All stories by Bob Mondello on BroadwayStars

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Stephen Sondheim is cool now by Bob Mondello

With three shows running currently in NY and two more on tour, the late composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim is as present in contemporary theater as he was when he was alive.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 04:06PM
Thursday, January 11, 2024

Stephen Sondheim is cool now by Bob Mondello

The late composer/lyricist was once considered an acquired taste — but with three shows running in New York and another on tour, he's a hit.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:24PM
Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The legacy of Ginger Rogers, who would have turned 112 this week by Bob Mondello

Ginger Rogers would have turned 112 this week. We remember her and her collaboration with her most famous partner, Fred Astaire.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:19PM
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

The man who re-popularizing the ancient art of pantomime was born 100 years ago by Bob Mondello

Marcel Marceau, who spent more than half the 20th century re-popularizing the ancient art of pantomime for a modern age, was born 100 years ago this month.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 11:18PM
Saturday, March 11, 2023

2023 marks a watershed year for Asian performers at the Oscars by Bob Mondello

With four nominations, more Asian performers were recognized by the Academy in 2023 than in any single year in its history. In other respects, this year was a step back from diversity at the…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:35PM
Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The theatrical curtain call is more than just bows by Bob Mondello

You're at the theater, the last scene ends, and the cast comes out for applause. It's pretty standard today. But curtain calls once were eccentric, revealing, funny and just plain effective.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 04:12PM
Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Encore: Show tunes give people traveling for the holidays something to sing about by Bob Mondello

At this time of year, people travel to be with their families. And Broadway and Hollywood have been giving them something to sing about: Traveling-song show tunes.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 11:12PM
Friday, December 2, 2022

A rare recording of a musical by an 18-year-old Stephen Sondheim surfaces by Bob Mondello

Broadway-legend-in-training Stephen Sondheim was a college sophomore in 1948 when his musical Phinney's Rainbow was produced — and recorded — at Williams College in Massachusetts.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 10:24PM
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

American theater is changing — here's why by Bob Mondello

In the first of our six-part series, NPR's Bob Mondello explains how the theater that most Americans see is being transformed.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:19AM
Thursday, September 8, 2022

'My Body No Choice' — Arena Stage advocates for reproductive rights by Bob Mondello

On the eve of the 2022 election, Arena Stage presents monologues on the theme of choice by eight female playwrights. The show runs for 18 performances and tickets are $18, a nod to the US vo…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 01:55PM
Sunday, July 3, 2022

Influential theater director Peter Brook dies at 97 by Bob Mondello

Brook's work ranged from classical star-studded productions to radical experiments in theater. He reinvented King Lear and explored the fragility of civilization in the film Lord of the Flie…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 07:42PM
Monday, June 20, 2022

Oh, what a beautiful archive: Oscar Hammerstein's letters reveal his many sides by Bob Mondello

A thousand pages of correspondence by Oscar Hammerstein II, the lyricist for such musicals as Show Boat, Oklahoma!, Carousel and The Sound of Music are available to a wide public for the fir…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:07PM
Thursday, June 9, 2022

Encore: Encore! Encore! Applauding the literal showstopper by Bob Mondello

NPR's Bob Mondello looks at a show-stopping theatrical phenomenon that's fallen out of fashion — the encore.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 11:24PM
Saturday, February 26, 2022

If Russia's invasion of Ukraine feels familiar, look to Broadway in the '60s by Bob Mondello

Why should Americans care about Ukraine? An answer from 1960s Broadway.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 08:18AM
Monday, February 21, 2022

Two new books revisit the legacy of silent film comic Buster Keaton by Bob Mondello

Two new books about a legendary silent film comic — Dana Stevens' Camera Man and James Curtis' Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker's Life — give fans new reason to revisit Keaton's work.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:24PM
Thursday, December 9, 2021

Spielberg offers a more complete telling of musical theater classic 'West Side Story' by Bob Mondello

Tony and Maria, Sharks and Jets — Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner take a fresh look at the musical theater classic West Side Story.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:18PM
Friday, November 26, 2021

Stephen Sondheim, American musical theater icon, has died at age 91 by Bob Mondello

