The Sunday Giveaway: Two tickets to Sticks and Bones and a signed playbill!

Who says stars only want to “play” on Broadway?

Off Broadway producing powerhouse The New Group is currently presenting the first major NY revival of David Rabe’s Sticks and Bones, the Tony Award winning Best Play of 1972.

You’ve probably never heard of S&B, right?  And you thought you knew all the big Tony Award winners!  Leave it to The New Group to dig one out that hasn’t been seen in a while, and is rarely thought of.

And if you’re intrigued now, wait until you hear who is in it.

We’re talking Bill Pullman, Holly Hunter, and Richard Chamberlain, to name a few!

Talk about a star fest . . . and all in intimate Off Broadway theater.

So how would one of you like to go see this “fascinating new production” (Ben Brantley) and all those stars for free?  And get a signed playbill???

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

How do you win?

Well, I’m going to make this one a bit personal.

The first big show I worked on that changed my life, and put me on the Producing path was the National Tour and Broadway production of My Fair Lady in 1993. It was produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, and it starred . . . yep . . . Richard Chamberlain.

I was the Production Assistant.  And when I took the gig, I had no idea what that meant.  Turns out it meant a little of everything, from typing the schedule on the Mac Classic computer, to getting Richard fresh roasted turkey sandwiches.  And it was awesome.

And Richard was awesome.  To this date, he is one of the most gracious stars I ever worked with.

That PA position led to another and then to another and then to a Company Management position and then to me, producing shows, and eventually blogging like I am today.

Everyone has one of those first jobs, or first shows that turn the course of their lives.

What was yours?  Tell me that gig, or that show, that put you on your passionate path of the theater.  And one of you will win tickets to see Sticks and Bones!

And even if you don’t win, I have a feeling thinking back to that first show of yours will make you feel pretty damn gooey inside.

Good luck!

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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Comments
  • Aaron deitsch says:

    When I was 12, I got the lead in a school production of Tom Sawyer and it opened my eyes to what theater could be

  • I was in high school when I got a call from a guy who had been a long-term substitute for my school acting class while our teacher was out on maternity leave the previous semester. He said he was directing an off b’way show, and was in need of an Assistant Stage Manager, and would I be interested in the job (he thought of me because he knew I was a child actor and had basically grown up backstage at Lincoln Center as a long-time member of the Children’s Chorus at the — sadly, now defunct — New York City Opera, so he knew at least that I was capable of being professional and behaving appropriately backstage). I had been taking Tech. Theater at school as well, and so had a decent idea of what the gig would entail. I also liked the guy quite a bit and thought it’d be a great learning opportunity, so I took the gig.

    We went into rehearsal and things were going well. I got along great with the rest of the staff and cast, and always stuck around after rehearsal to soak up what I could from the director/designers and to help out. Then, 2 weeks before tech…

    The (Equity) Stage Manager had an immediate family member become suddenly and mortally ill. Across the country. So he left to go home, and I got promoted to SM (thank goodness I had been paying such good attention to everyone’s jobs!). And if that weren’t enough…

    3 days before our 1st tech rehearsal, my director and lighting designer got into a big fight. They had it out, and ultimately we lost our LD – I don’t recall whether he walked, or the director kicked him to the curb, but either way I’m sure it was fairly mutual. We had an “emergency meeting” in the house with our full cast/crew, and our director and production manager asked “does anyone know a good lighting designer who can show up last minute and for cheap?” Nope. No one.

    Then a follow up; “does anyone in here have any experience designing lights?” Crickets.

    “OK, how about this… Has anyone ever done anything with theatrical lights?” More silence. In my tech theater classes, we had done some units on lighting, so I had some incredibly BASIC electrics knowledge/experience; I had hung and focused a few for productions at my high school, and run light boards for a few small things here and there, but that was it. So, when literally no one else in this room full of adult professionals raised their hand, I meekly half-raised mine and explained my very limited experience.

    I was immediately knighted as our new LD.

    Thankfully that was the last of our disasters and everything went so well that from that show, everyone in that room called little 16-17 year old me in to be their SM, LD, AD and whatever else they needed for all of their projects. And for me, that was it and I got bit by the bug and started producing pretty immediately upon arriving at College (where my campus job was working for the Theater Department’s Production Manager as her assistant, as well as in the shop Asa carpenter).

