News

Come to "Show Business: The Road to Broadway" this Sunday!

by Nathaniel R

Hello all. A week or so ago I moderated a screening of Mean Girls (2004) for Show-Score's new Stage and Screen series with two members of the new stage musical's team (The Broadway version of Tina Fey's classic officially opens this Sunday).

I'm doing another Q&A so come! This Sunday at 1:00 Pm I'll be speaking with director/producer Dori Berinstein about her documentary Show Business: The Road to Broadway (2007) which follows four musicals during the seminal 2003/2004 Broadway season: the blockbuster Wicked, the little scrappy show that could (and did) Avenue Q, Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's brilliant Caroline or Change, and the troubled Boy George musical Taboo.  I saw all the big shows that year (a rare occurrence) and loved all four of the musicals this doc follows so that season remains special to my heart.

The movie has awesome rehearsal and backstage footage
See full article at FilmExperience »

The Public Announces Gala Performance of Runaways

The Public Theater Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis Executive Director, Patrick Willingham announced today that The Public's Annual Galawill be a performance of the groundbreaking and thought-provoking musical Runaways by Elizabeth Swados on Monday, June 11 at the Delacorte Theater. Directed by Sam Pinkleton with choreography by Ani Taj, and creative advisement by Jeanine Tesori, the highly-anticipated summer gala under the stars will celebrate the 40th anniversary of this milestone production that first premiered at The Public in 1978 and continues to be a definitive moment in Public Theater history.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Megan Hilty Returns to Caf� Carlyle This April

Acclaimed singeractress Megan Hilty returns to Caf Carlyle with an all-new show, April 17-28. Her previous residencies at the Caf received praise from The New York Times,HuffPost, TheaterMania, and New York Daily News among a multitude of other outlets. This time, she'll be celebrating some of her favorite musical theater composers Sondheim, Schwartz, Shaiman amp Whitman, Jeanine Tesori, Alan Menken, Sara Bareilles, and more.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Encores! Off-Center Season Announced; Gone Missing to Honor Michael Friedman

Encores Off-Center Co-Artistic Directors Anne Kauffman and Jeanine Tesori today announced programming for the 2018 season of New York City Center's acclaimed summer musical theater series. The season will open, June 27through 30, with Jason Robert Brown's breakout musical Songs for a New World and close with Micki Grant and Vinnette Carroll's vibrant, radical 1971 work Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, July 25 through 28. The centerpiece of the season will be a special two-night-only engagement July 11 amp 12 of Gone Missing, honoring composer and Off-Center Artistic Director Michael Friedman, whose life was tragically cut short last summer.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Theater Director Leigh Silverman Talks “Harry Clarke,” Helming One-Person Shows, and #MeToo

Silverman: Goodman Theatre

One of the most prominent theater directors in the landscape today, Leigh Silverman made her Broadway directorial debut in 2006 with Lisa Kron’s “Well.” She brought David Henry Hwang’s play “Chinglish” to life in 2011. In 2014 Silverman helmed Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley’s musical “Violet” and received a Tony nomination for her direction.

Women and Hollywood recently chatted with Silverman about her latest play, “Harry Clarke,” a one-man show starring Billy Crudup (“Jackie”). The actor portrays the shy Philip, who leads a double life as cocky Londoner Harry Clarke. Silverman told us about the close working relationship she developed with Crudup and playwright David Cale, the challenges of directing a solo play, and how #MeToo has affected theater.

Harry Clarke” will play at the Vineyard Theatre until December 23.

This interview has been edited.

W&H: Can you please talk about what it’s like being a female theater director today?
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

‘Downton Abbey’ Exhibit Makes Its Way Stateside + More NYC Events 11/17–11/23

New York is the city that never sleeps, and with so many events and activities each week across all five boroughs, it can be hard to know what’s actually worthwhile. Here are the events New York City actors should have on their radars this week. “Downton” exhibit arrives stateside.Do you still mourn the loss of “Downton Abbey”? If so, you will certainly not want to miss “Downtown Abbey: The Exhibition,” beginning Nov. 18 at 218 West 57th St. A direct transfer from across the pond, this will be the exhibit’s North American debut, and will include everything fans loved about the PBS drama, specifically, the couture and culture. (Tickets: $30) Carnegie Hall pays tribute to female composers.Two of Broadway’s current mainstays, Betsy Wolfe of “Waitress” and Adam Kantor of “The Band’s Visit,” will take a night off from their respective shows to sing to a different house.
See full article at Backstage »

