HERE'S WHAT'S NEW:

CHECK OUT THE TABS ABOVE FOR PREVIOUS ARTICLES, INCLUDING #TBT, THE FRIDAY 5, AND THERE'S AN ALL-NEW BWAY REVIEWS PAGE! CHECK IT OUT!
DON'T FORGET TO SCROLL DOWN THE WHOLE PAGE FOR LINKS TO FEATURED ARTICLES, REVIEWS, SHOW SITES, AND THEATER-RELATED STUFF!

COMING UP ON BROADWAY:
Choir Boy - Opens: 1.8.19 True West - Previews: 12.27.18, Opens: 1.24.19 Be More Chill - Previews: 2.13.19, Opens: 3.10.19 Kiss Me, Kate - Previews: 2.14.19, Opens: 3.14.19 Ain't Too Proud - Previews: 2.28.19, Opens: 3.21.19 King Lear - Previews: 2.28.19, Opens: 4.4.19 Oklahoma! - Previews: 3.19.19, Opens: 4.7.19 Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus - Previews: 3.5.19, Opens: 4.11.19 Burn This - Previews: 3.15.19, Opens: 4,16.19 Hadestown - Previews: 3.22.19, Opens: 4.17.19

COMING UP ON THE BLOG: 12/17: Broadway Heat: The Cher Show Edition: Sweet 16 Round - 12/18: 2018 JKTS Awards: Naughty Fun, Fun, Fun! - 12/19: 2018 JKTS Awards: The Performances - 12/20: 2018 Broadway Trends and Traditions - 12/21: The Friday 5: The Best Broadway Debuts of 2018

CONTACT US: (Email) jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com (Twitter) @jkstheatrescene (Instagram) jkstheatrescene

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

BROADWAY OLYMPICS IV: SpongeBob SquarePants

Last week, you awarded the gold, silver and bronze to the exciting cast of Once On This Island, and this week you'll venture under the sea to Bikini Bottom and the world of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical. The cast will be competing for qualifying medals in 5 events: Leading Actor, Featured Actress, Featured Actor, Male Ensemble and Female Ensemble.  Your job is evaluate each cast member's "star(fish) quality."

The survey is below the cast photos - there are a lot of actors in this show, so keep scrolling!

A few things to consider:
  1. No, you don't have to have seen the show to vote!
  2. Yes, this is like the old "Hot or Not" contests. We are looking for the best of the best of the Broadway musical season. Consider their overall "Star Quality": charisma, talent, presence, performance (current and/or past). Do you think they have a great future ahead on stage?
  3. No, you do not have to answer for each cast member.
  4. In categories with 3 or fewer candidates, all medals may not be awarded.
  5. Yes, the survey is secure, and NO, your information is not being collected.
MOST IMPORTANT: YOU HAVE TO CLICK THE SUBMIT BUTTON AT THE END FOR YOUR VOTE COUNT!




TEAM SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS


Top 3 vote-getters in each of the 5 categories get the gold, silver and bronze medals.

LEAD ACTOR
ETHAN SLATER

FEATURED ACTRESS
LILLI COOPER

FEATURED ACTOR
GAVIN LEE, BRIAN RAY NORRIS 
DANNY SKINNER, WESLEY TAYLOR


FEMALE ENSEMBLE MEMBER
GAELEN GILLILAND, JULIANE GODFREY
STEPHANIE HSU, JAI'LEN CHRISTINE LI JOSEY
LAURALYN MCCLELLAND, VASTHY MOMPOINT
 ONEIKA PHILLIPS, ABBY C. SMITH
BRYNN WILLIAMS

MALE ENSEMBLE MEMBER
ALEX GIBSON, KYLE MATTHEW HAMILTON
CURTIS HOLBROOK, JESSE JP JOHNSON
 L'OGAN J'ONES, KELVIN MOON LOH
JON RUA, JC SCHUSTER
 RONERT TAYLOR, JR., ALLAN K. WASHINGTON
MATT WOOD

Monday, January 29, 2018

#MyBroadwayThing : Actual Tickets

Last week, I shared my first "Broadway Thing," a specific thing about Broadway that I get a big kick out of.  Love those artful photographs!  This week, I'll share #MyBroadwayThing with a sense of impending doom.

I'm talking about physical theater tickets. In this increasingly digital world, I suppose it is foolhardy to think these things will be around much longer, and so I'm feeling both nostalgic and sad about these little strips of card stock.

