Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hands On A Hardbody, Weirdness All Over Broadway

BreakfastHardbodySondheimWeirdnessBroadway’s been so weird lately that you don’t even have to mention Rebecca, or a cat getting fired, or Alec Baldwin to come up with ten questions in a Weird Theater Quiz Spring 2013.

The cat was fired from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” not the only weirdness coming from that play that opened this past week. Also opening: Hands on A Hardbody, marking the Broadway songwriting debut of Trey Anastasio. Links to reviews below.

Also below: Celebrations of the birthdays of three of the greatest living Broadway songwriters: John Kander, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim, with some videos of our favorite songs.

And: Alan Cumming takes a stand against the most famous theatrical superstition.

The Week in New York Theater

Monday March 18, 2013

Songwriter John Kander (Cabaret, Chicago, Scottsboro Boys) turns 86
Songwriter John Kander (Cabaret, Chicago, Scottsboro Boys) turns 86

After two years at the Beacon Theater, The Tony Awards return to Radio City Music Hall on June 9th (on CBS live starting 8 p.m. ET)

FREE ‏tickets available March 25th for a March 28th concert at Town Hall celebrating its landmark designation.

Playwright Annie Baker was awarded the $25,000 Susan Blackburn Prize for “The Flick” and has become the second recipient of the Horton Foote Legacy Project, “which includes a four-week writing residency, starting in May, at Foote’s preserved home in Wharton, Tex.”

Performer Dee Dee Bridgewater  will star as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day” at Off-Broadway’s Little Shubert opening September 26.

Today is John Kander’s 86th birthday. What is your favorite Kander and Ebb song?

What good is sitting alone In your room?/

Come hear the music play./

Life is a Cabaret, old chum,/

Come to the Cabaret.

Ann Wallace @aenordland  That’s like asking who is my favorite daughter. That being said, “All That Jazz.”

Come on, babe/

Why don’t we paint the town/

And all that jazz?/

..I’m no one’s wife/

I love my life/

And all that jazz.

‪Robert Falls @RobertFalls201

“Happiness comes in on tiptoe/

Well what do you know/

It’s  a quiet thing/

A very quiet thing…”

(A Quiet Thing from Flora The Red Menace)

Drew Blau‪ @drewlblau

Lying all alone, I’m thinkin’/

Staring at the stars, I wonder/

Since I been away, I’m lonely/

When I’m gonna go back home

(Go Back Home from Scottsboro Boys)


Lynn Redgrave
45 Bleecker Street Theater will be renamed after the late Lynn Redgrave

CultureProject’s 45 Bleecker Street Theater will be renamed the Lynn Redgrave Theater to honor the late actor and playwright.

Here Lies Love, Alex Timbers/David Byrne/Fatboy Slim musical at the Public Theater doesn’t begin until April 2nd, but is already extended to May 19th.

Finalists for Steinberg/ATCA new play award:Johnna Adams, Ayad Akhtar, Lucas Hnath, Mia McCullough, Dan O’Neil, Robert Schenkkan. Schenkkan, finalist or All The Way, on LBJ’s struggle to pass Civil Rights Act, won Pulitzer for Kentucky Cycle

Sign up for Company’s Marathon — the reading of ALL of Shakespeare’s canon April 16-20 from Facing Page Productions.  Shakespeare wrote a total of 101,919 lines. His longest play, at 32,241 words, is Hamlet, says Facing Page. His shortest: Comedy of Errors.

Meryl Wheeler ‏@MamaMeryl  This is so cool! And for the musical side of Shakespeare, Shakespeare Songbook at Lyrics & Lyricists at 92nd Street Y.

Broadway veteran Karen Olivo (Rent, Brooklyn, In The Heights, West Side Story) says she is quitting acting. “My abilities have always been bigger than my desire to share them”

Luther Mandrawz ‏‪@Kiarri_ NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Peter Marks @PeterMarksDrama: Wow

Meg McSweeney ‏‪@megmcsweeney” oh please. So dramatic, announcing it like this. Why doesn’t she just take a break and see what happens?

Is it time for artists to get serious about unionizing?

Being a musician is a good job, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to go broke doing it.”–David Byrne

“I Hope They Serve Beer on Broadway” aiming for Off-Broadway in June


RedgraveEisenbergRevisionistThe Revisionist by Jesse Eisenberg, who is co-starring with Vanessa Redgrave, has been extended to April 27th. There is reportedly talk of a Broadway transfer

No,they didn’t settle, & now a federal judge has set a May 28 trial date for Julie Taymor vs. Spider-man producers and composers

New York Times: Cat understudy in Breakfast at Tiffany’s fired for being difficult

Should Actors Equity or the ASPCA intervene?  ‏

JoseSPiano ‏@JoseSPiano20 How about Mrs. Lovett?

