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.
It’s obvious from the first moments of the new Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch that star Neil Patrick Harris is doing something special. And it’s not just trying on a new role.
Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race know Michelle Visage as the mama hen at the judges’ table. She dispenses wisdom like a buxom, dolled-up Pez dispenser — and you’d better listen, because this woman knows what she’s talking about. Her career began as one-third of the 1980s girl group Seduction (“Two to Make It Right”), which became her entré into world of drag balls and club culture. A dear friend of RuPaul, Visage took her rightful place at the Drag Race judge’s table during the program’s third season.
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.”
Three theatrical friends past their prime reunite to audition for the revival of I Hear America Singing, a Broadway musical that blends traditional ballads with new melodies featuring lyrics from the poetry of William Blake, A.E. Houseman, Gertrude Stein and others. The friends share stories, relive memories and experience epiphanies that composer Daron Hagen, a New Berlin native, describes as “a revolution of the heart.”
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.
Public radio personality Ira Glass said he never thought a stage show combining radio and modern dance would work. Despite success to the contrary, he still questions the concept.