Thursday, March 22, 2018

A True Broadway Milestone Moment!

You owe it to yourself to experience this!
Lin-Manuel Miranda & Ben Platt Found/Tonight 
Words and Music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul 
Published by 5000 Broadway Music (ASCAP) administered by WB Music Corp. / Pick in a Pinch Music (ASCAP) and breathelike music (ASCAP) 
All rights admin. by Kobalt Songs Music Publishing 
Produced, Arranged, and Orchestrated by Alex Lacamoire Associate Producer: Thomas Kail Recorded and Mixed by Derik Lee at Atlantic Studios, NYC Assistant Engineers: Ebonie Smith, Joseph Pomarico 
Mastered by Randy Merrill at Sterling Sound, NYC 
Piano: Alex Lacamoire 
Violin: Justin Smith 
Viola: Todd Low 
Cello: Adele Stein 
Video Credits: DP: Steven Salgado 
Edited by: Katia Spivakova 
Second Cam: Angie Bambii 
Produced by: Derec Dunn 
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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Among This Master's Works, Which Would YOU Pick?

If Leonard Bernstein had been your dad, which Broadway composition of his might be your favorite?
We asked that question of Bernstein's daughter, Nina Bernstein Simmons and she answered, quite diplomatically: "Usually the last one I heard." 
Well, think about it. How could you possibly pick among all the beautiful music the great composer and conductor created during his lifetime?
Still, of all the things he accomplished, his daughter told us that Bernstein took pride in one achievement above most others -- his series of Young People's Concerts and the work he did to introduce new generations to music and culture.
"He was very passionate about that," Nina said at the preview of Leonard Bernstein, The Power of Music at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. 
 The interactive exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of Bernstein's birth and is part of a year long celebration that his family has been planning for "about five years" according to Nina and her brother, Alexander. The show opens on Friday and continues through September 2 before traveling to other cities.
Here are some of the other things we learned from Nina and Alexander during their visit to Philadelphia:
--Leonard Bernstein was a devoted and attentive father who would periodically leave his three children love notes which were slipped under their bedroom doors at night.
--Bernstein's iconic musical, West Side Story was originally called EAST Side Story because it began as a story of Jewish and Catholic gangs fighting on New York's lower east side. But Bernstein and his collaborators decided that such a story too closely reflected their own experiences and the experiences of their parents so the tale was updated to a story of white and Puerto Rican gangs clashing on the west side of Manhattan.
--The family felt one of the most hurtful slaps at Bernstein and his commitment to liberal causes came in the 1970 essay by Tom Wolfe which proclaimed the maestro and other left-leaning elites part of "radical chic" movement. Though the phrase stuck, it never sat well with the Bernsteins.
--Bernstein did not like being pegged as a composer of Broadway music or classical music or any particular brand of music, for that matter. He loved all music. "He wanted to do it all and he wanted to do it all well, and that's exactly what he did," Nina Bernstein Simmons commented.
--Leonard Bernstein might not be entirely comfortable with today's technology. In fact, according to Alexander Bernstein, his father was not particularly tech-savvy and didn't really get along with technology. Might he be making music today on an iPad or similar instrument? "Not likely," Alexander said.
--All three of Leonard Bernstein's children took music lessons and all three attended Harvard, their father's alma mater. Of the three, only Jamie Anne Marie Bernstein pursued a career involving music.
--More than 2,000 events are planned all over the world to commemorate Leonard Bernstein's centennial year.

Photos (from top) 
Alexander Bernstein and Nina Bernstein Simmons at the opening in Philadelphia
One of Bernstein's first pianos, a Steinway 
Bernstein's traveling cases which held his musical compositions
The maestro's custom-tailored white tie and tails
Bernstein's reading glasses and one of his Grammy awards. 

All on display at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music is the first large-scale museum exhibition to illustrate Leonard Bernstein’s life, Jewish identity, and social activism. Audiences may be familiar with many of Bernstein’s works, notably West Side Story, but not necessarily with how he responded to the political and social crises of his day. Visitors will find an individual who expressed the restlessness, anxiety, fear, and hope of an American Jew living through World War II and the Holocaust, Vietnam, and turbulent social change—what Bernstein referred to as his “search for a solution to the 20th‐century crisis of faith.”
The exhibition explores his Jewish identity and social activism in the context of his position as an American conductor and his works as a composer. It features interactive media and sound installations along approximately 100 historic artifacts, including Bernstein’s piano, marked-up scores, conducting suit, annotated copy of Romeo and Juliet used for the development of West Side Story, personal family Judaica, composing easel, and a number of objects from his studio.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

United Now, And Back Where They Belong!

Here they are, together at last -- the two greatest Dollys of all time.
What a joy it was to see each of them perform one of the greatest roles in musical theater history!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Broadway's Oldest AND Newest Theatre: Sneak Peek!

A behind the scenes tour of and a look at the history behind Broadway's oldest theatre, the newly renovated Hudson Theatre. This story is way cooler than it sounds.
We saw Sunday in the Park With George starring Jake Gyllenhaul at the Hudson and it was wonderful. We loved the show and the theatre -- very comfortable seats, stunning interior, remarkably intimate.  This is a great Broadway addition!

Friday, March 2, 2018

First Look At Tune From Long-Awaited Blockbuster!

Enjoy this first listen to "Monster"– a new song written for FROZEN on Broadway. Performed by Caissie Levy and the Broadway Company.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

C'mon, Take The Whole Family Along!

The Broadway League is pleased to announce that www.Families.Broadway is now live. This new area of the Broadway League’s consumer website will provide news and updates about special family offers, unique in-theatre experiences, giveaways and more at Broadway shows. Offers and events will change throughout the year, giving families many options to choose from when planning a trip to Broadway.
“Last season we saw a record attendance for kids and teens in the theatres and for good reason.  Broadway has never offered more for families with opportunities like Kids’ Night on Broadway, Broadway Week and Broadway Bridges.  Families.Broadway is our way of extending the spirit of these programs throughout the season,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “We’re excited to provide more opportunities for families to enjoy the magic of live theatre together and experience the wonderful variety of shows available on Broadway.”
Developed as a convenient resource to help all families expand their theatregoing experiences, Families.Broadway not only provides information about family pricing and offers but also lists the extra experiences that are available at select performances. These special programs are designed to complement each show and create lasting memories for those attending. Programs include talk backs, musical demonstrations with Broadway teaching artists, workshops, and more. Families.Broadway also features parking deals at Icon Parking.
In the 2016 – 2017 season, attendance by theatregoers under 18 years old was 1.65 million. There were another 1.62 million admissions by theatregoers aged 18–24. Together this represents 25 percent of the audience. To date 18 new productions have opened in the 2017-2018 season.  These productions join 17 long-running shows currently playing.  In the spring, 15 more shows are scheduled to open with more expected to announce.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Thanks To Broadway, High School Is Alive And Well!

This clip is from a current New Jersey high school production of Guys and Dolls.
Yes, it's the time of year when high schools all over the nation are performing Broadway shows and the energy, vitality and sheer chutzpah of the young casts in these shows gives us great, renewed faith that Broadway musicals will not only endure but actually flourish in the decades ahead.
And after the events of the past week, doesn't this high school scene make you feel good?
Watch Robbie Angarone as he performs the role of Nicely Nicely Johnson with Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat.
I love Robbie's enthusiasm and the joy he takes in his role, but it's tempered by a budding professionalism as well. He doesn't hog the scene or overplay his role. He shares it all with every performer on the stage. In that sense, it's remarkably mature and focused for someone his age. The timing is sopt-on, too. His instincts are so right.
Hey, maybe we'll see Robbie on Broadway some day!