Waiting for Tribeca

Snapshot of a moment:  Shubert Alley 1986

Snapshot of a moment:  Shubert Alley 1986

By: Sarah Ashman Gillespie — April 19, 2018

As the weekend approaches and with it, the debut of Don Hahn’s new documentary, HOWARD, at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, I can’t help thinking of the countless opening nights we witnessed when a new Ashman play or musical was about to face critics and audiences alike.

Little Shop of Horrors had what I’d call a soft opening.  Off Off Broadway shows got reviewed intermittently, not necessarily the day after “opening” (and their parties consisted of questionable cheese and cheap wine in a tiny lobby).  When the show moved to the Orpheum it was a move, not a formal opening.  Which was all fine with Howard, who was happiest under the critics' radar – and who wouldn’t be? 

The opening of Smile will live with me forever as a heartbreak.  When Don's documentary has a wider release (I have no news on that but every hope that it will) you’ll hear more about that night.  If you're interested in reading about theater woes now, though, here's a post for you.

Every show has a moment when you think the critics totally missed the point (even when they loved you) or ask yourself why the audience didn’t laugh…or cry… at a particular spot.  I have no idea how my brother survived the pressure of those moments.

I’m so happy and excited for Don Hahn.  This is his film and his point of view.   He has made a beautiful film about an extraordinary man.  I am sure that you will all soon have a chance to see  it – and to weigh in with your thoughts.

Until then, as they say on TV – watch this space.

And you might want to read this…