Monday, October 23, 2006

Survey Says....

Survey Says....

There are many theatre-related blogs that I regularly read and enjoy that I've included amongf my favorites, but a rather fresh one caught my eye: Waiting In The Wings, described as "An irreverant, close look at theater and the activity surrounding it, mostly in New York but elsewhere if it moves me. The good, the very good, the bad and the downright horrifying."

It's sharp, erudite writer is Susan Gimelson, who once wrote an art column for the New York Observer. In reading her postings, I came across one that asked, "What will be hot (or not) this season." She continued, "OK; I am seeing six plays in the next week, so that is all I'll be writing about. In the meantime, I'd like to hear from readers what they think will be the hottest tickets this season. I also have some other questions. Tell stories; wax rhapsodic. Feel free to leave your most honest responses. Have fun -- be informative -- vent!!! And thanks."

Naturally, I couldn't resist a good online discussion, so here were my own musings that I posted on Waiting In The Wings:

What will be the hottest ticket this season? My guess is one of three: The Apple Tree, Grey Gardens (and) The Year of Magical Thinking and -- yes -- (lest I not forget) Mary Poppins

Best Play - The Coast of Utopia

Best Musical - Mary Poppins

Best Actor/Actress -
Nathan Lane in Butley (although I saw the show in Boston and can't figure out what the fuss is about) and Vanessa Redgrave in The Year of Magical Thinking. On the musical side, I'd say Raúl Esparza will finally get his due for Company unless Curtains finds a theatre (then David Hyde Pierce could be the frontrunner) and Christine Ebersole for Grey Gardens

Song that will be remembered -
John Kander & Fred Ebb's wonderful "Show People" (from Curtains)

Song that should never have been written - From what I'm hearing about High Fidelity, perhaps something from that score

Actors we are most sick of seeing -
Michael Cerveris. There, I've said it. (Although I've enjoyed each of the shows in which I've ever seen him. Perhaps I just think he's a tad overrated....)

Actor we want to see more of -
Sherie René Scott. I can't get enough of her. But I'd love to see more of the stalwarts of Broadway, including Patti LuPone, Chita Rivera
Angela Lansbury (I have yet to seen this legend and am extremely excited by her just-announced scheduled return to Broadway in Terrence McNally's play Deuce due this next spring!)

Which theater has the worst seats? - I've never been more uncomfortable than I have in the (
John) Golden Theatre (home to Avenue Q) with the St. James (home to The Producers ) coming in a close second

Which theater has the rudest ushers? - Without a doubt and no hesitation: The
Broadhurst, which has a female usher who has been there for years rudely bossing her patrons, forgetting that without them, she would have no job. (On the flip side, I've found some of the most incredibly nice people working at the George Gershwin Theatre [home to Wicked], with Off-Broadway's Acorn Theatre coming in second)

Which theater has the best concession counter? -
The Marquis (home to The Drowsy Chaperone)

Which theater is the best place to pick up people? - (Not that I would know, but it probably) depends upon what is showing where...Today, it's probably the
Nederlander (home of Rent) or Golden or Circle in the Square (home of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)...

What production should never be revived no matter what? - Hands-down: Cats. Let's hope it only had one life.

So what shows, actors and theatres would you answer? You may want to weigh in directly on Waiting In The Wings or feel free to comment here. As for me, I'll look forward to reading more of Susan's stories in the weeks and months ahead.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 23 October, 2006, Blogger BroadwayBaby said...

Just a couple of friendly disagreements:

As excited as I am personally to see Grey Gardens, I'm not sure it will be a commercial hit. It's not a show that the tourists or bridge-or-tunnel crowd will want to see.

I have read "Coast of Utopia". I happen to love most of Tom Stoppard's plays and this is by far not one of his best. It's an extremely long trilogy of 3 plays with a big talky cast of characters that arouse little interest or empathy. It is almost Stoppard's modern version "War and Peace" without the action sequences.

By contrast, Stoppard's "Rock N' Roll" which I saw in London will deservedly be a big hit when it comes to Broadway sometime next year.

At 23 October, 2006, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Broadway Baby:

I appreciate any and all friendly disagreements with me. And I can completely appreciate why you would disagree with me on both counts; however, you didn't share which shows you thought would make for the hottest ticket or Best Play/Best Musical fodder -- I'll be interested in your perspective on those.

The reason why I think Grey Gardens will do so well -- at least initially -- is because of the Off-Broadway buzz it already enjoyed. That buzz has traveled the country and makes it more appealing that you might think to those in flyover country.

As for Coast of Utopia, the critics can't seem to resist Tom Stoppard, and the cast is excellent.

Having said that, I am in complete agreement with you about Rock N' Roll -- I think it is assured of immense success.

At 25 October, 2006, Blogger BroadwayBaby said...

I agree that the hottest ticket/best musical this season will be Mary Poppins. While I thought certain aspects of the London staging were too dark, it is my understanding that the Broadway version has been lightened up (and I am guessing they will remove the Tim Burton-esque "Temper Temper" scene by opening night. )

Best play will probably be the drama "Deuce" starring Marian Seldes and Angela Lansbury. They are both superb actresses and the show nicely fits the aging Broadway demographic.

The Vertical Hour could become a hit if the reviews are good. Advance sales have so far been disappointing.

For the hardest ticket to get, I'd venture that the limited run of Encores Follies in February will the hottest ticket in town.

I am very curious to see if "Spring Awakening" will be a hit. If it becomes a hit, it could change the Broadway pipeline quite drastically.

At 27 October, 2006, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Dear Broadway Baby,

Appreciate your very insightful comments.

When I originally responded to "Waiting In The Wings" on October 13, I had no idea that Angela Lansbury's Broadway return was in the offing (although I did say she's an actress that I'd like to see). So I have to say that I am in complete agreement with you that Terrence McNally's "Deuce" could very well be the play to beat (as well as be one hot, hot, hot ticket).

Also, since I limited my prognostications to Broadway shows, I didn't even consider the upcoming New York City Center Encores! presenation of "Follies." But I agree it will be a much sought after ticket.


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