8 Shows Opening on Broadway in October

Mother Nature has her faux fur coat on the foot of her bed and she’s almost ready to step out for New York’s hottest shows. We are here to celebrate the eight shows that will open up on Broadway before October.

October 2
Leopoldstadt (Longacre Theatre)

  • Olivier Award Winning NEW play by Tom Stoppard
  • Features 38 actors
  • Tom Stoppard’s “most personal work of his career”
  • From Director Patrick Marber (Closer, Tom Stoppard’s Travesties)

October 3
Cost of Living (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre)

  • Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize
  • Martyna Marjok is a new playwright with a very promising future (she’s penning The Great Gatsby with Florence Welch)
  • Kara Young stars after exploding onto the Broadway stage after Clyde’s

October 6
1776 (American Airlines Theatre)

  • Reimagined revival with an all woman presenting cast
  • Jeffrey L. Page (Violet, FELA!) and Diane Paulus (Waitress, Pippin, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Jagged Little Pill) co-directs
  • Carolee Carmello is back on Broadway after 6 years

October 9
Death of a Salesman (Hudson Theatre)

  • Marianne Elliott (Company, Angels in America, Warhorse) directs this critically-acclaimed West End Transfer
  • Tony Award Nominee and Multi-Olivier Award Winner Sharon D. Clarke, Wendell Pierce (HBO’s The Wire) and the incomparable André De Shields round out this powerhouse cast
  • The Black actors portraying the Loman family during the 1940s transcends the writing making an even harder hit for Willy, his wife and his boys

October 13
The Piano Lesson (Ethel Barrymore Theatre)

  • Samuel L Jackson and Danielle Brooks return to Broadway in this much-anticipated revival
  • Directed by Latanya Richardson Jackson
  • August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize Winning Masterpiece about how we perceive our past

October 20
Topdog/Underdog (John Golden Theatre)

  • The first ever Suzan-Lori Parks’ Pulitzer Prize-winning drama revival
  • Kenny Leon directs
  • New York Times says it’s “the Greatest Plays of the last 25 years”

October 27
Take Me Out (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre)

  • The hit revival is back from it’s sold-out run at the Helen Hayes
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson won his first Tony Award for this hilarious and heart-breaking role
  • A scintillating drama about being authentically oneself and the importance of friendship and community

October 27
Walking with Ghosts (Music Box Theatre)

  • Gabriel Byrne (Hereditary, HBO’s In Treatment) returns to Broadway with his one-man staged biography
  • The incredible Lonny Price directs
  • The Times calls it “Spell-binding”


November 3 – Almost Famous (Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre)

November 10 – Kimberly Akimbo (Booth Theatre)

November 13 – Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & the Pool (Vivian Beaumont Theater)

November 17 – & Juliet (Stephen Sondheim Theatre)

November 20 – KPOP (Circle in the Square Theatre)

November 21 – A Christmas Carol (Nederlander Theatre)


History of Movies to Musicals on Broadway

The 2017-2018 Broadway season reached 13,792,614 in attendance and grossed over $1.6 million. Despite these record setting numbers, discussion and debate broke out amongst fans as all four Tony nominated Best Musicals were stage adaptations of films; The Band’s Visit, SpongeBob SquarePants the Musical, Frozen, and Mean Girls. 

The Broadway cast of Some Like It Hot

A major criticism of Broadway is the trend of stage adaptations of popular movies, which has been featured heavily in recent seasons. With this upcoming season having two announced adaptations, Almost Famous and Some Like It Hot, and even more rumored for the future including The Notebook, The Devil Wears Prada, and a transfer of the West End’s Back to the Future, there is an understandable interest in the creation and development of original stories on Broadway. What many theatergoers are unaware of is that this trend isn’t new to Broadway. In fact, Broadway has a long history of translating movies to the stage including some classic and fan favorite shows. 

Little Shop Of Horrors

While some adaptations are more obvious, such as the Disney Broadway catalog including shows like Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, and The Lion King, many well known theater classics were inspired by movies. Sondheim and Wheeler’s A Little Night Music, which originally opened on Broadway in 1973 and ran for 601 performances, is based on the 1955 Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night. The well-known Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon staple Sweet Charity, written by Neil SImon with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, is based on the 1957 screenplay Nights of Cabiria. Little Shop of Horrors, whose award winning Off-Broadway revival is currently running at the Westside Theatre, is based on the low budget 1960 dark comedy, The Little Shop of Horrors. Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ Sunset Boulevard, which broke advance sale records and sold over 1 million tickets with its original Broadway production, is based on the 1950 film of the same name. Some other classics include Nine, based on Frederico Fellini’s 1963 film 8½, On The 20th Century, based on the 1930s film of the same name, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair, and Promises, Promises, based on the 1960 film The Apartment.  

Heathers The Musical on Roku

Beyond the classics, many fan favorites, such as Heathers which currently has a production on the West End, are based on films. The 2007 Legally Blonde, which has become a go-to for many community theaters and High Schools across the country, is heavily based heavily on the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon as well as the Amanda Brown novel. The beloved Sara Bareilles musical Waitress, which ran on Broadway from 2016 to 2020 and returned in a limited engagement in 2021, is based on the 2007 film written by Adrienne Shelly. Other fan favorite adaptations include the currently running Beetlejuice, based on the Tim Burton horror comedy, 9 to 5, based on the 1980 film, Anastasia, based on the 1997 animated movie, and many more. 

Billy Elliott the Musical

Some screen to stage adaptations have even garnered critical acclaim and gone on to win Tony Awards, such as Once, which won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Musical. Carnival, which won the 1962 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical and an Outer Critics Circle Award, was based on the 1953 film Lili. The 2013 winner Kinky Boots, which ran on Broadway for 2,507 performances and is currently running Off-Broadway at Stage 42, is based on a 2005 British film of the same name. The 2021 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Moulin Rouge!, is based on the 2001 film starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. Other Tony Award winning adaptations include Billy Elliot the Musical, Spamalot, Hairspray, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Producers, and Passion. 

The river flows both ways. While many musicals based on films have gone on to win awards and break records, Hollywood continues to turn out movies based on beloved Broadway shows. In the last 5 years alone, there have been a slew of film adaptations of Musicals including Jonathan Larsons’ Tick, Tick…Boom, directed by Lin Manuel Miranda starring Andrew Garfield, a remake of West Side Story directed by Stephen, In The Heights, 13, The Prom, Dear Evan Hansen, and The Last 5 Years (although this came out in 2014 and has yet to have a Broadway production). Coming to Netflix this December will be a movie adaptation of the acclaimed musical Matilda. The long-running Broadway musical Wicked, which has multiple national tours and international productions, has a film adaptation in the late stages of development starring Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo, and Jonathan Bailey. 

While there should be a healthy mix of original stories and adaptations in commercial theater, the relationship between Broadway and the silver screen has an extensive history that shouldn’t be dismissed. If a screen to stage adaptation is done well, it has the potential to connect with audiences, set records, and become a staple in the theater canon. 

Stories from the Stage


It was a wonderful opportunity to explore Lillian Hellman’s classic play with such a dream cast as part of this series of online performances. The themes of liberal America and its imperative to combat fascism in all its manifestations feels all too pertinent to the needs of our present times. When Watch On The Rhine premiered in 1941 it served to bring to the theatre-going public a sense of the turmoil that was brewing in mainland Europe and its potential impact on the global stage. 

I was first exposed to the epic dimensions of the American drama when I made my professional theatrical debut in a revival of Strange Interlude by Eugene O’Neill. Written in the shadow of the Great War, this Pulitzer Prize winning drama features the theatrical convention of characters speaking their innermost thoughts as asides. In deploying this classical device in a contemporary setting, O’Neil shows that despite the privileges of modern education, human beings still struggle to communicate directly and truthfully with one another. However, my lasting impression of this masterpiece is not as profound as I would wish. I was thirteen years old at the time and my hair had been bleached a platinum blonde to evoke the archetypal Golden Child. The abiding memory I have is of the cast, which included Glenda Jackson and my father Brian Cox, gently but firmly urging me to go easy on the gold hairspray that I had applied to my side parting when the dark roots began to show. Luckily, I don’t think my besmirching of the beautifully tailored 1920’s costumes could be glimpsed past the front row. 

Thirty seven years later and one of the benefits of being involved in the remote capture of an online performance of a classic play is that this actor can transform himself without having to make a trip to the hairdresser.

Alan Cox recently played Uncle Vanya at the Hampstead Theatre in London and Claudius in Hamlet for the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. He played David Frost in the national tour of Frost/Nixon, for which he received a Helen Hayes Award nomination. He made his Broadway debut in Translations. He made his motion picture debut as Watson in Young Sherlock Holmes. His film work includes Contagion, The Dictator, Mrs. Dalloway, and An Awfully Big Adventure. Alan’s television credits include The Good Wife, John Adams, and The Odyssey. He can be seen in Spotlight on Play’s Watch on the Rhine streaming this Thursday.

