Variety reports that Broadway box offices are at a record high this year (due to high attendance, but also skyrocketing ticket prices... not so good). Meanwhile, Gothamist says that NYC tourism is at a record high, as well. The city is full of Brits, looking to cash in on America's pitifully weak dollar. Check out this depressing illustration:
Would that Moxie was a sassy cockney lass, pockets stuffed with pounds rather than dollars here in the Big Apple! The crowds are pretty heinous, but the other night after a fabulous night at Spring Awakening, Moxie and her little bro' overheard an adorable mop-headed child say to his mother, "you know what I notice about New York City? All the women wear high heels." And then for a brief moment, it was every bit as magical as when I was little, and awestruck at the bright lights of Broadway.
Times Sqare photo courtesty of brianramnath on flickr.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Moxie cannot WAIT for The Public's production of King Lear! Kevin Kline will play the aging monarch. Kline is at the top of a short list of older actors Moxie has a big fat crush on, ever since seeing the silly but delightful French Kiss (a certain bug-eyed actor featured in Earth Girls are Easy is also on the list). There's no doubt that he'll be incredible, and compared with some of the stage roles he's played in the past few years, which have been only so-so roles for him, Lear seems like a perfect fit.
What Moxie is even more excited about, though, is the casting rumors she's heard circulating. Logan Marshall Green will play Edmund ("Now Gods, stand up for Bastards!") and Michael Cerveris will play Kent! This is so perfect, I could just purr.
Now, who will play the women? For Cordelia, Moxie would love to see The Public cast someone with some backbone and spunk. The last thing I feel like watching is another pretty Juliet type with a lovely speaking voice and nothing interesting or edgy going on. Why not Alison Pill? Bryce Dallas Howard would also be fierce, as would Amy Ryan.
Regan and Goneril... I always think of them as the real politicians of the group, old-timey Condoleeza Rice and Hillary Clintons, if you will. If there were a god in heaven, they'd cast Tina Benko, delicious viper that she is. Being an agnostic, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Moxie's office is overflowing with sickly-sweet chocolatey treats sent by actors, agents, and managers (several of whom I've never spoken to in my life - do these people think stale nougat will make 2007 the watershed year for their clients?). The sugary onslaught at first seemed like it would be a wonderland, until Moxie devoured six brownies in one afternoon and then felt like a few of Santa's elves were getting rambunctious in her belly. Fat Witch Brownies, I'm putting you on notice, and your adorable blondie cousins, too.
From the office itself, Moxie was looking forward to some kind of company emblem-embroidered denim button-down or the like, but instead was surprised to receive an extra paid vacation day, which is sort of a cool treat and a let down at the same time. Moxie was satisfied until she heard what a friend of hers got from his boss, who happens to be Conan O'Brien. Apparently, the king of late-late-night got his whole staff XBox 360s, along with a year-long subscription to the online gaming thingie that sounds supercool. Well, poopiepants... score one for television, zero for not-for-profit theater.
Friday, December 15, 2006
The theater world seems so Spring Awakening-obsessed, Moxie has shied away from posting about it here (for the most part). But we do love it (more than anything else on Broadway, in fact) and we've been following Broadway World's ongoing interview series titled "Going Geeky on 'Spring Awakening'".
Here's an interesting tidbit from part 3 of the series, and interview with Michael Mayer and Kimberly Grigsby. Here's a cool tidbit about a part of the show that Moxie has always been curious about:
BB: ...Most of the scenes are played very straightforward. The actors talk and relate directly to each other in the scene, and then the songs are done kind of a concert scenario with the microphones. Except for one scene between “I Don’t Do Sadness” and “Blue Wind”. The scene itself is done on the mics, and I was wondering what your reasoning was for taking that scene specifically in such a different way?
MICHAEL [MAYER]: It’s a complicated, and here’s a really geeky, answer. There are lots of reasons for it, but I would say there are three main reasons. One is the stupid, obvious reason which is I knew I wanted them to be singing at those mics for their songs and getting them from the scene to those mics was a complicated, near impossible thing to do without it being really awkward. That was one thing but number two, the second reason is that in the play itself, I mean the source material, we find out at the very end of the play that the masked man, which doesn’t exist anymore, says to Moritz in the graveyard, “I came to you once before and I tried to stop you from killing yourself”. Scholars have agreed over the decades that what that refers to is that he sort of, as a shape shifter, had come in the form of Ilsa. So it wasn’t really Ilsa, it was the masked man in disguise as Ilsa. So that means that the actual scene between Moritz and Ilsa as originally written by Frank Wendekind a hundred and some odd years ago wasn’t a real scene and that they never really connect. Which they don’t, right? So she says, “Come with me” and he says, “I can’t” they’re really in their own world. And the third reason is that it was an homage to Elizabeth LeCompte, the director and artistic director of the Wooster Group and I’ve just always been a fan of theirs and I just thought, you know, I really believe in the theory of the avant-garde which is that the avant-garde is there for the practitioners. It’s not there for the general public and so people like me who are not such brilliant artists but the ones who have more traffic in the commercial world and real people, we go to see the work that is done by the true masters and the true innovators like Richard Foreman and Elizabeth LeCompte and Peter Brook and people like that, and we take from them and we sort of make it accessible. Anyway, so that’s why. Those are the three reasons.
