Friday, June 05, 2020

Forty-Three Years Ago Today In Theatre History

June 5, 1977. Know what happened on that date? Well if you are a theatre fan like me, you know that was the day that the theatre industry came together to honor those plays and musicals that opened during the 1976-1997 Broadway season. Also known as the The Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence In Broadway Theatre, or as what we call it today, the Tony Awards. 1977 was a very interesting year on the Great White Way, with sixty-seven shows opening that season.However as it turns out, there wasn't one hit musical until near the end of the season. Not only that, but each of those shows all opened in the same week in April.

So what were those shows you ask? Well I'll tell you. I Love My Wife, Side by Side by Sondheim, and last but not least Annie. Of the three, Annie is probably the most well known, as well as the one that most of seen. Now when it comes to musicals today, there are usually more new productions than revivals. However during the 1976-1977 Broadway season, there were a total of eight musical revivals, with the most successful being Guys and Dolls, Porgy and Bess, and The King and I, with Porgy and Bess winning the first ever Tony Award for Best Innovative Production of a Revival, which we now know as the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play, and Best Revival of a Musical.

Also that night, Annie took home the prize for Best Musical of the Year, along with six other Tony Awards including Best Book, Best Score, and Best Actress in a Musical, and The Shadow Box won the Best Play of the Year. Since then, there have been forty-two Tony Award ceremonies, with this year's ceremony set to be it's seventy-fourth.Sadly, it along with most of the 2019-2010 Broadway season, was put on hold due to the coronavirus. As I have said many times before, we don't have any idea when Broadway will return. And quite frankly, I am tired of guessing. Actually I am just tired. Stay safe everyone, and keep looking out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

JWB
Applause Theatre and Entertainment Service, Inc.
165 West 46th Street
Suite 1107
New York, NY 10036
212-307-7050
or 1-800-451-9930

http://www.applause-tickets.com/
Facebook:Applause Theater and Entertainment Service

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Metropolitan Opera Cancels Fall Performances

Yesterday, I posted a blog about London cancelling all of their shows thru the end of August. Now comes news that the world famous Metropolitan Opera, is the latest victim of the coronavirus shutdown. The season, which was scheduled to begin on September 21 with Verdi's Aida, has been cancelled thru December 30. Notice that I didn't say until the end of the year? That is because they are planning a special gala performance to officially launch the new season. Here's hoping it happens. Now believe it or not, but I have never seen a live opera. I have seen a DVD of one, as well as touring the Met Opera a few years ago. But like I said in yesterday's blog, nothing beats the real thing. Watching it live. Now whether that is theatre, opera, dance, concerts, or sports, it doesn't really matter. All that matters is that we are gathered together once again enjoying something we love. Stay safe everyone, and keep looking out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

JWB
Applause Theatre and Entertainment Service, Inc.
165 West 46th Street
Suite 1107
New York, NY 10036
212-307-7050
or 1-800-451-9930

http://www.applause-tickets.com/
Facebook:Applause Theater and Entertainment Service

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

West End Theatre Extends Shutdown Thru August 2

Well all I can say is, "It's about time." I mean did you really think that London theatre was going to open before Broadway? Originally, it was shut down thru June 28, but let's be honest. We all knew that wasn't going to happen. Don't get me wrong. I want theatre to come back just as much as anyone. But we have to be realistic. And more importantly, we have to be patient. What we are going through right now will not last forever. It can't. But it's also not going to disappear overnight either. The last couple of months, we have gotten our "Theatre Fix" by watching prerecorded and live streams of some of the theatres greatest shows, along with concerts and other events featuring some of our favorite stars. And while that's all fine and good, nothing beats the real thing. Live theatre. Stay safe everyone, and please look out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

JWB
Applause Theatre and Entertainment Service, Inc.
165 West 46th Street
Suite 1107
New York, NY 10036
212-307-7050
or 1-800-451-9930

http://www.applause-tickets.com/
Facebook:Applause Theater and Entertainment Service

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Broadway And Reality Television

One of the biggest hit's of the 2000's, was Legally Blonde, starring future Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon. Now as much as I loved the movie, I wasn't thinking, "Wouldn't this make a great Broadway musical someday?" Turns out I was wrong, because less than six years later, there it was  larger than life on the big stage. The show, which starred Laura Bell Bundy in the title role, and directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell, was nominated for seven 2007 Tony Awards, including Best Book and Score, and Best Actress in a Musical.

It also aired on MTV in November of that year, beginning a relationship with the cable music channel that would continue in 2008, with a new reality show, Legally Blonde - The Search for Elle Woods. Premiering on June 2, 2008, the eight episode series featured fifteen female finalists vying for the role of a lifetime. In the end, twenty year old Bailey Hanks from South Carolina was selected as the winner. She debuted on July 23, 2008, and performed with the show until it closed on October 19 of that year. Now believe it or not, but Legally Blonde was not the first show to use reality television to find it's star. 

The 2007 revival of Grease,  began the trend with Grease: You're The One That I Want, where they allowed America to choose Broadway's Danny and Sandy. Winning the contest were Max Crumm and Laura Osnes, who has since become one of Broadway's most acclaimed leading ladies, starring in six Broadway shows, and receiving Tony Award nominations for Best Actress in a Musical, for her performances in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, and Bonnie and Clyde. Now despite the show not being a ratings success, it did give the show a hefty advance at the box office. 

