All tagged John Weidman

Remembering Big

Movies have long been the inspiration for Broadway musicals. It is easy to say that this is a recent trend, but that simply is not so. Just as there have been many musicals that have taken their inspiration from plays, books, and historical events, there have been musicals that draw from cinema (from the 50’s on, anyway). In the 1990s, the trend toward adapting films for the musical stage seemed to gain even more traction, and by the turn of the century, everywhere you looked on Broadway you could find movies reimagined for the stage.

Broadway Musical Time Machine: Looking Back at Assassins

A new musical by Stephen Sondheim is usually met with rabid curiosity and excitement leading up to its opening, so in 1990 when the musical Assassins readied itself at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons, theatre fans couldn't wait to see the result. We were all more than ready to see how Mr. Sondheim would create songs for the disillusioned men and women who attempted (and sometimes succeeded) killing Presidents of the United States. John Weidman would provide a book that used the failed American Dream as the through line to bring these notorious character into the same world. With Jerry Zaks at the helm as director, and a cast that included a vast array of Broadway's finest talent (Victor Garber, Terrence Mann, Debra Monk, Annie Golden, Jonathan Hadary, Lee Wilkof among them) Assassins looked to be something unique in musical theatre terms. Everyone assumed it would be well-received and then transfer to Broadway where it would settle in for an artful but not particularly long run. It didn't.

"Someone in a Tree" - When It's All About Perspective

Okay - today was supposed to be "Guilty Pleasure Thursday" but a reader put this song in my mind earier this week and I haven't been able to shake it. I hope my readers don't mind if I put "Guilty Pleasures" off until Friday. Truthfully, the holiday weekend threw me off and I had already written this for what I thought was Wednesday. I suppose I shall have to break down and buy a calendar. Please be so kind as to humor me.