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Theater Buzz Beyond Broadway

September 11th, 2013 Comments off

We’re in a bit of a lull as the Broadway season is about to kick off, but have no fear—we can create our own drama here at the Broadway Blog. Broadway openings later this month include Romeo & Juliet and The Glass Menagerie. What is happening a few steps off of the Great White Way? Take a look…

One of our favorite productions from the West End last season, Merrily We Roll Along, will be screened as part of Fathom Events on October 23. If you are a Sondheim fan, we hear by order you to attend or we’ll revoke your fan club card. Set over three decades in the entertainment business, Merrily We Roll Along charts the relationship between three friends Franklin, Mary and Charley. Travelling backwards in time, the score features some of Sondheim’s most beautiful songs including “Good Thing Going” and “Not a Day Goes By.” Cinema audiences will be treated to an exclusive backstage experience with cast interviews and more! CLICK HERE for tickets, which go on sale September 13.

(photo: 54 Below)

(photo: 54 Below)

For all your self-embracing theater geeks out there, the cast of the 2003 film Camp will reunite at 54 Below on Friday, October 3. Director Todd Graff and actors Robin De Jesus, Brittany Pollack and others will be present for a pre-screening talkback. The film includes pre-Glee teen interpretations from hit shows such as Company and Dreamgirls. 

For those fans of American history (or if you just like to see men in tights), American Conservatory Theater presents a brand new staging of the Tony-winning 1776. This West Coast premiere is directed by Frank Galati and traces the heated debates surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence. According to ACT, “More than 230 years ago, our founding fathers wrestled with infighting, held heated debates, and negotiated compromises while drafting the Declaration of Independence. In this exhilarating work, the political skirmishes that played out centuries ago have surprising contemporary resonance. Hailed by critics as “brilliant,” “thrilling,” and “utterly riveting”—and filled with glorious music and unforgettable characters—1776 takes us on a vivid, rousing, and suspenseful adventure into the fascinating first chapter of American history.”

The Best Non-Musical Musical Moment Ever

July 3rd, 2012 Comments off

Trumbull's "Signing of the Declaration of Independence". Image via Google.

The musical 1776 has the best non-musical moment in a musical. Ever. Gauntlet thrown.

I don’t say this because it’s the day before the Fourth of July (though it did make me think of it) or because I was a strangely Thomas Jefferson-obsessed child (though I was; where others had Sesame Street on their wall, I had Monticello). I say it because the final scene of the musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence gets me every time. And there’s not a song in sight.

Think about all the things working against Peter Stone and his genius book–most importantly that it’s history 101 and we all know how it ends. And yet, we genuinely wonder, as the final moment draws near, if these guys can get it together to make history. The effect is truly suspenseful and moving, whatever your political leanings or interest in a bunch of powdered wigs.

But don’t think music isn’t important. The choice to NOT have a song is just as important as writing a song. In this case, it focuses our attention and keeps us in a state of tension so that, when the final bells toll over the votes, they land like a full orchestra and a chorus in harmony.  Good, risky, smart stuff.

Let’s watch that scene from the movie version…

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