Bww TV: Welcome to the Fun Home! Watch Highlights from Fun Home at Victory Gardens

Victory Gardens Theater begins its 43rd season with Fun Home, with music written by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics written by Lisa Kron and directed by Gary Griffin. Fun Home runs now through November 12, 2017 at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue. BroadwayWorld is excited to share highlights from the show below
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Musicals That Want More

Fun Home 5th Avenue Theare, Seattle Through July 30th

When it comes to Broadway-caliber theatre productions, cities like Seattle get what New York is willing to give them. Very often this means local audiences only get a taste of the most mainstream, spectacular efforts the Great White Way has to offer, remaining unexposed to the more challenging and innovative works that do sometimes still happen there. As a result, theatre (particularly musical theatre) is relegated to its niche enclave of dedicated fans along with a wider audience of casual theatre goers who come knowing what to expect. While presenting an enjoyable way to pass a few evening hours this can also bear a disappointing stamp of mediocrity. Fun Home, currently playing at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, is a happy exception to this trend.

Like Next to Normal before it, Fun Home works to break the preconceived notions of what musical theatre is and can be.
See full article at CultureCatch »

Study: West End Musicals Are Overwhelmingly Written by Men

“The Book of Mormon”: londonboxoffice.co.uk

London’s West End just earned a dubious honor: it’s just as inhospitable to women as Broadway. A new study from The Stage examined the West End musical productions that ran for at least three weeks from 2007 to 2016, and found that female writers are severely underrepresented — in fact, male scribes outnumber women nine to one. Women received a writing credit on only 16 percent of the West End’s last decade of musicals.

“There are so many women playwrights out there — their voices are heard and they’re writing contemporary, pertinent, compelling drama,” said “Mamma Mia!” book writer Catherine Johnson. “So for that not also to be happening in musical theater, something is really going wrong.”

Indeed. It’s hard to reconcile the news that two-thirds of the Royal Court Theatre’s new season are written or directed by women with the dismal numbers of women writing musicals. Unfortunately it’s true: Seventy-five percent of West End musicals included zero women on their writing teams, which are usually comprised of a book writer, a composer, and a lyricist. Women wrote or co-wrote just 12 percent of the books.

If you take jukebox musicals — musicals, like Carole King’s “Beautiful,” that do not use new original songs — into consideration, women wrote 18 percent of the productions’ music or lyrics. Disregarding jukebox musicals, only nine percent of the musicals boasted a female composer.

Of the 118 musicals the West End has put on during the past decade, only four of the shows’ scores were composed by one individual woman: Cyndi Lauper’s “Kinky Boots,” Jeanine Tesori’s “Shrek the Musical,” Margaret MartinGone With the Wind,” and Kath Gotts’ “Bad Girls the Musical.”

And just three of the 118 musicals were written by an all-female team: “Bad Girls,” “Gone With the Wind,” and “Viva Forever!” the book of which was penned by Jennifer Saunders (“Ab Fab”) with music and lyrics by the Spice Girls. In contrast, 88 shows were from an all-male writing team.

“The problem is that the established stable of go-to talent for any of these big-scale opportunities is still basically an almost exclusively white, male, closed shop,” Gotts told The Stage in response to the research.

Jon Bromwich, exec producer at Youth Music Theatre UK, believes that the gender disparity can be traced back to school. “Lack of role models and instruction at a young age are undoubtedly contributory. Ingrained behavior patterns may mean that young female instrumentalists stay with their instrument while males move into composition.”

Whatever the cause, there is definitely a gender problem in modern theater. It seems that every week or so a new story breaks about the obstacles women face in the field. Wellesley Centers for Women found that a glass ceiling exists for women climbing the ladder at nonprofit theaters. Actors’ Equity published research about the stronghold white men have on acting and stage management jobs. And the only new women-written plays on Broadway this season — Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat” and Paula Vogel’s “Indecent” — are not long for this world.

So much for Book, Music and Lyrics founder/director David James’ response to The Stage’s research. “I would say the answer, for both men and women, is to raise their game and write stronger work,” James commented. “If women write the better work, they will be produced. I don’t believe they will be sidelined because of gender.”

