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The Name Game

7 hours 31 min ago

(Don’t) Judge a Show by its Poster

Wed, 2015-09-30 08:10
Our 10 Favorite Original Show Posters


We know you’re not supposed to judge a show by its poster, but it’s about time the graphic designers got some credit. Below are 10 of our favorite original show posters from the TRW catalog, in no particular order. We feel these convey the essence of each show with an original perspective.

Virginia Rep











Original Chicago Production

Hale Center










Center Rep

Franklin W. Olin Players










Arkansas Rep











Globe Theatre

Players Club of Swarthmore



































Do you think your production has a wonderful poster? Send an email to with an image and you might see it on our blog!

Theatre Superstitions Debunked

Fri, 2015-09-11 07:12

If there is one superstition that holds true for all in the theatre, it is that of… Macbeth.  In case you weren’t aware, it is horrible luck to say “Macbeth” in a theater.  While there is no confirmed origin to its infamy, it is speculated to be caused by many mysterious deaths that took place during productions of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Apparently, and I had no clue this existed, there is a cure for uttering the word that shant be spoken:  Exit the theater, spin three times, spit, and utter a Shakespearean insult. Random Fact: President Lincoln read Macbeth days before his assassination, allegedly.


The Ghost Light

Nearly every theatre turns on a ghost light at night, one single light bulb standing in the middle of the stage.  Many speculate this tradition began to ward off the evil spirits.  I say, “That’s baloney!”  I think there is a ghost light so the first person to get to the theatre can see where to go to turn the lights on.  But believing in ghosts is a lot more fun.  Remind me to tell you about the time I sat in a dark theatre with “real” ghost hunters and all their supernatural gear looking for ghosts.  According to the experts, the theatre was very haunted.  Again, I say, “That’s baloney!”



There are many theories about where the ‘break-a-leg’ superstition came from.  We never say, ‘good luck’ in the theatre, it’s ‘break-a-leg!’ My favorite, and most believable theory of its start, comes from the days of Vaudeville.  During this time, theatres would book more performers than necessary in the case that someone got hurt, or didn’t show up.  One catch, they would only pay the acts that performed for the audience.  Thus, performers would hope that they would break the view of the side curtain, aka the leg, and get to perform.  Makes sense to me.



Unbeknownst to me, whistling is bad luck in a theater.  After taking a poll around the office, this is more widely known than I expected.  This superstition dates back to the original stage hands, who were sailors.  They used the same whistling codes for theatrical rigging as they did for ship rigging.  So, if “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” was sung back in the day, the rigging would be going crazy!


“Making Your Nut”

Now this is not really a superstition, but rather a great history lesson.  This phrase dates back to the 16th century and refers mostly to the producer side of theatre.  “Making Your Nut” is to break even.  Back in the days of Shakespeare, Pageant Wagons would come to town to perform and the authorities would remove the wheels (or nuts) until the performers had settled all debts owed. Once they’d paid up, the the owner…or bar owner as the case may be, would return their wheels (aka nuts) and they’d be on their way.

Review Roundup – III

Wed, 2015-07-22 08:19
BWW Review: THE ADDAMS FAMILY A NEW MUSICAL is Creepy Funny at the New Theatre in Overland Park

By Steve Wilson | July 19, 2015

All things ghoulish, macabre, ghastly, and a little bit frightening are alive and well living within the walls of the Addams Family home. The only place to see this outrageous musical comedy is at the New Theatre in Overland Park.Richard Carrothers directs The Addams Family a New Musical running through September 20 at the dinner theater. Daniel Doss provides musical direction and Katelin Zelon the choreography for the delightful yet maybe a little bizarre musical.

The musical based on the characters in gag cartoons created by Charles Addams with book by Marshall Brickmanand Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa opened on Friday July 16. The production opened on Broadway in April of 2010, running until December 31, 2011. The original Broadway production received two Tony Award nominations and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design, the Drama League Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre and Distinguished Performance, and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Set Design.  [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on THE ADDAMS FAMILY.

