December 16, 2008 |
We're at Scene 26 in A Chorus Line, its last moments, and we're swelling with anticipation. All night we've felt for these kids, desperate to be hired into the cookie-cutter chorus line of the show for which they're auditioning. Now, after coming to understand them as individuals, we're about to see them fulfill their ultimate goal: to become a single unit. And so begins one of the great finales in American musical theater, backed at first by only a piano. Out comes a lone gold-tuxedoed man, dancing across the stage.
September 24, 2014 |
Times are tough, right? That's one of the few reasons I can imagine for the spreading revival of A.R. Gurney's Love Letters , which opened this week both at Delaware Theatre Company and on Broadway. Gurney's romantic comedy about a half-century-long friendship with benefits, as revealed through the couple's correspondence, usually spends its production dollars getting recognizable names into the pair of chairs and desks that compose its set. The names then read their characters' letters aloud and, while seated, adjust their body language and facial expressions so that we watch them age from grade school until sometime in the sort-of present (the play premiered in 1988)
December 31, 2012 |
Helen Kardon Moss of Center City, a singer who performed on operatic stages, on Broadway, and in area clubs, died of a Parkinson's related illness at Penn Hospice Rittenhouse on Wednesday, Dec. 26, her 81st birthday. As a young woman, Mrs. Moss performed as a soprano with the New York City Opera Company and the San Francisco Opera Company. Her repertoire for most of her career, though, was the Great American Songbook. "I'm fortunate enough to have a background in many musical forms," she said in a 1994 Inquirer article.
March 27, 2012 |
SOMETIME around 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Academy of Music, the Philadelphia debut of the latest iteration of "West Side Story," which runs through April 8, will conclude with a reprise of "Somewhere. " At this point, the audience will no doubt rise to its feet and reward the cast with a loud and appreciative ovation. But no matter how enthusiastic the crowd's response may be, it probably won't match that of those at Washington, D.C.'s National Theatre on Aug. 19, 1957. "We got like 15 curtain calls," recalled Michael Callan, 77, of the night the groundbreaking contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" had its pre-Broadway premiere.
September 19, 2014
REGULAR READERS of this column are no doubt aware of my beef that what passes for "songs" in much of contemporary musical theater aren't songs at all, but merely sung dialogue and exposition. Well, it turns out I'm not the only one who yearns for a return to the days when Broadway scores boasted pieces with actual verses and hook-laden choruses. Robyn Goodman also feels that way. And better yet, she's in a position to actually do something about it. Goodman is a Broadway powerhouse who has produced such smash hits as "Avenue Q," "In the Heights" and "American Idiot.
January 27, 2012 |
HACKENSACK, N.J. - Robert Hegyes, the New Jersey-born actor who played Jewish Puerto-Rican wheeler-dealer Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein on the 1970s classic "Welcome Back Kotter," died after an apparent heart attack in his Metuchen, N.J., home yesterday morning. He was 60. Hegyes, who also co-starred on "Cagney and Lacey" and taught occasional master classes at his alma mater, Rowan University, was best known for his work on "Kotter," in which he performed alongside a young John Travolta as one of the tough remedial students known at the Sweathogs.
July 19, 2014 |
There were broads, and there was Elaine Stritch, the toughest, the smartest, and among the most talented of all. And she could sing. Once called "the most dangerous actress on Broadway" - "Now that's a valentine!" she declared - Ms. Stritch died Thursday at her home in Birmingham, Mich., at 89, after a seven-decade career in stage, screen, and television that wound down only last year. Equally adept at musicals, plays, comedy, and drama, Ms. Stritch gave performances that were considered peaks in the American theater.
January 31, 2012 |
NEW YORK - David Alan Grier has a gentle message for anyone who is getting all hot and bothered thinking that he's helping ruin an American masterpiece. "Relax. Let it go," he says. "We're not killing it. We're just doing our version. " The actor and comedian is currently starring as Sporting Life in a reworked version called The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess on Broadway, following a controversial tryout in the fall near Boston. The creative team, with the blessing of the creators' estates (thus the title)
February 1, 2013
TO A CERTAIN segment of the population, Tom Wopat will forever be "Luke Duke," one of the lead characters on the 1980s TV series, "The Dukes of Hazzard," which focused on the comical misadventures of a couple of reformed redneck moonshiners. But Wopat's greatest triumphs have occurred about as far - philosophically and artistically - as you can get from formulaic weekly television. For decades, the 61-year-old actor-singer has been a Broadway mainstay, in a slew of hit musicals and dramas.
December 26, 2012 |
The story of Dr. Jekyll and his evil alter-ego, Mr. Hyde, is legendary: Desperate to save his comatose father by curing the evil that lurks in the human soul and causes illness, the good doctor makes a mess of things and succumbs to madness himself. Constantine Maroulis' life story may lack the dire drama of Jekyll's, but his family history has shaped Maroulis' approach to playing the dichotomous doctor. Maroulis, a former American Idol contestant, stars in the revival of the musical tragedy Jekyll & Hyde , a late-'90s Broadway smash by songwriter Frank Wildhorn and lyricist/author Leslie Bricusse that hits the Forrest Theatre for a five-day run starting Wednesday.