Serving the spirit of the Broadway production, an all YOUTH driven production of 13: The Musical HITS VANCOUVER

In Vancouver this year it seems Jason Robert Brown is one popular composer with a production of Songs for A New Word (link to that article at bottom) Parade, Last 5 Years upcoming in the fall and two productions of 13 it seems this is the year for a more edgy musical scene in Vancouver, Canada. I sit down with Laura Reynolds, director of 13 (the first production of the two) which is being produced by Eternal Theatre Company, who's mandate is by youth for youth.

Til There Was You: A Tribute to Barbara Cook

Today, the music world lost a legend. That term is often tossed around rather lightly, but in the case of Barbara Cook, it is supremely fitting. No one who has the claim of originating Cunegonde in Candide, Marian in The Music Man, & Amalia in She Loves Me; who has given fantastic, award-winning performances as Julie in Carousel, Anna in The King and I, as well as untold amazing concert appearances and recordings including a stellar turn in Follies with the NY Philharmonic, Sondheim on Sondheim...well, you get the idea - no one who has done all she did is anything less than legend. She gave us joy and wonder in every performance, with her final appearance at age 88, just last year.     

Has 'The Band's Visit' Sewn Up the 2018 Tony Race Already?

The 2016-17 Broadway season was chock full of new musicals, but the 2017-18 season is looking a bit. By my count, as of right now, it looks like there will be about six new musicals this season which is less than half of what we got this past year. 

While it's a small group, there are some that stand out as sure fire Tony favorites, with David Yazbek's The Band's Visit leading the pack. 

Helping On Stage and Off

I have always said that theater is my home, but the props department is like my room within my home. After trying out a few different aspects of the production team, I felt in love with props (by accident) and found that being the props master best utilizes my skills and creativeness. To read a script and not make a prop list is really weird to me and when I am not the props person for the show that I am working on, I really do miss it.

Can “The Music Man” Speak to a Modern Audience?

Fresh off his success with Hello, Dolly!”, I believe director Jerry Zaks should set his sights on “The Music Man”.

He’s got the perfect track record. Back in 1992, Mr. Zaks directed a revival of “Guys and Dolls” which, like the current “Dolly!”, was a smash hit. Both productions garnered four Tony awards—including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Leading Actress.

Coincidence? Not for a director with a knack for revivals from “Anything Goes” to “La Cage Aux Folles”.

The Benefits of Student Ran Theatre

I’m a college theater major in a relatively small liberal arts college in Syracuse, NY. On my campus, we have two theater companies: the staff run, and the student run. The staff run has predominantly professors as directors and designers (occasionally students are used as assistant designers), and students make up most (if not all) of the cast and crew. On the other hand, there is the student run theater company. Everyone from the executive directors, to the directors, actors, crew, designers, etc. is a student (we still have faculty moderators, but they mostly make sure we manage the space, funds, and supplies properly). The faculty run company usually uses our larger stage space, and the student run uses the smaller, more intimate, space.

Designing a New Show: The Double Edged Sword

Like all designing, it is a double-edged sword. On one hand, no one has ever designed for this show before, so you know it will look unique. On the other hand, no one has ever designed this show before, so you are setting the precedent.

So let’s talk about some of those struggles of designing for a totally new show.

Daphne Rubin-Vega and the Need for Rebels

Now more than ever we need the performing arts. We are living in uncertain times and I believe one of the best ways to protest our current state of affairs is via the arts!  We especially need to make it accessible to our youth. Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival is doing just that. Starting July 27th and going through August 5th - Developing Artists, in a new collaboration with Vineyard Theatre, gives youth theatre companies the opportunity to work with well-known people in the industry and develop new works.

Daphne Rubin-Vega, best known for originating the role of Mimi in Rent, and playing Magenta in the Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, is the spokesperson for Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival.

$1000 Reward Being Offered for Return of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Theft and vandalism is unfortunately a familiar foe for those involved in theatre.  Everyone in the performing arts has had something stolen, broken, or otherwise disrespected. It is a terrible feeling, and it is one that the staff at A-Z Theatrical is currently experiencing.

 

A-Z Theatrical Supply and Service Inc   is a highly respected supply in the Kansas City Metro. With 50 years in business, they are a crucial part of the performing arts in the Midwest They offer a wide range of services, including thousands of costumes, lighting, rigging, and full show packages.  They also have a full-scale scenic and design studio, and offer large prop rentals such as the replicas of Grease Lightning and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

May I Suggest...'The Great Comet' as Travesty?

May I suggest that Natasha and Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 is a travesty? Before umbrage is taken, I hasten to add that maybe it isn’t. But that may, in fact, be the problem.

I use the term travesty not in its modern, colloquial sense of ‘a hot mess’, but in its specifically theatrical sense: “a burlesque of a serious work or subject”. Travesty was one of the earliest American musical theatre forms. Indeed, the legendary The Black Crook, which is often pegged, however inaccurately, as the first Broadway musical, was a travesty of melodrama, sending up all the absurdities of that form by making them still more absurd. I