Amanda Prahl

Amanda Prahl


MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

She Believed She Could: Princesses, Producing, and PUFFS with Sally Cade HolmesShe Believed She Could: Princesses, Producing, and PUFFS with Sally Cade Holmes
Posted: Jul. 4, 2018


She Believed She Could: A Dresser's Day with SUMMER's LJ WrightShe Believed She Could: A Dresser's Day with SUMMER's LJ Wright
Posted: Jun. 27, 2018


BWW Album Review: Jason Robert Brown Teaches Us To React And RecoverAlbum Review: Jason Robert Brown Teaches Us To React And Recover
Posted: Jul. 5, 2018


She Believed She Could: Ariana DeBose Takes Center StageShe Believed She Could: Ariana DeBose Takes Center Stage
Posted: Jul. 19, 2018


BWW Album Review: HERE WE GO AGAIN with MAMMA MIA 2Album Review: MAMMA MIA! Here We Go Again!
Posted: Jul. 19, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Exclusive: At This Performance: The Rise Of The Broadway UnderstudyAt This Performance: The Rise Of The Broadway Understudy
Posted: Dec. 15, 2017


She Believed She Could: Princesses, Producing, and PUFFS with Sally Cade HolmesShe Believed She Could: Princesses, Producing, and PUFFS with Sally Cade Holmes
Posted: Jul. 4, 2018


BWW Review: The Best and Worst of the 2018 Tonys Broadcast!BWW Review: The Best and Worst of the 2018 Tonys Broadcast!
Posted: Jun. 11, 2018


She Believed She Could: A Dresser's Day with SUMMER's LJ WrightShe Believed She Could: A Dresser's Day with SUMMER's LJ Wright
Posted: Jun. 27, 2018


She Believed She Could: Laura Osnes & Benjamin Rauhala on the Fairytale of The Broadway Princess PartyShe Believed She Could: Laura Osnes & Benjamin Rauhala on the Fairytale of The Broadway Princess Party
Posted: Jun. 20, 2018


BWW Album Review: THE BAND'S VISIT Floats In On A Jasmine WindAlbum Review: THE BAND'S VISIT Floats In On A Jasmine Wind
Posted: Dec. 15, 2017


BWW Album Review: HERE WE GO AGAIN with MAMMA MIA 2BWW Album Review: HERE WE GO AGAIN with MAMMA MIA 2
July 19, 2018

Let's be honest: it doesn't really matter what I, or any critic, have to say about Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again. We know what we're signing up for: campy, fun covers of ABBA songs, a plot that only sort of matters, a bunch of stars having an absolute blast, and pretty island panoramas. The movie's soundtrack, much like its predecessor, rides more on the delightful fun of the songs than on their emotional depth or Broadway-ready performances. The key difference between this soundtrack and the 2008 original is that the former plays, at least in part, to audiences' affection for the latter. In fact, several moments correspond almost directly, giving us a chance to see how far these characters have (or have not) come, which covers for the fact that most of these songs are pulled from ABBA's second tier.

She Believed She Could: Ariana DeBose Takes Center StageShe Believed She Could: Ariana DeBose Takes Center Stage
July 19, 2018

If there's a word to define Ariana DeBose, it's 'authentic.' The actress - currently appearing in her Tony-nominated role of Disco Donna in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical on Broadway - revels in her uniqueness and brings her particular blend of thoughtful craft and forward thinking to everything she does.

BWW Album Review: Jason Robert Brown Teaches Us To React And RecoverBWW Album Review: Jason Robert Brown Teaches Us To React And Recover
July 5, 2018

The name "Jason Robert Brown" on a piece of music can strike joy in the hearts of singers and listeners (and mild trepidation in the hands of pianists everywhere). The Tony-winning composer has created a sound that has helped define contemporary musical theatre: pop-tinged melodies combined with lyrics that are alternately conversational and elegant, but always embrace the marvelous possibilities of language. His new album, How We React and How We Recover, takes on the uncertainties of today's world with his trademark wry honesty.

She Believed She Could: Princesses, Producing, and PUFFS with Sally Cade HolmesShe Believed She Could: Princesses, Producing, and PUFFS with Sally Cade Holmes
July 4, 2018

"Finding the art in forward motion." That's how producer Sally Cade Holmes describes her work, and it's an apt - and elegant - description of the nebulous, multifaceted world of theatre producing. From festival credits to the off-Broadway favorite Puffs, or, Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic to the Broadway hit musical Anastasia, Holmes has often found herself working on productions that tap into audience's hearts and minds.