Stories from the Stage


One Big Break

In 1981, I was in my last year of high school in the suburbs of Toronto. I’d done a bunch of musicals in theatre class (Godspell, Pippin, Fantasticks) but never worked professionally. I got a job bussing tables at a brand-new dinner theatre uptown, O’Neill’s. The opening show, starring six young actors in their mid-20’s, was a collection of songs (from other musicals) about making it in show biz. It was called, literally, One Big Break. Five nights a week, for months, I’d clear plates and glasses, then sit at the back, by the spotlight, and watch my new, slightly-older friends perform. After one show, I was washing dishes when I overheard the owners, in a kitchen corner, whispering their concerns about Stephen, one of the actors.

“He could barely sing tonight,” said Sandra O’Neill, the theatre’s namesake. “Well, we don’t have understudies, Sandra,” hissed the other owner, “what would you suggest?”

“I can do it,” I blurted.

They looked over at me, in my apron and my mullet. Sandra smiled, like I was an adorable puppy. “Aww,” she cooed, “thanks, hon. It’s Eric, right? We’ll figure it out, sweetheart.”

The next day, in history class, I got called to the front office. This had never happened in my life. The principal’s secretary handed me the phone. Sandra O’Neill was on the other end.

“Were you… serious?” she asked, with hesitation.

“Absolutely,” I replied, with none. The bravado of eighteen.

I met with the musical director at 4:00 and we ran the numbers. Once. When the actors got there, they looked ashen. Sure, I was their favorite busboy, but…this? We reviewed choreography for about half an hour…then we opened the place for dinner.

And I bussed tables.

At 8:00, the waiters (to the surprise of the patrons) suddenly became the performers. One by one they’d put down their trays and start to sing the opening number. I was the last. The first lines out of my mouth, the first words I ever sang in a professional theatre…

“One good break is really all I need to make the world stand up and cheer…”

It was a pretty good night. I played the role for two more months. I will always have a special place in my heart for Sandra.

And for Stephen McMulkin.

Eric McCormack

Best known as Will Truman on TV’s Will & Grace, Eric McCormack made his Broadway debut in The Music Man. He appeared as a mystery guest star in The Play What I Wrote, starred off-Broadway in Neil LaBute’s Some Girl(s) and returns to the Main Stem opposite James Earl Jones in the 2012 revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man.

Stories from the Stage

Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Othello.

This may come as a surprise to some, not so much to others, but Othello is a complex role to accept for the 21st century black actor.  On one hand, he’s an incredibly deep, densely drawn character and one of the few that are built specifically for actors of color in the Elizabethan canon.  On the other hand, he’s been reduced to some pretty nasty stereotyping.  The character has a well documented history of blackface, and the optics of a white woman being strangled by a black man brings to mind the gut-dropping feeling we got in those last moments of Jordan Peele’s Get Out (Daniel Kaaluya hands wrapped around the neck of his captor/honeypot/devil in a white dress, Allison Williams, when suddenly red and blue lights wash the screen).  So in my second year of graduate school, when I was called into my department chairs office to talk about playing Othello in the spring…I wasn’t sure what to do.  I mean sure; in the name of the pedagogical experience, in the name of practice (because inevitably it wouldn’t be my last time playing the character) and well, the thing looks good on the resume, so why not?  But does taking the part make me a sellout?  Or worse…is it a full on soul sell?

Around this time, I was reckoning with myself, my artistry and this liquid prison I was attempting to construct. Growing inside me was this festering shadow of insecurity, imposter syndrome, and the ever present doom of letting everyone down, one I tried to bar up with Whiskey, Tequila and Rum.  Little did I know, this shadow loved a drink, and despite my attempts to drown it, grew gills.  I’ll spare you the rest of the bloody details but I can tell you with confidence that some people do indeed crack their skulls open on rock bottom.  Others, however, bounce off stones of despair (it’s my band name, you cannot have it) and are given a chance to change direction.

I started writing letters to Othello in between classes, outpatient treatment, rehearsal and AA meetings on cold Sunday mornings (so much coffee and the squeaking of grey slush on the bottoms of winter boots).  It’s not a ritual I had experienced before, but one of my Sunday Morning Crew was like “I write letters to myself and found xyz”. I thought that was a corny thing for a person to do, so I wrote letters to the characters I was cast as (a practice I still carry with me and yes, it is a far cornier endeavor). 

We all “know” the play, and in that “knowledge” Othello is this larger than life character who looms over the canon/performer.  If the past were to be prologue, he “should” be this gravitational force, the embodiment of strength and “manly-ness”. He’s jealous and angry or something along those lines. So rather than fall in lockstep with the mythic barnacles of the play, I re-read it with the fresh young eyes of a curious child at Disneyworld for the first time. 

The first Act is the portrait of a man in love, a man with purpose, a man who has a grasp on what he wants the world to look like and how he can nudge the paradigm a bit closer to the shores of that promise.  In my letters, I asked Othello to teach me what love was; specifically, to teach me what it was to be in love with oneself and one’s purpose (he later taught me that once you do that, falling in love is relatively easy).  I asked him to remind me of what it means to see beyond what “is” into the realm of what “can be”.  I asked him to demand my radical honesty.  For a time it felt as though the letter went unheeded.  Instead of waiting, I worked my ass off. I scanned and rescanned text, I battled tooth and nail for text to be re-entered into the cut, I linked arms with my castmates/peers to honor the work put in to tell the story as written.  I fought for the story in the hopes that it would fight for me.  And then, out of that big, looming shadow shrank there emerged a man.  He looked a bit like me; a little stockier, a whole lot wiser and a generous smile.  And we walked side by side through the play and he revealed things to me.  Little secrets other people overlook. 

Jealousy seems to be a trait oft associated with The Moor of Venice.  I ask…where though?  He’s one of the highest ranking generals in the nation, he’s got the hand of one of the most sought after bachelorettes in the nation, he talks business, pleasure and war with the Duke.  Iago mentions jealousy, sure…but when does Othello? On the page, he wants to be the change he wants to see in the world.  He chooses to partner with the only other human who sees him as such:  who sees the sensitivity and the vulnerability in Othello, rather than upholding the expectations of manhood set upon him.  With this realization, I felt a little hydrophobic daemon, resistant to my attempts to drown him, squeal away in a puff of brimstone and smoke.  I dug deeper: when it is made known to him the possibility of deceit on the part of Desdemona, there is no time for jealousy when your heart is shattered.  When you’ve been duped, hoodwinked, bamboozled, how can you blame anyone else but yourself?  You can only perform the confusing task of picking up the shards of your heart and fighting through the wincing pain of putting it back together…even though you know it will not refract light the same way. Huh.  That’s not jealousy.  That’s good old fashioned world weary heartbreak and disappointment.  In understanding a bit about him, I understood a bit more about myself. He wasn’t a monolith looming over me, he was right there, next to me, ensuring I honored every step in his shoes. 

It’s a cliché to say that Theatre saved my life…so I won’t (it did though, *insert eyeroll*).  I know that the characters aren’t actually leaping off the page to rescue me (I’m fully aware it’s my imagination+therapy+the work doing some heavy lifting).  As much as I say that the characters are teaching me things, I know that ultimately it’s me, a room full of people, blood, sweat, tears, imagination, and ink on paper.  Nor am I here to suggest that Theatre is a replacement to therapy, psychiatry, and/or AA/NA meetings (it isn’t, shout out to my therapist).  But it can be a supplement (like B12). The gift and wisdom of the playwright is their ability to teach us lessons about what it means to be human.  Sometimes those lessons are about success.  They are often about failure;  but always, there are lessons to be excavated, digested and shared.  There are empathetic bridges to be built; within ourselves, to each other, and to the world into which we wake.  And while that sounds like a gushy Barney sing along, the work is hard. It requires dedication, it requires an open mind and an open heart. Building empathetic bridges to truly see each other can be painful.  Much like a journey to sobriety, it can feel pretty ugly (ha, I did one of those Shakespeare things).  Much like nudging social norms and our existential paradigm towards a just and verdant society, you take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time. 

It’s worth it.

Brandon Burton is a 2020 graduate of The Yale School of Drama Master of Fine Arts program. He can be seen in Spotlight on Play’s reading of The Baltimore Waltz streaming April 29th

Stories from the Stage


When I first came to New York, with all those aspirations, I, through a fluke of a chance conversation between an actor I know and her agent, learned that Jerry Robbins, who was about to direct, off-Broadway, Arthur Kopit’s brilliant play Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Momma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feeling so Sad, was having a terrible time casting the part of the young son in the play.  I worked hard on the audition and waltzed in and knocked him out with the audition.  So he asked me to come to a callback audition a few days later.  At which I totally bombed.  I’d never heard of a callback.  It was a fiasco.  Jerry called me the next day and asked me to come see him.  He said. “what happened?!”  He wasn’t angry, he was just bewildered.  I told him that I had no idea, at that second audition, what I was doing.  So he kept calling me back and calling me back, looking for the fire to return.  Then finally, on, I think, the sixth audition, he had me read opposite the magnificent Barbara Harris.  And we soared.

So my career was launched.  Jerry was the launcher and Barbara was the rocket.

Luck. Pure, wild luck.  This business is beyond capricious.  

