A side note about Broadway and the solo performance

John Leguizamo is not the only solo performer to take his solo performances to the bright lights of Broadway. According to the All For One website, more than 200 solo shows have appeared on Broadway between 1930 and 2013. In addition to Leguizamo’s Ghetto Klown and Latin History going to Broadway, his earlier Freak and Sexaholix also went to Broadway. Lily Tomlin’s Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe made it to Broadway as did Spalding Gray’s Monster in a Box, Eve Ensler’s The Good Body, Sarah Jones’ Bridge and Tunnel, and Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight, while Andy Kauffman performed at Carnegie Hall. If we are to judge by the 2017 Fall season on Broadway, the solo performance form has decidedly gone mainstream since the season features three different solo performances by Michael Moore, John Leguizamo and Bruce Springsteen with more promised for the Spring if not exactly on Broadway, very much in the Times Square area, including the return of John Lithgow’s Stories By Heart at the Roundabout and Eve Ensler’s In The Body of the World at the Manhattan Theater Club. Indeed, the 2017-2018 NYC fall theater season, exclusive of solo festivals like annual United Solo Festival in NYC, but including Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway houses features more than 20 different solo performances. I, for one, have seen 14 solo performances in the last six months (two of them on Broadway). Lots of things may be going wrong in the world in 2017, but the solo performance form seems to be thriving. Stay tuned for future blogs ruminating about why that might be.

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