Obama and Romney on Broadway? Cyrano; Falling; Top Theater Colleges; More Rebecca Weirdness. Week in New York Theater October 15-October 22, 2012

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh; otherwise they’ll kill you.”~Oscar Wilde, born 158 years ago this past week.  

October 15

Julia Murney and Daniel Everidge in Falling

My review of Falling

Josh’s favorite activity is tilting open a cardboard box full of white feathers that’s perched on a wall shelf just above his head and letting the contents fall on his face. It is among the few calm moments in his day. Josh is 18 years old, overweight, autistic, and aggressive in “Falling,” Deanna Jent’s fascinating play being given a stellar production at the Minetta Lane Theatre.

…What makes this work so well is the standout performance by Julia Murney as the mother, whose encounters with Josh (Daniel Everidge) invest the play with an authentic and harrowing feel. Murney plays a woman too busy to fall apart but too stressed out not to express the strain in myriad ways. Watch her face when Tami writhes her way out from under the deadly grip of her son

Full review of Falling in Backstage


Bring It On is closing on Broadway, Dec 30, 2012, after 21 previews and 173 regular performances

Madness is necessary in the theater, for writers and actors, writes playwright Christopher Shinn, but one balanced w/sanity 

Happy 87th birthday Angela Lansbury, Broadway’s own, veteran of 14 Broadway shows, as early as 1957, as late as this year.


Lead producer of Rebecca: “I was duped. I was raped” The Weirdness of Rebecca continues 

Campaign 2012: Where Presidential Candidates and Your Congressmember Stand on the Arts 

My review of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in The Time of Cholera as a play

When the movie version of “Love in the Time of Cholera,” starring Javier Bardem as a man lovesick for 50 years, was released in 2007 to generally unfavorable reviews, critic Roger Ebert wondered whether the works of the great Nobel Prize–winning novelist Gabriel García Márquez were worth trying to translate to the screen. Too much is lost, he said, when you “extract the story without the language.” Playwright Caridad Svich’s theatrical adaptation of Márquez’s beloved novel, launching Repertorio Español’s 45th season, achieves a better albeit imperfect transition from the page.

Full Love in the Time of Cholera Review in Backstage

The entire cast album of A Christmas Story is available online (presumably for limited time)


To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Sierra Boggess will join the cast for January, 2013

Ellen Burstyn,Reed Birney,Elizabeth Marvel, Mare Winningham are among the big cast for Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of William Inge’s Picnic, Dec 14-Feb 24

Update: Alleged Rebecca con man arrested without bail as a “considerable threat” to the community

 Forbidden Broadway Alive and Kicking has extended its run through April 2. My review  

“Warm,likable,brassy..modestly scaled” says Christ Jones about Kinky Boots, opened pre-Bway in Chicago.  

Broadway has too many revivals, “surefire oldies” turned boring star vehicles,says Time critic Richard Zoglin 

 Obama and Romney in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (and in Wicked)


“Rebecca” producers filed $100 million lawsuit against Mark Hotton for fraud. Hotton filed for bankruptcy last year, $15 million in debt

In light of Rebecca,Michael Riedel fondly recalls Broadway rogues of the past, Adela Holzer & Garth Drabinsky 

My review of the 15th Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway, which unfortunately illustrates my Les Miz Rule. 

Near the end of the latest Broadway revival of Cyrano de Bergerac, much to my surprise, the Les Miz Rule kicked in. If a Broadway show shines bright lights directly in your face, features stage smoke and lots of arty lighting, and has grim-faced men in period costume pledging their troth on the rampart or the parapet to some unclear cause, then an odd phenomenon kicks in, which I only discovered after years of theatergoing:  Everybody will wind up liking the show except for me.

The Roundabout Theater Company’s production of “Cyrano de Bergerac” has these elements ALL IN THE SAME SCENE – followed by a scene with nuns and falling leaves!…At  nearly three hours long, this Cyrano felt like a homework assignment.

Full TFT review of Cyrano

An Enemy of the People, Manhattan Theater Company’s production of Ibsen play with Boyd Gaines, has extended its run by one week, to November 18th.

Happy Birthday John Lithgow, veteran of 22 shows on Broadway + some 90 films and TV.

Theatermania has a new series, Bros on Broadway, inviting “dudes” who have never seen a Broadway show before to review one.

The Bro who saw Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf recommended it, but not as a date play; he certainly wouldn’t take his girlfriend: “The audience was full of couples and the dudes all looked miserable.”


Theater vs. Twitter, my most controversial post ever, in reply to Guardian article entitled:
Is it OK to use Twitter mid-performance?

The solution to rude theatergoers is not even ruder complainers — righteous little theatrical Taliban


“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”~Carrie Fisher, whose birthday is today!

Why do people cough more at plays than movies? Alan Jay Lerner: “not respiratory ailment; It’s a criticism.” 


Pump Boys and Dinettes, John Doyle’s tribute to life by the roadside, returns after 3 decades to Broadway in Spring 2013

Barry Manilow in concert on Broadway, January 18-24, 2013, at the St. James Theater.

Jeremy Shamos,Mark Blum,Sam Robards join Jessica Hecht,Judith Light in The Assembled Parties,Opens April 17, Samuel J Friedman

Top colleges for theater, according to The Princeton Review:

1. SUNY Purchase

2. Carnegie Mellon

3. Yale

4. Wagner College in Staten Island

5. Emerson College

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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