March 17, 2011
THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW ON BROADWAY. 10 p.m. Saturday, HBO. NOT MANY Broadway shows begin with the Pledge of Allegiance, but then so few star Pee-wee Herman. Paul Reubens, the artist known as Pee-wee, returns Saturday night to HBO, the place where his bow-tied character's TV career launched in another special three decades ago, with "The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway. " Filmed this winter during the show's limited run at Manhattan's Stephen Sondheim Theater, it's a happy mix of childlike wonder and mildly adult humor - too mild for "Two and a Half Men," but maybe too adult for Saturday mornings - that allows Reubens to be timeless and yet topical.
November 23, 1995 |
The opening concert of the current Philly Pops program at the Academy of Music was flawless - outstanding, from the moment Peter Nero struck up the orchestra with Gershwin's "Strike Up the Band" to the "Liberty Bell March," with which Nero has traditionally closed Pops performances since 1979. The program, titled "Broadway Gold," is devoted mainly to show tunes of the 1940s and 1950s. ("Strike Up the Band," which goes back to 1927, is one exception; Cole Porter's "Night and Day," a 1930s classic, is another.
May 21, 2004 |
Put Romeo and Juliet in New York's Hell's Kitchen. Make his family native-born American and hers immigrant Puerto Rican. Set it to music by Leonard Bernstein, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and choreography by Jerome Robbins, maestros at the top of their game. The volatile result is West Side Story (1961), Robert Wise's and Robbins' explosive translation of the Broadway musical to the screen. Its creators put ear to manhole in order to listen to urban rhythms - and then cranked the volume up to 10. More attention was lavished on the music and dancing than on the acting by the nominal leads, Richard Beymer as Tony and Natalie Wood as Maria, and it shows.
November 27, 2007 |
Tomorrow morning, traffic will come to a standstill in one of the busiest sections of New York, but this time it won't be gawking tourists or angry cabbies blocking the streets. NASCAR is back to take Manhattan in a big way, with this season's top 10 drivers parading their race cars over a 1 1/2-mile course, starting at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Good Morning America studios at 44th Street and Broadway. Rolling along in single file, the 3,400-pound stock cars, powered by 850-horsepower engines, figure to rattle windows and scatter pigeons en route to the finish line, in the shadow of the Hard Rock Cafe at 43d Street and Seventh Avenue.
September 9, 1988 |
Patti LaBelle was testing the waters at the shore on Wednesday night as she began a five-night stand at the Tropicana's Tiffany Showroom. In the coming months, she'll once again attempt to make a splash on the national pop-culture scene. After a sweet taste of success with the disco hit "Lady Marmalade" in 1975, and major inroads toward mainstream fame with the 1984 single "New Attitude" and 1986 LP Winner in You, the Philadelphia native is poised to take the plunge again and perhaps attain the superstardom she has strived for throughout an erratic 25-year career.
January 30, 1989 |
A New York fellow in my line of work, who wears the blood of many dozens of Broadway productions on his shirt front, the other day took the measure of the new revue "Black and Blue" and found it "a festive tribute to great black American jazz and blues artists as only a madcap pair of Argentine set and costume designers could have imagined it. " I know Claudio Segovia and Hector Orezzoli only through their work, none of which remotely strikes me...
December 15, 2003 |
Baseball and Broadway share the same language. A critically acclaimed show is a hit. Backers hope for a long run. A great musical has a memorable score. So maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that three, count 'em, three baseball plays were lauded by critics and embraced by audiences in a Broadway season littered with pop-ups and costly strikeouts. "Take Me Out," a fascinating, eloquent tribute to the game by playwright Richard Greenberg, won last year's Tony Award as Best Play.
September 14, 1986 |
One of the biggest box-office disappointments of last Christmas was Richard Attenborough's A Chorus Line, a failure that suggested Hollywood might be less likely to seek inspiration from Broadway in the future. But the fall-winter movie lineup has Broadway making its strongest showing in recent years. No fewer than five contemporary playwrights - Neil Simon (Brighton Beach Memoirs), Marsha Norman ('night Mother), Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart), Howard Ashman (Little Shop of Horrors)
February 9, 2005 |
Good Vibrations makes a compelling case for the argument that the next person who thinks it would be nice to cobble together a musical from the Beach Boys' beloved songbook should be run over by a little deuce coupe. Beyond the help of Rhonda (or anyone else), this latest stab at a jukebox musical clearly takes that cash cow Mamma Mia! as its template. But there is a crucial difference. Mamma Mia! is a fatuous and inane show that uses the songs of Abba, which are themselves mostly fatuous and inane.
October 17, 2009 |
Colman Domingo was around 35 when his second growth spurt began. He'd already weathered the awkward years of buck teeth and ballet lessons. Now the actor had to figure out a way to say goodbye to his parents and his childhood home at 52d and Chancellor Streets in West Philly. But rather than letting go, Domingo decided to archive his memories. The result is A Boy and His Soul, a one-man show - equal parts song, dance and storytelling - that captures the energy of the neighborhood, and the pervasiveness of R&B and soul in the 1970s and '80s.