1992's Sister Act was one of the best comedies of the 90s, and its huge success is not forgotten today. Closely followed by a 1993 film sequel (Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit), it went on to inspire a musical adaptation that premiered at California's Pasadena Playhouse in 2006, London's West End in 2009, and on Broadway in 2011. Like the film, the musical has become a phenomenon with productions all around the world and now one touring the United States. I caught the show in my city, and I'm he... [Read more]
Over the past several decades, Mary Poppins has been a cherished part of the lives of millions of children around the world. The original 1934 stories by P.L. Travers and the classic 1964 film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke have kept the story alive and relevant, and now, the Broadway musical is enchanting a whole new generation of fans, young and old alike.
Thankfully, the stage version of Mary Poppins preserves nearly every song from the film. Favorites like "Chim Chim Cher-ee," "Jol... [Read more]
The timeless songs of the Gershwins have once again proven a worthy framework on which to hang a quirky and funny new musical. But the score isn't the only part of Nice Work If You Can Get It that harkens back to a time gone by. This show is a straight up 1920s farce and features all of the charm of the roaring decade in a neat little package. From the throw-back costumes to the rum-running gangsters defying prohibition to make their living, this show oozes the nostalgia of a romanticized time g... [Read more]
Gore Vidal is a respected and prolific novelist, screenwriter, essayist, and playwright whose work spans over a half a century. Known for his unapologetic social and political commentary, he has produced some of the most compelling works of our era. His 1960 play The Best Man has enjoyed success on Broadway and in a 1964 film adaptation. I had the chance to see the most recent Broadway revival at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, and thanks to its all-star cast and timely political drama, it was a ... [Read more]
Millions of people fondly remember the hit 1990 film Ghost, which starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, and Tony Goldwyn. Now, the classic story has been updated and adapted as a stage musical that captures all of the drama, emotion, and magic live on stage. I was fortunate to be able to see Ghost on Broadway, and it was definitely a night to remember.
The most novel and innovative aspect of Ghost is its use of special effects. Through a combination of artful lighting, clever stag... [Read more]
Like so many people around the world, I count Wicked as one of my all-time favorite musicals. Its success on Broadway and around the world is a testament to its universal appeal. I have seen it four times, and when people ask me for recommendations for what to see on Broadway or on tour, I ask them first if they have seen Wicked yet. It's a crowd pleaser and often opens people up to the world of musical theatre (including my own previously skeptical father, who is now in the process of wearing o... [Read more]
The title Young Frankenstein is an immediately recognizable relic in the canon of one of the greatest comedic minds of our time: Mel Brooks. And the title role was historically created by the great Gene Wilder, so building on the tradition of this classic film is no small task. Thankfully, the musical version of Young Frankenstein rises to the challenge, preserving the heart of the film while adding a fresh spin and musical framework with music and lyrics by Brooks himself. Fans of the film, whi... [Read more]
The national tour of Fiddler on the Roof carries on the legacy of a legendary piece of musical theatre history. When Fiddler opened on Broadway in 1964, it ran for a record-breaking 3,242 performances, and it has since seen countless professional productions all over the world. It may not be the flashiest or most stylistically current musical in the world, but it is an iconic and important one with universal themes that are just as relevant today as when it was written.
I think my favorite part ... [Read more]
The Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying has been immensely popular since it debuted with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe's face prominently displayed on the marquee, posters, and Playbills. After a fleeting, 3-week run with Glee vet Darren Criss headlining, The Jonas Brothers' own Nick Jonas stepped in to take on the iconic role of J. Pierrepont Finch. With such attention focusing on these young superstars, the show has reached an audience far outside the boun... [Read more]
Deemed one of the best and most beloved musicals of all time, Les Miserables is a show whose reputation precedes it. Over the years, my exposure to it has been colored by its reputation of theatrical eminence. I remember reverently singing "Do You Hear the People Sing?" in high school chorus; then, Susan Boyle shot to fame for her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" on Britain's Got Talent (she now has a musical based on her own life, also titled I Dreamed a Dream); the signature ballad was later f... [Read more]