62 Years Later, Mockingbird Still Offers Lessons

Harper Lee’s seminal novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published 62 years ago on July 11. Somewhere between 40 million and 50 million copies of the novel have been sold. It has been translated into 40 languages. A movie version (about which Harper wrote adoringly) premiered Christmas Day 1962 and was an immediate commercial and... Continue Reading →

My Fair Lady VS. Pretty Woman

Call them what you want, rags-to-riches or fairy tales – either way, My Fair Lady and Pretty Woman, both playing The Straz over the coming weeks, are contemporary variants of a familiar plot. An uptight man of particular stature brings under his wing a woman who many considered tarnished and makes her over. During the... Continue Reading →

Talking With Janet Dacal

If the face and name are familiar, that’s because Janet Dacal starred as Alice in Wonderland, the Broadway musical that had its origins at the Straz Center. She returns to our stage starring in the Tony Award®-winning The Band’s Visit, a musical about Egyptian musicians who find themselves stranded in a small Israeli town. Janet’s... Continue Reading →

Pulling Strings: The Story Behind Hirschfeld’s My Fair Lady Album Cover

Considering it’s the subject of one of his most recognizable drawings, caricaturist Al Hirschfeld was not enthusiastic about a friend’s idea. Albert "Al" Hirschfeld photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1955. Hirschfeld’s friend, theatrical director Moss Hart, wanted to produce George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion as a musical. Hirschfeld balked. “I said ‘How are you going to improve that... Continue Reading →

FIVE FUN FACTS: Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming, Tony Award®-winner for Cabaret, comes to The Straz April 3 for an evening of song and chit-chat about a topic we all have in common, but try to avoid – AGING. Here are five fun facts about Alan Cumming: He made a successful transition from a Scottish sitcom to film in small but... Continue Reading →

Most Memorable Movie Proms

In the Broadway hit The Prom, which opens at The Straz Feb. 15, a student faces hostility for wanting to bring her girlfriend to the big high school dance. That part of the plot is based on a real event, and while we admire those who stand up for equality and inclusiveness, we wonder why... Continue Reading →

ARTISTS WE LOVE TO LOVE: Donna Summer

Broadway was about the only place Donna Summer’s music didn’t dominate during her late ‘70s hit-making heyday. The jukebox musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical finally brought the Queen of Disco’s catalog to the Great White Way. It would be difficult to overstate Summer’s popularity from the mid-‘70s through the early ‘80s. She had 11... Continue Reading →

Say You Wanna Resolution?

New year’s resolutions – made to be broken. What makes us think the end of one year and the beginning of the next will imbue us with discipline and determination we’ve never had before and enable us to effortlessly stop smoking, start exercising, eat healthier, etc. etc., et-freaking-cetera? It’s the myth of the clean slate.... Continue Reading →

Welcome Home to the Magic of Live Theater

The crowd filling Broadway’s Gershwin Theater sounded pleasantly surprised when the announcer introduced Kristin Chenoweth. The occasion was the Sept. 14 reopening of Wicked, for which Chenoweth originated the role of Glinda. The actress’ appearance sent the already electric atmosphere crackling even more intensely, palpable even on the cellphone video posted to YouTube. “Hello, New... Continue Reading →

ARTISTS WE LOVE: RITA MORENO

Size matters. Size, though, is about more than body mass. “I’m big. I’m as big as you get. I may be petite but I’m big.” That’s Rita Moreno, all 5’2” of her, 70 years into a career that not only isn’t stopping, it seems to be gathering momentum. * * *  Moreno is one of... Continue Reading →

A Whole New World: Crafting a Season

A small but mighty coterie of Straz staffers gathers the selections that make each year’s season announcement a much-anticipated event. At the start of every year, as sure as the Florida gardenias blossom, The Straz announces a new season. Every year that season blends old and new, funny and serious, musical and non-musical, spectacular and... Continue Reading →

Female firsts in the spotlights

There seems to be an almost cultural fixation with firsts – first car, first kiss – who are we not to play along? Later this month, Jobsite Theater opens its season with Dr. Ride’s American Beach House, a play set on the eve of astronaut Sally Ride’s historic 1983 launch as the first American woman... Continue Reading →

Companions of the Curtain

Throughout the history of stage and film, friendships between characters often become larger than life They’re classic bonds of camaraderie that have endured the tests of time. From the screen to the stage, through the generations, there have been memorable character friendships that have become synonymous with the show or play in which they’re portrayed.... Continue Reading →

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