If only we lived in that world, Mr. James. But we definitely don’t.

Below are highlights from The Stage’s study. Head over to its website for more information.

Of the 118 musicals that ran on London’s West End from 2007 to 2016:

3 were from an all-female writing team, compared to 88 from an-all male writing team12 percent featured books written by a womanFour scores were composed by a woman75 percent featured no women on their writing teamsNearly nine out of 10 musicals had a book written entirely by menIncluding jukebox musicals, 18 percent of the shows’ music or lyrics were women-written

None of the shows in 2014 featured books, music, or lyrics from women

None of the shows in 2010 featured music from a female composer

None of the books in 2011, 2013, or 2016 were written by women

Study: West End Musicals Are Overwhelmingly Written by Men was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Video: Stephen Schwartz and Jeanine Tesori Talk Storytelling Through Song for Dgf's 'The Legacy Project'

The announcement of today's Tony Award nominations marks this as a week for celebration andreaffirms the commitment of organizations that protect the survival of the arts. For those organizations, like the Dramatists Guild Fund Dgf, that commitment likely means shouldering a larger burden of funding and support. Today's celebration also coincides with the launch of the latest installment of 'The Legacy Project Volume III' from Dgf, featuring one of Broadway's best known and loved composerslyricists,Stephen Schwartz, chatting with Jeanine Tesori Fun Home about storytelling through song. Watch the interview below
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Sharon D Clarke: ‘I’d like to see more multiracial casts on stage and TV’

The actor and singer on her new role in the civil rights musical Caroline, Or Change – and playing the baddie in panto

Sharon D Clarke, 50, grew up in Tottenham, north London, the daughter of working-class Jamaican parents, and first trained as a social worker. She had a top 10 hit with Nomad’s (I Wanna Give you) Devotion in 1991, and from 2005-8 played Lola Griffin on Holby City. Highlights of her stage career include Ghost, The Amen Corner, for which she won an Olivier award, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. She was described as “ever-magnificent” and “incomparable” in reviews of her last musical, The Life, at Southwark, and next month leads the Chichester festival theatre production of Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s 2003 civil rights musical Caroline, Or Change. Clarke is married to an executive producer of Hackney Empire, Susie McKenna.

Your character, Caroline, is a black single mother and
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

“Fun Home” Lyricist Lisa Kron Receives Kleban Prize for Musical Theater

Lisa Kron performing at Joe’s Pub: www.lisakron.org

Lisa Kron, who wrote the book and lyrics for the musical “Fun Home,” recently received the 2017 Kleban Prize, which includes $100,000, for writing in musical theater, the New York Times writes. She was awarded the Kleban for “most promising musical theater librettist.”

Kron might be best-known for “Fun Home,” for which she won two Tonys, but her theater career extends far beyond the adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s acclaimed graphic memoir. According to the Times, Kron has acted in “Good Person of Szechwan,” was part of the acting troupe Five Lesbian Brothers — whose members developed and appeared in “The Secretaries” and “Oedipus at Palm Springs” — and wrote and starred in the autobiographical one-woman shows “2.5 Minute Ride” and “Well.”

Fun Home” traces Bechdel’s relationship with her closeted father, Bruce, and her own sexual awakening. Bruce committed suicide shortly after Bechdel came out as a lesbian. The musical adaptation was a Broadway hit and won five Tonys, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score. Kron and Jeanine Tesori, the latter of whom wrote the music for “Fun Home,” became the first all-female writing team to win a Tony for Best Original Score.

Some of the musical’s show-stopping numbers include “It All Comes Back,” “Come to the Fun Home,” “Changing My Major,” “Maps,” and “Ring of Keys.”

The judges for this year’s Kleban Prize were “Frozen” songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, actress Mary Testa, and producer Ira Weitzman. The Kleban Foundation was originally established in 1988 as part of Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and lyricist Edward Kleban’s will.