Austin Pendleton

Austin Pendleton is an actor and director who made his Broadway debut as the original Motel in Fiddler on the Roof. Other Broadway credits include Hail Scrawdyke!, The Little Foxes, An American Millionaire, Doubles, Grand Hotel, The Diary of Anne Frank and Choir Boy as an actor and Shelter, The Runner Stumbles, John Gabriel Borkman and Spoils of War as a director. He was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for The Little Foxes and most recently appeared on Broadway as Mr. Oldfield in The Minutes.
Long Form

From Younger Than Springtime to Springtime for Hitler: Broadways Infatuation with Spring

By Katie Birenboim

The sun is shining, cherry blossoms are blooming, and many world economies are opening up (slowly but surely).  It seems like spring 2021 has finally arrived, bringing with it the seasonal sense of joy, promise, and new beginnings that has long been lauded by writers and artists throughout history.  While many people may associate springtime with Shakespeare sonnets, Impressionist paintings, or even madrigals, spring has also been the focus of many Broadway composers and lyricists. 

The most obvious example of springtime making its way into the Broadway canon is the song “Younger Than Springtime” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific.  Sung right after Lieutenant Cable and Liat first meet (and make love), “Younger Than Springtime” has all the classic markers of a spring love song.  Cable compares Liat to spring – favorably – saying she is “younger than springtime,” “gayer than laughter,” “sweeter than music,” and “warmer than the winds of June.”  But the song also has a great “turn” – certainly one of the reasons it’s still so well-known today.  While Cable begins the song by saying that Liat is like springtime, halfway through, he implies that she is also transformative: “when your youth/and joy invade my arms/and fill my heart as now they do/then younger than springtime/am I.”  Through Liat’s love, Cable argues that he becomes someone who is “gayer than laughter,” “softer than starlight,” and “younger than springtime,” too.

Another well-known use of spring in the lyrics, title, and imagery of a Broadway song can be found in “It Might As Well Be Spring” from State Fair, another Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration.  The song plays with some of the springtime tropes and patterns used in “Younger Than Springtime.”  The singer, Margy, makes clear that she hasn’t seen any of the typical, physical signs of oncoming spring.  In fact, it’s decidedly not spring: “I haven’t seen a crocus or a rosebud/or a robin on the wing,” Margy sings, “But…it might as well be spring.”  This is a prime example of Oscar Hammerstein’s genius use of conditional thinking.  In the same way Hammerstein implies in Carousel that Julie Jordan is madly in love with Billy Bigelow using the conditional “IF I loved you,” and that Laurie and Curly in Oklahoma! are similarly destined to mate with the conditional “people will SAY we’re in love,” Hammerstein is able to write a spring love song that’s not actually sung during springtime. 

The song grows even more rich and complex in its associations with the season.  While the characteristics of springtime that Cable lists in “Younger Than Springtime” are all positive, for Margy “it might as well be spring” not only because she’s “starry-eyed,” “giddy,” and “gay,” but also because she feels “restless,” “jumpy,” and “vaguely discontented.”  In “It Might As Well Be Spring” you get both sides of the coin: the good and the bad, the positive and the negative, perhaps best summed up by the lyric: “But I feel so gay/in a melancholy way/that it might as well be spring.”  Here, spring is being used as a metaphor for the “nameless” discontent Margy feels with her life at the moment – a vague restlessness which sets up most of the action of the play: while Margy is dating Harry, who wants to marry her, she “keep[s] wishing [she] were somewhere else,/Walking down a strange new street./Hearing words that [she’s]…never heard/ From a man [she’s] yet to meet.”  These lyrics foreshadow her meeting, and falling in love with, Pat at the (titular) state fair.  It’s also hard not to read these lyrics without picking up something of a sexual edge.  When Margy starts the song, she sings of “want[ing] a lot of…things/[she’s] never had before.”  Given the traditional associations of birth, new beginnings, love, and even sexuality, with springtime, “It Might As Well Be Spring” could easily speak to Margy’s desires as a newly minted young woman. 

 Many Broadway songs focus on this deeper side of spring’s transitions.  In Rodgers and Hart’s I Married an Angel, for example, Willy sings “Spring Is Here” when things with his angel-wife (yes, you read that correctly) have gone sour.  “Spring is here/why doesn’t my heart go dancing?/spring is here/why isn’t the waltz entrancing?…Maybe it’s because nobody needs me…Maybe it’s because nobody loves me,” he sings.  It’s another clever inversion of the springtime myth: spring may be here, with its gentle “breezes,” and “lads and girls…drinking May wine,” but because Willy has fallen out of love, he can no longer enjoy it.  It’s a springtime love song that depends on negative space rather than positive space: without “love,” “desire,” or “ambition,” there can be no spring.

“Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most,” Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolf’s 1955 tune which was then incorporated into the 1959 musical The Nervous Set, similarly focuses on the “have-nots” of spring rather than the “haves.”  A send-up of the first lines of T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland” (“April is the cruelest month…”), “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most” implies that spring can actually be the worst time of the year – if you’re single, that is.  “Spring this year has got me feeling like a horse that never left the post;/I lie in my room staring up at the ceiling/Spring can really hang you up the most!” the lyrics read.  The song reverses traditional springtime psychology and implies that the singer was happy and in love in the winter, and now, during the joyful spring season of rebirth, is experiencing loneliness. “Love seemed sure around the New Year,” she sings, “Now it’s April, love is just a ghost;/ Spring arrived on time, only what became of you, dear?”  It should be noted that this song, as well as “It Might As Well Be Spring,” became jazz standards, covered by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.  The season’s failure to deliver on its promise is clearly a recurring theme on Broadway and beyond.

But no discussion of spring on Broadway would be complete without “Springtime for Hitler” from Mel Brooks’ The Producers.  The major song in the musical’s show-within-a-show, a favorable retelling of WWII from the perspective of a disgruntled Nazi, “Springtime for Hitler” shows Brooks’ thoughtful understanding – and appreciation – of spring’s metaphorical function in Golden Age musicals.  As the tap-dancing, sausage-wearing Nazis sing lines like “And now it’s springtime for Hitler and Germany/Deutschland is happy and gay,” Brooks is sending up the positive traits associated with springtime in musicals like South Pacific and State Fair.  And to the Nazis represented in the show, “springtime for Hitler” is indeed positive: it encapsulates their military campaign to take over the world.  Brooks makes clear, however, that this seasonal rebirth is actually extremely dark.  Peppered in with the image of a “happy and gay” Germany are lyrics about “U-boats…sailing once more.”  In the song, springtime equals gaiety, but it also happens to equal “bombs falling from the skies again.”  Combined with the schmaltzy musical style, movie-musical tap-dancing, over-the-top costumes, and of course the late, great Gary Beach’s acting, springtime in “Springtime for Hitler,” repeated over 20 times in the eight-minute song, becomes an absurd (and incredibly funny) dramatic irony.

Brooks’ hilarious treatment of springtime is similar to the season’s representation in a lesser known E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy song, “Springtime Cometh” from the 1951 flop Flahooley.  Like “Springtime for Hitler,” “Springtime Cometh” relies on and leans into the audience’s positive associations with spring and its traditional representation in Golden Age musicals.  Sandy/Penny and her genie (truly – don’t ask) sing about “lilacs growing on the clothesline,” “roses growing in the ashcan,” “hummingbird[s],” “merry maidens,” and repeat the word “springtime” six times in the short song.  Harburg went one step further and even wrote the lyrics in a sort of faux Olde English: “Springtime cometh,” the characters sing. “Hummingbird hummeth,/little brook rusheth,/merry maiden blusheth…springtime cometh for love of thee.”  Harburg pushes this construction even further for comedic effect with “Sugarplum plummeth,/Heart, it humpty-dummeth,/And to summeth up,/The Springtime cometh for the love of thee.”  The faux Olde English language reaches its zenith with Harburg’s tongue-and-cheek reference’s to spring’s inherent sexuality: “Lad and lass/In tall green grass/Gaily skippeth,/Nylon rippeth,/Zipper zippeth…which is to say/Spring cometh.”  Harburg’s ironic send-up of springtime is sexual, funny, self-aware, and, most importantly, irreverent.

Broadway clearly has a long-time fascination – and infatuation – with all things spring.  From the huge number of songs with “spring” in their title (and chorus) – to ones that rely on springtime imagery like the lilac trees in My Fair Lady’s “On the Street Where You Live” –  lyricists have used the season to convey and inspire romance, joy, lust, restlessness, loneliness, humor, and personal transformation in equal parts.  So in this close-to-post-pandemic moment: crank up the Broadway show tunes, smell the flowers, and look forward to a new (and hopefully, better) day. As they say: “springtime cometh!” 

Katie Birenboim is a NYC-based actor, director, and writer. She’s performed and directed at Classic Stage Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Barrington Stage, City Center Encores!, The Davenport Theatre, and Ancram Opera House, to name a few.  She is a proud graduate of Princeton University, member of Actors’ Equity, and hosts a weekly interview show on YouTube with theatre’s best and brightest entitled “Call Time with Katie Birenboim.”

