All stories by Jeff Lunden on BroadwayStars

Monday, October 3, 2022

Tom Stoppard brings his Jewish identity to the stage – decades after he learned of it by Jeff Lunden

All four of the playwright's grandparents died in the Holocaust, but Stoppard only learned he was Jewish in middle age. Now, at 85, he engages with his family history in the play Leopoldstad…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 04:49PM
Saturday, October 1, 2022

New Broadway play 'Leopoldstadt' looks at a large Jewish family in Vienna over a half century by Jeff Lunden

Tom Stoppard's new play, "Leopoldstadt," grew from a midlife realization concerning how many of his relatives died in the Holocaust.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 10:03AM
Thursday, September 29, 2022

Where are the Black musicians in the country's largest orchestras? by Jeff Lunden

In 2014, a study found that only 1.4% of orchestra musicians were Black. In 2022, it's hard to know if that number is better or worse.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:25AM
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Broadway community is celebrating another year of pandemic survival by Jeff Lunden

It's been a year since Broadway started back up again - and there've been a lot of ups and downs. COVID still had the power to shut down shows, but performers and audiences persisted.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:43AM
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Published 8 years after her death, Mary Rodgers' memoir is a true tell-all book by Jeff Lunden

Rodgers, the daughter of theatrical legend Richard Rogers, was a songwriter, children's book author and philanthropist. Her memoir, Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers, is …

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:07PM
Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Encore: 'Into the Woods' returns to Broadway by Jeff Lunden

The concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods moves to Broadway, with Sara Bareilles, Brian D'Arcy James and others.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:33PM
Friday, July 22, 2022

'Into the Woods' returns to Broadway by Jeff Lunden

A concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods stars Sara Bareilles, Brian d'Arcy James, Joshua Henry and others.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 07:33AM
Wednesday, July 20, 2022

'The Kite Runner' brings life in Afghanistan to Broadway by Jeff Lunden

The play is based on Khaled Hosseini's 2003 best-selling novel, set in Afghanistan and among Afghan migrants in the United States.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:54PM
Sunday, July 10, 2022

The villainous King Richard III will be played by a woman in Shakespeare in the Park by Jeff Lunden

Casting a female actor in the lead role of "Richard III" is just one twist New York's Shakespeare in the Park has given the classic this summer.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:18AM

Why it matters that Danai Gurira is taking on Richard III by Jeff Lunden

Guirira said it was interesting to explore "toxic masculinity" as a perpetrator instead of an object - and that the role brought up a lot of questions.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:18AM
Monday, June 13, 2022

Broadway's highest honors were handed out at Radio City Music Hall by Jeff Lunden

Sunday's 75th annual Tony Awards celebrated Broadway's first full season since the pandemic shutdown. A theme of the night was deep gratitude for the uncelebrated people who keep the shows r…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 11:24PM
Sunday, June 12, 2022

These essential workers aren't eligible to win Tonys but deserve the spotlight by Jeff Lunden

Music directors aren't eligible for awards at tonight's Tonys. We hear from three from Tony-nominated shows, talking about their craft and the challenges of conducting eight performances a w…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 12:24PM
Friday, May 13, 2022

Iranian-American playwright is set on breaking expectations by Jeff Lunden

Sanaz Toossi is having a moment – her first production ever, English, just won a Lucille Lortel award for outstanding new off-Broadway play, and Wish You Were Here opened last week.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:33PM
Monday, May 9, 2022

'A Strange Loop' garners 11 Tony nominations, including Best Musical by Jeff Lunden

These nominations are for Broadway's first season after the 2020 COVID shutdown.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 10:12PM
Saturday, May 7, 2022

Photos: The Golden Age of Broadway is celebrated in a new online exhibit by Jeff Lunden

A new virtual art exhibition celebrates theater, movies and television with original sketches by Broadway set and costume designers.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:18PM
Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Broadway's 'POTUS': Should these women save the president? by Jeff Lunden

