New York Theater Week August 6 to August 13, 2012

Into The Woods, Tail!Spin!, Rebecca, Bullet for Hitler
Donna Murphy in “Into the Woods”: Anthony Weiner, one of the four political sex scandals eviscerated in “Tail!Spin!”; Jill Paice, the star of Rebecca; a scene from “Bullet for Hitler” co-written by Woody Harrelson

This week in New York theater began in sorrow, and ended in absurdity. Inbetween were openings and glimpses of what’s to come

In the week ahead:  Noël Coward in New York Festival with Bebe Neuwirth giving free reading of Coward’s “Star Quality.” The last of the free summer Broadway in Bryant Park concerts

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mark O’Donnell, co-author with Thomas Meehan of Hairspray, has died at age 58.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Marvin Hamlisch, 1944 – 2012

Marvin Hamlisch, best-known as composer of “A Chorus Line” and “The Way We Were,” has died at age 68.

A child prodigy, he was the youngest student ever admitted to the Juilliard School, and was only one of two people (the other was composer Richard Rodgers) to win Pulitzer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella will open February 21, 2013 at the Broadway Theater with Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana, Victoria Clark, and Ann Harada

Into The Woods in Central Park has been extended to Sept 1

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nine shows from the New York Fringe Festival 2012
New York Fringe Festival 2012.

Preview of the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival

Video excerpts of nine of the 187 shows, plus brief interviews with two Fringe performers, Lee Meriwether (the original Catwoman in Batman) and Chris Lowell (“Private Practice,” “The Help”)

Tony Shalhoub,Danny Burstein, Seth Numrich are among the 19 cast in the Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy. Opening December 6 at the Belasco

Norbert Leo Butz will join Katie Holmes as her brother on Broadway in Dead Accounts by Theresa Rebeck, (Date and theater to be determined)

Scene from Bullet for Adolf

My review of Bullet for Adolf

The story behind “Bullet for Adolf,” an aimless comedy co-written and directed by Woody Harrelson that has now opened at New World Stages, surely helps explain why the actor decided in his 50s to become a playwright.

Full review

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Preview of Rebecca

Christina DeCicco sings Buenos Aires from Evita, where she performs as Evita Peron on Wednesday evenings and Saturday matinees

David Gallo (@ArTDecoStop):And that is why they some people are just born to be on stage. Stunning!

Robert John Garcia (@GarciaRobert): She was fabulous in WICKED.

Bring It On, which was supposed to run on Broadway just 12 weeks, has been extended to Jan. 20, 2013.

Returning to the Al Hirschfeld Theater: Elf  Nov. 9 – Jan 6 (They don’t know who will be in the cast yet)


Tess Soltau and Donna Murphy as Rapunzel and the witch in Into The Woods

My review of Into The Woods: Stephen Sondheim at home in Central Park.

Given the overall effect of this production of “Into The Woods”, it is easy to answer the bottom-line question that many New Yorkers surely have on their minds: Is it worth waiting on the long line for the free tickets? My answer is: Yes.

But as Sondheim and Lapine show us, things are rarely as simple as a fairy tale – not even a fairy tale is so simple –  and my yes has…caveats.

There are in fact a surprising number of directorial decisions that strike me as  misguided or at least baffling (many of them connected to casting) and several central performances that disappoint.

Full review

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ryan Steele and Ephraim Sykes of Newsies

Newsies Prepare: My article in Playbill about the Newsies “newsboys” Ryan Steele and Ephraim Sykes

Sydney Lipez ‏‪(@syd10801) I’m always amazed at how these boys can do this 8 times a week.

The composer of Chaplin the musical met his two billionaire backers (one a frozen food king) playing piano at Chez Josephine.

Jeff Kyler ‏‪(@JKsTheatreScene) Jonathan! What is your favorite Broadway Moment of all time? #BwayMoment

Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater):  Intermission?

Jeff Kyler ‏‪LOL Actually, I was serious.Those moments when you KNOW you are seeing something special

Jonathan Mandell: One that comes to mind: In Albert Innaurato’s Gemini, audience watches a tent on stage for a LONG time, thinking the two characters inside may be having sex in it

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, last on Broadway in 2008, will reportedly be revived this coming season, with Scarlett Johansson,dir by Rob Ashford

Saturday, August 10, 2012

Two Fringe Festival reviews:

1. Night of the Auk

A campy revival of a once-serious science fiction play about mankind’s first trip to the moon and nuclear annihilation that, incredibly, debuted on Broadway starring Christopher Plummer and directed by Sidney Lumet.

2. Tail!Spin!

The four political sex scandals in Tail!Spin!

Are political sex scandals funny?

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner may wish to reconsider his reported plans to stage a political comeback, thanks to “Tail!Spin!” which eviscerates him and three other politicians at the center of recent sex scandals…using the public comments, statements, instant messages, e-mails, and text message of the politicians and others caught up in these events. The playwright shapes these words very cleverly.

Sunday, August 11, 2012

I hate it when you half-stand-up to let people get past you to their seat in your row but then they stay talking to their friends.

Peter Marks ‏‪(@petermarksdrama): I always want to say: “I’ll just stand here until you finish.

Bring It On the Musical on Broadway“I always felt ready for Broadway. Now that I’m here, I have to admit that it was a little scary,” says one of THIRTY-TWO performers of Bring It On who are making their Broadway debuts.

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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