In January 1964, openly gay composer Marc Blitzstein was enjoying a much-needed vacation on Martinique when he made a decision that would cost him his life.
“The Diary of Anne Frank,” produced in 1955, only 10 years after the Holocaust won both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1956. Playwrights Frances Goodrich and Albert Hacket based their work on the actual diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl living in Amsterdam who, at 13, went into hiding from the Nazis with her family.
Playwright and poet Samuel Beckett believed that the less there is to say, the better it is said. What the Nobel Prize-winning Irish author had to say and how he said it, especially in the plays of his later period, were remarkable and jarring to actors and audiences alike.
Out actor, comedian and Emmy Award-winning writer Wanda Sykes was feeling “quite relieved” today, following President Barack Obama’s re-election last night.
Ruth Pointer “was a struggling single mother trying to raise two children and living with my parents,” she says, when she joined her sisters’ singing group. “I realized how much money I could make in a short amount of time singing and said, ‘Wow! I can support my children doing this,’” says Pointer, now 66.
Theater has always been a political medium, and never more so than in a presidential election year. Madison’s Forward Theater plans to increase the political quotient this month by opening its 2012-2013 season with “44 Plays for 44 Presidents.” The production debuts Sept. 20 at The Playhouse at Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts.
From an oversized elf to a creepy TV family from the 1960s, from ”hair bands” of the 1980s to doo-wop legends of the 1950s, from an English nanny who can fly to witches who wish they weren’t, Broadway hits are headed to at least three Wisconsin performing arts venues this season.
What could be funnier than watching the spirit of a departed socialite, mistakenly conjured by a séance gone wrong, torment her re-married husband? Noel Coward found the concept so funny that he wrote the play “Blithe Spirit” – possibly his best-known work – around it.