It's something that I know won't be around much longer, but I cling to it for three big reasons:

1. I still get that sense of butterflies in my stomach when that plain white envelope arrives in my mailbox every time.  It takes me back to the days when you'd either call (or send a letter to) Telecharge requesting tickets to Cats, and the operator would go through the schpiel  about "all sales are final, blah blah blah...and your tickets will arrive in a plain, unmarked envelope approximately 2 weeks before your performance..." Then the waiting game...and then... eureka! The envelope would be there with the golden tickets inside. It's as good now as it was then (though a lot cheaper then - the fees are ridiculous these days!)


2. I love NOT paying extra to have tickets mailed home, and picking them up at Will Call.  Is there anything more exciting (pre-show) then giving your name to the guy behind the glass who looks mildly bored was he scoots the tickets (sticking out of the little envelope) through that little hole at the bottom of the glass. "Enjoy the show," he says, polite, but still weary sounding. Then there's the brief moment of panic, when you check the tickets before you leave window, and breathe a sigh of relief when you see your name and the right seat numbers on the tickets! (Side note here: Definitely check your tickets before you leave the window - one time I got somebody else's tickets in the envelope with mine. I was honest and returned them. But these days? Imagine someone less honest suddenly having 2 extra tickets to Hamilton that they could easily unload at quite a profit!)

3. I'm really not that old, but I've reached the age where I find myself saying things my grandparents and parents would say. (They'd say, "I remember eating a 3 course meal at the Automat for less than a dollar!" I'd say, "Instant gratification isn't always best.", We'd both say, "Isn't it a shame that people don't dress for the theater any more?") And I guess it is that sense of nostalgia that makes me cling to paper tickets.  They are a souvenir all by themselves! (I still have a set of brass ticket key chains somewhere, too.) Yes, I keep them - I have a book of tickets kept in a scrapbook type thing made just for tickets (clearly, I'm not alone in this...right?). And now I keep my tickets with my Playbills in binders (that's a future blog). I still have my very first Broadway ticket from Mame - August 20, 1983. 2PM. Orchestra Row S, Seat 112.

Yes, that sense of nostalgia for a sure-to-be-dying-soon thing is a big part of it.  I mean, I'm the guy who still wants a physical CD for a cast recording, not a digital download,  I want something I can hold.  You know what I mean?  It was hard enough letting go of Original Cast Recordings on vinyl.

Then again, several shows are now putting out vinyl albums...so maybe, just maybe, tickets (not print-at-home FAKE tickets!) won't be going anywhere soon, after all.

Do you have a #MyBroadwayThing you'd like to share? Email me at jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com, or Tweet me (using the hashtag) @jkstheatrescene!

Friday, January 26, 2018

HAPPY 30TH, PHANTOM!

They may have celebrated the event on Wednesday, but today is the actual anniversary. No matter when  they did, and no matter what you think of the show (I, myself, am not a phan) it's still a remarkable achievement!

The logos have been tweaked over the years, the cast has changed hundreds of members, and the ticket prices have certainly changed. When the show opened, the top ticket price was an outrageous $50.00.  (These days for slightly less, you can get nosebleed seats for that. Heck, there are even $29 seats for some performances.) And how many cast members weren't even alive yet on January 26, 1988?

Long-time readers know how much I love Broadway marquees and logos, so I thought I'd pay tribute to The Phantom of the Opera with a look at how it has changed over the years!







Playbill Opening Night Pages


And, as if they read my blog from the other day , here's a Phantom art photo of the 30th anniversary principals:




Congratulations! Here's to 30 more!

(Photos: personal, Getty, C McNaney)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

#MyBroadwayThing: Cast "Art Photos"

<<<<< DON'T FORGET TO VOTE FOR THE GOLD, SILVER & BRONZE IN THE BROADWAY OLYMPICS: TEAM ONCE ON THIS ISLAND!!

So, if you are reading this, you no doubt have more than a passing interest in theater in general and Broadway, specifically.  Well, me, too. I have shows I am obsessed with and certain performers, composers, playwrights and designers whose every move gets my attention.  I'm pretty sure we all do.

But if you are into this like I am, you know that even the most specific aspects of productions can get us excited about a show. I notice everything - the tiniest changes in a show logo, website quality, even those fliers they try to shove in your hand when you walk around Times Square. (Shout out to those Chicago gals in red tights and bowler hats, who do their best Fosse moves to give you a slip of paper!) And thus, a new regular column is born: #MyBroadwayThing.