    And I’ve been producing, and directing ever since!

  • Noah P says:

    5 years old: played a human who turned into a computer named Calcium in a children’s musical called “Where are the Walls” Very ahead of it’s time. Especially for kids. Was hooked from that moment on.

  • This may not “count”, but it is one of those shows that turned the course of my life. I had already been producing waaaaay off Broadway for a little bit, shows on the subway and in bars with no budgets. So I took an internship at Ensemble Studio Theater to learn a little bit of everything. I was then offered an Associate Producer (really I was a glorified PA) position on The Marathon– a one-act play festival featuring major, major players such as David Mamet and David Ives– one of my idols. Three weeks before the opening of our first evening of shorts, our producer had a family emergency, and I was left as the producer in charge of 13 shows and 88 artists including several Tony award winners overnight. It was an insane and exhilarating experience, and I made a ton of mistakes. But I pushed through, and it changed my life! I’ve always been incredibly grateful that my first professional producer credit was such a trial by fire.

  • Sarah P. says:

    My first actual Broadway job (when I moved to NYC several years ago) was working at the behemoth that is ‘Wicked’ selling merchandise, and even though it wasn’t exactly well-paying, my coworkers were all delightful, hilarious, kind, knowledgeable, talented struggling actor and other theatre types, and it was such a crazy thrill to actually be getting paid to be in a Broadway theatre, aka, a sacred temple to me!! And at one of my fave musicals, even! Even cooler, we got to hang out during the show in the Gershwin’s rehearsal room, where actors occasionally came and went, and we could hear backstage PA messages and things sometimes, and watch the show on monitors…it was just such an exciting introduction to the “backstage” world of Broadway, to being one of the people that helped, in my small way, a show to run…I even got to exit via the stagedoor! From then on I knew I HAD to always be involved with Broadway as much as I possibly could.

  • Way back in middle school I was determined to be a lawyer and/or politician and took a speech and drama class to learn public speaking. The teacher informed me that the class was mostly drama with very few speech components but that if I tried the theater part I might like it. No way, I said, I’ll tolerate that drama stuff to get to the speech part. As long as I was there she suggested I attend the auditions coming up for the next school play. I declined at first but she wanted me to read for the part of Harry A. Kagan in “Up the Down Staircase.” It was the role of a student politician always running for class president. Well there were some cute girls in the class who were auditioning so I thought, what the heck. At least the role was a politician so maybe I could learn something there. Got the part, learned the lines, suffered through rehearsals. Opening night, first time on stage, I decided never mind about the politics stuff, I like this theater stuff and switched then and there. Not only that but I got a date with one of the young girls in the show. Yeah, I like this theater stuff. Stuck with it one way or another my whole life.

  • LARRY ABRAMSKY says:

    AT 16 & AT 19 YEARS OLD, I GOT TO BE A ‘PRODUCTION ASSISTANT’ (GOPHER) ON THE 1971 TONY AWARDS PRODUCTION TEAM (A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC // PIPPIN) AND THEN AGAIN ON THE 1975 TONY AWARDS PRODUCTION TEAM (A CHORUS LINE // CHICAGO // BUBBLING BROWN SUGAR // PACIFIC OVERTURES ).

    ALSO AT 16, THE SENIOR STATESMAN THEATRICAL TALENT AGENT, MILTON GOLDMAN, ALLOWED ME TO SIT IN HIS OFFICE WITH HIM, AND WATCH HIM WORK FOR A WHOLE WEEK.
    HE REPRESENTED BOTH HERMIONE GINGOLD AND PATRICIA ELLIOTT (NIGHT MUSIC) HE KNEW PAT ELLIOTT WOULD WIN AND WAS PISSED, BECAUSE HE WAS ESCORTING HERMIONE AND KNEW HE WOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH HER FOR THE WHOLE NIGHT AT THE TONY BALL AFTERWARDS…… SUCH AN ELEGANT STATESMAN HE WAS ALL NIGHT LONG…. I WAS AT THE BALL AT THE HILTON HOTEL AFTERWARDS AND LEARNED A LOT FROM HIM THAT NIGHT…

    WITHIN 5 YEARS, I OWNED AND RAN MY OWN CELEBRITY TALENT AGENCY, WITH OFFICES IN NEW YORK CITY, LOS ANGELES AND LONDON. THANK YOU MILTON GOLDMAN.

