August 31, 2011
Price Berkley, 92, founder, editor, and longtime publisher of Theatrical Index, the weekly trade publication that has been consulted by anyone wanting to produce, finance, write about, or possibly avoid a Broadway show, died Sunday at his Manhattan home. Mr. Berkley founded Theatrical Index in 1964 with a typewriter, a stapler, and 16 subscribers. It retains its original, humble form: a slim sheaf secured at the top with staples. "People used to put it on a clipboard on their bulletin board, and they still do," said Steve Bebout, who succeeded Mr. Berkley as editor in chief after his retirement in 2007.
August 17, 2012
Joan Roberts, 95, who created the role of the winsome "yeller"-haired heroine, Laurey, in the original Broadway production of Oklahoma! , died Monday in Stamford, Conn. Her death was announced by the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. One of the last living members of the musical's original cast, Ms. Roberts had lived for many years in Rockville Centre, N.Y. Oklahoma! , which opened in 1943, was Ms. Roberts' second Broadway show. Oklahoma! ran for 2,212 performances and became a benchmark by which later musicals would be judged.
October 25, 2002 |
Every day - or so they swore - Betty Comden and Adolph Green met and worked, whether writing a new Broadway show or revising one of their many classics. However, the promise of another show, another song, ended with Mr. Green's death on Wednesday at age 87. His body of work with Comden spanned roughly 60 years, starting with sketches they wrote as part of the comedy team The Revuers, up through libretto revisions in the 1998 Broadway revival of On the Town. They were most famous for writing the screenplays to the classic MGM films Singin' in the Rain and The Bandwagon, though Broadway buffs often say their best work was in lesser-known shows, such as the art-deco farce On the Twentieth Century (1978)
March 30, 2012 |
So Tim Tebow's going to New York City. Well, I'm not going with him. Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm everywhere at once, all-knowing and all-seeing, blah, blah, blah. But ever since the 2010 draft, I've been hanging out mostly here in Denver to look after Tim. And, really, can you blame Me? It's a nice town. And with its mile-high elevation, it's less of a commute. And before you accuse Me of playing favorites, with about six billion ingrates to deal with, why shouldn't I pay a little extra attention to a kid who thanks Me publicly for everything from a touchdown to a bologna sandwich?
July 1, 2012 |
As a Megabus rattled through the Lincoln Tunnel, a surprising fact passed among the 11 Philadelphia high school students occupying the back rows: They were under water. "No, we're not," several said in disbelief, turning to their classmates to ascertain that they were, indeed, traveling beneath the Hudson River. Convinced, one student declared, "I'm about to tweet it!"- before finding out that there was no cellphone service below ground. It was the first surprise on a day full of new experiences for the 11 travelers from El Centro de Estudiantes, a school for students who have dropped out or been kicked out of Philadelphia public schools.
May 7, 1990 |
I brood at times about how the Broadway musical stage has let some big talents go to waste. I think, for example, of the redoubtable Helen Gallagher, who is class all the way. I think of Julie Wilson, for whom a melody is drama. I lament the waste of the promise in a singer such as Pamela Myers, who showed herself heir presumptive to Ethel Merman by belting out "Another Hundred People" in the original Broadway production of Company. I even wonder about the loss to the stage of Liza Minnelli, who could have been the reigning musical comedy queen of our time.
March 21, 2002 |
One of the objections offered by the unions protesting the nonunion production of The Music Man at the Merriam Theater is that while the show is based on the recent Broadway production, it can't really be called a Broadway show because it doesn't use actors who have Broadway experience. That is a valid point. There is a polish and professionalism - something easier to sense than to explain - that Broadway-experienced actors lend to a show that this production of The Music Man does not have.
May 25, 1989 |
Playwright Phyllis Purscell has written some very funny lines for The Temptation of Maddie Graham. They would be even funnier if they were in the context of a better play. Purscell, who lives in Newtown, displays a gift for the one-liner and the apt, humorous quip growing out of a specific situation. It might seem extravagant to compare her comic talent to Neil Simon's; but when she is on, which is often, her witticisms sound much like those of the master of Broadway comedy. However, if Purscell does not devise better vehicles than The Temptation of Maddie Graham, it's doubtful that her humor will find an outlet beyond the few regional theaters that have produced her plays.
May 7, 1987 |
It's been 45 years since Spencer Tracy melted down a sputtering Katharine Hepburn in the movie "Woman of the Year," but only four since the musical starring Lauren Bacall and then Raquel Welch as a saucy, headstrong Barbara Walters-style TV newswoman closed on Broadway. The version presented at the Claridge through Aug. 15 is still relatively fresh; this is not a revival of a show that's been done to death in dinner theaters. "Woman" is shorter than the Broadway show, a little thinner on the cast (minor cast members double up, giving the audience a weird case of deja vu)
March 12, 2012 |
WILLIAM SHATNER doesn't turn down roles. Not on TV or films. Not self-mocking commercials, a long-running game-show square or oft-maligned (though I do love some) musical recording sessions. Why, the man won't even turn down an interview when he's still getting over a stomach flu and should be saving strength for the evening performance of "Shatner's World: We Just Live In It," his one-man show landing tomorrow for a one-nighter at the Merriam Theater. "My life's been all about saying yes to opportunities, because you never know where that can take you," he explained in a kindly, grandfatherly, 80-year-old voice more Denny Crane than Captain Kirk or comedy roaster or aggressive pitchman for Priceline.com.