As a San Franciscan, I had some initial doubts about the much-hyped Broadway-centric Fringe musical The Legend of Julie Taymor, or The Musical That Killed Everybody! My internal resistance monologue went something like this: “It’s just going to be full of New York industry jokes I won’t get,” and “Oh great, another musical about musicals; like that’s never been done before”, and “They just want to beat up on the most successful female director on Broadway.” All of which turns out to be more-or-less true, but what else turns out to be true is that some shows are worth their hype, and if you want an opportunity to tempt the fates and poke fun at the Broadway machine, The Musical That Killed Everybody! is for you.
Even in California, the on-going delays, budget crises, and injured actors of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, have been a constant source of am-news-ment over the past couple of years, so none of the material presented in the show comes as much of a surprise. But what does is the crack timing, powerful vocals, and buoyant enthusiasm of the cast, and the slickly professional feel of the production as a whole, despite the pointedly low-budget set (six cubes and a triptych painted in the style of Picasso’s “Guernica”) and the cardboard props, which cleverly undermine the related budgetary excesses of the ill-fated Taymor production. Read more
- Playwright Jez Butterworth quotes Stage Rush’s Jerusalem review on Theater Talk. [Full TV clip here]
- The Book of Mormon Tony nominee Rory O’Malley gives his best impression of co-star, and college roommate, Josh Gad impersonating him
- The [title of show] / Now. Here. This. gang announces the winners of the 2011 Patrick Lee ITBA Awards
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Did you catch the Jerusalem episode of Theater Talk? Can you believe former college roommates Rory O’Malley and Josh Gad are now both starring in (and Tony-nominated for) The Book of Mormon? How much does seeing the [title of show] gang together again make you want to explode with happiness? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Broadway.com editor in chief Paul Wontorek sits in a comfy white chair in the middle of the website’s video production room in its Times Square offices. Amid professional lighting and expensive video cameras, a shiny blue curtain hangs. It acts as a backdrop for “Show People,” a new video series Broadway.com launched in December, in which Wontorek interviews A-list Broadway actors in talk-show format. He stares at it and looks proud. Wontorek has a right to feel that way. Last December, statistics on theatergoers gathered by The Broadway League revealed Broadway.com as the most-viewed source for people seeking theater information, beating out The New York Times. Also in December, the site was bought by Key Brand Entertainment, a leading producer of Broadway shows and national tours.
This week marks 11 years Wontorek has helmed Broadway.com. Wontorek, 38, sat down with Stage Rush to discuss the inner workings of Broadway.com, his personal road to Broadway, and the harmful disconnect he sees between critics and ticket buyers.
The acquisition of Broadway.com by Key Brand Entertainment brings to light the story of how the first owner, Hollywood Media Corp., created the property. It was 1999 and the Internet landscape was dramatically different. (Playbill.com was still only available through AOL.) Hollywood Media Corp. bought the Broadway.com URL for $1.6 million. However, the company was based in Boca Raton, Florida, and Wontorek says the owners “didn’t really know Broadway.” Wontorek was brought in for an interview and was told that they didn’t know what Broadway.com needed to be.
“I knew exactly what it needed to be,” Wontorek said. Read more