  • Nancy Paris says:

    I was a 4 year old Sugar Plum Fairy in my dance school recital. I did a solo and the audience started applauding at what they thought (or hoped) was the end of the dance. It wasn’t. I shot them a dirty look (so my mother said) and continued to the end. I have since come to realize that applause in the middle of a number isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  • holly says:

    I was in a production of I Never Saw Another Butterfly that changed my life when I was 16. A few years ago I worked on a show in NYC called The Best of Everything and my name showed up in the NYC as Associate Producer. Life changing.

  • John P says:

    For me it was seeing Annie in London in 1978

  • Sarah says:

    My first NYC show I was an Assistant Stage Manager. I didn’t have an interest in stage management before I took the opportunity (as my goal has been directing), but I took it as both a foot in the door and to learn something new. In the years since then, I’ve not only directed my own shows (before I found producers to produce them), but I’ve taking opportunities as a Stage Manager, Assistant Director, and a Designer to expand my own horizons. Having experience in a little of everything made me a much stronger director, artist, and person. It all started with that first show as an Assistant Stage Manager, where I started to develop stronger organizational skills and seeing the affects of managerial skills in rehearsal. While there’s many roads I could’ve taken, I’m grateful for the one I did, since I love the artist that I’ve become and the one I’m still growing to be.

  • Claire says:

    I saw my first Broadway show, The Secret Garden, when I was eight years old, and it greatly impacted me. First of all, it made me want to read the book, which contributed to my love of reading. It also began my love of theater. I’m now an English teacher who runs a drama club, and I get to foster a love of theater in my students. I’ve really enjoyed taking many of them to see their first Broadway show, and I hope it stays with them like my experience did.

  • Chrissy says:

    I always knew I liked theatre and surprised both of my parents in the 5th grade when I told them I wanted to audition for my elementary school production of The Wizard of Oz. I was painfully shy as a child and my mom was sick to her stomach watching me let every other kid audition before me. But I knew I wanted to do it, and I ended being cast as Glinda the Good. But it wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I undertook any other theatrical role. It was in A.R. Gurney’s play The Dining Room that I realized acting was all I wanted to do. I originally went to college for film and majored in Communications. But after taking a leap of faith and auditioning for my first play (we aren’t counting my pink and glittery Glinda past here), I found my true passion and discovered this entire world I had only had a glimpse at. While The Dining Room may not leave you on the edge of your seat, I will always remember it as the one that changed my life. It helped transform me from that shy little girl into a stronger person. It led me to change my major and learn everything I could about the theatre, and is what ultimately led to me now living in NYC to pursue this dream that gives me more joy than anything else in the world. I am more “me” on stage than at any other moment in my life and I have Mr. Gurney to thank for that.

  • Liz Wollman says:

    I was the Off Broadway Program Editor at Playbill right out of college, and was promoted to Program Editor a year after I joined the staff. It was a great two years, and my work has been informed by the experience ever since.

  • Lynn Manuell says:

    My first Broadway position was working at Gatchell and Neufeld helping to open Aspects of Love and Lettice and Lovage on Broadway. We had a budget for the opening of Aspects that rivaled many off broadway show budgets at the time. We had 500 people in the entire Rainbow Room and had to come up with ideas on how to get people to move around as it didn’t seat 500 people. We devised maps with places for people to have character pictures done. We had a “hand me the wine and the dice” gaming area. We had a circus area with mirror etc. and a tarot reader who really read cards well. Plenty of dancing and food. It was one of the great opening nights in my opinion. From there I actually also worked at NAMCO in the booking department, went on to do booking for Sarah Brightman, Betty Buckley and many more and Company Manage Smokey Joes with Gladys Knight and Grease in the US and many international tours as well….it was an amazing start. Our opening for Lettice was at Tavern on the Green by the way, and that was another wonderful night. I cannot believe that this was 25 years ago. I feel so incredibly blessed and look forward to more fun every day.

