Category Archives: Musicals

Spreading The Word of The Musical

Dear Friends,

As our Twitter followers know, last week we braved the cold, rainy New York weather and went to see one of the most popular shows on Broadway: The Book of Mormon.

We won lottery tickets and thought we’d take the opportunity to share our love of musicals with our granddaughters.book of mormon 2

The show was entertaining and kept the audience laughing throughout! Although I (Philip) do have to confess, of all the billions of ideas for a musical—I would have never imagined one about Mormon missionaries to Africa could be so successful!

As Ben Brantley from NY Times explains in his latest review:

But gosh darn it if I didn’t feel born again all over again, ready to spread the word about the faith that this show preaches and, more important, practices. I do not mean the religion of the followers of Joseph Smith, which is so scrupulously disassembled here, but the holy faith of musical comedy, into which my mama baptized me before I could walk.

You can read Mr. Brantley’s full interview here.

The Book of Mormon is currently showing at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre at 230 49th Street. To learn more and/or purchase tickets, click here.

We know that our granddaughters had a marvelous time and could not stop talking about it—so the evening was a success!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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A Match Made in Music

Dear Friends,

Today we are writing you about Carousel, which is coming back to Broadway with previews starting February 28th.

Carousel has a fascinating history.

In about 1940, the Theatre Guild decided it would like to make a musical from the play it had previously produced, called Green Grow the Lilacs. They invited Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II to write the musical which became, as you know, Oklahoma!.
With the glorious success of Oklahoma!, The Guild wanted Richard and Oscar to write another musical. The Guild examined the previous 50-60 plays it had produced on Broadway. Ultimately, a play The Guild presented in 1922, Liliom by famed Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár, was chosen.

The musical, now called Carousel, was acclaimed everywhere and The Guild had another musical hit!

After Carousel, Richard and Oscar wrote one more musical, Allegro, for The Guild, but it was not as well received as Oklahoma! and Carousel. Richard and Oscar were great friends of ours, as were their children. I (Philip) grew up with Mary Rodgers, who was a great long-time friend.

We are so delighted that Carousel, which is being produced by Scott Rudin and Roy Furman, is being presented again next month at the Imperial Theatre. To purchase tickets, click here. It’s a great show!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Journey From A Play To A Musical, Part 1

Dear Friends,

Over the holidays, we came across the French movie Liliom on television. The movie was based on the play written by Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár in 1909.

Of course, Liliom was not unfamiliar to us—The Theatre Guild brought the play to Broadway in 1921 and in 1945 convinced Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II to turn it into a musical, with a notable name change: Carousel.

Carousel has been on our minds lately, as it is coming back to Broadway starring Joshua Henry, Jessie Mueller, and Renée Fleming and directed by Jack O’Brien. Previews begin next month (February 28th) and the musical opens on April 12th.

Carousel

We are so very excited at its return to Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on 45th Street—and we cannot wait to see it!

Tickets are now on sale, which can be purchased in person at the Imperial (249 W. 45th Street) or clicking here.

Stay tuned next week for more history behind the creating of Carousel!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Happy New Year!

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

We hope this finds you well and staying warm (especially those on the East Coast who are dealing with our Cyclone Bomb of ice and snow)!

Today we are recommending January as a great time to go to the theatre. Everything is winding down from the holidays—and there are many empty seats for the wonderful shows and musicals now playing.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year filled with lots of great theatre!
Philip and Marilyn

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Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends,
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
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It is such a wonderful time of the year. Last week, we shared the story of Dusty and Katie. It shows that the Theatre Development Fund—through theatre—can have a huge impact on everyone’s life. As you finish up your holiday shopping and—especially if you have a few more people on your list to shop for—do consider giving them a membership in the Theatre Development Fund. And while you’re getting one for them—get one for yourself! To become a member, click here!

Here are three great reasons to join:

  1. Tickets cost only $9-$47!  Save up to 70% on hundreds of theatre, dance and music shows daily.
  2. Buy tickets online in advance! Purchase discounted tickets days, and sometimes weeks, in advance right from the comfort of your computer.
  3. Give back! Your membership (along with every discounted ticket you buy) supports TDF’s many far-reaching arts education and theatre accessibility programs.

And if you’re thinking “I can’t join—I don’t’ work in the theatre industry” then we have GREAT! news for you: you don’t have to be! Here is the full list of those who are eligible:

  • Full-time students (high school or above)
  • Full-time teachers (primary or junior high school faculty, high school faculty, university or college faculty, teachers of drama/dance/music)
  • Recent graduates (26 years of age and under)
  • Full-time union members
  • Retirees (no longer working and at least 62 years of age or older)
  • Full-time government employees/civil servants
  • Full-time staff members of not-for-profit organizations
  • Full-time non-exempt employees (full-time hourly workers – 40 hours a week – who are eligible for overtime pay)
  • Full-time arts professionals
  • Members of the armed forces
  • Freelancers
  • Full-time clergy

Don’t miss out on the theatre—don’t miss out on joining TDF!

