Hairspray Live! Between commercials and cutaways, NBC proves they CAN stop the beat (review)

Now that we’re mired in Trump America, there’s unexpected profundity to the pop confection Hairspray Live!, the live TV version of the 2002 musical that aired Wednesday night on NBC. If Trump and his minions have their way, it’ll be the early 1960s all over again (the musical is set in 1962)—and we’ll have to fight […]

Grease Live Review: A New Genre of TV (but not Theater)

Grease Live was so smartly cast and so inventively staged — and so much communal fun — that it was easier to forgive the fact that it was still Grease, a dopey, dated, leather-deep show about the 1950’s manifestly inferior to such sharper, similarly-themed entertainments as Bye, Bye Birdie and American Graffiti. Danny Zuko (Aaron […]

Peter Pan Live!, did NBC delight the musical’s fans?

When The Sound of Music Live! aired on NBC last year, reactions were, you could say, mixed. And yet, despite the devil’s advocates, the optimists, the doomsdayers and naysayers, one thing was pretty consistently said: “YES. Please try again!” And so we’re back, one year later. This time the musical is Peter Pan, and the […]

Peter Pan Live! tonight on NBC – first look at Christopher Walken’s Hook

Last year, beyond anyone’s wildest expectations, NBC’s broadcast of The Sound of Music Live!, starring Carrie Underwood, managed to shatter ratings records and break the Internet in ways Kim Kardashian could only dream. (For my complete thoughts on both the broadcast and the social media firestorm, click here.)

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love on PBS tonight

Composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch is profiled in the newest episode of the PBS series American Masters.  Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love premieres tonight, Friday, December 27, 2013, 9 -10:30 p.m. ET on PBS, with new interviews his family, Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, Woody Allen, John Lithgow, Lucie Arnaz, Ann-Margret, and many others.

Slings and Arrows: Season 3:06 “The Promised End”

“I could have done this all summer.” – Ellen  “Me, too.” – Barbara There’s a boatload of quotes in this episode, about finality, theatre, art, redemption, transience, and all sorts of beautiful concepts, and I had a harder than usual time picking one. After all, this is it, the last time I do this! I […]

Slings and Arrows: Season 3:05 “All Blessed Secrets”

Geoffrey: “Lear loses everything…and it is only when he is all alone, naked in a storm, that he is able to find…” Oliver: “His dignity.” The thing about rock bottom is this…it’s always far below where you thought it was. Secrets are seeping out all over the place around the companies of King Lear and […]

Slings and Arrows: Season 3:04 “Every Inch a King”

“At the end of it all, you’ve got to have some spectacular cock-ups, because THEN, you’ll have stories…and you’ll have had a life.” – Cyril It’s a long way to rock-bottom, isn’t it?

Reviewing The Sound of Music LIVE! and those hate Tweets

Last night, I watched something awful. And it wasn’t on TV. We’ll get to that later. Reviewing the broadcast of Sound of Music LIVE! is actually pretty simple for me, so we’ll address that first. From top to bottom, we were treated to a gorgeously sung affair. Robust choruses, talented kids, dynamo supporting actors, and […]

Broadway featured in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – who to watch for

50 million people are expected to watch the 87th Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, including 3.5 million seeing it in person.  That group includes many lovers of Broadway since the parade usually features some current theatre productions among the 30 floats, 52 balloons, 900 clowns, and countless marching bands. Theatre lovers will have to choose between the […]

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