  • Michael Orzechowski says:

    The emotion (for me, at least) with how I truly got into theatre and got my first taste of the Broadway world is a bit long, so I’ll try to keep it short.

    Growing up, one of my best friends was name Jay. When I was in 6th grade, he was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in his spine. He fought and fought and fought and, while in NYC at the Sloan Kettering Center (we are from Baltimore), he was granted a “Make-A-Wish”. He wish to be in a Harry Potter movie – he was a big fan. They couldn’t make it happen, but the director of the film, Chris Columbus, was directing another film in a short time. That film was 2005’s Rent. I wasn’t really all about it because by this time, I was 15 and was far too cool for school (oh, to be young), but when he died that year, shortly after the old was released on dvd, I choked up the courage to sit and watch it with a friend.

    And I saw my friend again. In Rent. Again, and again, and again.

    That musical became a feeling of hope for me. It allowed me to break a barrier. I eventually got into playing music for a pit, then directing a pit, then acting, directing, started my own small community theatre, and now I write (and have submitted plays to KDE! *Insert shameless plug here* – but I digress).

    Long story, short: Theatre brought a friend back to life for me and allowed me to realize where my passion was. My life has never been the same.

    Ps- if you look at the end of the credits in Rent on DVD, you’ll see an “In Honor” for Jesse “Jay” Barnett. He was a great young man.

  • Jen Adame says:

    SWEENEY TODD- props and set. After a failed attempt at building the chair (luckily there was a much more skilled builder who swooped in),!! To the ‘elixir’ and meat pies made out of cream colored felt, highlighted with brown sharpie and stuffed with brown yarn, it was fabulous and fun!!!

  • Rick Shulman says:

    My first job in the theater was as a substitute usher on Broadway. It was a great way to see lots of different shows, and get paid for it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to choose the shows that I was sent to usher, so ushering Cats for 3 weeks straight, was no picnic.

    Later I got a job as a go-fer at Gatchell & Neufeld when Chess was coming to Broadway. It was my first opening night and party, which was at the U.N. I have been to many Broadway opening night parties since, and this one has yet to be bettered. I also got to meet the ABBA guys. Benny was very nice, Bjorn, not so much. Being a big ABBA fan, I had tickets to an ABBA concert in Washington, DC when I was in college in 1979. They cancelled the concert 1 hour before it was supposed to start. I was very tempted to say something to Benny about that concert cancellation, but kept quiet. I still have the Swedish whiskey that Benny & Bjorn gave as opening night presents (I was the one who put the bottles in everyone’s dressing room at the Imperial Theater). And a Chess bathrobe. And I bought myself a Chess show jacket, with my name on the front.

  • Byron A says:

    Two events led me to where I am today.

    As a youngster discovering theatre in the late 80s/early 90s naturally it was the British mega-musicals that drew me in, particularly Phantom. By the time I finally got to see the national tour in 1993 (in Cleveland, at the State Theatre) I had the entire cast recording memorized and had pored over every picture I could find at the time. Even still I was completely mesmerized and amazed at what was actually unfolding on that stage in front of me. From there on I knew I wanted to be involved in the theatre in some way, I just didn’t know for sure in what capacity yet.

    Fast forward to the summer of 1999. I had completed my freshman year as a theatre major at a university in the Cleveland area, spending the year dabbling in a little bit of everything; acting, electrics, working in the scene and costume shops, and stage management. For my summer work I had landed a stage management internship at a summer theatre where I would be working on both Bye Bye Birdie and the Ohio premiere of Side Show (a show that had instantly made its way onto my list of favorites when I had seen it in NYC with that electric original cast). Working as an intern amongst other college students, side by side with seasoned professionals, in a beautiful outdoor setting on those two shows cemented my career path.

    Fifteen years later (ten of them as a very proud member of Equity!) I am thrilled to still be working in the theatre as a stage manager, regionally, on tour, and in NYC!

  • Laurie says:

    When I was 13 I saw my first Broadway show: CATS. Musical Theatre diva Laurie Beechman played Grizabella and when she belted out: “Touch me, it’s so easy to leave me…..” I felt things stir in my soul that I had never felt before! Since then I’ve wanted to be (and am…..on occasion) a musical theatre performer to make people feel the same way she made me feel! (I saw CATS multiple times after that with various other Grizabella’s and they never quite got me the same way Laurie did.)

