Broadway opera

Sadly, the fat lady did you-know-what for you-know-who.

About two and a half years ago, I blogged about New York City Opera’s shocking move out of Lincoln Center to . . . nowhere. It didn’t take a Harvard MBA to know what that meant . . . that fat lady was taking a big old breath and getting ready to sing one helluva note. Two and a half years later, she let ‘er rip. And that’s the end of my feeble attempts at humor, because this ain’t that funny. New York City Opera filed for bankruptcy last week, ending an era of “affordable opera” for NYers, and leaving …

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Is there a Producer Doctor in the house?

We’ve all heard the expression, “Show Doctor”, right?  You know, that Director or Writer who joins a troubled production out-of-town, or in previews, with the goal of providing the creative changes necessary to save a sinking show. You ever wonder why some shows don’t have Producer doctors?  Imagine . . . six months after a show opens, a show is struggling.  Why not bring in a hired producing gun; an outsider with objectivity to shake up the team . . . fire some people, change marketing strategy, etc.  There’s no guarantee that a new CEO will take a company in …

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Flops have families too.

In the Op-Ed section of the January 1st edition of the NY Times, far from the Arts pages, was a great piece from the daughter of the Producer of one of the most infamous flops in Broadway history, Via Galactica (who went on to help put together Memphis).  Not only does she tell one of my favorite stories about titles (look for the paragraph about the renaming of Via and why it had to be changed back), but she also tells tales of living room readings for investors, star casting, special effects unlike anyone had ever seen that caused huge …

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Broadway Vocab 101. Why is a flop called a turkey anyway?

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! It’s ironic, don’t you think?  We spend this one day pounding back slices of turkey, and we spend the rest of the year trying to avoid producing one. And why do we call a flop a turkey anyway?  Why not an owl?  Or a swallow? Well, these are the types of questions that keep me up at night, so I decided to do some Gearching (I’ve decided that the word search is now so inextricably connected to Google that we should just combine the two words), and share the results with you, on this fowl-filled day. So …

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Favorite Quotes: Volume XII

When discussing his unfortunate flop, 1971’s Lolita, My Love (closed OOT in Boston), John Barry, one of the most celebrated film composers of all time (he wrote the theme to Somewhere In Time) had this honest and objective comment about this own work. I think for a musical it got too dark.  I loved it for every reason that they the audience didn’t like it. But what are you going to do? They’re the ones that pay. Mr. Goldfinger has it right. The “my show is my child” metaphor has been used more often than a booster seat at The …

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