Archive | October, 2010

Will ‘Hamilton’ suffer after the loss of key principals

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NEW YORK She was spending a sweltering afternoon on the streets of New York but Caitlin Goddard was nearing her prize,Cheap Jerseys china inch by inch.

She’d been in line for three nights and two days and the end was in sight: a chance to see “Hamilton” on Broadway. She and a buddy had changed their flights home to spend much of their holiday in New York on the show’s cancellation line.

“There have been times I’ve waited in line for a few hours and I felt, ‘That’s crazy!’ This is the first time I’ve ever actually camped out for a ticket. And I still think I might be a little crazy. But it’ll be worth it,” said Goddard, who lives outside Detroit.

Few Broadway musicals make people crazy like the Tony Award winning smash “Hamilton.” Tickets are going for the price of a used car, the theater is so routinely swarmed that police use barricades to manage the crush of fans, and some people are spending days in line for a chance to buy a full price ticket.

This weekend, the hip hop musical about the Founding Fathers faces one of its biggest tests when it says goodbye to three principal members Lin Manuel Miranda , creator and original Alexander Hamilton; Leslie Odom Jr ., who won a Tony Award as Aaron Burr; and Phillipa Soo, a Tony nominee who portrays Eliza Schuyler.

[See also PBS sets firm focus on America]

For many “Hamilton” fans, Saturday will mark the chance to brag about whether they saw the original cast or not and Goddard knew which camp she wanted to be in.

“We wanted to see the show but we were OK to wait for a while. It was definitely finding out that so many of the principals were leaving that we were like, ‘OK, we have to do it now!’” she said.

Many long running Broadway shows including “Jersey Boys,” ”The Phantom of the Opera” and “Chicago” have gone through numerous cast changes without losing momentum. “Wicked,” for example, survived the loss of Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel.

But not every show is immune. Take “The Producers,” the musical based on Mel Brooks’ 1968 movie that broke theater records when it arrived in 2001. It set a new record for one day ticket sales, it invented the $480 premium ticket and set the record for the most Tony Awards. (“The Producers” won 12 Tonys, still a record.)

[See also Next out: Leslie

Odom Jr. to exit

'Hamilton' in July]

It might have been expected to run forever, but was gone from Broadway just six years later, unable to survive the loss of original cast members Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.”Hamilton” came to Broadway with no huge well known names in the cast. One original cast member has already left Jonathan Groff and some are staying, including Tony winner Daveed Diggs and Tony nominee Renee Elise Goldsberry.

Most theater experts say “Hamilton” will make the transition Saturday without any lasting damage. They say the Grammy and Tony winning music and Pulitzer Prize winning story are the real stars.

“One of the reasons the show is a big hit is the staging and the energy of it. It doesn’t make any difference to them,” he added.

[See also Kent graduate on Broadway in 'Hamilton' ]

Catherine Rodgers, professor of theater at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, said that while Miranda, Odom and Soo will be missed, the musical will march into history without them.

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NEW YORK Ladies, step aside just a little. The men are craving a bit of the spotlight. Fashion, women’s clothes tend to get most of the glory. Elizabeth Napoli, president of MC Ltd., a retail marketing and management firm based in Rockland County, said The Shops at Nanuet design creates an updated version of a lifestyle center an open air shopping center with a collection of small tenants. “Lifestyle centers were the hot button a couple of years ago, and what they’ve realized is they really need anchors to provide the catalyst to bring the traffic and the advertising,” Napoli said. “What Simon has done is they’ve taken that lifestyle concept, expanded it with the anchors of the theater and the fitness center, and some major attractions that are consistent traffic generators.