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Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Welcome back from your fireworks haze.  Here's some of what's happening:

-Post-Tony bounces evident at the Broadway box office in the last days of June. Best Musical-winner Memphis was at just over 90% capacity. The shunned, but much featured Promises, Promises outright killing at 98%. La Cage Aux Folles very impressive at 95%.  Respected but jilted American Idiot and Come Fly Away hovering around only 75% and 50% respectively.  (And we're talking Green Day and Frank Sinatra there--those are supposed to be the shows for people who hate theatre!)  Least attended show on Broadway?  The new cast of David Mamet's Race: 47%.

-NYC public school budget cuts are taking a big hit--i.e. bigger than usual--on arts education.

-A mainstay of the regional directing circuit--especially in the staging of African American plays--Israel Hicks has died.

-As if The Octoroon wasn't already a cursed play... what happens when you try to retool it and one of your actors goes viral denouncing it as, not racist, but just a mess.  What was going on there at PS122 last week?


RLewis said...

Isn't American Idiot (62.51% last week) the answer to everyone who questions why young people do not go to the theater? Folks perennially drag out the old line that if theater would stop doing Hello Dollys, and instead do shows that young people can relate to, young people will go see them. Well clearly, they're not.

Young people don't want to SEE a show. When you're young you want to BE the show. Aren't we just wasting time on a fool's errand trying to appeal to the young masses? Let's just do shows that grown-ups with money will go see, and wait for the rest of our audience to grow up.

I hate that arts funding in NYC public schools is being cut, not because I want kids to see Broadway shows with my tax dollars, but because they should be starring in their own shows in their own auditoriums. I'd pay higher taxes for that!

Anonymous said...

Saw OCTOROON show on its next to last night. Had read the source play in college. Had also seen BJJ's NEIGHBORS. Have seen many other shows at PS122 as well.
After extensive framing of the experience by BJJ and his assistant, the scenes of the play they can still play ran about an hour. One reason for this brevity is that Karl Allen and three other actors are no longer in the cast.

When we first entered, we were told to take two pieces of paper -- one was the program, while the other was articles from the NYT, playbill and the Voice blog post discussed here. The secondary controversy over whether to print the email in the blog was not included.
At this point, it's really hard to know what anyone in the play intended to do, but tonight it closes and all involved can lick their wounds and go on to other things.