PHIL POTEMPA: Theatre at the Center has Elvis energy with fun run of ‘All Shook Up’

By Phil Potempa | July 21, 2015

When my editor caught the run dates for Theatre at the Center‘s new production of “All Shook Up,” the Elvis Presley inspired stage musical, she drew my attention to the closing show date — Aug. 16.

As she pointed out, it’s the same fateful date of the anniversary of Presley’s death at age 42 in 1977.

Even for those who are not a fan of The King, there’s no denying his lasting impact and impression on others.

Actor David Sajewich gives Elvis his due, and then some, starring as the lead for this polished run of “All Shook Up,” which is the perfect example of summer stage musical fun.

It runs just slightly more than two hours, including one intermission and Sajewich is cast as the Elvis-tribute lead character “Chad,” a musical rebel with likeable qualities who manages to cast a spell over an entire small town.

All of the greatest hits from the Presley music library are showcased, woven with nostalgic rock n’ roll highlights, romance and silly mix-ups with Theatre at the Center Artistic Director Bill Pullinsi and Jeff Award-winning choreographer Danny Herman co-directing. The musical features the book by Tony Award-winning Joe DiPietro.

What makes this musical so charming is it doesn’t attempt to be serious or life-changing. Instead, it embraces an almost cartoon quality to entertain and leave audiences smiling. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on ALL SHOOK UP.

‘Spamalot’ light on nutritional value but laughably easy to digest

By Don McLeese | July 20, 2015

By the middle of the curtain-call reprise of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” it was hard to tell who was having more fun: the standing, clapping and singing audience at the Des Moines Community Playhouse or the dancing, clowning, and mugging troupe onstage.

Through two hours of “Spamalot” — songs and swords, punchlines and blackouts, Finland and flatulence, flying cows and a decapitating attack by a vicious rabbit — the anything-goes comedic farce had once again demonstrated its durability.

Many in the audience weren’t even born when some of these bits were fresh, after the 1975 film “Monty Python and The Holy Grail” became a cult favorite, twisting the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table into a slapstick quest. Thirty years later, Python’s Eric Idle reshaped the material into a Tony-celebrated Broadway musical, a play that stretched the plot even thinner with one of the silliest scores on record. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on SPAMALOT.

Review Roundup – II

Wed, 2015-07-15 07:38
Perry Players’ “Addams Family Musical” is frightfully funny

By Angela Woolen | July 15, 2015

Duh, duh, duh, duh. Snap, snap.

If the familiar phrasing brings to mind creepy, kooky, mysterious and ooky, then the “Addams Family Musical,” which starts Thursday, is a must see at the Perry Players.

The cast transforms into the characters of Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Grandma. Lurch and ghosts of ancestor Addams with costumes that are quite elaborate.

It takes the actors and actresses two and a half hours to get into makeup and costume, director Hunter Hufnagel said.

The outfits took a team of four costume designers 10 weeks to perfect. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on THE ADDAMS FAMILY.

Monty Python’s ‘Spamalot’ provides rollicking comedy for relaxing summer fun

By Jessica Voorhees | July 9, 2015

Audience members are gathered with friends, laughing as they relax on picnic blankets and lawn chairs; the MoonDance Amphitheater is ablaze in stage lights for the night’s open-air performance.

That’s the way Summerfest Executive Director Wesley Nelson envisions it.

Summerfest kicks off its 30th month-long season with Monty Python’s Spamalot, a musical comedy inspired by 1975’s film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

“A lot of people think of going to theater as a chore sometimes,” says Nelson. “We like to think that Summerfest is more of an experience. You’re not going into a dark theater and sitting in a tight seat where you can’t move.

“Out here we have no roof; you’re lying under the stars on a blanket, having some food and wine and a great time.” [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on SPAMALOT.

Going to the Theatre – As Explained in GIFS

Wed, 2015-07-01 13:07

When you find out your favorite musical is being performed near you.

You’re like…

When the orchestra starts to warm up and the person next to you is on their phone.

