Archive for August, 2005

Todd Buonopane Goes ‘Home’ to Stagedoor Manor

Monday, August 22nd, 2005 just posted a Multimedia Interview with Todd Buonopane on the occasion of his recent to Stagedoor Manor. Todd, of course, has done well in the last year, holding down a gig as understudy on Putnam County Spelling Bee, but there are those of us who think that Todd’s career-defining performance was as Herschel in Gemini the Musical. Check out a short audio clip of Todd in Gemini here.

Revivals? So 20th Century! Give me Meta!

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

This article in the Sunday Times describes a fascinating shift in the commercial theater: it appears that the wave of revivals may well have crested and there are almost no good shows left to revive. With the catalog of the pop song world exhaustively exploited in jukebox shows and the field of revivals fully tilled, maybe the focus on Broadway will shift back to new musicals. Meanwhile, another peculiar recent trend is what I’ll call (unless someone can think of a better term) “meta” musicals, shows which rely on references to other shows for their humor. In Philadelphia, we’re getting “The Musical of Musicals: The Musical” this fall, while NY audiences are currently enjoying “Silence” at the Fringe (a show that seems to owe a good deal to “Urinetown,” also a meta-musical). When a friend described “Spamalot” to me, it sounded like Meta on a Mega scale. Of course, an art work or object that makes reference to other works is nothing new — Joyce’s “Ulysses” and the films of Quentin Tarantino come to mind — and the present is always in some sort of dialog with the past, but what’s distressing about these musicals is that (at least as far as I can tell) they’re largely content-free: the gimmick is the show (something James Joyce didn’t have a problem with).

Classical music as crime stopper

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

Now here’s a provocative piece on classical music as crime stopper. Appears that playing classical music in public spaces reduces crime and drives out loitering thugs. If this is the wave of the future, I for one have no objections – Vivaldi and Mozart would be welcome in the stations of the Broad Street line, and I prefer my public spaces thug-free. On the other hand, it raises some fascinating issues about the meta-cultural significance of classical music these days, and the article quotes a variety of spokemen on that subject.

More In The Boasty Barrymore vein

Sunday, August 14th, 2005

The University of the Arts has put together a Press Release on the school’s website calling attention to the six alumni and faculty members who received Barrymore awards. That was quick!

A Matinee Idol in the Making

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

Family members and other habitues of the Chazzyblog will probably recognize this handsome lad…

Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

The Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia announced the nominees for the 2005 Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre at a press conference this morning, and I was delighted and honored to be nominated twice – for Outstanding Original Music for Gemini the Musical (woot) as well as Outstanding Musical Director for A Year with Frog and Toad (woot woot). Not only is it a thrill to be recognized, but it’s equally exciting to share the spotlight with so many talented friends, among them Ben Dibble, Josh Lamon, Eric Ebbenga, Todd Buonopane, Annie DeSalvo, Nick Kourtides, Whit McLaughlin, Jewel Walker and Richard Parison. To them and to all the folks at the Arden and the Prince with whom I labored shoulder-to-shoulder during the past year – congratulations!
(Gemini photo by Mark Garvin)