Tag: Theater

The Life and Legacy of Stephen Sondheim

Jesse Green contributed reporting. The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, […]

Read More

Ron Cephas Jones Has Something to Prove Again

In the spring of 2020, a recurring nightmare began tormenting the actor Ron Cephas Jones. A theater veteran known for his work on the NBC drama “This Is Us,” Jones is 64 and wiry, with short waves of black hair and an almond-shaped face. In the dream, he is delivering a monologue onstage — darkened […]

Read More

The Great ‘West Side Story’ Debate

HELLER Matthew, I’m going to circle back to you, as a theater artist whose response to the material has changed over time. Among other things, you wrote a play about the play and its impact on a Puerto Rican family. Tell us about it — and was it informed by your new insights into where […]

Read More

Cherished Words From Sondheim, Theater’s Encourager-in-Chief

In the fictionalized movie version of his life, Jonathan Larson ignores the ringing phone and lets the answering machine pick up. Crouched on the bare wooden floor of his shabby apartment in 1990 New York City, he listens as Stephen Sondheim leaves a message — instant balm to his battered artist’s soul. “Jon? Steve Sondheim […]

Read More

At 80, Robert Wilson Holds On to a Singular Vision for the Stage

In lieu of psychology, Wilson’s work is driven by image and sound, and was shaped by early encounters with forward-looking choreographers. After a difficult youth as the gay son of a conservative family in Texas, where he initially studied business administration, Wilson moved to New York in 1963 and discovered the work of Merce Cunningham […]

Read More

Tony Kushner, Oracle of the Upper West Side

IN ACT III, Scene 2 of “Millennium Approaches,” Louis asks, “Why has democracy succeeded in America?” It’s not exactly a rhetorical question, and Louis’s rambling attempt to answer it isn’t entirely persuasive, certainly not to his friend Belize, a Black, gay nurse who cares for men dying from AIDS-related illnesses, and who possesses an acute […]

Read More

A Song for Stephen Sondheim, by Julie Andrews and Others

To the Editor: Re “Stephen Sondheim, 1930-2021: Virtuoso Who Reshaped the Broadway Musical” (obituary, front page, Nov. 27): Stephen Sondheim’s death closes the American Broadway musical era profoundly and decisively. It’s not just another great composer’s death, but the end of the modern American genre as we have known it for the past 70 years. […]

Read More

Stephen Sondheim, as Great a Composer as He Was a Lyricist

In the early ’90s, at several memorial services for friends who had died of AIDS, I played “Good Thing Going,” a wistful song about recalling imperfect but cherished relationships. “Marry Me a Little,” cut from the original production of “Company” but beloved in later revivals as the protagonist’s statement of determination and despair, was another […]

Read More

Jennifer Nettles Had Sung ‘She Used to Be Mine.’ But Not While Crying.

Sara Bareilles and Jennifer Nettles have been friends for over a decade, and Nettles had long been itching to step into Bareilles’s musical “Waitress.” “For years we kept trying to make it happen but it never worked on the logistics side,” she said in a recent video call. Everything finally fell into place this fall, […]

Read More

Stream These 7 Productions That Celebrate Stephen Sondheim’s Work

Stephen Sondheim, the composer and lyricist who died on Friday at age 91, had an unparalleled influence on contemporary theater. Revivals of two of his shows are currently onstage in New York — the gender-swapped version of “Company” on Broadway and the starry production of “Assassins” Off Broadway at the Classic Stage Company — and […]

Read More

Impromptu Stephen Sondheim Wakes Fill Piano Bars With Tears and Tunes

Across the street from Marie’s, the mood was decidedly more raucous at the Duplex, where an ad hoc reunion of “Mostly Sondheim,” an open mic that ended a 12-year run in 2016, was underway. Inside, musical-theater insider jokes freely mixed with raunchy profanity and references to “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.” The appreciative […]

Read More

Praise for Stephen Sondheim at ‘Company’ and ‘Assassins’

It was evidence of Sondheim’s long-lasting popularity that, on the day of his death, audience members lined up to see revivals for two of his musicals: “Company,” a Broadway production starring Patti LuPone and Katrina Lenk, and “Assassins,” about the people who killed or tried to kill American presidents. Both had been delayed by the […]

Read More

Stephen Sondheim Tributes Pour In From Stars

Passionate tributes to Stephen Sondheim came quickly as the news of his death reached the theater world and beyond on Friday. Comparisons to Shakespeare were invoked more than once; so was appreciation for his tough-love feedback to those who interpreted his songs. Because the Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer of such beloved shows as “Sunday in the Park […]

Read More

Stephen Sondheim: The Essential Musical Dramatist Who Taught Us to Hear

On its own, his verbal agility, and musical sensitivity, though prodigious, would not have produced great characters like Sweeney in “Sweeney Todd,” Desiree Armfeldt in “A Little Night Music” and Fosca in “Passion” (who barely rhymes at all). Innately understanding how the component elements of musical theater could be forged into drama was his overriding […]

