Wagner as Monster and Redeemer

Richard Wagner reigned supreme over the arts in the 19th Century. That is not only history’s judgement, it was also Wagner’s. The maestro’s many problems did not include a diminutive ego. Wagner’s abilities rose to the level of genius in the way we think of for Shakespeare and Mozart. (One […] Continue reading »

Racism at Mid-Century

Producing a musical is a summer tradition at the Guthrie, a leading nonprofit theatre in Minneapolis. South Pacific, which just happens to be my favorite musical, was this summer’s offering and I had the pleasure of catching four performances last weekend. It wasn’t happenstance that I was in Minneapolis. My […] Continue reading »

Bart Sher Takes the Stage in New York

Once upon a time Bart Sher left Seattle for New York, where he became an A-list theatre and opera director. His Seattle roots went deep, having led Intiman Theatre as its Artistic Director from 2000 to 2010. New York producer Ken Davenport regularly interviews theatre people and releases those conversations […] Continue reading »

Will Broadway Love Livestreaming?

The theatre biz is going out on a date with pay-per-view livestreaming tomorrow night (June 30), putting the young and wary relationship to another test. This occasion marks the first time that a Broadway show has been broadcast live. Last winter producer Ken Davenport tested the concept with his off-Broadway production of […] Continue reading »

Foursome from Director Casey Nicholaw

A director having four Broadway shows running at the same time, if not a record, is certainly a rare achievement. With baseball season recently underway, I imagine an equivalent triumph would be a batter slugging four home runs in one game. When the new musical Tuck Everlasting opened last month, that […] Continue reading »

Luck in Poker, the Arts and Life

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Well, maybe yes, maybe no. The debate as to what portion luck and what portion skill contribute to success expanded recently with a new book, The Perfect Bet: How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of […] Continue reading »

Plays by Women are Missing on Stage

Less than a fourth of the plays produced at regional theatres in the U.S. have been written by women. Hmm. A number that I trust will be less surprising is 51% of the U.S. population is female. That difference represents a discrepancy that the Dramatists Guild (the national organization of […] Continue reading »

Tips on Writing Musicals

Playwrights come to their profession from diverse vectors. Acting is one common breeding ground. Literature of other stripes can be found on the resumes of many playwrights. The borders between novel-writing, short story-writing, penning scripts for television and movies, and poetry are frequently crisscrossed – no passport required. Playwright and […] Continue reading »