BriteShot, a TV and film lighting company, has patented a decontamination lighting system to help stop the spread of COVID-19 backstage on Broadway. It’s like a metal detector, but instead of detecting metal, it decontaminates anything or anyone that passes through. This tech can also decontaminate props, wardrobes, make up, lights, rigging, scenery, and even crew members(!) Basically anything that is needed backstage can be decontaminated.
According to the co-founder and VP of new product development, Roy McDonald, the set up of each 11-by-16-foot tent only takes about 10 minutes and are taken down once everything is purified. The estimated cost of the process is $3,500 per week.
So, what does this mean for Broadway shows? Will it give Broadway the chance to open sooner? There's still the house and audience members to consider. When asked about the topic, McDonald answered to Page Six, “That’s for Broadway to figure out.” Hmm. It's also worth noting that BriteShot isn’t used in homes because the lights emit Ultraviolet rays similar to the sun, so it’s not safe for people to stand under for long periods of time.
When it comes to TV and film, the audience and theater aren’t something you have to take into consideration, but this isn’t TV and film. If the audience members can’t be purified and the house itself can’t be purified, this technology will likely have limited capabilities to help. (Also not sure where you set that up backstage in a theater...)
Broadway and other large venues have already begun to explore other ways to sanitize their facilities and it’s possible this new decontamination light system won’t be helpful enough to warrant the cost and effort of implementing. If that happens, McDonald stated if this endeavor didn’t work out, the company would simply go back to lighting.
Broadway’s Nick Cordero has died from COVID-19 complications at the age of 41. He leaves behind his wife, Amanda Kloots, and their one-year-old son, Elvis.
Cordero was born in Canada and grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. He ended up in New York and made his Broadway debut in Rock of Ages in 2012. He also originated the role of Earl in Waitress, Sonny in A Bronx Tale, and Cheech in Bullets Over Broadway, which earned him a Tony nomination in 2014.
Cordero was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on March 30 with what doctors initially thought was pneumonia -- but later, he tested positive for COVID-19. Doctors decided to put him on a ventilator after complications with his lungs. He told his wife, Amanda Kloots, “I love you, they have decided to put me on a ventilator and breathing tube and I’m gonna go unconscious and I don’t know when I’ll wake up, and I know when I’ll be able to talk to you again.”
Cordero suffered sepsis infections, mini strokes, and blood clots which would lead to the amputation of his right leg, and after 95 days in the hospital, he passed away on Sunday, July 5, 2020.
"God has another angel in heaven now," Amanda Kloots wrote on Instagram. "My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth."
She continued, "I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone's friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband. Elvis and I will miss him in everything we do, everyday."
On Monday, July 6, Kloots followed up with a moving video that her sister had made for her, entitled The Silver Linings. Kloots explained that the video captured "these last 95 days," including "the love, the exhaustion, the bonds, the smiles, the song, the exercise, the hard work, the care, support, and most of all love." Hopefully, the video offers some peace to Kloots as well as the many Broadway artists who are reeling from this loss.
“Heartbroken doesn’t even cover it,” said Jessie Meuller, whom Cordero had starred alongside in the hit Broadway musical Waitress. Meuller is “sending so much love to Amanda, Elvis and their families.”
Zach Braff, Cordero’s Bullets Over Broadway co-star, said, “I’m so grateful for the time we had. We’ll catch up some other time.”
In his time with Bullets Over Broadway, Cordero met his wife, Amanda Kloots, and they were married in 2017. Kloots had been giving steady updates on Nick via Instagram. She even started the hashtag #WakeUpNick which went viral as people danced their hearts out to support his battle, and to everyone’s delight, Nick did in fact wake up from his coma. However, “even closing his eyes takes it out of him,” said Kloots.
Cordero made an impact not only in the Broadway community but in TV and film through his appearances on Blue Bloods and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Through Amanda’s updates, celebrities like Hilary Duff, Silvester Stalone, and Lin Manuel-Miranda have been following along and showing their support for the family.
Waitress co-star Drew Gehling said, “I’m lucky to have known you. I’m certainly better for it. Your son, Elvis, has a world of people with stories to tell and I can’t wait to pass a few.”
“A great man. A great talent. A great friend. A great warrior. A beloved husband and father. A legend to our Rock of Ages family,” said friend and former Rock of Ages co-star Constantine Maroulis.
