On The Twentieth Century Review: Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Gallagher On Glorious, Hilarious Train Trip

Chenoweth, Gallagher 350Train travel is hot again, at least at the (ironically named) American Airlines Theater, where “On The Twentieth Century” turns out to be one of the funniest and most entertaining shows on Broadway – something not everybody would have predicted for this revival of a 37-year-old musical comedy adaptation of an 83-year-old play about two people who take a train from Chicago to New York.

But this is no ordinary Amtrak, and the people on board are far from pedestrian commuters. They are an electrifying mix of the glamorous and the hilarious, their antics piling up at perilous speed.
We are on the Twentieth Century Limited, the ultimate in gleaming Art Deco luxury train travel, thanks to some spectacular work by set designer David Rockwell, who goes full steam ahead with the train motif right from the get-go: Even during the overture, in front of a metallic-looking curtain stamped with a train design, puffs of smoke noisily gasp into the air as if from a locomotive.
On board is the dazzling, ill-tempered movie star Lily Garland, portrayed by the dazzling Kristin Chenoweth, who here shows off not just her golden pipes but some superb comic chops. Lily is being pursued by the magnetic, sleazy Broadway impresario Oscar Jaffe — portrayed by the magnetic Broadway performer Peter Gallagher. Their characters are both self-dramatizing narcissists, and they play them grand, broad and bickering. When he twirls his mustache, it’s not a villainous gesture; it’s a vain one: He’s looking in the mirror of his train compartment, prettying himself for the planned seduction. Oscar is the man who discovered Lily, when she was a dowdy piano accompanist named Mildred Plotka (with a New York accent reminiscent of early Barbra Streisand), and he turned her into a star. They became lovers; now they’re haters. She wants nothing to do with him. But he needs her for his next show, after a string of flops has put him hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt. He has 16 hours (the duration of the train trip) to win her back, come up with a show for her to star in, and get it funded.

20thcenturyfilmThis thin and improbable premise worked for the anarchic comic talents of Ben Hecht and Charlie MacArthur, who wrote the 1932 Broadway play Twentieth Century and then adapted it into the quintessential 1934 screwball comedy starring John Barrymore and Carole Lombard. And it works as well for the musical adaptation by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who partnered with composer Cy Coleman. Coleman may have created scores with more memorable melodies (in “Sweet Charity,” and “The Life”), but “On The Twentieth Century” (largely mock operetta and train rhythms, which won the 1978 Tony for best original score) is full of songs that function as deft comic numbers.

Director Scott Ellis and choreographer Warren Carlyle make the most of both the slapstick mayhem and the razzmatazz, sometimes simultaneously. In “Veronique,” for example,  we’re offered a flashback of Lily in one of her Oscar Jaffe-created starring vehicles, in front of a backdrop of the Arc de Triomphe, which manages to be both satiric and delightful in its excess.

The smartest move the director makes is in choosing the cast, which includes numerous stand-outs among its two dozen members.

Andy Karl, recently the star of Rocky, shines here as Lily’s new boyfriend Bruce Granit , a self-involved movie actor who likes to paste 8 by 10 glossies of himself around her train compartment, and (using his Rocky workouts to good measure), exercises using Lily as his dumbbell.

Mary Louise Wilson is delectable as Letitia Peabody Primrose, a crackpot religious fanatic who’s been surreptitiously pasting “Repent” stickers everywhere on board, especially fellow passengers’ backsides. If Miss Primrose seems at first just an exercise in comic digression, she winds up figuring prominently in the off-the-wall plot in ways I won’t reveal here. She is also the vehicle by which the show goes positively Salvador Dali in its treatment of trains during the song “She’s a Nut” (See some of the photographs below.)

The four redcap porters – members of the ensemble Rick Faugno, Richard Riaz Yoder, Phillip Attmore and Drew King – steal the show several times with their carefully coordinated song-and-dance routines, such as the novelty number “Life Is Like a Train,” whose lyrics demonstrate that life is not like a train, but whose train-like dance moves show otherwise.

But kudos must go especially to Peter Gallagher and Kristin Chenoweth, and not just because they provide the central spark that ignites the comic chaos. The opening of “On the Twentieth Century” was delayed a few days because a sinus infection forced Gallagher to miss performances. Due to an injury, Chenoweth has been cracking her jokes while nursing a cracked rib. Together, they prove themselves old-fashioned troupers in this old-fashioned entertainment – turning “old-fashioned” into a compliment.


On The Twentieth Century

Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater

Book and lyrics by: Betty Comden and Adolph Green, music by Cy Coleman
Based on plays by Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur and Bruce Millholland
Set Design by David Rockwell; Costume Design by William Ivey Long; Lighting Design by Donald Holder; Sound Design by Jon Weston; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Makeup Design by Anne Ford Coates;
Cast: Kristin Chenoweth (Lily Garland), Peter Gallagher (Oscar Jaffee), Andy Karl (Bruce Granit), Mark Linn-Baker (Oliver Webb),Michael McGrath (Owen O’Malley), Mary Louise Wilson (Letitia Primrose), Phillip Attmore,Justin Bowen, Preston Truman Boyd, Paula Leggett Chase, Ben Crawford, Rick Faugno, Jenifer Foote, Bahiyah Hibah, Drew King, Analisa Leaming, Kevin Ligon, Erica Mansfield, James Moye, Linda Mugleston, Mamie Parris, Andy Taylor, Jim Walton, Richard Riaz Yoder
Running time: 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission
Tickets: $67 to $147
On The Twentieth Century is scheduled to run through July 5, 2015. I’ll be surprised if it isn’t extended.

The Audience Review: Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth Over Her 60-Year Reign

HelenMirrenasQE2throughtheages“The Audience,” a middle brow British export starring the quick-change artistry of Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth, imagines what happens during Her Majesty’s private weekly meetings with England’s prime ministers over the course of her six decade reign. By the end of Peter Morgan’s play, we have learned that Queen Elizabeth

  • TheAudience2HelenMirrensuffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
  • hates Buckingham Palace
  • has a wry sense of humor and dry wit
  • grew up with a Scottish nanny who slept in her bedroom until she was 15, which made her identify with ordinary, middle class people
  • is politically liberal

What we don’t learn is whether any of this is true. The weekly “audience” that the British sovereign has held with the British prime minister, which has been taking place for centuries, is completely private; more to the point, Queen Elizabeth is protective of her privacy, and is restricted by her role as a constitutional monarch from publicly revealing her views.  The upshot is that “The Audience” presents a character sketch of the queen that is largely unreliable, providing little authentic insight and even less drama.

So what, you might ask, is the point?

While it was a hit on the West End, “The Audience” is likely to appeal on this side of the Atlantic primarily to Anglophiles, Monarchists and fans of Helen Mirren, who is best known for her role as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in the British TV drama Prime Suspect… and for her Oscar-winning portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in the 2006 film, “The Queen” — which was also written by Peter Morgan.

That movie focuses on the British Royal Family’s  response to the death of Princess Diana. Those expecting something similar in “The Audience” should know that there is no mention of Diana’s death in “The Audience” — and only brief mention of her or Prince Charles at all.

And yet, there is a point to “The Audience,” or at least, a selling point — the chance to see Helen Mirren on stage, in her return to Broadway after an absence of 14 years. With generous assist from costume (and set) designer Bob Crowley and hair and makeup designer Ivana Primorac, Mirren makes lightning-quick transformations from 25-year-old yet-to-be-crowned sovereign still in mourning clothes for her father meeting with Winston Churchill, to frail but impeccably appointed  88-year-old grandmother apt to snooze while current prime minister David Cameron prattles on – – some dozen different Elizabeths in all. Indeed, one should be forgiven for suspecting that the random (non-chronological) order of her meetings with the prime ministers — first , we see her with John Major in 1995, then with Churchill in 1952, then with Harold Wilson in 1964, and so on– is primarily designed to showcase Mirren’s skill in metamorphosis.

Mirren is supported by a large cast of professionals. There is even a “Young Elizabeth” (portrayed by alternate young actresses) who talks more openly about the resentments she feels about the limitations placed upon her because of her royal duties.  The stand-outs in the cast include Dakin Matthews as an ancient and patronizing Churchill, and Richard McCabe as the radical Labor prime minister and regular Joe, Harold Wilson, whom the playwright has decided was the queen’s favorite PM. Kudos to two other familiar American actors who are here unrecognizable in their makeup, manner and accents, Dylan Baker as John Major and Judith Ivey as Margaret Thatcher.

It’s in her exchanges with Major that we first see the queen’s wit:

“I only ever wanted to be ordinary,” Major says at the outset.

The queen pauses. “And in which way do you consider you’ve failed in that?”

Later Major asks whether she and her sister weren’t victims of gender discrimination because she was only ever tutored at home, while male heirs would have been sent to school. She replies: “I suppose we were. Do you think I should sue?”

The encounters with the prime ministers include a few brief discussions of moments in  history that one could consider political: Elizabeth talks about the invasion of the Suez Canal with Prime Minister Anthony Eden and of the invasion of Iraq with Prime Minister Tony Blair in a way in which we are clearly led to believe she disagreed with their decisions. The bulk of her meeting with an unpleasant Thatcher is in effect an argument over Thatcher’s refusal to support the worldwide protest movement against South Africa’s apartheid policies. But most of the meetings offer snatches of biographical information — and the supposed inner feelings — of prime ministers largely unknown in the United States. To make up for our ignorance, Geoffrey Beevers as a white-gloved Equerry (one of the queen’s assistants) provides background exposition throughout the show, including descriptions of the furniture in the room where the audience takes places.  An insert in the Playbill offers a brief rundown on the eight prime ministers who appear on stage, out of the 12 who have served during Elizabeth’s reign.

The satisfactions of such exposure to Great Britain’s politicians are as fleeting as the presence of a couple of corgis that at one point rush across the stage  —  dogs that are Elizabeth’s favorite breed… which is one of the few indisputable facts about her in “The Audience.”

Click on any photograph to see it enlarged.


The Audience

At the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater,

By Peter Morgan; directed by Stephen Daldry; designed by Bob Crowley; lighting by Rick Fisher; sound by Paul Arditti; composer, Paul Englishby; hair and makeup design by Ivana Primorac.

Cast: Helen Mirren (Queen Elizabeth II), Dylan Baker (John Major), Geoffrey Beevers (Equerry), Michael Elwyn (Anthony Eden), Judith Ivey (Margaret Thatcher), Dakin Matthews (Winston Churchill), Richard McCabe (Harold Wilson), Rod McLachlan (Gordon Brown), Rufus Wright (David Cameron/Tony Blair), Elizabeth Teeter (Young Elizabeth) and Sadie Sink (Young Elizabeth).

Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission

Tickets: $79.00 – $157.00

The Audience is scheduled to run through June 28, 2015 — shortly before “Hamilton” – a musical that features a group of Americans who fought a revolution to get away from monarchy —  begins performances a block away.




Fish in the Dark Review: Larry David on Death and Recycling

Fish in the DarkCort TheatreFish in the Dark,” which marks Larry David’s Broadway debut as a writer and performer – indeed his first stage performance since the eighth grade — feels like a couple of episodes of his TV series, Curb Your Enthusiasm. There’s the sixth episode of the third season, for example, entitled The Special Section, when Larry David’s mother dies, and he stumbles upon the realization that her death is a great excuse to get out of all kinds of obligations that he would rather avoid. It has some funny lines, a cast of 17, including guest star Martin Scorsese, and is half an hour long.

“Fish in the Dark” starts with the news that Sidney Drexler (Jerry Adler) is dying. He’s father to Norman Drexler (the name Larry David gives himself, although it’s the “Larry David” we’re familiar with — in jacket and sneakers and large shrugs.)  A deathbed scene leads to a dispute with Norman’s brother Arthur (Ben Shenkman) and unleashes the antics and complications of various and sundry other relatives and associates. There are 18 members of the cast, including Rita Wilson as Norman’s wife and Rosie Perez as his maid. It has some funny lines, and is two hours long.

That Larry David’s Broadway comedy recycles some of Larry David’s TV comedy is hardly a sin; indeed, the audience laughed the loudest when he uttered a trademark line from Curb Your Enthusiasm.

At its best, both the episodes and the Broadway play, currently at the Cort Theater, are not just armored vehicles shooting one-liners. They involve a knowing exploration of the inappropriate (but secretly common) reactions to a death in the family. “The only time I feel truly alive is at funerals,” one relative (Lewis J. Stadlen) remarks.  “It’s like life’s an elimination tournament and I’ve moved on to the next round.”

But this might imply more substance than actually exists. “Fish in the Dark” is the lightest of entertainments, so much so that it’s almost shocking how much deep talent, on stage and behind the scenes, is associated with this show. The director is Anna D. Shapiro, soon to take the helm as artistic director at Steppenwolf, the director on Broadway of This is Our Youth, and The Motherfucker with the Hat, and August:Osage County (!) for which she won a Tony Award. The set designer Todd Rosenthal also won a Tony for August: Osage County (!)

Like Woody Allen, David for some reason replaces what many see as his cutting edge sensibility when writing for the screen with hoary, lascivious Borscht Belt shtick when writing for the stage. Indeed, the recycling that is in “Fish in the Dark” doesn’t stop with David’s own material. It’s remarkable how many aspects of “Fish in the Dark” called forth unbidden other artists or shows – ones that did it better.

The TV-familiarity of the whole enterprise. “The Pee-Wee Herman Show,” a 90-minute Broadway play, catered to fans of Paul Reuben’s former TV series “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” The audience roared at every allusion.

The animation on the curtain before the show began (a blinking fish) and then in-between the scenes (letters cleverly moving around a projection of a death certificate.) The best thing about Wonderland, the show inspired by Alice in Wonderland, was the curtain decorated with John Tenniel’s familiar illustrations of Lewis Carroll’s book, punctuated by animations of Carroll’s words and phrases, swirling around the characters.

