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A Conversation with Claire Warden, The First Broadway Credited Intimacy Director

BY: HOWARD SHERMANvia www.stage-directions.com In response to an observation that five years ago she wouldn’t have been having a conversation about intimacy direction, Claire Warden responds, “It didn’t exist five years ago, in this form.” But intimacy direction has rapidly emerged as a distinct discipline on the creative teams of plays and musicals, and Warden has been at the forefront of that movement. She is the first person to have been credited as the intimacy director of a Broadway show, for Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune with Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon. She’s about to be the second person thusly credited, as Slave Play, first seen at New York Theatre Workshop, moves to Broadway. Warden was an actor and fight director who says she first learned about ...

Why Your Audition May Not Be Memorable – And How to Fix It

BY GREG APPSvia www.backstage.com On every plane, there’s a safety demonstration performed by the crew, whether recorded or live. In my opinion, this is the most boring performance on the planet. Actually, let me say, it’s not their performance that’s at fault—it’s the predictability. We know what is going to be said. We know the content and sterile objectivity of the presentation, so no one pays attention. Across airline safety demos, the script is more or less the same. In auditions—when I watch different actors do their own versions—the script is also exactly the same. And like those airline safety videos that are virtually the same across flights and airlines, so too are auditions. That’s right: you’re delivering an identical performance to every other auditioning actor. In effect, an ...

A Guide to Winning Broadway Ticket Lotteries!

via www.broadwayworld.com Whether you’re a rabid theatre fan, a casual lover of the arts, or just an ordinary tourist who appreciates great entertainment, no trip to New York City is complete without an experience at a Broadway show. You might have already booked tickets months in advance (good for you!), but if you haven’t, there’s still hope! If you’re looking for last minute tickets to a Broadway show, most productions offer some form of ticket lottery, either in person or online. That’s right- by simply entering your name, you could win discounted tickets to many of Broadway’s hottest shows. Feeling lucky? Let’s first go over some key points to help you score the tickets you want. What’s the Difference Between Lottery and Rush Tickets? It...

BREAKING: Hal Prince, Giant of Broadway and Tony Award Collector, Dies at 91

BY BRUCE WEBER via www.nytimes.com Hal Prince, the Broadway royal and prodigious Tony winner, the producer or director (or both) of many of the theater’s most enduring musicals, including “Damn Yankees,” “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Cabaret,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Phantom of the Opera,” the longest-running show in Broadway history, died on Wednesday in Reykjavik, Iceland. He was 91. The death was confirmed by a spokesman. Mr. Prince began working in the theater in the halcyon days of Broadway, when Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein were its songwriting kings, the stage musical was a robust American art form (not to mention an affordable entertainment option) and theater songs were staples of the airwaves. His contributions were prolific and persisted through challengi...

The Show Must Go On! Even in a Broadway Blackout…

By Leah Asmelash and Chelsea J. Carter, CNNvia www.cnn.com (CNN)The show must go on in New York, even if parts of Manhattan have lost power, forcing the evacuation of Broadway theaters and sending tens of thousands of people onto darkened streets.The cast of the Broadway musical “Hadestown” took their show to the road, literally — performing outside the Walter Kerr Theatre for fans. In a video, posted on Twitter by cast member Kimberly Marable, Tony Award winner André De Shields sang the show’s opening number, with revised lyrics: “Ooh, it’s a blackout!” The crowd on the street joined in at his urging, creating a sidewalk singalong. “Hadestown” wasn’t the only musical to take to streets after losing power — the casts of...

New Elaine Stritch Memoir “The End of Pretend” to Be Published

BY ADAM HETRICK via www.playbill.com Elaine Stritch: The End of Pretend, a new memoir chronicling the life and career of late Tony and Emmy Award winner Elaine Stritch, will be published by author John Bell in August. Created from a series of interviews with Stritch, spanning 2009 through her final 14 months in Birmingham, Michigan, The End of Pretend is told primarily through Stritch’s own words. The star of Company and Sail Away recalls working with Noël Coward, Edward Albee, and Stephen Sondheim as well as her time in London working in theatre and television. Stritch also shares thoughts and stories about such artists as Agnes DeMille, Rock Hudson, Marlon Brando, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Richard Rodgers, Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Cosby, Harold Prince, James Gandolfini, Liz Smith...