Fun Home” Lyricist Lisa Kron Receives Kleban Prize for Musical Theater was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Let's Face It: The Worst Part of the Gilmore Girls Revival Is the Godawful Musical

  • BuzzSugar
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life may not be the high point of the beloved series, but it is filled to the brim with nostalgic moments, cameos, and updates on our favorite characters. There's plenty to love about the series, but there's one thing to hate. No, I'm not talking about the controversial Last Four Words (of which I happen to approve), I'm talking about the musical. My god, the musical! In the "Summer" episode, Taylor Doose outdoes himself by creating Stars Hollow: The Musical, with the help of a creepy silent partner/director. This is when Sutton Foster's highly anticipated role comes into play. She and former Smash star Christian Borle are the leads in the two-person musical. Lorelai is part of the committee to critique a sneak peek, and she's the only one who hates it . . . except for literally all of us watching. There's so much wrong here.
See full article at BuzzSugar »

10 Things You Need to Know About Netflix's 'Gilmore Girls' Revival

Start stockpiling Pop-Tarts and get that bottomless pot of coffee brewing: We're just days away from the premiere of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Netflix's revival of the beloved early-2000's dramedy. (The streaming service is dropping all four episodes on November 25th.) The original series introduced us to the fast-talking, java-addicted Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), her 16-year-old brainiac daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel), and a colorful cast of characters in the fictional Connecticut hamlet of Stars Hollow.

All things considered, the CW show could have been a forgettable mess,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Gilmore Girls’: Secrets of the Musical in the Netflix Revival (Watch)

‘Gilmore Girls’: Secrets of the Musical in the Netflix Revival (Watch)
Broadway is coming to Stars Hollow.

The return of “Gilmore Girls” not only heralds the much-anticipated reunion of all the fan favorite characters — along with Rory’s lineup of boyfriends, there’s Kirk, Sookie, and cranky Michel — but also brings a few new faces to the picturesque Connecticut enclave.

Town selectman Taylor Doose (Michael Winters) decides to stage a musical to celebrate the town’s history, and who better to star in the hilariously awkward recreation than Broadway legends and Tony winners Sutton Foster and Christian Borle. And naturally, Carole King makes a return, too, as Sophie — with a scene-stealing turn that would be criminal to spoil.

The musical appears in the “summer” episode, the third of the four 90-minute episodes of the Netflix revival, which debuts Nov. 25. Variety was on set for the rehearsals back in March, as “Gilmore Girls” co-creator Amy Sherman-Palladino was helpfully dispensing sunscreen, and Foster and Borle were practicing their lines and
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Anna K. Jacobs Selected for 2016 Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award

The Ziegfeld Club has announced that Anna K. Jacobs has been selected to receive the 2016 Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award. The award will provide Jacobs with a grant of 10,000 and a year of professional mentorship from mentors including Tony Award-winning producer Barbara Whitman. Zoe Sarnak and Shaina Taub are the honorable mentions chosen by the awards panel. Recipients will be honored during a reception that will feature distinguished speaker Jeanine Tesori and a special musical performance by Masi Asare, who is the recipient of last year's inaugural award, on Monday, November 7, at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Stage Tube: The Curran Gets Ready for Fun Home with 'Ring of Keys' Music Video for GLAAD Spirit Day

The Curran today released a music video of the song 'Ring of Keys,' from the Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home, which will re-open the Curran this January after an extensive renovation that is currently underway and pictured in scenes from the video. The song, written by Tony Award-winners Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, and performed by students from Oakland School for the Arts Osa, is in celebration and support of GLAAD and 'Spirit Day' on October 20, 2016, a day that encourages all to take a stand against bullying of Lgbtq youth and wear purple. Watch it below
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Stage Tube: On This Day for 6/20/16- Thoroughly Modern Millie

Today in 2004, Thoroughly Modern Millie closed at the Marquis Theatre, where it ran for 903 performances. Thoroughly Modern Millie is a musical with music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlan, and a book by Richard Morris and Scanlan. Based on the 1967 film of the same name, it tells the story of a small-town girl, Millie Dillmount, who comes to New York City to marry for money instead of love - a thoroughly modern aim in 1922, when women were just entering the workforce. The production subsequently won six 2002 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Actress in a Musical for Sutton Foster.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Stephen Schwartz & Jeanine Tesori to Lead Fundraiser Combating North Carolina's 'Bathroom Law'

On June 13th at The Cutting Room in New York City, over a dozen native North Carolina Broadway performers will join renowned composersStephen Schwartz and Jeanine Tesori for Broadway Voices for Nc a concert and fundraiseraimed at combatting HB2, North Carolina's much publicized 'Bathroom Law.'The evening will featurean array of proud North Carolinians on a mission to celebrate tolerance and acceptance to prove that WeAreNotThis.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »
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