September 13, 2014 |
A big, cheerful, gorgeous dumb blonde of a musical comedy, 9 to 5: The Musical , the Walnut Street Theatre's season opener, is, like many a dumb blonde, good for a fun night out. (OK, OK, is every new-wave feminist going to call the gender police? Aw, shucks.) Based on the 1980 movie of the same name (its screenwriter, Patricia Resnick, wrote the show's book), Dolly Parton wrote 16 songs for the Broadway show, each with her signature country sound; the excellent cast belts them out with gusto.
March 17, 2016 |
While I'm away, readers give the advice. On making the best of the time after a terminal diagnosis: My sister's diagnosis gave her six months to a year, with treatment. She lived 1,200 miles from me, but I decided to give her whatever I could to make her comfortable and happy. I took unpaid leave to spend a couple weeks at her home. I made her a window seat cushion that she hadn't gotten around to making. My husband and I painted her kitchen and hung the five-year-old wallpaper border she had been waiting for her husband to do. I used vacation time to visit again and take her to a Cirque du Soleil performance.
March 2, 2016 |
For its 39th season, the Philly Pops continues its successful formula, presenting highlights from pop, rock, jazz, and Broadway. The roster includes tributes to the Beatles, Elvis, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Fleetwood Mac, and Les Misérables . Designing a season from the vast pop genre represents a juggling act for Michael Krajewski, in his third season as music director. (He has just signed on for three more years.) Five shows must offer familiar fare to an audience that relates to music from previous generations.
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)
April 27, 2014 |
Back in the days of New Wave, say, 1983, Cyndi Lauper was viewed as pretty unusual. Her first record, She's So Unusual , went against the tide. Here was a diminutive, swaggering Brooklyn redhead with a high voice, higher energy - and a sophisticated pop album, recorded with barely known Philly musicians. "It was my debut record, so we weren't really under the microscope of the label," says Lauper, about to visit Philly with Cher for a Wells Fargo Center show on Monday. "We made that record exactly how we wanted it. " She's So Unusual sold 22 million copies worldwide, with its biggest hit, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," penned by Philly guy Robert Hazard, and the ballad "Time After Time," co-written with Rob Hyman of the Hooters.
April 9, 2012 |
SMASH. 10 p.m. Monday, NBC10. GLEE. 8 p.m. Tuesday, Fox 29. IT'S NOT always easy to love the TV musical. I watch NBC's "Smash" with a heavy heart and half an eye on Twitter, the better to commiserate with friends who cannot believe someone hasn't yet killed Ellis the Evil Assistant (Jaime Cepero) or that a promising pilot about the making of a Broadway show about Marilyn Monroe has descended so quickly into melodrama, with dueling Marilyns (Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty)
January 28, 2012 |
Once heralded as the greatest British actor of his generation, Nicol Williamson was also a legend for stormy onstage behavior that included calling off a performance of Hamlet mid-speech because he was too tired to go on. "I'll pay for the seats," he later recalled telling the audience in 1969, "but I won't shortchange you by not giving my best. " And then he walked off. He made his name as the faltering attorney in John Osborne's Inadmissible Evidence in the mid-1960s in London, rode the role to a Tony Award nomination on Broadway, and re-created the part in the 1968 film.