I announced a few weeks ago that I was going to make a more concerted effort to see and review plays. I figured that since there are only 40 Broadway theaters, and most of them won’t see a new production in a given year, it wouldn’t be too ambitious to set out to see every show that opens on Broadway. I see that seven shows opened this last April, so if there’s a flurry like that I might have to skip a production here or there on account of my wallet. While I did think about the money factor, I’d forgotten about the simple matter of trying to score tickets for popular shows. However, availability is reason, and really the only reason, I won’t be going on opening night.
So, this idea popped in my head a few weeks ago. I’d seen a few shows in the past couple of years but I didn’t write about them. I might be too nice to really be a reviewer. In fact, I’d say to anyone in New York, and this would mean smaller productions, that I’d be glad to write about your show in exchange for free tickets, but then if I didn’t like it I’d feel so bad. I don’t think I have enough readers to get free tickets anyway, but still…. If you’re in New York and you’re super confident about your off-off-off-Broadway show and you’re desperate for any kind of mention you can get… there’s a contact form on my about page.
Oddly, I’m not entirely unqualified to write about theatre. Believe it or not, this particular little introvert went to a performing arts high school and started college as a drama major. Although I’ve been on stage, I mainly enjoyed working backstage. I was drawn to the theatre because as a little bookworm getting tortured by other kids, the theatre buffs were nice to me. In short, I like actors.
When I got this idea in my head that theatre would be a good thing for me to write about, I looked to see what play would be the next to open on Broadway, which is how I wound up at the most unlikely show for me to go see, “Amazing Grace.” I was actually a little bit disappointed, because I saw that the next production to open would be “Hamilton”, a play I actually wanted to see.
Then, I forgot.
Well, I was reminded of the play in a comment by John Zande. Big oops. They are selling tickets through March 27. The vice-president of the United States saw the show last night based on a recommendation from the president. I probably wouldn’t be seeing it at all except for the fact that I’m an introverted blogger that goes to see shows alone and single seats are always easier to get. Even still, twice I tried to buy tickets online and the tickets were sold before I could click “continue to checkout.” I was getting worried that all my good intentions were about to be thwarted. Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the play is accurate enough that I don’t need to read the 700 page biography which inspired the show.
While I was poking around the internet for information about the show, I came across this video:
“A Chorus Line” was not my first Broadway show. That was “The Wiz.” People might forget how innovative Broadway was in the 1970s: “Pippin”, “A Little Night Music”, “Equus”, “Chicago”, “for colored girls…”, “Dancin'”, “Runaways.” There is definitely more since I was too young to be aware of what was going on.
40 year, that seems like so long ago. Admittedly, it may have been already open for a year or so when my family went to go see it. Still, I remember playing the original cast recording, along with saving the playbill I always had to buy one, or rather persuade my parents to buy one for me. If they balked at the price, after all that was Broadway tickets for four, plus parking in Manhattan and probably dinner out, I reminded them how they went to go see “Hair” the day after opening night and bought the record in the lobby and had to mention that fact every time anyone played it. That reminder didn’t work every time, but it usually worked.
Looking towards the future, it seems that September will be a slow month, but there’s a cluster of plays in October and I might need to make some choices. They are all revivals which is always less exciting. We have “Dames at Sea,” Sam Sheppard’s “Fool for Love”, Harold Pinter’s “Old Times” and “The Gin Game” starring Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones. I last saw James Earl Jones on Broadway in 1982 when he played Othello opposite Christopher Plummer.