All stories by Ashley Lee on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Commentary: 'The Music Man' is the wrong Broadway revival for this crucial moment by Ashley Lee

Even with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster on stage, 'The Music Man' still celebrates a scheming white man in a sanitized America.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:49PM
Saturday, June 12, 2021

How 'In the Heights' pulled off its most moving, ambitious musical number of all by Ashley Lee

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jon M. Chu, Olga Merediz and others break down 'Pacienda y Fe,' the immigrant ballet sure to give viewers a 'big gasp moment.'

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 06:33AM
Thursday, June 10, 2021

Why 'In the Heights' made these 5 major changes to the story by Ashley Lee

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes explain the reasons behind the musical's biggest tweaks from the stage to the screen.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 06:14PM
Thursday, June 3, 2021

With 'In the Heights,' Jon M. Chu disrupts the movie musical. Here's how he did it by Ashley Lee

Why Lin-Manuel Miranda says Chu was right to direct "In the Heights" and the circuitous journey the "Crazy Rich Asians" helmer took to the musical remix.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 08:30PM
Saturday, May 15, 2021

'I have to be thin to do this job': Inside the theater's long-standing fatphobia by Ashley Lee

A news article that pointed out actors' pandemic weight gain spurred a conversation about sizeism throughout the musical theater scene.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 06:37PM
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

'Great Gatsby' musical gets a green light with Florence Welch by Ashley Lee

An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, which recently entered public domain, is planned for Broadway with music from Florence Welch.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 07:08PM
Saturday, April 24, 2021

Scott Rudin is no longer producing 'To Kill a Mockingbird' tour by Ashley Lee

Following allegations of abusive behavior, Rudin won't be a producer on the national tour of Aaron Sorkin's Broadway hit.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 05:53AM
Monday, March 22, 2021

How the tragedy in 'The Father' taught me a surprisingly hopeful lesson about my own by Ashley Lee

It is a unique experience to watch "The Father" alongside your own father. I did so twice — onstage and onscreen.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 07:13PM
Friday, March 12, 2021

Taylor Iman Jones queued up 'Hamilton' and 'Devil Wears Prada.' Then, the pandemic by Ashley Lee

Yes, Broadway shut down. But so did national tours. In one pandemic year, this California actress lost out on the possibilities of both.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 07:45PM
Friday, February 5, 2021

Commentary: Lauren Gunderson's new play is about virologist Nathan Wolfe. Or is it? by Ashley Lee

Though the "virus hunter" is the only character onstage, "The Catastrophist" is actually a clever celebration of not just science but also the arts.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 12:29PM
Thursday, January 7, 2021

Theater is Hollywood's talent incubator. It's time Hollywood stepped up to save it. by Ashley Lee

In ways large and small, theater is behind some of the best movies and TV shows of 2020.

SOURCE: St. Louis Today at 03:18PM
Saturday, December 12, 2020

Commentary: 'The Prom' is an ode to musical theater. But Hollywood often shuts out stage actors by Ashley Lee

Netflix's star-studded spin on the Broadway musical underscores a major shortcoming of the landmark 2019 profit-sharing agreement between producers and actors.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 08:53PM

In Netflix's 'The Prom,' Andrew Rannells asks evangelicals to love thy gay neighbor by Ashley Lee

Rannells, Ryan Murphy and the creative team share how the movie's "white guy gospel song" came to life at the Northridge mall.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 08:53PM
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Ali Stroker wins a Tony Award and makes history with her wheelchair trip to the podium by Ashley Lee

The Tony Awards cain't say no to Ali Stroker, who made history Sunday by becoming the first actor in a wheelchair to win the biggest honor in theater. The actress took home the Tony for feat…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:05AM

Why 'The Prom’ wanted that same-sex kiss to be on the Tonys telecast by Ashley Lee

When the cast of “The Prom” performed at the Tony Awards, it drove home the show’s themes of acceptance and inclusion with a same-sex kiss. The musical, which entered the night with se…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:05AM

Tony winners: 'Hadestown' leads with seven awards so far, including best director by Ashley Lee

The Tony Awards are underway, and “Hadestown” has proved to be the show to beat. The musical entered the night with a leading 14 nominations and has won seven statues so far, taking home…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:05AM
Sunday, May 5, 2019

