Broadway Season Countdown. Week in New York Theater

Five shows are officially opening on Broadway over the next five days, ending the 2017-2018 Broadway season

April 22: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
April 23: Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
April 24: Travesties
April 25: Saint Joan
April 26: The Iceman Cometh

The end of the Broadway season overlaps with the beginning of the theater award season:

April 24: Outer Critics Circle Award nominations announced
April 26: Drama Desk Award nominations announced.
May 1: Tony Award nominations announced.

New York Theater Awards: A guide and calendar

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New York Theater Awards: A Guide

Why was the great actress Sarah Bernhardt, who performed in and/or produced more than 40 shows on Broadway, never even nominated for a single Tony — nor any other major New York theater award? That’s easy: They didn’t exist during her lifetime. But other questions about these awards are harder to answer.  Why so many? How do they differ? Which are worth paying attention to? When will the various nominations be made? (Answer: many within the next week and a half) When will the awards be announced? (Answer: most within the next month and a half) Which have ceremonies open to the (paying) public?

Below a rundown. See also a calendar of nominations and awards at bottom.

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2018 Drama League Award Nominations

Below is the full list of the nominations for the 84th annual Drama League Awards, which select winners in five competitive categories, and also give special awards. The nominees were announced at Sardi’s this morning. The winners will be announced May 18, 2018,  at a ceremony at the Marriott Marquis.

(Underlined titles link to my reviews.)


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How To Get Discounts to Broadway’s Newest Shows This Season

Fifteen Broadway shows have opening dates in March and April, 2018, the bulk of the 2017-2018 season. Tickets are made available to them for as little as $10, but more often about $40, which is still as much as about a 75 percent discount off full price. How does this work? Below, listed alphabetically, are the shows and the official ways to get (relatively) inexpensive tickets to them Read more of this post

Cost of Living by Martyna Majok Wins Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Broadway’s April Avalanche. Week in NY Theater

“The Cost of Living” by Martyna Majok wins the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. “The Minutes by Tracy Letts and “Everybody” by Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins were selected as finalists.

This only begins the Season of Theater Awards,  which will heat up within the next few weeks. This month is already hot with openings —   six on Broadway within the next nine days.  I’ve already reviewed eight plays and musicals just in the past week (See below.).
 Also below: More on Majok and the Pulitzers, Tony nominations, new shows starring Elaine May, Anika Noni Rose, and Karl Marx;  the spectacular new season at the Signature, Patti LuPone starts a new feud, and a parody of Les Miz on Saturday Night Live.
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Carousel: Review and pics


The new “Carousel” has the most glorious singing on Broadway, as well as thrilling choreography and picturesque sets and costumes that seem lifted from great American paintings by Thomas Eakins and Edward Hopper. It also has a surprisingly dark story whose last half hour has aged so poorly it offers a bizarre mix of the ugly and the precious.
Director Jack O’Brien, though he has made some superficial changes to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved 1945 musical, hasn’t solved its dated attitude toward domestic abuse, nor does he take the corn out of the scenes set in Heaven; if anything, he makes more corn, inserting a prologue of angels gamboling in stage smoke, and expanding the role of the Starkeeper, the celestial counselor. But in this fifth Broadway revival, the director does bring us opera star Renee Fleming as Nettie Fowler singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (which she sang at Barack Obama’s inaugural concert) and “June Is Busting Out All Over” – which would be enough right there in my book to make up for any flaws in the show…

Full review at DC Theatre Scene.

Click on any photograph by Julia Cervantes to see it enlarged.

Mlima’s Tale Review: Lynn Nottage’s Poetic Play about Elephant Slaughter and the Ivory Trade

Elephants might become extinct in 20 years because of poaching for their ivory, we learn from “Mlima’s Tale,” the unusual new play by Lynn Nottage, the Pulitzer prize winning playwright of Ruined and Sweat, which is staged poetically by Jo Bonney, with a memorable performance by Sahr Ngaujah as Mlima.
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King Lear at BAM: Review and pics

“King Lear” begins with a foolish ruler swayed by flattery, and ends with what Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Greg Doran calls “a strange, profound unease.” Shakespeare’s tragedy is, in other words, as relevant as ever. And Doran’s often visually arresting if rarely shattering production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theater, which stars Antony Sher as Lear, is as good as any to remind us of the Bard’s insights into stormy times, and the self-delusions of the powerful.

Full review at DC Theatre Scene

Click any photograph by Richard Termine to see it enlarged


Mean Girls Review: Tina Fey’s Ill-Timed Broadway Musical About High School

At the end of “Mean Girls,” Cady, the new girl in high school who tries so hard to fit in that she’s become phony and superficial, tells her classmates that she’s learned her lesson: “I wanted everyone to like me so bad, I kind of lost myself in the process.” Had Tina Fey and her collaborators learned the same lesson, they surely would not have turned her smart, funny 2004 movie into the overlong, ill-timed Broadway musical that is currently running at the August Wilson Theater.
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Children of a Lesser God Review: Deaf Rights and Romance, Four Decades Later

The first Broadway revival of “Children of a Lesser God,” the award-winning, boundary-breaking 1980 play by Mark Medoff about the romance and eventual marriage between a hearing teacher at a school for the deaf and a deaf graduate, is the only show on Broadway whose creative team includes a “director of artistic sign language.” It is the only show on Broadway to project supertitles of the entire script at EVERY performance, and to schedule sign language interpreters regularly. And, above all, it is of course the only show that marks the stunning Broadway debut of Lauren Ridloff, who portrays Sarah Norman, whose language (like the actress’s) is American Sign Language.
These are reasons enough to welcome this production, and to consider it pioneering, even as the play it’s remounting feels dated.
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