GEEK
ENTREPRENEUR
THEATRE LOVER
CONSULTANT
CEO
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

projects
blog

'Turn It Off' with AN AMERICAN IN PARIS + Bravo to Laura Benanti

Amongst the many great numbers at this year's BC/EFA Easter Bonnet Competition alongside the FUN HOME kids' 'Gee Mr. Miranda' and the cast of HAMILTON's SWEENEY TODD tribute was the below from Max von Essen and Brandon Uranowitz of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. (Max gets bonus points btw, for knowing when to 'turn it on' as he helped to create the #SIP Saturday Intermission Picture trend that he and Andrew Keenan-Bolger launched in 2012). 

In it, they lament theatre audiences’ addiction to taking photos and using their smartphones during shows with a wonderful comedic turn on THE BOOK OF MORMON number and then the presentation of an equally brilliant award-winning bonnet.

I'm sure that no one reading this blog are among the problem audience members who are part of the litany of beeping, bonging, ringing and lit up devices - but I know you'll also appreciate the below. As those who know me (or have the poor fortune to live with me) can attest, I'm rarely disconnected - but doing so in the theatre is part of what makes it great, and how you're both present and part of the communal experience.

Also, reportedly last night at SHE LOVES ME, Laura Benanti was forced to stop the show after a cell phone went off *repeatedly* during 'Will He Like Me?'. The savvy star after the 3rd ring, calmly noted "I'll wait." When it rang again, and with the orchestra-stopped she further noted "We'll all wait." Finally, they turned their phone off. The thought of that beautiful song and performance being interrupted makes my left eye twitch. Brava to her. 

So, Turn It Off! 


 


Get Ready for the Tony Nominations; Complete List of Tony Committee Rulings

The Nominations for the 2016 Tony Awards will be announced live on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, from the Diamond Horseshoe at The Paramount Hotel in New York City. Below is the complete list of eligibility decisions (All other eligibility rulings were consistent with opening night billing.) Plan to follow along with BroadwayWorld all the live long day...

Scott Pask and Peter Nigrini will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Play category for their work in An Act of God.

Lin-Manuel MirandaLeslie Odom, Jr. and Phillipa Soo will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in Hamilton. 

Austin P. McKenzie and Sandra Mae Frank will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in Spring Awakening.

Dane Laffrey and Lucy Mackinnon will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Musical category for their work in Spring Awakening.

Sam Rockwell and Nina Arianda will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Fool for Love.

Robert Sella and Julie White will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Sylvia. 

Cary Tedder and Eloise Kropp will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in Dames at Sea.

Gabriel Ebert and Judith Light will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Thérèse Raquin. 

Fool for Love and Sylvia will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category.

Dames at Sea will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Musical category.

Tim Pigott-Smith will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play category for his performance in King Charles III. 

Ana Villafañe and Josh Segarra will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan

Telly Leung and Lea Salonga will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in Allegiance.

Donyale Werle and Darrel Maloney will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Musical category for their work in Allegiance.

Phoebe FoxRussell ToveyMichael ZegenMichael Gould and Richard Hansell will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in A View from the Bridge.

Alex Brightman will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his performance in School of Rock - The Musical. 

Jennifer Hudson will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical category for her performance in The Color Purple.

Jessica Hecht will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical category for her performance in Fiddler on the Roof.

Andrea Martin, Campbell Scott, Tracee Chimo, Daniel Davis, David Furr, Kate Jennings Grant, Megan Hilty, Rob McClure and Jeremy Shamos will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Noises Off.

Linda Lavin will be considered eligible in the Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Play category for her performance in Our Mother's Brief Affair.

Blackbird will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category.

Gavin Creel, Michael McGrath, Byron Jennings and Jane Krakowski will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in She Loves Me.

Carmen Cusack will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category for her performance in Bright Star. 

Ciarán Hinds and Saoirse Ronan will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. 

Frank Langella will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play category for his performance in The Father. 

Es Devlin and Finn Ross will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Musical category for their work on American Psycho. 

Jessie Mueller will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category for her performance in Waitress.

Fully Committed will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category.

Sarah Charles Lewis will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category for her performance in Tuck Everlasting.

Michael Shannon and John Gallagher, Jr. will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play category for their respective performances in Long Day's Journey Into Night.

Brandon Victor Dixon, Joshua HenryBrian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical category for their respective performances in Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and all that Followed.

Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and all that Followed will be considered eligible in the Best Musical category.

All other eligibility rulings were consistent with opening night billing.

 


Happy 20th Anniversary to RENT

Today’s a special day in theatre history as it marks the 20th Anniversary of RENT opening on Broadway. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since this ground-breaking show by Jonathan Larson transferred uptown and continued rocking the world. 

We celebrated the production earlier this year, when RENT rocked New York for the first time off-Broadway. It was January 25, 1996 when Mimi, Roger, Mark, Collins, Maureen, Benny, Joanne and Angel came to life onstage at the 150-seat New York Theater Workshop- a run that would precede the show's 12-year stint on Broadway. To celebrate the show’s origins, we ran a 20 Days of RENT celebration which included some videos from the run, interviews with nearly all of the original cast, a look back and a look forward at the upcoming 20th Anniversary Tour. 

Check out our full flashback series here, along with a bonus video below of the cast performing at the Tonys back in 1996. Speaking of anniversaries, the Tony Awards turn 70 this year -- wouldn't this be a great year for a big look back at Broadway's rich history? 

 


From #OscarsSoWhite -> #TonysSoDiverse + George Takei

Michael Paulson has written a great piece in today’s NY Times, After #OscarsSoWhite, Broadway Seeks a #TonysSoDiverse in which he covers the rich and diverse theatre season that comes to an end with SHUFFLE ALONG’s opening tonight (we’ll be reporting live as always). The season has been an amazing one and very diverse in every sense of the word. That’s been good news for those onstage and off this year as the shows have been attracting new audiences and are telling a variety of wonderful and varied stories. We field dozens of daily inquires via BWW's Pick-a-Show feature and have seen this reflected via the site's expert inquiries as well. 