The huge cast of mostly familiar faces, who each get little more than a comic character trait or a one-liner or two. The current “It’s Only A Play” suggests this. Woody Allen’s  “Honeymoon Motel,” part of the disappointing package of three plays, “Relatively Speaking,” took place in a tacky honeymoon suite and involved a series of knocks on the door followed by the entrance one after the other in what used to be called zany characters one-upping each other in zaniness.

But in both these cases, the playwright was savvy enough about the demands of the stage that they used just one set. “Fish in the Dark” uses nearly half a dozen, all realistic-looking – or, more precisely, all looking like the kind of sound stage sets used in Curb Your Enthusiasm. The switch from set to set – the hospital, waiting room, a hospital room, a funeral home, the living room of Larry David’s home, a bedroom in Larry David’s home, and back again – explains those curtain animations spread throughout the show, set to brief jazzy compositions by David Yazbeck.

As for the cast itself, every one is first rate — and I’ve seen nearly every single one in something better. Most are reduced to playing a single joke or stereotype. The fabulous Jane Houdyshell (Follies, Harrison, Tx. etc.) portrays Norman’s stereotypical Jewish mother. When she faints, because she thinks she sees the ghost of her (now) dead husband as a young man, Norman tries to rouse her by saying: “There’s schmutz everywhere! Company’s coming!”

Jake Cannavale is making his Broadway debut as that young man, Diego — who resembles Sidney as a young man because (I suppose this is a spoiler alert) Sidney was his father, with the maid, Fabiana (portrayed by Rosie Perez.) Cannavale is Bobby Cannavale’s 19-year-old son — the last time critics are likely to mention this, because he is an impressive talent in his own right…which viewers of Nurse Jackie already knew.

Jonny Orsini, who made such a splash in his Broadway debut as Nathan Lane’s love interest in The Nance and went on to portray Malcolm in Ethan Hawke’s Macbeth, here portrays Greg, the boyfriend of Norman’s daughter Natalie, who is portrayed by Molly Ranson, an actress who made her Broadway debut in “August: Osage County.” (!) Natalie speaks with an affected Eliza Doolittle accent because she’s rehearsing for a community theater production of “My Fair Lady.”  That’s more or less the sum of her character. Greg seems to exist only because he is the kind of friendly sort who puts his hands on people when he talks to them —  which gives Larry David’s Norman the opportunity to keep on shoving Greg’s hand off of him. I’ll admit it: This made me laugh. But it’s also symbolic of the show as a whole. Larry David surrounds himself with talent in “Fish in the Dark,” but there would be no show without Larry David reacting to them — which is surely why he has no understudy. The show might as well be called “Larry David in the Dark.”


Fish in the Dark

At the Cort Theater

By Larry David; directed by Anna D. Shapiro; music by David Yazbek; sets by Todd Rosenthal; costumes by Ann Roth; lighting by Brian MacDevitt; sound by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen; wigs by Alan D’Angerio

Cast: Larry David (Norman Drexel), Rita Wilson (Brenda Drexel), Rosie Perez (Fabiana Melendez), Ben Shenkman (Arthur Drexel), Lewis H. Stadlen (Stewie Drexel), Jake Cannavale (Diego Melendez), Marylouise Burke (Rose Kanter), Jerry Adler (Sidney Drexel), Jenn Lyon (Michelle), Jonny Orsini (Greg), Molly Ranson (Natalie Drexel), Maria Elena Ramirez (Nurse Ramirez), Rachel Resheff (Jessica Drexel), Joel Rooks (Dr. Meyers), Jeff Still (Jay Leventhal), Kenneth Tigar (Harry Kanter), Richard Topol (Dr. Stiles) and Jayne Houdyshell (Gloria Drexel).

Running time: 2 hours

Tickets: $49.00 – $275.00

Fish in the Dark is scheduled to close on June 7, 2015. It reportedly had the largest advance sale of any play in the history of Broadway, so it’s possible it will be extended, albeit most likely with cast changes.

The Visit Ticket Giveaway: See Chita Rivera’s New Musical For Free

The_Visit-1Ticket Giveaway: Win two tickets to see Chita Rivera and Roger Rees in The Visit, “a stunning tale of young love, timeless seduction, and sweet revenge.” The Visit marks the final collaboration between John Kander and Fred Ebb (Chicago, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and Cabaret), with a book by Terrence McNally. It begins performances March 26th at Broadway’s Lyceum Theater, and opens April 23, 2015.

This contest to win a pair of tickets to the show is easy: Just come up with a tagline to the following video:

It can be funny, it can be daring, it can be alluring — and, if it’s good enough, it might actually be used.

1. Please put your suggestion for a tag line in the comments at the bottom of this blog post, because the winner will be chosen through Random.org based on the order of your reply, not its content.
2. Please include in your answer your Twitter name and follow my Twitter feed at @NewYorkTheater so that I can send you a direct message. (If you don’t have a Twitter name, create one. It’s free.)
3. This contest ends Thursday, March 12, 2015 at midnight Eastern Time, and I will make the drawing no later than noon the next day. You must respond to my direct message on Twitter within 24 hours or I will choose another winner.


Update: Congratulations to Corey Sexton, winner of the random drawing.

Larry David’s Fish in the Dark: Video Preview

FishDark2In the dark about Fish in the Dark, Larry David’s new Broadway comedy about two brothers struggling to deal with the death of their father, which opens on March 5th at the Cort Theater. Here is a 28-second video montage that is not very illuminating.

The video leaves out some of the essential questions that the play reportedly deals with: Should you pre-wash dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, should you bring a date to a hospital visit, should you tip a doctor?

As I say in my preview guide to March openings,  this comedy about a death in the family marks not just the Broadway debut of Larry David as both performer and writer, but also the first time he’s appeared on a stage since the eighth grade.

He performs in an 18-member cast that includes such luminaries of stage and screen as Rita Wilson, Rosie Perez, Jayne Houdyshell, and Ben Shenkman, and such hot newcomers as Jake Cannavale and Jonny Orsini.

“I never gave Broadway a thought, growing up—I didn’t really have ambitions. My parents wanted me to be a mailman.,” Larry David told The New Yorker, in a recent brief article about the co-creator of Seinfeld, and the creator and star of  Curb Your Enthusiasm, as he visited his childhood neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay.

In The Guardian, David explains how he came to star in the show. “I didn’t write it to be in it. I didn’t volunteer for it! Unfortunately, the main character sounded way too much like me for [producer] Scott Rudin to ignore. So that’s where I made my mistake.”

March 2015 Openings Broadway, Off Broadway, Off Off Broadway

Four Broadway shows are opening in March, marking the return of Dame Helen Mirren after 14 years and Larry David’s first stage appearance since the eighth grade. Another 18 openings are happening Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. Some of the shows focus on real-life figures such as entertainers Josephine Baker and Joan Baez (and other folk singers);  playwrights Eugene O’Neill and Henrik Ibsen; the father of the atom bomb, and the Queen of England. Judging by many of the plays and musicals, March is a month for love, sex, marriage and family.

