Tag Archives: show guides

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What’s Going Down in London Theatre?

After last month’s  2017 Tony Awards in New York, we thought it would be interesting to see what is hot over in the London theatre scene a few  months after the super exciting Olivier Award winners were revealed at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Of course, there is more than enough to fill multiple blog posts but here is a selection of the hottest tickets in town!

The big winners on the night of the Olivers included Amber Riley for Best Actress in a Musical (Dreamgirls)–and a simply phenomenal live performance of “And I Am Telling You” at the awards–and a new adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Yerma, which took home Best Revival and Best Actress for Billie Piper.

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But there was one production that quite simply swept the board and its popularity is reflected in the speed with which tickets are flying out of the box office. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts One & Two) won an incredible, record-breaking total of 9 awards, including Best New Play, Best Actor, Best Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role, and Best Director. The plays are taking the capital by storm, soon to transfer over to Broadway’s Lyric Theater in Spring 2018. The buzz is already huge!

If we’re going to talk about a huge theatrical buzz, then we have to discuss Angels in America at the National Theatre. I, for one, sat in the online queue for over 2 hours when tickets were first released and was lucky enough to get tickets for this July. The two-part play runs until mid-August and is completely sold out, aside from ballot tickets. With a cast featuring Nathan Lane, Russell Tovey, Denise Gough, and Andrew Garfield, and very favorable first reviews, this is another play that is dominating London theater headlines.

Sticking to plays for the moment, a new production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Harold Pinter Theater also recently excited the capital’s critics with 5 stars all round. Closing at the end of May, it featured Imelda Staunton and Conleth Hill in the lead roles and both actors were praised for their gripping performances. Staunton’s interpretation of the infamous Elizabeth Taylor film role was labelled by The Independent as “one of the greatest feats of acting […] witnessed”.

Indeed Imelda Staunton is working her way through many of the most desirable roles for mature female actors. After winning the Olivier Award for Best Actress in 2013 and 2016 for Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, and Rose in Gypsy respectively, she has been cast to star as Sally in the new revival of Follies at the National Theatre, opening in August 2017. This blogger has been fortunate enough to secure tickets for this exciting new production and will report back!

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So, what else is hot in the West End musicals world? Well, it’s definitely the year for the dance musicals. After highly praised runs in Paris and on Broadway, An American in Paris opened at the Dominion Theatre in March earlier this year. With a sumptuous score by Ira and George Gershwin, the musical is headed by the original Broadway stars, Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope. After a series of fantastic reviews and tickets flying out of the doors, it was recently announced that the show will be extended until January 2018.

Another dance-heavy musical recently revived to great praise is the toe-tapping 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. You cannot walk through London or take a trip on the tube without spotting a poster or advertisement for this high-energy production. Sheena Easton has been cast as the vain, prima donna Dorothy Brock, and many of the routines promoted on national television have been quite simply stunning. Well worth a watch, by all accounts!

Finally, the latest London revival of a class dance musical is On the Town, featuring the music of the incomparable Leonard Bernstein. Directed and choreographed by the Olivier-Award-winning Drew McOnie, the show has recently opened for a short two-month run at the lovely Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. In such a stunning, summer venue, 1949 New York City comes to life in a celebration of dance and song.

With so much to see and admire on London’s West End stages, what else would you want to be doing this summer?!

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New Features

Introducing Quizzes, Scenes, and Job Postings

We are excited to announce new features for StageAgent members! First, on many of our show guides you can now take fun quizzes and earn points and badges. Further, to help you with class and preparation work, we have added a new section with two and three-person scenes from plays. And lastly, Pro members can now post unlimited job and audition opportunities to the StageAgent jobs board.