Stories from the Stage


A Memory Lapse

In 1997 I did a one man play about a drunken Irish theatre critic at the Bush theater in London. St Nicholas! Written by Conor McPherson, which I subsequently performed the following year at Primary Stages in New York on 45th street, and for which I was honored with ‘The Lucille Lortel Award’!

But the previous year the play was premiered at the Bush Theatre in London. The Bush was a small intimate theatre with the audience on three sides. This particular night was a sellout performance. The audience were packed to the rafters.

Now St Nicholas is an extremely intricate complicated and fantastical text. With a sinewy comic thread! It demands an incredible level of Concentrated attention from the player. That evening started well.

But…About 6 minutes into the evening I noticed that sitting on front row…in…the middle…to my right was my ex girlfriend. Who I had recently broken up with. I was a little thrown by this …and wondered why on earth she had chosen that particular, really, quite prominent, seat. 

I recovered from this slight ‘hiccup’ and continued, feeling proud of myself that I was not thrown by this ‘obstacle’. So I proceeded with renewed confidence.

After a few minutes, I’d just gotten back in stride when I turned to address my audience stage left and there sitting…in the middle of the left front row was…my ex ex girlfriend. The girl friend previous…to the girl friend…now sitting stage right. In fact these two young ladies were actually sitting…facing…each other. I didn’t panic… but, my anxiety…was, shall we say…mounting.

What on earth was going on? And of course various scenarios began to play out in my mind!

Had they come together?

And as some bizarre joke decided to sit opposite each other? 

Or??….were they there by pure coincidence?

My brain became occupied with, what seemed endless permutations on these shifting scenarios. The text of the play, the main purpose of my attention, was drifting in my consciousness. And..ten minutes into the evening….the inevitable happened. I went up! Dried stone dead.

I struggled like a drowning man seeking a life raft. But after..a beat..which seemed a lifetime. I stopped turned to the audience, and said “Ladies and Gentlemen I’m afraid for reasons I can’t entirely explain, I need to start the evening over again! Apologies!” And so indeed I did…and it was truly scary!

“Will I get over the point where concentration abandoned me.”

And…”Will I indeed get through the entire evening….”

The moment where I had lost my way, was looming like one of those huge fences at the English Grand national horse race. Would I get over the fence? The moment arrived… and I lept the fence.. and..proceeded obsessively to the finish. After it was over, I left the stage exhausted!

I sat in my dressing room. There was a knock on my door. It was my ex-girlfriend. “Brian that was wonderful, what an incredible evening.” I was about to answer when there was another knock at the door. Enter my ex-ex-girlfriend “Brian that was wonderful, what an amaz….Oh hello, blank!

I was about to answer when there was another knock at the door. Enter my ex-ex-girlfriend “Brian that was wonderful, what an amaz….Oh hello, blank! Were you in?”

Ex-girl friend, “Yes, were you, wasn’t it wonderful 

Ex-ex-girlfriend “Amazing!”

I sat there in a state of stupefaction! Me “But weren’t you?… didn’t you? ..Um..ah…see..?”

Both, “What?

Me,  “Oh…Nothing…”

Ex girlfriend “ I was absolutely caught from the moment you came on!

Ex-ex-girlfriend “Oh, Me too! Me too”.

Both “But..why did you stop?”

Me, “Ah!…That!…Momentary lapse of concentration!”

Brian Cox

Brian Cox is an Olivier Award, Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner known for playing Logan Roy on HBO‘s Succession. He has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he gained recognition for his portrayal of King Lear. Additional credits include: Super Troopers, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, X2, Braveheart, Rushmore, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Troy.

Stories from the Stage


My First (and Last) Artistic Directorship: 1986-8

I was in a sauna with my husband and 3 year old son on the Dingel peninsula when I received a phone call from Joe Papp asking me to start a multicultural Shakespeare company for him to play for the New York City school system.

Why me? He had seen a multicultural-multilingual production of ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA that I had directed at the Womens’ Interart Theater on 52nd Street. I put together a company: 5 Blacks, 6 Hispanics, 3 Japanese, 2 Whites and 1 Turk.

We played in the Anspacher theater at 425 Lafayette Street for one year and then moved to the Belasco Theater on West 44th Street as SHAKESPEARE ON BROADWAY. It was Joe Papp’s dream.

We played daytimes during the school week for high school and junior high school students. On Friday and Saturdays they could bring their families from great grandparents to babes-in-arms. It was all free.


First an hour of relaxation and physical work led by a member of the company who was a dancer.

Then an hour of vocal work led by another member of the company. Then, five hours of free form work to find out who these actors were.

The reason for these five months?

Commercial actors of whatever culture or race learned to “act white” back in the 80s. I wanted to know who these people really were, their customs, their talk, their heritage, themselves. That stuff is the bedrock of compelling theater and fine acting.

One day Rene Moreno, an Hispanic, was showing us something of his heritage when Vince Williams, a big black guy from a family of musicians in New Orleans, sitting near me watching in the audience, piped up with “My heritage is some guys standing on a beach waiting to be brought here to be slaves”. Necessary talk this. Five months of it.

What do high school students like? Sports teams, oh, yes!

We put sweats on the actors and we had a sports team. (Ruth Morley of ANNIE HALL fame did the costumes). THE NEW YORK SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL PLAYERS


The actors came out to introduce themselves “Hello. I’m . . .”

But-hold it! Is that theater? What is your moniker, what is your “John Hancock”?

What is yourself? Show me your essence!

Not easy. Maybe impossible. Try.

One actor was really good at juggling. One could do backflips. One had been trained at New York City Ballet. Got it? Too big a challenge? Yes. Try!

By now the kids were into it.

Bess Myerson, a former Miss America, now part of the city government saw just this much of the performance and gave us a big donation.


Natsuko was Rosalind. Celia was Regina Taylor—with a live boa constrictor around her neck. 25 pounds. Had his own dressing room.

“I can’t rehearse all day with this thing around my neck.” Of course not—but it had been her idea.

One matinee, lights came up and a big girl in the front row shot to the back of the house – faster than any animal I had ever seen run.

The snake was still on Regina’s shoulders.


We played the Anspacher, the Mobile Unit in the parks all summer, and then added the Scottish play when we became SHAKESPEARE ON BROADWAY. Ching Valez played Lady M.

Oh, but she could.

After the students had seen the productions, the actors, as themselves, visited the schools and “played Shakespeare” with them.

At the end of our second season, I went, as a wife, to Gracie Mansion for dinner with the Mayor. My husband worked in the city government.

Bobby Wagner, head of the school board, was there. He told a story.

“I was in a school elevator and asked a teacher how her year had been. She said ‘Estelle Parsons’ Shakespeare program was the only good thing that happened all year.”

Estelle Parsons received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde, and was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Rachel, Rachel. She is well known for playing Beverly Harris, on the sitcom “Roseanne”, and its spinoff “The Conners”. She has been nominated five times for the Tony Award (four times for Lead Actress of a Play and once for Featured Actress) for her work in The Seven Descents of Myrtle, And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, Miss Margarida’s Way, Morning’s at Seven, and The Velocity of Autumn. 


All The World’s Her Stage (…and Backstage)

Beverly Jenkins is not afraid of a cut show. That’s a performance where there are more actors calling out than there are understudies or swings to replace them, and it requires a last-minute reconfiguration of everything from blocking to costuming to the placement of props.

For many people, this would be terrifying, but for Jenkins, who’s been a Broadway stage manager since the early 90s, it’s an opportunity.

“It’s a challenge I actually enjoy,” she says. “I know it’s a crazy thing to enjoy. It’s not something you wish for, but if you need to make it happen and you have the right people, you can make it happen.”

Case in point: At one performance of Broadway’s A Bronx Tale The Musical, she only had one Black actress available, even though there was a scene that required two. “I had to decide,” she recalls. “‘Do I have one Black female on stage, or do I have a Black female and a Black male in that other track?’ I’d planned for that, because you have to plan for that, even if it never happens. So I made the decision to have a Black male on stage, because otherwise it would have thrown some things off [to just have one person]. I spoke to some people; we made a few changes, and it worked. No problem.”

That solution indicates what a distinct style of stage management Jenkins has developed over her career, which includes landmark productions like Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk; the original Miss Saigon; and her current gig as the production stage manager for Hadestown.

The cast and crew of Hadestown

Crucially, she sees a cut show as a chance to connect. “It’s a community event,” she says. “You check with wardrobe, and they’ll make adjustments. The music department and the dance captains are involved. I always reach out to the director or the AD to make sure my choices are okay. And I take the personal trip to tell people what’s happening. I get a couple of extra steps in on my FitBit, and I’m good. I want to make sure I’m personally letting people know what’s going on before they step on stage.”

Those steps — up and down stairs, into the green room, into the wings — set Jenkins apart “Beverly runs a building, and she doesn’t have to open her computer to do it,” says Michael Rico Cohen, a fellow stage manager who has worked alongside her on A Bronx Tale The Musical, Amazing Grace, and Fully Committed.

“She is the person-to-person contact. She’s the problem solver. She’s the empathy master.”

Or to borrow a phrase Jenkins uses to describe herself, she’s a mom of many. “I’m fine with the tech,” she says. “It’s all good. I’m very calm, and I can call a cue just as well as the next person, but I believe my speciality is about being hands-on with the people. I put a lot of thought and care into everyone — not just the actors, but everyone — coming into that theatre.”