Amber Gray, Tony nominee, on her ‘Hadestown’ audition from hell by Ashley Lee

When Amber Gray was auditioning for “Hadestown,” Anais Mitchell’s folk-operatic reimagining of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, she nearly blew it. The actress, who was making her Broadw…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:48AM
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tony Award nominations led by ‘Hadestown,’ ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ and ‘Tootsie’ by Ashley Lee

The Tony Award nominations Tuesday were dominated by new musicals and “Hadestown” led the way, the folk-operatic reimagining of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth collecting 14 nods. “Ain't…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 12:55PM
Friday, April 26, 2019

‘Almost Famous’ musical to debut at San Diego’s Old Globe theater by Ashley Lee

The stage adaptation of “Almost Famous” will make its world premiere at the Old Globe, the theater announced Friday. The musical features a book by Cameron Crowe, who wrote and directed …

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 01:55PM
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Why Zoe Lister-Jones is adapting her movie ‘Band Aid’ into a stage musical by Ashley Lee

Zoe Lister-Jones wrote, directed and starred in the 2017 movie "Band Aid." Now, she’s adapting the indie film for the stage. The new musical dramedy will debut as a reading May 20 in New Y…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 04:45PM
Monday, April 22, 2019

Phylicia Rashad sets Broadway directing debut with ‘Blue’ by Ashley Lee

When Phylicia Rashad returns to Broadway, she will do so as a director. The Tony-winning actress is set to direct the Broadway premiere of “Blue,” producers announced Monday. The new sta…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 03:15PM
Monday, March 25, 2019

Sutton Foster to return to Broadway in ‘The Music Man’ revival with Hugh Jackman by Ashley Lee

Get ready to meet the new Marian the Librarian. Sutton Foster is joining the Broadway revival of “The Music Man,” producer Scott Rudin announced on Monday. After a six-year absence from …

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 01:40PM
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Hugh Jackman to star in Broadway revival of 'The Music Man' by Ashley Lee

Get those “Seventy-Six Trombones” ready, because Hugh Jackman is starring in a Broadway revival of “The Music Man,” producer Scott Rudin announced on Wednesday. Though the two-time T…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 02:05PM
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Oh, baby baby: Britney Spears’ songs inspire a Broadway-bound musical by Ashley Lee

The hits of Britney Spears are featured in a new Broadway-bound musical, producers announced Tuesday. “Once Upon a One More Time,” whose title references Spears’ debut single, “...Ba…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 02:45PM
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Nia Vardalos to reprise role in ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ at Pasadena Playhouse by Ashley Lee

Nia Vardalos is returning to “Tiny Beautiful Things.” The writer and actress, who penned the stage adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling book, will reprise her starring role in a…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 06:00PM
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Michael Jackson musical's pre-Broadway run canceled amid latest scandal by Ashley Lee

The new stage musical inspired by the life of Michael Jackson has hit a snag on its way to Broadway amid renewed scrutiny of the pop star’s legacy. Three weeks ago, the Michael Jackson est…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 03:06PM
Thursday, January 24, 2019

'Magic Mike' musical to launch in Boston before Broadway by Ashley Lee

“Magic Mike,” Channing Tatum’s dance-centric franchise about male strippers, will debut as a stage musical in Boston on Nov. 30, producers announced on Thursday. The world-premiere pro…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 04:32PM
Friday, October 12, 2018

How ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ tries to dismantle stereotypes of women and love on TV by Ashley Lee

The show's co-creator on portraying LGBT characters and middle-moms in more nuanced ways.

SOURCE: Washington Post at 11:54AM
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Jason Alexander directed Karen Zacarias' 'Native Gardens' — but he dreams of Barry Manilow by Ashley Lee

Jason Alexander directs the latest iteration of "Native Gardens," Karen Zacarías' popular play that has already sprouted up in theaters across the country . Playing Wednesday through Sept. …

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Saturday, June 9, 2018

For Tony Awards hosts Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles, it's showtime by Ashley Lee

The Tony Awards airing Sunday on CBS will be chock full of well-known names, as the stage adaptations of “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and a new “Harry Potter…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 07:00AM
Friday, June 8, 2018

Lauren Ambrose on a 'My Fair Lady' for a new generation by Ashley Lee

The era of Times Up and #MeToo might seem like the exact wrong time to revisit “My Fair Lady,” the 1956 Lerner & Loewe classic about a phonetics professor who, as part of an amusing bet,…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 07:00AM

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