Archive for the ‘Theatre’ Category

Earlier this week, I posted something about the right kerfuffle involving Warner Bros., Daniel Radcliffe, and the Broadway production of How to Succeed….

The theatre's a small world, isn't it?

Well, according to Playbill.com, the Warners won.


Victory calls for Comic Sans.

Actually, this isn’t that big a deal.  I understand it’s just business.  (Or maybe it is a big deal:  Is this equivalent to the film saying theatre doesn’t matter?)   But two things stick with me.  The first is that selling out three nights of a Broadway show is about $500,000, which isn’t a huge amount of money and yet still covers about a half a week’s salary for lot of actors, technicians, ushers, etc., plus running costs, royalties, and all that good stuff.  The second is that, in the film industry, that same $500,000 is a nuisance.  It’s mind-boggling.  You could probably add all the budgets of all the shows I’ve ever done, and it still wouldn’t add up to $500,000.  In this case, it’s just an obstacle to getting a star to do some press.

But I digress.  This post isn’t about How to Succeed…, Broadway, or even the Harry Potter franchise.  It’s about the Warner Brothers.  And their sister Dot.


The theme of today's puzzle.

It’s Yakko’s world.  We just live in it:

Not to be outdone, Wakko rules the country (and he starts with my favorite capital city):

And Dot’s cute:

So, if How to Succeed… is dark those nights, then WHO’S ON STAGE?

Hahaha!  I love that show. 🙂


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So, Warner Bros. is at war with the producers of the new revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, over their refusal to release Daniel Radcliffe to do press and red-carpet for the final Harry Potter movie.  Radcliffe’s contract keeps him in NY and in the show until November, while the movie opens in July.  Warner Bros. feels they can’t adequately promote the film without Radcliffe, but How to Succeed producers have held firm, forcing the studio to buy out the houses for the nights they want Radcliffe, to the tune of about a half-a-million dollars.

It’s chump change, really, when you consider that the Potter franchise has grossed over $6 BILLION WORLDWIDE. To put that in perspective, based on my salary last year, I’d have to have lived 600 million years to make that kind of money.    Are they really concerned that if Harry Potter himself isn’t there, the movie won’t open big?

Can you find yourself?


Are they seriously worried about this?  Between the books and films, HP is a phenomenon that we’re not likely to see again in our lifetimes (unless it involves some skeevy, sparkly vampire, and even then, only maybe).










So, really, Warner Bros., thanks for “supporting” the theatre, and kudos to the How to Succeed producers for standing up to Goliath.  As for the show, it just went into previews, but the images I’ve seen from it so far are distinctive.  Here’s Hedy LaRue, on the left:

She does look great, though.


And here’s the Evolution of Bud Frump, from the 1960s to today:


From realistic nerd to fashion icon. See you in the Village, Bud!


The ad campaign and poster art are gorgeous, though, and another comparison leaps immediately to mind.

Hm. There are even faint buildings in the background.




I’m not imagining this, right?  You see this?


Palette, style, pose, truth, justice, and the American way.


And what’s amazing is you take the glasses off Clark Kent, and you get Superman; but if you put the glasses ON Daniel Radcliffe, you get…

The Boy Who Lived


Somehow, I think neither Warner Bros. nor How to Succeed have anything to worry about.



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I have two MFAs in writing for the theatre, and I still don’t know “how” to do it. Would that I had seen this video before spending all that time and money. (Warning: It’s one of those annoying ones that force you to watch it in YouTube.)

I wish it were parody. She should have gone ahead and entitled it “How NOT to Win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama,” because she tells you to do the opposite of everything Margaret Edson did. But in all fairness, she’s right: Wit did not play on the Broadway.

Don't try to win this. Ever.

I also love her palpable disdain for Disney, as if the imprimatur were some automatic guarantee of long-running success on the Great White Way.

Remember us?

And giving added support to her legitimacy as a theatrical maven, pundit, advisor, and sage, there is the subtly placed collection of books in the lower right corner of the frame, including Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, which also (so far as I know) has never been a Broadway show.

Feminist Theatre, Blood Meridian, and Virginia Woolf...hmmm, I sense an agenda.