On every show, then, a big part of her job is figuring out exactly what this particular group of people needs. For instance, on Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk, the 1996 dance musical that uses tap to trace Black history in the United States, Jenkins worked with performers who were more familiar with the dance world than with Broadway. “Sorry Equity, but I had to bend the rules for this group of young men,” she says. “I had to assess the rules and see what they needed. Like, ‘I know this is half hour, and if you’re not here at half hour, then I need you to call me and tell me how far away you are. And as Iong as I know you’re coming, you get a five-minute grace period.’ And that’s something I still do, the five-minute grace period.”

On Noise/Funk, she also turned her office into an occasional daycare center, so that parents in the company could bring their children with them when there were no other options. She recalls, “I had Barney tapes. I had a playpen. I was like, ‘You’re not going to be forced to miss work because you’re doing the right thing with your child.’ I have to get my show up, no matter what. I have to figure out how to get the best show on stage today. And on that show, watching kids was part of it.”

For Amazing Grace, the 2015 Broadway musical that explores how the British slave trade inspired the titular hymn, Jenkins knew her job required extra compassion. She says, “Amazing Grace was important to me because of what was happening on stage. How hard is it that the first time you see Black people on stage, they are stuffed in a crate, and then they get pulled out, thrown on the ground, and shot in the back? So when the actors come off stage, how can they not carry that off stage? How do we make sure that these people are not carrying the feelings of trauma off stage with them?

“We had company morale-building events. We had t-shirt day. We made sure the dressing rooms were mixed, and that we weren’t keeping the Puritans over here and the Africans over here. It was good to see everyone put thought into how to make this a harmonious backstage area and still tell that particular story.”

It no doubt helped that Jenkins herself was spearheading the backstage culture. “She is wildly good at creating fellowship and community,” says Rachel Chavkin, the director of Hadestown.

“She exudes exuberance, but also doesn’t beat around the bush when she’s got a problem to work through. And she’s not precious, because she’s focused on problem-solving at every turn.”

Jenkins asserts that small touches help a company avoid bigger problems, particularly when they’re together for a lengthy run. That’s one reasons she runs a “turkey hand” contest for Thanksgiving, getting everyone in the building to trace their hand on construction paper and then turn it into a decorated turkey drawing. “And believe me, there are prizes, honey,” she says.

Cohen confirms, “There’s nobody that loves a turkey hand competition more than Beverly Jenkins. But it’s more than just turkey hands or door decorating contests or the Father’s Day barbecue. She’s a master of the casual-but-meaningful interaction. It creates a camaraderie and an immediate trust. It’s these little things that really make the building a happy place over a period of years. All of those things are just as important — and sometimes more — than announcing what we’re doing in understudy rehearsal on Friday.”

Mark Blankenship is the founder and editor of The Flashpaper and the host of The Showtune Countdown on iHeartRadio Broadway.



Meet Tom Kitt, the Tony-nominated composer of this season’s ALMOST FAMOUS.

Photo by Jenny Anderson

Tony, Emmy, Grammy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and orchestrator Tom Kitt earns his seventh Tony nomination with ALMOST FAMOUS. He shares his nomination with co-lyricist and book writer Cameron Crowe, who also wrote the original film. 

Kitt won his two Tonys, as well as a Pulitzer Prize, for composing and orchestrating NEXT TO NORMAL with lyricist Brian Yorkey. He has also been nominated for orchestrating SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and JAGGED LITTLE PILL, and for composing IF/THEN and FLYING OVER SUNSET. He won an Emmy for composing the 2013 Tony Awards opening number with Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a Grammy for the JAGGED LITTLE PILL original Broadway cast album. 

Get to know more about this Broadway musical stalwart with our TONY TALK Q&A:

Who was the first person to text/call you when you got the nomination?

The first text I received was from my friend Sarah Levine Hall who is a producer on the Tony Awards.  I was watching my son’s percussion recital, and I briefly checked my phone and saw that she had sent me a hand clap emoji.

Show some love to a fellow nominee this year. Whose work blew you away?

This is a hard question to answer as there is so much brilliant work on Broadway this season, but personal favorite would be my friend Annaleigh Ashford whose work in Sweeney Todd is virtuosic in every way.

Top restaurant in the theater district?

Joe Allen is my go-to.  Love the food, the ambience, and the “High Fidelity” poster.

The first Broadway show you ever saw?

Peter Pan with Sandy Duncan.

When did you decide to become a theater artist?

It was when I was at Columbia University as an undergrad.  My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) Rita Pietropinto introduced me to another student named Brian Yorkey and we began writing shows together, dreaming of someday getting to Broadway.

What is your earliest Tonys memory?

My earliest memory is of me convincing my mom to let me stay up past my bedtime to watch the show with her and my sister.  We couldn’t wait for the performances of the musicals we were constantly singing songs from.

Who’s your favorite Tonys host in history, and why?

This would be a tie between Neil Patrick Harris and James Corden, because they both entrusted me with the great honor of co-writing the opening number for them.  Also, special shoutout to my friend Ariana DeBose who was incredible last year.

All-time favorite Tonys performance on the telecast, and why?

It would be “Bigger,” the opening number that I wrote with Lin-Manuel Miranda for Neil Patrick Harris in 2013.  It was the first time I had ever done anything like that, and it was so gargantuan and terrifying.  And then on the telecast, everything clicked, and it was truly magical.  To this day, I marvel at what the entire team (Neil especially) was able to pull off and how emotional it all makes me feel.

Most memorable Tonys acceptance speech, and why?

For me, it would be Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acceptance speech in 2016 for Hamilton, where his “love is love is love” rallying cry was a direct call for humanity to rise above the hate and violent acts that divide us, and for artists to continue to find the melodies that bring us into harmony.

What is one play or musical you would like to adapt or revive on Broadway, and why?

I would love to explore an adaptation of Sam Shepherd’s play, “True West” as a musical.  It would be exciting to see Shepherd’s indelible characters and rich dialogue become songs, maybe in an alt-country feel.

Cover Story

TONY TALK: Jessica Hecht

Meet Jessica Hecht, the Tony-nominated actress from this season’s two-hander SUMMER, 1976, in which she stars opposite Laura Linney.

SUMMER, 1976. Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Hecht is one of our most versatile and gifted theater artists, with Broadway credits dating back to 1997, when she starred in the Tony-winning play THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO. This year’s marks her second Tony nomination, after being recognized for her work in 2010’s A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE. Additional Broadway appearances include BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, among several others.

Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Joan Marcus

She has appeared many times on the New York stage throughout her career, including this season’s LETTERS FROM MAX by Sarah Ruhl at Signature Theatre Company. She is also known for her television roles on Friends, Breaking Bad, and Special, for which was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award, among others.

Get to know this New York theater icon with our TONY TALK Q&A:

Who was the first person to text/call you when you got the nomination? 

I texted Laura Linney to express how indebted I am to her.

Show some love to a fellow nominee this year. Whose work blew you away?

I loved David Zayas in Cost of Living.

Top restaurant in the theater district? 

I like Bond 45 for the incredible Antipasto…Also I met Todd Haimes there several times and it now holds these memories of him.

The first Broadway show you ever saw?

Shenandoah!! Which I saw in 1976! I went with my class from middle school in Bloomfield, CT. It was a revelation!

When did you decide to become a theater artist?
While at Connecticut College, I met the great Morris Carnovsky and he was so devoted to the work he had done in the Group Theatre and I was awed by him and just followed him around like a puppy and he told me to go to New York and Study with Stella Adler and I never looked back.

What is your earliest Tonys memory?
Well I think being at the live awards for The Last Night of Ballyhoo…and having our play win for Best Play…as we sat in the nosebleed seats (in a dress I borrowed from magnificent Dana Ivey!) has become my earliest adult memory…and it just trumps all other memories.

Who’s your favorite Tonys host in history, and why? 

Nathan Lane and Mathew Broderick made you feel like you were on the inside of some delicious joke in a familiar and true, “this is our time” way that was thrilling.

All-time favorite Tonys performance on the telecast, and why?

Hamilton… Come on… 🙂

Most memorable Tonys acceptance speech, and why?

Danny Burstein. So genuine, so simple. It was ultimately a love note to the community from him …and Becca.

What is one play or musical you would like to perform on Broadway, and why?

Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss would be a dream to do on Broadway. It’s equally theatrical and intimate …ingeniously so. I’d also do anything by Tennessee Williams of course….for much the same reason as Stage Kiss….Isn’t that the thrill? To be both wonderfully theatrical and steadily real. 

Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of SUMMER, 1976 is running at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, currently scheduled through June 18, 2023.


TONY TALK: Audra McDonald

Meet Audra McDonald, the Tony-nominated star of this season’s OHIO STATE MURDERS.

OHIO STATE MURDERS. Photo by Richard Termine.

A bona fide Broadway star, Audra McDonald is the only actress to have been recognized in all four acting categories. This year, she is nominated for the 10th time for her performance as Suzanne Alexander in Adrienne Kennedy’s OHIO STATE MURDERS. The production marked Adrienne Kennedy’s Broadway debut at the age of 91, and was directed by Kenny Leon.

THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS. Photo by Michael J. Lutch.

Of her 13 Broadway outings, some of her most notable include CAROUSEL (1994), MASTER CLASS (1996), RAGTIME (1998), A RAISIN IN THE SUN (2004), THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS (2012), and LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL (2014), all of which won her Tony Awards for her performances.

Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday for LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL (Photo by Warwick Saint)

Get to know more about this Broadway icon with our TONY TALK Q&A:

Who was the first person to text/call you when you got the nomination?
I was on the train heading to the city for rehearsal, and my friend sent me a video message of his son saying “Hi Auntie Audra, congratulations on your Tony nomination!” That’s how I found out.

Show some love to a fellow nominee this year. Whose work blew you away?
I was bowled over by “Fat Ham”. I thought it was an incredible adaptation and I was truly blown away.

Top restaurant in the theater district?
It’s just south of the Theater District, but Boqueria – incredible tapas!

The first Broadway show you ever saw?
Starlight Express

When did you decide to become a theater artist?
When I was 9 years old, the first time I stepped on the stage in my dinner theater in Fresno, California. I felt such electricity and the sense that was where I belonged. I felt normal for the first time in my life.

What is your earliest Tonys memory?
One of my earliest Tonys memories was being in the elevator heading to the stage for “Carousel” to rehearse our number and running into Sally Mayes. She had just come from rehearsal for their number, she was starring in the revival of “She Loves Me” and we both had nominations in the same category. I didn’t know her very well, but we saw each other, fell into each other’s arms, gave each other the biggest hug and said, “have the most amazing night!” It was my first sense of true camaraderie with performers and theater makers. I learned in the end, it’s all a lovefest.

Who’s your favorite Tonys host in history, and why?
Rosie O’Donnell always did a wonderful job. With Rosie, it was about the love of the community and musical theater. She gave so much support to the theater with her TV show. There was such a love and an ease, and she hosted with awe and joy.

All-time favorite Tonys performance on the telecast, and why?
There are so many amazing performances, but what comes to my mind is Jennifer Holiday’s ‘And I Am Telling You’ from “Dreamgirls.”

Most memorable Tonys acceptance speech, and why?
I remember being incredibly moved by Billy Porter’s speech when he won for “Kinky Boots” declaring “this is who I am.” He spoke about his mother not necessarily understanding who he was but loving him anyway and her acceptance. She was there for him and nurtured him so he could grow to be his best self. His love for his mother in that moment and honoring her in that way was intensely moving.

What is one play or musical you would like to perform on Broadway, and why?
The answer is all of them, because I love Broadway so much.


Groundbreaking Musicals of the 20th Century and Their Film Adaptations

by Katie Devin Orenstein

Over a hundred years of evolution have transformed vaudeville, burlesque, and operetta into the mature art form we know today as musical theater. Certain shows in particular pushed the artform forward, deepening the nuance, complexity, and depth of musical content and form. Yet, interestingly enough, these unusual musicals did not have the same transformative impact on cinema, and most have become footnotes to their grander Broadway successes. Below are some of the musicals that transformed the medium, and their film adaptations. 

Show Boat

1927’s Show Boat was the first musical to explore dark, socially relevant themes. Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein innovated the musical melodrama, with a story about workers on a Mississippi River steamship that deals with gambling, alcoholism, racism, and in particular, anti-miscegenation laws. It might not seem novel today, but in the 1920s, Broadway musicals were exclusively comedies, with shoestring plots just to tie the songs and comic business together, if they had plots at all. The musical opened December 27th, 1927 at the former Ziegfeld Theatre, has been revived on Broadway multiple times, and is perhaps best known for the song “Ol Man River.”

Show Boat was adapted into a movie not once, not twice, but thrice: by Universal Studios in 1929 and 1936, and by MGM in 1951, in Technicolor. 

Ava Gardner sings “Bill” in the Show Boat 1951 film.

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

Porgy & Bess broke new ground in part because it was written as an opera, not a musical. Its Broadway premiere at the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon) on October 10th, 1935 was because its composer, George Gershwin, wanted to “appeal to the many rather than the cultured few,” as he wrote in an essay in the New York Times in 1936. The result is a groundbreaking “folk opera” (Gershwin’s words) about Black Americans that fuses operatic structures and musical theatre conventions like dance breaks and humorous subplots. For decades it was the only opera written for Black performers. While its lush romantic score has made it a mainstay in opera houses around the world, its story of drug addiction, rape, and murder features many negative stereotypes about Black people. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, who adapted the show’s book for the 2012 Broadway revival, loved the music, and tried to “make the story just as great.”

It was adapted into a movie in 1959 with a stacked cast of Black Hollywood and Broadway trailblazers like Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey, and Diahann Carroll, with Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge in the title roles. It was to be legendary film producer Samuel Goldwyn’s final film. (The Goldwyn family has something of an affinity for groundbreaking musicals—Samuel’s grandson Tony Goldwyn is co-directing the upcoming Pal Joey revival.)

Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis perform “I Loves You, Porgy” from the 2012 Broadway revival.

Pal Joey

When Pal Joey opened at the Barrymore Theatre on Christmas Day 1940 it introduced something alien to the musical theater canon: cynicism. In the love triangle between a charming and slimy nightclub singer named Joey, his wide-eyed paramour Linda, and his rich, and married, lover Vera, no one ends up together in the end. Joey starts and ends the show a scoundrel, making him Broadway’s first anti-hero (Show Boat’s tragic couple reunite at the end, and Bess dies in Porgy’s arms. Joey gets out of his misdeeds unscathed but utterly alone.) Lorenz Hart’s witty, suggestive lyrics got now-classics like “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” shunned from radio broadcast in 1940. 

In this clip from the heavily sanitized Pal Joey film, Rita Hayworth performs “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” with the singing voice of Jo Ann Greer.

Notice the lyric discrepancies between the movie and this clip of Patti LuPone singing Hart’s original lyrics:

A group of people dancing

Description automatically generated
the Rogers and Hammerstein Organization


Hammerstein wrote the lyrics for Show Boat, Rodgers composed Pal Joey; their first collaboration was guaranteed to be fascinating. On March 31st, 1943, at the St. James Theatre, Rodgers and Hammerstein opened the first musical to use music and dance not just to entertain but to tell the story: Oklahoma, a tragic yet hopeful fable of community cohesion and romantic desire in rural America. Agnes de Mille’s choreography was particularly innovative, staging farm girl Laurie’s inner torment and indecision as a dream ballet. Oklahoma’s incredibly sophisticated integration of text, music, choreography, and design created the modern musical form, influencing everything from My Fair Lady to Hamilton, Dreamgirls to A Strange Loop, and everything in between

Like Show Boat, Porgy & Bess, and Pal Joey, Oklahoma was made into a film in the 1950s. As with Joey, some sexually suggestive lyrics were excised, in order to abide by the Hayes Code, a conservative set of rules all film studios followed at the time. 

Compare the original text of “Kansas City”

With the film version:

Watch Tony-nominated choreographer John Heginbotham’s version of the “Dream Ballet” for the 2019 Oklahoma revival. Just like in the 1943 original, Laurie departs the stage and a dancer represents her inner psyche:

A Chorus Line

Backstage stories like Show Boat, Pal Joey, and Kiss Me Kate have been a constant presence on Broadway, but none have been as raw or honest as A Chorus Line. The first musical to be developed through a series of workshops, A Chorus Line set the industry standard, although basing the story on the actors’ life experiences remains unusual. It was also the first musical to run for over 10 years on Broadway. Streamlining the plot to just one afternoon cattle call audition for the chorus of an unnamed show, A Chorus Line might be most innovative in its seeming simplicity. Every character has the same objective: they “really need this job,” as Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban’s peripatetic score explains to us in the opening number. 

The 1985 film adaptation was directed by Richard Attenborough, and did not have the success that the stage show did. 

Donna McKechnie performs “The Music & The Mirror” in the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line. Slipping between dialogue and singing like this was pioneered by Oklahoma, as was choreographers Michael Bennett and Bob Avian’s ability to visualize Cassie’s pain and ambition through dance.


TONY TALK: Casey Nicholaw

Meet Casey Nicholaw, the Director-Choreographer of SOME LIKE IT HOT!

Nicholaw is double-nominated at this year’s Tony Awards, for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography, accounting for two of the show’s 13 nominations (the most of any production this season!). This year’s additions also bring his personal Tony nominations to 13 – he won his Tony in 2011 for his direction of THE BOOK OF MORMON.

Two people standing in a room with pictures on the wall

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Photo by Marc J Franklin

A mainstay of the Main Stem, Nicholaw launched his Broadway career as a performer, appearing in eight shows including CRAZY FOR YOU, VICTOR / VICTORIA, SEUSSICAL, and THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, before pivoting to the other side of the table. He has consistently worked as both a choreographer and director since choreographing SPAMALOT in 2005, helming the likes of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, ALL ABOUT ME, ELF, SOMETHING ROTTEN, MEAN GIRLS, and THE PROM, to name just a few.

