It all began last year, when the Library of Congress presented Samuel Beckett's Ohio Impromptu alongside a piece of music by composer Dina Koston, which responded to the text. A New York group, the Cygnus Ensemble, played the music, while Washington, D.C., director Joy Zinoman staged the play, for one night only.
After 27 years of writing wickedly funny lyrics and sketches for Forbidden Broadway, the tiny off-Broadway comedy that satirizes Broadway musicals, Gerard Alessandrini decided to hang things up for a while.
"I just thought, let's see what happens to Broadway in a year or two or three, and then, if we feel it warrants a new edition of Forbidden Broadway, we'll do that," he says. "And that's exactly what happened."
During the next two weeks, the major political parties will assemble their faithful in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., to officially nominate their presidential tickets. These conventions were once places of high political drama. But over the decades, as the primary system has determined the candidates well in advance, conventions have become political theater. With that in mind, there's much to be said on staging in politics — not substance, but style.
Most theaters let audiences know the show is about to start by blinking the lights. Stratford's Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, is a bit more festive. Four burgundy-uniformed buglers and a drummer quicken the pace of hundreds of theatergoers who've been ambling up the hill from the banks of the Avon River. When curtain time arrives, a cannon will boom.
Archaeologists have discovered the remains of the Bard's old stomping grounds — ruins of a famous 16th-century theater, buried below the streets of modern London. Known in its heyday as the Curtain Theatre, it's often been eclipsed by its more famous younger sibling, the Globe.
But the Curtain is a big deal in its own right. Some of Shakespeare's most famous works premiered there — Romeo and Juliet and Henry V, just to name a couple. NPR's Rachel Martin talked to the archaeologist who dug up the theater, Chris Thomas of the Museum of London.