You’re like…

When you have the perfect seat and someone is seated in the middle of a song.

You’re like…

When a fellow audience member is still on their phone halfway through act 1.

You’re like…

When you want to beat the intermission rush to the bathroom.

At the end of Act 1 you’re like…

When curtain drops on the final act of your favorite show.

‘Cause you don’t care what other people think, you’re like…

When someone asks what you thought.

You’re like…

When you wait by the stage door and the star comes out.

You’re like…

When people ask why you love musicals.

You’re like…

Land a big catch with Daniel Wallace at your production of BIG FISH!

Wed, 2015-07-01 08:44

Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) is proud to offer the exciting opportunity to have Daniel Wallace, the author of the novel BIG FISH, at your production. He is the only person who has been involved in the story since its inception: from the book, to the film, to the Broadway production. His insights are sure to provide a unique perspective for your theatre. If you are interested in having Daniel Wallace at your production, please email Trinity at for booking details. We hope that you will jump on this opportunity to share a truly memorable experience with your patrons and audience members alike.

Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, BIG FISH centers on Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest… and then some! Edward’s incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him – most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales. Now available in a small cast version.

“BIG FISH 12-chair” is the new, small-cast version (for 12-actors) of the Broadway musical featuring music and lyrics by Tony nominee Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, The Wild Party) and a new book by esteemed screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

Overflowing with heart, humor and spectacular stagecraft, BIG FISH is an extraordinary new Broadway musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre – for an experience that’s richer, funnier and BIGGER than life itself.

Click HERE for more information on BIG FISH.

Click HERE for more information on BIG FISH 12-CHAIR.

Review Roundup

Tue, 2015-06-30 07:13

Ravenswood Man Finds Way to Explore, Show Love in ‘All Shook Up’
By Kelly Bauer | June 29, 2015 5:59am

CHICAGO — Patrick Tierney sees a chance to teach audience members about love and how it knows no boundaries through his role in upcoming musical “All Shook Up.”

“All Shook Up” is “lighthearted, essentially a comedy,” with four or five storylines about love, Tierney said. The musical features hits from Elvis Presley.

Tierney, a West Lawn native who now lives in Ravenswood, plays Dean Hyde, a young man who lives under the thumb of his mom in the Midwest during the ’50s.

Dean finds love with Lorraine, but his mother plans to send him away to military school. Dean and Lorraine also face controversy since they are an interracial couple.

But love is “not about the color of your skin; it’s about the person you are,” Tierney said. “Some people can learn some things from this silly 1950s musical.” [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on ALL SHOOK UP.

Bravo to the Valley Players for The Addams Family
By Carol Skewes | June 29, 2015 6:16 pm

The Valley Players presentation of The Addams Family finished Sun., June 28 to a full house inside the Humphreys Burson Theatre.

Based on a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, and characters created by Charles Addams, the Valley Players rendition was directed superbly by Jerre’ Delaney.

The ghoulish costumes of ancestors: Deiondra Ceasar, Lauren Hard, Reagan Mayor Riley Mayo, Steven Pinkard, Terri Searls, Paul Stafford, Rowdy Williamson and Randi Wilson painted a contrasting backdrop for the colorful main actors to flow through their scenes. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on THE ADDAMS FAMILY.

‘Bare: A Pop Musical’ Talkback Sparks Positivity And Diversity
By Bradley Hartsell | June 28, 2015

Newnan Theatre Company wraps up “Bare: A Pop Opera” today following a two-weekend run, but the local performing arts group hopes the conversation spawned from the thought-provoking production will continue.

Following opening night on June 18, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation hosted a talkback session with the musical’s cast and crew and with the audience members who chose to remain following the performance. In “bare,” youth struggle with sexuality against the church’s conventions.

GLAAD Director of Programs Ross Murray and YouTube personality Raymond Braun joined the production’s artistic director, Paul Conroy, and his young actors to lead discussions on raising awareness and acceptance for the LGBT community, which is lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on BARE.