December 11, 2017


Broadway Bookshelf: 10 Books Perfect for Any Theater Fan


“Black Broadway: African Americans on the Great White Way”
By Stewart F. Lane
Square One Publishers, $39.95

In addition to its sold-out box office, the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” is also making headlines for its diverse casting. But before Lin-Manuel Miranda’s historic hip-hopera, there were generations of performers and artists breaking through the racial barrier on the Great White Way. The beautiful “Black Broadway” chronicles the journey of black theatre in America -- from Minstrel Shows and Vaudeville through the Civil Rights Movement and the Golden Age of the American Musical. It’s hard not to be inspired by the stories behind writers like August Wilson and Lorraine Hansberry, shows like “Dreamgirls” and “The Wiz,” and performers like Audra McDonald and Ben Vereen -- all who are featured here. But with this piece of often-forgotten history at your fingertips, you’ll gain a new level of appreciation for Broadway’s rich roots.


January 10, 2017

New John Denver Musical Tunes Up for San Francisco Run

Back Home Again is aimed for New York, but is in no hurry.



Back Home Again, Stuart F. Lane’s musical that uses the John Denver songbook to tell the story of an Afghan war veteran trying to find his place in life after his return to America, will get its first full production January 11-21 at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, CA, near San Francisco.

The musical, which uses 16 Denver hits like "Rocky Mountain High,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” and “Take Me Home, Country Road" to tell the original story by Lane, has been in development for six years, Lane told

Lane described himself as an admirer of Denver’s, and not just for his music. “His songs promoted humanity, the environment, home, and family.” Lane envisioned a stage show that would not be a revue or a concert, but “a completely new, original, dramatic story where the songs move along the plot and engage the audience. I wanted to give context to the songs so the audience can see them in a new light.”

Back Home Again, which draws its title from another of Denver's pop hits, is about “a soldier searching for himself and finding it through his family and his girlfriend,” Lane said.

The California production features Maddie Shea Baldwin, Shawn Bowers, Brian Russell Carey, Brad Greer, Michael James, Jessica Jaunich, Sarah Killough, Jeff McCarthy, Ethan Steiner, Billy Harrigan Tighe, Kalyn West, and Whitney Winfield.

The Walnut Creek production is directed by Sheldon Epps, choreographed by Patricia Wilcox, with scenic design by John Iacovelli, costume design by Nicole Wee, lighting design by Jared A. Sayeg, sound design by Rafe Carlotto, with music direction, arrangements, and orchestrations by David O. Casting is by Stewart/Whitley.


Here are some examples of how the songs are used. “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” which was written by Denver but better known as a hit for Peter, Paul and Mary, was Denver’s ballad about how he hated to leave home and go on concert tours. It has been repurposed as the soldier’s song of farewell to his fiance as he goes off to war. “Rocky Mountain High” becomes a story about how the soldier’s grandfather finds salvation through nature in the mountains.

An early draft of the show was done at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center on Long Island, followed by workshops in Manhattan after Epps came aboard as director. “John Denver [1943-1977] was an amazing troubadour,” Lane said. “The arranger, David O, has done an amazing job with John’s songs, turning solos into duets, trios and choral interpretations.”

Early in the show’s development, Lane was given the John Denver Spirit Award for his work in keeping the songs alive, and introducing a new generation to the spirit of Denver’s work.

But while he said he’d eventually like to see it done in New York, he is in no hurry, and is planning a series of productions elsewhere in the U.S. “This kind of show has a huge audience everywhere but New York. With the exception of Waitress, country-Western songs have had a checkered history on Broadway. San Francisco will be a great place to start. It’s outsdoorsy, but there are plenty of theatre people. After that we can go almost anywhere; Texas, Oklahoma, you name it.”

Lane has lofty expectations for the project. “I think we have a great American musical here that will unify the country, and help bring us together,” he said. “It’s a very positive show.”



The show is being produced by Lane‘s wife and business partner Bonnie Comley, and Harold Thaw; co-produced by Alex Washer, Leah Lane, and Alyssa Renzi; and associate-produced by Jay Hershkowitz.

Tickets can be ordered at, by phone at (925) 943-7469, or at the Lesher Center box office at 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA.


December 20, 2016


Holiday Inn Will Stream Live on


Holiday Inn  11 HR.jpg

Following the success of the She Loves Me live

stream, Roundabout has teamed up with the

online streaming service a second time.


BroadwayHD is set to live stream Roundabout Theatre Company’s Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical on January 14, 2017, at 8 PM ET. The performance will be captured live on 14 high-definition cameras at Studio 54 and available to watch on


BroadwayHD monthly and annual subscribers worldwide will also be able to watch the Holiday Inn live stream on Chromecast and BroadwayHD’s Roku, Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone apps.

The live streaming service, which launched in 2015, made history this summer with the first ever live stream of a Broadway show—She Loves Me, another Roundabout production. Following the success of the capture, the theatre and BroadwayHD are partnering together once again.

“Roundabout Theatre Company has been a great partner since the live stream of She Loves Me and we are thrilled for the opportunity to work with them again,” said BroadwayHD co-founders Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley in a press statement. “Holiday Inn is an incredibly special show that deserves to live on, particularly because of the iconic Irving Berlin score and captivating choreography performed by a stellar cast. Roundabout Theatre Company has once again put on a visually stunning production and we are honored to be able to share the magic with a larger audience.”

Holiday Inn, which began previews on Broadway September 1 and officially opened October 6, currently stars Bryce Pinkham, Danny Rutigliano, Megan Lawrence, Megan Sikora, Corbin Bleu, and Lora Lee Gayer. The new musical features music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a book by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge, inspired by the 1942 film.

The Broadway production is directed by Greenberg, with choreography by Denis Jones, and is scheduled to close January 15, 2017—just two days after the live stream.

“In the few months since we began, over 3,000 students and teachers have been given the opportunity to see and hear the magic of Irving Berlin performed by a cast of the most talented actors on Broadway at free or reduced rates,” added Todd Haimes, Roundabout Theatre Company’s artistic director/CEO. “It’s imperative to Roundabout that our shows remain accessible to everyone. So we are overjoyed now to bring the best of Broadway to audiences who otherwise wouldn’t be in NYC to see us live.”

In addition to exclusive live-streamed content, BroadwayHD offers subscribers unlimited access to an on-demand library of over 160 theatre productions. Following the live stream on January 14, the captured footage of Holiday Inn will be edited and made available to subscribers. This performance of Holiday Inn will be produced in association with Thirteen Productions LLC and Universal Stage Productions, and directed for the screen by David Horn.

Holiday Inn features over 20 classic songs from the Berlin catalogue, including “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” “Shaking the Blues Away,” “Easter Parade,” “Cheek to Cheek” and “Heatwave.” It tells the story of Jim, who leaves the bright lights of show business for the peace and quiet of a Connecticut farmhouse.

The complete cast also includes Malik Akil, Will Burton, Barry Busby, Darien Crago, Caley Crawford, Jenifer Foote, Morgan Gao, Matt Meigs, Shina Ann Morris, Catherine Ricafort, Drew Redington, Amanda Rose, Jonalyn Saxer, Parker Slaybaugh, Samantha Sturm, Amy Van Norstrand, Travis Ward-Osborne, Paige Williams, Victor Wisehart, Kevin Worley, and Borris York.


November 15, 2016


Founders of BroadwayHD and More Set for TRU's November 'Live Streaming' Panel Tonight!

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) and The Playroom Theatre present the November panel Live Streaming and Digital Capture: Bringing Theater into the 21st Century, tonight, November 15, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at The Playroom Theater, 151 W. 46th Street, 8th floor, NYC 10036. Doors open at 7 p.m. for networking and refreshments; roundtable introductions of everyone in the room will start at 7:30 p.m.. For more details visit

Panelists will include Broadway producers Stewart F. Lane (Tony Award-winning producer for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, War Horse, Jay Johnson: The Two & Only, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Will Rogers Folliesand La Cage Aux Folles) and Bonnie Comley (Tony Award-winning producer for Jay Johnson: The Two and Only, War Horse and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), co-founders of BroadwayHD; Benjamin Birney, Vice President of Technology and Business Affairs for BroadwayHD; Kathryn Jones, CEO of VirtualArtsTV.