  • CHRISTINE KROMER says:

    My first Broadway show was Mary Martin in Peter Pan. I was 10 years old and my sister who was much older than me took me. I was hooked however we were not in the financial position to afford going to the theater. When I got my first job i saved whatever i could to go to shows. My first show was Godspell. To this day that show remains my all time favorite for so many reasons. You can’t imagine how happy I was when you brought it back. I must have seen it at least once a month. I also was lucky enough to see Mr Chamberlain in My Fair Lady . I am so excited that he is back on Broadway,

  • Kathleen Smith says:

    I would love to say my first job had something to do with the theater. It did not and neither was it a show. My first job that really meant anything to me was a job as a judicial law clerk. That year, I was involved in a capital murder case, the name is not important even though my research and the ruling issued from the decision issued from my research and drafts are still used to this day. The theater relation comes in is that I came to NYC to see shows to relax and prepare to the next week’s work. Ask anyone who has worked on a capital murder case when you know someone’s life is involved and that person will tell you the stress is great, whether one believes in the death penalty or not. I came as many weekends as possible, to one of Ken’s productions among other shows to relax, and forget for about two and a half hours what I would face the following week. I was able to keep my sanity because of live theater. It has helped me through other tough times and has helped others who are close friends. Thank you live theater. This is not really about my first show which I saw as a child, whether it was Superman, Here’s Love, The Yearling or any other show I saw, it is more about theater. I will not give up going as long as I can attend.

  • Mary Ellen says:

    When I was 5 I got hired for The Innocent Voyage produced by The Theatre Guild at the Belasco Theatre starring Herbert Berghoff to name one of many notables. I had a major role – cant express the excitement of such an experience. I just kept going from there.

  • Mary Ann says:

    My first Broadway show was Beatlemania in 1977. I was a teenager and afraid of New York at the time. It didn’t help that Son of Sam was on the loose. It turned out he was captured the night we went to the show. Scary, but it didn’t deter me from coming back again. Being in a live audience of a Broadway show was so exciting for me, and I haven’t lost that excitement, no matter how many shows I see. Now my daughter is obsessed with Broadway and planning to major in either acting or theater. I’m so glad my fears didn’t keep me away from a life of wonderful theatrical experiences!

  • Dave Cackowski says:

    For me I go back to grade school and 2 productions that I was in. The first was Johnny Appleseed. I don’t even remember what I played. The 2nd one was when I was a part of Jesus Christ Superstar at St. Barnabus grade school in Northfield, Ohio. I believe I was one of the guards during the crucifixion. I think it was maybe 1974 or so. I just remember being inspired by that soundtrack and wanting to be a part of it, and then I was! Now I volunteer usher in NYC several times a year at various theatres, so exciting!

  • Julia Fu says:

    I “artistic directed” our 5th grade production of The Wizard of Oz, meaning I spray painted all the Oz sets a sparkly green and had to work out how to wreck a house during a tornado blackout.

  • Already a WINNER!!! says:

    “Everyone has one of those first jobs, or first shows that turn the course of their lives. What was yours?”

    I was always a movie buff from a young age (my dad was a projectionist), so the idea of being a larger-than-life character always appealed to me. I always worked non-theater jobs and did little community theater parts for quite a while. Then I finally bit the bullet and enrolled in a theater program which also had it’s out OUTDOOR summer rep troupe (under a Tent no less). Summer heat is pretty brutal, and a tent tends to hold it in when there isn’t a breeze.

    But somehow I remember that experience most fondly because it was the first time I participated in every aspect of set&stage-building, hanging lights, rehearsing, etc. etc. along with a hundred other like-minded folks. We were one giant ensemble theater where there was once only a concrete square.

    These were my people. The size of roles did not matter. No one was jaded. And no one was getting paid much money (a stipend). But boy we were a happy happy bunch. If I only knew then what I know now, I would have RAN to the pre-med building :O :O

  • EllenFD says:

    A school trip to “Baker Street”–the Sherlock Holmes musical that I would love to see revived–inspired in me a lifelong love of live theater, both plays and musicals. As a result, I tried out for and won a juicy supporting role in my school’s production of “The Romancers” (the basis for “The Fantasticks”) the following year. Hundreds of visits to professional theater later, I remain as entranced and excited as ever by the prospect of once again experiencing live theater.

