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Oscar 2018 Nominations

Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” was nominated for 13 Oscars, just shy of the record, and Greta Gerwig became only the fifth woman in history nominated for best director, for “Lady Bird.”

The list of nominations for the 90th Academy Awards

Best picture
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Dunkirk”
“Lady Bird”
“Get Out”
“Call Me By Your Name”
“Phantom Thread”
“Darkest Hour”

Best actress in a leading role
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

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Miles for Mary Review: The Mad Ones Make Fun Of Meetings, and High School

“Miles for Mary” is the Mad Ones theater troupe’s spot-on, deadpan funny look at a year’s worth of planning committee meetings for a local telethon at an Ohio high school. Originally presented last fall Off-Off Broadway at the Bushwick Starr, where it was well-received, it is the first production in what Playwrights Horizons is calling its Redux Series, an effort to bring shows at smaller theaters to Off-Broadway for a longer run. As such, it seems like a test case. Will the Playwrights Horizons audience take to a show that requires so much patience and at least a little insolence?
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Women on the March. Bernadette Begins. Lorraine Hansberry Rediscovered. Week in New York Theater

There was a touch of theater in the Women’s March over the weekend, with protesters’ signs adapting “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins to fit current events, and the return of those pink pussy hats. Women dominated actual New York theater as well, with Bernadette Peters beginning her performances in Hello, Dolly; a new documentary about Raisin in the Sun playwright Lorraine Hansberry (watch in full below), and the announcement of a forthcoming book (in April) of photographs chronicling early Barbra Streisand, 1963 to 1966, her Broadway era.
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#ArtActionDay: Events in NYC

Today, the first anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump, is Art Action Day.
The day is organized by The Federation, founded last year to spread the message:

Art is essential to democracy

There are events planned throughout the country. Here are some in New York:

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#Hamildrop 2, with Lin-Manuel Miranda: Wrote My Way Out

Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Aloe Blacc perform “Wrote My Way Out” the second of the promised monthly #Hamildrop series, which replace the initially proposed second volume of The Hamilton Mixtape.

The Fire This Time Festival 2018 Review: African American Plays

Fire This Time playwrights and performers

The Fire Next Time Festival 2018 performers, playwrights, directors.

A white police officer shoots a black driver five times after pulling him over for a minor traffic violation. But things are not what they seem in “Black, White & Blue”by William Watkins, one of the six 10-minutes plays in the ninth annual Fire This Time Festival.

Watkins’ play is the most overtly political, and one of the most effective, in the evening of short plays that is the centerpiece of this year’s Fire This Time Festival, which showcases the work of early-career playwrights of African and African American descent, running through January 28, 2018.
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The Undertaking Review: The Civilians Take on Death, Again

Death is well-suited to the stage, according to a philosopher quoted in “The Undertaking,” a play about death and dying written and directed by Steve Cosson, the artistic director of The Civilians. Actors playing Lear or Hamlet allow us to “practice” death, the philosopher explains; they are “ventriloquising” death for us. Death is such a common theme and occurrence in live dramas that theater might as well be called one of the fatal arts.

Given this prominence of death in theatrical life, and The Civilians’ own track record,  “The Undertaking” winds up an underwhelming undertaking.

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