June 3, 1996 |
Topping off what has been widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive seasons in recent Broadway history, the big winners at Sunday's Tony Awards were the groundbreaking musicals "Rent" and "Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk," which each took four honors. The Pulitzer-winning "Rent," a musical about East Village bohemians, won the top award, for best musical, over "Noise/Funk," the explosive rap-and-tap musical tale of African American history.
July 12, 1995 |
The advance stories about the New York opening tonight of "I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky"--the unusual song-play about social issues in Los Angeles told in popular song by composer John Adams, poet June Jordan and director Peter Sellars--tend toward diplomacy, calling the show's reception, at its premiere engagement in Berkeley in May, "mixed." Some of the high-profile reviews, in fact, were stinkers. The Los Angeles Times music critic Martin Bernheimer called it a mess.
December 22, 1989 |
This was going to be the season that the Broadway musical made a comeback. Maybe so. "City of Angels" got strong reviews and will have a healthy run at the Virginia Theater, and "Grand Hotel" is not going to have to check out of the Martin Beck next week. In performance, however, neither show ignites an audience the way--I hate to say this--"Phantom of the Opera" does. This may very well have to do with the cost of tickets on Broadway these days. This season's top ticket is $55.
October 8, 1989 |
For 10 years, says Tommy Tune, he had a recurring dream. He was standing in a ballroom with a shiny floor, a chandelier and lots of gold chairs with red velvet cushions. If it had been a musical, it would be just the place for a song and dance. But then he would wake up. Then one Christmas he received a copy of "Grand Hotel," Vicki Baum's 1929 novel about Germany in the late '20s. He liked it so much that he rented the Oscar-winning 1932 film, which he didn't like as much.
June 23, 2000 |
A sense of place resounds through the work of many writers, and for his territory, Horton Foote, the playwright who has been called "the American Chekhov," long ago staked out the small East Texas burg where he grew up. On a map, that town is identified as Wharton, an hour or so from Houston near the Gulf Coast, but in his plays, Foote has it as Harrison, as much a character as the humans who populate his work.
October 8, 1989 |
What about Broadway's non-musical fare? The season had a great start, given the recent opening of Vanessa Redgrave in Tennessee Williams' "Orpheus Descending," a performance that received the same extraordinary reviews that it did in London. Coming soon are more revivals, more London imports and even a few original works. "There are a lot of new shows being done," says Bernard Jacobs, president of the Shubert Organization. "The question really is, what will their quality be?"
May 7, 1996 |
"Rent" and "Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk" top the list of shows nominated for Broadway's Tony Awards announced Monday, with 10 nods for "Rent" and nine for "Noise." "Seven Guitars," a Center Theatre Group co-production that played the Ahmanson Theatre earlier this year, garnered eight Tony nominations--more than any other nonmusical play. Also snagging eight was the recent revival of "The King and I."
March 16, 1999 |
As she staggers across the dirt stage of "Electra" every night, a daughter wrapped in her father's immense cloak, Zoe Wanamaker carries on a legacy that reaches back 2,400 years to the hillsides of ancient Greece. But the metaphor of her own father's cloak, that of the great actor Sam Wanamaker, weighs equally heavy on her small yet sturdy shoulders.
October 16, 1988 |
You don't have to play Broadway anymore to have a hit show. Take the example of "The Immigrant: A Hamilton County Album," which opened at the Mark Taper Forum on Aug. 28, 1986, after an initial production at the Denver Center Theatre. Written by Mark Harelik about what befell his Russian Jewish grandfather in Hamilton County, Tex., the play did excellent business here despite mixed reviews.
May 7, 1991 |
The much ballyhooed and controversial "Miss Saigon" and a late arrival on Broadway, "The Will Rogers Follies," lead the pack of Tony nominations announced Monday with 11 nominations apiece. Neither show received consistently enthusiastic reviews--yet another indication of the slender pickings in the contemporary Broadway musical field. They were joined in the race for the best musical award by "Once on This Island" and "The Secret Garden."