Even if one didn’t already exist in his gallery of colorful eccentrics, Jefferson Mays would qualify as the Main Stem’s Mad Hatter. He’s easy to spot at any Broadway opening: He’s the one wearing a hat.
“You can say pathology, you can say fetish,” he offered in a recent interview. “I love hats. I’ve always Read More
Turn Off The Lights!
“Betrayal” is actually a pretty good description of what the Broadway experience can feel like these days.
Sitting in the $92 cheap seats on the first night of previews for director Mike Nichols’ play felt like being a gargoyle, crouching in the rafters of some medieval banquet hall.
Maybe having your legs pinioned so that you can rest your chin on your knees is the perfect contemplative pose in which to receive a Harold Pinter play. But up in the back, at least, the audience was there to see Daniel Craig.
Already the most expensive (and stupidly named) musical in history, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is also proving to be by far the most dangerous. Thanks, Bono. Read More
Theater may have been Hal Prince’s most enduring love, but it wasn’t his first. The legendary Broadway producer and director—he won the first of his 21 Tony Awards (more than any other individual) for The Pajama Game when he was only 27—once harbored dreams of a literary life.
As a teen, Mr. Prince practiced what he thought would be his future craft, writing for The Red & Blue, the literary journal of the Franklin School on West 89th Street. (The Franklin School would later be merged into Dwight).
He may have wound up pursuing an unpromising literary career had he not encountered a far superior talent in The Red & Blue’s pages. The writer who nudged Mr. Prince onto a different path? A young Truman Capote.
Holla At Your Director
And… scene! The eclectically-decorated townhouse of Broadway legend Hal Prince may not suit all tastes—although with zigzags, polka dots, stripes, cheetah print, florals, blood red carpet and even what appears to be some interior astroturf, the home certainly has something for everyone—but it has won the heart of a buyer.
The Georgian-style townhouse at 48 East 74th, which was more recently asking $19.95 million, is in contract, The Observer has learned. For how much, we cannot say, as Brown Harris Stevens broker Paula Del Nunzio would not divulge any details when we called her for comment. But if Mr. Prince even gets close to his ask, he will have a success on the level of one of his Broadway smash hits (among them Phantom of the Opera and West Side Story) given that he paid a mere $12.5 million for the place when he bought it back in 2009. (Only in Manhattan could $12.5 million be preceded by a mere.)
Tupac Shakur, the Elvis Presley of the rap world, is coming to Great White Way. Holla!
A musical featuring the songs of the late rapper 2Pac, titled Holler If Ya Hear Me, is officially in the works. Directed by Kenny Leon of A Raisin in the Sun and Fences, choreographed by Tony Award-winning Wayne Cilento and Read More
The 31st Annual Fred and Adele Astaire Awards, which honored today’s beacons of Broadway dance, kicked off on Monday as any tribute to theater should: champagne flowed freely, cocktail rings gleamed and camera bulbs flashed as Marge Champion graced the staircase
Only a few minutes into the show at NYU’s Skirball Center, Rodgers & Hammerstein Read More
The venue 54 Below, New York’s beautiful new cabaret room in the renovated basement of the once-notorious Studio 54 disco, is playing host this week (through Feb. 2) to golden girl Christine Andreas. The ambience still retains the decadence of the space’s former tenant, but Ms. Andreas spreads nothing but sunshine. “Bemused,” the delightful, musically eclectic new act she has written for herself, is carefully designed to illustrate the varied definitions of that all-encompassing word. This gives the charming, multi-talented song stylist myriad moods to explore and a challenging repertoire of songs to explore them in. There’s something for everybody.
Webster’s uses for the word “bemused” include “immersed,” “surprised” and “thunderstruck”—but Ms. Andreas’s favorite definition of “bemused,” she says, is the kind of spark that only occurs when the right singer meets the right song (or songwriter).
Big Apple Idolatry
Last Thursday, more than 1,100 people packed the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Midtown for the 32nd Annual Muse Awards of the New York Women in Film and Television. This wasn’t your typical ladies-who-lunch affair, as a dazzling gaggle of silver screen honorees were acknowledged for their “outstanding vision and achievement.”
The Observer has attended many a high-powered New York City event, but at this one the atmosphere seemed a bit more genuine with enthusiasm and pride. And no wonder, given how deserving those honored were. Awardees filmmaker Lisa F. Jackson, Kim Martin of WE TV, Lucy Liu and Mariska Hargitay were all celebrated for being women who have persevered, not only having achieved professional success, but having demonstrated commitment towards improving the lives of others. For an industry famed for its self-indulgence, celebrating these women for the opposite was a welcome change.
Debra Zimmerman, executive director of nonprofit Women Make Movies, received the Loreen Arbus award.
– Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, has resigned from his role on Sesame Street after a second young man stepped forward to accuse the Academy Award-nominated documentary subject of being a sexual predator. 24-year-old Cecil Singleton is asking for $5 million from Mr. Clash, after claiming he met the voice actor on a phone sex line when he was 15. Then he made a pretty large leap in logic, claiming that Clash spent his days at Sesame “preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests.”
– So in addition to bringing new chapters of Trapped in the Closet to IFC, R. Kelly is now bringing his hip-hopera to the Great White Way. Hey, it can’t be any worse than Ghost: The Musical.