All tagged Emily Skinner

Broadway and SNL: Ten Broadway Stars Who Should Host

With Lin-Manuel Miranda poised to host Saturday Night Live, our nation’s most well-known and enduring sketch comedy show, I thought it might be interesting to suggest a few other faces from the Great White Way who would make fabulous hosts of the show. Broadway stars so seldom get the opportunity to show off their comedic talents to a larger viewing audience than the mere numbers a Broadway theatre can hold. Many great television and movie comedians of yesteryear have also spent time on Broadway AND appeared on SNL. But who of the contemporary theatre world would be good for a night of riotous laughter and a great opening monologue? Though it is very unlikely to happen to many (Hamilton is, after all, a national phenomenon and pop culture anomaly that has lifted Miranda and Hamilton into the stratosphere of iconic stardom), here are a few Broadway stars who I think would be up to the challenge:

Live from New York, it’s Saturday night… starring… 

Put On Your Understudy Clothes: Who Should Be Bette Midler’s Understudy for Dolly?

With the forthcoming Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler breaking records at the box office, we have to take a minute to think about who is going to fill the Divine Miss M’s shoes when she is not performing. We already know they are going to need someone to cover matinees, and God forbid Ms. Midler gets sick and needs an understudy to go on her place. It’s going to require someone of either star caliber or of great talent to fill these shoes, and the producers know that audiences are not going to accept just anyone to fill her shoes. With that in mind, here is a list of people I think could pull it off nicely.

Our Best Girl: Celebrating 50 Years of MAME

On May 24th the 1966 musical Mame will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. The original Broadway production worked its magic for 1,508 performances and saw a parade of stars march through the title role: Angela Lansbury originated the part, followed by Celeste Holm, Janis Paige, Jane Morgan, and Ann Miller. Tony Awards were awarded to Lansbury (Best Actress), Beatrice Arthur (Best Featured Actress), Frankie Michaels (the youngest winner of a Tony Award, won for Best Featured Actor) but the Best Musical prize went to Man of La Mancha. Despite having an avid following, Mame has only been revived once on Broadway in 1983 (with Lansbury) but that only ran 41 performances. A much-maligned film version was made in 1974 starring Lucille Ball. 

The Jerry Herman We Determine

Jerry Herman is often maligned for creating fizzy showtunes without substance, usually to populate splashy musical comedies based around a central, larger-than-life character. I am an enormous fan of both Herman's music and lyrics, and I'm glad to say that I continue to make amazing discoveries in the scores of his musicals. First: there is nothing wrong with bubbly optimism. In fact, this is often exactly what the doctor ordered, so kudos to Herman for writing the prescription for what ails our spirit. Second: Herman can hardly be pigeon-holed for ONLY writing fluff. He does, in fact, create well-balanced scores that span a wide range of emotions, that dabble in witty wordplay and stunning imagery, and that explore the emotional depths of his characters. This article is an examination of my top-ten favorite Jerry Herman showtunes that are above and beyond the generalizations that people have formed around his work.