Are Some Roles Too Iconic For Broadway?

Are Some Roles Too Iconic For Broadway?

I’ve noticed something of a trend at the Winter Garden Theatre over the past few years. Three of the last four productions that have played there have been musicals based on movies with iconic central characters. The one production that did not was about icons, but of a very different sort. The historical figures depicted in “Wolf Hall” are iconic, but not from movies, not from being embodied by a singular actor. Rocky, from “Rocky,” Dewey, from “School of Rock,” and Beetlejuice, from “Beetlejuice,” are very closely tied to the actors who played them originally, actors who were a big part of why the movies were so popular that they were adapted into musicals. As each one of these musicals has come to Broadway, most recently “Beetlejuice,” taking up residence in the Winter Garden this spring, I’ve had the same apprehension: the material may be good for the musical theatre treatment, but who’s going to get stuck toeing the fine line between doing his own thing and imitating an icon?

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OOPS…Britney Spears’s Music In A New Broadway Musical!!! Really???

OOPS…Britney Spears’s Music In A New Broadway Musical!!! Really???

Now I am not one to judge before a product is released and reviewed but this just feels wrong.  I am personally not a big fan of Spears but there is just something about a musical with her music coming to Broadway. I will be the first to admit I was wrong if it turns out to be a hit.   It seems we are starting to see a trend of musicals coming out with the music of popular artist.

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"Voice of My City" Explores Jerome Robbins's Relationship With NYC

"Voice of My City" Explores Jerome Robbins's Relationship With NYC

The year 1918 was a good one for culture: it gave us Leonard Bernstein, honored with an exhibit at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts earlier this year, and also Jerome Robbins, born October 11th of that year, the current subject of such an exhibit, and the namesake of southern border of Lincoln Center Plaza, 62nd Street. Last spring, the library celebrated Robbins's centennial with "Robbins At Night," projecting images of Robbins and his work on the ground just outside its front door from 7pm to 1am, images that sparkled not just with Robbins's creativity but with the reflective specks embedded in the ground of the plaza.

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With Les Moonves Gone, the Tonys Can Have an Exit Strategy from CBS

With Les Moonves Gone, the Tonys Can Have an Exit Strategy from CBS

Years ago, then CEO of CBS Les Moonves told NY Post’s Michael Riedel that as long as he’s at CBS, so will the Tony Awards. This quote came at a time when the ratings were in the basement compared to other award shows. However, a statement like that from the guy who ran the network was certainly a sigh of relief.

But now Moonves is gone due to the many accusations of sexual misconduct. Which means that the Tony Awards’ biggest network champion is gone. And the ratings are still in the proverbial toilet.

So what does this mean for the future of the Tonys on CBS?

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The Issue Over Dimming Lights for Marin Mazzie is Why We Need to Stop Dimming Lights

The Issue Over Dimming Lights for Marin Mazzie is Why We Need to Stop Dimming Lights

Following the tragic passing of Marin Mazzie; it’s been announced that the “committee” at the Broadway League has decided to have only six theatres dim their lights in her honor.

Besides the fact that they announced the news in an incredibly cold press release, starting it off with the phrase “The Committee of Theatre Owners has decided to dim the lights” is the type of Broadway pretentiousness that makes my stomach turn.

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Body Shaming Apparently Isn't Beneath NY Times Theatre Criticism

Body Shaming Apparently Isn't Beneath NY Times Theatre Criticism

Last year, Chicago Sun-Times theatre critic, Hedy Weiss, was rightfully criticized for her review of Mamma Mia where when mentioning the costume design, she said the following: 

"Theresa Ham’s character-defining costumes make the most of the many “real women” figures on stage, just as the gold and silver spandex outfits outline the perfect bodies of the terrific chorus dancers"

Obviously, the fact that Weiss made a point to emphasize "real women" figures as opposed to the "perfect bodies" of the dancer, was met with harsh backlash and accusations of body shaming. 

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Why We Need "Skintight"

Why We Need "Skintight"

This past Sunday I had the amazing pleasure of seeing Skintight. It's the new Off-Broadway play written by Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews, Significant Other). It follows Jodi Issac a middle-aged woman whose marriage falls apart after her now ex-husband leaves her for a younger woman. Left to pick up the pieces she visits her father for a weekend only to find her father is in a relationship with a much younger man who may or may not have secrets of his own. 

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If the New York Post's "My Fair Lady" Piece Felt Like a Hit-Job, It's Because it Was

If the New York Post's "My Fair Lady" Piece Felt Like a Hit-Job, It's Because it Was

on July 5th. You can click here to read it. 

All caught up? Good. Hopefully, as you were reading it, a couple of questions began to form. But one that should definitely be raised is, "Was this article necessary at all?"

I understand Reidel's methodology here. It's not every day one gets permission to publish extremely-candid quotes from one high-profile star bashing another. So clearly, from Reidel and the Post's point of view, there is a story to tell and clicks to get. 

But from my point of view, the whole article feels like a well-orchestrated hit on a show's leading lady by portraying her as either a selfish diva or a fragile performer, incapable of meeting the demands of a lead role on Broadway. Even if either were true, the fact that this has gone public is wrong and is certainly a violation of the unwritten rules of being in a Broadway cast: You don't air your dirty laundry in public, especially not to the press, especially not to Michael Riedel.  

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