Category Archives: Broadway

Chasing Stories

If you took a census of all of the characters who are alive in my mind, it wouldn’t surprise me if the number reached into the thousands. Sherlock Holmes and Mama Rose, Clytemnestra and Walter Lee Younger, Jackie Brown and … Continue reading

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“Raisin in the Sun” at the Public

The first grown-up straight play I remember seeing was Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun in Chicago. I didn’t see it the first time it played Chicago, when it stopped there on its way to Broadway in February 1959 … Continue reading

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A New “1776”

I’m going to guess I’m not the only person who learned about the triangle trade from a musical. Late in the action of the show of 1776, a delegate to the Continental Congress from South Carolina named Edward Rutledge reacts … Continue reading

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As You Kink It

Because of serendipitous scheduling, I saw Kinky Boots on a matinee and the New York Shakespeare production of As You Like It that night. Kinky Boots is about a guy who gets to say and do some things because he … Continue reading

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“The Bedwetter” and “Mr. Saturday Night”

Two new musicals are co-written by people who came to fame via stand-up comedy. Mr. Saturday Night, the Billy Crystal vehicle (which he co-wrote with Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, composer Jason Robert Brown and lyricist Amanda Green) is about … Continue reading

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Telling it Clearly — “Macbeth” vs. “Cyrano”

I’m a story guy. I think the roots of the theater lie in people sharing stories. I’ve written before about a conversation I had in the mid-Seventies with novelist Louis L’Amour that influenced my thinking. He described how Native Americans, … Continue reading

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“American Buffalo” on Broadway

In 2001, I served on a grand jury. At one point, an ADA played for us a recording from a wiretap. It was a conversation between two members of a violent drug gang. One was assigning the other to kill … Continue reading

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CULLUD WATTAH and CLYDE’S

My idea was to write a series of plays, each of which would take place in another American city. The stories would be specific to those towns, each arising organically out of the character and history of the location. And … Continue reading

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Sondheim

In 1966, ABC decided to try to change its image. It had a reputation for dumb shows with scantily-clad women and car chases. Someone at the network decided they were going to prove they could do quality, too. Thus was … Continue reading

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Fairycakes, Thoughts of a Colored Man, Chicken and Biscuits

It could be that, after months of having to watch actors in two dimensions on screens, I am so grateful to be in the company of life-sized human beings that I’m in a glass half-full mode. I have seen a … Continue reading

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