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MODERN THEATRE ONLINE reviews contemporary New York and London art exhibits, new media art installations, plays, music and dance, as well as being an ongoing archive project that collects art, theatre, music and dance biographies, photos, audio and film interviews for distribution through the World Wide Web. This art, theatre, music and dance Web site and multi-media archive intends to intrigue and inform audiences with a detailed overview of art exhibits, theatre, music and dance history -- to serve the needs of academicians, art history professionals, theater professionals, students and devoted theatre, music and dance aficionados alike, with the scope of our endeavor. Modern Theatre Online is being developed under the auspices of Lightning New Media, Inc., a not-for-profit (501-C-3) corporation, which preserves, promotes, fosters and advances cultural legacies through the production and dissemination of digital media.

Commemorating Dr. Glenn Loney and his remarkable chronology of art exhibits, American and British Theatre and dance from 1900-1979 as our starting point, and using materials reproduced with the kind permission of Dr. Loney, this Web site will be developed into a detailed and comprehensive source for those interested in the events of the English-language art, theatre and dance from 1900 onward into the future. Already, the project has worked extensively with Dr. Loney to ensure the highest possible scholarship and research for the Web site. Modern Theatre Online intends to develop a full-fledged, multi-media, interactive Web site for the 21st Century. Modern Theatre Online is funded in part by a grant from the Kanbar Charitable Trust, administered by the Jewish Community Endowment Fund and a grant from the Thomas Jefferson-Rosenberg Foundation. Cynthia Allen is the website director and content editor.


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A decade after the closing of Tom O'Horgan's fantastically successful staging of HAIR on Broadway, he revived it at the Biltmore Theatre. Sons and daughters of the kids who went crazy dancing in the aisles and up on stage in the original duly got up on stage.

But it wasn't the same. The times, they had been a-changin', and the performers didn't have the same kind of relation to Sex and Society as the originals did when Teens were burning their Draft Cards. Even the Flag, on occasion.

It is said that: You cannot step into the same river twice. And Time and Tide wait for no man.

So it may also be with the revival of the epically long-running The Fantasticks. This played for ages at the Sullivan Street Playhouse, and it is now at the tiny SNAPPLE Theatre on Broadway.

Although your scribe was charmed with this show years ago--especially when Jerry Orbach was El Gallo--even then its Pyramus and Thisbe/Romeo and Juliet-derived plot seemed rather too Fey and Simplistic.

But composer Harvey Schmidt and author/lyricist Tom Jones had transformed Edmond Rostand's Romantic Commedia into a sweet show with some lilting songs. Most notable: Try to Remember--which became an International Hit and will probably still be a Nostalgia-Favorite when the rest of the score is forgotten.

As the years wore on--and The Fantasticks continued to attract young couples and their parents, who often returned on the anniversaries of the first time they had seen the show--Jones and Schmidt began having Annual Birthday Parties, with sheet-cake for that evening's audience. As well as for friends from the Press.

The original production was staged by Word Baker, and now Jones has himself taken on that task. As well as playing The Old Actor, in which role he is engaging. He and his side-kick both have Jester's Rods, topped with Portrait-Puppets of themselves in character.

These handsome puppets are worth the price of admission alone, but they aren't seen nearly enough. If New York had a Theatre-Museum, they should be displayed prominently when this revival closes!

In the meantime, let's hope all those couples--old and young--who kept this show running for so many years will find their way to the SNAPPLE Theatre!

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