“A force on stage and a delight off.” -- Josh Radnor
“I was fortunate enough to spend some moments with Nick Cordero and he was always a man of style and grace… Let’s all remember him and his legacy and celebrate his life whenever we speak his name.” -- Andy Karl
“Always charming, always funny, always real.” -- Paul Wontorek
“My heart is broken. I feel ill. Along with the entire Broadway community and the entire world, I mourn the loss of the incredible Nick Cordero and send my sincerest love and prayers to Amanda Kloots, baby Elvis, & entire family.” -- Josh Gad
You can help Nick’s family with the medical bills by donating to their GoFundMe.
I think plays tend to get the reputation for being more political than musicals, but maybe you didn’t realize there have been a lot of musicals with political figures in them. I didn’t even realize how many there were until I wrote this article. Some of them are real and some of them are made up, but all of them are just trying to make their country or town a better place. A better place for who exactly? Well, that’s up for debate. Here’s a list of some of the most memorable fictitious and IRL American politicians who have ever graced the Great Bright Way!
Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton truly lived the American Dream. He was an immigrant who came from nothing: no family, no money, and no formal education. He married well, worked hard, and went to college to become one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. It could have been easy for him to just give up and stay in the Caribbean and be dead by his teen years, but he fought hard and made it to the top. He took risks and was eager which eventually paid off for him -- well, professionally at least. He was young, scrappy, and hungry and he was not throwing away his shot! Also, if you're taking a break from watching Hamilton on Disney+ to read my article -- I'm honored.
John Adams in 1776
1776 is more focused on Founding Father, John Adams. Adams wanted independence for America from the British rule and to become their own sovereign. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t liked very much, so no one wanted to even consider the idea (womp womp). Adams doesn’t come up with this idea, but Benjamin Franklin says the proposal might be considered if someone else pitched it. They get Richard Henry Lee to propose it and what do you know, the people go for it. The great idea Adams does comes up with is to make the eagle our national symbol, so there’s that.
Mayor Shinn in The Music Man
Who is the ultimate example of Iowa stubborn? Why, none other than Mayor Shinn who is determined to keep River City in line. He has to look out for his family and a city so he doesn’t trust outsiders, especially ones that are trying to sell something. He just wants to make sure Professor Harold Hill has credentials and is legit. He finally gets the reassurance he’s been looking for and the real intentions of Harold Hill are revealed. Still, he sees Harold Hill's change of heart and ends up marching along side him in the end. Mayor Shinn is actually pretty smart, so give him a little credit, even if he doesn’t always say the right thing. Side note: This is one of Scott Rudin's highly buzzed-about musicals that's headed to Broadway when theaters reopen next year. Hugh Jackman is signed on to star and the show will take over the Winter Garden Theatre -- the one Beetlejuice was somewhat infamously booted from before every theater shuttered.
President Henderson in Mr. President
Alright, did y’all know that there was a whole musical about a fictional president and his family? I certainly did not. It’s about President Henderson and his Secret Service agent who is in love with his daughter. Yeah, it’s an interesting plot. Plus, he befriends the Soviet Union during the Cold War and doesn’t get re-elected, and honestly who wants to keep up with the mundane life of a President after their term is up? Still, in the end, being friends with the Soviet Union works in his favor, so I guess that’s a happy ending.
President Andrew Jackson in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Is this a real or made-up politician? Well, a little bit of both. It’s about the seventh president of the U.S., Andrew Jackson, but not like you learned about in history books. This Andrew Jackson is a sexy rockstar! I mean who wouldn’t want a rockstar as a president? There are worse things the president could be (amirite?). Andrew Jackson didn’t win his first election due to corruption of the House of Representatives, but you know what they say; if at first you don’t succeed, make a brand new political party in your favor.
Governor John Slaton in Parade
Governor Slaton was the Governor of Georgia in 1913. He doesn’t want the public to look at politicians in a negative light and when the murder of Mary Phagan happens, he orders the District attorney to clear it up as quickly as possible. Leo Frank was an easy target, and he’s Jewish and let me tell you how anti-semetic the town of Marietta is in 1913: Very. However, once Governor Slaton learns more facts and realizes Leo is innocent without a doubt, he changes his death penalty to life imprisonment. Improvement, right? I guess. Governor Slaton may have had a small change of heart but the rest of the community might not feel the same way.
