All tagged James Lapine

Best of the Broadway Book Writers

Writing the book for a Broadway musical is a craft that is fraught with landmines. It is the delicate art of creating the framework for musical storytelling, a house of cards on which to hang the songs and characters that will hopefully yield a fascinating depth and a compelling purpose. When a musical fails, the blame is often put squarely on the musical's book, yet if a show succeeds, the book writer is rarely given the credit they are due. Despite the challenges a book writer faces, there has been a handful of craftsmen who have successfully delivered first-rate books that continue to be as potent and perfect as the days these shows opened. Help me celebrate the unsung heroes of musical theatre, the most-enduring of Broadway musical book writers. 

Review: Falsettos – Is It Really As Good As The Critics Say?

The Broadway revival of William Finn’s and James Lapine’s Falsettos produced by Lincoln Center has been eagerly anticipated. Indeed, the musical that explores the modern definition of “family” is a much-needed tonic in a world where hate and homophobia are rearing their ugly heads at every turn, and where compassion and understanding are derided as “un-American” by so many friends and neighbors who would support a Trump presidency. Yes, the story of Falsettos hails from a different time, an era where fear ruled our thoughts as a mysterious disease began to kill-off predominantly gay men as conservative politicians chose to ignore the death tally in favor of religious retribution exacted by an Old Testament God of spite and smite

Broadway Musical Time Machine: Looking Back at Falsettos

Falsettos debuted on Broadway in 1992 when the world was a very different place in how it received gay relationships, recognized marriage, and reacted to the disease AIDS. We jump ahead 24 years and find a revival of Falsettos once again playing on Broadway but in a very changed world. Set in the early 1980s, will a story of a Jewish family and the challenges it faced hold-up with a contemporary audience? The United States, for sure, has evolved stretched and changes, as has the definition of family, so is Falsettos just going to seem antiquated after almost two-and-a-half decades? Hardly. 

Broadway Musical Time Machine: Looking Back at Into the Woods

Coming off their Pulitzer Prize-winning artistic success of Sunday in the Park with George, composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim and book writer/director James Lapine would turn their eyes to the world of fairy tales for their next Broadway musical. This would not be the Disney world of fairy tales with altruistic magic and happy-ever-afters giving us warm fuzzies. No, this musical would delve into the deep and dark psychologies of fairy tales, exploring the grimmest of Grimm fairy tales, violence in tact, but moral ambiguity in question. The result would be the now-classic Into the Woods.