Every New Yorker has a series of cherished myths and hard-earned wisdom that he or she considers the Gospel truth about how to get by in this city. But are the stories we tell ourselves in order to live really on the level? We turn to the experts to help us figure it out.
There's the moment in every New Yorker's life (tourists, you get to play this round too!) where they experience the terrible feeling of a leg cramp during a Broadway show. Do you scream? Do you shuffle out of your aisle noisily and try your best not to faceplant? Why are those seats so small in [...]
Listen in on a certain variety of college-age girls who are meeting each other for the first time and you'll inevitably hear the boasts, the pride, the tentative assertions of superior talent that come with talking about what is, for these girls, the most important subject: who played whom in which high school and community theater musicals. There's always a Maria, an Eliza Doolittle. The prim lanky ladies are a Sally Bowles (they come from an experimental charter school and have boundary issues) and there's the Rodgers and Hammerstein girls who went to Catholic school and are in awe of the worldlier, more sexualized characters their peers were allowed [...]
You know what America is craving right now, post-recession and during a harrowing election? That's right: a very self-important drama about New York City gays, Fosse impersonators and their ladies who all love Broadway musicals and like to be mildly catty! That's why NBC is going big guns on its mid-season spectacular, "Smash," which premieres a week from today. It's supposed to redeem their fall season. Ahem. Not even kidding, about the plot: "Former 'American Idol' contestant Katharine McPhee stars as struggling actress Karen Carpenter, competing for the leading role in a new musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe."
Talk about doing it wrong. If [...]
Without vanity a writer's work is tepid, and he must accept his vanity as part of his stock in trade and live with it as one of the hazards of his profession.—Moss Hart, Act One
On Saturday, in downtown Los Angeles, Julie Taymor sat down with Roger Copeland for the much-anticipated closing keynote presentation of the Theater Communications Group's annual conference, before an audience of a thousand or so colleagues. Copeland is a big, charming, rambunctious man with about the biggest, bobbingest head you ever saw, wearing very thick glasses and, I think, no socks. He's a professor of theater and dance at Oberlin College, Taymor's alma mater, [...]
And Avenue Q has just announced it is closing, with a final show on September 13th. The dirty puppet show "about 20-somethings who move to the city with big dreams and tiny bank accounts" (I dunno, I never saw it!) grossed $117 million, just completed a two-year national tour, and will have been the 20th longest running show in Broadway history. But apparently that is done now. Also tickets are still like $958.99, so I probably won't ever see it.
"You must understand that [David Mamet's] reaction to being surrounded by easy privilege and, frankly, decadence is simply a form of disgust. But it’s overpopulated him, this disgust, and spilled out like an infection into a worldview. Not to get all Freud on his ass, but I think his outlook would be different if his circumstances, i.e., where he lives, were different. There is something about Hollywood liberalism that—even though it is the easiest target in the world—is so stomach-turning in its smugness. It’s no different than his reaction was once to capitalism run amok. I think disgust is disgust." —Awl pal Jon Robin Baitz talks about the [...]
Without Disney, Broadway-and New York theater in general-would be like those depressing days when Chorus Line was the only show to see in a grim Times Square and you had to fight past hookers in rabbit fur coats to get to the box office. Many resent the "Disneyfication" of Times Square. Sure, I had a great time sipping nine dollar low-quality red wines out of plastic glasses at Runway 69 as much as the next gay. Sometimes, in bitter moods, I totally get why this weirdo likes to boycott Disney stores. But one of the great things Disney has done (besides inventing animatronics) is put a massive amount [...]
James Gandolfini, star of the Yasmina Reza play God of Carnage, has received an American Theatre Wing nomination for best actor, ensuring an abundance of "Tony's Tony" jokes among the eighteen people who actually care about the Tonys and the seven others who are inexplicably still paid to cover them.