This time around I'll share my newest "thing": those artful, usually modern-dress, tableau photos of show casts in settings and poses that are thematically similar to the show they are in.  I LOVE THESE THINGS!  I love that they make my mind work - I focus on the background, the composition, and, of course, the most minute details of the actors' expressions and body language.  I really love how they bridge the "real world" and the world of the play.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Angels in America: Millennium Approaches/Perestroika

The approaching storm, the looks of anger, hurt, fear, and defiance. Notice how no one is looking at each other? How Andrew Garfield is the only one going up the hill, and Nathan Lane is going down? And the way Denise Gough holds her clasped hands to her chest, while Lee Pace sulks wistfully? The battered American flag skirt on Amanda Lawrence's broken-but-surviving angel? This amazing photo tells us all about the relationships of these people and is a visual representation of those titular National Themes...as relevant today as ever. (If not more...)

Come From Away

I wonder if what I see in this picture will be colored by or change when I finally get to see this show?  But then again, aren't these photographs supposed to entice viewers into seeing a show they haven't seen? Of course, I know enough about the show to glean some show-related details.  Crowded at an airport gate...stranded, uncomfortable passengers, bags at hand... captain very serious and arms folded to enforce her leadership status (and maybe to hold herself back from showing her own fears).  A closer look shows a cross-section of world cultures - a microcosm of humanity brought together, and not for a happy reason. Notice the most colorful things in the photo are the Canadian flags, and the hockey jersey wearing, plaid-clad (and only smiler) Canadians themselves.  I can't wait to hear their story!

My Fair Lady

My enjoyment of this deceptively simple photograph is definitely informed by my knowledge of the show that is its subject. From the show: first of all, the location fairly screams a British regal sensibility: the hallways around a center, polished wood railings, 19th century-esque metal work below the railings. And there's the relationship between both couples: father-daughter, mother-son. Lastly, The background subjects are Ascot Gavotte-ready socialites. But notice that the primary subjects (Norbert Leo Butz, Lauren Ambrose, Diana Rigg and Harry Haddon-Paton) are in modern dress, on a leisurely stroll, while the socialites in period dress are behaving more like 21st century people - social networking/gossiping or running off in a blur to the "next thing." Translation: this My Fair Lady is both timeless and timely.  Way to get modern audiences to buy a ticket to an old-fashioned classic!

DO YOU HAVE A "BROADWAY THING"? TWEET ME USING #MyBroadwayThing or email me at jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com .

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

BROADWAY OLYMPICS III: Team ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Well, we are already up to week 3 of The Broadway Olympics, and this time around, you are selecting your favorite stars of the critically-acclaimed revival of Once On This Island! The cast is divided into 4 categories: Featured Actor, Featured Actress, Male Ensemble Member, and Female Ensemble Member.**  The poll appears immediately below the cast photos.  Feel free to scroll down and get started, but if you need more info, keep reading!



Answers to FAQ's:
  1. No, you don't have to have seen the show to vote!
  2. Yes, this is like the old "Hot or Not" contests. We are looking for the best of the best of the Broadway musical season. Consider their overall "Star Quality": charisma, talent, presence, performance (current and/or past). Do you think they have a great future ahead on stage?
  3. No, you do not have to answer for each cast member.
  4. In categories with 3 or fewer candidates, all medals may not be awarded.
  5. Yes, the survey is secure, and NO, your information is not being collected.
MOST IMPORTANT: YOU HAVE TO CLICK THE SUBMIT BUTTON AT THE END FOR YOUR VOTE COUNT!

** - For this poll, you are considering the original cast.  New replacements will be considered in a poll later this season.  Also, these polls will not consider children. Finally, results will be adjusted if the Tony committee decides that certain roles are in different categories than currently listed.




TEAM ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
Top 3 vote-getters in each of the 2 categories get the gold, silver and bronze medals.



FEATURED ACTRESS 

MERLE DANDRIDGE, ALYSHA DESLORIEUX, HAILEY KILGORE

KENITA R. MILLER, LEA SALONGA

FEATURED ACTOR

PHILLIP BOYKIN, QUENTIN EARL DARRINGTON

ALEX NEWELL, ISAAC POWELL


MALE ENSEMBLE MEMBER

RODRICK COVINGTON, TYLER HARDWICK

DAVID JENNINGS, GRASAN KINGSBERRY, T. OLIVER REID

FEMALE ENSEMBLE MEMBER

DARLESIA CEARCY, CASSONDRA JAMES

LOREN LOTT, AURELIA WILLIAMS

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