All stories by Elizabeth Blair on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Mort Sahl, a political satirist and stand-up comedy pioneer, has died at 94 by Elizabeth Blair

Sahl started doing stand-up in the 1950s, a time when most comedians were men in suits, rattling off one-liners. Sahl wore a V-neck sweater, tucked a newspaper under his arm, and just ... ta…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 11:42PM
Thursday, October 7, 2021

Stagehands at the Kennedy Center OK a strike, days after Hollywood crews did the same by Elizabeth Blair

Stagehands at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. voted unanimously to strike if the performing arts center proceeds with cuts.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 10:24PM
Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Here are the White House's picks to lead the National Arts and Humanities Endowments by Elizabeth Blair

The White House has announced its nominees for the next Chairs of the National Arts and Humanities Endowments. If confirmed, the NEH pick would become the first Native American to become cha…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:42PM
Friday, August 6, 2021

So Much For 'Hot Vax Summer.' Delta Puts A Damper On Festivals And Concerts by Elizabeth Blair

As summer festivals and massive concerts returned this month amid the promise of "hot vax summer," the surge in the delta variant has disrupted plans for carefree live music.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:48PM
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Chappelle Fans Flock To D.C. Live Events As New Mask Mandate Is Announced by Elizabeth Blair

Dave Chappelle drew sold-out crowds to his live, indoor appearances in Washington, D.C. — 3,500 attended his show at the concert venue The Anthem and more than 2,000 came to the Kennedy Ce…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 04:36AM
Monday, July 5, 2021

Bill Cosby Urges Howard University To Support Phylicia Rashad's Freedom Of Speech by Elizabeth Blair

The comedian defended Rashad's freedom of speech after the actress came under criticism for defending Cosby after his sexual assault conviction was overturned.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:36PM
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

New Grants Are Available For Arts Groups Sidelined During The Pandemic by Elizabeth Blair

The American Rescue Plan set aside $135 million for arts and culture, nearly doubling the amount that was available in President Trump's CARES Act, and makes more groups eligible for funding.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 07:54AM
Friday, January 15, 2021

'SNL' And 'Second City' Announce Scholarships For Diverse, Emerging Comic Talent by Elizabeth Blair

A new scholarship sponsored by SNL covers the costs of training at Second City for comedians starting out in their careers.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:24PM
Thursday, January 14, 2021

After Missing Last Year, 2021 Kennedy Center Honors Are Announced by Elizabeth Blair

COVID cancelled the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2020. Today the Center announced that the show will go on in May 2021, honoring five extraordinary performers.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 03:06PM
Thursday, January 7, 2021

A Biden Cabinet Secretary For Arts? Advocates Are Hopeful by Elizabeth Blair

The arts employ nearly five million people in America, but advocates say President Trump's record of support for arts and humanities has been mixed. Will that change under the Biden administ…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:36PM
Saturday, October 17, 2020

Isn't This A Lovely Day For A 'Top Hat' Tribute? by Elizabeth Blair

Irving Berlin's classic musical turns 85 this year, and a group of artists are paying tribute with a brand-new video version of one of its songs, "Isn't This A Lovely Day (To Be Caught In Th…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 11:36AM
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

In A 'Coast-To-Coast Roast,' Colin Quinn Finds Humor In The State We're In by Elizabeth Blair

As a veteran stand-up comedian, Quinn has spent decades on the road, performing in 47 out of the 50 states he now affectionately eviscerates in his new book, Overstated.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 02:06AM
Saturday, May 9, 2020

Comedy Clubs Are Closed, So To Reach Audiences, Comics Have To Improvise by Elizabeth Blair

Live audiences help comics get exposure and work out new material. Colin Quinn says virtual platforms don't replicate "the tension" of being in front of a room full of strangers.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 02:42AM
Friday, January 17, 2020

One Director's Secrets To Success: Chaos, Confidence And 'Collective Genius' by Elizabeth Blair

Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher is known for adding surprising twists to classic American musicals and dramas. He says when reviving productions you have to ask: "Why are you doing it ri…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 03:03AM
Thursday, January 2, 2020

Encore: There Was 'No Chance Of Me Going Into The Arts,' Says Comedian Gina Yashere by Elizabeth Blair

When a teacher suggested Gina Yashere become an actor, her mom said: "Actor? No, no, no. You can act like a doctor when you become a doctor." Yashere is now a co-creator of Bob Hearts Abisho…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:54AM
Thursday, December 26, 2019

Highly Specific Superlatives: The Best Bits Of Stand-Up Comedy In 2019 by Elizabeth Blair

