Cameron Mackintosh once said, when he announced the closing of the original Broadway production of Les Miserables, “I have also realized that I can’t have a crack at the Tony for Best Revival until I close the first.” This after pointing out that he wanted to take the musical out on a high note, “with audiences once again fighting for tickets,” as he had with Cats and Miss Saigon. The only one of his big four that he doesn’t seem to have felt this way about is The Phantom of the Opera, which celebrated 30 years on Broadway this past January, and looks all set to way beyond. Phantom being my favorite musical, I have a smug pride that it is unlikely that any other Broadway production will dethrone it for the title of “longest running in history.” At the same time, though, I have to wonder what that “crack at the Tony for Best Revival” would look like.Read More
During my 30 years in New York City I had the opportunity to see the original Broadway productions of many plays and musicals. I have also had the unsettling experience of seeing many of those productions replicated elsewhere, without any credit given to the original director, choreographer or designers whose work has been copied. This creative plagiarism seems to have grown exponentially with increasingly easy access to bootleg videos of Broadway shows and the proliferation of YouTube.Read More
“I had a very specific role in the show: to be the person who listened,” A Bronx Tale lyricist Glenn Slater told me. In listening, he discovered the voice of Belmont Avenue.
A Bronx Tale opened on Broadway in December 2016; and now after 500 plus performances (and a North American Tour just announced), the show is still going strong.
I recently caught up with Slater by phone to discuss the show’s success and the creative process of adapting Chazz Palminteri’s popular film “A Bronx Tale” to Broadway.Read More
May I suggest, now that Hamilton: An American Musical’s place in the culture seems secure, that it may be time to look under the hood of this juggernaut long enough to learn how it works? A second look at the show seemed in order, but with the back row of its balcony selling for a cool $564 (base price, not scalper’s markup) I decided that Alexander Hamilton would not mind, and might even approve, if I foreswore the fiscal improvidence of shelling out that kind of money. Instead, I visited the Atlantic Record website for a free download of the libretto and opened my iTunes. The results were illuminating.Read More