Actors Equity ‏@ActorsEquity20 We’re without all the facts but we don’t condone catty behavior; sometimes you can’t help a sourpuss

There’s a rash of these animal actor firings: Helen Mirren got a corgi kicked off the cast of “The Audience” in the U.K.

Playwright Stephen Adly Giurgis (left) reads from one of his plays at the Labyrinth Theater's New York, New York Festival.
Playwright Stephen Adly Giurgis (left) reads from one of his plays at the Labyrinth Theater’s New York, New York Festival.

New York, New York Festival at the Labyrinth Theater Company

Sigourney Weaver and Christopher Durang, friends for 40 years. “We bonded over our radar for crackpot things”

Cory Michael Smith and Emilia Clarke at 21 Club in Breakfast At Tiffany's
Cory Michael Smith and Emilia Clarke at 21 Club in Breakfast At Tiffany’s

My review of Breakfast At Tiffany’s

When Holly Golightly sits on the fire escape strumming a guitar and singing, those watching  “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” at the Cort Theater may temporarily feel in familiar territory, even though this Holly is not Audrey Hepburn and she isn’t singing “Moon River.” But for maximum appreciation of this stylish and intriguing stage version, written by Richard Greenberg and starring Emilia Clarke and Cory Michael Smith, it helps to forget the brightly romantic 1961 film. This of course is not possible, which is one reason why this “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is ultimately unsatisfying.

Full review of Breakfast At Tiffany’s



My review of Hands on a Hardbody

“Hands on a Hardbody,” an odd but tuneful new musical based on a 1997 documentary film about a sadistic endurance contest to win a pickup truck in Texas, might as well be called “American Idle,” or “They Shoot Horsepower, Don’t They?” or “A Chorus Line, SUV.”  The contest was simple: The winner had to keep at least one hand on the truck, a Nissan Hardbody, longer than any of his competitors.  The musical is also simple:  Each of ten contestants gets at least one song to sing or monologue to speak about their hard-luck life before dropping out; they all also periodically dance around the truck…Its most striking aspect is all the talent poured into it….They deserve more memorable characters to portray

Full review of Hands on a Hardbody


AlanCummingMacbethmarqueeAlan Cumming will say “Macbeth” even in the theater, despite The Curse Of The Scottish Play . Patti LuPone disagrees.

2013 lifetime achievement Tonys to go to Lincoln Center’s Bernard Gersten,set designer Ming Cho Lee, Jujamcyn Theater’s Paul Libin

“Turn your thoughts away from cold unfeeling light/ And listen to the music of the night”-Happy 65th Birthday,

Andrew Lloyd Webber

gmg1961 ‏@Aquarius196122  my favorite of all time…. Phantom is timeless!!! It’s NEVER over, the music of the night…

“Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all/ And, my dear, I’m still here”~ Stephen Sondheim, 83 today


Somebody,make me come through

I’ll always be there

As frightened as you

To help us survive

Being alive

Being alive

Being alive!

Kathy Perry ‏@krperry222  Bobby, Bobby, Bobby Baby, Bobby Booby, Robert…:)


Take the Weird Theater Quiz
Take the Weird Theater Quiz

Take the Weird Theater Quiz Spring 2013. See how weird it’s gotten

Sample question:

Which plot is that of a show this season?

  •  Ten people try to keep one of their hands on a truck for four days.
  •  Three people work in an old movie theater over the summer, mostly sweeping the aisles
  •  A crazy, ill woman stalks a military hero and then he falls in love with her
  •  A group of archaeologists dig up artifacts in Illinois
  •  They all are
  •  None are

Miles Lott @mlottjr  Got a 100%. Truly a time when truth is stranger than…you know what.

Seven films based on the Bard: e.g. West Side Story (Romeo & Juliet),),My Own Private Idaho (Henry IV & V)  

Sonia Sotomayor, Fiona Shaw, Hilton Als in Pen’s World Voices Festival April 29-May 5

The Living Theater’s “Here We Are” at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center March 26-29


15 Hunks on Broadway


Complains about "The Flick" have led Playwrights Horizons artistic director Tim Sanford to send an e-mail to the theater's subscribers.
Complains about “The Flick” have led Playwrights Horizons artistic director Tim Sanford to send an e-mail to the theater’s subscribers.

So many theatergoers complained about The Flick that Playwrights Horizons artistic director Timothy Sanford has written a response –– and I respond to the response.

Julie Haverkate ‏‪@JulieHaverkate  “Did we know we had programmed a 3hour play when we chose it? No” Almost sounds like if he’d known, wouldn’t have picked it

Donna Hoke ‏‪@donnahoke  If the play actually accomplished what she said she wanted to it, I might have forgiven some of the endless silences.

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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