She’s got other helpful tips as well.  (Again, you will watch in YouTube, ’cause they say so.)

I want to do one about how to make a contemporary video look like it was shot in 1978 through the use of flowering plants, non-descript office space, and a hairstyle that looks like the youngest daughter on Eight is Enough.

Elizabeth Bradford explains it all for you.

But, hey, who am I to judge?  It’s a lifetime of knowledge in six minutes of video!  Go write that hit show, kids!

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James Franco.

Ubiquitous? HE biquitous!

James Franco is everywhere.

James Franco is a hero to a subversive underclass.

James Franco is getting some people’s hopes up.

James Franco doth protest too much.

James Franco is a “style icon.”

I repeat: James Franco is a “style icon.”

James Franco makes Art.

I repeat: James Franco makes Art.

James Franco wants to be a Broadway.

James Franco does soap operas because he feels like it.

James Franco does icons.

James Franco does writers.

James Franco writes.

James Franco might be the next Clint Eastwood or Kevin Costner.

James Franco got loved up on by James Lipton.

James Franco causes riots.

James Franco provokes protests.

James Franco doesn’t go where he’s not wanted.

James Franco is an Oscar nominee.

James Franco is hosting the Oscars.

James Franco loves himself.

James Franco really, really, really loves himself.

James Franco is a subject to be studied.

James Franco is a subject to be studied and taught by James Franco himself.

James Franco does whatever the hell he wants.

James Franco is, mercifully, being told “No.”

True story:  I was in an elevator at NYU with James Franco one time.  He uses a Blackberry.  He’s smaller than you’d think.  And he’s really normal-looking in person.

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Something that consistently fascinates me as a NOLA transplant in NYC is the resonant connection between the two places.  I still keep up with the Times-Pic and Channel 4, but it’s always a surprise when Louisiana news comes from NY outlets.  Granted, you have big dramas, like the BP oil spill, that splash across a national canvas, but sometimes it’s the smaller, more human moments that work their way through.

Playbill. com has a great piece on Ellen Stewart, the founder of La MaMa who passed away yesterday at 91.  Her legacy – well, more accurately, her work, since she was still actively involved in her theatre – is something I’ve been aware of for some time.  I had no idea, until I read the article, however, that she was a Louisiana native, from Alexandria.  (The New York Times dissents, though, saying she was born in Chicago and spent some childhood years in Alexandria.  It’s also a wonderful portrait.)  I often wonder if people who really reposition their lives away from Louisiana feel the same kind of gravitational pull back there.  Is it still home?  Or does it become little more than a memory, a sepia photo tucked in the back of a book of more important, more valuable experiences?  Either way, it’s nice to know that a significant portion of the late-20th century Off Off Broadway theatre has roots in Louisiana.

The New York Times also has some nice coverage of the new show over the Anthony Bean Community Theater, Reflections: A Man and His Time, about former New Orleans politician Oliver Thomas, his post-Katrina bribery conviction, and his subsequent prison sentence.  Some of the details are muddled; for example, the poster graphic says the show is written by Oliver Thomas himself, but the article states that Anthony Bean wrote the play from Thomas’s writings and other interviews.  The newsworthiness of the production, though, seems to be the conceit of the show, which is that Oliver Thomas plays himself.  It’s not a far stretch, really, seeing as Thomas had acted before, particularly at ABCT, in shows like Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.  Thomas hopes the play will function as a cautionary tale, and whether it’s successful in that regard obviously remains to be seen.  The article attempts to draw a clear line between Thomas’s downfall and the current state of New Orleans politics, and Bean seems to be aiming for that kind of scope in the play as well.   I find I’m increasingly drawn to theatre that’s grounded in a real truth, and I’m intrigued about how this one will play out.

And, finally, poking around Gothamist this morning, I came across this month-old article about the tragic case of a bicyclist from New Orleans who was critically injured in an accident in Bushwick.  About a week after the Gothamist article was originally posted, the New York Times (again!) ran this considerably more positive piece about her accident and recovery.

Now, granted, an obituary, a convicted politician, and a tragic bicycle accident aren’t the cheeriest representation of home; but sometimes, it’s gratifying to look around so far away and see Louisiana everywhere.

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