Paying struggling playwrights for all of their work

image of interior of Playwrights Horizons theater
Playwrights Horizon, 416 W 42nd St, NYC, is an off-Broadway theater producing works by contemporary American writers.composers and lyricists.

If you win an Oscar, movie stars can ask for more money the next time they land a role. Right? If you are a playwright and you win a Pulitzer Prize, how does your world — and bank account — change? Maybe not so much.

According to an article in today’s NYTimes, on average, American playwrights earn $25,000 to $39,000 annually from their endeavors and 62 percent of them earn less than $40,000. Ouch!

Sure, if their shows move to Broadway, becomes hits, tour the country and get made into movies, millions of dollars may be made. But how often does that happen. Continue reading Paying struggling playwrights for all of their work

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‘It Shoulda Been You’ musical Broadway bound

“It Shoulda Been You,” which premiered at the George Street Playhouse in NJ, is scheduled to start performances on Broadway March 17 with Tony Award winners Tyne Daly (“Gypsy”) and Harriet Harris (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”) as polar opposite mothers at a wedding from hell.

 David Hyde Pierce directed the musical at GSP in New Brunswick  in 2011 and continues at the helm. As an actor, Pierce earned a Tony for “Curtains” and four Emmy Awards for “Frasier.” Opening night is scheduled for April 14. Continue reading ‘It Shoulda Been You’ musical Broadway bound

Pre-Broadway ‘Skylight’ with Nighy, Mulligan in movies tonight

The London production of "Skylight," starring  Bill Nighy and Cary Mulligan, will be broadcast by the National Theatre Live during October around the country and open on Broadway in the Spring with its original London cast.
The London production of “Skylight,” starring Bill Nighy and Cary Mulligan, will be broadcast by the National Theatre Live Oct. 30 around the country and open on Broadway in the Spring with its original London cast.

Can’t get to Broadway to see the National Theatre production of “Skylight” with Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan. Try your local movie complex or university instead.

The National Theatre Live’s mission is “to broadcast the best of British theatre live from the London stage to cinemas across the UK and around the world” and I, for one. am grateful. Nothing beats seeing theater live, but not everyone lives close to theaters producing new and/or classic work on a regular basis.

Continue reading Pre-Broadway ‘Skylight’ with Nighy, Mulligan in movies tonight

Neil Patrick Harris hosting the Oscars in 2015 is a no brainer

Stephen Sondheim's "Company" in a concert-setting with the New York Philharmonic. The opening number includes the entire all-star cast: Craig Bierko, Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, Katie Finneran, Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Hendricks, Adam Lazar, Patti LuPone, Jill Paice, Martha Plimpton, Anika Noni Rose, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Jim Walton, and Chryssie Whitehead.
Stephen Sondheim’s “Company”  with the New York Philharmonic. The opening number includes the entire all-star cast: Craig Bierko, Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, Katie Finneran, Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Hendricks, Adam Lazar, Patti LuPone, Jill Paice, Martha Plimpton, Anika Noni Rose, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Jim Walton, and Chryssie Whitehead. (Hot link to video below).

Neil Patrick Harris has crossed off “host the Oscars” on his bucket list with today’s announcement he will do the honors in 2015.

This gives us a perfect opportunity to post video of NPH  in “Company” because we never want to miss a chance to feature him and Stephen Sondheim.

NPH’s versatility is scary awesome and he should have no problem handling the honors. Is there anybody who doesn’t admire this guy?

Click here to watch PBS’ “Great Performances” video of the opening number.

Continue reading Neil Patrick Harris hosting the Oscars in 2015 is a no brainer

Stephen Sondheim, David Ives working on musical for Public Theater

Stephen Sondheim is working on a new musical with David Ives.
Stephen Sondheim is working on a new musical with David Ives.

Stephen Sondheim is working on a musical with playwright David Ives (“Venus in Fur”) based on the films  “The Exterminating Angel” and “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” that is expected to be staged by The Public Theater. “We will do it whenever Steve tells us to,” said Public’s artistic director Oskar Eustis, as reported in the NYTimes.

Sondheim, 84, and Ives, 64, have just finished a first draft of the musical and that a production was a few years away, the composer said in an interview with the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik.

Sondheim’s last piece was the Public’s 2008 production of “Road Show.”  Ives’ “Venus in Fur” played off-Broadway  in 2010 and transferred to Broadway in 2012. His play “All in the Timing” is his most produced work.

Read more about this project here.

‘The Nance’ streaming now on PBS websites

Nathan Lane publicity shot from "The Nance," available for watching on PBS websites.
Nathan Lane publicity shot from “The Nance,” available for watching on PBS websites.

If you missed “The Nance,” starring the incomparable Nathan Lane Friday night on PBS Channel 13, you can watch it now on the station’s website by clicking here.

Nominated for three Tony Awards, Douglas Carter Beane’s celebrated play is both a love letter to the grand old days of burlesque and a love story before its time. Nathan Lane gives the performance of a lifetime as Chauncey Miles, a burlesque comedian caught between the tug of his heart, the calling of his art, and the increasingly harsh realities of Depression Era politics and mores.

Josh Radnor returns to Broadway in ‘Disgraced’

Josh Radnor returns to Broadway in October.
Josh Radnor is back on Broadway.

“Disgraced,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Ayad Akhtar, opens Oct. 23 on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St. (it is one of the two oldest surviving Broadway venues.) It’s in in previews now.

“How I Met Your Mother” star Josh Radnor (who made his Broadway debut opposite Kathleen Turner in 2002’s “The Graduate”) will lead the cast, which includes Gretchen Mol, Karen Pittman, and Hari Dhillon.

Featured on the Today show — probably mostly because of his 7 seasons on “How I Met Your Mother” more than being on Broadway — Radnor talked about the show and did his Woody Allen imitation. Watch it here.

Learn more about the play here.

Get tickets here.  

Broadway actress Marian Seldes dead at 86

Image of Marian Seldes (left) and Angela Lansbury star in Terrence McNally's "Deuce."/Photo courtesy of Playbill.com.
Marian Seldes (left) and Angela Lansbury starred in Terrence McNally’s “Deuce.”/Photo courtesy of Playbill.com.

Marian Seldes, who has a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for never missing a single performances in her Tony Award-winning performance as the wife in “Deathtrap,” died Monday in Manhattan, the city she loved.

Continue reading Broadway actress Marian Seldes dead at 86

Angelo Del Rossi Memorial Tribute at Paper Mill Oct. 20

Memorial tribute for Paper Mill Playhouse's former executive director Angelo Del Rossi (pictured) is scheduled for Oct. 20 at the Paper Mill, Millburn, NJ
Memorial tribute for Paper Mill Playhouse’s former executive director Angelo Del Rossi (pictured) is scheduled for Oct. 20 at the Paper Mill, Millburn, NJ.

Angelo Del Rossi, Paper Mill Playhouse’s former executive director, will be remembered during a memorial tribute beginning at 1 p.m. Oct.  20th at the theater he led at 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ.

The event will be hosted by Del Rossi’s husband  Per Rasmussen and scheduled performers include Lee Roy Reams, Judy McLane, Leslie Kritzer, Glory Crampton, Richard White, Susan Powell, Janna Robbins and Governor Tom Kean.

Continue reading Angelo Del Rossi Memorial Tribute at Paper Mill Oct. 20

Theater Close-Up brings off-Broadway plays into your home

The Public Theater will contribute four plays to the Theater Close-Up Series, all part of The Apple Family Plays: Scenes from Life in the Country.
The Public Theater will contribute four plays to the Theater Close-Up Series, all part of The Apple Family Plays: Scenes from Life in the Country.

Starting tonight at 9, a new weekly series called Theater Close-Up spotlighting off-Broadway plays hosted by Sigourney Weaver begins on PBS Channel 13 and continues through Nov. 22.

People mostly think Broadway when they think NYC theater. More people will see each one of these scheduled productions in one night than probably saw them for their entire run — not that there’s anything wrong with that. Plenty of Broadway shows were incubated off-Broadway.

The theaters represented here are:  The Public Theater, The Flea Theater, New York Theatre Workshop and Abingdon Theatre Company. Check local listings for times and air dates in your area.

Continue reading Theater Close-Up brings off-Broadway plays into your home

News and views of New Jersey's regional theaters, and bits about Broadway.

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