Seven comic actresses star in a new play by a 28-year-old up-and-coming playwright.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:24AM
Friday, April 22, 2022

From Fanny to Barbra to Beanie: 'Funny Girl' comes back to Broadway by Jeff Lunden

In 1964, the musical made a star out of 21-year-old Barbra Streisand. Now a new version features Beanie Feldstein.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:42AM
Sunday, April 17, 2022

Young playwrights confront gun violence with their art and say #Enough by Jeff Lunden

Across the country, theaters and civic organizations commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the Columbine school shootings by presenting readings of eight short plays by teenagers.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 01:54PM

On the date of Columbine, 8 plays on gun violence will be read across the U.S. by Jeff Lunden

Young playwrights highlight the damage done by gun violence after winning a competition called #enough. Their performances are scheduled to occur on the date of the 1999 Columbine school sho…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 01:54PM
Thursday, April 14, 2022

A stripped-down 'Cyrano' — a London import — is all about language by Jeff Lunden

James McAvoy stars in this Olivier-winning production that includes beatboxing — but no prosthetic nose.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:37AM
Sunday, March 20, 2022

At the Broadway Makers Marketplace, theater fans find both crafts and community by Jeff Lunden

A pop-up shop in a New York subway station is home to all things Broadway: memorabilia, live performances and handmade goods created by fans. Now, the shop's owners hope to find a permanent …

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 03:18PM
Monday, March 14, 2022

Norwegian opera singer Lise Davidsen is on the verge of superstardom by Jeff Lunden

Lise Davidsen is in her mid-thirties, and she didn't even hear an opera live until she was in her twenties. Now, she's a sought-after opera singer.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:18AM
Monday, February 14, 2022

A machine turns Black people white in the musical 'Black No More' by Jeff Lunden

An off-Broadway show, based on a 1931 novel, explores the results when a scientist charges Black people $50 each to change their race with his new invention.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:33AM
Saturday, January 29, 2022

Theater stars spring to life on the pages of 'B is for Broadway' by Jeff Lunden

A few years ago, a children's book called A is for Audra celebrated musical theater divas. Its creators have written a new book, B is for Broadway, celebrating theater from auditions to Zieg…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:42PM
Sunday, January 23, 2022

Omicron hampers Broadway. Fewer tourists are there for just a score of shows by Jeff Lunden

Tickets may be easier and cheaper to get for the plays that are still open. Some producers reopened until the virus raced through the cast and crew. Future productions are hard to see on th…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:06AM
Friday, January 14, 2022

Two-time Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage turns a triple play in New York City by Jeff Lunden

Nottage, the only woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice, has a new play on Broadway, an opera at Lincoln Center and a Michael Jackson musical opening soon.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:12AM
Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Cecily Strong finds 'Signs of Intelligent Life' in a celebrated one-woman show by Jeff Lunden

The 'Saturday Night Live' cast member and 'Schmigadoon!' star performs in "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," a one-woman show made famous by Lily Tomlin.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:42PM
Monday, January 3, 2022

With COVID outbreaks, Broadway's understudies take center stage by Jeff Lunden

Breakthrough infections from the omicron variant have been spreading like wildfire among casts and crews, so understudies and swing performers have been helping keep shows afloat.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:33AM
Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Latest COVID surge hits Broadway during the lucrative holiday season by Jeff Lunden

While most shows are maintaining a regular schedule, nine popular musicals and plays announced they would take a hiatus until after Christmas because of breakthrough infections.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:48AM
Sunday, December 12, 2021

As theater reopens, how directors are putting their reimaginations into action by Jeff Lunden

During the height of pandemic closures, three artistic directors spoke about their hopes for what theater would look like when it reopened. More than a year later, we check in to see what's …

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 03:03AM
Monday, December 6, 2021

A prescient play about race in America has its long-overdue Broadway premiere by Jeff Lunden

Playwright Alice Childress took an unflinching look at racism in society and in the theater with "Trouble in Mind" in 1955. Now in its overdue Broadway premiere, the play proves prescient an…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:06AM