Sunday, March 08, 2009

Give My Regards To Broadway

Give My Regards To Broadway

Call it a crazy confluence of coinciding circumstances. Or call it the beginning of dramatically different Act Two after a bit of an intermission.

Though I'll spare you most of the personal details, after almost three years of nearly nonstop daily blogging, I have decided to suspend my regular postings on Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Alongside travel, history, politics and music, live theatre has been one my greatest passions since my formative years. I've been extremely fortunate to have seen some of the greatest shows of our time, along with some of the biggest and brightest stars of the stage.

Even more fortunate was my opportunity to share this most unique and entertaining of communal experience with so very many of you, my fellow enthusiasts (and truly dear friends). For that, I'm all the richer.

While I've been indisposed over the past week, I've had a chance to reflect on how blogging about live theatre has substantially detracted from my passion for this beloved art form. In my mad dash in trying to see everything (spending my own hard-earned dollars to boot), all the while reviewing each and every show, I've become much more critical of the form. I have sacrificed the opportunity to judiciously select what I'd most like to see. A consequence has been that I no longer just sit back, relax and enjoy each production for the entertainment that it is.

On top of that, I write all day in my professional life, which is squarely outside of the realm of theatre. When you write for a living, oftentimes the last thing you want to do is write on your own time, particularly when your inherent instinct is to live life to its fullest. As a good friend once told me, "If you're baking pies all day, who wants to come home and bake one?"

Unlike all too many others, including a disturbing number of family and friends, I'm extremely fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to continue working in this most difficult of economies. I'm resolved to be better than ever, not only professionally, but especially in my relationships with my loved ones. They're what matter more than anything else to me.

The death this past week of Horton Foote -- one of America's great playwrights, whose tender works not only centered on family, but quite often featured his own talented daughter Hallie -- had me further pondering the vital role my loved ones play in my life, as well as the cost of writing Steve On Broadway (SOB) at their expense.

So it's after much contemplation that I suspend regular, let alone daily, postings here. Having said that, if there's a theatre headline or personal experience worth writing about, rest assured I'll still be posting them. As far as the shows I see, I may attempt to write one or two lines about my overall experience in an easy-to-read nutshell, along with whether or not I actually enjoyed the performances. But that my friends will be about all.

For those of you who have visited here for the rundown of shows opening on Broadway, I advise you to regularly visit the two sites I visit most: Playbill and TheaterMania.

For those of you who have enjoyed my critics' capsules, I'd like to redirect you to Did He Like It? or Critic-O-Meter.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other excellent theatre-only bloggers who review shows, including bloggers I personally know and trust like Broadway & Me, Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals, Just Shows To Go You, ‘kül That Sounds Cool and West End Whingers, as well as individuals I've come to know strictly via the ether: About Last Night, The Clyde Fitch Report, The Playgoer and the type of succinct reviewer I would aspire to be, What's Good/What Blows In New York Theatre.

Since this is not farewell -- I don't do goodbyes -- I'll leave you with a protracted "We'll be seeing you soon."

Hopefully, it will be at a Broadway show, and a good one at that.

Now that you know the face that goes with those eyes, please take a moment to say hello.

And remember that "Life is a stage. Act appropriately."

Thank you!

<-- This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 08 March, 2009, Blogger Apollo said...

I'm going to miss reading your blog everyday!

At 08 March, 2009, Blogger kari said...

I don't do goodbyes either -- and feel so lucky to know you in person, my dear friend. I respect and understand your decision (truly), but your voice, your humor, your intelligence -- you -- will be missed. So take care SOB, be well, and I will see you soon!

At 08 March, 2009, Blogger Vance said...

ACK! I'm going to miss the everyday too! Though I totally hear you on the blogging taking over ones life thing (and I've said I'm going to slow down too). Still, please chime in once in a while!

At 08 March, 2009, Blogger Dale said...

I'll continue to check in on you because reading along has been an adventure in itself. It's nice to see the man behind the blog too!

I used to blog much more prolifically myself but have managed to wean myself a bit so I understand that bit as well. Enjoy your intermission and we'll see you when the curtain goes back up.

At 08 March, 2009, Blogger Erica said...

I totally relate! As you know I have scaled back since the birth of my daughter. Best wishes, and I look forward to hearing from you whenever you get the chance.

At 08 March, 2009, Blogger Emily said...

You will be missed, thanks for all the great reviews and commentary.

At 08 March, 2009, Anonymous Chris said...

Really enjoyed visiting your blog and reading your great posts. Best of luck - you will be missed!

At 08 March, 2009, Blogger Esther said...

You are more than just a terrific writer, SOB, you are a wonderful person. I totally understand your decision but I'll miss reading you everyday. Thank-you for sharing your enthusiasm for the theatre and making me enthusiastic, too. Thank-you for encouraging me to start my own blog. But most of all, thank-you for welcoming me into your life as a friend when I really needed some welcoming.

At 08 March, 2009, Anonymous NineDaves said...

i don't know you personally, steve. i stumbled upon your blog one day a few years ago and have been coming here ever since. it's weird how the internet works: after years of reading your posts every day, i almost feel as if i know you. i wish you the best of everything in life. i'm not sure what happened in your personal life, but my heart goes out to you and wishes you the best. take care of yourself. and i hope the next show you find yourself attending brings you the joy we all look for when we hit the theatre!

At 08 March, 2009, Blogger ModFab said...

Things you must know, my friend:

1) I miss you already.
2) Don't think this gets you out of going to dinner and theatre with me when you're in town.
3) I totally understand the decision, and respect it.
4) I still want your Tony Award picks, even if I get them by email!

Modern Fabulousity

At 08 March, 2009, Anonymous Broadwaybaby said...


I am going to miss reading your column but I totally understand. Having to critique each show means that you have to look at the show analytically instead of just enjoying it. I had a conversation with a friend who told me that he had seen Pippin for the first time and hated it. He thought the book was non-existent and that the lyrics were cliched. I told him that I love Pippin even though the book is very iffy and the lyrics are generically poetic. Sometimes you gotta just go and enjoy yourself, look past the faults and just have a good time. So I totally understand!

At 09 March, 2009, Blogger jan@broadwayandme said...

Steve, like everyone else, I’m heartsick at the thought of less SOB. But I do appreciate your need to take a breather and will be eagerly awaiting the moments when you choose to exhale. Godspeed, jan

At 09 March, 2009, Blogger Alicia said...

As for your future minimized presence in the blogosphere, color me bereft.

I'm all the better for having known you, Steve, and am proud to be counted among those that you call friend.

Wishing you peace, health and happiness and I'll see you at the show. :)

At 09 March, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take care of yourself, Steve. And thanks for all that you've written. They should dim the lights tomorrow night...

At 09 March, 2009, Blogger Kieron said...

steve, ive thoroughly enjoyed coming to your sight over the past few years. your posts have been insightful, entertaining and funny. you will be sorely missed but i and im sure all the other readers who come to this sight understand that you have to have a break. i live in england and have never been to new york and yet through your blogs i feel ive been there everyday of my life, its truly been great reading your blog and i hope that when i finally make it to new york i may bump into you whilst getting tickets for wicked or who knows if im really lucky spider man the musical!!!
thank you ever sooo much
kieron m cooper

At 10 March, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you
Firstly for your honest and loving encapsulations of an incredibly demanding artform

2ndly for the amazing commitment and body of work this blog is.

3rd - to quote mr david "knowing when to leave" - I completely get how the most fun, fullfilling, unique and extrodinary experiecne of going to the theatre sorry theater can turn into duty and work.

May the world bring you what you so richly deserve

many thanks

Michael H

At 10 March, 2009, OpenID westendwhingers said...


We'll miss you.

Actually, we're also quite jealous.

At 10 March, 2009, Blogger Joseph Gomez said...

dude, total figurative tear running down my face...

i've been out of commission for a while (and still am trying to come back), so your decision is easily understood among all of us. when i started blogging about live theatre, your blog was a definite inspiration and guiding light for me. thanks

and it sure is great to see that handsome mug of yours!!

"Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears"

At 11 March, 2009, Anonymous Elisabeth said...


I'm sad but totally understand it is a lot of work! Maybe just post from time to time your own quick reviews - I found them to be the most interesting part of the blog!

Best of luck to you and I hope to run into you at a show some day.


At 12 March, 2009, Blogger Bob said...

I've been following, and enjoying, your blog for some time. Enjoy your new phase, SOB!

At 12 March, 2009, Anonymous katya said...

I want to thank you for the blogs. I gave up the local Theatre Forums because they spoiled my enjoyment, but I've really appreciated your honest, intelligent and fair reviews. Being in Australia I've rarely been able to contribute anything but have been a regular reader. Just enjoy - that's what it should be about. All the best.

At 13 March, 2009, Blogger chelsea said...

I'm a bit of a newbie to your blog, but I count myself lucky to have met you back in January.

I started my blog last year as a way to keep my family updated on my daily activities. I found I had more funny actually participating rather than blogging about the activities so the blog has sort of fallen by the wayside. It's hard to find a happy medium.

Anyways, I'll check back frequently in hopes of new posts from you, but understand completely the need to step back. If you ever come to DC, you better give me a holler. :)

At 18 March, 2009, Blogger Aaron Riccio said...

I'll certainly miss the regular updates, particularly the out-of-town information, but I understand where you're coming from. Of course, now I fear even more that I'll suddenly find my appreciation for theater dwindling (when digested through the critical mindset). All we can really do, though, is what makes us happy, day in and day out, so I hope that you're feeling better, and I'll know that I have something special to look forward to when your site *DOES* update on the ol' Blogroll.

At 28 May, 2009, Anonymous Amanda Crowe said...

I must sadly pay homage to a theatre great — Horton Foote. He was best known for the Oscar-winning screen adaptations To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and Tender Mercies (1983).


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