Happy holidays to you and yours!
Philip and Marilyn

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WHAT A THEATRE STORY! 

Dear Friends,

We have shared with you how fabulous the Theatre Development Fund is in providing affordable theatre tickets and today we wanted to show why this is important.  We received the following email from a mother, who shared her story about why the theatre is so important to her and her son.

Being life-long devotees of the theatre, we have always known how wonderful it is—but it is so incredible to hear how it can influence other people’s lives.  We ask that if you are looking for a charity to share with this holiday season, that you consider giving to the TDF—so they can continue all of their wonderful work!

December 04, 2017

Dear Philip,

I’m writing to you today as a mother. My son Dusty is 20 years old and severely autistic. He is ‘low verbal’ — he has a few words but is not conversational. Both Dusty and I love Broadway. When I took him to his first show we were asked to leave by an usher because of Dusty’s quiet scripting — ‘self-talk’. I had to drag Dusty out of the theatre. He was screaming ‘Stay Stay.’ That feeling of rejection was profoundly isolating.

Years later, Dusty and I mustered our courage and returned to Broadway for the inaugural TDF Autism Friendly Performance of The Lion King. I sobbed through the opening watching the joy in Dusty’s face during ‘The Circle of Life’. Since then, Dusty has seen over 15 Broadway shows, thanks to TDF. No one has ever asked us to leave.

Last February I got up the nerve to take Dusty to a regular, non-autism friendly performance of Wicked. As Glinda sang, “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good,” Dusty picked up my hand and kissed it. He had never done anything like that before. That is the power of theatre.

I hope you will join me in supporting TDF.

Best,
Katie Sweeney
New York, NY

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To make your tax-deductible donation to the Theatre Development Fund, click here.

Happy Marvelous Theatre!
Philip and Marilyn

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The Band’s Visit

Dear Friends,

We hope this finds you well and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday weekend.

We wanted to tell you about a wonderful musical that is getting rave reviews—and we think you should add show tickets to your holiday wish list!

It is The Band’s Visit, which Ben Brantley of the New York Times says is “one of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by.”

It is the story of a mix-up that sends an Egyptian Police Band into a remote Israeli village and “celebrates the deeply human ways music, longing and laughter can connect us all.”

the bands visit

It is now playing at the Barrymore Theatre (243 W 47th Street), starring Katrina Lenk and Tony Shaloub.  It is written by Itamar Moses, with songs by David Yazbak, and directed by David Cromer.

To buy tickets or read more about it, click here.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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Giving Thanks.

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Dear Friends,

This being Thanksgiving week, we are thinking about thanks in the theatre world.

We always felt that the theatre would suffer—and perhaps come to an end—because it is not a mass-production enterprise.  Therefore, it cannot equal automobiles, electric lights, and all sorts of items in our daily lives that are mass-produced by machines.

We have previously told you that in 1943, when we brought Oklahoma! to Broadway, Orchestra tickets were $5.75 each, the equivalent to $81.53 today.  Since currently  Broadway musical tickets are averaging $125.00, it is clear that ticket prices have gone up faster than inflation—although only somewhat faster!

The good news is that all 40 Broadway theatres currently have plays running or will be opening new plays this Spring.  This make us very happy because the fact that plays are not mass-produced has not yet ended the theatre!

We are happy and giving thanks this week to all of those who work hard to make the theatre the success that it continues to be!

Best regards and Happy Thanksgiving!
Philip and Marilyn

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Carousel

Dear Friends,

Hurray!  Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel is coming back to Broadway!

The Theatre Guild originally produced this play on Broadway in 1945–it was the second musical Rodgers & Hammerstein had written for The Theatre Guild.

Carousel was adapted from the play, Liliom, which The Theatre Guild had produced on Broadway in 1921. In some ways we love it even more than Oklahoma! (the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The Theatre Guild produced) because the love story in Carousel is so fantastic!
Carousel
We think you will love seeing Carousel (again?) because it has so much to offer!  It will be playing at the Imperial Theatre (249 W. 45th Street). Previews begin February 28, 2018 and it opens April 12, 2018.  To learn more and purchase tickets, click here.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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Stuck in Gander

Dear Friends,

This week we’re recommending a fantastic musical called Come From Away—the story of how a small town in Gander, Newfoundland was directly affected by 9/11 and how it “welcomed the world.”

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It was nominated for 7 Tony Awards, with Christopher Ashley winning for Best Direction in a Musical.  According to the Washington Post, “this effervescent musical, enveloped in Canadian good will, is an antidote for what ails the American soul” and Ben Brantley of the New York Times says “even the most stalwart cynics may have trouble staying dry-eyed during this portrait of heroic hospitality under extraordinary pressure.”

To order tickets or read more, click here.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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