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

Nothing, of course, is guaranteed about any of these shows, even those that seem the most promising. (This is why I write reviews.) There are always surprises.
Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple. Off Off Broadway: Green.

To check out the entire Spring 2015 season, see my Broadway and Off-Broadway preview theater guides.

 March 1

FashionsforMenFashions For Men (Mint Theater)

First produced at Budapest’s National Theater in 1917. In 1922 it appeared on Broadway in an English translation, about a saintly haberdasher whose wife steals his last dollar and runs off with his top salesman,.

Abundance (TACT at The Beckett Theatre, Theatre Row)

The 1990 play by Beth Henley focuses on two mail-order brides who are lured to the plains of Wyoming by the promise of new beginnings.

March 2

The Mystery of Love and Sex (Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater)

In this new play by Bathsheba Doran, directed by Sam Gold, Tony Shalhoub and Diane Lane play the parents of a college-age daughter whom they try to convince to end a romantic relationship.

March 4

The Feast (Flea)

Matt and Anna’s relationship is going swimmingly, until the sewers under their apartment open up and begin to speak

 March 5

Fish In The Dark (Cort Theatre)

Larry DavidA comedy about a death in the family by Larry David, the co-creator of Seinfeld, and the creator and star of  Curb Your Enthusiasm, who said he hasn’t acted in a play since the eighth grade. Will his humor translate to the stage? The huge advance sale says his fans are betting it will.

Woyzeck, FJF (New Ohio Theatre)

A modern classic by the 19th century German dramatist Georg Buchner, re-imagined as the story of a condemned man desperate to uncover the truth in a dangerous world.

March 7

ONeillsGhostsPoster011615O’Neill’s Ghosts (TBG Theater)

Set in 1950’s in the coastal Connecticut family home of Eugene O’Neill, as the famed playwright struggles to complete his autobiographical play Long Day’s Journey Into Night. He is forced to deal with his troubled, alcoholic son and his possessive wife.

March 8

The Liquid Plain (Signature Theatre – The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Stage)

On the docks of late 18th century Rhode Island, two runaway slaves plan a desperate and daring run to freedom in this play that continues the season of playwright Naomi Wallace.

The Audience (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre)

For 60 years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. The play imagines a series of sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive meetings between the Queen and everyone from Churchill to Cameron.
The always-fabulous Helen Mirren starred in the 2013 West End production, which got raves in the London press — but remember both critics and British audiences know (and care) more about British political history than U.S. theatergoers.

A Happy End (Abingdon Theatre Company)

In 1932, a Jewish family considers leaving Berlin amid the imminent rise of the Nazi Party, in this play by Iddo Netanyahu

 March 10

Josephine and I (The Public Theater – Joe’s Pub)

Written and starring Cush Jumbo (The River, Julius Caesar), this solo show featuring jazz and ragtime interweaves a story of an ambitious young woman in modern times with the life of the  Josephine Baker, the first African-American performer to rise to international prominence.

Long Story Short (Prospect Theater Company at 59E59)

Adapted from the two-character play An Infinite Ache by David Schulner, this musical covers a romance and 50-year marriage in 90 minutes and 17 songs.

March 14

Irreversible (Red Fern Theater Company at The Theater at the 14th Street Y)

Robert Oppenheimer and his brother Frank are desperately racing to beat the Nazis to the world’s first nuclear bomb in the throes of World War II, but when they finally see the power of their new weapon, the two men are torn apart in a battle between conscience and ambition.

March 15

On the Twentieth Century (American Airlines Theatre)

Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher star as a struggling Broadway producer who tries to get a former lover, now a Hollywood star, to sign a contract to star in his latest (and as yet un-conceived) play as they travel on the luxury train Twentieth Century Limited from Chicago to New York.
A musical based on the 1933 play Twentieth Century, which was made into a 1934 movie starring John Barrymore and Carole Lombard, this musical comedy debuted on Broadway in 1979.

Posterity (Atlantic Theater Company)

In a new play by Doug Wright, Norway’s most celebrated sculptor is hired to create the last official bust of its most famous writer, but Henrik Ibsen proves to be an irascible, contentious sitter, as the two men wage war over both his legacy and his likeness

 March 16

Placebo (Playwrights Horizons)

A new play by Melissa James Gibson about a woman working on “a placebo-controlled study of a new female arousal drug.”

March 17

TheaterA_Small_LonesomeTrav_WideLonesome Traveler (59E59)

Nine singer/musicians dramatize key moments in the history of the American folk revival, portraying characters from Pete Seeger to Leadbelly to Joan Baez

I OF THE STORM (Playroom Theatre)

Richard Hoehler performs the debut of a new solo riff by RJ Bartholomew about an unlikely success story.

March 18
Possum Dreams (Shetler Studios Theatre 54)

A play about a married couple caught in the unraveling illusions that have held them together for eighteen years.  “feels like a kinky, unhinged cousin to “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

March 19

The Heidi Chronicles (Music Box Theatre)

This 1989 play by the late and much missed Wendy Wasserstein follows the awakening of art historian Heidi Holland in a changing cultural and political landscape. The casting of Elisabeth Moss in the title role is both well-timed (Peggy and the rest of the characters of Mad Men are soon to depart) and intriguing.

March 23


Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova)

In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat, confronting inner demons, in this play by Bess Wohl (well-known actress as well as a playwright), directed by Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812; Three Pianos; Taylor Mac’s Lily’s Revenge).


 March 31

Music Hall (TUTA Theater Chicago at 59E59)

A story about three fading performers who act, sing, and dance every night, and endure year after year.

Love on Broadway

Here is a list of Broadway shows, alphabetically, that have “love” in the title, more than 200 in all. The earliest is “Love for Love” by William Congreve in 1750, a play that popularized the line “you must not kiss and tell,” and that has been revived on Broadway six times, most recently in 1974. The latest, “Living on Love,” doesn’t open until April, 2015, and a revival of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love” is scheduled for October. Best titles: “Love in a Coffee Cup,” “Love and Libel,” “Love Laughs,” “Love Kills.” The longest-running show on Broadway with “love” in the title was: “I Love My Wife,” the Cy Coleman musical from the 1970s, which ran for 857 performances.  Five were performed only once. “Love” doesn’t always last, but it never ends.

  1. A Bit of Love [Original]
    Opening: May 12, 1925
    Closing: May, 1925
    Performance Count: 4
  2. Opening: Nov 17, 2013
    Performance Count: 513 as of February 08,2015
  3. A Lady in Love [Original]
    Opening: Feb 21, 1927
    Closing: Mar, 1927
    Performance Count: 16
  4. A Lesson in Love [Original]
    Opening: Sep 24, 1923
    Closing: Nov, 1923
    Performance Count: 72
  5. A Love Scandal [Original]
    Opening: Nov 17, 1923
    Closing: Dec, 1923
    Performance Count: 24
  6. A Lovely Light [Original]
    Opening: Feb 8, 1960
    Closing: Feb 20, 1960
    Performance Count: 17
  7. A Mother’s Love [Original]
    Opening: May 18, 1903
  8. Opening: Nov 18, 1929
    Closing: Dec, 1929
    Performance Count: 24
  9. Opening: Dec 14, 1966
    Closing: Dec 17, 1966
    Performance Count: 5
  10. All for Love [Original]
    Opening: Jan 22, 1949
    Closing: May 7, 1949
    Performance Count: 121
  11. And Be My Love [Original]
    Opening: Jan 18, 1934
    Closing: Jan, 1934
    Performance Count: 4
  12. And Be My Love [Original]
    Opening: Feb 21, 1945
    Closing: Mar 3, 1945
    Performance Count: 14
  13. Another Love [Original]
    Opening: Mar 19, 1934
    Closing: Apr, 1934
    Performance Count: 16
  14. Another Love Story [Original]
    Opening: Oct 12, 1943
    Closing: Jan 8, 1944
    Performance Count: 104
  15. Ashes of Love [Original]
    Opening: Mar 22, 1926
    Closing: Mar, 1926
    Performance Count: 8
  16. Aspects of Love [Original]
    Opening: Apr 8, 1990
    Closing: Mar 2, 1991
    Performance Count: 377
  17. Opening: Jan 16, 1899
  18. Borrowed Love [Original]
    Opening: Jun 17, 1929
    Closing: Jun, 1929
    Performance Count: 13
  19. But Not For Love [Original]
    Opening: Nov 26, 1934
    Closing: Dec, 1934
    Performance Count: 8
  20. Chinese Love [Original]
    Opening: Feb 28, 1921
    Closing: Mar 10, 1921
    Performance Count: 12
  21. Opening: Oct 11, 1961
    Closing: Oct 28, 1961
    Performance Count: 21
  22. Opening: Feb 10, 1964
    Closing: Feb 15, 1964
    Performance Count: 8
  23. First Love [Original]
    Opening: Nov 8, 1926
    Closing: Dec, 1926
    Performance Count: 50
  24. First Love [Original]
    Opening: Dec 25, 1961
    Closing: Jan 13, 1962
    Performance Count: 24
  25. Flame of Love [Original]
    Opening: Apr 21, 1924
    Closing: May, 1924
    Performance Count: 32
  26. Fool for Love [Original]
    Opening: Oct 8, 2015
  27. Opening: Oct 11, 1897
  28. For Love or Money [Original]
    Opening: Nov 4, 1947
    Closing: Jun 19, 1948
    Performance Count: 263
  29. Opening: Feb 12, 1906
    Closing: Feb, 1906
    Performance Count: 8
  30. Opening: Oct 2, 1972
    Closing: Oct 8, 1972
    Performance Count: 8
  31. Opening: Oct 6, 1968
    Closing: Oct 26, 1968
    Performance Count: 17
  32. God Loves Us [Original]
    Opening: Oct 18, 1926
    Closing: Nov, 1926
    Performance Count: 30
  33. Greater Love [Original]
    Opening: Mar 2, 1931
    Closing: Mar, 1931
    Performance Count: 8
  34. Gypsy Love [Original]
    Opening: Oct 17, 1911
    Closing: Nov 11, 1911
    Performance Count: 31
  35. Opening: May 10, 1927
    Closing: May, 1927
    Performance Count: 6
  36. Opening: Mar 21, 1927
    Closing: Aug, 1927
    Performance Count: 152
  37. Here’s Love [Original]
    Opening: Oct 3, 1963
    Closing: Jul 25, 1964
    Performance Count: 334
  38. Holiday for Lovers [Original]
    Opening: Feb 14, 1957
    Closing: May 11, 1957
    Performance Count: 100
  39. How She Loves Him [Original]
    Opening: 1863
  40. Opening: Mar 29, 1971
    Closing: Jun 26, 1971
    Performance Count: 104
  41. I Know My Love [Original]
    Opening: Nov 2, 1949
    Closing: Jun 3, 1950
    Performance Count: 247
  42. I Love an Actress [Original]
    Opening: Sep 17, 1931
    Closing: Oct, 1931
    Performance Count: 20
  43. I Love My Wife [Original]
    Opening: Apr 17, 1977
    Closing: May 20, 1979
    Performance Count: 857
  44. I Love You [Original]
    Opening: Apr 28, 1919
    Performance Count: 56
  45. Opening: Oct 11, 1932
    Closing: Dec, 1932
    Performance Count: 63
  46. Opening: Feb 7, 1939
    Closing: Jul 22, 1939
    Performance Count: 191
  47. If Love Were All [Original]
    Opening: Nov 13, 1931
    Closing: Nov, 1931
    Performance Count: 11
  48. In Love With Love [Original]
    Opening: Aug 6, 1923
    Closing: Nov, 1923
    Performance Count: 128
  49. In Love With Love [Original]
    Opening: May 14, 1928
    Closing: May, 1928
    Performance Count: 8
  50. In Praise of Love [Original]
    Opening: Dec 10, 1974
    Closing: May 31, 1975
    Performance Count: 200
  51. John Loves Mary [Original]
    Opening: Feb 4, 1947
    Closing: Feb 7, 1948
    Performance Count: 423
  52. June Love [Original]
    Opening: Apr 25, 1921
    Closing: Jun 4, 1921
    Performance Count: 48
  53. Opening: Dec 28, 1969
    Closing: Sep 4, 1971
    Performance Count: 706
  54. Late Love [Original]
    Opening: Oct 13, 1953
    Closing: Jan 2, 1954
    Performance Count: 95
  55. Legend of Lovers [Original]
    Opening: Dec 26, 1951
    Closing: Jan 12, 1952
    Performance Count: 22
  56. Living on Love [Original]
    Opening: Apr 20, 2015
    Closing: Aug 2, 2015
  57. Opening: Feb 3, 1926
    Closing: Jun, 1926
    Performance Count: 152
  58. Opening: Aug 8, 1910
    Closing: Sep, 1910
    Performance Count: 48
  59. Love and Babies [Original]
    Opening: Aug 22, 1933
    Closing: Aug, 1933
    Performance Count: 7
  60. Love and Kisses [Original]
    Opening: Dec 18, 1963
    Closing: Dec 28, 1963
    Performance Count: 13
  61. Love and Let Love [Original]
    Opening: Oct 19, 1951
    Closing: Dec 1, 1951
    Performance Count: 51
  62. Love and Libel [Original]
    Opening: Dec 7, 1960
    Closing: Dec 10, 1960
    Performance Count: 5
  63. Love and the Man [Original]
    Opening: Feb 20, 1905
    Closing: Mar, 1905
    Performance Count: 22
  64. Love Birds [Original]
    Opening: Mar 15, 1921
    Closing: Jun 11, 1921
    Performance Count: 103
  65. Love Dreams [Original]
    Opening: Oct 10, 1921
    Closing: Nov 12, 1921
    Performance Count: 40
  66. Love Finds the Way [Original]
    Opening: Apr 11, 1898
  67. Love for Love [Original]
    Opening: Jul 23, 1750
  68. Love for Love [Revival]
    Opening: 1861
  69. Love for Love [Revival]
    Opening: Mar 31, 1925
    Closing: May, 1925
    Performance Count: 47
  70. Love for Love [Revival]
    Opening: Sep 14, 1925
    Closing: Sep, 1925
    Performance Count: 16
  71. Love for Love [Revival]
    Opening: Jun 3, 1940
    Closing: Jun 8, 1940
