THIS WEEK @ JK's TheatreScene

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Well, my "little vacation" ended up lasting two and a half years... funny how life steers your life in directions you weren't planning on. I'll start off with occasional posts, but I fully plan to resume this blog to full speed by the new year.

I hope you'll come back for frequent visits, to see new reviews, to share opinions, to take a survey (or two), and to celebrate the shows and show people that have made the TheatreScene!

Jeff

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Broadway on the Internet: Spotlight on Broadway



DON'T FORGET TO VOTE IN ROUND 5 OF HOT OR NOT: AFTER MIDNIGHT EDITION!
CLICK THE SHOW LOGO TO YOUR LEFT AND CAST YOUR BALLOT!
THIS POLL WILL CLOSE AT 6PM ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27TH!

As you know, theatre is my passion.  Facts, statistics, performers, shows, hits, flops... theatre history is my drug.  Imagine my delight at the brand new website sponsored by the City of New York, spotlightonbroadway.com !

Grade: A+



It is a one stop shop for anything and everything you ever wanted to know about Broadway's 40 theatres.  Tons of vintage photos and Playbill covers, interviews with actors, directors, choreographers, producers and impresarios tell the story of each building.  Their voices give first person points of view about what it is to perform on each of those stages.  The images show their entire history, often from construction photos all the way up to the theatres as they are today.  Video clips offer exciting glimpses into the shows that made history.  And best of all, it puts the information into city history and theatre history perspective. (For example, the Winter Garden was a "horse palace" where the city's workers came to buy and trade horses to pull trolleys, buggies and carriages.  Just as the city was transitioning away from a horse-driven to a horse-less carriage society, the building transitioned from animal arena to entertainment palace.)

I really only was going to check out a few entries... but about three hours later and almost half of the theatres checked out, I am HOOKED.  Organized in a variety of ways - by theatre, by architectural features, by featured show, by "storytellers" (Angela Lansbury, Chita Rivera, Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close, Sergio Trujillo and David Hyde Pierce are just a few I watched), by professionals (hear from everyone from a choreographer to a lighting designer to the head prop master!), and by the movers and shakers (Jimmy Nederlander, Sr. is just too cute for a older guy!).  Even the narrators are interesting: I heard from Eric Bogosian, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald; I'm not sure if there are more.

The good news is that this site is scholarly... well-researched, comprehensive, and with an eye toward the full spectrum of history - not just the big shows are featured, but also those that changed they way we look at life.  The better news is that this site is user-friendly - you can get to the information in any number of ways, and each way leads you to new discoveries.  And the best news is that it is all entertaining!

You cannot miss with this site, whether you are a student, a professional or a theatre fan like me.

Jeff
5.034

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