Sunday, July 23rd, will be 9 years since I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. The survival rate for this disease beyond 5 years is just over 25%. Needless to say, I am *very lucky* to be here.
Although the treatment saved my life, there was a long stretch where I was immune-compromised and unable to ride the subway, eat takeout, or do my favorite thing in the world, go to live theatre. During that incredibly difficult time, I started Filmed Live Musicals. I’m proud that I’ve since created a database of over 180 musicals (with a back catalog of nearly 400 more), interviewed nearly 70 industry professionals about the making of filmed stage musicals on the podcast, and sent out over 180 newsletters featuring hundreds of upcoming musicals!
I’m excited to share that Filmed Live Musicals was recently accepted for fiscal sponsorship by The Field. This means that folks in the US will soon be able to make tax deductible donations to continue the work of cataloging filmed staged musicals and the curation of one easy place to find them all. Watch this space!
If you’re outside the U.S., or would like to make a one-off or regular donation, you can do so here.
I can’t think of a better way to be celebrating my 9th cancerversary than to be in-attendance at BroadwayCon in New York City! You can bet I will be at the panels on podcast musicals, livestream and captures and proshots, musicals and mental health, and the world premier screening of Between the Lines: A New Musical with Jodi Picoult!
RENT in Concert: Symphonic World Premier
I’m also very excited to be attending the world premier of RENT performed with a symphony orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC next weekend! Keeping my fingers and toes crossed the concert will be filmed and made available to a wider audience. Directed by Sammi Cannold, the cast includes Jimmie Herrod (Angel), Myes Frost (Benny), Jordan Donica (Collins), Awa Sal Secka (Joanne), Andrew Barth Feldman (Mark), Ali Stroker (Maureen), Lorna Courtney (Mimi), and Alex Boniello (Roger).
I loved Ali Stroker’s performance as Ado Annie in the most recent Broadway revival of Oklahoma! (I also very much enjoyed the intermission corn bread), and it would be amazing to see more representation of people with visible disabilities on the Broadway stage.
New Streaming Platform: ReelAbilities Stream
The ReelAbilities Film Festival, an organization dedicated to promoting accessibility and inclusion that presents awards to films by and about people with disabilities. The org has released a new streaming platform featuring films celebrating the lives and stories of people with disabilities.
While the platform doesn’t (yet) feature any musicals, there are a few theatre-related shorts available to stream on demand for less than $5US each. Currently only available in the United States.
This Is Going to Be Big
A new Australian film about a group of neurodivergent teens as they prepare to come of age and hit the stage in their school’s time-travelling John Farnham–themed musical. The film will receive its world premier in August as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival, and will be available to stream Australia-wide August 18-27, 2023.
Ragtime: The Symphonic Concert
The audio of a special concert performance of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s musical Ragtime performed at Tanglewood is now available to stream on demand. Conducted by Keith Lockhart and directed by Jason Danieley, featuring Alton Fitzgerald White (Coalhouse Walker Jr.), Elizabeth Stanley (Mother), John Cariani (Tateh), Nikki Renée Daniels (Sarah), David Harris (Father), A.J. Shively (Mother’s Younger Brother), and Klea Blackhurst (Emma Goldman). Available via Classical 99.5.
Oklahoma! on TV in 1951
I’ve been reading through the incredible tome The Letters of Oscar Hammerstein II, edited and compiled by Mark Eden Horowitz, and nearly fell out of my seat when I came across a letter detailing the live television transmission of a performance of Oklahoma! in Berlin in 1951. I’m investigating whether or not the footage still exists but the surface level digging I’ve done thus far is proving fascinating. I can’t wait to share more soon!
The Artist in the Open Jar: Susan Stroman, John Kander, David Thompson, Sharon Washington
Open Jar Studios in NYC hosted a panel with the creative team of the new Kander and Ebb musical New York, New York. Filmed in March, 2023.
This week on the calendar
?Between the Lines
World premier of the musical based on Jodi Picoult’s novel.
? Ragtime in Concert
Stream the audio of the symphonic concert of Ragtime direct from the Tanglewood Festival.
? Come to the Cabaret
Catch Lucie Arnaz, composer Emma Ashford , The Players from & Juliet, and Broadway veteran Lee Roy Reams performing in their own cabaret shows.
?Spring Awakening in concert
Stream a performance from a sold-out run of Spring Awakening filmed live in San Francisco.
? Go to the Festival
Catch brand new musicals from the Ice Factory @ New Ohio Theatre in NYC, She L.A. Arts Summer Theater Festival and the Orlando DigiFringe.