Learn the distinctions between live streaming and digital capture, and how to incorporate them into your development plans, as well as use them for marketing and exposure and to extend the life and value of your creative property. We'll look at a broad spectrum of possibilities, from the relatively small budget opportunities from VirtualArtsTV and others, to the major productions archived by BroadwayHD and made accessible to an entire market of potential audience members. With expert guidance on the complicated licensing hurdles that sometimes need to be dealt with.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for networking and refreshments, roundtable introductions of everyone in the room will start at 7:30 p.m. - come prepared with your best one-minute summary of who you are, and what you need. Free for TRU members; usually $12 for non-members, but free for everyone for this season opener. Please call at least a day in advance (or much sooner) for reservations: 212-714-7628; or e-mail

The Playroom Theater, a small theater with a purpose on West Forty Sixth Street. Created by longtime theatrical producer Eric Krebs, The Playroom Theater features a 62-seat boutique theater, appropriate for rehearsals, readings, auditions, producers' presentations and workshop productions. Conceived of as an artists' workspace for writers, directors, composers, actors, producers and others committed to the professional theater arts and its industry. "The idea of The Playroom has grown out of my desire to create a small and financially manageable space in the heart of the theater district," commented Krebs. "I want this to be a place where industry professionals can pop over for a reading, a backer's audition or a small production of a work in progress." For more information on The Playroom Theater, call Frankie Dailey, General Manager, at 212-967-8278.

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-four year old 501c3 nonprofit organization created to help producers produce, emerging theater companies to emerge healthily and all theater professionals to understand and navigate the business of the arts. Membership includes self-Producing Artists as well as career producers and theater companies.

TRU publishes an email community newsletter of services, goods and productions; presents the TRU VOICES Annual New Play Reading Series and Annual New Musicals Reading Series, two new works series in which TRU underwrites developmental readings to nurture new shows as well as new producers for theater; offers a Producer Development & Mentorship Program whose mentors are among the most prominent producers and general managers in New York Theater, and also presents Producer Boot Camp workshops to help aspirants develop the business skills they need. TRU serves writers through a Writer-Producer Speed Date, a Practical Playwriting Workshop, How to Write a Musical That Works and a Director-Writer Communications Lab; programs for actors include the Annual Combined Audition, Resource Nights and "Speed Dating" as well as actor workshops.

Programs of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by public funds awarded through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, 9th district Council Member Inez Dickens; and with support from the Montage Foundation and the Friars National Association Foundation.

Since its launch in 2015, BroadwayHD aims to extend the reach of Broadway to fans old and new, anytime and anywhere. BroadwayHD is the only online streaming service of its kind, offering viewers an unprecedented Broadway experience and access to exclusive live streams. In June of 2016, BroadwayHD made history with the live stream of "She Loves Me," marking the first-ever Broadway live stream. In addition to exclusive live streamed content, BroadwayHD offers subscribers unlimited access to an on-demand library of over 150 Theater Productions from the comfort and convenience of their own homes-or wherever streaming is possible. It's the Broadway you know and love, curated from the stage to your screen.

For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit or call 212 714-7628.





A Moment in Time

Utilizing songs from John Denver, one of America's most cherished songwriters and performers, A MOMENT IN TIME, is about a marine in Afganistan who, moments before a battle, recalls a safer, happier place. The new musical received its world premiere at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center in New York, June 2010.


Let's Put On A Show! DVD

The DVD based on Stewart F. Lane's book is now available.

The grand master, Mr. Broadway himself, is at your side to help you to avoid common pitfalls and orchestrate the success of our show-whether you're working in a high school, college, community, or regional theatre.

Black Broadway

provides an entertaining, poignant history of a Broadway of which few are aware. By focusing a spotlight on both performers long forgotten and on those whom we still hold dear, this unique book offers a story well worth telling.