She Believed She Could: A Dresser's Day with SUMMER's LJ WrightShe Believed She Could: A Dresser's Day with SUMMER's LJ Wright
June 27, 2018

Six days a week, a hour or so before the stars of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical sign in on the callboard, dresser LJ Wright arrives at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre to help lay the groundwork for the day's show(s). By the time Tony-nominated star Ariana DeBose arrives, Wright has set up her costumes and is ready to assist with any other prep the actress needs. For most audience members, Wright is one of the invisible hands they don't even think about. For industry professionals, Wright is among the group that holds a show together.

She Believed She Could: Laura Osnes & Benjamin Rauhala on the Fairytale of The Broadway Princess PartyShe Believed She Could: Laura Osnes & Benjamin Rauhala on the Fairytale of The Broadway Princess Party
June 20, 2018

What place does a fairytale have in the modern world? Unlike Cinderella's slipper, there's no one perfect fit of an answer, but two of Broadway's favorites have been exploring this question through a popular concert/cabaret series. The Broadway Princess Party, the brainchild of two-time Tony-nominated actress Laura Osnes and music director Benjamin Rauhala, combines a tongue-in-cheek sensibility with a warm affection for musical princess characters and their stories. With the concerts, Osnes and Rauhala have created a space that celebrates music, joy, and a healthy dose of girl power.

BWW Review: The Best and Worst of the 2018 Tonys Broadcast!BWW Review: The Best and Worst of the 2018 Tonys Broadcast!
June 11, 2018

Last night, the 72nd annual Tony Awards rewarded some of the biggest (and smallest) shows on Broadway. Missed the broadcast or want to relive the highlights? I've got you covered: I watched the entire show, notepad in hand; below are some of the biggest moments of the night.

BWW Album Review: Versatility on Display with Mandy Gonzalez's FEARLESS B-SidesBWW Album Review: Versatility on Display with Mandy Gonzalez's FEARLESS B-Sides
June 3, 2018

Mandy Gonzelez's Fearless, released last winter, combined original tracks with some sweet Broadway nostalgia. More than that, it became the jumping-off point for an online community, nickednamed the #FearlessSquad, that brought people together for straightforward, honest inspiration and support. With the release of the Fearless B-sides, we get to see a different side of Gonzalez: not just the warm, bright presence with a huge voice, but a set of songs that highlight a meditative, sometimes sultry richness.

BWW Album Review: MY FAIR LADY Is Beyond 'Loverly'BWW Album Review: MY FAIR LADY Is Beyond 'Loverly'
June 8, 2018

If you've ever been involved in high school or community theatre, you probably have a My Fair Lady memory. Mine is of my junior year of high school, waltzing around in a vintage amber-colored gown (complete with mildly uncomfortable vintage proportions) and trying desperately to hang onto the alto harmonies despite my utter lack of singing talent (I managed, but Marni Nixon I was not). But it was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life, and listening to the lush, glorious cast recording for Lincoln Center's revival brought back all those warm memories in the best way. For newcomers just discovering this classic gem, it's a delightful introduction. For longtime aficionados, it'll have you dancing all night.

BWW Album Review: Audra McDonald Sings Us All HappyBWW Album Review: Audra McDonald Sings Us All Happy
May 21, 2018

When you listen to an Audra McDonald album or concert, you can probably have a pretty good idea of what you're signing up for: exquisite vocals and a broad swath of the best selections of the American theatre. Her latest album, the recorded-live Sing Happy, delivers all this and more, with stunning vocals and a handful of tracks that capture McDonald's natural, charismatic rapport with her audience.

BWW Album Review: Lesli Margherita Is Queen Of Her KINGDOMBWW Album Review: Lesli Margherita Is Queen Of Her KINGDOM
May 14, 2018

The first thing you ought to know about Lesli Margherita is that her Twitter handle is @QueenLesli. Actually, that might tell you all you need to know about this always wry, deeply fabulous singer-actress who's become a staple of the theatre world over the course of the past decade: she's a diva and she owns it, but with a tongue-in-cheek dose of self-deprecation that invites us all in to the joke. In the live album of her Rule Your Kingdom show - recorded live at Feinstein's/54 Below - we get to listen in as she belts and banters through a rollicking set.

BWW Album Review: Kate Rockwell Embraces Her RootsBWW Album Review: Kate Rockwell Embraces Her Roots
April 30, 2018

Kate Rockwell has made a career out of the peppy, poppy musicals that have been the hallmark of the past decade of Broadway, most recently as the hilarious ditzy Karen Smith in Mean Girls. But on her debut album, Back To My Roots, she steps away from these characters, instead compiling together the songs she dreamed of performing as a young aspiring actress. The result is a delightfully unexpected combination of comic patter, diva belting, and beautiful ballads that highlight Rockwell's talent and range.

BWW Album Review: PRINCE OF BROADWAY Honors Broadway RoyaltyBWW Album Review: PRINCE OF BROADWAY Honors Broadway Royalty
April 20, 2018

Among the Broadway names of the past several decades, producer and director Hal Prince surely stands as one of the greatest. His name has been attached to some of the most iconic musicals of all time: She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Evita, Sweeney Todd, and The Phantom of the Opera, just to name a few. The musical Prince of Broadway featured an all-star cast taking audiences on a journey through some of the highlights of Prince's career, and the cast album is a best-of-the-best compilation, preserving some of the brightest performances and clever takes on these well-loved songs.

BWW Exclusive: Girl Gangs and Backstage Antics with the Backstage BlondeBWW Exclusive: Girl Gangs and Backstage Antics with the Backstage Blonde
April 17, 2018

Teale Dvornik is not easy to categorize. On the one hand, she works in one of the least visible jobs in the theatre industry, as a dresser at Wicked on Broadway. On the other hand, she's quickly become one of the rising digital stars of the theatre industry. To her nearly nineteen thousand followers on Instagram, Twitter, and her blog, she's the 'Backstage Blonde,' a unique hybrid of technical-theatre-geek, style expert, and cool-girl-influencer.

BWW Album Review: WORKING Hard For Its MoneyBWW Album Review: WORKING Hard For Its Money
April 10, 2018

Joining the ranks of the thoroughly-revised musicals is Working, whose latest cast recording debuted from its recent London cast. The musical, with a score by Stephen Schwartz and book and lyrics by Schwartz and assorted collaborators, originally debuted on Broadway in 1978, where it flopped rather spectacularly. It's a Chorus Line-esque collection of stories based on interviews with workers from across America, from housewives to teachers to craftsmen and more.

BWW Album Review: KRIS KRINGLE THE MUSICAL Is A Lot of Christmas CheerBWW Album Review: KRIS KRINGLE THE MUSICAL Is A Lot of Christmas Cheer
March 12, 2018

Is there such a thing as too much Christmas cheer? The creators of Kris Kringle: The Musical, out now as a studio cast recording, certainly don't think so. The upbeat, cheery tale of an earnest dreamer of a toymaker is as light and sweet as a sugar cookie loaded with red-and-green frosting. Its substance, however, is similar to that sugary treat: delightful at first, but just a little too much after a while.

BWW Album Review: ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Revives A Classic TaleBWW Album Review: ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Revives A Classic Tale
February 23, 2018

There's a certain reliability to a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. You can count on elegant orchestrations, tidy and effective lyrics, and a heartfelt yet epic tale. All of this and more can be found on the new cast recording of the revival of Once On This Island, a Caribbean-tinged fairytale about love, destiny, and sacrifice. It's a lushly produced recording that balances the voices of the chorus with quieter character moments.

BWW Album Review: HAMLISCH UNCOVERED Will Make You 'Smile'BWW Album Review: HAMLISCH UNCOVERED Will Make You 'Smile'
January 12, 2018

In the creative world, there are few names as admired and respected as Marvin Hamlisch. One of only two people to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and Pulitzer (the other being Richard Rodgers), his contributions to the American music canon have been lauded and have entered the popular imagination. On the new album Hamlisch Uncovered, the great composer's songbook is opened up to share previously unrecorded gems, with the help of an array of Broadway stars.

BWW Exclusive: At This Performance: The Rise Of The Broadway UnderstudyBWW Exclusive: At This Performance: The Rise Of The Broadway Understudy
December 15, 2017

Understudies on Broadway are nothing new. What is new, however or at least newly noticeable is the growing eagerness of fans to see such a performance.

BWW Album Review: THE BAND'S VISIT Floats In On A Jasmine WindBWW Album Review: THE BAND'S VISIT Floats In On A Jasmine Wind
December 15, 2017

Bet Hatikvah, the small town that is the setting for The Band's Visit, is utterly unremarkable. But unremarkable is the last adjective one would use to describe the score for this new musical, about an Egyptian police orchestra who, thanks to a linguistic mix-up, find themselves stranded overnight in a tiny Israeli town. Written by Tony nominee David Yazbek, the music ranges from haunting and ethereal to rousing and comedic, weaving together the structures and storytelling needs of musical theatre with melodies and orchestrations that are undeniably, authentically Middle Eastern. The end result is a score that takes a moment to absorb fully, but once it does, it's hard to stop thinking about.



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