When I was 11, I knew I wanted to be a journalist and I grew up to become the Entertainment Editor of the Asbury Park Press when I was 25. Fifteen years later I finally was able to write about theater in NJ and in NYC full-time for another 10 years, plus contribute articles and reviews to Variety, Back Stage and The Drama League. Now I run this website TheaterCues.com for fun.
Before I left The Press I was the Web Producer for the Friday and Sunday Entertainment sections of The Press, Home News Tribune, Daily Record and Courier News. I learned a lot about Search Engine Optimization, key words and phrases and other ways to attract Google’s attention.
If you have a business — or show business — these days you need a website that shows up on the first page of Google that your customers — or audience — check often to see what’s new on your blog, in your photo galleries, on your video accounts, etc. You want them to be a part of your community, your family, so when it’s time for your service — or opening night — they are there to support you.
Maggie Smith, 80, began as a stage actress so I feel perfectly justified in sharing here she is done playing the Dowager Countess after the next season of “Downton Abbey,” whether it’s the final season or not.
Sure going to miss those barbed swipes she delivers, oh, so well. Of course, if she continues making movies, such as the “Marigold Hotel” series, we’ll still hear plenty of her quips. And there’s always the “Harry Potter” moves to watch again (except for maybe the last two).
In an interview with The (London) Sunday Times, “They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on,” Smith, 80, said referring to the upcoming season six. (She thinks the Countess “must be 110 by now,” she told the Times.)
Sorry to hear that Surflight Theater is once again battling to stay alive, according to a report today in the Atlantic City Press.
“A lot of stuff just snowballed,” said Charlie Siedenburg, a spokesman for the theater, after the bankruptcy announcement. “Every time you think you wiped away something, up comes another creditor or debt that had been hidden.”
A 2012 fire and Hurricane Sandy both required theater operators to spend money on repairs that were not fully covered by insurance and FEMA reimbursements, operators said. In addition, attendance declined following Sandy, further putting the theater in financial trouble.
National Theatre Live has revealed the plays it will broadcast in venues around the world this Spring and the offerings are tantalizing. It includes the first (of I hope many) Broadway productions — “Of Mice and Men” with James Franco and Chris O’Dowd — and, this fall, Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet.
Also scheduled are the classics “A View From the Bridge” and “Man and Superman,” and new plays by Tom Stoppard and David Hare.”
“Side Show” posted a Jan. 4 closing — against it’s will — because the Jujamcyn Theaters, the show’s landlord, is exercising a contract clause that allows it to close slow-selling shows that don’t gross $550,000 two weeks in a row.
According to a New York Times article (Dec. 13, 2014) by theater writer Patrick Healy “the fastest flop of the fall Broadway season” was doomed by poor ticket sales and the fact that another musical wanted the St James Theatre, a primo Broadway location at 46 West 44th St. between Broadway and 8th Avenue.
Theatrical press agent Rick Miramontez no longer will give comp tickets to Wall Street Journal critic and culture writer Joanne Kaufman after she admitted in her Dec. 1 article “Confessions of a Broadway Bolter” that she often leaves shows at intermission and still writes reviews.
That is just appalling. And can’t you just hear the moaning of theater lovers everywhere who would love to have the primo seats she apparently disdains and cost hundreds for dollars that most people have to save up for a one or two time per year Broadway visit.
Or maybe it’s just the shows she dislikes and left early, which include “The Last Ship,” “The Country House,” “It’s Only a Play,” “Matilda,” “Kinky Boots,” “Pippin,” “Boeing-Boeing” and “Billy Elliott.”
Today’s Broadway matinee of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” was re-created for people with autism and was a hit. Let’s hope more Broadway shows do the same. Paper Mill Playhouse in NJ is offering its second autism-friendly performance on Dec. 23 for its holiday production of “Elf.”
If interested in taking someone with a disability to “Elf,” here are more details that also include sign-interpreted, open-captioned and audio-described performances, according to a recent Paper Mill press release.
For some lucky few, it’s who you know that gets you your dream job.
But not Michael Coale Grey. It’s what he knows and how well he can deliver it that got him the job as a member of the ensemble in “Elf,” this season’s holiday offering at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ.
Grey, 22, spent nine years as a member of Paper Mill’s Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory — “I grew up there!” — getting to know members of the artistic staff and his way around a theater.
But for the Union, NJ, resident, it was his fourth audition for a show at the “Broadway in your backyard” theater that earned him a coveted spot in the “Elf” cast. (His previous PM auditions included “Newsies,” “High School Musical” and “Grease.”)
If you loved “Jersey Boys” you’re gonna love “The Midtown Men Live in Concert!” premiering tomorrow (Nov. 29) on NJTV. The special not only features four members from the original cast of the hit Broadway musical–still packing houses–it will be the New Jersey station’s first nationally-distributed show.
And, according to NJTV General Manager John Servidio, “The Midtown Men” is the first of what he hopes will be many more live events for local or national broadcast staged at New Jersey performing arts venues.
Two River Theater Company opens Lerner and Loewe’s musical “Camelot” tonight, but it’s not going to be what you expect. Instead of a large cast in sumptuous costumes with a pit orchestra, you’ll get 8 musicians and 8 actors in Arthurian street clothes. Oh, and some nudity.