When I left college, I was pretty confused. I had started out as a performance major in classical voice and I ended up with a B.A. in English. The musical theatre question “What do you do with a B.A. in English?” really applied to me. After trying out a bunch of different jobs, I found security in what most people my age are doing when they graduate: … (read more)
Sarah Siddons as Euphrasia in The Grecian Daughter, 1782
Sarah Siddons was born in Wales in 1755. She became one of the most prominent actresses of the 18th century, famous in particular for playing Lady Macbeth. She remains notable and memorable even today. The Sarah Siddons Society in Chicago presents theatre scholarships in her name annually.
Siddons made her first appearance in Dublin in 1784. An Irish newspaper, apparently, felt that the hype surrounding her over in London was … (read more)
Dear Madam, you have seen this play;
I never saw it till today.
You know the details of the plot,
But, let me tell you, I do not.
The author seeks to keep from me
The murderer’s identity,
And you are not a friend of his
If you keep shouting who it is.
The actors in their funny way
Have several funny things to say,
But they do not amuse me more
If you have said them … (read more)
Festus Claudius “Claude” McKay (September 15, 1889 – May 22, 1948)
About me young careless feet
Linger along the garish street;
Above, a hundred shouting signs
Shed down their bright fantastic glow Upon the merry crowd and lines
Of moving carriages below. Oh wonderful is Broadway — only
My heart, my heart is lonely.
Desire naked, linked with Passion,
Goes trutting by in brazen fashion; From playhouse, cabaret and inn
The rainbow lights of Broadway blaze All gay without, all
I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won’t contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you. That’s what gives the theater meaning: when it becomes a social act.
– Orson Welles
Broadway is a main artery of New York life – the hardened artery.
Abie’s Irish Rose was a Broadway comedy by Anne Nichols. It enjoyed a special combination of fame and notoriety that few shows manage to reach. The show was about an Irish Catholic girl and a young Jewish man. They get married over the objections of both of their families, with a lot of drama.
It opened on May 23, 1922, and ran for 2327 performances, closing over five years later. At the time, that was … (read more)