Much of the marketing for the new tour of The Phantom of the Opera has heavily promoted its technologically advanced staging. But to justify the ticket price, Phantom needs more than a new way of breaking the chandelier. It needs a cast with the vocal power and acting chops to live up to the gorgeous world they’re performing in. And boy, do they have that. The show, which arrived in Milwaukee this week for a 12-night engagement ending Aug. 3, is at once both opulent and gritty, with sets sliding in and out o seamlessly that you hardly notice. Increased pyrotechnics and lighting trickery add an extra level of danger.
Although he didn’t know it at the time, David Hyde Pierce’s path toward acting began when he was 6 or 7 years old and living in his hometown of Saratoga Springs, New York.
Anyone who has lost a spouse understands there is no bottom to the well of grief. At best, one can only hope to come to terms with the loss and manage the emotional wreckage.
Two couples — former chorus girls and the successful men they married — and the crumbling ruin of a Broadway theater are the setting of a show called Weismann’s Follies. The couples are survivors of twin relationships turned sour. Victims of their own follies, they’re surrounded by the ghosts of their pasts and fighting for a way to save their emotional lives of the present.
Stephen Sondheim’s Follies opened in April 1971 in New York’s Winter Garden Theatre. The show, with a book by James Goldman and directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett, ran for 522 performances and lost $792,000. It also earned 11 Tony Award nominations and won seven of them, prompting New York Times critic Frank Rich to wonder whether Follies was “a great musical or the greatest of all cult musicals.”
Terrence McNally’s Master Class imagines a lesson that three fictitious students might have received from 20th-century operatic legend Maria Callas at New York’s The Juilliard School in the 1970s. Although the play has some basis in fact, it uses the characters and the teaching concept to present lessons that McNally wants his audiences to learn.
Actor David Hyde Pierce first came out as gay in 2007 after winning a “best actor” Tony Award for the musical Curtains. During his acceptance speech, Hyde Pierce thanked Brian Hargrove, his partner of 24 years and a television writer, producer and director.
According to the tenets of the American Dream, people are free to pursue the lives they want.
In 1967, the Broadway musical world was rocked like never before by Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. Nothing like it had been tried before, and it spawned an entirely new direction in musical theater.
In this production, the Paris opera house is more realistic and less dramatically lit. The phantom is more man than myth — and with a personality that lies somewhere on the autism spectrum. At the end of Act 1, the chandelier does more than just jingle and sway.
Gay-themed erotic thrillers are rare enough in 2014, so audiences in 1929 must have been shocked at the premiere run of Patrick Hamilton’s play Rope, about two college-age male lovers who murder a fellow student in an attempt to commit the perfect crime.
According to the tenets of the American Dream, people are free to pursue the lives they want. Unfortunately, their lives rarely go according to their plans.
Band members generally spend a great deal of time preparing for performances — warming up, reviewing play sets, polishing difficult stretches, honing introductions.