Sunday, September 28, 2008

How the Brits Took Over Broadway

It is no surprise to any New Yorker that the British theatre is in command of the Broadway stage. While the foolish Americans greedily produce big, gaudy, movie-based, cotton-candy musicals, the English seem to be more interested in producing quality performances that somehow always wins critical praise and Tony awards. This Sunday, in the London 'Guardian', we're informed as to how this new 'British invasion' took place. Can anyone say Andrew Lloyd Webber? Here's an excerpt and the link to the full article.

According to Eleanor Roosevelt, 'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.' The former First Lady may have made her famous remark in a different context, but her words resonate today as British art and entertainment again dominate New York's cultural scene. For some American commentators it is as if there is still a collective colonial hangover in Manhattan, with audiences happy to prize talent from across the Atlantic above anything of their own.

Broadway's theatres are packed with UK drama, British music, British performers, even British history. The statistics match even the peaks charted in recent years. As Harry Potter's alter ego, Daniel Radcliffe, triumphs in Peter Schaffer's Equus - directed by fellow Briton Thea Sharrock - could there be more hardcore products for committed anglophiles than Maria Aitken's stylish tribute to Hitchock in The 39 Steps, the high farce of Boeing, Boeing or Robert Bolt's deft approximation of Tudor dialogue in A Man for All Seasons

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