All tagged Marsha Norman

Broadway Blip: The Red Shoes

Bob Merrill’s final foray into the world of the Broadway musical was for the ill-fated stage adaptation of the classic film The Red Shoes. Jule Styne was working on the project with book writer and lyricist Marsha Norman who had scored quite the artistic success a year earlier with The Secret Garden. When Styne found himself in need of some additional and revised lyrics for the project, he reached out to his old collaborator (and show doctor) Bob Merrill and brought him in to help salvage The Red Shoes. He agreed to do so under the pseudonym Paul Stryker.

The Not-So-Secret Hatchet Job on The Secret Garden

I am writing this piece to, once and for all, put to rest any notion that the Lucy Simon/Marsha Norman musical The Secret Garden needs to be fixed. If a Broadway revival of this complex and emotionally textured musical, based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved novel, is to happen, then it needs to come to Broadway in tact! Rumors have begun to filter in to me that the eagerly anticipated production playing at The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C. and co-produced with the 5th Avenue Theatre is taking some mighty big liberties with this beloved musical. Apparently, director David Armstrong had such limited faith in the piece that he felt it needed to be re-written and many of its glorious songs excised. For shame.

The Color Purple – New Broadway Cast Recording: Hell Yes!

As I walked by the Jacobs Theatre the other night, I stopped and stared at the building for five-minutes, drinking in the marquee and all of the lovely pictures of its current production. After all, it pisses God off if you walk by The Color Purple and you don’t notice it, so I wanted to be sure to remain in his good graces. It turns out that the New Broadway Cast Recording of this revival produced by Broadway Records deserves similar attention thanks to the gloriously reimagined orchestrations and the earth-shattering, heart soaring performances by this revival’s cast. I seldom think a revival is an improvement upon an original, but in this case, I suggest you get this recording immediately and not waste one-minute waiting to explore its near perfection.

Theatres We Love: Remembering My Times Visiting the St. James

Most people who attend Broadway plays and musicals on a regular basis have established a certain affection for a particular venue. Maybe we had a wonderful experience at a particular theatre, or maybe we have had several. Perhaps a certain theatre is more comfortable, more conveniently located, or maybe it just glows with the wonderful ghosts of shows gone by? For me, my favorite theatre will always be the St. James, owned and operated by Jujamycn Theatre and the home of a long line of Broadway hits that have been ensconced within its walls on 44th street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.