Immersive Theater Pioneer En Garde Arts Re-Emerges

The latest show presented by En Garde Arts, “Red Hills,” a play about the Rwandan genocide, takes place on the entire empty ninth floor of an office building in the Financial District, as I write in  my article for TDF Stages about “Red Hills” , which is running through July 1. “Red Hills” comes 33 years after En Garde’s first shows, which were then called site-specific; they took place in empty streets and abandoned buildings throughout New York, as you can see in this photo gallery. In hindsight, they’ve been labeled immersive, and there’s more on the way.
Read more of this post


New Broadway Biographies: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rodgers and Hammerstein

The Broadway composer Richard Rodgers found four things invariably gratifying: “eating, a warm bath, making love and having a successful show.”

But how gratifying is it to read about successful shows – or the people who’ve created them?

That’s the question that hovers over two recently published Broadway biographies —
Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution  (Henry Holt, 2018, 386 pages) by Todd S. Purdum and
Renaissance Man: The Lin-Manuel Miranda Story An Unauthorized Biography
(Riverdale Avenue Books, 2018, 184 pages) by Marc Shapiro
Both are about people who created Broadway musicals that became cultural phenomena. But they differ so radically in quality it’s almost an offense to consider them together.
Read more of this post

LGBT Plays during June Pride NYC

To judge only from Broadway, New York theater is experiencing a Renaissance of old gay plays, with starry revivals of three landmark dramas that are now period pieces: The Boys in the Band from the 1960s, the soon-to-open Torch Song from the 1980s and Angels in America from the 1990s.

But, as I make clear in a round-up piece on TDF Stages,  Pride Month Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway tells a much broader story.

Click on any photograph above to see it enlarged and read the caption.

Read full article: Dramatists are exploring LGBTQ life in uncharted ways

Tony Award Winner La MaMa ETC 2018-2019 Season: Zombie Asian Moms, Stonewall at 50, Asylum Seekers, the NEA, Puppets!

La Mama ETC, Off-Off Broadway’s only Tony-winning theater, has announced a 57th season that features more than 50 premieres, dizzyingly eclectic as usual, including a 50th anniversary celebration of the Stonewall Riots, a month-long international puppet series, an investigation into the history of the National Endowment for the Arts, a look at Zombie Asian Moms and Kink Haus, a brutal but funny sexual underground, as well as an evening inspired by the poet William Butler Yeats.

In case you missed La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club’s inventive 2018 Tony Award acceptance speech (it wasn’t televised):

(For a video of their remarkable history, see below)

Read more of this post

Free Broadway in Bryant Park Concerts Summer 2018 Schedule

For the 18th year in a row, Bryant Park is the site of free lunchtime concerts by cast members of current Broadway (and some Off-Broadway) shows  on Thursdays in July and August between 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. This year’s offerings include Tony-sweeper The Band’s Visit on July 26 and an all-Disney Broadway program on August 2.

Here is the schedule for this summer:

July 12
Co-Host(s):Catherine Russell and the cast of “Perfect Crime”
“Chicago”, “SpongeBob SquarePants”, “Stomp”, “Waitress”
Read more of this post

Broadway 2018-2019 Season Preview Guide

The new Broadway season is shaping up into something familiar — lavish revivals, jukebox musicals, musical adaptations of movies, a musical about a diva and about a giant ape — but also some serious plays – two about racism, two that involve homophobia, two about journalism – and some eclectic offerings not as easily classified

Below is a list of Broadway shows in the 2018-2019 season, with each title linked to the shows’ websites when available. This list is organized chronologically by opening date and only includes shows that as of now have an opening date and a theater. More is to come; much will be changed.
Read more of this post

There ARE Straight Plays on Broadway. Ask Kerry Washington and Daniel Radliffe. Tony Recap. The Week in NY Theater

Daniel Radcliffe will star in Lifespan of a Fact

There ARE straight plays on Broadway, contrary to the impression left by the 2018 Tony Awards, which showcased only the musicals. Maybe not a Scandal exactly, but Kerry Washington can set them straight. She is in one of the two new plays that were announced this past week for the new Broadway season, both with starry casts and intriguing premises. (See The Week in New York News, below)

But it’s hard to complain too much about an awards show that hono43e the drama teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who had shielded her students from the mass shooter on Valentine’s Day, and then featured her students singing “Seasons of Love” from Rent. At the same time (and perhaps not coincidentally), the Tony voters ignored a flashy musical that stereotyped high school students.


The Tonys also went big for a little show. The day after, three different people told me that they had never heard of The Band’s Visit. Here are seven photographs, three videos and my rave.    Read more of this post

The 10 Best Moments in the 2018 Tony Awards: From Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students singing “Seasons of Love’ to Nathan Lane rejecting the goat

My favorite moments in the 72nd Tony Award broadcast were moving, inspiring, funny and weird.  Click on any of the photographs to read the captions explaining the moment.Videos below.

Read more of this post

2018 Tony Award Winners: The Band’s Visit Sweeps. Harry Potter, Angels in America win..

The Band’s Visit won best musical, and a total of 10 of the 11 awards for which it was nominated, at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won best play and five other Tonys; Angels in America won best play revival and two others; and Once on the Island won best musical revival.

Below is the complete list of the winners in the 26 competitive categories  in red with an asterisk*

(Highlighted show titles link to further information. Also listed are my personal preferences — not predictions

Best Musical


The Band’s Visit
Mean Girls
SpongeBob SquarePants, The Broadway Musical

My preference: The Band’s Visit

*Winner: The Band’s Visit

(l-r) Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk in The Band’s Visit

Read more of this post

2018 Tony Awards Cheat Sheet

The American Theatre Wing’s 72nd Annual Tony Awards, with hosts Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles, will broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS  tonight, Sunday, June 10, 2017 from 8:00 to 11:00 PM, Eastern Time. Here’s a preview guide..
How to Watch

Why Watch

Scheduled Performances

Scheduled Presenters

What to Look For

Nominations and Special Awards

Read more of this post