of art.It teach...
Tags: Musicals, Theatre, Live, Performing Arts, Broadway, Theater, Scott Miller, New Musicals, Musical Comedy, Musical Theatre, Rock Musical, John Waters Baltimore


The SpongeBob Musical – Review

(aka SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical) Touring Company Performance at the Von Braun Center, Huntsville, AL – 1 Nov 2019 I have never seen an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. I’m sure many of you are gasping at your screen and calling for an oxygen mask. But hey, there’s a lot to watch these days. Anyway. When I heard that there was an impending Broadway musical based on the cartoon, I was not surprised. The Law of Relative Development was long ago updated to include the fact that everything w...
Tags: Reviews, Music, Texas, Musicals, Theatre, Karen, Broadway, Spongebob Squarepants, McIntyre, Sheldon, Sandy, Eeyore, Moe, Bowie Eno, Looney Tunes, Nick Fury


It's Not TV. It's HBO.

Sometimes, certain things that have nothing to do with musical theatre teach me wonderful new lessons about storytelling in general, but also by extension, about musical theatre. I think we too often forget how much the various storytelling forms have in common. The Top Two among those certain things would be the PBS docu-series, The Power of Myth with Joseph Campbell (now on Netflix and Amazon Prime); and also Burno Bettelheim's brilliant book The Uses of Enchantment. Those two things are my h...
Tags: Amazon, Hbo, New York, Musicals, Drama, Cable, Amc, Theatre, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Showtime, David Chase, Adult, Theater, Pbs, St Louis


You Could Drive a Person Crazy

Years ago, I wrote a blog post about the various types of people who show up at auditions. It was a fairly hostile post, when I look back at it, but my intent was to write a funny, cautionary post -- in other words, don't be these people. And that post is now my most visited post ever, with about 7,300 hits so far. I hope it spares me, Dowdy, and other directors some abuse, unintentional though it may be...Now, as a sequel to that list, here's a top ten list of the kinds of people we encounter ...
Tags: Musicals, Theatre, Broadway, Actor, Theater, Director, Rehearsal, Don, Scott Miller, Casey Nicholaw, Musical Theatre, Audition, Rock Musical


More Complex Emotions to Reveal

Why bring back a show we've already produced? That's a good question.We haven't repeated a show since 2012, when we produced High Fidelity for the second time. And we've only repeated a very few shows over our 28-year history: Hair (2000, 2001, 2008), Assassins (1994, 1998, 2008), Bat Boy (2003, 2006), and High Fidelity (2008, 2012). This season we'll add two more: Cry-Baby (2012, 2019) and Urinetown (2007, 2020).And there are a handful of others I'd still like to return to: Hands on a Hardbody...
Tags: Musicals, Race, Theatre, Broadway, Camelot, Theater, Oklahoma, 1950s, Social Justice, Rock And Roll, John Waters, Lenora, Baldwin, Sandy, Scott Miller, Allison


#MusicalTheatreAF

We are about to start work on New Line Theatre's 29th season (holy shit!) of cool, wild, alternative musical theatre, and I couldn't be prouder of what we've lined up for you. Not just three fascinating musicals, but also a reading of a (deliciously fucked-up) new musical, and a cool new film series to accompany our shows, plus our annual trivia night fundraiser and our annual holiday dinner.We've cast all three mainstage shows and we are so happy with the amazing people we get to work with thi...
Tags: Amazon, New York, London, Musicals, Theatre, Season, Broadway, Johnny Depp, Lea, Theater, Musical, 1950s, 1980s, John Waters, Mack, Brecht


It's True, So Nu?

