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Inside Theater

‘The Ferryman’ – Keeping it Real

Bryan Reesman •
  • December 2018
  • Inside Theater
• December 9, 2018
Witnessing a three-hour dramatic spectacle on Broadway can be a dicey proposition. A play has to be damn good to keep your butt parked in a seat that long. The Ferryman, written by Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem, The River) and directed by Sam Mendes, is an epic, well-acted, and brilliantly executed show worth diving into. Set […] Read More...

The Endless Sky of ‘Pretty Woman’

Bryan Reesman •
  • Inside Theater
  • November 2018
• November 12, 2018
Broadway’s latest box office beast took many people by surprise when it immediately began amassing more than $1 million per week in ticket sales. Pretty Woman, the faithful adaptation of the hit 1990 movie starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, quickly became a hit during its month of previews. Directed by Jerry Mitchell, with a […] Read More...

Filling the Wings

Bryan Reesman •
  • Inside Theater
  • October 2018
• October 13, 2018
Wing space on Broadway is at a premium. As more and more shows up the ante on production value, scenic designers and production crew are finding more and more ways to be clever about how they utilize the space in and above the wings. The simple fact is that while many producers and creators are […] Read More...

Musical A Go-Go’s: “Head over Heels” on Broadway

Bryan Reesman •
  • Inside Theater
  • September 2018
• September 14, 2018
Upon first hearing the term “Go-Go’s jukebox musical,” one might immediately conjure up a show about the life story of the legendary pop-rock quintet set to their hit songs. Instead, their music (and a bit of Belinda Carlisle solo material) is used in the new musical Head Over Heels to propel a plot derived from […] Read More...

Rhythm & Mime with Mummenschanz

Bryan Reesman •
  • August 2018
  • Inside Theater
• August 13, 2018
The anthropomorphic and metamorphic performance troupe that is Mummenschanz defies easy categorization, and that is one of the reasons this enchanting Swiss group has maintained a steadfast following since its first shows in Paris in 1972. Their colorful and surreal spectacle involves limber performers acting out various vignettes in unusual costumes, often in the guise […] Read More...

As Their World Turns: ‘My Fair Lady’

Bryan Reesman •
  • Inside Theater
  • July 2018
• July 13, 2018
Set, Props and Lighting Support the Classic Lerner and Loewe Musical Lincoln Center Theater’s new production of Lerner and Loewe’s classic makeover musical My Fair Lady is a spirited, energetic rendition which is also updated for the #MeToo era by offering visual twists on a couple of key moments. Well directed by Bartlett Sher and […] Read More...

Totally Tubular: ‘Saint Joan’ on Broadway

Bryan Reesman •
  • Inside Theater
  • June 2018
• June 4, 2018
The recent Broadway revival of George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan starred Condola Rashad as Joan of Arc, the teenager who ascended from seemingly loony French patriot to fierce warrior and unifier of her people against English subjugation. But once her usefulness was over and the Catholic Church deemed her a threat to patriarchal rule, she […] Read More...

Keeping Pace with the Mean Girls

Bryan Reesman •
  • Inside Theater
  • May 2018
• May 14, 2018
Movie-to-musical adaptations have become an overcrowded playing field on Broadway, but Tina Fey’s song and dance rendition of her hit 2004 film, Mean Girls, is an unexpected delight. Updated to reflect social media saturation and the #metoo and Time’s Up revolution, it traces the journey of an awkward teen named Cady whose family has moved […] Read More...

Designing on the Fly

Bryan Reesman •
  • April 2018
  • Inside Theater
• April 12, 2018
I usually cover Broadway and other large-scale productions for PLSN, but there is often much to be learned from more modest shows, particularly those faced with a very tight budget. Experienced designers often jump back into the off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway world not just to keep working, but also to try something different. Learning to work […] Read More...

The Rhythm (of Transitions) is Gonna Get You

Bryan Reesman •
  • Inside Theater
  • March 2018
• March 12, 2018
As it crisscrosses the country, the Tony Award-nominated musical On Your Feet continues to bring the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan vividly to life onstage, chronicling their ascension from modest beginnings to musical royalty through their group Miami Sound Machine. Six months in, the national tour has picked up after the show finished a nearly two-year run on Broadway. The original production, which features scenic design by David Rockwell and projections by Darrel Maloney, sweeps through dozens of scenes as it compresses decades of real life into key narrative moments. Read More...

Building a Better Backdrop

Bryan Reesman •
  • Current Issue
  • February 2018
  • Inside Theater
• February 16, 2018
While more and more Broadway shows have been shifting from traditional scenery to video walls and more elaborate practical sets, the art of the painted backdrop appears to be slowly waning. But in reality, many scenic designers still rely on this familiar stage element to create dynamic backdrops, and they can create a heightened sense of perspective when used the right way. Scenic designers Beowulf Boritt, Anna Louizos and Kevin Depinet all shared stories about their experiences with traditional backdrops on various productions they have worked on over the years. Read More...

SpongeBob in the Sea with Boulders

Bryan Reesman •
  • Inside Theater
  • January 2018
• January 11, 2018
There have been few Broadway shows as exuberantly trippy as SpongeBob SquarePants, a crowd-pleasing, family-friendly show inspired by the television series. This live version — which features original songs by the likes of Panic! At The Disco, Cyndi Lauper, and the Flaming Lips, among many others — crams as much colorful scenery and costumes and energetic song and dance numbers as it can into its two and a half hour stage time. Read More...

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