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The Season Ahead

The Season Ahead


By Bill Schmalfeldt


You know what?  If what my wife and I saw last night at the John Golden Theatre is any indication, this might be quite a fun season on Broadway!


First of all, let me apologize for breaking with convention here.  I know you're traditionally supposed to hold on to your reviews of a show until after the show has officially opened.  And I would be glad to do so, except for this fact…




It opens tonight (July 31) and the notices will be posted tomorrow.  Those who are paid to see these things and write critical reviews will have their say in the Friday morning papers.  I dare any one of them to say anything negative about this fetching, sophisticated, uproariously funny production.  I DARE them!


And I actually went to this show last night, prepared to NOT like it.  Despite what I'd been told by friends and colleagues who had seen it during its off-Broadway run at the Vineyard Theatre, the whole idea of puppets and people co-existing seemed a bit too "precious" to me.


I was wrong!


It all rang SO TRUE!  (Who among us hasn't been visited on numerous occasions by the "Bad Idea Bears" – in whatever form they may have taken in your personal menagerie of imaginary and/or drug-induced animals?)


Oh yeah, one of the biggest rounds of applause in the show comes toward the end during the song "For Now" when the characters are running down a list of things that are "temporary."  Our president's name is included.  The house came down!  Of course, this was on the same day that he said gay marriage should remain illegal, so one would guess El Presidente wasn't the most loved name in the news that particular e'en.  (I mention that just to jab at a nice fella who wrote me a poison e-mail after my political comment in the previous column.)

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"Broadway Bill" Schmalfeldt is the program director of XM Satellite Radio's On Broadway channel. A native of Clinton, Iowa, Bill began his broadcasting career in 1977. Since then, his career has taken him three-quarters of the way around the world, including a tour as a Navy broadcaster in Yokosuka, Japan and aboard the USS Midway.

Before coming to XM Satellite Radio, "The Jovial Impresario" was program director and morning talk show host at WGUF, Naples, FL. When not employed as a broadcaster, Bill also worked as a newspaper columnist and editor and as a long-haul truck driver. His hobbies include acting and singing in local theater venues. Visit onbroadway.xmradio.com for more info.