Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Orlando Orlando Orlando

For months now, my family and I have been planning to head down to happy happy Orlando later this summer to have a mini reunion. While planning this trip, it has been absolutely shocking and horrible to watch the tragedies that have occurred in Orlando in recent weeks. 

A 22 year old former Voice singer was shot and killed while signing autographs after a show. 

A Nebraskan toddler was dragged and killed by an alligator in a Disney lagoon. 

And the deadliest mass shooting occurred at a gay Orlando nightclub, killing 49 victims and fracturing countless lives. 

Absolutely horrible! Absolutely senseless!

Love though will always prevail over evil and there has been an outpouring of love from ALL around the world. 

Broadway's best responded with their touching tribute -  What The World Needs Now Is Love. 

Here it is...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Three Concerts I Saw Outside of Manhattan

Lately, I have been traveling through tunnels and across bridges to attend concerts. Here are three worthwhile concerts I attended outside of Manhattan.  

My first stop was Gregory Porter at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown NJ. After seeing Patti at Mayo a few years ago, I have been itching to return to not only see a show but also check out another of the dining experiences in Jockey Hollow at the Vail Mansion. Grammy award winning Gregory Porter was my opportunity to do so. Gregory Porter did not disappoint and all I can say right now is drop everything and listen to the title track from his most recent album - Take Me to the Alley.  

Next up was Valerie June at Sopac in South Orange NJ. With Valerie June, I think that you either get or don't get her "organic moonshine roots music." Her voice creeps up on me and screams American heartland all the way. It is run to watch her development. 


Third was my first trip to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. I finally had the opportunity to see Florence and the Machine. Don't know what it is about English lead Florence Welch but I just dig her voice and admired her energy. Well worth it on a school night. 

These concerts remind me that the music world does not begin and end in Manhattan. All venues were easily accessible by public transportation and were well worth the trip.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Quote from Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart"

Ned Weeks in Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart:
Felix, weakness terrifies me. It scares the shit out of me. My father was weak and I'm afraid I'll be like him. His life didn't stand for anything, and then it was over. So I fight, Constantly. And if I can do it, I can't understand why everybody else can't do it, too. Okay?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Quote from Jennifer Haley's "The Nether"

Sims in Jennifer Haley's The Nether:
What are you afraid of? Violence? Porn? Did you know porn drives technology? The first photographs? Porn. The first movies? Porn. The most popular content when the Nether was called the Internet? Porn. The urge, Detective - the urge - as long as we are sentient, you will never stamp that out. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Broadway Carpool Karaoke

Watching this was the best part of the my day. I'm such a theater geek!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Quote from Ayad Akhtar's "Disgraced"

Emily in Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced:
Not seeing you. Not seeing who you really are. Not until you started to deal with him. And the deftness with which you did that. You made him see that gap. Between what he was assuming about you and what you really are. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Stage Diversity Shows Progress

The Guardian - New theater season once again shows lack of diversity on Broadway and Off
When this blog started, posts often touched on diversity on the New York City stage. That was not the intention for NYCSB. The focus was supposed to be the experience of going to the theater, not the lack of diversity on the stage. 

So, I stopped writing about diversity. 

Today though I want to revisit the topic for a moment, because it has been an exciting year of progress on the stage (especially when compared to the bigger Hollywood movie industry). 

Some exciting accomplishments:
  • The musical Waitress made history with the first all female creative team on Broadway and the play Eclipsed  made history as the first all-black, all-female show on Broadway.
  • According to the AAPAC's report - Ethnic Representation on New York City Stages,30% of roles went to actors of color, a new high and 24% jump from the previous year. Not earth shattering but progress nonetheless.
  • Pulitzer winning multi-ethnic Hamilton has undoubtedly added to the innovation of the Broadway musical! 
  • The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs has an ongoing initiative to work towards a diverse and equitable cultural workforce (after surveys showed that while NYC's art groups are more diverse than other organizations nationally, they are far from reflective of the city's demographics).

At this exact moment, there is a wonderful array of diverse productions on Broadway. Two of my favorites in the past year - Hamilton and The King and I - have wonderful diverse cast. On Your Feet! (which I haven't yet seen) looks at entertainment powerhouse - Gloria Estefan and productions such as Allegiance (closed) and Eclipsed told us stories of the unseen victims of war. Finally, two of the most exciting playwrights now in my opinion are young, gifted and black - Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Dominique Morisseau.

The issue of diversity on the stage will never be solved. This year however shows us that progress can and is being made. And on that note, here is a link to Bleep Magazine's - Fall on Broadway – more diversity than ever before.   

Other Posts
Diversity in the Theater - Part III
Diversity in the Theater - Part II
Diversity in the Theater - Part I

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Broadway Goes to Church

Last week, I went to The Church of St Pail the Apostle's website to look up their parish center hours and stumbled on a very interesting event - Broadway Goes to Church.  

According to the EventBrite page, the mission of the Broadway Goes to Church concert series is to bring a group of Broadway stars into a Church to celebrate, empower and touch people through personal stories and the most inspiring music ever written from Broadway and beyond. 

The recent concert, which I unfortunately could not make, featured some heavy hitters including one of my favorites - Lillias White. 

An evening of inspirational music sounds (frankly) inspiring.

A feature on the concert series was presented on NBC last year. See link here

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Quote from Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"

Margaret in Tennessee William's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof:
You can be young without money, but you can't be old without it. You've got to be old with money because to be old without it is just too awful, you've got to be one or the other, either young or with money, you can't be old and without it. - That's the truth...