The question of gender parity in the theatre is a matter that has long been explored within our community. While recent Broadway seasons have taken encouraging steps toward better female representation, both on and offstage, the question of gender equality within the theatre continues to be a hotly debated issue across the theatrical sphere. (more...)
On April 1, 2017, R. Scott Williams will release 'An Odd Book: How the First Modern Pop Culture Reporter Conquered New York,' a biography of the life of Oscar Odd McIntyre, the first modern pop culture and entertainment reporter. It will be available on Amazon.com and through IngramSpark.
As the highest-paid and most-read columnist of his era, Odd McIntyre achieved great fame and fortune in the early twentieth century. Raised in Gallipolis, Ohio, eventually he moved to New York and became close friends with many of the leading personalities of the day, including writers Edna Ferber, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald; entertainers Fred Astaire, Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., Billie Burke, and Will Rogers; composers George Gershwin and Meredith Willson; actors Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin and many others.
In his daily column, 'New York Day by Day,' and in national magazines like Cosmopolitan and Life, Odd captured a time and place undergoing great transition and innovation in communication, politics, art and entertainment. As the country shifted from the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era and through the Great Depression, new technologies and methods of communication were being quickly adopted around the world, as were new ideas regarding journalism and the role of media in American politics and society. Odd, living and writing in New York, was at the epicenter of this new modern age.
'Odd documented the stories of what was happening backstage and behind the scenes with popular culture around the world,' said Williams, who is the chief operating officer of the Newseum in Washington, D.C. 'Odd was there as the telegraph changed the news business, and then as radio changed everything. He covered live entertainment as it shifted from vaudeville to something new and exciting on Broadway, and he had a literal front-row seat as moving pictures evolved first to nickelodeons, then to silent films, and finally to talkies.'
As a young journalist and editor in Ohio, Odd was one of the very first reporters to interview the Wright brothers in Dayton, and he worked side by side with early muckrakers to fight government corruption in Cincinnati. After moving to New York and working briefly as an assistant editor for Hampton's Magazine, he got a job as a Park Row newspaper reporter. One of his first assignments was interviewing Titanic survivors as they stepped onto the pier in New York. Later, McIntyre began working for music publisher Leo Feist on Tin Pan Alley, promoting songwriters, vaudeville and Broadway performers, musicians, and 'song pluggers.'
His success there led to many years as the press agent for Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., where he got to know many of the most popular performers of the day. In Paris, he became friends with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and others who came to be known as the 'Lost Generation,' while back in New York, he had a long-time feud with members of the group known as the 'Algonquin Round Table.'
His experience and connections in New York allowed him and his biggest champion, his wife Maybelle McIntyre, to start a daily column that they mailed from their small New York apartment to newspapers around the country. Eventually, Odd's column grew to reach more than seven million readers each day, making him a media superstar. In his 1938 obituary, a reporter for The New York Times wrote, 'His greatest stock-in-trade was his incarnate rapture at the glories of a New York recognizable to none but himself. To him the towers of Manhattan were studded with minarets and the neon lights of Broadway flickered like jewels.'
Only Odd's wife and closest friends knew his biggest secret. Throughout adulthood, he struggled with social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and severe depression that were likely brought on by undiagnosed pernicious anemia. Despite the extroverted 'man-about-town' image he projected to the world, his disorder eventually drove him to a reclusive lifestyle. He left his home only at night, and observed New York's nightlife from the window of his chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.
A special launch event will take place on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre in Odd's hometown of Gallipolis, Ohio where The Ohio Valley Symphony will perform Meredith Willson's 'O.O. McIntyre Suite.'
In anticipation of the book, Williams has also launched several social media initiatives to help the public learn more about Odd McIntyre and his work. Photos of the people, places and pop culture icons that Odd covered in his daily column will be featured at Instagram.com/ anoddbook, and short excerpts from Odd's articles will be shared on Twitter.com/anoddbook.
Williams noted, 'Because Odd's writing style frequently included short, cleverly written sentences, they still resonate remarkably well today in the 140-character Twitter format.' Additional content about Odd McIntyre and 'An Odd Book' will be shared on YouTube and at Facebook.com/anoddbook.
Links to these social network accounts, along with much more information about Odd McIntyre and the book launch, can be found at AnOddBook.com.
About R. Scott Williams
R. Scott Williams is the author of 'An Odd Book: How the First Modern Pop Culture Reporter Conquered New York,' available April 1 on Amazon.com and through IngramSpark. Williams is the chief operating officer and senior vice president of sales and marketing at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Williams earned his degree in journalism from the University of Memphis. He then held positions at several advertising agencies and organizations, including Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. He currently serves on the board of the D.C. chapter of the American Advertising Federation and on the board of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. He lives with his wife and daughters in historic Arlington, Va. Passionate about discovering and sharing forgotten stories from the past, in his spare time he explores the history of the American South, especially around his home in West Tennessee. His first book was 'The Forgotten Adventures of Richard Halliburton: From Tennessee to Timbuktu.'
High-resolution photos available on the book's press page at AnOddBook.com/press. (more...)
The Drama League (Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Executive Artistic Director), has named Shakina Nayfack the 2017 Beatrice Terry Artist in Residence Fellow, the second recipient of the award named in honor of the late Beatrice Terry, an alumna of The Drama League Directors Project. (more...)
The premiere of Show Boat on Broadway in 1927 was a watershed moment in the history of American musicals. Compared to the trivial and unrealistic operettas, light musical comedies and 'Follies'-type musical revues that defined Broadway in the 1890s and early 20th century, Show Boat was, according to the "Complete Book of Light Opera, "a radical departure in musical storytelling, marrying spectacle with seriousness." (more...)
