Theater

Helena’s Musical Theater Essentials

South Pacific (1949) Plot: Set on an island during World War II, American nurse, Nellie Forbush, falls in love with Emile De Becque, a French planter, but she initially struggles to accept his mixed-race children. In a parallel story, a young marine, Lt. Cable falls in love with Liat and contemplates the implications of interracial…

Tony Nomination Predictions

We’ve made it to a magical time of year: theater awards season. There are few things I love more than celebrating the magical humans who make theater. I cannot wait to watch Adrienne Warren and Joshua Henry announce the Tony Nominees tomorrow, May 9 at 9 am EDT. Here are my thoughts on who might…

Favorite Musicals as an Adult

As a musical theater fan, it is always hard to come up with an answer to the question “What is your favorite musical?” Much like, “best friend,” “favorite musical” often feels more like a tier than a description of a single piece of theater. I’ve been thinking lately about what defines this term and how…

Review: tick, tick…BOOM!

Release Date: 11/19/21Where to Watch: Netflix (and some limited movie theaters)Starring: Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin De JesúsDirector: Lin-Manuel MirandaSummary: On the cusp of his 30th birthday, a promising young theater composer navigates love, friendship and the pressures of life as an artist in New York City.Rating: ★★★★★ I first read the script of Jonathan Larson’s tick, tick…BOOM! in…

Review: Diana on Netflix

Release Date: 10/1/21Where to Watch: NetflixStarring: Jeanna De Waal, Roe Hartrampf, Erin Davie, Judy Kaye Summary: The dazzling and devastating life of Princess Diana takes center stage in this original musical, filmed in advance of its official Broadway opening.Rating: ★★★ I have long been fascinated by the British Royal family. There was a giant British family tree on the…

September Movie Musicals

I love movie musicals. I grew up obsessed with The Wizard of Oz and Singin’ in the Rain, loving to get that taste of musical theater right in my own home. I am thrilled that September 2021 has brought so many new movie musicals to the big (and small) screen. Cinderella Release Date: 9/3/21Where to…

Broadway’s Back

The lights go down. Playbill is hand. The annoucement comes over the loudspeaker reminding the audience to turn off their cell phones…and to keep their masks on. There are three shows open on Broadway right now: Antoinette Chinoye Nwandu’s Pass Over, Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown, and Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson’s Waitress. All three are both…

Review: In the Heights

Before Hamilton, there was In the Heights. The film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’s 2008 musical opened in movie theaters and HBO Max on June 10, and I have already watched it more than once. In the Heights tells the story of the community on a changing block in Washington Heights. I…

Review: Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical

You may remember the group of TikTok creators who came together several weeks ago to create a Broadway-style musical inspired by the 2007 Pixar film, Ratatouille. The content was adapted by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley and presented by TodayTix and Seaview productions as a benefit for the Actor’s Fund. Ratatouille is about Remy (Titus…

Review: The Prom on Netflix

Today, Netflix released an adaptation of the 2018 stage musical, The Prom, starring Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, and Andrew Rannells. The film doesn’t capture all of the musical’s heart and charm, but it does a solid job with the piece. The Prom centers around Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman), a teenager in Indiana,…

Thank you, Broadway

Today, The Broadway League announced that Broadway shows will not resume performances before June 1, 2021. This means that Broadway will be shut down for at least 14.5 months if not more. Of course, this the right and safe decision, but it doesn’t make this news less devastating to the thousands of people who will…

Filmed Live Musicals To Watch While Broadway is Closed

If you are like me, you are missing live theater terribly at this time. I turn to theater to raise my spirits and as an escape. We could certainly use those things in our world today. Fortunately, there are many live musicals that you can watch on various streaming platforms. Here are my suggestions for…

Stephanie J. Block Appreciation

Mr. Fred Rogers is quoted as saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” There are certainly a lot of scary things in the news lately, and we are all…

Understudy/Standby Appreciation

Before January, I had heard tell of mid-show switches: Elphabas who had to be replaced after “The Wizard and I” or Desi Oakley going from the audience to onstage in Waitress. I had never been in the audience when one happened though. I was in the audience of Tina on January 7th, and Nkeki Obi-Melekwe…

Theater Adventures in Paris

I’ve been to the theater countless times in the US, but I had my first experience attending the theater in France this week. Let me start by saying that the show we saw, An American in Paris, was in English starring a British woman and an American man. Even though the show was in English,…

Theatrical Highlights of 2019

It’s hard to believe that it’s already December. I’ve seen a lot of great theater and great performances this year, but here are some of my favorites from 2019. Jelani Alladin – Hercules I was lucky enough to win the lottery to see the Public Theater’s production of Hercules this summer, and Jelani’s portrayal of…

Tips for Cheap Theater Tickets

I go to the theater a lot, and I don’t tend to spend more than $45 on a ticket to a Broadway show. People frequently ask me how I make that happen, so here are some of my best tips and tricks. Rush TicketsSeveral Broadway shows offer a limited number of $30-40 dollar Rush tickets…

Frozen

Frozen 2 hit movie theaters today, which of course, has made me think a lot about what the original film and the Broadway musical have meant to me. Frozen tells the story of Anna and Elsa, two sisters in the royal family of Arendelle. Elsa was born with magical ice powers that she has had…

Aida

Aida, the 2000 musical with music by Elton John and Tim Rice, has been one of my favorite musicals since I first saw it produced at my youth theater in the summer of 2005. Aida is based on the classic Verdi opera of the same name. It tells the story of Aida, a Nubian princess,…