    Performance Count: 8
  72. Love for Love [Revival]
    Opening: May 26, 1947
    Closing: Jul 5, 1947
    Performance Count: 48
  73. Love for Love [Revival]
    Opening: Nov 11, 1974
    Closing: Nov 30, 1974
    Performance Count: 24
  74. Opening: Sep 21, 1936
    Closing: Nov 1, 1936
    Performance Count: 38
  75. Love Goes to Press [Original]
    Opening: Jan 1, 1947
    Closing: Jan 4, 1947
    Performance Count: 5
  76. Opening: Jan 11, 1938
  77. Love in a Mist [Original]
    Opening: Apr 12, 1926
    Closing: Jul, 1926
    Performance Count: 118
  78. Love in E Flat [Original]
    Opening: Feb 13, 1967
    Closing: Mar 4, 1967
    Performance Count: 24
  79. Opening: Mar 9, 1937
    Closing: Apr 10, 1937
  80. Love in Idleness [Original]
    Opening: Jan 30, 1905
  81. Love in My Fashion [Original]
    Opening: Dec 3, 1937
    Closing: Dec, 1937
    Performance Count: 2
  82. Opening: Dec 1, 1936
    Closing: Dec, 1936
    Performance Count: 8
  83. Opening: Jan 1, 1937
    Closing: Jan, 1937
    Performance Count: 8
  84. Opening: Oct 18, 1927
    Closing: Oct, 1927
    Performance Count: 15
  85. Opening: Dec 22, 1969
    Closing: Dec 27, 1969
    Performance Count: 8
  86. Opening: Nov 17, 1859
    Closing: Dec 31, 1859
  87. Love Is Like That [Original]
    Opening: Apr 18, 1927
    Closing: May, 1927
    Performance Count: 24
  88. Love Kills [Original]
    Opening: May 1, 1934
    Closing: May, 1934
    Performance Count: 15
  89. Love Laughs [Original]
    Opening: May 20, 1919
    Closing: Jun, 1919
    Performance Count: 31
  90. Love Letters [Original]
    Opening: Oct 31, 1989
    Closing: Jan 21, 1990
    Performance Count: 96
  91. Love Letters [Revival]
    Opening: Sep 18, 2014
    Closing: Dec 14, 2014
    Performance Count: 95
  92. Love Life [Original]
    Opening: Oct 7, 1948
    Closing: May 14, 1949
    Performance Count: 252
  93. Love Me Little [Original]
    Opening: Apr 14, 1958
    Closing: Apr 19, 1958
    Performance Count: 9
  94. Love Me Long [Original]
    Opening: Nov 7, 1949
    Closing: Nov 19, 1949
    Performance Count: 16
  95. Love o’ Mike [Original]
    Opening: Jan 15, 1917
    Closing: Sep 29, 1917
    Performance Count: 233
  96. Opening: Feb 19, 1915
    Closing: May 30, 1915
  97. Love of Women [Original]
    Opening: Dec 13, 1937
    Closing: Dec, 1937
    Performance Count: 8
  98. Love on Leave [Original]
    Opening: Jun 20, 1944
    Closing: Jun 24, 1944
    Performance Count: 7
  99. Love on the Dole [Original]
    Opening: Feb 24, 1936
    Closing: Jun, 1936
    Performance Count: 145
  100. Love Thy Neighbor [Original]
    Opening: Mar 24, 1996
    Closing: Jan 5, 1997
    Performance Count: 234
  101. Love Watches [Original]
    Opening: Aug 27, 1908
    Closing: Jan, 1909
    Performance Count: 172
  102. Opening: Feb 14, 1995
    Closing: Sep 17, 1995
    Performance Count: 248
  103. Love’s Call [Original]
    Opening: Sep 10, 1925
    Closing: Sep, 1925
    Performance Count: 20
  104. Love’s Comedy [Original]
    Opening: Mar 23, 1908
  105. Opening: Nov 8, 1859
    Closing: Dec 31, 1859
  106. Opening: Feb 4, 1953
    Closing: Feb 15, 1953
    Performance Count: 15
  107. Love’s Lightning [Original]
    Opening: Mar 25, 1918
  108. Love’s Lottery [Original]
    Opening: Oct 3, 1904
    Closing: Jun, 1905
    Performance Count: 57
  109. Opening: May 2, 1940
    Closing: Jun 8, 1940
    Performance Count: 44
  110. Opening: Apr 14, 1904
    Closing: Apr 14, 1904
    Performance Count: 1
  111. Opening: Sep 17, 1879
    Closing: Sep 29, 1879
    Performance Count: 13
  112. Opening: Mar 12, 1930
    Closing: Apr, 1930
    Performance Count: 45
  113. Love/Life [Original]
    Opening: May 1, 2005
    Closing: May 23, 2005
    Performance Count: 8
  114. Opening: Dec 28, 1970
    Closing: Jan 9, 1971
    Performance Count: 19
  115. Lovely Lady [Original]
    Opening: Oct 14, 1925
    Closing: Nov, 1925
    Performance Count: 21
  116. Lovely Lady [Original]
    Opening: Dec 29, 1927
    Closing: May 19, 1928
    Performance Count: 164
  117. Lovely Me [Original]
    Opening: Dec 25, 1946
    Closing: Jan 25, 1947
    Performance Count: 37
  118. Lovemusik [Original]
    Opening: May 3, 2007
    Closing: Jun 24, 2007
    Performance Count: 60
  119. Lover’s Lane [Original]
    Opening: Feb 6, 1901
    Closing: May, 1901
    Performance Count: 127
  120. Lover’s Luck [Original]
    Opening: Aug 30, 1916
  121. Lovers and Enemies [Original]
    Opening: Sep 20, 1927
    Closing: Sep, 1927
    Performance Count: 2
  122. Lovers and Friends [Original]
    Opening: Nov 29, 1943
    Closing: Apr 22, 1944
    Performance Count: 168
  123. Opening: Mar 5, 1906
    Closing: Mar 10, 1906
    Performance Count: 8
  124. Opening: Sep 18, 1968
    Closing: Nov 16, 1968
    Performance Count: 70
  125. Opening: Dec 13, 1954
    Closing: Oct 1, 1955
    Performance Count: 336
  126. Mainly for Lovers [Original]
    Opening: Feb 21, 1936
    Closing: Feb, 1936
    Performance Count: 8
  127. Mama Loves Papa [Original]
    Opening: Feb 22, 1926
    Closing: Mar, 1926
    Performance Count: 25
  128. More to Love [Original]
    Opening: Oct 15, 1998
    Closing: Oct 17, 1998
    Performance Count: 5
  129. My Thing Of Love [Original]
    Opening: May 3, 1995
    Closing: May 14, 1995
    Performance Count: 12
  130. Night of Love [Original]
    Opening: Jan 7, 1941
    Closing: Jan 11, 1941
    Performance Count: 7
  131. Opening: Dec 19, 1963
    Closing: Jun 20, 1964
    Performance Count: 212
  132. Nothing But Love [Original]
    Opening: Oct 14, 1919
    Closing: Dec 6, 1919
    Performance Count: 64
  133. Of Love Remembered [Original]
    Opening: Feb 18, 1967
    Closing: Feb 25, 1967
    Performance Count: 9
  134. Opening: Sep 30, 1964
    Closing: Jan 16, 1965
    Performance Count: 125
  135. Old Love Letters [Original]
    Opening: Aug 31, 1878
  136. P.S. I Love You [Original]
    Opening: Nov 19, 1964
    Closing: Nov 28, 1964
    Performance Count: 12
  137. Puppy Love [Original]
    Opening: Jan 27, 1926
    Closing: May, 1926
    Performance Count: 111
  138. Opening: Feb 23, 1920
    Closing: May, 1920
    Performance Count: 88
  139. Sadie Love [Original]
    Opening: Nov 29, 1915
    Closing: Feb, 1916
    Performance Count: 80
  140. She Loves Me [Original]
    Opening: Apr 23, 1963
    Closing: Jan 11, 1964
    Performance Count: 301
  141. She Loves Me [Revival]
    Opening: Jun 10, 1993
    Closing: Jun 19, 1994
    Performance Count: 354
  142. She Loves Me Not [Original]
    Opening: Nov 20, 1933
    Closing: Oct, 1934
    Performance Count: 360
