Ford's Theater
Ford's Theater

Historic and Thriving

Lisa Mulcahy

Ford’s Theatre: A hallowed past meets a modern aesthetic

As we all learned in grade school, Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC was the unfortunate site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination on April 14, 1865. Lincoln was attending the comedy Our American Cousin in a box about 12 feet over the stage when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, a supporter of the Confederacy. What even lots of history buffs don’t know, though, is that the theatre itself has an interesting history.

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Broadway's Hudson Theatre
Broadway's Hudson Theatre

Another Opening Finally!

Michael S. Eddy

Broadway’s Oldest Theater, The Hudson, Returns as Broadway’s Newest Space

Opened in 1903, the Hudson Theatre is Broadway’s oldest space, but has had many different incarnations over its life. It was considered by many as a theatrical and architectural masterpiece and loved by both performers and audiences. The space is distinctive with its unusually large lobby, a triple-domed ceiling, and a system of diffused house lighting. It was transformed into a radio studio in the ‘30s, then a TV studio in the ‘50s, becoming the home for the original Tonight Show in 1954 with Steve Allen. Later, the space was turned into a theatre again, then a club and concert venue, and more recently an event space as a part of the Millennium Hotel. Today it is once more a Broadway theater.

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Blueprint Specials: Soldier Musicals

Michael S. Eddy

Did you know that Frank Loesser wrote musicals for the Army? Not seen since 1945 – and never staged for an American stateside audience, the newly rediscovered Blueprint Specials: Soldier Musicals were the talk of the NY theater community earlier this year. The Blueprint Specials are a missing piece of both theater and military history, that again demonstrate the importance of the theater arts as a way for soldiers to express themselves.

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Come From Away

A musical with book, music, and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away was workshopped and first produced at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario in 2012 and 2013. It also had a staged reading at Goodspeed Musicals’ 2013 Festival of New Artists in CT. In 2015 it was co-produced as a full production by La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre, playing at both venues. The production moved on to the Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC and Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre in 2016 before opening on Broadway in 2017. 

Read a little bit of the history of Washington D.C.'s Ford's Theatre building in our current issue.

NAMM CEO Joe Lamond and Parnelli Executive Producer Terry Lowe
NAMM CEO Joe Lamond and Parnelli Executive Producer Terry Lowe

The Parnelli Awards and NAMM: Industry Convergence

Kevin M. Mitchell

As announced last month, NAMM is expanding their January Anaheim trade show to further include the proproduction industry, and a big part of that strategy is bringing the Parnelli Awards to it. Recently Anaheim Convention Center finished a 200,000 square foot expansion, which will allow pro audio, lighting, staging, video, and all related manufacturers to have space available to them to exhibit at an international trade show that already pulls in over 100,000 professional registrants.

I sat down with Parnelli Producer & SD Publisher Terry Lowe and NAMM CEO Joe Lamond to discuss this exciting alliance.

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We Are Connected

Michael S. Eddy

This month it is all about connections. Connections to each other as theater artists, between each other as citizens, between today and history, between ourselves and our experiences. We all are aware that to work well with others in theater, we need to develop and hone our collaboration skills. Freedom to express opinions and critique ideas is essential to that communication; to be able to have conversations openly and without reservations.

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