All stories by Howard Sherman on BroadwayStars

Friday, October 20, 2017

Facebook Needs To Explain Its Problem With A Sondheim Ad by Howard Sherman

As investigations into political tampering with the 2016 US election on Facebook have made headlines and perhaps spurred corporate introspection, one would hope that the company is in the pr…

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Howard Sherman: The case of The Prince of Egypt shows how raised voices can change the arts by Howard Sherman

Mentioned in passing at the end of this column last week was the opening of The Prince of Egypt, a new stage

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Keynote: School Theatre Can Be More by Howard Sherman

The Florida Association for Theatre Education invited me to be the keynote speaker at their annual conference, held in Orlando October 12-14, 2017. The text below represents an edited versio…

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Howard Sherman: Airport-style security has landed on Broadway but will audiences fly away? by Howard Sherman

For reasons entirely unknown to me, Broadway theatre audiences began, some time ago, queuing up outside theatres some 45 minutes or more

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Howard Sherman: Is Broadway finally ready to rock? by Howard Sherman

I’ve been hearing about the divergence of popular music and the Broadway musical for my entire life. Born in the ‘60s and

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Telling James Franco’s lawyer, “Your client does not have any valid claim” by Howard Sherman

This summer, when an attorney for actor James Franco sent New York’s People’s Improv Theatre a cease and desist letter regarding the venue’s planned presentation of the pla…

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Howard Sherman: New York theatres risk being trapped in the 20th century as plans for new venues collapse by Howard Sherman

The most intriguing news in New York theatre last week was not about what was happening, but what is not. Two new

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Howard Sherman: Mourning playwright AR Gurney and the end of an Off-Broadway era by Howard Sherman

Playwright AR Gurney would have found great irony in the fact that his life was commemorated at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre this

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

At North Shore Music Theatre, An Absence of Race, Ethnicity and Understanding Prevails by Howard Sherman

It’s a bit hard to follow the thinking of Bill Hanney, the owner and producer at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts. Initially, it was hard because Hanney was silent, not …

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Howard Sherman: Should there be a for theatre? by Howard Sherman

Among the most frequently heard reasons offered by movie studios for this summer’s box-office decline, with admissions at their lowest in 25

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Howard Sherman: Do parodies like a rock musical of Game of Thrones risk burning out the genre? by Howard Sherman

Earlier today, I received an invitation to an Off-Broadway show called Game of Thrones: The Rock Musical – The Unauthorized Parody. While

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Howard Sherman: A decade of marketing could pay off as Jersey Boys moves Off-Broadway by Howard Sherman

Let’s say the average Broadway show spends $100,000 every week – a general figure, though, in the neighbourhood of accuracy – on

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Contrary to What You’ve Heard, You Can Cast Albee Plays Diversely by Howard Sherman

It is unlikely that many people in the theatre are unaware of the controversy that arose in mid-May, when a small Portland, Oregon theatre company proposed a production of Edward Albee’s W…

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Howard Sherman: Are indie films a smarter investment than theatre on Broadway? by Howard Sherman

Despite the difference in scale between theatre and movies, those of us connected to the stage can occasionally be forgiven for feeling

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Howard Sherman: American theatre bosses are playing musical chairs. Let’s widen the pool of leaders by Howard Sherman

Whenever several artistic leadership positions open at once in US theatre, it fires the starting gun on a variation of the children’s

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Howard Sherman: How bad producing decisions made Great Comet musical crash to earth by Howard Sherman

The Great Comet is burning out, and taking Natasha and Pierre with it. Unlike the recent closing of the play Indecent, which

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Monday, August 7, 2017

James Franco Won’t Like This and There’s Nothing He Can Do About It by Howard Sherman

Those who have followed the career of James Franco, and at times it has almost been hard to avoid, are aware that the actor had a period where he was a perpetual student, described in 2008 i…

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Friday, August 4, 2017

“Judas Iscariot” Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment by Howard Sherman

If you happen to be going to see the current production Stephen Adly Guirgis’s The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at the Shelton Theater in San Francisco the next ten days, you’ll find an i…

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Howard Sherman: Stage-to-screen ‘indies’ can help bring audiences back to the theatre by Howard Sherman

This month, as blockbusters wane and before Oscar contenders start piling up, there’s a window during which smaller features may slip into

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Howard Sherman: The great Sam Shepard plumbed the dark recesses of the American soul by Howard Sherman

To read, suddenly, unexpectedly, that playwright Sam Shepard had died was a shock on Monday morning. He was only 73 and his

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Howard Sherman: Is 1984’s bloody staging really leaving audiences fainting in the aisles? I don’t buy it by Howard Sherman

Producers of 1950s horror films used to rely on outlandish promotional gimmicks to lure audiences into their low-budget, low-scare B-movies. The vintage

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Monday, July 24, 2017

David Mamet Doesn’t Feel Well by Howard Sherman

On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal published an essay by the playwright and screenwriter David Mamet, entitled “Charles Dickens Makes Me Want To Throw Up.” As it turns out, the essay w…

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Howard Sherman: How Broadway play Indecent was saved from an early closure by Howard Sherman

The last-minute reprieve is the stuff of legal thrillers. It rarely applies to the fate of Broadway shows. But on June 22,

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Monday, July 10, 2017

“Assassins” in the Age of Trump by Howard Sherman

This week, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s 1990 musical Assassins will have its first major New York performances since the 2004 Roundabout Theatre Company production, in a concert ver…

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Howard Sherman: Why are we obsessed with being Shakespeare? by Howard Sherman

Shakespeare and parks seem to go hand in hand, certainly in the US, where the once singular innovation of Joseph Papp’s New

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Howard Sherman: Can Canadian theatre up its export game? by Howard Sherman

I dare say that very few people reading this column are aware that tomorrow, July 1, marks the celebration of Canada Day,

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Howard Sherman: Should reviews be held socially accountable? by Howard Sherman

Deep anger generated by the theatre reviews of Chicago Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss is nothing new. But the scale of the reaction

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Howard Sherman: How I got caught up in the Julius Caesar/Donald Trump controversy by Howard Sherman

Lots of digital ink, and not a little actual ink, has been used reporting and opining on the events that have surrounded

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Howard Sherman: Do Broadway casting directors need a union? by Howard Sherman

It wasn’t a picket line last Thursday morning, but rather a demonstration, as Broadway casting directors and their supporters walked back and

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Monday, June 12, 2017

So Are They All, All Honorable Corporations by Howard Sherman

Does anyone remember last summer’s The Taming of the Shrew in Central Park? It opened with an entirely non-Shakespearean beauty pageant and talent show, led by a buffoonish figure costumed…

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Howard Sherman: How can straight plays survive on Broadway? by Howard Sherman

For the past few weeks, the narrative about the four Tony-nominated plays was that they were all struggling at the box office

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