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  • AmericanTheaterWeb Original News & Reviews

  • Use the calendar above to find ATW News & Reviews for a specific day, or use the list to the right to go to a specific review or article. The site's updated 3-4 times a day generally. For you convenience, links below will take you to ATWTopNews (a quick listing of links to some of the day's top stories) and to ATWClips (the complete digest of the day's news from ATW).


Hal Leonard Company Announces Its Fall Titles

The Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group has announced that it will be releasing through its Applause Theatre & Cinema Books and Limelight Edition imprints, a host of theater-related books this fall. Here's the lineup, along with descriptions and expected publication dates:

Applause Theatre & Cinema Books:

Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz from Godspell to Wicked (October 2008) by Carol de Giere is the first career biography about the composer. Through several interviews with Schwartz, his family, friends, and colleagues, Carol de Giere truly conveys the creative processes of the creator of Wicked. The book will be released in October, just in time for the 5th anniversary of Wicked’s Broadway debut as well as a revival of Godspell this fall.

One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century (September 2008) edited by Joyce E. Henry, Rebecca Dunn Jaroff and Bob Shuman, who also compiled the previously published One on One: The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century, covers a wide range of monologues from Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional, and experimental theatre writings.

Screen World Volume 59: The Films of 2007 (October 2008) edited by John Willis with Barry Monush is the newest, up-to-date edition of the annual film reference book series including a color selection of highlights, over 19,000 entries, and over 1,000 film stills.

Theatre World: Volume 64 2007-2008 (November 2008) edited by John Willis and Ben Hodges is the most complete annual record of the Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and regional theatre scene.

I’m the Greatest Star: Broadway’s Top Musical Legends from 1900 to Today (November 2008) by Robert Viagas is survey of forty musical theatre stars including full-page photos that accompany each chapter.

The Best American Short Plays 2005-2006 (January 2009) edited by Barbara Parisi is an excellent collection of fifteen one-act plays.
tick, tick…BOOM!: The Complete Book and Lyrics (January 2009) by Jonathan Larson, the creator of Rent, is a three-character pop rock musical that was first produced off Broadway in 2001.

Limelight Editions:

The Great American Book Musical: A Manifesto. Monograph, and Manual (November 2008) by Denny Martin Flinn is a celebration and analysis of classic American book musicals as well as a practical guide to creating a book musical.

The Entertainment 2009 Sourcebook (September 2008) by The Association of Theatrical Artists and Craftspeople is a great reference for finding any prop or tool imaginable. It is an indispensable source for those working in the arts.

For more information visit: http://www.applausepub.com/

ATW Breaking News - Mamma Mia! film review in the Holywood Reporter and More

This just wandered into my email box and it fits nicely with something that I had wanted to post today.

Film Review: Mamma Mia!
No matter how many blockbusters there are, Universal Pictures' screen version of the global hit stage musical Mamma Mia! is the most fun to be had at the movies this or any other recent summer, Ray Bennett writes.

As for the other post, if you drop by Modern Tonic, you can do a quick entry and win a trip for two on an Atlantis Events all-gay cruise from London to Barcelona, plus a special Mamma Mia! The Movie prize package. Drop by: www.moderntonic.com for the entry form. You'll also find that the site has an exclusive, a stream of "Money, Money, Money," sung by Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, from Mamma Mia! The Movie soundtrack. Click here to listen.

ATW News Digest - Bash'd - gay rap opera - opens off-B'way - read the reviews


ATW Review - Gay Rap Opera, Bash'd, Moving, Thrilling

New York Times

'Bash’d!': Two Romeos in a Modern Tragedy

New York Daily News

A rap show from unlikely creators
The words "gay rappers" will, for many audience members, evoke an unusual sort of musical sideshow act. "Bash'd," the hour-long hip-hop musical that opened Tuesday, proves that MCs come in all shapes, sizes and colors - even in pink.

New York Post

Gays get good rap
Which of these three words doesn't belong: gay, rap, opera? It's a trick question, because they go together bril liantly in "BASH'd," which opened last night off-Broadway after...

Associated Press

'Bash'd' deftly champions gay civil rights _ in rap


Review: Bash'd: A Gay Rap Opera
Canada is not an obvious breeding ground for great white rappers -- remember Snow? -- but the Caucasian Canucks behind "Bash'd!: A Gay Rap Opera" have skills. Their 65-minute concert-cum-musical, transferring to Off Broadway's Zipper after berths in Canada and the New York Fringe Festival, not only puts a smart spin on gay rights but also delivers some radio-worthy hip-hop...

Back Stage

First California finally allows gays to marry, and now an offbeat Canadian duo has come up with a rap opera demonstrating that gays can be as violent and vulgar as any mainstream hip-hop performers.

Talkin' Broadway

Review: Bash'd
How often does rap move you to tears? The rhythm-propelled pop form hasn't traditionally concerned itself with the more introspective matters one would usually associate with emotional sensitivity - to say nothing of musical theatre. But when it's spoken from the heart, even it can be as devastating and elevating as a soaring ballad or a sweeping aria. . . .


Review: Bash'd


Review: BASH'd!

ATW News Digest - Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy opens on B'way - read the reviews - UPDATED 7/2/08



"Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy"
"Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy" is a well-oiled performing machine, but despite its current Broadway venue, is not a work of theater.


Review: Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy


ATW Review - A Circus Jungle Fantasy on Broadway for the Summer

New York Times

Feats of Death-Defying Spandex
This stunts-and-spandex spectacular is ideally suited for children ages 6 to 12 with an advanced interest in jungle fauna, gymnastics or sequins.

New York Daily News

Having a vine time swinging in 'Jungle Fantasy'

Just as "Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy" is about to begin, a guy dressed up like a tortoise starts creeping across the forest floor. "The show will begin," a voice booms, "as soon as the turtle gets out of the jungle."


Run Away from the 'Cirque'
Don't be misled: Cirque Dreams is not Cirque du Soleil. Whereas a Cirque du Soleil show combines European circus art with ambitious concepts, Cirque Dreams is kiddy-friendly and bland.
Photos: 'Cirque Dreams'
Video: 'Cirque Dreams' on Broadway


Review: Cirque Dreams, Jungle Fantasy

New York Post

Show of circus acts has a familiar ring to it
Don't be fooled by the title: "Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy" isn't a Cirque du Soleil extravaganza. Rather, it's the brainchild of Neal Goldberg and his South Florida-based..

New York Sun

Above and Beyond a Three-Ringed Affair
Review of: Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy.


'Dreams' a real snooze
There are no actual lions and tigers and bears, oh my, in "Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy."

Bergen Record

Review: Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy
Did you know there’s a Mongolian State School of Contortion? Or that very few practitioners of Bulgarian hair-spinning are left in the world?


Contortionists, Acrobats and Muscle Men Star in Dreamy `Cirque': Review
You might skip a musical called ``Southern Pacific'' or ``Sunday in the Park with Joe.'' So be warned that ``Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy,'' which opened last night at New York's Broadway Theatre, isn't affiliated with the acclaimed, overexposed Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil.


Review: Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy
It almost makes you nostalgic for the bad old days when carnies were carnies -- the sawdust-smelling, animal-exploiting, itinerant tent trash who'd never dream of signing up for mime school or an interpretive dance class. The circus as high-tech, new age musical spectacular is now so ubiquitous ....

Back Stage

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy
Cirque Dreams is suited to the light entertainment requirements of gambling casinos, with its colorful costumes and sets, impressive acts of skill and balance, and lack of story line.


Review: Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy
This circus-like entertainment is mostly recommended for young theatergoers or adults who haven't seen this kind of show before.

Talkin' Broadway

Review: Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy
It’s safe to assume that all the people encouraging us to live greener lives really don’t have Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy in mind. The overgrown spectacle now at the Broadway is more characteristic of lackadaisical excess than of active love for one’s fellow man. Or, for that matter, love for anything other than one’s own body. . .

ATW News Digest - 'Arias With a Twist' opens at HERE - read the reviews

New York Times

Effigies and Aliens Cavort in a Cross-Dressing Wonderland
The chanteuses who play Madison Square Garden have never experienced the imaginative heights of spectacle with which Basil Twist surrounds Joey Arias in “Arias With a Twist.”

New York Post

Drag Lord
Toward the end of "Arias With a Twist," the new collaboration between drag queen Joey Arias and puppeteer Basil Twist, Arias stomps through a miniature re-creation of the New York City skyline like a cross-dressing King Kong. It's a canny metaphor for his conquering return to the city that made him famous, following a stint of...

New York Press

Theater: Phantasmic Voyage
Creative mavericks Joey Arias and Basil Twist collaborate on a glittering, trippy fantasia

Associated Press

'Arias With a Twist' mixes puppetry with music


Review: Arias With a Twist
...a cracked evening of song, dance and corny jokes, all delivered in the maybe-he's-drunk style of a downtown club.


Review: Arias With a Twist
This collaboration between renowned drag diva Joey Arias and visionary puppet artist Basil Twist is a trippy, mesmerizing visual feast.