Posts Tagged ‘Television’

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Andrew Lloyd Webber And Why It’s The Music Of The Night

July 2, 2011

I was just watching Andrew Lloyd Webber on Piers Morgan and he was asked why Broadway is doing well right now. His response was interesting even though he didn’t answer the question. Webber (“Cats,” “Evita,” “The Phantom of the Opera”) said he thinks people go to Broadway because they crave the live experience and seeing other people respond to what’s happening. He likened it to going to a restaurant and enjoying the food and people watching.

That is the answer a theatre professional always gives to that question.  The “live theatre is indispensable,  lifts us from the depths of despair, gives people a shared moment in time and so they will always come” answer.

No, they won’t. 

Broadway is expensive, a long trip for most of the people buying those tickets, and they want to be entertained.  Their showing up is not a given. It’s only worth it to them if they like the show.

If Broadway has edgy, compelling, entertaining shows that people actually want to see, then it’s no problem selling tickets. It’s the best thing for all of New York City and the best thing that can happen to American theatre. “Book of Mormon” is the perfect example. It’s appealing to men and women, who seem to find it hysterically funny in equal measure, yet  it doesn’t care that it offends some people.

When Broadway has fresh material that takes risks but gives people a story that they can get into and puts entertainment first…well, that’s the definition of a hit.  A show that doesn’t, that’s what you call a flop.  Or if it’s off-Broadway, an experiment.

If I wanted a history lesson I’d take a class. If I wanted to resolve angst over the moral wrongs of the ages I’d  meditate with the monks.

When I want to be entertained, moved, swept away into another place and time and marvel at the talents of my fellow human beings,  I go to the theatre.

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My Interview With Rita Rudner

June 23, 2011

Last night I spent some time with Rita Rudner. She’s doing an East Coast mini-tour and performed at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  I interviewed her backstage for ON THE SCENE.

I wondered about a couple things: would she talk like she does on stage…that sweet, quirky, staccato, deer-in-the-headlights sort of affect. And would she go for the one-liner rather than the reveal. That’s always the question when I interview comedians because they instinctively want to be funny. But I want the audience to learn something about them, too.

In reality she was open, relaxed, and willing to talk about every subject I brought up including the enduring impact of her mother dying when Rudner was just 12 years old.  She also told me that she’s “mortified” about much of the comedy being performed. She thinks it’s gotten too harsh. Rudner is not a topical comedian…the wars, recession and cloud of terrorism that we live under these days…don’t make their way into her act as they do Bill Maher, let’s say. She also doesn’t make the rich and famous the brunt of her jokes, like Joan Rivers.  Rudner’s point of view is personal…marriage, parenting, and her own social ineptitude are the basis of her act.

It ended up being one of the interviews I’ve enjoyed the most in a long time.  We covered a lot of ground so there’s a lot in this interview people are going to relate to. The airdate for this next ON THE SCENE special is being announced VERY soon.

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New York NATAS And The Board of Governors For The Emmys

May 18, 2011

Recently I was honored to find out that the New York chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) nominated me to serve on the Board of Governors. Now members are voting on the tremendous group of professionals who work in the wide spectrum of television and digital media, to decide which of us will provide insights and innovation to NATAS over the next two years.

It’s been great hearing from members I’ve met at NATAS events including the Emmy Awards and from some of the  folks who attended my presentation at the Academy in September about the personal journey of creating my show, “ON THE SCENE.”

But some members might be interested to know more about me and how I could contribute to the growth and vibrancy of NATAS.

I’m somebody who plunges in… ideas first. Because television is in such evolution right now, I have a lot of thoughts about programs to help members through professional transitions, network, how to benefit from the latest trends in our industry,  and even to set some new trends

There’s an incredible energy that we can generate at NATAS that can be a spark for all of our membership, whether it be professionals working in news, entertainment, music or the many other specialties that comprise NATAS.

Check out my site http://www.johnbathke.com or click my homepage here on the blog for more about my work.

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Record Hits To The Blog…And The Show Goes On

January 24, 2011

Not only did you watch ON THE SCENE this weekend…the blog set an all time record for views. I guess everybody was looking for more about what they’d seen and that’s cool.

If you missed Darlene Love and Timothy White, I’m hoping we get a timeslot for an encore of this show soon. But for now, the work starts again on the next episode, more interviews, more stars and more of those fascinating artists you haven’t heard of…but won’t forget once we introduce them to you ON THE SCENE.