Features

Excerpt from Superstar ~ Jesus Christ Superstar 2

Excerpt from Superstar ~ Jesus Christ Superstar:Landmark Rock Opera to Worldwide Phenomenon

By: Ellis Nassour

Part Two  =  Into the Fire (and Brimstone)

November 2, 2020: As things got down to business between new writing partners Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, billing negotiations ensued. Lloyd Webber decided the partnership would be Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Not so fast, said Rice. He suggested Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber had a better ring. It was a stalemate. Lloyd Webber, far from pleased, caved. 

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Around The Town

Moby-Dick on BroadwayHD

BroadwayHD expands partnership with San Francisco Opera bringing award winning production of Moby-Dick to their streaming site.

November 1, 2020:  BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for theater fans, will be expanding their partnership with the San Francisco Opera. On November 17 debut of the Moby-Dick by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer will debut on BroadwayHD. Moby-Dick is only the latest work from the opera company. Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Hammerstein II/Kern’s Show Boat debuted earlier this fall. The expansion of BroadwayHD’s slate with San Francisco Opera is part of their effort to showcase the best of live theater and other live performances, not only on Broadway, but from venues across the U.S. and the globe.

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Features

Keely and Du

By: Isa Goldberg

October 30, 2020: Like the People of Praise, a Christian Community of which the newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett has been a loyal member, the characters we meet in Jane Martin’s “Keely and Du” “yearn for the salvation of all members of the human family.” At least that is the mission stated on the People of Praise website. 

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Around The Town

It Can’t Happen Here

By: Paulanne Simmons

October 30,2020: In 1935, Sinclair Lewis published a novel called It Can’t Happen Here. Written at the time fascism was on the rise in Europe, the novel was Lewis’s attempt to alert Americans to the danger they faced in their own country. In it, he chronicles the ascent of Berzelius “Buzz” Winthrop, a populist demagogue who is elected president by promising a return to traditional values but ends up imposing a totalitarian dictatorship. One year after publication, the Federal Theatre Project (part of the Works Progress Administration established by FDR’s New Deal) commissioned Lewis and John C. Moffit to write a stage play based on the novel.

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Around The Town

On This Day in New York Theater: October 29 in the 1940’s

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 16 in the series)

October 29, 2020: Readers of this series, which began in the spring of this anxious year, know that in surveying the theatrical activity on a particular day over the course of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, I generally try to find one that is both prolific and on which at least one title is more or less a household name. Occasionally, so many shows opened on such days that I’ve had to confine myself to only two decades, as in my last report, which had no room, other than in passing, for the forties. The number of shows typically produced in the late spring through summer was relatively small enough to contain in a single essay, but as the most active months of each season heated up, the numbers became too great to allow comprehensive coverage within the limited space available. 

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Around The Town

On This Day in New York Theater: October 28, 2020

By: Samuel L. Leiter

 (Bonus Posting) 

October 28, 2020: If you’re a follower of this series, you know that I always provide descriptions of multiple productions that opened over the years (between 1920 and 1950) on a particular day. Tomorrow, for instance, TheaterLife will post my essay on productions that opened on October 29 in the 1940s. However, one play intended for that essay, The Land is Bright, and fully written up, actually opened on October 28, so I had no option but to remove it. But after seeing it sitting there, so lonely, on my laptop, I decided to give it its own posting, as a sort of bonus to those readers who enjoy these pieces. Given its provenance, and how few people—even theatre folk—are likely to be familiar with it, I think it’s worth the trouble. Without further ado, as they say, here it is. 

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Halloween Fun from BroadwayHD

Night of the Living Dead in its London debut is available on BroadwayHD beginning October 29 just in time for Halloween.

October 27, 2020: BroadwayHD is celebrating Halloween with a collection of horror titles that will be sure to keep you on the edge of your seat! The include Night of the Living Dead™Live!, Toxic Avenger, Ibsen’s Ghosts, Ruthless, and Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet.   

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Features

Excerpt from Superstar ~ Jesus Christ Superstar

Excerpt from Superstar ~ Jesus Christ Superstar:Landmark Rock Opera to Worldwide Phenomenon

By: Ellis Nassour

Part One … In the Beginning

October 26, 2020: The songwriting partnership of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber was born in 1965 out of big dreams, talent, and need – with a strong bit of kismet thrown in. Maybe even a bit of desperation . . .

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Shakespeare@Home

Presents the Fourth and Final Episode of their all Free Radio Plays William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

October 21, 2020: West End vets have teamed up with Broadway and Hollywood stalwarts for the fourth and final episode of the all-free radio play production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest which airs Thursday, October 22nd at 7PM EST. Transcribed from Shakespeare’s original first folio of works having just sold at Christie’s for nearly $10 million dollars, this production of Jersey City’s Shakespeare@,  is adapted and directed by Artistic Director Sean Hagerty.

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Reviews

Give Me Your Hand ****

Dearbhla Molloy

By: David Sheward

October 18, 2020: The Broadway League recently announced that the hiatus for all of its member theaters has been extended until June of 2021. That means at least seven more months of no live performances on New York stages. Fortunately, many Off-Broadway companies are filling the gap with Zoom and virtual performances. The Irish Repertory Theater has been cleverly adapting performances pieces to the new media with actors filming from separate locations or acting in a properly socially distanced space. Their latest offering, Give Me Your Hand, places two actors in an empty, intimate London theater, combining theater, poetry and painting for a refreshing reminder of the importance of these arts while we are given limited access to them.

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Show Boat on BroadwayHD

San Francisco Opera, Showboat, Francesca Zambello

San Francisco Opera’s stunning production of Oscar Hammerstein & Jerome Kern’s renowned musical, Show Boat, debuts October 15th on BrodwayHD.

October 14, 2020— BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for theater fans, announced that it will bring. the San Francisco Opera’s critically acclaimed 2014 performance of Show Boat exclusively to their platform.  This dynamic production of the iconic hit, directed by Francesca Zambello, will be available on the service beginning October 16.  Show Boat is only the latest addition to BroadwayHD’s expanding library of hit Richard Rodgers titles, many created with Oscar Hammerstein, including Oklahoma! Starring Hugh Jackman, The King and I and Carousel starring Kelli O’Hara.  This is also part of BroadwayHD’s ongoing effort to build a comprehensive library that includes beloved, well known titles in addition to new discoveries.

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Around The Town

The 2020 Tony Award Nominations

By: Ellis Nassour

October 15, 2020: For the first time in years, the Tony Awards Nominating Committee has expanded several of the acting categories. In another rare occurance, the Committee chose to only nominate one actor in the Leading Actor, Musical category. This might have taken Sean Allan Krill, who plays the father in Jagged Little Pill, a bit by surprise as it sure seems he’s in a Lead Actor Role and not a Featured Role.

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Interviews

Live at the Lortel

By: Paulanne Simmons

October 15, 2020: A few years ago, Eric Ostrow inaugurated The Lucille Lortel Theatre’s series “Live at the Lortel,” which was inspired by the chatty atmosphere of the The Dick Cavett Show. In the midst of a pandemic, the series has been revived as a virtual experience.

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