All tagged Faith Prince

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.

Musical Theatre Time Machine - Looking Back at The King and I

With the recent closing of the Lincoln Center production of The King and I, I thought it would be an appropriate tribute to this lovely production to look back on this oft-revived musical.

Rodgers and Hammerstein had just enjoyed another major success with the Pulitzer Prize-winning South Pacific and set about the find a new property for musicalization. Margaret Landon's novel Anna and the King of Siam would be their source. Based on a true story, the novel told the story of a British governess brought to the royal palace of the King of Siam to teach his wives and children in the Western philosophies and contemporary thought. The musical followed the complicated professional relationship between the monarch and his new employee (and perhaps friend), and their struggle to find a middle ground where tradition and change could coexist.

Broadway Stars and Their Not-So-Successful TV Past

With the Tony Awards just around the corner and that shaping up to be a ho-hum night (thanks to forgone conclusions of a Hamilton sweep), no exciting new musicals on the immediate horizon (the Cats revival excites me like a case of distemper) and, just in general, no inspiring theatre news to get me riled up, I turned to one of my other favorite hobbies: TV Theme Songs (yes, I wrote a book on the subject). I like to go to and watch the opening sequences and clips of shows from days gone by. The other night, while doing this, I found so many Broadway performers in short-run sitcoms, stinkaroos that didn’t last for very long. Some of these shows were awful, but some of them were actually quite good. Here is a sampler of some of your Broadway favorites in sitcoms that just didn’t fly.

Falsettos: Still Holding to the Ground

With the recently-confirmed Lincoln Center revival of Falsettos set to bow at the Walter Kerr Theatre this October, and with original director and librettist James Lapine (once again) at the helm of this William Finn masterpiece, it is interesting to look at how the world has changed in the 23 years since its original Broadway production. Is Falsettos as relevant today as it was back in the early 1990s? This story of a gay man named Marvin who leaves his wife and son for a male lover, and then loses him to a spectral illness that is presumably AIDS, was cutting edge and timely musical theatre for 1992, but does that translate for contemporary American audiences where gay marriage is now arguably a societal norm and AIDS, despite its continued threat, has somehow become a marginalized disease that doesn’t inspire quite the same fear? The answer is an astounding yes, but for very different reasons than in 1992.