Cool! Moxie never would have guessed that Ilse's mysterious appearance in the second act had that kind of back-story behind it. It makes Moritz's death a lot sadder, imagining that Ilse is actually the spirit of a grown-up Melchior, attempting to save his friend's life. Of course, there's no easy way of incorporating that into this staging, but we're glad to know it nonetheless.
Part 1 of the series was an interview with Stephen Spinella (a favorite of Moxie's from his stint on 24 last season). Spinella talked about the beginning of his own career as an actor, and how he owes much of his success to his long friendship and collaboration with Tony Kushner.
SS: Oh yeah, Tony Kushner [and I] met when we were in graduate school in NYU and we had an extended argument one afternoon in the student lounge about, y’now the relative merits of the Village Voice verses the New York Review of books and we sort of became friends and he started directing stuff. He was in the directing program and I was in the acting program. And he put me in a couple of projects and that summer he wrote a play called “The Age Of Assassins” which I don’t think has ever been published, and asked me if I would do it. If I remember right it was a four hour evening in a very small theater on 18th street and the cast had about, I don’t know twenty different actors in it. It was a huge, huge production.
BB - How long was the process between when “Angels of America” started to come into development and when it hit Broadway?
SS - Well, we were doing another play called “Bright Room Called Day” and that was about 1985 and he said he had an idea. We were talking one afternoon, he said he had an idea to write a gay play and it would be just gay men and his preliminary idea was that it would include Roy Cohen, at least one Mormon character and it would deal with AIDS. Then the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco picked up “A Bright Room Called Day”. They actually came to see the production we did in this tiny theater on 22nd street. They decided to do the play at the Eureka and while he was doing it there with Oscar Eustis. Oscar Eustis was then the artistic director of the Eureka Theatre who is now running the Public Theatre. Oscar asked Tony, y’now if he had a gay play because it was San Francisco and Tony said, “Well I’m thinking about this play that would include Roy Cohen, a Mormon character and it would deal with AIDS.” And he said “well, if you can write it for the company I’ll commission it.” The Eureka Theatre company had three women in it and one man. So the play that originally was supposed to be all men now had to include three women, so he created the angel, Harper and Hannah. And by bringing those characters in the thing sort of grew exponentially and that’s how it turned into a two evening play.
Spinella goes on to explain how much impact Angels in America had on his career:
I mean that made my career. I didn’t have a career before that. I mean I hadn’t done anything really significant. I don’t think I had more than two paying jobs in New York City before I came in with that over a ten year period. I had done some regional stuff and a couple of interesting projects, but it was all regional stuff and that changed everything. That absolutely changed everything.
Aww... just one more tale of people who "grow up" together in the theater, and then both end up being so accomplished. Moxie wonders which writers of our generation will end up being the Tony Kushners of the world.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Because if so, that is SO HOT. They arrived at the Spring Awakening opening night party together. Check out their matching coolness factor - Nellie looks like she's already over Spring Awakening, Tavern on the Green, and life, while Michael has that sexy sideways I'm-up-to-no-good thing going on. Maybe Nellie can write a rap about him, and slyly refer to him as the masked man. BEST. COUPLE. EVER.
Also, Moxie is just enchanted by the lovely father and daughter, Chuck and Lili Cooper. So cute!
You can check out all the Spring Awakening opening night photos at broadwayworld.com.
Monday, December 11, 2006
The Voysey Inheritance is one of the most surprising pieces of theater Moxie has seen this season. As soon as you walk into the Atlantic, and behold the ornate drawing room onstage, it's impossible not to think "whoa, here comes the 20-minute nap in Act One, we're in for 3 hours of talking." Instead, Mamet's new adaptation of Harvey Granville Barker's 5 act play now clocks in at 2 hours, and is snappy, zesty, and because of the ferocious performances, downright exciting.
Exceeding expectations once again is Michael Stuhlbarg as the heir to the Voysey legacy, one which happens to be fraught with upper-class crime, secrecy, and deceit. Stuhlbarg's performance is subtle and thoughtful. The wheels of his mind are visibly turning as he tries over and over to sort out legally the illegal misdeeds of his father. Samantha Soule is sharp as a pin and just delightful to watch, matching Stuhlbarg in the ability to let us inside the complexities of their characters' emotions.
So Atlantic has done it again. Moxie must admit, she's never seen a show at Atlantic she didn't really, really like. Tina Howe's The Bald Soprano & The Lesson, Mamet's Romance, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Spring Awakening, and now The Voysey Inheritance. Keep 'em coming!
The Voysey Inheritance runs through Jan. 7th at The Atlantic Theater Company.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Moxie is bored, so bored at work! Winter blues are setting in unsettlingly early this year, a good month before the holidays. It's 5 of 5, and dark outside, cold and windy, and all there is to look forward to is "club strength" at New York Sports Club tonight. Theater buzz lately seems to be limited to "Company is brilliant!" "No it's not!" [duel ensues], and "Hey everybody! Julianne Moore is so-so onstage!" Moxie attended opening night of The Vertical Hour, and doesn't even care to bore you, darling reader, with the humdrum details. Julianne's okay. The play is eh. Bill Nighy is good. Watch Love, Actually, you'll have a much better time.
Moxie can't even be bothered to get excited over Britney's kfed-less, panty-less escapades, nor Lindsay Lohan's AA antics. Hos will be hos. Ho ho ho.
Pug bowl to the rescue!
Instant cure for wintery blues courtesy of Cute Overload.