Theatre Quizzesquiz

Our expert-written show guides help you study about the context, plot, and characters from plays, musicals, operas, and operettas. With our new theatre quizzes, you can test yourself on how much you have learned after reading selected guides. Question types include multiple choice (both single and multiple answer) and true/false and are typically worth 5-10 points each. If you pass enough quizzes, you’ll start to earn fun badges based on the following point scale:

  1. Fan: 30 pts
  2. Theatre student: 100 pts
  3. Ensemble: 300 pts
  4. Supporting: 500 pts
  5. Lead: 800 pts
  6. Rising star: 1500 pts
  7. Broadway bound: 2500 pts
  8. Award winner: 4000 pts
  9. Director: 5000 pts
  10. Theatre expert: 7000 pts

You can view your current badges and points on your achievements page.

Scenes From Playsscene

Drama students are commonly assigned to work with partners to perform scenes from plays. However, finding and choosing the right scenes can be overwhelming. We now make this scene research process easier with our new play scenes tool. In the StageAgent scenes library you can search play scenes by length, number of male or female characters, style (comedic or dramatic) and period (contemporary or classical). For each scene we provide you with some scene context, the starting/ending lines from the scene, citation information to help you locate the script, and links to the character descriptions.

Featured Job/Audition Opportunitiesjobs

We have expanded our auditions section to include not only performer auditions but also theatre jobs of other types including artistic staff, backstage and administrative jobs. If you are a StageAgent Pro member you can post unlimited jobs and auditions to the StageAgent theatre jobs board. So if you are a producer, you can use StageAgent to recruit performers, musicians, backstage personnel, and executive staff. Keep in mind that not only will your job or audition posting be listed on our website, but it will also get e-mailed out to our email list with 50,000+ subscribers!

We hope you enjoy these new features. Stay tuned for many more enhancements to come! If you have any suggestions for how we can improve StageAgent, please let us know.

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Top Ten Lists of 2016

Happy New Year from StageAgent!

As wittop-95717_1280h so many other blogs and websites these first weeks of 2017, we thought we’d take just a few minutes to share our Top Tens of 2016. We’ve seen a lot of changes to the StageAgent site, increased the number of new and updated guides featured on the site, and had some record-breaking traffic this year. And we are looking forward to many new and exciting things in the New Year! So without further ado, here are some 2016 Top Ten Lists, based on the highest number of unique pageviews in each category for the year. Some of the results may surprise you. Read on!

 Top Ten Musicals

  1. Into the Woods
  2. Hamilton
  3. Guys and Dolls
  4. The Addams Family
  5. Beauty and the Beast
  6. Little Shop of Horrors
  7. West Side Story
  8. Anything Goes
  9. Hairspray
  10. Legally Blonde

 Top Ten Plays

  1. Almost, Maine
  2. Rumors
  3. Steel Magnolias
  4. The Diary of Anne Frank
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird
  6. The Laramie Project
  7. Buried Child
  8. Proof
  9. Clybourne Park
  10. The Foreigner

 Top Ten Characters

  1. Miss Adelaide from Guys and Dolls
  2. Anybodys from West Side Story
  3. Sarah Brown from Guys and Dolls
  4. Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family
  5. Alice Beineke from The Addams Family
  6. Reno Sweeney from Anything Goes
  7. Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors
  8. Hope Harcourt from Anything Goes
  9. Olive Ostrovsky from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
  10. Vivienne Kensington from Legally Blonde

Top Ten Blogs

  1. The Do’s and Don’ts of Audition Style
  2. Five Great Musicals with Small Casts
  3. Great Musicals with Large Casts
  4. How to Prepare for an Audition
  5. How to Warm Up and Prepare Before Singing
  6. How to Find the Perfect Monologue
  7. New Monologue & Song Recommendation Tool
  8. Hamilton Hype: Why We Are Obsessed
  9. Top 10 Musical Theater Composers
  10. Understudy, Standby, Swing

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Photo credit: BoB Knapp.

New Editor Joins StageAgent

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Photo credit: BoB Knapp.

“Welcome to StageAgent!” A few weeks ago, that was the subject of a very anticipated email.

Hi. I’m Laura Ware, the new editor for StageAgent, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Let me share a little about myself.