Since then, there have been several more shows produced in the hopes of finding it's leading man or leading lady. Any Dream Will Do (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), I'd Do Anything (Oliver!), and Over The Rainbow (The Wizard of Oz). All great choices. Now what get's me, is that no other Broadway shows have used this device since Legally Blonde. Who knows? This might just be the thing that Broadway needs to create a little buzz when it comes back. Stay safe everyone, and keep looking out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

JWB
Applause Theatre and Entertainment Service, Inc.
165 West 46th Street
Suite 1107
New York, NY 10036
212-307-7050
or 1-800-451-9930

http://www.applause-tickets.com/
Facebook:Applause Theater and Entertainment Service

Monday, June 01, 2020

Forty-Nine Years Ago Today

The first time I ever played a lead role, was during my sophomore year in high school. The role? Charlie Brown, in You're A Good Man Charlie Brown of course. The show, which first premiered Off-Broadway on March 7, 1967, where it played for a total of 1,597 performances, transferred to the John Golden Theatre, and opened on June 1, 1971. Unfortunately the Broadway production was not as successful, and closed after thirty-two performances and fifteen previews.

Cut to almost twenty-eight years later, and the show returns to Broadway in a new production starring Anthony Rapp, Tony Award winner B.D. Wong, Ilana Levine, Stanley Wayne Mathis, Roger Bart, and Kristin Chenoweth, with the latter two winning Tony Awards for their performances. Having starred in the show before, I was so excited to see it live on the big stage. It did not disappoint. I only wish that it would have had a longer run on the Great White Way.

Here's a thought. How about a brand new all-star production when Broadway opens back up? Or even a one night concert with all of the proceeds going to a great cause? I'd be fine with either one honestly. Actually if I'm really being honest, the one thing I want more than anything, is to sit in a theatre once again. Watching a Broadway or Off-Broadway show. I mean let's face it. That's what we all want. Stay safe everyone, and keep looking out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

JWB
Applause Theatre and Entertainment Service, Inc.
165 West 46th Street
Suite 1107
New York, NY 10036
212-307-7050
or 1-800-451-9930

http://www.applause-tickets.com/
Facebook:Applause Theater and Entertainment Service


Sunday, May 31, 2020

My Journey

May 31, 1991. That was the day my journey began. And no that was not the day that I was born. Trust me. I wish I was that young. On that day, I walked across the stage, and received my high school diploma. It was in that moment, that I went from young kid, to young man. The month before, I played my final performance on the Paris High School stage, and that very weekend, I was accepted into the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, for the following year. It truly was a weekend that I will never forget.

Now her I am twenty-nine years later, and I am still living in New York City, pursuing my dream. The same dream that began in my high school gym on that hot day in May 1991. Since then, my life has taken a lot of twist and turns. I guess you could say the same thing about our world in the last few months. As most of you know, several states, including New York are slowly reopening. But let's face it. It will be a long time before things are back to where they were before. And who knows? Maybe a little change is just the thing we need right now.

Last night, I watched a production of 42nd Street that I had recorded on PBS. Believe it or not, but until that point, I had never seen the show. All I knew was that it was the quintessential Broadway musical. and loved by everyone. When I first moved here, musicals like 42nd Street were all I wanted to see. However in the last few years, I preferred shows with a little more edge. But without live theatre right now, you sort of have to take what you can get.

Well wouldn't you know it, but within minutes, I was smiling from ear to ear. Believe me. I was surprised too. For the next two and a half hours, I was transported to the 1930's, where life was a little simpler than it is today. Oh sure they were living during the "Great Depression, but it was a much different world than right now. Now I don't know about you, but I'm thinking we could use a revival of 42nd Street again once this is all over. Stay safe everyone, and keep looking out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

JWB
Applause Theatre and Entertainment Service, Inc.
165 West 46th Street
Suite 1107
New York, NY 10036
212-307-7050
or 1-800-451-9930

http://www.applause-tickets.com/
Facebook:Applause Theater and Entertainment Service

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Happy Birthday Idina Menzel

You've heard her belt "Let It Go" in Frozen. You've seen her fly in Wicked. And for almost twenty-five years, you have seen her grace the stage of Broadway, and theatres around the world. That's right. I am talking about the one and only Idina Menzel. The New York native, who made her Broadway debut in Rent in 1996, and won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Wicked in 2004,was born on May 30, 1971. Her other Broadway credits include her Tony Award nominated performances in Rent and If/Then, and Aida. Even I forgot about that last one.

Now along with her multiple performances on Broadway and the West End, she continues to play to packed houses throughout the United States and across the globe. Pretty impressive for a girl from Long Island who spent her weekends as a wedding and bar mitzvah singer, before landing the role of Maureen Johnson in the Off-Broadway production of Rent in 1995. Looking forward to her next Broadway performance. Whenever that will be of course. Stay safe everyone, and keep looking out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

JWB
Applause Theatre and Entertainment Service, Inc.
165 West 46th Street
Suite 1107
New York, NY 10036
212-307-7050
or 1-800-451-9930

http://www.applause-tickets.com/
Facebook:Applause Theater and Entertainment Service