I can't believe I've been doing musicals -- if we go all the way back to middle school -- for forty-two years. Holy shit. And directing and writing them for thirty-eight years. Hang on while I sit down a second.The good part of that is everything I've learned -- from other people, from the shows, from many mistakes, and just from doing it. Here are a few truths that I think are important, that make me happier and make our creative process less stressful and more creative.I hope some of them wil...
Tags: Musicals, Boston, Theatre, Actors, Broadway, Theater, Ben Kingsley, Directors, Sondheim, Larry, Scott Miller, Michael Bennett, Audiences, Hal Prince, Lucie Arnaz, Stella Adler


RIP Hal Prince

I woke up today to the news that Hal Prince has died, at age 91.I never met Hal, but his impact on my life is profound. Everything I believe about the theatre, everything I do in the theatre, everything I make in the theatre, it all has roots in the work of the great Hal Prince. He changed everything.No other artist -- not Fosse, Tommy Tune, Sondheim, nobody -- has been more of an influence on the work I do with New Line. It was Hal Prince who taught me the poetry of staging a show, that audien...
Tags: Musicals, Theatre, Broadway, Theater, Director, Hamilton, Off Broadway, Don, Sondheim, Evita, Scott Miller, Hal, West Side Story, Rodgers Hammerstein, Hal Prince, Jason Robert Brown


Happiness, Pleasure, Contentment, Serenity, Joy, Bliss, and Glee!

It's always a long and winding road, from our first talks about Next Season, to the moment when we publicly announce it. (Full Disclosure: we're already talking about Next Next Season, 2020-2021, which will be our 30th!)Some years, the first plan ends up being the final plan. But not often. We always announce what we're thinking about for Next Season at our annual Holiday Dinner (come join us this year!), but the 2019-2020 lineup has changed again and again and again...We were hoping to do this...
Tags: New York, Texas, Musicals, Theatre, Fox, Broadway, Live Music, New Line, 1950s, St Louis, Alternative, John Waters, Greg, Mack, Rodgers, Hammerstein


Link About It: This Week’s Picks

The future according to Stanley Kubrick, rock musical podcasts, the landscape at our Earth's core and more from around the internet 24 Covers for the Washington Post’s Climate Change Issue For 21 April’s issue of the Washington Post Magazine, their staff took a look back at the past year’s most important climate change-related stories and republished them with well-designed, poignant covers. Counting 24 in total, …
Tags: Science, Design, Musicals, Internet, Future, Tech, History, Earth, Nature, Magazines, 3d Printing, Stanley Kubrick, Notre Dame, Publications, Linkaboutit, Link About It


John Cameron Mitchell’s Podcast Musical

With Anthem: Homunculus, director John Cameron Mitchell and co-writer Bryan Weller have crafted a six-hour, 10-episode, 31-song original musical podcast. Mitchell, who reinvented the rock opera with 2001’s groundbreaking stage play-turned-film Hedwig and the Angry Inch, tapped immense talent for the production—including Glenn Close, Marion Cotillard and Laurie Anderson. Read more about Anthem: Homunculus, (which debuts on the podcast platform Luminary today) at the New …
Tags: Music, Design, Musicals, Podcasts, Rock, Culture, John Cameron Mitchell, Marion Cotillard, Mitchell, Glenn, Rock Music, Bryan Weller, Laurie Anderson Read


When Your World Spins Too Fast

It's an ugly time in our culture. I see pundits on cable news trying to explain why it's ugly and what we can do about it. But almost all of them miss the central point.America is changing in big ways, very quickly, and to a substantial minority, that is terrifying. And right now, for those folks, fear motivates everything in them. These people fear losing power (that they never really had), fear losing social status (that they never really had), fear losing their culture (which was never as Whi...
Tags: Gender, Musicals, Theatre, America, Gay, Broadway, Fear, Theater, Lgbtq, Joy, Drag, Scott Miller, La Cage aux Folles, Harvey Fierstein, Zak, Jean Michel