Judge Andrew Carnes in Oklahoma!
Andrew Carnes is not only the judge in the town, he’s also a dad. He might not care who Ado Annie marries, but you know, $50 from Will for Ado’s hand in marriage oughta make him a happy man! Okay, he isn’t exactly the ideal dad, and letting Curly off for killing Judd isn’t ideal either, but hey. It’s all Claremore has.
Now all I want to know is what will be the next political musical. I would definitely pay to see a musical about Michelle Obama becoming the President of the United States. (Make it happen, theater gods!)
IT'S HEEERRREEE! Hamilton, arguably the most hyped show in Broadway history, is available to watch in your living room -- if you have Disney+. We know you've probably already watched it (possibly more than once), but we think a side of knowledge goes well with any Broadway show, so here are 10 things to know about the historic #Hamilfilm that's going to dominate your foreseeable screen time.
1. In advance of Hamilton's release, Disney+ ended its free trial offer.
Disney+ originally offered a seven-day free trial window for new subscribers, but cancelled this promotion just in time for no one to be able to use it to watch Hamilton for free. It's unclear whether the promotion will return at a future date, but for now, if you want to watch Lin-Manuel Miranda on the small screen, you've got to pay up.
2. This Hamilton movie is not a separate movie production, but rather a filmed version of the Broadway show at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
3. ... that took three days to shoot.
"We filmed a live performance with cameras in the audience on a Sunday matinee. Then the audience left, and we continued to film close-ups and dolly shots all night Sunday," Miranda revealed. "All day Monday, we continued to film close-ups and steady cam, all of the coverage you would want to get in a movie. We continued to film all day Tuesday morning continuing into another live show Tuesday night with all of the cameras in the audience in different positions. It was basically a three-day film shoot with the best rehearsed cast in the history of movies, as we'd basically been doing the show for a year at that point."
4. Lin-Manuel Miranda cut two "f***s" from the show so it could earn a PG-13 rating.
Unlike Broadway shows, which receive no official ratings and instead self-report "recommended" ages, anything that airs on TV is subject to a stringent system created by the MPAA. And anything with more than one utterance of the f-word gets an automatic R rating. Hamilton has three f***s in the original script, so Miranda removed two of them. "I literally gave two f***s so the kids could see it," he shared on Twitter after making the edit.
5. It has an intermission.
In true Broadway fashion, the filmed version keeps an intermission in place. For the full Broadway theatre experience, charge everyone in your quarantine crew $20 for a plastic cup of really terrible wine.
6. Anthony Ramos, who plays John Laurens and Phillip Hamilton, has the leading role in the upcoming In the Heights movie.
Anthony Ramos plays Usnavi, the role Miranda originated on Broadway in his musical In the Heights. Miranda earned a Tony nomination for his portrayal back in 2008, so it will be interesting to see how Ramos reinterprets the role.
7. Anthony Ramos is engaged to Jasmine Cephas Jones, who plays Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in Hamilton on Disney+.
Ramos and Cephas Jones met during their time as part of the original Broadway cast of Hamilton. They got engaged in 2018 -- Ramos asked Cephas Jones in front of her mother and grandmother as well as some of their closest friends, including Broadway veteran Cynthia Erivo.
8. The set changes size between Act I and Act II.
Well, part of the set, anyway. Designer David Korins revealed his take on the way the set supports the story. "We're not showing the country being built onstage; we're showing the structure that helps support the making of the country," Korins explained. "It's a subtle detail that no one really picks up on, but between Act 1 and Act 2, we actually have the walls of the set grow around eight feet, from one height to another height to really show the passage of time."
9. Lin-Manuel's pants had absolutely no stretch.
While the stiff fabric suited him fine, future Hamiltons ran into problems. "I bent down and my pants split wide open right in the crotch, so there I was, my legs you know, just open to the audience and you saw white tights underneath," Austin Scott shared during a recent Broadway Roulette Mixer. He then noted that at the moment in the show when they split, Hamilton didn't leave the stage for four more songs. (Yikes!) "So I was just sweating bullets trying to, like, cross my legs so that the audience doesn't see this massive rip in my pants. That happened I think twice and then they finally decided to make me some new pants with stretchy elastic."
