In the wake of executive orders trying to protect the country from interior and exterior threats, this story feels all too familiar. There are those Americans rallying against the “Muslim Ban” and those who either don’t see a problem with it or don’t feel it’s their place to speak up. Allegiance is technically a look at the past, but it’s also a frightening possibility for our future. Continue reading What Makes a (Hu)man: Allegiance Back in Theaters Feb. 19→
A couple of months back, we spent some time easing on down the road and talked about NBC’s The Wiz Live production, coming to your TV sets this December. Now, official photos have been released, and we can finally get our first look at Dorothy (newcomer Shanice Williams) and her pals (David Allan Grier, Ne-Yo, and Elijah Kelly.)
NBC, the makers of the Sound of Music and Peter Pan live broadcasts are at it again this holiday season, this time doing something less Mary Martin and more Motown. If you haven’t heard yet, NBC will be producing a live TV production of The Wiz, the beloved cult hit re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz. And to add further to that joyous announcement, the team has recently picked their Dorothy, by choosing newcomer Shanice Williams, along with stars David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion, Stephanie Mills as Aunt Em, and Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige as The Wiz and Wicked Witch, respectively.
And so in celebration of the news, here are some Theater Thursday approved choices for the rest of TheWiz cast. Now come “ease on down” our article road to see some dream-casting picks!
When people think of Broadway’s current leading ladies, the names that often get tossed around are Laura Osnes, Sutton Foster, and Audra McDonald. While all of these women are wonderful, Broadway and Off-Broadway have slowly been starting to cater to an edgier audience. The likes of Rent, Tommy, and Rock of Ages are nothing new anymore, but with the success of shows like Once, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Hamilton, a new alternative is moving in, and with them come opportunities for new, edgier voices.
Tomorrow, April 10th, will be the fictional character, Mrs. Tottendale’s, birthday! For those not familiar with the reference, she is one of the characters in The Drowsy Chaperone. In the original Broadway production, Mrs. Tottendale was played by Georgia Engel, who has played the role numerous times since leaving Broadway, and subsequently by Jo Ann Worley and Cindy Williams.
I love The Drowsy Chaperone for its humor and whimsy, but most of all for how relatable it is for theater geeks. The story is of Man in Chair sitting in his apartment about to put on a recording of his favorite musical from the 1920’s, The Drowsy Chaperone. As the record starts playing, the musical comes to life in the man’s living room. The story of this musical is of a stage star named Janet Van De Graaf deciding to leave the world of theater and get married to a very wealthy man, Robert Martin. What she doesn’t know is that her producer is desperately trying to stop the wedding so that his show doesn’t tank. Oh yeah, and there are gangsters, a European seducer, and an alcoholic chaperone. While Man in Chair is listening to this recording, he’s also giving the audience a running commentary on the play. It’s basically like listening to Rent or LesMiserables with me (something you should not take part in unless you’re already familiar with the plots of both).
Off-Broadway’s longest running musical will be closing on May 3rd. The Fantasticks has been running for 55 years. 55 YEARS. The Fantasticks is old enough to have fathered Les Miserables (longest running musical in the world) AND The Phantom of the Opera (longest running Broadway musical). The main response seems to be, “Aw, how sad!” I am legitimately upset by the loss of this historic show. In its prime real estate across the street from Wicked at the Jerry Orbach Theater, The Fantasticks has welcomed and cheered audiences with some pretty big names.
If you’re not familiar with The Fantasticks, it is the story of two men who are neighbors and decide they want their children to fall in love. What’s the best way to do this? Obviously to forbid these teenagers from seeing each other. Things get really ridiculous when the two neighbors hire someone to stage the daughter’s kidnapping so the son can rescue her and they can finally live happily ever after. *Note: if you’ve never seen the show, DO NOT watch the Joel Grey movie. IT IS NOT THE SAME. (I’m not just being picky. It’s truly terrible.)
So, I have a deep, slightly guilty, anime-related confession: I am a pretty big fan of Fushigi Yuugi: The Mysterious Play. The story of girl meets multiple hot individuals, with magic, romance, and bloodshed, has become a cult classic among the anime community since its debut in the mid-90’s.And this series, with all its cheese and over the top moments, is becoming a brand new stage show in Japan! Yeah, that means a lot of old, middle school anime feels are coming back for this fangirl. So let us dive into the Universe of the Four Gods this week on Simulcast Corner!Continue reading Dalin’s Simulcast Corner – Fangirl Dreams Coming True Edition – Fushigi Yuugi The Musical→
When I was little, I had this strange adoration for sequels. I couldn’t get enough of them: one movie was great, two was EVEN BETTER! As I got older, I realized that Wayne’s World 2 and Halloweentown 2: Kalabar’s Revenge were not quite as good as their predecessors. But there is one film, one underrated cinematic work, whose place in my heart has only grown with time. And that is Grease 2.
When granted the opportunity, I’ve often declared I would defend this movie to my death. Most just sort of chuckle and nod; the conversation moves on to something else, and my passion simmers. But my need to defend this movie was reinvigorated recently when I stumbled across this Buzzfeed article. I’ve never agreed with an article so much in my life (the word “article” is being used loosely here). Frankly, it’s a miracle I didn’t write the thing. But Buzzfeed left out some pretty important points that I’d like to share with you.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It was my favorite movie as a child, and remains in my top 5 today. I think that Beauty and the Beast is pretty close to being flawless. However, when compared to the musical, I feel the musical always wins out. The movie feels like going exploring in a lake, and the musical is like exploring in the ocean: both are fun, but one will give you a lot more to look at than the other. Here’s why:
New York, a city often portrayed but never easily imitated. From films, to songs, and everything in between, it is a city unlike any other, and has been regardless of what era you experience it in. Many musicals of the past and present have tried to capture that unique, one-of-a-kind feeling that the Beast Coast city is known for, but none have really showcased its magic like the 1944 classic On The Town.