  143. Six-Cylinder Love [Original]
    Opening: Aug 25, 1921
    Closing: Jul, 1922
    Performance Count: 344
  144. Spanish Love [Original]
    Opening: Aug 17, 1920
    Closing: May, 1921
    Performance Count: 308
  145. Stronger Than Love [Original]
    Opening: Dec 28, 1925
    Closing: Feb, 1926
    Performance Count: 49
  146. The Big Love [Original]
    Opening: Mar 3, 1991
    Closing: Apr 7, 1991
    Performance Count: 41
  147. Opening: Sep 20, 1927
    Closing: Apr, 1928
    Performance Count: 247
  148. Opening: Nov 1, 1961
    Closing: Jan 27, 1962
    Performance Count: 101
  149. Opening: Sep 17, 1753
  150. Opening: Aug 10, 1857
    Closing: Aug 14, 1857
    Performance Count: 4
  151. The Cyclone Lover [Original]
    Opening: Jun 5, 1928
    Closing: Jul, 1928
    Performance Count: 31
  152. The Forest Lovers [Original]
    Opening: Sep 10, 1901
    Closing: Oct 21, 1901
    Performance Count: 47
  153. The Game of Love [Original]
    Opening: May 24, 1909
    Closing: Jun, 1909
    Performance Count: 16
  154. Opening: Nov 25, 1929
    Closing: Jan, 1930
    Performance Count: 48
  155. The Great Lover [Original]
    Opening: Nov 10, 1915
    Closing: Jun, 1916
    Performance Count: 245
  156. The Great Lover [Revival]
    Opening: Oct 11, 1932
    Closing: Oct, 1932
    Performance Count: 23
  157. The Greater Love [Original]
    Opening: Mar 19, 1906
    Closing: Apr, 1906
    Performance Count: 32
  158. Opening: Oct 4, 1915
    Closing: May 20, 1916
  159. Opening: May 4, 1927
    Closing: May 4, 1927
    Performance Count: 1
  160. Opening: Mar 29, 2001
    Closing: Jun 30, 2001
    Performance Count: 108
  161. Opening: Sep 18, 1963
    Closing: Dec 28, 1963
    Performance Count: 115
  162. Opening: Aug 17, 1936
    Closing: Sep, 1936
    Performance Count: 32
  163. Opening: Jan 30, 1863
  164. Opening: Mar 1, 1866
    Closing: Mar 10, 1866
    Performance Count: 9
  165. The Look of Love [Original]
    Opening: May 4, 2003
    Closing: Jun 15, 2003
    Performance Count: 49
  166. The Love Call [Original]
    Opening: Oct 24, 1927
    Closing: Jan 7, 1928
    Performance Count: 88
  167. The Love Child [Original]
    Opening: Nov 14, 1922
    Closing: Apr, 1923
    Performance Count: 167
  168. The Love City [Original]
    Opening: Jan 25, 1926
    Closing: Mar, 1926
    Performance Count: 42
  169. The Love Cure [Original]
    Opening: Sep 1, 1909
    Closing: Jan, 1910
    Performance Count: 78
  170. The Love Drive [Original]
    Opening: Oct 30, 1917
    Closing: Nov, 1917
    Performance Count: 15
  171. The Love Duel [Original]
    Opening: Apr 15, 1929
    Closing: Jul, 1929
    Performance Count: 88
  172. The Love Expert [Original]
    Opening: Sep 23, 1929
    Closing: Oct, 1929
    Performance Count: 16
  173. The Love Girl [Original]
    Opening: Nov 6, 1922
    Closing: Nov 18, 1922
    Performance Count: 16
  174. The Love Habit [Original]
    Opening: Mar 14, 1923
    Closing: May, 1923
    Performance Count: 69
  175. The Love Leash [Original]
    Opening: Oct 20, 1913
    Closing: Nov, 1913
    Performance Count: 16
  176. The Love Letter [Original]
    Opening: Oct 4, 1921
    Closing: Oct 29, 1921
    Performance Count: 31
  177. The Love Match [Original]
    Opening: Oct 12, 1901
    Closing: Nov, 1901
    Performance Count: 57
  178. The Love Mill [Original]
    Opening: Feb 7, 1918
    Closing: Mar 23, 1918
    Performance Count: 52
  179. The Love Nest [Original]
    Opening: Dec 22, 1927
    Closing: Jan, 1928
    Performance Count: 23
  180. Opening: Jan 15, 1953
    Closing: May 16, 1953
    Performance Count: 141
  181. The Love Route [Original]
    Opening: Oct 30, 1906
    Closing: Dec, 1906
    Performance Count: 47
  182. The Love Set [Original]
    Opening: Mar 19, 1923
    Closing: Mar, 1923
    Performance Count: 8
  183. The Love Song [Original]
    Opening: Jan 13, 1925
    Closing: Jun 6, 1925
    Performance Count: 157
  184. Opening: Feb 9, 1972
    Closing: Feb 12, 1972
    Performance Count: 5
  185. The Love Thief [Original]
    Opening: Jan 24, 1927
    Closing: Feb, 1927
    Performance Count: 32
  186. The Love-Chase [Original]
    Opening: Oct 22, 1869
  187. The Love-Chase [Original]
    Opening: Apr 27, 1870
  188. The Lovers [Original]
    Opening: May 10, 1956
    Closing: May 12, 1956
    Performance Count: 4
  189. Opening: Mar 6, 1985
    Closing: Apr 14, 1985
    Performance Count: 46
  190. Opening: Oct 6, 1966
    Closing: Oct 22, 1966
    Performance Count: 20
  191. Opening: Dec 27, 1933
    Closing: Jan, 1934
    Performance Count: 23
  192. Opening: Mar 28, 1937
    Closing: Mar 28, 1937
    Performance Count: 1
  193. The Loves of Lulu [Original]
    Opening: May 11, 1925
    Closing: May, 1925
    Performance Count: 16
  194. Opening: Feb 4, 1913
  195. Opening: Aug 7, 1865
    Closing: Aug 12, 1865
    Performance Count: 12
  196. The Mother Lover [Original]
    Opening: Feb 1, 1969
    Closing: Feb 1, 1969
    Performance Count: 1
  197. The Phantom Lover [Original]
    Opening: Sep 4, 1928
    Closing: Sep, 1928
    Performance Count: 15
  198. Opening: Dec 19, 1892
  199. Opening: Dec 31, 1900
  200. Opening: Dec 2, 1902
  201. Opening: Jan 23, 1905
  202. Opening: Dec 11, 1905
  203. Opening: Feb 26, 1917
    Closing: Apr, 1917
    Performance Count: 48
  204. The Right to Love [Original]
    Opening: Jun 8, 1925
    Closing: Jun, 1925
    Performance Count: 16
  205. Opening: Jan 22, 1900
    Closing: Feb, 1900
    Performance Count: 41
  206. Opening: Feb 8, 1904
    Closing: Feb 8, 1904
    Performance Count: 1
  207. The Tunnel of Love [Original]
    Opening: Feb 13, 1957
    Closing: Feb 22, 1958
    Performance Count: 417
  208. Opening: Mar 8, 1921
    Closing: Apr, 1921
    Performance Count: 60
  209. Opening: Sep 17, 1928
    Closing: Jan, 1929
    Performance Count: 136
  210. Those We Love [Original]
    Opening: Feb 19, 1930
    Closing: Apr, 1930
    Performance Count: 77
  211. To Love [Original]
    Opening: Oct 17, 1922
    Closing: Dec, 1922
    Performance Count: 55
  212. Triumph of Love [Original]
    Opening: Oct 23, 1997
    Closing: Jan 4, 1998
    Performance Count: 85
  213. What is Love? [Original]
    Opening: Sep 19, 1914
    Closing: Oct, 1914
    Performance Count: 25
  214. Without Love [Original]
    Opening: Nov 10, 1942
    Closing: Feb 13, 1943
    Performance Count: 113
  215. You’re in Love [Original]
    Opening: Feb 6, 1917
    Closing: Jun 30, 1917
    Performance Count: 167
  216. Young Love [Original]
    Opening: Oct 30, 1928
    Closing: Jan, 1929
    Performance Count: 87