  • The show that changed my life was when I was cast as Eliza Doolittle in an Off-Off Broadway production of Pygmalion. I had been out of college for eight long years, and I had been struggling to find acting work. Part of it was a lack of confidence, which had been basically beaten out of my at university. After years of sending out my headshot and resume, I finally got the call to audition for a small theatre company that performed in a basement underneath Shakespeare and Company on the Upper West Side. They were non-equity, and the theatre only had 37 seats, but they produced quality work. The first show I auditioned for was The Winter’s Tale, and I was cast as the ingenue Perdita. Pygmalion was the third show that I auditioned for and the one that I really wanted. I had dreamed of playing Eliza Doolittle ever since I first heard the cast album of My Fair Lady, and first saw the film of Pygmalion with Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. I walked into that audition knowing that there was no one who could play this role better than me. I owned that role from the first moment I opened my mouth. All of my training, both in college and in London, had led to this point. It was a cold reading, which was always my strength, and it was the final scene of the play. When I got the phone call that I been cast as Eliza, it truly changed my life. I finally felt like an actor, that others were seeing in me the talent and potential that I had always known that I had. Those eight weeks as Eliza were probably the happiest of my career. There were five costume changes, and I had three different accents during the course of the evening. Playing that role was like flying and I never wanted to come down.

  • At the tender age of 9, my insatiable love for the theater began when cast as Hines in a summer camp production of ‘The Pajama Game’. Through university did this continue. After university came the ‘real world’ of jobs, money and independence. But the passion for the theater was not sated. Goodbye was said to my Hedge Fund job, the uncertain territory of acting to be navigated. Being a klutz, I could never be a waiter or bartender. With Wall Street experience and contacts, I arranged what seemed a favorable engagement with a firm of ‘cannibals’, this my appellation for ‘headhunters’ aka recruitment consultants . Time off on Tuesday for acting class. Time off for auditions with advance notice. I was such a good ‘cannibal’ that i got sent to London to build a foreign business and travel the world. I was also a bad boy. A very bad boy whose debauchery led to the life defining experience of my survival from a drug/alcohol induced fall of thirty feet, 13 day coma and near death. This was the beginning of a harrowing odyssey through the underbelly of international finance, it’s greed, deceit and myopia. Yet all this time did it register in my theatrical mind this wide range personal experience. I would eventually recover from this and commit myself to process experience into narrative laced with provocative ideas. ‘Twas not a singular theatrical experience to spur me to write, but a melding of the theatrical and non-theatrical to compel on this road.

  • Carl says:

    My first paying theater job occurred during college summers — I emceed the show of a traveling Frisbee demonstration team and performed a juggling act in the middle of the show.

  • Alexa B. says:

    I went to a small party hosted by Broadway Boosters before the first preview of A Time to Kill. Eva Price came and I remember her talking about the play and how much it meant to the whole team and I remember thinking wow, I want to give that speech some day for a show that I produce

  • Steven Ullman says:

    “Are you kidding me, Molly? I have Brahms, Chopin, Schubert and Beethoven waiting for me at home. You can’t seriously think I want to play the piano for a rehearsal of some show!”

    I was 14 and done the classical piano competition route, played concerti, was a great student, and ran home from school to quickly dispense of my homework and spend 6 hours at my piano. GUYS & DOLLS – really? Well, I relented. And discovered one of the greatest joys of theatre – community. I went in to be the rehearsal pianist, found the music drop dead easy to play and discovered the exuberance of collaboration. Within a week, I was the “student musical director” and within two years, I was MDing professionally.

    That was 42 years ago. I became a director and a producer and no longer musical direct. But I have NEVER ventured away from the theatre. Sue me.

  • Jeryl Marcus says:

    When I was in 3rd grade, I saw my father in a community theater production of Oliver.