Get to know more about this Broadway favorite with our TONY TALK Q&A:

Who was the first person to text/call you when you got the nomination?
It was the best nomination morning that I’ve ever experienced. The cast of Some Like it Hot was waiting to perform on the Today Show when the nominations came in so we all got to experience hearing them together as a cast and screaming and crying and jumping around with joy!

Show some love to a fellow nominee this year. Whose work blew you away?
Vicki Clark in Kimberly Akimbo. Her performance is so funny and moving and heartbreaking and uplifting.

44 and X

Top restaurant in the theater district?
44 and X

The first Broadway show you ever saw?
Barnum with Jim Dale

When did you decide to become a theater artist?
When I did my first show at San Diego Junior Theater. I was in the chorus of Annie Get Your Gun and I was hooked.

What is your earliest Tonys memory?
My teen years were when I started watching and became obsessed. Watching the Tonys was the only chance to see numbers from the shows until they toured through LA or San Diego where I grew up. The big shows for me were Ain’t Misbehavin, Evita, Annie, A Chorus Line and The Wiz.

Who’s your favorite Tonys host in history, and why?
Angela Lansbury, because she was Angela Lansbury

All-time favorite Tonys performance on the telecast, and why?
As a kid I loved seeing Dorthy Loudon and Bob Fitch doing Easy Street – it was such a good number and perfect musical comedy.

Most memorable Tonys acceptance speech, and why?
I somehow can still see Nell Carter’s face when she was so surprised that she won for Aint Misbehavin. It was so exciting!

What is one play or musical you would like to direct and/or choreograph on Broadway, and why?
I don’t know that I have one anymore – My list never changed for years, it was always Dreamgirls and Most Happy Fella, and I got to do Dreamgirls in London and Most Happy Fella at encores!

You can currently see Nicholaw’s direction and choreography in THE BOOK OF MORMON, ALADDIN, and of course, SOME LIKE IT HOT, currently running at the Shubert Theatre with a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, a book by Matthew Lòpez and Amber Ruffin, and starring Christian Borle, J. Harrison Ghee, and Adrianna Hicks.

He’s currently working on a musical adaptation of the 1972 film WHAT’S UP, DOC?, which is aimed for a Broadway run in the coming years!


Vintage Vibes but not Vintage Values

By Jim Glaub

The 2023 Tony Awards nominations are in, and this year’s shows reflect a growing interest in nostalgia, with many productions harking back to classic Broadway eras and themes. Some of the most notable examples include New York, New York, a musical set in the 1940s with all the makings of a classic Broadway show, and Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot, which stayed true to its original production and presented a big, beautiful revival. Other shows like & Juliet, Kimberly Akimbo, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street also incorporate nostalgic elements, using the music and vibes of the ’90s, classic Broadway comedy, and Golden Age musicals as inspiration.

One reason for this trend towards nostalgia is the growing interest in it among younger audiences. According to a study by JWT Intelligence, Gen Z is increasingly interested in nostalgia, with 82% of them saying that they enjoy retro design and 77% saying that they enjoy old-fashioned experiences. This trend is reflected in the success of shows like Some Like It Hot, which is based on the classic film and harkens back to the Golden Age of musical comedies.

But it’s not just about looking back – this year’s Tony nominees also highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion in theater. Many of the shows are written by diverse playwrights, including James Ijames, Lolita Chakrabarti, Jordan E Cooper, and Martyna Majok. And book writers like Amber Ruffin and Sharon Washington bring unique perspectives to their works, adding to the richness and depth of the stories being told.

Some of the most diverse shows this year include Ain’t No Mo’, a play that explores the Black American experience, and Prima Facie, a powerful drama about sexual assault and the legal system. A Doll’s House, which reimagines Ibsen’s classic play with a contemporary twist, and Cost of Living, a poignant exploration of disability and relationships, are also among the nominees.

Overall, this year’s Tony Awards nominations reflect a fascinating mix of nostalgia and diversity, showcasing the rich history of Broadway while also pushing boundaries and bringing new voices to the forefront. It will be exciting to see which shows come out on top and what they have to say about the state of theater in 2023.


TONY TALK: Jennifer Weber

Meet Jennifer Weber, the choreographer of this season’s & JULIET and KPOP!

This is Jennifer Weber’s first season as a Broadway choreographer, and she’s off to an auspicious start—she’s landed Tony nominations, plural, for her work in & JULIET and KPOP. While a lifelong Broadway obsessive, as you’ll learn below, and cut her teeth choreographing TV commercials for brands like Marc Jacobs and American Express, and interdisciplinary dance pieces like A HIPHOP NUTCRACKER for Disney+ and PBS. For & JULIET, Weber was also nominated for an Olivier award for her combination of contemporary pop choreography and Shakespearean wit.

Learn more about Jennifer Weber with our TONY TALK Q&A:

Who was the first person to text/call you when you got the nomination?

My Mom was the first person to text me after I got the nominations.  I think she said something like “Congrats, Call me later” and then my phone started exploding and it was many hours before I called her back.  I was absolutely in shock!  I feel like my Mom was way less surprised.  

Show some love to a fellow nominee this year. Whose work blew you away?

This is such an amazing year for dance on Broadway.  When I saw Casey’s work in Some Like it Hot I was so jealous I didn’t get to make an epic tap dance chase scene.  That’s how I know I really love something—when I’m jealous I didn’t get to do it.  That scene is just a brilliant piece of musical theater choreography– storytelling, comedy and showmanship all perfectly constructed.  I was blown away.  Susan’s work in New York, New York is classic Broadway beauty.  I’ve been such a big fan of her ever since Contact.  That show had a big impact on me and the potential for dance to tell stories without spoken text.   And I have to really shout out Steven Hoggett whose work I first saw in London when I was doing study abroad in college.   His use of physical vocabulary and magical visuals in storytelling was my main inspiration to start off on my journey into theatrical choreography.  I was lucky enough to take a three-day workshop with him in London many years ago and that’s the only actual choreography training I’ve ever had. I learned so much during that experience.   I hope I’m now his star student!

Top restaurant in the theater district?

Although it’s a little out of the way I love B Side Pizza Bar.  When I was working on KPOP at Ars Nova it was my staple.  The kale salad and zucchini noodles are incredible.

The first Broadway show you ever saw?

The first Broadway show I saw was A Chorus Line.  I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, but my parents were ex-NY’ers and took me to a lot of theater as a kid.  I think I was about 8 or 9 when I saw A Chorus Line and it made me fall in love with theater.  All the music, all the dancing, all the gold costumes, I just loved everything about it.  I had no idea that was a job—it just seemed like magic.  

When did you decide to become a theater artist?

I don’t know if I decided to become a theater artist, but I love working in theatre and I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this fabulous Broadway community.  My journey to theater was very roundabout.  I was never in a musical and I’ve never worked as an assistant or associate choreographer.  I came from working in concert and commercial dance. I love working in different mediums so I can take things I’ve learned creating one type of choreography and apply it in another arena.  

What is your earliest Tonys memory?

My earliest Tony memory is probably the 1994 Tonys and watching the cast of Damn Yankees rock the stage. I was in high school and had gotten really, really into dance.  I recorded the Tonys that year and taught myself all of Rob Marshall’s choreography to “Shoeless Joe.”  If asked, I absolutely can still do a few of the 8 counts from that number.   I just re-watched that number and it totally holds up. 

Who’s your favorite Tonys host in history, and why?

I thought Ariana DeBose did a really great job.  Triple threats make great hosts.  

All-time favorite Tonys performance on the telecast, and why?

My all-time favorite Tony performance.  Ok this is obscure, but the 1999 cast of Footloose performing the title song.  I used to take dance class at Broadway Dance Center with AC Ciulla who was Tony-nominated for choreographing that show.  I was super shy so I always hung out in the back and never talked to him, but a lot of the people who were often in the front of his classes ended up in the Footloose cast.  I think that was the first time I recognized people who I had danced in a room with on TV.  It blew my mind.  I also recorded that performance and learned it.  

Most memorable Tonys acceptance speech, and why?

Savion Glover when he won for Bring in Da Noise Bring in Da Funk.  I clearly remember him going up and simply saying “Big ups to my peeps” and then leaving.  His absolute coolness was next level. 

What is one play or musical you would like to choreograph on Broadway, and why?

My dream project—just putting it out there—is to put my own choreography twist on Guys and Dolls.  I can see it so clearly.  I love fusing worlds together, so I’d love to take on a real classic dance musical and give the choreography a very contemporary vibe while keeping all the sets and costumes in a classic vocabulary.  

& JULIET is currently running at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, and earned nine Tony nominations, including Best Musical.


TONY TALK: Emilio Sosa

Meet Emilio Sosa, the veteran Broadway costume designer and double nominee at this year’s Tony Awards for his work on the plays AIN’T NO MO’ and GOOD NIGHT, OSCAR.