Mine Have Naked People

Midway through Act II of La Cage aux Folles we get the number "Cocktail Counterpoint." It doesn't really feel like the other songs in the show. I used to think it was just filler because they felt like they needed a song there.I was really wrong.This is a deceptively complex piece that delivers so much information. On the surface, it feels like just an Irving Berlin style stunt, introducing several independent melodies, then combining them into counterpoint. But it's more than that. Berlin did ...
Tags: Gender, Musicals, Berlin, Theatre, Gay, Broadway, Theater, Lgbtq, Drag, Anne, Foreign Service, Herman, Jacob, Scott Miller, Marie, Irving Berlin


Come and Investigate the Dark Side of Your Soul

As I wrote in my first blog post about this show, the title La Cage aux Folles can be translated a few different ways, but the one that makes most sense to me is The Cage of Madwomen. And yet, while folles usually means crazy or foolish, it's also a slang word for effeminate gay men. Think about that for a second.The name of the show -- and the name of the club at the center of our story, and the name of our show's title song about that club -- is all about ambiguity. As Georges quips in Act I,...
Tags: Gender, Musicals, Theatre, America, Gay, Canada, Paris, Broadway, Theater, Lgbtq, Shakespeare, Alice, St Tropez, Givenchy, Drag, Mack


Toxic Masculinity

Have you seen the Gillette ad that inexplicably has conservative America's panties in a twist? It's amazing that this ad charges into our already toxic public discourse just as we New Liners are in rehearsal for La Cage aux Folles, containing a song called "Masculinity." Imagine what the right-wingers would think of Albin! Oh, right, we don't have to imagine. That's our story.Yes, M. and Mme. Dindon are alive and well and living in America. After all, we've all seen the many and various indignit...
Tags: Gender, Musicals, Wikipedia, Robin Hood, Theatre, America, Gay, Broadway, Theater, Lgbtq, John Wayne, Gillette, Stew, Robert, Anne, Zaza


La Cage aux Folles

"We are what we are,And what we areIs an illusion."That's the first lyric in La Cage aux Folles, and though on the surface, it's talking about drag, it's saying way more than that. Just like the show it introduces. Those few line encapsulate the entire story and all its themes.Nobody realizes that the first time they hear it, but it's all there.It introduces us to two ideas that will permeate every moment of the show. First, "we are what we are" -- in other words, we accept and embrace ourselve...
Tags: Musicals, Theatre, Gay, New York Times, Broadway, Theater, St Louis, Zaza, Scott Miller, La Cage aux Folles, Harvey Fierstein, Ben Brantley, Brantley, Jean Michel, Georges, Douglas Hodge


Fascinatin' Rhythm

When I wrote my history book, Strike Up the Band, I had two primary agendas. One was to reject the premise of all other musical theatre history books, that the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical was the pinnacle of the art form. It wasn't. The other agenda was to include in the story of our art form all the people of color, the women, the people with disabilities who helped shape the American musical theatre but get left out of almost all history books. I hope I did a decent job of re-balancing our ...
Tags: New York, Cook, Musicals, Boston, Berlin, New York City, Theatre, America, New Jersey, Broadway, African American, Manhattan, Theater, Johnson, Black, Chinatown


A Hot Cup of Murder

One time, the Archbishop of St. Louis tried to shut down a New Line show called Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll. I'm not kidding. He failed. Well, he successfully shut down our preview, but we were open again for opening night. You can read about that here.Our show was just a revue of theatre songs on those topics, three of the most powerful forces on humans, including songs from Rent, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q, Songs for a New World, Hair, The Rocky Horror Show, Kiss of the Spider Woman,...
Tags: Amazon, Musicals, Sex, Senate, Religion, Theatre, America, Preston, Broadway, Violence, Rent, Arthur Conan Doyle, Theater, Shakespeare, St Louis, Rocky Horror


Broadway Hot Damn!

