Theatre

Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Forget Roman Polanski: ‘Venus in Fur’ Is About All Human Relationships

Here’s the paradox of masochism: in order to be dominated and treated cruelly and physically harmed in a way that satisfies their fantasies, the masochist must make certain demands of the person to whom they’re ostensibly submitting. Everything essential about Roman Polanski’s Venus in Fur (and the David Ives play Venus in Fur, of which the movie is an adaptation; and even Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novella, Venus in Furs, which provides the raw material for both works) is contained within this contradictory gesture. It’s a film that deconstructs the painstakingly defined power dynamics of BDSM, but instead of getting bogged down in the tedious minutiae of the subculture itself — or limiting itself to the coy commentary on Polanski’s own horrible sexual history that many critics have judged it to be — Venus in Fur expands endlessly outward, its two characters coming to represent just about every kind of human relationship, sexual or otherwise. … Read More

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The Best Celebrity Instagrams from the 2014 Tony Awards

As you may or may not have heard, depending on how many musical theatre nerds you know, the 2014 Tony Awards happened last night. Hosted by Wolverine, er, Hugh Jackman, the evening’s highlights included Jackman, LL Cool J, and T.I. performing a rap version of “Rock Island” from The Music Man; Audra McDonald winning her sixth Tony to become the first person to win in four different acting categories; Neil Patrick Harris unsurprisingly winning Best Actor in a Leading Role for Hedwig and the Angry Inch; and Carole King joining her fictionalized younger self from Beautiful onstage. … Read More

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The Best Moments From the 2014 Tony Awards

There was a lot of television to choose from last night: a beauty pageant, a big battle on Game of Thrones, and even, I’m told, some basketball game. But if you’re like me, you enjoyed a liter of white wine and the Tony Awards, the annual celebration of a relatively minor industry within New York that is broadcast on national television to millions who will likely never see any of the shows featured or even know who most of the people in attendance actually are. But, on the plus side, Broadway for once looked a lot less whitewashed than usual! … Read More

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Forget ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Grease': Here Are 10 Musicals We’d Like to See on Live TV

Last fall, NBC had a surprising hit with The Sound of Music: Live! Did we think that a live broadcast of a musical that by all accounts is not as fun on stage as it is on celluloid would be a grand thing to sit through on a Thursday night? Especially when it featured a country music superstar who was not particularly known for her acting talents? Well, people loved it and people hated it, but it sure was fun to watch and tweet about, and its success convinced its producers to make it an annual event. Peter Pan, the 1954 musical, will be broadcast in December. And just yesterday, Fox announced they’ll be following suit with a live broadcast of Grease sometime next year. … Read More

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2014 Tony Nominations Announced

Let’s just say it’s a very odd bunch this year, with the usual crop of A-list Hollywood stars getting nods… Read More

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Life Is a ‘Cabaret': A Visual History of Sally Bowles

Cabaret is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential American musicals of the 20th century. The musical, written by John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Joe Masteroff, introduced to a wide audience the characters of a fiendish Master of Ceremonies and the lovely yet tortured nightclub singer Sally Bowles, both performers at the Kit Kat Klub in Weimer-era Berlin, just before the rise of the Nazi party. Based on the stories of Christopher Isherwood, Cabaret is a much-loved and often-staged musical, which is currently seeing its fourth Broadway revival at Studio 54. To celebrate its newest iteration, take a look at the history of the complicated character Sally Bowles, who has turned up in literature, on stage, and in film since her first appearance in 1937. … Read More

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Shakespeare’s Tropes: 7 Phrases and Concepts That Changed Western Culture

Aside from the Bible, Greek myths, classical philosophers, a few Germans, and maybe Charles Dickens, no single author’s words have changed the way the Western world talks and writes like the work of William Shakespeare. Although it may often escape the casual reader’s notice, his fingerprints are all over our books, plays, television shows, movies, and just about everything else that involves language. On what is allegedly Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite phrases and tropes the Bard injected into the English lexicon. … Read More

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Despite the Woody Allen Association, ‘Bullets Over Broadway’ Is an Excellent Musical

It probably wouldn’t be too outlandish to say that a new Woody Allen cultural property is not exactly what anyone is in the mood for these days, given the last few months’ worth of op-ed tell-alls, backlashes, and comment-thread arguments. Despite the fact that the production of Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical had been in the works years before Dylan Farrow became part of the cultural conversation again, it still may seem like an April 2014 Broadway opening might not be the best timing for a musical based on one of Woody Allen’s films, especially as Allen himself wrote the book. The Broadway audience, however, is limited compared to the larger audience that would respond to the release of a new Woody Allen film, and it’ll be interesting to see in the next few weeks if the critical and public response to Bullets Over Broadway will indicate a turn in the acceptance of Allen’s work. Is it possible, at this point, to compartmentalize Woody Allen, to appreciate his art while not supporting the artist?  … Read More

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The Surprising Musical Theatre Pasts of Your Favorite Movie and TV Actors

I saw Matilda: The Musical on Broadway recently, and it was overwhelming. The set and songs were captivating, of course, but what truly had me floored was the titanic force of the child actors — many of whom were navigating their very first decade of life. They sang with more passion than some trained adults, and danced with that particular type of high-octane energy only available to schoolchildren on a sugar rush. It was impossible not to feel like the audience was being treated to a sneak preview of tomorrow’s superstars. … Read More

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