The web geek in me generally HATES the (over)use of Flash on any web site, and especially those for Broadway shows. It's often unneeded, slow loading and also makes the site behave crankily on all Apple mobile devices.
All that said, after an eagle-eyed BWW Message Board-er spotted this VERY clever usage on the PETER AND THE STARCATCHER web site, well, it's excellent.
Talking to the London Times, Stephen Sondheim sounds off about much of the current state of commercial theatre, noting that while he can appreciate hits such as The Book of Mormon as a "fun college show", in response to the idea that this perceived trend could be permanent, Sondheim remarks: "I think so. Commercial theatre will only get more narrow as time goes on. There are so many forms of entertainment, theatre is becoming more marginalised. It's become ‘an event': you see Wicked on your anniversary. I don't think commercial theatre can fulfil a function as a constant feeding ground for emotions and thoughts."
The digital theatre world lit up earlier today (as did our live traffic meters) with the news, first reported by the London Evening Standard that Stephen Sondheim and David Ives have teamed up on a new musical, which is currently in the earliest phases of composition. According to the Standard: "Sondheim speaks of pushing forward and says he has "20 or 30 minutes" written of a new musical that he is collaborating on with American playwright David Ives, a New York regular little known in London."
We reached the legend himself who told us that "it's an idea I've had for a long time and that it springs indirectly from a moment in a play of David's."
Theatre has more than its share of armchair quarterbacks who enjoy prognosticating (bitching) about...well...everything, ESPECIALLY the how and why of the show selection at the very popular Encores! series at City Center.
Next up for the series is Rodgers and Hammerstein's PIPE DREAM, which will star Leslie Uggams, Will Chase, James Clow, James Moye, Laura Osnes, Steve Routman, Leslie Uggams, Stephen Wallem and Tom Wopat.
So, how and why did they select PIPE DREAM?
Encores! Artistic Director Jack Viertel explains exactly why ... here.
Posted on: Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 11:27 AM Posted by:Robert Diamond
Long-time no blog, as my every free waking computer minute has been devoted as of late to some recent and upcoming site updates on both the back and front end. (If you haven't admired our new article, people and show pages - check 'em out, and there's MUCH more on the way including other features coming to those three). We've also more than quadrupled our server speed and capabilities to prepare for some other new features and our ever-expanding traffic.
Back to today's blog, I'd often disagreed with his reviews, but I was still saddened on Friday evening to learn of the passing of longtime theatre critic Howard Kissel, most known for his long tenure at the New York Daily News. His well-known biography of David Merrick - The Abominable Showman has long been amongst my favorite theatre reads; I even re-read (and re-purchased) it on the Kindle a couple of years back. If you haven't read it yet, you're missing out.
We've been running Equity audition notices on BroadwayWorld.com for more than a year now, and not a day goes by that we haven't gotten a slew of requests from both readers and from casting directors to start posting notices for other audition opportunities, both large and small.
To that end, we've unveiled a Non Equity Auditions section of the site which now contains free listings for audition opportunities around the country with all the same features that our Equity center includes like our instant search, chart views, regional browsing, daily and instant email alerts and lots more.
We announced this news late last week on the site itself, but wanted to share my excitement here as well... Since then, we've already made more improvements including restaurant menus for all of our listings! More to come, very soon...
BroadwayWorld.com, the largest theatre site on the Internet is excited to unveil the first in a series of massive 2012 expansion plans - complete and expanded coast to coast show listings.
Complete show listings are now available for all of BroadwayWorld.com's 100 regional U.S., and 20 International markets (with additional 20 launches planned for January), allowing theater goers for the first time ever to easily browse, and search globally for Musicals, Plays, Concerts, Cabarets, Special Theatrical Events, Opera, Dance, and other live stage productions.
Updated daily, this whopping listing of over 25,000 current and upcoming productions in more than 10,000 theatres includes professional productions, amateur productions, school productions (both high schools and colleges), and more!
All show listings are linked in to the site's unsurpassed content system to provide links to news stories, cast features, photos, videos & more for each show. And speaking of content, you can also contribute by clicking on a show title and uploading media (including links, photos, videos and cast lists) using the forms located on right of the listing.
That's not all though...We know that nothing goes together with a good show like an equally good meal - so all regional listings now including the ability to find, display and make reservations at more than 20,000 neighboring restaurants. All restaurant listings include such useful information on the average price of meals, cuisine types, menu descriptions and innovative mapping that shows its distance and a direct route to the theatre.
While users can browse regional shows both through the site's dedicated regional homepages, they may also use our Pick-a-Show feature. Users can now enter their zip code to find regional shows (musicals, plays, opera, dance, comedy, concerts, amateur and school productions and more) near them across the country.
Posted on: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 @ 09:00 AM Posted by:Robert Diamond
Ok, ok, so I 'lied' yesterday when I said that we were done unveiling sneak peeks at our January 2012 site upgrades in 2011, but, here we go!
In this case though, we know how hard it is for performers to book a job, so anything we can do to lessen the struggle of knowing what auditions are coming up, is the least we can do.
We've just unveiled a snazzy (if I do say so myself) revamp of our popular Auditions Center for all your Equity audition needs including a faster and more accurate search, a new chart view, the ability to browse by region and date added/updated, to see when a notice was posted, and to email a notice to yourself and/or friends when you see it along with some other bells and whistles.
