All stories by David Benedict on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

David Benedict: Let’s hope the crisis leads to more medical drama (on stage at least) by David Benedict

The nearest we get to live theatre right now is Clap for Our Carers, the countrywide applause for the ceaseless, selfless work

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

David Benedict: For escapism, look to songs – the small but mighty musical art form by David Benedict

Hayley Mills, who starred as the title character of Disney’s 1960 hit film Pollyanna, needn’t worry. While I’m not ready to challenge

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

David Benedict: Top Sondheim songs to get through isolation by David Benedict

Sondheim biographer and columnist David Benedict suggests his top eight Sondheim songs to singalong to during isolation… 1. You Gotta Get a

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David Benedict: Celebrating Sondheim at 90 – what to watch online and what to avoid by David Benedict

Last Sunday was Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday. How did he celebrate it? By going to the Broadway opening, specifically timed for his

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

David Benedict: Wilde’s plays survived everything – except turning them into opera by David Benedict

This has happened before, including on September 6, 1642. That was when London playhouses were closed by the Puritan parliament. The argument

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

David Benedict: It’s time for English National Opera to embrace theatricality again by David Benedict

A few weeks ago I was at a bus stop staring at my phone at about 9pm. The odd thing about that

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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

David Benedict: Not every musical needs to be new – but at least make them original by David Benedict

Watching musicals The Prince of Egypt and Pretty Woman over the last week, one incontrovertible fact was underlined: for the entertainment industry,

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

David Benedict: Stop the sexism that ghettoises great writers like Caryl Churchill by David Benedict

I once interviewed the legendary Elaine Stritch at London’s Savoy Hotel where, in some splendour, she had previously lived for 13 years.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

David Benedict: Long or short, a play’s length is never the yardstick of quality by David Benedict

If you’ve ever found yourself walking the corridors of a West End theatre before taking your seat, you’ll probably have spotted posters

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

David Benedict: Awards are ridiculous – but some mean a lot more than others by David Benedict

In case you missed it, here’s Rebel Wilson praising the best director nominees at this year’s BAFTAs: “Sam Mendes, Martin Scorsese, Todd

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

David Benedict: From Rockabye Hamlet to Nightshriek, it’s time to revive forgotten Shakespeare musicals by David Benedict

There’s never a bad time, it seems, to present Shakespeare. Sheffield Theatres, currently riding high with two wins at The Stage Awards

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

David Benedict: Chekhs and balances – when it comes to plays in translations whose text is it really? by David Benedict

Cards on the table: I don’t speak Norwegian. Or Russian. This isn’t exactly a problem most days of the week but a

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

David Benedict: Nowhere to run – the West End needs more mid-scale venues by David Benedict

“I spy a hit.” So said our reviewer Tim Bano last May when he had the (five-star) pleasure of seeing the seriously

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

David Benedict: Exciting shows are on the horizon in 2020, but is there a sense of déjà vu? by David Benedict

When I look across the upcoming theatre year I’m delighted that I have hope. But in case you’re imagining that over the

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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

David Benedict: The stage stars that shone in 2019 by David Benedict

I mean no disrespect to Maggie Smith. She was frankly spellbinding alone on stage throughout Christopher Hampton’s A German Life at the

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

David Benedict: Schlock and awe – my theatrical (dis)appointments in 2019 by David Benedict

While it’s possible to be disturbed, distressed and, sadly, disappointed by theatre, one cannot technically be turbed, tressed or appointed by it.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

David Benedict: Ovation overdose makes it hard for exceptional shows to stand out by David Benedict

There are two types of silence in musical theatre. The first – and worst – I experienced at a performance (there weren’t

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

David Benedict: Understudying can make a career by David Benedict

It’s possible you were there but I sincerely hope not. I refer to the performance of a community theatre show by Solent

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Monday, November 11, 2019

David Benedict: Piccadilly Theatre incident should put restoration levies in the spotlight by David Benedict

The best news of the week was that not only were mercifully few people injured in last Wednesday’s frightening partial ceiling collapse

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

David Benedict: Where are the great musical theatre lyricists? by David Benedict

When he wasn’t busy composing musicals as impressive as On the Town, Candide, West Side Story and Wonderful Town plus a slew

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

David Benedict: Food for thought – has Waitress missed a trick with its pies? by David Benedict

What is it we dream about? What brings on a sigh? Piled peaches and cream, about 6ft high… No, I’m not indulging

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

David Benedict: What’s the most illuminating thing for an actor? Sit in on a casting session by David Benedict

I’m not exactly sure of the precise Venn diagram between readers of The Stage and viewers of Doctor Who but I think

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Director Bill Buckhurst: ‘Having a female balladeer gives Assassins a fresh perspective’ by David Benedict

Since directing a pie-shop Sweeney Todd that transferred to the West End and New York, Bill Buckhurst has been in demand, with

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

David Benedict: Annilese Miskimmon is a good choice to produce ‘bankers’ at ENO by David Benedict

Last week, English National Opera produced shocking news. It arrived on the back of the previous week’s season openings of two operas

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

David Benedict: Don’t overdo the exposition – bio-dramas should focus on the drama by David Benedict

Here’s your starter for 10: Who said: “I hate being interviewed and I have refused altogether to allow it. But I have

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Glass. Kill. Bluebeard’s Friends. Imp. review at the Royal Court, London – ‘extraordinary’ by David Benedict

Experimental art is usually synonymous with forbidding high seriousness. The outstanding exception to that is the consistently inventive yet audience-friendly theatre of

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

David Benedict: It’s time producers killed off ‘The Musical’ by David Benedict

I’ve seen the belated London premiere of a Broadway musical and I have a bone to pick, but first: Harry Secombe. I’ll

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

David Benedict: Everyone’s a critic – but only a few know what they’re talking about by David Benedict

“I think the people in this country have had enough of experts…” So opined Michael Gove to Sky News’ Faisal Islam on

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

David Benedict: Identity politics are stirring up division. Someone call The Doctor by David Benedict

Unlike musicals, so-called straight dramas don’t do showstoppers. Even a speech as famous as “To be or not to be” won’t elicit

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Friday, September 6, 2019

Falsettos review at the Other Palace, London – ‘an effortful staging’ by David Benedict

If Broadway plays are notorious for taking a long time to address contemporary mores, Broadway musicals are slower still. This made the

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Friday, August 30, 2019

David Benedict: Make time for Sondheim – why Linklater’s 20-year Merrily is the reel deal by David Benedict

Musical theatre is good for your health. Look at Jule Styne, composer of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Gypsy and beyond. He was working

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All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue