Broadway

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Great Comet‘s Dave Malloy On Epic Choral Songs, Hamilton, and Showing Tunes to a New Generation

(photo: Chad Batka)

Nowdays, the commercial and insular shell that is Broadway is feeling a little less untouchable. Of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is a major catalyst behind this shake-up, but the latest to breathe new life into the Great White Way has been Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, an “electro-pop opera” based on a drama-laden portion of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

The immersive show began at Ars Nova in 2012 and has gone through many iterations, including a funky stint in a pop-up tent in the Meatpacking District. Now, it’s landed at Broadway’s Imperial Theater, which has been totally restructured to accommodate the show’s 360-degree, immersive staging. Directed by Rachel Chavkin, it remains one of the most authentic transfers of a smaller, more experimental production to a Broadway stage I have observed.

I have seen every NYC production of this show now, and always maintained it was too odd and unique to ascend to the oh-so commercial realm of Broadway. Turns out I was absolutely wrong, and audiences and critics alike are gobbling it up with a voracious enthusiasm. (Singer Josh Groban is now in a starring role.) There is even fanart of the characters, so you know it’s real. The 12 Tony nominations don’t hurt, either.

Great Comet‘s original Broadway cast recording will be released tomorrow and is now available for first listen over at Vulture. We caught up with the show’s writer and composer Dave Malloy, fresh off his Broadway debut temporarily stepping back into the role of Pierre, to talk how the Broadway transfer has affected the show’s music and even got him a little closer to Bowie. Keep Reading »

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The Gateway Aims to Keep DIY Alive, Without Locking Out the Locals

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

From left: Nelson Antonio Espinal, Rob Granata, Ned Shatzer (Photo: Nicole Disser)

A brand new “DIY done-right” venue, as booker Nelson Antonio Espinal calls it, has been operating (at half-capacity anyway) in the J train’s shadow these past few weeks, while most of us probably had no idea. The secretive new operation, aptly called  The Gateway, is located just off the Gates Avenue stop on the Bed-Stuy side of Broadway. Late nights, it’s pretty quiet around here, save for a Crown Chicken knockoff, a newish vegan diner called Toad Style, and the twice-a-weekend shows at Bohemian Grove, just north on the Bushwick side of the border.

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Michael C. Hall and the <em>Hedwig</em> Gang Pay Tribute to Soon-to-Be-Rebooted Don Hill’s

Don Hill. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

Don Hill. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

There are more signs of life at the onetime home of Don Hill’s. No, it isn’t being zombified CBGBs-style. Rather, the club’s soon-to-open replacement, The Hills, will host a tribute to Don himself, featuring Michael C. Hall and other cast members of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which got its start at the rowdy rock-and-rave dive of yore.
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Sideshow Goshko Celebrates 5 Years of Comedic Storytelling and ‘So Much Alcohol’

(Photo by Maryanne Ventrice, Courtesy of Leslie Goshko)

Leslie Goshko. (Photo by Maryanne Ventrice)

It’s kind of appropriate that Leslie Goshko, a woman of Ukrainian heritage with an arsenal of anecdotes, hosts a monthly storytelling show at KGB Bar, the former socialist clubhouse for Soviet ex-pats. Tonight, Sideshow Goshko celebrates its fifth anniversary.
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