Excellent exploration of the boundaries of musical theater

About four years ago Connor McPherson, playwright of the successful play: The Weir, was asked if he would consider using the songs of Bob Dylan in a theatrical play. He dismissed the idea at first, thinking the songs lacked a certain theatricality. He didn’t think of Bob Dylan as a ‘musicals musician’. But after he thought about it for a while, he came up with an idea how to use the songs in a theatrical setting: the songs aren’t used as a narrative device or presented as actual songs. They’re used, as Connor describes it, ‘to create a conversation with the scenes’.

Read More

Broken people, adultery and lots of sugar mixed into a pie

Waitress the musical is yet another show that’s based on a movie, an important detail to note though is the fact that this musical is based on a relatively unknown indie-movie. Being relatively unknown gives the creatives of a show more space to work with, as fans of the property are more likely to be happy with the exposure to said property than dissatisfied with the changes made to it. This story of female empowerment in particular was used to become one of the few overtly feminist musicals.

Read More

Sweeney Todd meets Macbeth in Pennsylvania

Guess what show I’m talking about: there’s a musical based on an old English tale about a couple who can’t seem to stop murdering people to keep their successful food business open. If you guessed Sweeney Todd you would be wrong, I’m talking about Scotland, Pa. The new Off-Broadway show by the Roundabout Theater company that is playing at the Laura Pels theater. A disclaimer beforehand: I saw the show in previews any of the elements I will discuss are up for change.

Read More

Harmless musical commemorates Anne Frank’s Diary

In the past few decades the musical as a form of theatre has begun to explore the boundaries of its form by going out of the predefined frame of ‘entertaining play with songs,’ we’ve seen tragic epics in the ‘80’s, politically conscious musicals in the ‘90’s and personal, intimate musicals in the first two decades of the 21st century. And in 2008, somewhere in France, Jean-Piere Hadida must have thought: well why not? Why not make a musical about the diary of Anne Frank?

Read More

Daniel Fish’s Oklahoma! or, how to revive a musical

When Oklahoma opened on Broadway in 1943 it became an unprecedented success. It was a musical about American ideals and the beauty of the simple American life in the wild west, moreover it was just what America needed to boost morale during the war. We’ve come a long time since those days though, and some of the ideals glorified in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! have become outdated. How then, could you mount a production of such a show in 2019?

Read More

Public Work’s Hercules shows the best of what community theater can do

Hercules the myth is one of those legendary stories that everyone has heard of. In the 90’s Disney decided to present their take on the story in the movie-musical ‘Hercules.’ The story of that movie was almost certainly less inspired by the myth and more by the sports-movies that were popular at the time. Those movies featuring an underdog who against all odds defeats his self-doubt, ‘the haters’ and the obstacle in the story. In the Public Works update Hercules is no longer a Sports-hero but a hero of the community.

Read More

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google