Mandy, Oak, and the “Great Comet” Controversy of 2017

There has certainly been a great deal of controversy over the ousting of Okierete “Oak” Onoadowan in favor of Mandy Patinkin to play Pierre for a three week engagement in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. It has been a polarizing subject that has inspired outrage, from the cogent argument that it's not right to replace a contracted performer because an arguably more-marketable one has become available, to more outlandish cries of racism which, if you look at the makeup of this diverse cast, doesn't really hold water. The question here is, “Is it acceptable, for reasons of publicity and box office potential, to relieve a performer of his or her contracted duties in lieu of a bigger name? Where are the lines of professional courtesy and etiquette crossed?”

"Revue"-ing the Situation: Musical Revues in the Spotlight

I started out writing this piece, intending to explore all styles of musical revues, the "best of" the genre. I soon realized that, if I didn't apply certain parameters, I'd be writing until the end of time. So, I set some rules: the musical revues that I would discuss had to have original music, not an assemblage of showtunes such as in And the World Goes 'Round, or be composed of radio hits a la Smokey Joe's Café. Both are fine revues, but I decided I wanted to concentrate on the pieces that were written, from conception, as original revues. Here are some of my favorites to listen to and read about. 

10 Musicals Where My Delight Was at Odds with Critics and Ticket Buyers

I don’t always agree with the critics, and I sometimes don’t agree with audiences. Where musicals are concerned, I am often surprised at what pieces are embraced and what pieces are rejected. Occasionally, I find a musical where, despite how the masses are feeling about it, I am at odds with their tastes. Here are ten musicals where my delight was at odds with critics and ticket buyers.

Answers: Broadway Musical Geography Quiz

We had many readers participate in the Broadway Musical Geography Quiz. One question in particular stumped many of you, but most of you came within one or two questions of getting all the answers correct. Congratulations to Cheryl Sebrell, the first person to get all 40. She doggedly persevered until she figured out the pitfalls. For her efforts, she will receive an autographed CD of Anastasia, courtesy of Broadway Records.

Read on for the answers...