Okay, I've started and abandoned a couple of posts over the past couple of days. Is there such a thing as bloggers block? I might have it. Or maybe because I have a big theatre trip coming up, I'm just conserving my creative energy.
But there are a few things on my mind. First, a couple of trivia questions:
When Rondi Reed appeared in the last performance of August: Osage County in the afternoon, followed by an Actors Fund benefit of Wicked that evening, someone asked whether anyone else had ever done a Broadway play and musical on the same day. Anyone know the answer? I bet it doesn't happen often!
Has anyone ever been successful at writing a musical's book and music? The only example I could find was Rupert Holmes, who wrote the Tony-winning book, music and lyrics for The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Although Drood was based on an unfinished work by Charles Dickens, so you could say he had a little help with the book.
Now, a couple of interesting observations from producer and fellow blogger Ken Davenport:
First, he summarizes a Broadway League report on touring productions. I was surprised that the number of tickets sold has been declining for six years - predating the recession. Has something changed over the past half-decade in the types of shows that makes them less appealing? Is it ticket prices going north of $100 for the best seats? I don't know. But as someone who sees a lot of shows on the road, the statistic troubles me.
At Just Shows to Go You, Patrick Lee has an interview with Ken, and it was interesting to read his thoughts on what might have kept the Jason Robert Brown musical 13 from becoming a hit. I saw the show last fall and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I wonder if it would have had a better chance opening in the spring and playing through the summer. And while it attracted a lot of attention for its all-teen cast and band, what really drew me in was the story - a Jewish kid from New York who moves to a very Gentile Indiana town. As I said in my review, the gefilte-fish-out-of-water aspect is something we can all relate to, no matter what our age.
Finally, I noticed my friend and fellow blogger Chris, of Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals, will be taking in a staged reading of the under-development musical Tales of the City this weekend. I've only read the first volume of Armistead Maupin's Tales series but I really enjoyed it. And it takes place in San Francisco - one of my favorite cities.
I'm eagerly awaiting Chris' report. Until then, Frank Rizzo at The Hartford Courant has a rundown of the cast for the reading, at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. He also talked with Jason Sellards and John Garden, of the Scissor Sisters, who are writing the music.