We weren't planning on unveiling any of the (many) new features & updates cooking in the BWW kitchens until 2012, but ... patience was never on the short list of things that I'm good at. The ever-popular Broadway Grosses section of the site just got several major upgrades including some visual enhancements, iPad/iPhone compatibility, many new chart & graph types, year by year comparisons and other nifty features that are too numerous to list.
I for one loved Scarlett Johansson's Broadway debut last season opposite Liev Schrieber in their explosive production of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE. While we're all eagerly anticipating whatever she does on stage next -- a new BIOGRAPHY Channel profile (with an appearance by BWW's own Pat Cerasaro) -- covers her career on stage and off to date. Check for upcoming listings here.
Posted on: Monday, December 26, 2011 @ 09:19 AM Posted by:Robert Diamond
Our general inbox has been getting slammed today with copies of an article in today's The New York Times which talks about the success that not-entirely-successful Broadway shows like THE ADDAMS FAMILY are now having on the road, with that show for example earning $995,000 in Buffalo last week.
In fact, that city is considered to have one of the highest margins for touring shows, the market for which is as large across the country as Broadway itself.
The article delves into a thorny issue though, the long-held belief that road presenters, who make up at least 15 percent of Tony voters often vote with their wallets as well as their hearts. Here's what the article has to say:
Several of these road presenters said in interviews that touring potential was a factor in their Tony votes, but noted that they voted chiefly on artistic merit.
"I'm a human being, so to say how a show would play in Cleveland is not a factor in Tony voting would not be true," said Gina Vernaci, vice president of theatricals at Cleveland PlayhouseSquare, another prime destination for tours. "But Cleveland wants quality shows, artistically compelling shows, enjoyable shows, as much as New Yorkers."
Mr. Conte, a former banker in Buffalo and Shea's board member who became president of the theater in 2000, recalled admiring the Broadway show "Spring Awakening" but voted for "Mary Poppins" instead for best musical that year. He said "the tough love story," flashes of nudity, and dark themes of "Spring Awakening" were "not my thing," and he also did not envision the show as appealing to his subscribers. "Spring Awakening" went on to win the Tony for best musical; the show's national tour had a brief run at the University of Buffalo, but not at Shea's.
So, are they voting with their hearts, wallets, or both? Those interviewed for the article, seem to be striking as close to the right balance as possible -- what do you think about the rest?
Posted on: Saturday, December 24, 2011 @ 05:10 PM Posted by:Robert Diamond
I blogged last week about comedian Louis C.K.'s 'digital experiment' in which he filmed 2 new stand-up comedy shows, pro-shot, 6 cameras at the Beacon in New York City (cost = $170,000, covered mostly by live ticket sales) and decided to sell them online on a new web site (cost = $32,000) for $5.
7 Days ago he'd sold 110,000+ copies, for a total of $500,000... Now? He's broken $1 million and has announced that he'll be donating 25% to charity. Watch him talk about the success below on Jimmy Fallon.
Posted on: Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 08:29 AM Posted by:Robert Diamond
From the UK Guardian... "A teenage juror, who interrupted a trial when he pretended to be ill so that he could go and see a London stage show, has been detained for 14 days, the Judicial Communications Office said on Thursday."
Learning what I have in the last 8 years of running BroadwayWorld.com, I can only imagine what the next 32 have in store before I catch up with the UK Guardian's Michael Billington. In a wide-ranging piece, the legendary critic answers reader questions on a variety of subjects ranging from his personal favorites, to how much he lets past productions into his mind when reviewing revivals, advice for those looking to get into arts criticism and lots more.
Comedian Louis C.K. has written on his web site this morning about the (successful) results of a digital content experiment that he's tried. In a nutshell, he filmed 2 new stand-up comedy shows, pro-shot, 6 cameras at the Beacon in New York City (cost = $170,000, covered mostly by live ticket sales) and decided to sell them online on a new web site (cost = $32,000) for $5.
His theory was that if he sold it himself for a low price, with no middle men, that piracy would be limited and naturally his share of the profits would be higher.
What'd he learned from the experiment? They've now sold 110,000+ copies, for a total of $500,000, resulting in a profit of around $200,000.
And actually, he's now sold 110,001 since I just bought it as well.
Posted on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 10:02 AM Posted by:Robert Diamond
During a performance last week, Spacey, the would-be Duke of Gloucester, singled out the phone owner and bellowed "Tell them we're busy!". The audience erupted in support.
The following night, he shone a laser light at some theatregoers who were heard to rustle and whisper within earshot of the king.
"Quick as you like [he] dipped into his tunic and withdrew a green laser light, pointing it at the offending audience members who, we are told, were suitably chastised," reported the Sydney Morning Herald.
Spacey has long been hostile towards misbehaving theatre audiences. As artistic director of the Old Vic, which produced the current production, he denounced noisy sweet wrappers and declared the theatre a "phone-free zone".
In Sydney for a 10-day run of the Sam Mendes-directed play, Spacey has attracted mixed reviews for his performances but consistently high praise for his rebukes.
Justified or over the top?
Posted on: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 10:21 AM Posted by:Robert Diamond