Of the three shows currently running at the Guthrie, THE ROYAL FAMILY is definitely the lightweight, longer on comedy and razzle-dazzle production values than on importance. (The other two shows are KING LEAR and PROMISE LAND, a barebones physical theater take on the Hansel and Gretel tale retold as an immigrant story.) Loosely based on the Barrymore acting clan, THE ROYAL FAMILY follows three generations of a prominent and wealthy family of performers, with particular attention to the female line. (more...)
On Friday, March 31, 2017, The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW), a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting visibility and increasing opportunities for women in the professional theatre, is pleased to recognize the talents of six outstanding women: Carol Hall, Linda Cho, Lilieana Blain-Cruz, Liesl Tommy, Jess Chayes and Emily Simoness. (more...)
Robert J. Eagle, Producing Artistic Director of Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston, announces the company's much-anticipated 49th consecutive summer season at the Robinson Theatre (617 Lexington St. Waltham, MA, 02452), to run June-August, 2017. (more...)
As a musical theater librettist, lyricist and lifelong connoisseur of Broadway and Hollywood musicals, Frank Evans would have been extremely sad to learn about the passing of screen legend Debbie Reynolds on December 28. But given his sense of humor and ability for self-deprecation, Evans might have also gotten a perverse kick out of knowing he died on the same day as one of his film favorites. Franklin G. Evans, 70, died last Wednesday evening at Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, Brooklyn, due to complications from multiple strokes that ravaged his brain over the last couple of months of 2016. Evans, who also suffered from Parkinson's-related dementia and diabetes, had spent the last year rehabilitating from a serious concussion sustained last December. (more...)
As challenging a work of theatrical artistry that you could possibly conceive of, Parade affords BUMT students a sublime opportunity in pursuit of excellence in a production that vociferously demands to be seen and experienced. It is one of the year's best musicals in a Nashville theatrical season that has boasted one after another significant stage triumphs, with two leading performances that are stunning in their complexity and passionate delivery. (more...)
It's hard to believe that Jonathan Larson's epic rock musical masterpiece, Rent, debuted on Broadway, making headlines around the world, winning the Pulitzer Prize and bringing a whole new generation of audiences to the theater 20 years ago. Larson who died just prior to the show's 1996 off-Broadway opening didn't live to see the acclaim with which his musical - based upon Puccini's La Boheme - was greeted, but if we believe in such things, we may rest assured that since his untimely demise he has watched over Rent's evolution, which includes the 20th Anniversary production now touring the country in an astounding revival which reaffirms its place among the very best of American musical theater. (more...)
Harry Enfield will play studio boss Herman Glogauer in Christopher Hart's adaptation of Kaufman and Hart's classic Hollywood comedy, Once in a Lifetime.
Enfield is joined in the cast of Richard Jones' production by John Marquez as George and Claudie Blakley as May, with further casting still to be announced. (more...)
This limited season of Daniel Evans' five star Sheffield Crucible production of SHOW BOAT today commences its final four weeks, playing its last West End performance at the New London Theatre on Saturday on 27 August 2016. (more...)
SHOW BOAT inaugurates a partnership between Fiddlehead Theatre and Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre. The lavish, spectacular production is co-directed by Meg Fofonoff and Stacey Stephens, features a 27-piece live orchestra, and a cast of 50 triple-threat performers. The costumes by Stephens are to die for and the musical numbers are triumphant. If only it had a little more heart. (more...)
Fiddlehead Theatre Company presents Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's 1927 masterpiece SHOW BOAT at the Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont Street, Boston, from today, June 22-July 3, 2016. (more...)
Today in 1946, the second Broadway revival of Showboat opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre, and ran for 418 performances. Show Boat is a musical in two acts with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. It was originally produced in New York in 1927 and in London in 1928, and was based on the 1926 novel of the same name by Edna Ferber. The plot chronicles the lives of those living and working on the Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River show boat, from 1880 to 1927. The show's dominant themes include racial prejudice and tragic, enduring love. (more...)
Meg Fofonoff and Stacey Stephens, Producing Artistic Directors of Fiddlehead Theatre Company, announced today the cast of Show Boat, the company's first production in partnership with the Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont Street, Boston. Show Boat will run for twelve performances from June 22-July 3, 2016. Co-Directed by Fofonoff and Stephens, Show Boat will feature a cast of 50 starring seasoned international and off-Broadway performers including Kim Corbett (West Side Story, Les Miserables) as Magnolia Hawks, Jeremiah James (The Fantasticks) as Gaylord Ravenal, Lindsay Roberts (The Gershwins' Porgy And Bess) as Queenie, and Brian Kinnard (Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story) as Joe. Show Boat is Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's epic of life on the Mississippi River with some of the most beautiful and influential music ever written for the stage including 'Ol'Man River,' 'Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man' and 'Bill.' Show Boat will be choreographed by Wendy Hall, with a 27-piece live orchestra under the direction of Charles Peltz. (more...)
This limited season of Daniel Evans' five star Sheffield Crucible production of Show Boat will now play its final West End performance on 27 August 2016. The production was previously announced to be booking to 7 January 2017. (more...)
What happens when a group of teenagers idolize a celebrity - a figure from popular culture whose charisma ensures he will live on forever despite his death at a young age - reunite some 20 years later to further venerate their crush and to recall his impact on their young lives? That's the question considered in Ed Graczyk's Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, the tragicomedy now onstage as the final production of ACT 1's 2015-16 season at Nashville's Darkhorse Theater. (more...)