Monday, September 22, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

Okay, I can't let go of the new Broadway season yet.  Last week, I ranted that it wasn't the stars fault, that it all landed at the feet of the producers, but I am taking it back.  The celebrities bring the power to the production.  Just like the movies, the star casting gives the green light to any production.  If actors valued the theatre more than their salaries, maybe they could shift the tide.  There's no reason that the actors' salaries have to be $100,000 per week or more!  For the most part, the stars on Broadway have made a ton of money in the movies or on television.  Many haven't even been on the stage before.  Broadway has become summer camp for the celebrities and we are paying their camp fees.  It's absolutely ridiculous.  We, the patrons, are suckers. 

I love, love Hugh Jackman, but am I going to pay upwards of $400 to see him in a show that is 70 minutes?  I am certain that the only reason this play, The River, is being mounted on Broadway, is Hugh Jackman wanted to come back to Broadway.  And, if truth be told, he is the least offensive star because he has paid his dues on the stage.  He's done a lot for the Broadway community and raised a lot of money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.  BUT he's the exception.  The celebrities are culpable in all of this.  They are responsible for limited engagements and strictly limited engagements.  Making the ticket buying public pay exorbitant prices.  It's a disgrace where this has been heading and this season has to be the ultimate in greed.

Now, let's talk about the Tonys.  The Tonys are the awards given for excellence in the theatre, but with all these limited engagements what does it all mean?  What's the point of giving Tonys out to performers or producers if the shows are already closed?  The Broadway League and the Antoinette Perry committee are really going to have to take a long, hard look at the situation.  It's not right for Tonys to be given out to productions with very limited engagements.  What's the point?  The Tonys are also a marketing tool and if a show isn't running, it's useless other than enhancing the egos of the stars and producers.  Now, clearly, there have been shows that have received nominations that had closed, but the difference is they closed due to lack of money/box office/good reviews/finding an audience.  They didn't close because the stars are running off to their next job.  True Broadway actors want nothing less than a long run.  It's the stars that are helping change the game and this season exemplifies it all.

Sidebars:  Oh, my goodness, I have so many sidebars.  I will try to hone them.  Let's talk football for a minute.  Warmed my heart to hear that over 7500 Ravens fans showed up to trade in their Ray Rice jerseys.  A glimmer of hope.  The Derek Jeter Gatorade commercial is the epitome of class and I am sick of all the haters and critics.  Derek Jeter is the very best in MLB for the past 20 years.  No scandals, no drugs, just incredible ambassadorship for the game.  All you negative Nellies, look in the mirror, if you can even get up from your chair!!  The View is back with it's new panel of women:  Rosie O'Donnell, Rosie Perez, Nicole Wallace, and Whoopi Goldberg.  The papers weighed in after the first episode.  I think that they should've waited.  It takes a little bit of time to gel.  In my world, the jury is still out.  Nicole Wallace is trying too hard to be the lone conservative voice.  She doesn't have to begin each sentence, well from my point of view, or some such phrase.  I do think they will come together, but it will never be what it once was.  CBS scheduled a late NFL game which pushed the much publicized premieres of Madam Secretary and The Good Wife an hour late.  Why do that?  It's just so irritating and makes the DVR crazy. Madam Secretary was a very excellent first episode.  I hope that it continues to grow week in and week out.  The Good Wife season opener followed and I was sooooo disappointed.  I was irritated from almost the first minute and it never got better.  I hope they can turn that show around pronto!  Tonight, The Voice premieres with its new judges Pharell Williams and Gwen Stefani.  Very interested to see how that goes.  Also, season two of The Blacklist with the incredible James Spader begins after The Voice.  The much anticipated new series, Gotham, premieres opposite The Voice and Dancing With the Stars.  Set your DVR's people.  Oh, what a night!

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