  • Peter says:

    Hey Ken!
    Coming from a working class family in Brooklyn, there wasn’t a lot of money for theater. We did see a lot of movies and that passed for culture, and my father listened to opera on Sundays.
    My freshman year of college a friend came home with me for one of the holidays and we splurged and saw No No Nanette. My first Broadway musical. I remember nothing about the show or story but do remember how amazed I was at seeing a live performance! People actually on stage acting and singing. Live!! And Live music! I’ve seen a few more since then…
    And I still have that Playbill.

    Peter

  • Sue Cohen says:

    When I was 7 years old, I had a small book of stories and one play entitled “The Wish Bird.” There was a magical element that captured my imagination — a bird who could grant wishes! Whenever I could, I would rope the neighborhood kids into acting it out. I was, of course, the director. My passion for theater exploded in high school and beyond, but it all started with “The Wish Bird.”

  • fran says:

    The first Broadway show I saw was a revival of You Can’t Take It With You back in 1968. Our high school English teacher wouldn’t pass us unless we saw 2 shows, turned in playbills and tickets, and wrote a report on each. I was not impressed. For a simple reason. This was before shows were miked. A friend and I had cheap seats in the rear balcony. The orchestra laughing drowned out the cast and we sat there wondering what everyone was laughing at.

    The second Broadway show I saw was the magic one. It was the original Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard.Again, I had a cheap seat, but the audience was quieter so I could hear the play. The dialogue and the acting blew me away. I still remember the final cue sequence. The actor’s standing alone on stage in a single pool of light. As he says “Now you see me” the light narrows so only the upper half of his body is visible. As he says “now you” the light narrows to a pin spot on his face. The word “don’t” was said in darkness. End of play. Blew me away and I knew I wanted to be part of the magic.

    When I got to college and studied theater, I was amazed to realize it was a simple followspot cue.

    About a year after I graduated college, I was working off-off Broadway on a production of You Can’t Take It With You. I was costume designer. Participating in the production, I realized what a wonderful comedy it is. It’s been a favorite show ever since.

    I didn’t really like that English teacher, but I have to thank her; she got me into the theater.

  • fran says:

    P.S. I just realized I saw the original production of Sticks and Bones. I didn’t know much about it so I was debating between it and something else. Sticks and Bones offered a student discount, so I chose it. Thank you Joe Papp.

  • John Sweeney says:

    When I was eight years old, my parents took me to see CAROUSEL at Jones Beach Theater. It starred John Cullum as Billy, Reid Shelton as Mr. Snow, and Bonnie Franklin as Carrie. It hit me right between the eyes with a love that hasn’t stopped to this day. I can still remember Billy ascending to heaven on that HUGE set riding a heavenly Carousel horse.

    Life-changing.

  • I’ve been working in the theatre as a director and teacher for some time now, yet I feel magically rejuvenated and excited about a very recent opportunity: observing director Scott Ellis & company during tech on The Elephant Man last month. I got to lend a hand here and there too, which was… well… a dream come true.

    I grew up in Queens, enjoying many B’way shows in my teenage years, and always longed to be a part of the Broadway world. What an amazing experience that was, being in the same room as several dozen artists at the top of their craft, all working together to create a lovely work of art. And readers, it’s a trifecta: moving, funny, and thought-provoking.

    Even though this wasn’t my “first,” it feels like the first time.

  • Katie K says:

    I saw Annie Get Your Gun with Bernadette Peters when I was 10 years old, after begging my parents for a year, and it was magical. I now work as an off-Broadway stage manager, and still sometimes feel that magic when I see especially wonderful shows.

  • Scott Seidl says:

    Milwaukee, WI. Skylight Music Theater, Die Fledermaus, me – 11 years old. Our entire family (including Aunts, Uncles, Cousins) attended this production. It was my introduction to any kind of theater. In Act 3, Frosch, the jailer is “gloriously drunk”. This actor playing the role created some business where his hand was shaking so much he had to take his neckerchief off, tie one end to the cup and drape it over his neck to pull the drink to his mouth. It was hilarious and I was hooked. I did my first show a year later and directed my first show two years after that. Storytelling has become my passion and I’ve been fortunate to be directing and writing ever since.

  • Phillip L. says:

    I was a subscription assistant for the Roundabout Theater Company for a couple of seasons in the 90s when they were still at Union Square. I got to experience all aspects of theatre not just from the orchestra but behind the scenes as well. I have loved theater ever since.

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