"Look at the fireworks, light up the night sky!" It's that time of year again for barbecues, cold drinks, and fireworks. Get ready for the 4th of July with this playlist and tell us your plans are! I know my plans include putting Hamilton on repeat all weekend.
SIX the Musical stand-out Samantha Pauly has been keeping herself busy over the quarantine period. Starting on March 18th, Samantha took to her Instagram to create A Song A Day series for herself. This allowed her to keep up her vocal regimen since the Broadway shut down and have some fun while doing it. By performing songs from Moulin Rouge!, Mean Girls, and many more, Samantha has shown the theater community her impressive vocal range. Over the past few days, I have compiled a list of roles Samantha has sung over her series that would be worth to be seen by a Broadway audience.
1.Elphaba from Wicked
It comes as no surprise that Elphaba from Wicked would top this list. From multiple interviews, Samantha has mentioned playing the green girl is one of her ultimate dream roles. After posting covers of “Defying Gravity”, “No Good Deed”, and “The Wizard and I” Samantha has shown her followers that after playing a fierce queen in SIX she can trade in her crown for a witch hat.
2. Kate from Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party
On day 6 of her A Song A Day series, Samantha brought the roof down with her rendition of “The Life Of The Party”. Andrew Lippa’s classic show has not been revived yet on Broadway and members of the theater community are itching for a new production. While we are dreaming here, Samantha has mentioned on “The Life Of The Party” video she would love her former Evita director, Jamie Lyod, to helm a production with her in it.
3. Eliza from Hamilton
“I do, I do, I do, I dooooo” think this would be a match made in heaven. Eliza has every admirable quality within her; strength, poise, and tenacity. She is a wife, mother, and sister who has faced a whole lot of emotional baggage within her life. If Samantha was cast as the role, I believe she could craft a beautiful portrayal of this historical woman.
4.Satine from Moulin Rouge!
This firework of a role is no stranger to Ms. Pauly. Having gone in to audition for the standby of Satine, audiences would fall head over heels to see Samantha play this sparkling diamond. After indulging her followers with a cover of “Firework”, we all know Samantha could bring so much charm and charisma to the role of Satine.
5. Elsa from Frozen
How could I not resist adding a fellow queen to the lineup? Yes, we can not let go of the fact that Frozen closed on Broadway too soon, however, we can dream for the day the storm will range on again with Samantha wearing that blonde wig and belting her face off while building an ice palace.
6. Jenna from Waitress
Jenna from Waitress comes in as number 6 on this list. The theater community was shocked when the Broadway production on Waitress closed on the great white way, to only make room for Samantha’s current job. Samantha’s current role as Katherine Howard has had her fair share of abusive relationships as has Jenna. We all know Samantha can bring down the house with tear-jerking songs, so why not cast her in Waitress to fulfill that job again?
7. Mary Magdalene from Jesus Christ Superstar
“Everything’s alright” with this dream of a role. Coming in at number 7 is Mary Magdalene from the famous Andrew Lloyd Webber tuner, Jesus Christ Superstar. This famous show could be worth bringing back with an immersive production that Broadway has never seen before, maybe in the Circle in the Square Theatre? Fun fact, Samantha has mentioned in past interviews that her ultimate gender-bent dream role is another character from the show, Judas.
8. Grizabella from Cats
“Let the memory live again” with another Andrew Llyod Webber show. Grizabella would be another amazing role for Samantha to play. On day 29 of her A Song A Day series, Samantha brought down the house with “Memory” and left her followers wanting more for a possible production in the future.
9. Florence from Chess
Coming towards the end we have Florence from Chess. This classic show is another fan fan-favorite that the theater community has been awaiting a future production. Why not cast Samantha as Florence after she nailed “Nobody’s Side” on her Instagram.
10. Lucy from Jekyll & Hyde
For the last role on this list, I think we all could use a production of Jekyll & Hyde with Samantha Pauly as Lucy. On day 42 of her Instagram series, Samantha performed the classic song “A New Life” and left the theater community wanting a grand Broadway production with her in it. Imagine listening to her sing “Bring On The Men” with an elaborate set and choreography, *chef’s kiss.
Here's to characters on Broadway who represent the LBGT+ community and the progress they've brought forward. From Kinky Boots to Jagged Little Pill, each show with a song (or two) included on this list reminds us of how far we've come -- and how far we still have to go. We celebrate all of the achievements of the artists behind these works and wish everyone a very happy Pride month!