Wit Broadway

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by Ben Peltz - December 29, 2011
Hang around the theatre long enough and you grow accustomed to hearing the word 'problematic' applied primarily to two things: a Shakespeare play that's not one of his better efforts or the book of a musical that's rarely revived, despite an excellent score.
by Broadway Beat - December 18, 2011
Manhattan Theatre Club's upcoming Broadway premiere of WIT, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Margaret Edson, directed by Lynne Meadow, will start previews Thursday, January 5 and open Thursday, January 26 at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. WIT features Pun Bandhu (Technician), Olivier Award winner Suzanne Bertish (E.M. Ashford), Michael Countryman (Harvey Kelekian/Mr. Bearing), Jessica Dickey (Technician), Chiké Johnson (Technician), Greg Keller (Jason Posner), Tony and Emmy Award winner Cynthia Nixon (Vivian Bearing), Carra Patterson (Susie Monahan), and Zachary Spicer (Technician). The company met the press on Tuesday, Decmber 13 and BroadwayBeat was on hand for interviews with Cynthia Nixona and Lynn Meadow. Click below to check it out!
by Walter McBride - December 13, 2011
Manhattan Theatre Club's upcoming Broadway premiere of WIT, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Margaret Edson, directed by Lynne Meadow, will start previews Thursday, January 5 and open Thursday, January 26 at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. WIT features Pun Bandhu (Technician), Olivier Award winner Suzanne Bertish (E.M. Ashford), Michael Countryman (Harvey Kelekian/Mr. Bearing), Jessica Dickey (Technician), Chike Johnson (Technician), Greg Keller (Jason Posner), Tony and Emmy Award winner Cynthia Nixon (Vivian Bearing), Carra Patterson (Susie Monahan), and Zachary Spicer (Technician). Today, the company met the press and BroadwayWorld was on hand for the photo op!
by Ben Peltz - September 22, 2011
This week I had my first experience with the joyful adult visual fantasia known as Arias With A Twist; a madcap collaboration between puppeteer/designer/director Basil Twist and cross-dressing chanteuse Joey Arias that first hit town three years ago. It's an eye-popping blast.
by BWW News Desk - September 6, 2011
Single tickets are available now for Manhattan Theatre Club's upcoming Broadway productions of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play WIT by Margaret Edson, directed by Lynne Meadow starring Tony and Emmy Award winner Cynthia Nixon and the world premiere of THE COLUMNIST by David Auburn, directed by Daniel Sullivan starring Tony and Emmy Award winner John Lithgow.
by BWW News Desk - July 20, 2011
Manhattan Theatre Club has just announced that Tony and Emmy Award winner Cynthia Nixon will return to MTC to star in the Broadway premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play WIT by Margaret Edson, directed by MTC's award-winning Artistic Director Lynne Meadow. The limited engagement of WIT will begin previews Thursday, January 5, 2012 and open Thursday, January 26, 2012 at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
by Ben Peltz - April 25, 2011
If there's one thing this town can't resist it's a gal who can reinvent herself, and in director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall's smashing new revival of the Cole Porter classic, Anything Goes, Sutton Foster foregoes the spunky wholesomeness that made her a Broadway star for a sleek, sophisticated and sexy turn as nightclub singer turned evangelist, Reno Sweeney.
by Ben Peltz - April 20, 2011
When the 1920s crooner heartthrob Rudy Vallee made his return to Broadway in the 1961 original production of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, he wasn't exactly known as an actor, and certainly not known as a comedian who might excel in a scalding satire of the ups and downs of the corporate ladder.  So when director Abe Burrows guided him through the role of J.B. Biggley, the feared and revered President of World-Wide Wickets, he gave him specific instructs... don't be funny.  Since the brilliant comic scribe Burrows was also writing the book for How To Succeed... (starting from Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert's straight play draft) he knew exactly how to surround the star with daffy characters and plant him into silly situations while keeping him obliviously normal.  By not really giving a performance, but by being Rudy Vallee saying lines and singing songs, the used-to-be has-been had audiences rolling with laughter.
by Ben Peltz - March 15, 2011
In the roughly five years between November of 1935 and December of 1940, the team of Rodgers and Hart opened nine new musicals on Broadway.  These included revolutionary shows like On Your Toes, which changed the use of dance in musical theatre, and the underappreciated Pal Joey, which brought new sophistication to the characters and themes that could be featured in a musical.  There were also popular hits like Babes In Arms, The Boys From Syracuse, Jumbo and Too Many Girls that introduced classic American songbook entries like 'My Funny Valentine,' 'The Lady Is A Tramp,' 'Falling In Love With Love,' 'My Romance' and 'I Didn't Know What Time It Was.'
by Ben Peltz - February 13, 2011
The Red Bull Theater, those specialists in making Jacobean drama hip without going hipster, have assembled an excellent company for Jesse Berger's vividly realized mounting of the 1621 rarity, The Witch of Edmonton.