I’m a performer and acting teacher living in Astoria, Queens, New York, a quick subway ride away from Times Square and Broadway!

I’m originally from the Los Angeles area in Southern California, so I swapped one coast for the other and I love both. I attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and following that I got my Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theater from San Diego State University. I spent many years working around California on the Civic Light Opera circuit, working my way up from the ensemble in shows like Carousel to supporting roles in Oliver! and 42nd Street to leads in Annie, Me and My Girl, and Nunsense.

I’ve been living here in New York for about 9 years, ever since I finished a 2-year run on the road with the Second National Tour of Mamma Mia! when I was lucky enough to play the delightful role of Rosie, singing my favorite ABBA songs from my youth every night and clowning around on stage in sparkly red spandex! We toured the United States, Mexico, and Canada, and I had the opportunity not just to perform but to make lifelong friends and connect with audience members of all ages during that amazing time!

Mamma Mia! Second National Tour 2006. (L to R) Laura Ware, Lisa Mandel, Laurie Wells. Photo credit: Joan Marcus.
Mamma Mia! Second National Tour 2006. (L to R) Laura Ware, Lisa Mandel, Laurie Wells. Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

Once I finished my run in Mamma Mia!, I decided it was time to try out New York, so I arrived with a couple of suitcases and my computer case. I love living here! I love public transportation, having so many iconic places to visit, the fabulous places to eat, and access to so many shows to see–big and small. I haven’t yet hit the Broadway performing dream, but as a character actor, I still have lots of time. Ironically, most of my early work here in New York was in television–crazy since all I did in LA was theater. But I keep busy auditioning and singing in the occasional cabaret and working as an acting coach at a local non-profit New York conservatory, in addition to my new gig here at StageAgent.

An actor often must have many jobs to support themselves in this crazy acting business, and I have had my share: substitute teacher, pet sitter, marketing and promotions assistant, discount ticket distributor, audition monitor, babysitter, musical theater teacher, PowerPoint designer, acting coach, temp everything, office manager, medical proofreader and copy editor, developmental editor, and grant writer. I’ve worked in large corporate settings to freelancing all alone at home. But now I get to take my bread and butter “day job” in the editorial field and marry it to my love of theater as the new editor of StageAgent. It’s so exciting to be able to justify my student loans again!

In the two short weeks since I started at StageAgent, my head is spinning with all the exciting things we have planned! My primary goal is to keep bringing our readers new and exciting Show Guides and guest Blog posts, and to expand our song and monologue database to give you, the StageAgent user, more amazing tools to utilize as you pursue acting, singing, teaching, directing, and more!

See you around!

 

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Apply Now Button For Work Job Application

Call for Show Guide Writers

Apply Now Button For Work Job ApplicationAt StageAgent.com, we are on a quest to inform, guide and improve the lives of performing artists. But in order to succeed, we need your help! StageAgent.com has multiple openings for part-time content specialists to write original show guides about musicals, plays and operas. You should be an excellent writer with expert-level knowledge about Broadway musicals,  straight plays and/or operas, including extensive industry and/or academic experience. This is a part-time, work-from-home position. We are open to hiring the right experts regardless of your geographic location.

Job duties:

  • Write detailed study guides for musicals, plays and operas including context, plot summaries, character analyses and other information.
  • Classify monologues and songs by category, genre, vocal range and other criteria.
  • Assist with product testing
  • Help promote StageAgent content via your personal social media channels.
  • Mentor interns

Required qualifications:

  • Extensive experience working in the theatre industry either as a performer or on the production side.
  • Strong musical abilities with the ability to easily classify character vocal ranges.
  • Strong research and writing capabilities.
  • Access to source materials via a music or drama library or personal collection.
  • College degree
  • Flexible schedule with 5-10 hours per week to work for StageAgent
  • Other primary source of income. *StageAgent writers are paid a fee per completed guide

To Apply:

Submit your resume and cover letter to jobs@stageagent.com.

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