All Things Considered's Best of 2019 lists are going highly specific. Up next: the best bits from stand-up comedy specials, from Best Joke about the Immigrant Experience to Best Bit about Pr…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 03:54AM
Monday, October 28, 2019

'The Best Part Of The First Amendment': Dave Chappelle Accepts Mark Twain Prize by Elizabeth Blair

Sarah Silverman, Tiffany Haddish and Jon Stewart were among the comedians who honored Chappelle as he received the annual American humor award in a music-filled ceremony at the Kennedy Cente…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:24AM
Sunday, September 22, 2019

There Was 'No Chance Of Me Going Into The Arts,' Says Comedian Gina Yashere by Elizabeth Blair

When a teacher suggested Yashere become an actor, her mom said: "Actor? No, no, no. You can act like a doctor when you become a doctor." Yashere is now a co-creator of the sitcom Bob Hearts …

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:24PM
Saturday, July 6, 2019

Encore: Comedian Brian Regan Sees The Dinosaurs In Everyday Life by Elizabeth Blair

Brian Regan has been called "your favorite comedian's favorite comedian." He's also known as a "clean comic," which might explain why families make up a good portion of his audience.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 01:18PM
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Dave Chappelle To Be Awarded Mark Twain Prize For American Humor by Elizabeth Blair

The comic and actor, known for his boundary-pushing stand-up routines and his sketch comedy TV series Chappelle's Show, will receive the award in a gala at the Kennedy Center.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:36PM
Friday, April 26, 2019

Comedian Brian Regan Sees The Dinosaurs In Everyday Life by Elizabeth Blair

He's a favorite of other comics — a physical, observational and airtight performer who works "clean." All that helps explain why families make up a good portion of his massive audience.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:06AM
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

'You Get Paid For Doing Therapy': Stand-Up Comedians On Anger by Elizabeth Blair

For centuries, people have turned to jesters for relief from the miseries of life. As it turns out, some stand-up performers turn pain and rage into their own coping and catharsis.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:01AM
Saturday, September 29, 2018

A Top Impressionist, Melissa Villaseñor Is Finding Her Own Voice On 'SNL' by Elizabeth Blair

She's known for celebrity imitations: Hillary Clinton and Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez and Bjork, and so on. Now, as she joins Saturday Night Live's full cast, she's learning what else she ca…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 10:24AM
Saturday, July 28, 2018

Jokes And The Pain That Fuels Them At Montreal's Just For Laughs Comedy Awards by Elizabeth Blair

Pain has long been at the root of great comedic material, and it was no different at this year's annual Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 03:36PM
Friday, April 6, 2018

On Broadway, They Wear Pink: 'Mean Girls' Is Now A Musical by Elizabeth Blair

A lot has changed since Mean Girls came out in 2004, but Tina Fey points to one reason the story still holds up: Older women and teens can both see themselves playing out their worst behavio…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:06AM
Monday, December 4, 2017

Kennedy Center Celebrates Latest Honorees, But Without The First Family by Elizabeth Blair

Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, hip-hop pioneer LL Cool J, Norman Lear and dancer Carmen De Lavallade are this year's Kennedy Center Honorees. Not present, the president and first lady.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 10:42AM
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

There's No Easy Answer For Why 'The Great Comet' Is Closing by Elizabeth Blair

Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 received rave reviews and 12 Tony nominations, the makings of a Broadway hit. Now, it's closing, in part because of a controversy over casting and…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 07:42PM
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Kevin Hart's New Online Comedy Service Joins Crowded Streaming Market by Elizabeth Blair

Kevin Hart is launching a streaming comedy service. The actor's Laugh Out Loud Network, which rolls out this week, enters an already crowded market. LANGUAGE ADVISORY: There are two bleeps …

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:36AM
Monday, July 31, 2017

Sasheer Zamata Uses Comedy To Address Intolerance by Elizabeth Blair

Comedian Sasheer Zamata just came off four seasons on Saturday Night Live. Now, she wants to break through to the next part of her career. She just performed her own standup at the internati…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:36AM
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Josh Groban Leaves Big Shoes To Fill In The Tony-Nominated 'Great Comet' by Elizabeth Blair

For his role as Pierre, Groban had to be able to play the accordion while navigating multiple sets of stairs. His replacement, Okieriete Onaodowan, has about two months to master the instrum…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 11:05AM
Friday, April 21, 2017

From D.C. Theater To '24': The Rise Of Actor Corey Hawkins by Elizabeth Blair

Hawkins auditioned for his first acting gig at the Kennedy Center when he was 9 years old. Now he's the star of the action drama series 24: Legacy, and he's also appearing in a Broadway play.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:31AM

All that Chat

REOPEN BROADWAY SEASON
Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54
Apr 28, 2022: Macbeth - Lyceum Theatre