by Ben Peltz - November 12, 2010
While Ira Levin will forever be remembered as the novelist who made the phrases 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'Stepford Wives' indelible entries into American pop culture, devotees of musical theatre fondly regard him as the bookwriter/lyricist for one of Broadway's more intriguing flops, 1965's Drat! The Cat!
by Ben Peltz - July 17, 2010
In Ten Reasons I Won't Go Home With You, now playing as part of the Midtown InterNational Theatre Festival, actress/stand-up comic Kelly Nichols plays Katie, a smart, funny and single New Yorker looking to find her one true love.  But as bookwriter of the show, which is inspired by her own dating highs and lows, Nichols is happy playing the field; seeking out and supervising the work of seven composer/lyricist combinations to create the score.  I asked her about this unusual process for creating a new musical.
by Ben Peltz - July 15, 2010
I'll be blunt.  I'm not going to go into much detail about the problems with composer/bookwriter Rob Broadhurst and lyricist/bookwriter Brent Black's teenage Faustian musical, I'll Be Damned, since it's a fledgling effort and the Jaradoa Theater Company offers seats for a comparatively low price.  The production will certainly be perking up the interest of Broadway fans with its casting of the broad and belty Mary Testa and popular up-and-comer Kenita R. Miller playing featured roles, but the piece is not ready to be reviewed.
by Kristin Salaky - August 26, 2009
I think it's important to report right from the outset that several times during The Public's outdoor production of Euripides' ancient Greek drama, The Bacchae, I looked down to discover that I was involuntarily tapping my toes to Philip Glass' new score. It's not that the master minimalist had peppered the centuries-old text with a collection of Jerry Hermanish showtunes, but that the tandem work of Glass' scoring for synth, brass and percussion and Nicholas Rudall's brisk, modern-sounding translation produced an irresistible give-and-take between speech and tone. No mere incidentals, Glass' airy, elongated pitches, frequently lush and at times strikingly accented, carry equal weight as the spoken words; echoing, answering back, subtextualizing and, most importantly, pushing the production toward its inevitable climax. If the composer's contribution is the 90-minute evening's most memorable, that's not to discredit the rest of director JoAnne Akalaitis' always interesting (if sometimes lacking for passion) production.
by Kristin Salaky - August 6, 2009
I suppose the cocktail conversation among certain factions of the Off-Broadway community this summer will be centered around whether the ending of Lila Rose Kaplan's Wildflower a) thoroughly ruined the play, b) logically brought all the play's diverse pieces together or c) was just another example of the evening's well-intentioned flaws. I lean toward the latter.
by Kristin Salaky - February 15, 2009
Near the conclusion of Will Ferrell's You're Welcome America. A Final Night With George W. Bush the actor/playwright takes a brief respite from the evening's frivolity to have his title character express sincere emotions that are no doubt shared by everyone in his audience. He looks down with a sorrowful expression and his voice even quivers a bit as he speaks of the brave men and women of the military, and the civilians as well, who have died under his command. He feels grief for those who have lost their spouses, and for the children who have lost parents, because of decisions he felt were best for the nation. Whether or not you believe our former president experiences that same grief, the sincerity of the man portraying him is evident, and the moment of silence he requests becomes a bonding moment for all of those present.
by Kristin Salaky - November 21, 2008
For the benefit of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Equus star Daniel Radcliffe will be auctioning off the pair of Lucky Brand Jeans he wears in the show after matinee performances on November 22, 29 and December 6. What do you think? Tell us in our new poll…
by Michael Dale - July 21, 2008
First things first; there is no hot air ballooning in Mark Brown's stage adaptation of Jules Verne's Around The World In 80 Days, just in case your only familiarity with the plot comes from Michael Todd's not exactly faithful 1956 movie version. (For that matter, there aren't any martial arts fight scenes either, in case you only saw the Jackie Chan remake.) But if Verne's hero did dabble in a bit of ballooning, I'm sure Brown and director Michael Evan Haney would have found some clever way to depict it in this lively and entertaining little production that's landed at the Irish Repertory Theatre in association with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
by Michael Dale - April 3, 2008
That happy gentleman on the left is the legendary American playwright Robert Patrick, and what he has in his hands is a long-time dream of his; a plaque to commemorate the life of Joe Cino.  Fifty years ago Joe Cino opened the doors to his Caffe Cino, now regarded as the birthplace of both the Off-Off Broadway movement and the American Gay Theatre movement, to playwrights willing to mount productions on his tiny 8' x 8' stage.  Among those who walked in were Lanford Wilson, Tom Eyen, Doric Wilson, Sam Shepard, William Hoffman, John Guare, and, of course, Robert Patrick.  Cino didn't even read the scripts.  Most of the time he would ask the playwright his astrological sign and if he liked the answer an opening night was set.  Musical theatre fans know the Cino as the place where Bernadette Peters starred in the original one-act version of Dames At Sea. 
by Michael Dale - March 25, 2008
How's this for weird…  On Sunday night I saw a show where a straight guy spoke for an hour and fifteen minutes about how people mistake him for gay because of his interests and not once did he mention anything about musical theatre.  Not once!  If nothing else, I give Paul Stroili points for not using the most obvious cliché.