Don't just take my word for it though, as George Takei has penned a Thank you note to Broadway, in which he writes: 

Friends,

I am writing to give thanks to the Broadway community--for not being Hollywood. In a year when the movie industry celebrated only white actors for awards, then used gross stereotypes of Asians during the broadcast to gain cheap laughs, Broadway celebrated its most divrse year ever. 

We told important, often untold stories from a myriad new storytellers. I am grateful that shows like Hamilton, On Your Feet, The Color Purple, Shuffle Along and Allegiance brought not only underrepresented voices to the stage, but critical employment opportunities for minority actors as well as many new communities and audiences to New York theaters.

On a personal note, I am especially thankful I have had the opportunity, at the age of 78, to fulfill a lifelong dream to tell the story of the Japanese American internment. Our Broadway production was able to reach 120,000 audience members, the same number as those who were unjustly imprisoned out of base fear and prejudice. Each of those audience members are now part of our story. They will help ensure that we never forget the difficult lessons of the past. Indeed, our show could not have had more contemporary resonance, as certain politicians once again stoke public fears, and call for profiling and surveillance of whole groups of innocent people. 

Because of the incredible support of the Broadway community, Allegiance and its important story were able to delight, entertain and inform thousands. We now look forward to bringing it to more audiences across the country and around the world. It is our hope that this story and its message will not be forgotten and that, thanks to Broadway, Allegiance indeed will live long, and prosper.

From the depth of my heart to all of the incredible Broadway community, thank you.

George Takei

Well put. 

Our research shows that most aren't surefire precursors to Tony nominations...and even less so this year due to HAMILTON's Off-Broadway production that scooped up numerous awards last year making them ineligible for those awards that include both Bway and Off. But, you can now check out the full lists of Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle noms. 

The official Tony nominations countdown is on, and we're all catching up on sleep and preparing enormous amounts of caffeine for next Tuesday's nominations. We'll be live on BWW from 8am until we drop! 


Josh Groban Prepares for Broadway with Fun Video Series

THE GREAT COMET is currently in pre-production for its Broadway-bow at the Imperial Theatre (previews begin in October, the show opens officially in November). 

Leading the cast, and preparing for his Broadway debut, Josh Groban is doing his homework by getting advice from fellow Broadway newbies and vets on preparation, keeping things fresh and much more. I personally can't wait for this one, and to see how it's adapted and enlarged to fit the space. (Plus, do we still get vodka?)







This is a fun idea, and an even more fun video series filled with insights about the process & the business of Broadway. The countdown is on!

 


Read more →

Text after read more button

bio
The 2001 Syracuse University graduate (School of Information Studies) is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media, an award-winning leading design company for entertainment and technology web sites. In his previous life, he held an executive position for the world's leading publisher of technology magazines, web sites and conferences and, as a result, was named among the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by FOLIO Magazine.

Robert Diamond founded BroadwayWorld.com in 2003, which has now become the largest theatre web site in the world. He also serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief, covering Broadway and beyond, with specific local coverage for 100 cities in the United States, 35 countries worldwide and 10 other related areas of entertainment - including dance, opera, fashion, concerts, comedy, films, television and more. In 2014, the site was awarded an Award for Excellence in Theatre Arts Education by the prestigious Theatre Museum.

Diamond got his start in the entertainment field, accidentally, when he created the 'official web site' (while in college) for Michael Crawford, the popular actor and original Tony and Olivier Award-winning star of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. (He still blames Crawford - and credits him - for anything that goes particularly right or wrong during an average day.)

As a respected member of the Broadway and theatre community, Diamond also served as Lead Producer for a series of sold-out shows using the BroadwayWorld.com 'brand' for a set of 'Standing Ovations' concerts, which also branched out into titles that included Holiday Shows and even more specific concerts like 'From Stage to Screen and Back Again' in tandem with publishers and movie studios. All proceeds were in turn donated to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the industry's leader in aid for performers in need.

Robert lives in Manhattan with his wife and two dogs, growing the business and getting little sleep. In addition, you can usually find him in a theatre many nights a week. Robert's very popular blog, 'The Broadway Pulse' appears daily on BroadwayWorld.com and he also wrote weekly about theatre for the USA Network's Character Approved blog.

In late 2012, Wisdom Digital Media announced the official spinoff and launch of 10 new entertainment web sites including BWWTVWorld.com, BWWBooksWorld.com, BWWMusicWorld.com, BWWArtWorld.com, BWWFitnessWorld.com, BWWDanceWorld.com, BWWClassicalWorld.com and BWWOperaWorld.com.

In 2013 BWWHub.com launched as a portal to the complete family of entertainment and lifestyle offerings. The site's expansion was featured in a Crain's New York Business profile as well.

In December of 2014, Diamond was one of 5 Syracuse University Alumni, all having achieved success in the world of start-ups, business growth and venture capital, participating on a panel addressing young alumni who are currently pursuing their dreams of running their own business and experiencing the day to day challenges of a startup. It is part of the university's new Student Accelerator Program, for which Rob was recommended by Syracuse University's i-School.

In 2014, BroadwayWorld.com returned to the concert stage, with a series of benefit concerts featuring Broadway's brightest stars. The site continued its growth and leading technology support in 2015 adding exclusive features, an industry-first Apple TV app, new iPhone, Android and iPad Apps, Apple Watch and Safari alerts, a slew of original video content & more.

contact



Contact info
  • robert@wisdomdigital.com
  • (914) 623-8689