Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Be A Broadway Star!

By Byrne Harrison

Last night I won my first two Tony Awards. I'm not really sure what the first one was for... I was just in the right place at the right time. The second, however, was for my performance as Cabaret's Sally Bowles in what can only be described as a very, very non-traditional casting choice.

While I may not have ended up the ultimate Broadway Star, I have my Tonys and my memories, and they can't take that away. Well, they did take away my Tonys; I had to leave them behind when Broadway Game Night was over.

Ken Davenport and the wonderful staff of Davenport Theatrical hosted an evening of board game delights for bloggers, critics, actors and Broadway fans. The board game was Be A Broadway Star!, which you may have seen featured on the Today show.

I've had an ad for Be A Broadway Star! on StageBuzz for a while now (and please feel free to click it to find out more and buy a copy), but hadn't played until last night. Simply put, I had a terrific time. The game itself is fun and easy to learn. It features opportunities to "Sing out, Louise," test your theatre knowledge, and do a dramatic monologue or two. Worried about performing in public? Don't be. None of the performances are necessary in order to play the game; they just help you increase your score.

The game (which reminded me a little of The Game of Life board game from when I was a kid) follows you as you begin your acting career, join Equity, find an agent and publicist, get cast in your first Broadway show, win a Tony (or two), and finally become a Broadway Star. Along the way you'll face challenges. You may play a body on Law & Order. You might get replaced in a show by a puppet. You may be forced to go back to acting school. But all along the way, you're picking up fans and cash.

Like any interactive game, this one is best played with a large group, especially one that likes showtunes. There were five of us on my game (I believe there were 7 games going on simultaneously), and everyone was having fun. We joked, teased, gave hints, and had an all around fun time.

Among the guests were Jesse North of Stage Rush, Linda Buchwald of Pataphysical Science, StageBuzz contributor Patrick Doyle, the lovely and talented Andrea Alton, theatre critic Peter Filichia... and a whole bunch of other people (my apologies for forgetting the names of everyone I met).

Buy the game, grab some friends, and start working on your LuPone imitation. You'll have a great time.

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