Ain’t No Mo’. Photo by Joan Marcus

Sosa’s costumes have been a fixture on Broadway for over 20 years, having designed 13 shows since his first credit in 2002, the original Broadway production of TOPDOG/UNDERDOG (revived this year in a new Tony-nominated production directed by Kenny Leon). He had already earned two Tony nominations prior to this year, for Best Costume Design of a Musical for THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS in 2012, and Best Costume Design of a Play for TROUBLE IN MIND last season (2022). 

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Good Night, Oscar. Photo by Joan Marcus

Sosa designed the costumes for an impressive five Broadway shows this season, including last fall’s 1776 and AIN’T NO MO’, and the currently running A BEAUTIFUL NOISE, THE NEIL DIAMOND MUSICAL; SWEENEY TODD; and GOOD NIGHT, OSCAR. 

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (2012). Photos by Michael J. Lutch

Get to know this Broadway perennial with our TONY TALK Q&A:

Who was the first person to text/call you when you got the nominations?

My agent was the first person to call me to congratulate me on the nominations and then my phone alerts started going off nonstop. Soon after, I called my mother to share the good news.

Show some love to a fellow nominee this year. Whose work blew you away?

Crystal Lucas-Perry. I was honored to design for her for both Ain’t No Mo’ and 1776.

Top Restaurant in the Theatre District?

Glass House Tavern and Bond 45

The first Broadway show you ever saw?

A Chorus Line in 1986

When did you decide to become a theater artist?

When I met George C. Wolfe and he hired me to design Topdog / Underdog at the Public.

What is your earliest Tonys memory?

I remember when costume designer Ann Hould-Wald was nominated for Beauty & the Beast. I was working at Grace Costumes at the time and we made a lot of the costumes for the production. It truly was a formative experience.

Who’s your favorite Tonys host in history, and why?

Ariana DeBose brought a new energy to the telecast. And I worked with her on Motown when she was just starting in the business, so it’s a pleasure to see the growth and success.

All-time favorite Tonys performance on the telecast, and why?

Jennifer Holiday and Dreamgirls. The sheer emotions of her performance captivated me through the tv screen and still resonates today.

Most memorable Tony’s acceptance speech, and why?

Andre De Shields and his philosophy on life and success. He’s an ICON!

What is one play or musical you would like to costume design on Broadway and why?

Anything Jordan E. Cooper writes! His voice is much needed as Broadway expands its mind and ability to depict stories reflective of all cultures.

Next up for Sosa is the upcoming Broadway revival of PURLIE VICTORIOUS, directed by Kenny Leon and starring Leslie Odom Jr., set to hit Broadway later this year!

GOOD NIGHT, OSCAR is currently running at the Belasco Theatre, in a limited engagement starring Sean Hayes, also nominated for a Tony Award this year for his leading performance in the production. SWEENEY TODD is running at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in a grand revival led by Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford, both also nominated for their starring turns. A BEAUTIFUL NOISE, THE NEIL DIAMOND MUSICAL is at the Broadhurst Theatre, starring Will Swenson as the music icon.


TONY TALK: Jo Bonney

Meet Jo Bonney, the Tony-nominated director of Martyna Majok’s COST OF LIVING.

Last fall’s Manhattan Theatre Club production of Cost of Living may have been director Jo Bonney’s Broadway debut, but she’s been working extensively Off-Broadway and around the country and world since the 1980s. Having worked with dozens of celebrated contemporary playwrights, including everyone from David Rabe to Suzan-Lori Parks, Bonney received particular acclaim for directing the premiere of Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Vera Stark at Second Stage in 2011. She won OBIE awards in both 1998 and 2019 for her sustained excellence in directing, and also has two Lucille Lortel Award wins and a Drama Desk nomination under her belt. 

Now, after over forty years working in the theatre, she’s a first-time Tony nominee for her work on Cost of Living by Martyna Majok. Three out of the play’s four cast members are also nominated this year for the performances, and the show is nominated for Best Play.

Get to know more about this New York theater stalwart with our TONY TALK Q&A:

Who was the first person to text/call you when you got the nomination?

I didn’t actually register the very first person as I had slept late that morning, so when I turned my phone back on it seemed to explode with dozens of texts, confetti bursts, emojis and general mayhem. I was still 80% asleep and had no clue what I was looking at. It was a sweet moment when I did. My husband was the first to give me a huge hug – he had a tear in his eye. He’s more sentimental than I am.

How did you celebrate your nomination?

I was out of the city and we went for a long hike in the woods that afternoon. It seemed like the perfect way to celebrate.

Show some love to a fellow nominee this year. Whose work blew you away?

I want, desperately, to name my entire cast for Cost of Living because they ‘blew me away’ but maybe that’s a little too in-family so I’m going to say (and I’m being greedy here by naming two actors), Wendell Pierce and Stephen McKinley Henderson. Their body of work over the years is simply inspiring and their particular performances on Broadway this season were a joy to watch.

Top restaurant in the theater district?

I’m not going to pretend that Hurley’s Saloon is the top restaurant in the theater distance but they’re so welcoming to theater people after a show. The Cost of Living group spent a lot of hours in their outside seating area late into the night, alongside many other theater artists relaxing after a show. Sort of like office workers’ 6 o’clock get togethers.

The first Broadway show you ever saw?

Someone invited me to see Phantom of the Opera in 1988. I was immersed in the performance/downtown theater scene, which tended to be more low budget, with a different sensibility, and when I saw Phantom I was like, ‘Whoa – the scale! the effects! the full size orchestra!’ I still have this reaction when I see a huge Broadway Musical – they’re their own glorious over-the-top universe.

When did you decide to become a theater artist?

I think the answer is in the next question…

Joe Papp

To which teacher/mentor/colleague do you most attribute your theatrical success?

Joe Papp. I came out of art school and was working with Eric Bogosian on solo pieces in clubs and performance venues and Joe brought us into The Public Theater in the mid 80’s. I had never thought to name what I was doing, but Joe would sit in the theater and watch us work and one day he took me aside and told me I was a director and encouraged me to commit to that. He and Gail Merrifield (his wife and the director of Play Department) continued to be super supportive of my work as I figured out who I was as a theater artist. 

Do you have any theatre superstitions? What are they?

My superstition is not specific to theater, it’s more a general life superstition. If anyone says to me, “this is going to be a big success,” you know immediately, it’s not.

Next up in Broadway’s Best Shows TONY TALK series are our chats with Director/Choreographer Casey Nicholaw and Costume Designer Emilio Sosa! Stay tuned to the website to see more.


TONY TALK: Andre Bishop

Meet André Bishop, the Producing Artistic Director of Lincoln Center Theater, whose revival of Lerner & Loewe’s CAMELOT is nominated for five Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical.

Mr. Bishop previously served as Artistic Director of Playwrights Horizons and as its Literary Manager prior to that, before joining Lincoln Center Theater in 1992. He is responsible for shepherding some of the theater’s classics of the last four decades to the stage, including SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, THE HEIDI CHRONICLES, DRIVING MISS DAISY, and THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA. In addition, he has produced countless acclaimed revivals before this year’s, including SOUTH PACIFIC, FALSETTOS, THE KING & I, and MY FAIR LADY.

Learn more about this titan of Broadway with our TONY TALK Q&A:

Who was the first person to text/call you when you got the nomination news?

The first person to call me when we got the nomination was our director, Bartlett Sher

Show some love to a fellow nominee this year. Whose work blew you away?

I can’t possibly pick out anybody specific who blew me away as so many fine actors gave great performances.

Top restaurant in the theater district?

Top restaurant is Orso

The first Broadway show you ever saw?

The first Broadway show I ever saw was Mary Martin’s Peter Pan.

When did you decide to become a theater artist?

I decided to become a theater artist after I saw Mary Martin’s Peter Pan.

What is your earliest Tonys memory?

My earliest Tony memory was buying a balcony ticket to the show (the year of No, No Nanette), but not wearing a tuxedo as I did not have one. Alexander H Cohen, who was the Tony Producer at the time, was basically standing guard in the lobby, looking for improperly dressed audience members. He spotted me, grabbed me by the arm, and forcefully threw me out of the theater and onto the street.

Who’s your favorite Tonys host in history, and why?

My favorite Tony host was Neil Patrick Harris. I thought he was totally charming and deft.

All-time favorite Tonys performance on the telecast, and why?

My favorite Tonys performance from the telecast was given by Barbara Harris who sang a song from ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER. She was sensational and vocally impeccable.

Most memorable Tonys acceptance speech, and why?

The most memorable Tony acceptance speech was given by the director Gerald Gutierrez who thanked his best friend, Phyllis. Who was Phyllis? Newman? Diller? No, it was his dog whom he brought up onstage with him and revealed her hiding in his tuxedo. She was a Pekinese.

What is one play or musical you would like to adapt or revive on Broadway, and why?

The one musical I would like to revive is The Most Happy Fella whose beauty is incomparable.

CAMELOT is running at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, currently scheduled through September 3, 2023. The revival is directed by Bartlett Sher and features a revised book by Aaron Sorkin. In addition to Best Revival of a Musical, the production earned nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in Featured Role in a Musical for Jordan Donica, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical, and Best Lighting Design of a Musical. Next up for Mr. Bishop and LCT is FLEX, to be presented at the Newhouse Theater Off-Broadway starting June 23.