Disruptive ideas. Innovation. Creativity. These buzz words drive the conversations in branding, business, visual design and the arts. And all three boil down to the same pressing question -- how do you create something new?
Whether it's President Obama crooning its earnest chorus, while calling for racial healing in an emotional eulogy; or former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's performing a moving version of the song for injured veterans, "Amazing Grace" is having a national moment.
Witches are the eternal outsiders, and so they must learn to be fearless and brave. Rejection by society teaches them strength, and they become self-made, self-reliant, self-confident. They're like Beyonce but with a broom.
Recently, a severe heat advisory was upon us in New York City, however for the unsuspecting patrons of a serene Chelsea café which normally tends to the urban chic, there was no warning that performance artist Kenyon Phillips was about to arrive.
That's what The Wild Party is all about. Sex, booze, relationships. And how it's sometimes good to be bad.
It's hard to imagine a play focused on slavery putting slavery second, but that's what Amazing Grace does in favor of telling the redemption story about the man who penned the famous hymn. John Newton is a compelling character in his own right, but his undoing in this show comes from too much focus on the love story between him and his beloved Mary.
Toward the end of this year's "Rising Stars" performance at Manhattan's Town Hall--a national showcase for graduates of America's top musical theatre schools--impresario Scott Siegel reflected on the difficulties of starting out as a Broadway performer.
As the curtain closes, Amazing Grace gets a standing ovation, with shouts and tears to boot. Maybe, I missed something. Maybe, I don't understand. It's okay that I don't like it because someone else did. But for me, it is not enough. It's too trapped in "history" to acknowledge the history that resides inside us.
From starring as a young Carol Burnett in a Broadway play to portraying Jane Austen in a festival musical, Donna Lynne Champlin has done a lot.
"I like plays that feel like somebody took a fun house mirror and put it up to the real world, and it's sort of reflecting back a version of it to you. I find that, in looking at that reflection, you can start to understand a little more about your life."
I had been struggling with heroin addiction for nine years and tried everything to get clean. I was barely keeping a job and frequently going to twelve-step meetings, but I could not stop using heroin because every time I did, I would end up with terrible physical withdrawal.
If people see their ancestral experience integrated -- not just mentioned in a checklist kind of way, but fully integrated into the larger narrative -- then they are far more likely to see that larger narrative of American history as something that speaks to them.
You can't help but get excited about the prospect of magic's supreme duo Penn & Teller returning to Broadway for the first time in decades. And they're just as giddy as the audience and fans to bring a healthy helping of old and new tricks to theater's premiere stage.
Image of Elaine Stritch in her dressing room Savoy Theatre, London, by Alan Warren, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons Theatre legend Elaine Stritch died...
At the beginning of the summer two NYC foster care landmarks were told they were no longer going to be funded. This happens a lot. Not so much in NYC but all over the country. Nonprofits lose their funding. Well intentioned groups disappear. That wouldn't be the case this time.
I am going to estimate that 95 percent of audience members going into An Act of God believe it is a one-person show starring Jim Parsons as God. (While he doesn't like you to take his name in vein, the show's title does, and therefore I will spare you "G-d.") It is not.