New York Theater Week Ending October 8, 2012: Rebecca Unravelled; Grace Reviewed; Big Bird Attacked; Annie and Ralphie Revealed

October 1

Rebecca logo

The Weirdness of Rebecca, an account of the odd saga, with link to video of two of the musical’s songs and several updates


Hands on a Hardbody will open March 21, 2013 at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theater with full LaJolla cast including Keith Carradine

Edward Albee’s Commandments About Playwriting and Life

Never work on anything you’re not enjoying; “otherwise it’s just typing.” Never criticize what you’re writing while you’re writing it. Live in the reality of what’s happening, not in your interpretation of it. Every time you write a play, write the first play anybody’s ever written. Don’t strategize your feelings; just feel. Don’t write to solve your problems; you won’t.

From interview with Albee in New York Magazine


A Christmas Story has found its Ralphie. His name is Johnny Rabe, and I bet he eats his broccoli

The new Annie is an old pro

Ready to be an actor? Are you comfortable with rejection,organized,positive? Casting director  Lana Veenker asks you to answer 10 questions to assess your readiness to be an actor  


Romney: “I love Big Bird.” But he would kill its funding.

Romney vs. Big Bird

Joining Beth Leavel etc in cast of Elf: Jordan Gelber (Avenue Q) as Buddy the elf, Leslie Kritzer (Sondheim on Sondheim)

Carrie’s revenge: Album debuts atop Wicked, Bring It On, Book of Mormon in Billboard Best of Broadway chart

Alice Ripley, Bob Stillman as Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln in Paula Vogel’s A Civil War Christmas. director:Tina Landau. New York Theater Workshop Dec 4-30

Grace: Paul Rudd and Kate Arrington at Cort Theater on Broadway

My review of Grace

There were reasons to have faith in “Grace,” a play about the downside of faith and the mystery of grace. Its stellar four-member cast includes Paul Rudd and Ed Asner, two performers whose presence implicitly promises laughs and endearment….So why in a play that is so well-acted, by a writer with an intriguing track record, was I disappointed? In a play whose themes include faith, time and space, the author and director focus on playing with all three in the stagecraft….The practical effect of the theatrical gimmicks and the too-pat reversals, however, is to undermine the drama – or, more precisely, to expose how little credibly dramatic or genuinely intellectual is going on in this play.


The Heiress starring David Strathairn, Jessica Chastain, Dan Stevens

Your favorite Broadway debut? Answer here and win two free tickets to The Heiress, with Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) and Jessica Chastain (The Help), both making their Broadway debuts.

Deadline for contest: Tuesday, October 9 at midnight.


Cool, free podcasts in iTunes from The Civlians. eg tonight’s talk-back with an expert on Paris Commune

Eight new Theater Hall of Fame inductees: playwrights Christopher Durang, Paula Vogel, performers Betty Buckley, Sam Waterston, artistic directors Andre Bishop, Michael Kahn, director Trevor Nunn. Posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame: costume designer Martin Pakledinaz. Ceremony by invitation only at the Gershwin Theater in January.

Mazel Tov to Audra McDonald and Will Swenson, who got married tonight!


At the opening tonight of A Chorus Line at Papermill Playhouse, cast members from 1975-1990 including Donna McKechnie to pay tribute to Marvin Hamlisch


Why do people attend performing arts? Reason most cited: To socialize. Sara Leonard on attracting audiences:

Do we need professional critics? 8 (critics, performers, etc.) weigh in in NYT’s “Room for Debate”

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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