Alison Bechdel on her journey with Fun Home the Musical

Animation of the cartoon by Alison Bechdel about seeing her graphic novel, Fun Home, turned into a musical.

The Bad Actor of Broadway: Jeremy Shamos in Birdman

“I’ve gotten a lot of nice e-mails and phone calls congratulating me for being a great bad actor,” Jeremy Shamos says. “It makes me feel good. That was my job in the film.”

BirdmanposterThe film is Birdman, which has been nominated for nine Academy Awards. Shamos has a small part in the film as the terrible stage performer who is replaced by Edward Norton’s character.

As I write in my article for Broadway Direct about Broadway and the Oscars, it’s ironic Shamos was cast in such a role. He is a Tony-nominated veteran of six Broadway plays, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris. He gets good reviews (including by me) in every show he’s in, from The Assembled Parties to the recent revival of Dinner with Friends (Jeremy Shamos “is rapidly becoming one of those actors who by his presence signals a quality production.”) He has more experience on Broadway than anybody else in the film had; when he was on set, director Alejandro González Iñárritu and others picked his brain about the way things are done on Broadway. They made changes based on his advice.

His own experience on Broadway differs somewhat from what Birdman depicts about life on the Great White Way. In the film, for example, there’s a lot of tension and conflict among the actors. “Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I have experienced much more camaraderie and collaboration,” he says. “There was also a lot of solitude backstage in the movie. In general, there are always people around. You don’t find yourself alone.”

But there is also one thing above all the movie gets right. “I think Birdman captures the actor’s experience of being on a stage more than any film I’ve seen — the way the lights hit you and the way the audience kind of appears shadowy and out of focus, but very present.”

Like many actors who make their living primarily on the stage, Shamos sounds ambivalent about the symbiotic relationship between Broadway and Hollywood. (“I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me but…”) On the one hand: “the Hollywood studios can throw a lot of money into developing a musical, while someone who comes out of a BMI workshop and has written a new musical, that’s going to be a lot harder to get off the ground.”
On the other hand: “Whenever I walk past the TKTS booth and I see the crowd looking at the titles of the show in red lights, I just understand from a producing point of view. If you see the name of a movie that you know, you say ‘that would be fun to see.’ Whereas if you see the name of a play that you have never heard of … I don’t even know why you would see it unless there was a star in it or unless you were actually interested enough in the theater that you did the research.”

Shamos believes the Hollywood-Broadway connection is changing in a way that makes it easier for people like him. “Right after we graduated there was a sort of a choice for people to move to LA or stay here and do theater,” says Shamos, who lives in Brooklyn. “Now I think people can choose living here and not completely eliminate their chances of working in other mediums.

“In London, it’s been easier to go between TV and movies and theater, because it’s all right there. In the past it has been a lot harder here because of the geographic distance between Hollywood and New York. But New York is becoming a center of television and film that it hasn’t been for a while. Now people can live in New York and not eliminate their chances
There’s still more work out there in California, but there’s great work here.”

JeremyShamos profile

@TheTweetofGod Comes To Broadway, Starring Jim Parsons

wrtczRdN_400x400Act of God is coming to Broadway. That’s the name of a new comedy by David Javerbaum, who among his other accomplishments (Emmy-winning former Daily Show writer) is the man behind the popular Twitter account, @TheTweetofGod. His Tweets begat the book The Last Testament: A Memoir by God. 

Joe Mantello will direct the show, which will star Jim Parsons, known best for his role on the TV show The Big Bang Theory, but now a Broadway veteran, having appeared both in The Normal Heart and in Harvey.

Act of God is not a one-God show. There are also two angels lending a hand to God, roles that have not yet been cast. The show opens May 28 at Studio 54 for a limited run. (Producer Jeffrey Finn is renting the theater from the Roundabout.)

Some previous Tweets:


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