All the Free Outdoor Fitness Classes You Can Take in NYC This Summer

BY LAUREN WIGENROTH via www.dancemagazine.com Happy first day of summer! It’s the season of sweaty rehearsals, outdoor performances, and for some of us, summer layoff. How to stay in shape sans daily company class without breaking the bank? If you’re in New York City, you’re in luck: You can cross-train for free this summer with a variety of options throughout the boroughs. Bonus: They’re all outside! Not in NYC? Most major cities have similar offerings—check out the programming for your local parks and cultural centers to find out. Bryant Park Yoga  via bryantpark.org You probably already know about NYC’s best-known summertime outdoor yoga option, in Bryant Park at 10 am on Tuesdays and 6 pm on Thursdays. (Register in advance, and get ther...

Burnout in the Arts: A Millenial Perspective

By MELISSA BONDARvia www.theatreartlife.com Burnout is a funny thing. I think it’s very cool that we talk about it these days. I think it’s weirdly alarming how common it is. Like – my grandparents have been dead a while now, but I can’t imagine any of them having much to say about burnout. You just do what you have to do, right? I mean, both of my grandfathers fought in World War II. On one side, my grandparents then towed 8 children throughout Eastern Europe displaced persons’ camps before making it to Ellis Island. Both of my grandmothers were really tough broads. These things sound actually really hard to me and then I think about the things I find hard and overwhelming and they’re not nearly as life or death. But they’re still real. And they still do overwhelm. I’m a product of the 24...

The Dressing Rooms of Broadway

Produced by Betsy HoranText by Jesse Greenvia www.nytimes.com What performers take off (and put on), as told in 33 photographs and the words of Jesse Green, co-chief theater critic for The New York Times. “Some dressing rooms are shrines to self-love,” he writes. “More pertinently, they are assembly lines for reinvention.” READ FULL ARTICLE The cast of “A Chorus Line” The Booth Theater was turned into a makeshift dressing room for the hundreds taking part in the musical’s record 3,389th performance at the nearby Shubert Theater. Sept. 29, 1983.CreditFred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Amber Gray, Tony nominee, on her ‘Hadestown’ audition from hell

BY ASHLEY LEEvia www.latimes.com When Amber Gray was auditioning for “Hadestown,” Anais Mitchell’s folk-operatic reimagining of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, she nearly blew it. The actress, who was making her Broadway debut in “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” at the time, couldn’t read sheet music but had prepared for the tryout by diligently listening to the assigned song from the production’s buzzy concept album — which had since been tweaked. “The accompanist was giving me all of these dirty looks, and I was so confused,” she told The Times with a laugh. Nevertheless, Gray got her ticket to “Hadestown,” which reimagines the underworld as a factory town. She booked the role of Persephone, who has arranged to spend half of the year with her manufacturer husb...

2019 Drama Desk Award Winners

BY RUTHIE FIERBERGvia www.playbill.com The 64th Annual Drama Desk Awards kicked off June 2 at The Town Hall, honoring the best of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway for the 2018–2019 theatre season. Tootsie and Hadestown led the pack for musicals. Tootsie took home awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics for David Yazbek, as well as Outstanding Book of a Musical for David Horn, and Outstanding Actor in a Musical for Santino Fontana. Hadestown took home statues for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for Rachel Chavkin, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for André de Shields, as well as Outstanding Sound Design and Lighting Design. (Hadestown was only eligible for “those elements that constituted new work,” excluding its book...

Women of Broadway: Friendship at King Kong

BY The Ensemblist Eliza Ohman The women of King Kong on Broadway spend a lot of time together. Our show is spent either onstage or squeezed into a backstage dressing gondola that makes a cramped East Village studio seem palatial. There’s no escaping each other. Fortunately, we’re a silly bunch and we’ve really embraced the absurdity of our setup. On any given day you can expect to find one or more of us participating in very involved interpretative dances, incorporating lifts, props, and feedback from our audience (any girls not participating in that day’s events). We’re a bit of a mess, but it’s one of the happiest messes I’ve ever experienced. I’m continually grateful to our casting and creative team who brought this group of misfits together. Now, almost six months into our run, our dyn...