All stories by Elizabeth Blair on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Remembering Tony Award-winning costume designer Franne Lee by Elizabeth Blair

From SNL's Coneheads to Killer Bees, Broadway's Sweeney Todd and Candide, we remember Tony Award-winning costume designer Franne Lee who died on Aug. 27.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:19PM

Franne Lee, who designed costumes for 'SNL' and 'Sweeney Todd,' dies at 81 by Elizabeth Blair

From SNL's Coneheads to Killer Bees, Broadway's Sweeney Todd and Candide, we remember Tony Award-winning costume designer Franne Lee who died on Aug. 27.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:13AM
Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Should you stand or sit at a concert? Adele fan ignites debate by Elizabeth Blair

When security told Juan Lastra to sit down, Adele told them to leave him alone. The incident sparked a debate about concert etiquette. Stand when others are sitting? Tell a fan to sit down?

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 12:04PM
Monday, June 5, 2023

High school theater attendance is up — as are concerns about censorship, survey finds by Elizabeth Blair

The annual survey of the most popular high school musicals and plays is out. In addition to top ten lists, the report finds attendance is up 13% but theatre teachers are worried about censor…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 10:48PM

These were the most frequently performed plays and musicals in high schools this year by Elizabeth Blair

The Addams Family, Clue and Frozen JR were among the most popular shows, according to a new survey. But the report also showed that drama teachers are nervous about censorship.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 04:42PM
Thursday, March 9, 2023

Adults complained about a teen theater production and the show's creators stepped in by Elizabeth Blair

High school theater teachers fear their stages will be the next battleground in the culture war. Plays have been canceled or removed when local officials claim the content is inappropriate.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:01AM
Friday, March 3, 2023

How bills restricting drag could impact high school theatre productions by Elizabeth Blair

More than a dozen states have proposed bills that would restrict minors' access to drag performances. So where does that leave high school theatre productions like Rent or nontraditional cas…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:34PM
Thursday, February 2, 2023

60 dancers who fled the war now take the stage — as The United Ukrainian Ballet by Elizabeth Blair

The company, based in The Hague, is currently in Washington, D.C., performing Giselle at The Kennedy Center. The Ukrainian Ambassador says the ballet corps is like a secret weapon.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 03:50PM
Friday, January 27, 2023

Ballet dancers from across Ukraine bring 'Giselle' to the Kennedy Center by Elizabeth Blair

The United Ukrainian Ballet Company is made up of dancers taking refuge in the Netherlands. The company travels to Washington, D.C., to perform Giselle, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:06AM
Tuesday, January 10, 2023

A play about censorship is censored — and free speech groups are fighting back by Elizabeth Blair

PEN America and two other free speech groups are calling for school officials in Florida to reinstate a high school production of Paula Vogel's Indecent, a play that is itself about censorsh…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:22PM
Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Adam Sandler wins the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by Elizabeth Blair

The Kennedy Center has announced Adam Sandler as the winner of this year's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Sandler's credits include SNL, Happy Gilmore, Grown Ups, The Wedding Singer an…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 02:18PM
Wednesday, December 7, 2022

U2, Gladys Knight, George Clooney among 2022 Kennedy Center honorees by Elizabeth Blair

Amy Grant, George Clooney, Gladys Knight, U2 and Tania León attended a dinner at the U.S. State Department and a gala tribute event. The 45th annual Kennedy Center Honors airs on CBS later …

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 12:12PM
Wednesday, October 12, 2022

An ornithologist, a cellist and a human rights activist: the 2022 MacArthur Fellows by Elizabeth Blair

This year's MacArthur Fellows include scientists, artists and historians. The so-called MacArthur "geniuses" receive unrestricted grants of $800,000 for their "exceptional creativity" and "p…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 02:49PM

Where will the next 'Hamilton' come from now that so many playwrights are in TV? by Elizabeth Blair

Chances are the next Broadway hit will have originated at a regional theater taking a risk on an untested playwright. But once those playwrights are established, many of them start writing f…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:43AM
Thursday, September 22, 2022

Jonathan Rockefeller brings Sesame Street to life Off-Broadway by Elizabeth Blair

Sesame Street The Musical is a new, Off-Broadway show staring Cookie Monster, Grover, Elmo and the rest of the muppets. The producers tailored the experience to their target audience: toddle…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:49AM
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Ukrainian ballet dancer Oleksandr Shapoval is killed on the battlefield by Elizabeth Blair

Shapoval volunteered to fight after Russia invaded Ukraine. His unit was recently sent to one of "the hottest zones" in the country, according to The National Opera of Ukraine.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:55AM
Friday, July 29, 2022

Thousands of Afghan artists are still trying to flee the Taliban by Elizabeth Blair

A family of Afghan musicians in the U.S. wants to raise awareness about their plight.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 04:33PM

Tony and Emmy winning actress Mary Alice has died at age 85 by Elizabeth Blair

From Rose Maxson in Fences on Broadway to Lettie Bostic on TV's A Different World, Alice's career encompassed comedy, drama, stage and screen.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 04:18AM
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Berklee musicians are basking in the 'CODA' Oscar glow by Elizabeth Blair

Berklee College of Music is celebrating CODA's wins for best picture, best adapted screenplay and best supporting actor. Students and alumni worked on the film, along with other award-winnin…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 02:18AM
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Schools across Europe give shelter and fresh opportunities to Ukraine's young dancers by Elizabeth Blair

Young Ukrainian dancers are finding safe haven at ballet schools in Europe and the U.S. Many of them planned to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix competition in Kiev which was cancelle…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 02:36AM
Thursday, December 9, 2021

For kids grappling with the pandemic's traumas, art classes can be an oasis by Elizabeth Blair

As health officials sound the alarm about the pandemic's impact on children's mental health, music, drama and other art classes are helping kids adjust to being in-person again.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 03:18PM
Monday, December 6, 2021

Kennedy Center honors creative excellence in the arts at annual gala by Elizabeth Blair

Motown founder Berry Gordy, opera star Justino Díaz, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, entertainer Bette Midler and television impresario Lorne Michaels were among those celebrated this week…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:06AM
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