January 14, 2012 |
NEW YORK - The immensely satisfying Porgy and Bess that opened in a Broadway revival Thursday night is not your grandma's P&B . In a controversial makeover that has ended up neither controversial nor very much made over, what you get is a compelling and confident mixture of opera and stage sense that drives the music as well as the story. Some people - most notably Steven Sondheim - protested after news last summer that Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks ( Topdog/Underdog)
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.
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.
July 24, 2015 |
The Commerce Building in the heart of downtown Camden is set to be demolished starting Saturday, a process expected to take about two weeks. The city's Parking Authority, which owns the one-acre parcel, is turning it into a parking garage. The vacant, eight-story building at the corner of Broadway and Federal Street was built in the 1960s to replace a department store, and sits near City Hall, municipal court, the county court, the Walter Rand Transportation Center, and two PATCO stops.
April 27, 2015 |
When singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper talks about Kinky Boots , the rocker's first foray into composing for the theater, she gets emotional. The mere mention of the Tony Award-winning show - six honors, including best musical and best score for Lauper - sets her to reminiscing about the joy of creating the inner lives of Kinky characters ("something I've done since I was a kid - well, not the Kinky part") and her open-armed acceptance by a community outside her usual rock and roll milieu.
February 20, 2015
IN MAGIC, the act of turning an object into a completely different thing is known as "transformation. " But recently, it was conjurer Jeff Hobson who was altered in a significant way. Hobson is one of seven wizards who on Tuesday begin a six-day, eight-performance run in "The Illusionists" at the Academy of Music. They're on a national tour, following a successful end-of-2014 Broadway run. According to the veteran entertainer, his time in the Big Apple made him see the city in an entirely new light.
April 24, 2015
THE 2014-15 LOCAL theater season is still going strong, but that doesn't mean planning for the 2015-16 slate of shows that kicks off in the fall hasn't been a priority throughout the region. Fact is, every theater company is at least thinking about next season, and many have already announced their schedules. So, what follows is a sneak peak at just a few of the productions about which we are especially excited and/or intrigued. Note that specific date and ticket information is TBA: 'According to Goldman' We are hard-pressed to imagine anything more wickedly delicious than a satire of Hollywood from the hilarious mind of local playwright extraordinaire, Bruce Graham ("The Philly Fan," "The Belmont Social Club," et al)
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)
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.