Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I watched an enlightening interview between actress Kathleen Turner and playwright Edward Albee on PBS's "In The Life". They discussed the commerce of writing for the theater. Mr. Albee (author of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" and many other plays) said today's playwrights have to struggle to get produced. That often a producer will ask a playwright to have a reading of his/her work and then advise that writer to put in more laughs, or shorten the play by thirty minutes (so people get home at a decent hour in NYC), and other intrusive suggestions. So I guess what I said in my previous post about playwrights being respected and their work being sacred may not be so anymore. It's all about money. Maybe it always was? Broadway is about appealing to the tourists in Times Square and plays without a catchy tune or star fall by the wayside.

That's why lately I'm going to see obscure and not so obscure plays on Broadway and not just musicals with big, flashy budgets. It's important to go to readings and see small productions too.
I know it's hard for out-0f-towners to resist seeing "Rent" or "Spring Awakenin" or "Grease", but if you can squeeze in a play -- it's worth it.

Kathleen Turner just directed "Crimes from the Heart" which is now playing on Off-Broadway. I plan to see that next. She does the announcement before the play to "silence your cell phones" and I hear that's worth the price of admission alone.

Gotta love a woman with a voice that sounds lived in.

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