Join Michael Fling and Anika Chapin of the Goodspeed Artistic Staff as they explore and examine your favorite shows, from contemporary hits to classic Broadway. They’ll share fascinating tidbits about each show’s creation and history, then analyze a song or scene to illustrate how the dramaturgy of the show works. Whether you're "Getting to Know" a show for the first time or learning more about an "Old Friend", you're guaranteed to fall in love with musical theatre all over again. New episodes every other Wednesday.
Little Shop of Horrors
In a very spooky Halloween episode, we're headed to Skid Row as we explore LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS! We'll dive into the cult-classic movie that inspired Off-Broadway smash, how it catapulted its authors, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, into musical stardom, and confront how the show expertly entertains audiences and pulls at their heart-strings. So, lift up your head, wipe off that mascara and most importantly remember...DON'T FEED THE PLANTS!
A Chorus Line
For the fifteenth episode of IN THE SPOTLIGHT we had our first-ever 'Listeners Choose’ contest, and the winner was clear... the groundbreaking 1975 musical A CHORUS LINE. Michael and Anika dive into the Pulitzer Prize-winning piece about the lives of Broadway dancers, directed and choreographed by theatrical legend Michael Bennett. We examine the show's Rashomon-like origin story (or stories) and complicated history, as well as the show's brilliant and unusual structure. Ready to listen? A-five-six-seven-eight...!
Fiddler on the Roof
When Tevye the Milkman daidle-deedle-daidled onto Broadway in 1964, he was almost instantly a hit. Fiddler on the Roof, with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, wasn't the first adaptation of Sholem Aleichem's 'Tevye and His Daughters' stories, but it was by far the most successful. We'll look at the history of the show's source material, its road to Broadway, the criticisms of its portrayal of Jewish life, and discuss what makes this miracle of miracles show so beloved.
RENT burst onto the scene in 1996, and Broadway was never the same. The visceral rock adaptation of Puccini's La Boheme changed musical theatre both inside and out and created far more than 525,600 superfans. We'll dive into the show's downtown roots, discuss what Jonathan Larson's tragic death meant for the show's development, and examine what the show's success wrought (namely lawsuits). Won't you light our candles and join us for a little Vie Boheme?
Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
From an 87-seat off-Broadway theatre redesigned to be an immersive Russian bistro, to a specially-built tent, to a Tony-winning regional theatre, to a transformed Broadway theatre, 'Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812' had one of the most unconventional journeys to the Great White Way. An adaptation of a section of Tolstoy's War and Peace, Dave Malloy's 2016 musical sounds like little else. We'll discuss the show's unusual production and contemporary sensibility to its delightful grab-bag style (and whether it's more aesthetic than substance,) and the controversy that ended the Broadway run. Grab a vodka and your favorite fur hat and dive in with us!
And we are telling you... the next episode of IN THE SPOTLIGHT is about DREAMGIRLS! The 1981 backstage musical that profiled a (quasi) fictional girl group called the Dreams as they shoot to stardom was a hit then, and it has only grown more beloved. We'll talk about the show's music-infused structure, the complicated inspiration behind the story, where the show fits in the question of representation on Broadway and Michael Bennett’s cinematic original staging. If you want to know more about this earworm-filled classic, all you have to do is dream and we'll be there.