Dear theatre friends,
Another weekend to look forward to– have you noticed how different they are from “workdays”??
Beginning today at 3pm and available for at least a week at CirqueConnect, you can see the latest 60-minute special from Cirque du Soleil. I’m intrigued by the number of viewers of their last special– they report an audience of 45 million. This is free, but can you imagine if they had charged even one dollar per view?
Many theatre makers are questioning how they can monetize the creation of streaming video– I do hope they are getting ideas from the success of some of these. Perhaps adding an acrobat?
The seriousness of the threat to arts organizations has been addressed by many and in the U.K., none more visible than Prince Charles. He recently spoke about the vital importance of arts organizations, conceding that maintaining the arts is costly but “crucial” and has “worldwide importance.”
Amen, sweet Prince.
I was well aware of Prince Charles’ passion for theatre some years ago when my first Award winner, Russell Barr (“Sisters, Such Devoted Sisters”), was planning his next play. Russell’s subject was a rather eccentric aunt who lived with a dozen Jack Russell terriers. Barr wanted to accurately replicate the chaos of her home– with 12 live terriers onstage!
Russell went to his local London park, looking for Jack Russells with potential stage presence, while walking his own. He met a woman who led two particularly handsome JRs and Russell, with his endless charm, told her about his idea.
She replied that she was merely the dogwalker; she promised to ask the dogs’ owners. Shortly after, he received a note from none other than Prince Charles and Camilla– the proud parents! They were quite thrilled that Russell had admired their pets and agreed to have them available. Although he had hired a dog handler, he was shocked that live canines during the rehearsals could be unpredictable– he settled on filming them and they would be seen on 12 televisions stacked onstage.
Despite the change and the title of the piece, “The Super/Naughty XXXmas Story,” Charles and Camilla remained involved and financed the entire play! Perhaps we all need to include patrons’ beloved pets in future productions?
There is now so much you can access at home– The Guardian’s Hottest Front Room Seats is a long list to be perused. Our taste may vary, so you can select– for example, I could never have predicted the vast number of viewers for Cirque du Soleil!
Of course, I’ll give you another heads up when “Lungs,” by Duncan Macmillan, will go on sale. It will star the original Old Vic cast of Claire Foy and Matt Smith (both of “The Crown”.) Those of you who bought a ticket for the BAM show, which was cancelled in March, will be relieved– and get a very good seat for this!
If you find something particularly satisfying, please write so I can highlight it for the rest of you.
Have you seen much Filipino theatre? You can now stream “The Romance of Magno Rubio” by Ma-Yi Theatre Company. Here’s a five star review from TimeOut, describing Magno as an American hero. Remember when “American” embraced all? “Magno Rubio” was presented in New York in 2007.
Here’s a chance to attend local event — New York Times Offstage: Opening Night.” Please R.S.V.P.– it’s June 11th, 7pm and sounds as if it will be a terrific celebration of Broadway’s 2019-2020 season.
Finally, I must recommend Soundstage by Playwrights Horizons. Although these are podcasts, they can be as riveting as a visual experience. You can now listen to “NIGHTNIGHT” by Lucas Hnath– one of my favorite authors. His wide ranging interests are evident in each of his thought provoking plays — remember “Dana H.” just a few months ago at the Vineyard?
That’s all for now– as I receive news I’ll pass it along. But don’t completely fill your calendars yet– more shows are continuing to find their way to our screens.
Aren’t we fortunate to be living during this plague and not Sophocles’? Or, are you overwhelmed by choice?
Again, if you discover other theatre-related news– please get in touch: Carol.
And, need I reiterate? I’d like to continue to write because so many have expressed their enjoyment of reading– but I must have content!
Please send other theatre related information, or do try to recall a story you’d like me to post.
Carol Tambor publishes a monthly newsletter, which announces worthy shows coming to New York, along with occasional information about London theatre and, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe.