All tagged Laura Benanti

Giving Them What They Want: The Best of David Yazbek

With The Band’s Visit readying itself for its Broadway opening on November 9, I am reminded by how much I love a David Yazbek score. For me, Yazbek comes the closest to bringing the old-fashioned Broadway musical comedy sound into the contemporary musical. His work is tuneful, character-driven, brimming with emotion, and always laced with fun. Distinctly working in his own style, it is also clear that he is influenced by the likes of Cy Coleman, Jule Styne, and Frank Loesser. Today, I want to celebrate Yazbek’s work and revel in how it makes me feel. I am certain we will be adding some songs from The Band’s Visit to this list very soon, but for now, here are ten songs by Yazbek that we already love.

Dream Casting Our Favorite Broadway Divas

Last week, I wrote a piece about Broadway divas who showed exemplary acting skills. It got me thinking about some of our greatest living actresses of the musical stage and what classic musical theatre role I would most like to see them tackle next. Playing casting director is always a great deal of fun, and I hope you will chime in with your thoughts as well. For me, this is where I'd like to see some of our favorite leading ladies of the stage try their talents.

The Greatest Stars: Broadway Musical Divas Who Can Act as Well as They Sing

Broadway musical divas: we live for them. From their signature looks to their distinctive voices, over the last century, Broadway audiences have been drawn to their talents and their energy. To be a Broadway diva is a special thing, but not every member of this exclusive club has necessarily been known for their acting chops. It is especially exhilarating to witness one who has the nuance and variety to create an indelible performance that is based in the craft of acting. In these cases, their interpretations bring rich texture to the music and three dimensional characters emerge as memorable and relatable. Today’s column is a tribute to the finest among out divas, the ones who move outside of the realm of performer and enter the world of legend.

My Fair Lady: What Does the Perfect Cast Look Like?

This week we received some exciting news via Lincoln Center announcing that Bartlett Sher will be directing My Fair Lady for LCT’s Vivian Beaumont in 2018. My Fair Lady has not returned to the Broadway stage since Richard Chamberlain and Melissa Errico starred in a 1993 revival, and that production was not exactly embraced as definitive. Bartlett Sher is a master of staging in the Beaumont’s space, a luxuriously open thrust where the audience wraps around the playing area. He has mined many magical moments on this stage, probing the possibilities of the space with productions of The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific, and The King and I. My Fair Lady is an elegant show, one of the wittiest and most-intellectual of Broadway musicals (based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion), featuring a lush and literate Lerner and Loewe score. How can we not be excited to see how Sher marries this sparkling property with the space where he works his best magic?

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