It seems like it was only yesterday that the Waterford crystal ball dropped in Times Square, ringing in the new Millenium. For those of us who publish on the Web I think our minds were on Y2K and whether our computers were going to work at the stroke of midnight.
As for Broadway it was quite an interesting year.
2000 gave us two versions of The Wild Party and it's still being debated which one was better, Andrew Lippa's or Michael John LaChiusa's version. Neither was a hit but it seems everyone went out and bought both CD's.
Then in June we had our own wild party at Don't Tell Mama. It was Talkin' Broadway Tony Cabaret Party 1. Our guest entertainers were Alison Fraser and Tom Andersen. The chatterati filled the joint and a good time was had by all. We're currently making plans for Cabaret 2.
The big surprise at the Tony Awards was the Best Score award. It went to Tim Rice and Elton John for Aida. Everyone knew it was a lock for Michael John LaChiusa for Marie Christine, everyone but the Tony voters. Michael John was a double nominee for his score for The Wild Party. In a year where Contact was named Best New Musical, well, I suppose anything was possible. The jury is still out on that last one.
When it seemed all hope was lost for the once beautiful Biltmore Theatre, now in a shambles, Manhattan Theatre Club comes to the rescue and will be restoring the theatre and will be the new home for their non-profit productions. And they've been on fire lately with 3 Broadway transfers, The Allergist's Wife, Proof, and A Class Act. Speaking of the non-profiters, Roundabout found a new home on 42nd Street at the newly named American Airlines Theatre. They christened the place with a sparking production of The Man Who Came To Dinner starring Mr. Broadway himself, Nathan Lane.
Not all was fun and laughs during 2000. We lost rival producers David Merrick and Alexander Cohen, signaling the end of an era. Corporations have now become the Producers of Broadway shows. And of course, I'll never forget the morning when I read on our chat board that Gwen Verdon passed away. No words can express the shock. This lady owned the Great White Way and was everything an actress could ever be. She could sing, dance, and act, plus she had that charisma. There's only a handful of ladies like that in the world but she was the best.
Did someone say The Producers? That's the much anticipated musical for 2001. It's zany Mel Brooks, along with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick who have created box office fire already. It's a hush, hush project and no one's talking about the book, but I hear it's a scream.
And 2000 was the year for the theatre and the Internet. Many articles were written in all the major publications about the Big Bad Internet and how it gets the buzz out to the world in seconds. No one said a word when Ragtime was getting great Internet word of mouth. Along came Seussical and everyone smelled turkey and the word spread like lightning. When it folds, I'm sure it will be billed as the first musical closed by the Big Bad Internet.
On the other hand, The Full Monty was proclaimed a hit on the web at intermission of the first preview! Talk about getting the word out there!
What lies ahead for Talkin' Broadway in 2001? Well, we just opened All That Chat - Australia for our friends down under. This will complete our plans for bringing the global theatre family together on one Website. We have 2 new sections under development. One will be debuting mid-January, the other in March. And we've got quite a few Interviews lined up for our Spotlight On section, one of which will be Seth Rudetsky from the Chatterbox at Don't Tell Mama. (okay, let's get the plug in...Every Thursday at 6 Seth presents his show where he interviews Broadway personalities... always fun and the proceeds go to BC/EFA...be there!), commercial over.
And who knows what the gang at Talkin' Broadway will come up with next? It's always changing, always evolving. But, one thing that never changes is the friendships we've developed through Talkin' Broadway. Our staff numbers around 25 and our chatterati numbers thousands. From Ann Miner, Michael Reynolds, and myself, we want to say thank you for making this site a part of your life. We wish staff and chatterati, plus all of our readers of all the columns and sections of Talkin' Broadway, a Happy 2 K + 1!
Wanna' talk to others about this column or anything else theatre related? Check out All That Chat
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