I am in love with the BroadwayHD channel on Amazon Prime Video. I'm convinced that HD stands for Hot Damn!When we were working on Yeast Nation, last summer, Greg Kotis told me that he and Mark Hollmann had based their story loosely on both Macbeth and Antigone. So I watched both plays on video, and it helped me a lot with Yeast Nation.And then I wanted to see the rest of the Oedipus trilogy, which includes Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. One way to see them was to subscribe ...
Tags: Amazon, Musicals, Theatre, Bbc, Live, Broadway, Morgan Freeman, John, Theater, Shakespeare, Plays, Dorothy, Macbeth, Juliet Stevenson, Scott Miller, Gene Wilder


Into the Words

When young musical theatre artists ask me how to get where they're going, I always give the same advice, to consume as much musical theatre as humanly possible, to see every musical (live and on screen) that they can, read scripts and biographies and history books and analysis books, listen to cast albums -- and not just the new ones.In other words, drink all of it in. And part of that is creating a good library for yourself.I was browsing my own considerable musical theatre script library, and...
Tags: Amazon, Musicals, Scripts, Theatre, Theater, Kate, Sondheim, Neil Simon, Scott Miller, Tommy, George C Wolfe, Original Broadway Cast, Broadway Musical, Michael John LaChiusa, Kate West, Amazon American Musicals


Broadway Pop!

I have fallen in love with Funko Pops figures -- they're so odd but so wonderful. In recent months, Funko has released several Little Shop of Horrors figures, as well as two versions of both Danny and Sandy in Grease, and big collections of figures from Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.But wait, there's more! I was fortunate enough to happen upon Amanda Tang's Broadway Pop store on Etsy, and it was like I had died and gone to musical theatre memorabilia heaven. She has custom Funko Pops for Ham...
Tags: Musicals, Etsy, Berlin, Theatre, Chicago, Claude, Broadway, Hud, Rent, Brian, Reno, Hamilton, Rosemary, Rose, Lin-manuel Miranda, Rosie


Thank You, St. Louis!

I know 2018 was a rough one in many ways, but in my position as artsy-cynic-optimist, I can't help but see a lot of awesomeness in 2018. What a year of New Line shows! One of my most loved shows, the classic Anything Goes; the wild, new(-ish) rock musical Yeast Nation (from the Urinetown team); and my own Zombies of Penzance. Wow, talk about variety!So many people came up to me after Anything Goes performances, saying some version of, "This has always been one of my favorite shows, but I didn't...
Tags: Amazon, New York, Musicals, Theatre, Zombies, Broadway, John, Cole Porter, Gilbert, Louis, Sullivan, Scott Miller, Pirates of Penzance, Ryan Day, Sarah Nelson, Rock Musicals


'Twas a Year Full of New Line 2018

'Twas a year full of New Line, rambunctious and swell,And the New Liners kept themselves busy as hell:A reading, a classic, a new show, and then,An old show that substitutes zombies for men.The new shows were cool, and the old shows seemed new,A year full of crazy surprises for you,'Cause that is exactly what New Liners do.The year started off with a reading, one nightOf a Gilbert and Sullivan cheeky rewrite,With zombies and daughters (as hunters of such);And response was so warm and it cheered...
Tags: Amazon, Musicals, Theatre, Broadway, Theater, Cole Porter, Gilbert, Sullivan, Scott Miller, Rock Musical, Gilbert and Sullivan


Tony Kushner: 'Trump has a sinkhole instead of a soul'

He has spent his life dramatising America’s angels and demons. As his civil rights musical returns to Britain, the playwright reveals all about revamping West Side Story for Spielberg – and writing a play about Trump‘I hate watching my plays,” Tony Kushner says. “They’re all so long and they take for ever and the only one that’s not true of is Caroline. It’s two hours with intermission and I could listen to that music for ever.”Caroline is Caroline, Or Change, Kushner’s only musical. Written wit...
Tags: Politics, London, Musicals, Film, Race, Theatre, America, World news, US news, Culture, Britain, US politics, Stephen Sondheim, Stage, Manhattan, West End



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