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, one of the most influential figures in the American musical theater, has died. He was 91.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 10:54PM
Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Only 'New' Thing About Cross-Cultural Casting Is Who's Getting The Roles by Bob Mondello

Dev Patel as a knight of the Round Table, Jodie Turner-Smith as Anne Boleyn, the mostly nonwhite casts of Bridgerton and Hamilton — all belong to a tradition that has its roots in live the…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 10:12PM
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Fred And Ginger Cheered Us Up During The Depression. Might They Do It Again? by Bob Mondello

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers gave Americans a much-needed on-screen escape in the 1930s. You can find their dance numbers online, but critic Bob Mondello recommends you watch their films i…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:18PM
Thursday, November 15, 2018

'Girl': Belgian Drama About A Young Trans Ballet Student Is On Point by Bob Mondello

A precise performance from young Victor Polster grounds this closely observed tale of Lara, a trans girl impatient with the process of transition.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 11:18PM
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

'Hair' At 50: Going Gray, But Its Youthful Optimism Remains Bouncy And Full-Bodied by Bob Mondello

Bob Mondello says the musical looked — and sounded — much different from anything Broadway had ever seen and helped secure a place for rock music on the Great White Way.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 07:48PM
Friday, February 9, 2018

New Oral History Captures The Magic Of 'Angels In America' by Bob Mondello

Authors Isaac Butler and Dan Kois celebrate Angels in a new book, The World Only Spins Forward, that collects the memories of everyone from playwright Tony Kushner to Congressman Barney Fran…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 04:09PM
Thursday, August 4, 2016

Remembering Zelda Fichandler, Matriarch Of American Regional Theater by Bob Mondello

When the co-founder of Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., made her theater a nonprofit, hundreds of small regional stages followed suit. Fichandler died July 29 at the age of 91.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:27PM
Monday, June 6, 2016

British Playwright Peter Shaffer, Who Wrote 'Equus,' Dies At 90 by Bob Mondello

Playwright Peter Shaffer has died. He was best known for Equus and Amadeus, both of which became movies.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 07:09PM
Monday, February 8, 2016

'We're Mostly Republicans': New Hampshire Voters Explained By 'Our Town' by Bob Mondello

After NPR's Bob Mondello used The Music Man to help explain the Iowa caucuses, he wished there was a musical of Our Town so he could do the same for New Hampshire. It turns out there is one.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 10:44PM
Saturday, October 3, 2015

In Argentina, Where Culture Is 'A Right,' A Free New Arts Center Opens by Bob Mondello

Argentina's newest tourist attraction is housed in a repurposed century-old Beaux Arts Central Post Office building. The Centro Cultural Kirchner is one of the largest cultural centers in th…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 07:28AM
Friday, July 31, 2015

The Play's The Thing — High School Productions Down The Decades by Bob Mondello

Bob Mondello looks at the most-produced shows at high schools through seven decades, and ponders what the choices made by drama teachers tell us.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 06:04PM
Monday, May 25, 2015

'Spider-Man': Don't Be So Quick To Write Off The Dark by Bob Mondello

The creative team for Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is climbing the walls this week. After four opening-night delays and 80 full-price preview performances, a lot of critics decid…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:58PM
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

'My Fair Lady' Couldn't Actually Dance All Night, So These Songs Had To Go by Bob Mondello

The musical has some of the best-known songs in Broadway history, but it originally had other tunes that almost no one knows. Some of those songs were recently performed for the first time i…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 05:05PM
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

An Updated 'Annie' And The Tradition Of Nontraditional Casting by Bob Mondello

As an African-American Annie arrives on movie screens, critic Bob Mondello looks at other cross-cultural reinventions, from Pearl Bailey's Dolly to the Americanization of Carmen as Carmen Jo…

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 04:11PM
Thursday, November 20, 2014

Renowned Theater And Film Director Mike Nichols Dies by Bob Mondello

Nichols, perhaps best known for his 1967 classic film, The Graduate, won Emmy, Oscar, Tony and Grammy awards. He died Wednesday at age 83.

SOURCE: National Public Radio at 09:12AM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards