All tagged Kiss of the Spider Woman
Going into the 1992-1993 theatre Season, most theatergoers were anticipating the forthcoming musical The Goodbye Girl to be the big hit and Best Musical victor at the Tony Awards. By June of 1993, that supposed kick was to be challenged by two musicals that would instead face-off against each other for the Best Musical Tony: The Who’s Tommy and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Throw in the long-running British import Blood Brothers, and 1993 was suddenly a very uncertain outcome in regards to the Tony. Even on the night of the show, we remained on tenterhooks and even saw the possibility of a tie. Ultimately, Kiss of the Spider Woman would be the victor, rising like a phoenix from the ashes of its highly publicized and mostly maligned New Musicals production at SUNY Purchase a few years earlier.
Broadway musical fans tend to be fans of film (particularly those made in Hollywood’s heyday of the 1930s and 40s), or at least that is the impression I get. We like things bigger, grander, and larger than life, with an elegance and style that is seldom found in contemporary film. There is just something about those old film and the allure of Hollywood itself that speaks to many of us. That got me thinking: how about looking at some showtunes that celebrate the world of film? Here is a fun list that I cobbled together for you to enjoy movie classics through the lens of Broadway showtunes. I hope you enjoy.
With June being Gay Pride month and the month drawing to a close, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate here at Mark Robinson Writes than to take a look at some of the musicals that that have told the story of those who have been marginalized by society simply for who and how they identify and love. Progress has been made over the years, though we have certainly slipped back in the last few years, our voice is strong and proud. This list certainly isn’t all-inclusive, but it is one I think captures the best of what musical theatre has done to tell the story of the LGBTQ community.
The new book Sense of Occasion by theatrical director and producer Harold Prince is a memoir wherein he explores his vast career in theatre starting with The Pajama Game and then brings us up to date with his plans for the future. It is a curious book. For the first half, it is a reprint of Prince’s 1974 biography Contradictions: Notes on Twenty-Six Years in the Theatre, with a page or two at the end of each chapter adding additional reflections and making new observations that only time and distance can make space for. The second half is a continuation of Prince’s story, walking us through all his productions post Candide (1974), giving most of the shows in that section the similar treatment of telling us how they came to fruition. More exciting than the fascinating history itself are Prince’s candid observations and assessments of his own work. He is his own worst critic, but he is also a conscientious man who takes his obligations to artists and audiences seriously.