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Bette Midler

EDITH O’HARA—A PERSONAL REMEMBRANCE

October 21, 2020

There were few women in positions of authority when she started in theater.  But as she once told me, “If I wanted to do something, I just went ahead and did it.”  She blazed a trail for others to follow.  And she was proud of the fact that many notables had worked at The 13th Street Theatre, at one time or another (often when they were just getting started), including Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, Chazz Palminteri, Amy Stiller, Jamie DeRoy, Christopher Meloni, Armelia McQueen, Charles Ludlam, Austin Pendleton, Barnard Hughes, Richard Dreyfuss, and  many others. For 17 years, the unique, dark monologist Brother Theodore--a Greenwich Village icon, whose wonderfully theatrical late-night rants enthralled fans--made The 13th Street Repertory Company his base.  Her production of Israel Horovitz’s “Line” ran at her theater for some 45 years, becoming the longest-running theatrical production in New York.  She liked to have things happening at her theater, day and night. [more]

Remembering Duane Bodin (1932-2018)

March 25, 2019

The death of a long inactive performer with a fine career during Broadway’s Golden Age understandably went unnoticed. He was my neighbor in the 1980’s. [more]

ON THE TOWN…. with CHIP DEFFAA , November 8, 2017

November 11, 2017

Memo to Broadway producers: You need to do everything you can to hook the next generation while they're young. I got hooked on theater because I saw the greatest performers, the greatest shows, from when I was very young. It would be very hard for a young person of today to see as much great theater as I did, growing up. When they read about some tickets going for a thousand bucks apiece, they might well conclude that theater isn't meant to be for them, but mostly for rich older folk. I have some friends who work in the theater who say they can't afford to take their families to shows. And that worries me. [more]

Saloons: Some Enchanted Evenings

May 14, 2016

Cabaret has always been a mixed bag. The golden age is gone. However, in today's schizo world of nightclubs, things are looking pretty good. It is a milieu unique in the entertainment industry. And, it continues to reinvent itself. The late cabaret critic Martin Schaeffer wrote in Back Stage in 1993,“There cannot be a better night of classic American music than a Bobby Short gig at The Carlyle.” He was right; especially if you're a purist of the Great American Songbook. [more]

Gypsy

March 2, 2003

Within seconds after musical director Marvin Laird picks up his baton, you will know why composer Jule Styne's slam-bang overture to "Gypsy" is considered by many the greatest and the most invigorating overture ever written for an American musical (okay, so you prefer Leonard Bernstein's more highfalutin "Candide"). Know this, however, that those who do go to this "Gypsy," will hear, probably for the very last time, the sound of 24 musicians in the pit (thanks to the concessions made during the recent strike). That alone is worth the price of admission. [more]