Read More

Stephen Sondheim Reflected on ‘Company’ and ‘West Side Story’ in Final Interview

ROXBURY, Conn. — Stephen Sondheim stood by the gleaming piano in his study, surrounded by posters of international productions of his many famous musicals, and smiled as he inquired whether a visitor might be interested in hearing songs from a show he had been working on for years, but hadn’t finished yet. “And now would […]

Read More

Stephen Sondheim, Titan of the American Musical, Is Dead at 91

The period of Mr. Sondheim’s greatest work began when Harold Prince became his director. They were old friends, having been introduced by Ms. Rodgers in the late 1940s or early ’50s, and Mr. Prince had been the producer of “West Side Story.” He had proved his chops as a director as well, with musical successes […]

Read More

Covid Restrictions Are Back at Some of Europe’s Theaters

Other venues throughout the continent, where the pace of cancellations and restrictions has been accelerating since last month, might not be in such a secure position. Latvia was one of the first countries to impose new restrictions on cultural life, when it ordered performance venues shut from late October as part of a national lockdown. […]

Read More

Domhnall Gleeson Feels That Crackle in the Air

Tell me about you and Enda Walsh’s plays. What is it about them? I really didn’t understand Enda fully, I don’t think, or get the full dose of him until I saw “The Walworth Farce.” Which I saw in a tiny room in Galway. It blew my head off in a way that was totally […]

Read More

They Adapted ‘Mrs. Doubtfire,’ and Their Personal Beliefs

With Rob McClure, who plays Daniel, sitting next to her onstage, Miranda plays a confessional piano ballad, called “Let Go,” about her unfulfilling marriage. That spotlight moment supplants a less sympathetic number, “I’m Done,” which was cut after the 2019 Seattle tryout. Reviews for that production were mixed, though McClure’s performance was roundly praised. To […]

Read More

Natalie Mendoza Is Back on Broadway in ‘Moulin Rouge!’

Speaking of your path, I looked through your Instagram and you mention Transcendental Meditation, Christ, the Divine Mother, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Ram Dass, Rumi, a Hindu god, St. Francis of Assisi. What’s going on? I really honor the essence that permeates all the great faiths, including the faith of quantum mechanics. The intelligence that […]

Read More

‘West Side Story’ Star Ariana DeBose Is Always Ready for Her Next Role

Such a charmed arrival onto the New York theater scene is almost unheard of and, aware that her current wealth of opportunities is rare, DeBose is determined to prove herself worthy of them. “I don’t ever want anybody to look at my work and think, ‘Why does she have that when they could’ve hired someone […]

Read More

‘Tick, Tick … Boom!’ Review: A Bohemian’s Rhapsodies

For his feature directing debut, the “Hamilton” honcho Lin-Manuel Miranda points his spotlight at the composer who inspired his own creative awakening: Jonathan Larson. That artist heard little applause in his lifetime. He died at age 35 from an aortic aneurysm the day before the first preview of his breakthrough hit, “Rent.” In addition to […]

Read More

In ‘Tick, Tick … Boom!,’ Robin de Jesús Showcases His Range

“Boo-boo, you need to ask yourself,” Michael tells Jonathan, “In this moment, are you letting yourself be led by fear? Or love?” De Jesús said, “I knew that Michael did not have to be pulled and buttoned up, that he was someone who navigated being an artist, a creative, someone who was down and hip, […]

Read More

Review: ‘Trouble in Mind,’ 66 Years Late and Still On Time

So far this season, five plays by Black authors have opened on Broadway, each with something urgent to say. Whether despairing (“Pass Over”) or lighthearted (“Chicken & Biscuits”), broadly representative (“Thoughts of a Colored Man”) or laser-beam specific (“Lackawanna Blues”), they are talking to us now, like a newspaper come to life. Like newspapers, too, […]

Read More

‘Diana, the Musical’ Review: Exploiting the People’s Princess

“Was there ever a greater tabloid tale?” Sung by a pack of slithering paparazzi amid an explosion of flashbulbs, so begins “Diana, the Musical,” which seems to exist to answer the question. Digging deep into the celebrity-bio-musical barrel, there to squabble for pre-eminence with pop divas and Jersey boys, it may well win the prize […]

Read More

The Trippy Tales Behind ‘Flying Over Sunset’

When Mrs. Luce said, “Mr. Grant meet Aldous Huxley,” Hadden-Paton instantaneously extended his elbow, in a moment that was pure 2020. It will never be repeated, but the sly surprise almost stopped the show. By March 15, the cast, crew and creators dispersed. There were weekly Zooms, and on April 16 — what would have […]

Read More

Ed Bullins, Leading Playwright of the Black Arts Movement, Dies at 86

Ed Bullins, who was among the most significant Black playwrights of the 20th century and a leading voice in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and ’70s, died on Saturday at his home in Roxbury, Mass. He was 86. His wife, Marva Sparks, said the cause was complications of dementia. Over a 55-year career […]

Read More