Denzel Washington. Daniel Radcliffe. Scarlett Johansson. Naomi Watts. Catherine Zeta-Jones. Will Smith. Jada Pinkett Smith. Michael Douglas. Laura Linney. Lucy Liu.
Sorry. I just had to do that.Because, had you asked me to write for Broadway Magazine only a few years ago, I would never have imagined those names pulsing through my phalanges, transforming the pin-drop silence of the Tony’s Press Room into a furious party of punched keys.But it has happened. The infamous rapper Jay-Z was another of the starry producing board of “FELA!” The fabulous “FENCES” has been breaking box-office records. Green Day — once just the band responsible for ‘Time of Your Life,’ to which I danced and swooned over along with my eighth grade sweetheart — bounded past me on the red carpet, sometime before Sarah Ruhl but after Aretha Franklin.
So, as it became more and more difficult to do my job on the red-carpet (thanks to a twelve-year-old past self that apparently has only been hibernating and waiting for this rainy June day), I could not help but wonder if it really will take cinematic celebrities to continue to astronomically sell tickets to the theatre.
But then I remember that many of these stars got their start in the theatre; I remember Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, Lea Michelle… who have exploded off stages into television, film, and MP3 players; I remember that it is the increasingly porous membrane between the theatre, cinema, and television that remind the public that acting and other performance-based disciplines is indeed — at its core — work.
And then I don’t mind so much.Helen Mirren.
Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.
— Lauren Neal, Broadway Magazine