All stories by Elizabeth Blair on BroadwayStars

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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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 …

Linked From 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.

Linked From 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.

Linked From 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.

Linked From 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.

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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.

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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.

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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 …

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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.

Linked From National Public Radio at 06:31AM
Saturday, March 18, 2017

Jo Lampert Takes On Joan Of Arc by Elizabeth Blair

New York artist Jo Lampert just landed her first major role: Joan in David Byrne's new rock opera based on Joan of Arc. With her androgynous appearance and bluesy voice, Lampert seems like a…

Linked From National Public Radio at 10:18AM
Friday, January 27, 2017

New Play About 'Roe V. Wade' Is A Prism For Looking At The American Divide by Elizabeth Blair

Roe tells the stories of "Jane Roe" and the lawyer who argued her side of the case. Playwright Lisa Loomer says it may be a history play, but so much of what happens in it still happens toda…

Linked From National Public Radio at 08:33AM
Thursday, June 30, 2016

This Shakespeare Reconstruction Sets 'Merchant' In Post-Civil War D.C. by Elizabeth Blair

In District Merchants, Shylock is still Jewish, but half of the other characters are freed slaves. The playwright says he was inspired but a reference to slavery in Shakespeare's original te…

Linked From National Public Radio at 08:10PM
Thursday, January 21, 2016

In 'Sweat,' Adapting To Change Is The Hardest Work Of All by Elizabeth Blair

Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage spent two years visiting Reading, Pa., to research her new play. Sweat explores how industrial decline affected workers in the former steel and textile tow…

Linked From National Public Radio at 09:48PM
Monday, December 21, 2015

HBO Documentary Explores Dark Underbelly Of Russia's Bolshoi Ballet by Elizabeth Blair

Russia's Bolshoi Ballet was rocked following the 2013 acid attack on the company's artistic director. A new documentary airing Monday on HBO, Bolshoi Babylon, looks at the culture of the com…

Linked From National Public Radio at 06:26PM
Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Daily Show's Hasan Minhaj on Prom Woes, Indian Dads, And White Folks At Desi Weddings by Elizabeth Blair

Comedian's absorbing tale as a first generation American and the NBA (New Brown America).

Linked From National Public Radio at 05:03PM
Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Deluge Contaminates And Destroys Ballet School by Elizabeth Blair

The South Carolina flood has left the Columbia Classical Ballet Company without not just its costumes and scores but its building.

Linked From National Public Radio at 08:20PM
Monday, September 28, 2015

No Vanity Project: Baryshnikov Tells Artists, 'You're The Boss' by Elizabeth Blair

You'd think the sign in front of dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov's arts center would have his name in lights — but actually, you can barely see it. He says what happens inside is way more impor…

Linked From National Public Radio at 06:01AM
Friday, August 14, 2015

'Evan Hansen' Makes Music Out Of Teen Angst And Anxiety by Elizabeth Blair

A new musical by Tony nominated songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dear Evan Hansen is a comedic drama that deals with teen suicide in the age of social media.

Linked From National Public Radio at 06:12PM
Friday, July 24, 2015

Nearly 200 Comedians, All Playing The Same City by Elizabeth Blair

Just For Laughs, the biggest and oldest comedy festival in the world, is underway in Montreal. We'll find out who's new, who's returned and learn about some surprise hits.

Linked From National Public Radio at 09:54AM
Thursday, July 23, 2015

You Might Not Know Kenny Ortega, But You Probably Know His Choreography by Elizabeth Blair

Ortega is one of the most sought after choreographers in showbiz. He's worked with everyone from Michael Jackson to Zac Efron and is responsible for some of Hollywood's most memorable dance …

Linked From National Public Radio at 09:46AM
Friday, June 12, 2015

Ron Moody, Who Played Fagin In 'Oliver!' Dies At 91 by Elizabeth Blair

Moody was defined by the role of Fagin in Oliver!. He played it on stage in London and New York and in the Oscar-winning film version of the Dickens story. Moody died Thursday at 91.

Linked From National Public Radio at 09:20PM
Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ron Moody, Who Delighted Audiences As Fagin In 'Oliver!' Dies by Elizabeth Blair

Throughout his career, Moody played a variety of parts on stage and screen. But in the villainous Fagin, he found the role of a lifetime.

Linked From National Public Radio at 02:48PM

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