Hear Us Howl! Week in New York Theater

Fake John LennonDenzel Washington wants to return to Broadway – in a role that had some ….howling.

Tracy Letts is planning a return to Broadway – in a play in which characters…howl.

The Prince of Cambridge was born, undoubtedly howling.

There was much howling when the editor apologized to a theater for a review by one of the regular critics at…Howlround

And I wrote a piece about the anti-New York attitude among out-of-town theater people in….Howlround.

Also: Dule Hill, Patrick Page back on Broadway; the tenth anniversary of Avenue Q; and my reviews of Cirque de Soleil’s Quidam, Storyville, and Let It Be, with a howling fake John Lennon.

Week in New York Theater

Monday, July 22, 2013

Patrick Stewart @SirPatStew:  Sir Ian beat me to work this morning and here’s where I found him:


Behind the scenes with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in their forthcoming performances on Broadway of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land, played in rotation.

Denzel Washington at 28 and 58

Denzel Washington is reportedly interested in playing Walter Lee Younger in a  Broadway revival of Raisin In The Sun, directed by Kenny Leon

Rob Weinert-Kendt ‏@RobKendt They’d have to rename the character Walter Older.

Jonathan Mandell: Denzel is 58. Sidney Poitier was 34 when he played the role. It would change Raisin in The Sun, but maybe in interesting ways

Raymond McNeel: @RaymondMcNeel In a related story, Angela Lansbury reportedly interested in playing Matilda.

Jonathan Mandell: (At least we could hear her)

royal-baby-memes_4The Prince of Cambridge has been born.


Will they be presenting the princely heir like in The Lion King from the top of Buckingham Palace?

Liza is returning to Broadway, Michael Musto writes in his new column in Out: Minnelli and Alan Cumming plan 12-performance concert at Marquis Theater in December, Musto says.


A critic named Lily Janiak wrote a review for Howlround, a theater think tank and website, of a show at California Shakespeare Theater, to which some officials at “CalShakes” objected, including (as he belatedly admitted) CalShakes artistic director Jon Moscone. Janiak’s editor Polly Carl wrote and posted an apology for “the tone” of the review. Much howling from critics and even theater artists ensued:

Monologuist Mike Daisy: @mdaisey The idea criticism needs to be “respectful” is an insidious, dangerous, toxic, destructive impulse.

Critic and blogger George Hunka: If these editorial and institutional perspectives are what lie behind NewCrit — and I say this with all due respect to Dr. Carl and Mr. Moscone, whom I am sure are personable and intelligent people — then I say it’s spinach and I say the hell with it. Give me the OldCrit anytime.

Washington Post drama critic Peter Marks: HowlRound is now WhimperRound. PlacateRound. BacktrackRound. A ghastly precedent.

Detailed report about the controversy from The Clyde Fitch Report.


DuleHillprofilepicWelcome back DuleHill (Stick Fly, Da Noise on Broadway; West Wing, Psych on TV) will join Fantasia in @ After Midnight

In interviews for “Wolverine,” Hugh Jackman says he expects to be back on Broadway in Stephen Schwartz’s “Houdini” in the Spring.

Broadway lights dimming to tonight at 8 to honor black producer Ashton Springer.

Mark FisherBroadway fitness guru Mark Fisher‘s clients include Andrew Rannells , Billy Porter, Patina Miller

Royal Baby is now Prince George Alexander Louis (GAL?). If he ascends the throne, he’ll be George VI

Let It Be 3

My review of Let It Be

Why was I cringing and rolling my eyes? What could possibly be objectionable about a show that is really just a concert of Beatles songs — some of the most pleasing melodies composed in the twentieth century — performed as faithfully as possible by a group of professional musicians?

Full review of Let It Be


Poster for 2011 movie adapted from Letts play
Poster for 2011 movie adapted from Letts play

Tracy Letts brutal 1993 play Killer Joe is going to Broadway in 2014, say its producers (same who produced “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” It will be directed on Broadway by Woolf director Pam Mackinnon

Here are the nominations for 2013 New York Independent Theater Awards selected from some 2,000 Off-Off Broadway productions

Nathan Lane, who twisted an ankle yesterday & missed performance, is returning tonight to The Nance.

Step,kick,kick, leap, kick, touch…Everything was beautiful at the ballet…I felt nothing!….A Chorus Line opened today in 1975

Broadway in Bryant Park: Rock of Ages

A theater company survives because of its artistic vision, but good art thrives on good management ~ from Guardian Culture Pros Q and A about starting your own theater.

Anthony Weiner went by the name Carlos Danger, but his sext partner’s real name was Sydney Leathers? Who wrote this play?

Cara ‏@cgtheatregeek Someone with a very twisted sense of humor. 🙂
John Piano ‏@johnpiano: Charles Busch.

Here are the nominations for 2013 @NYITAwards selected from some 2,000 Off-Off Broadway productions http://bit.ly/14KeFE2 


My review of Cirque de Soleil’s Quidam at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

“Quidam” is one of 19 shows that Cirque de Soleil performs in five continents, generating about a billion dollars a year in merchandise and ticket sales.  While Cirque has been visited by tragedy and troubles of late, its shows remain a tremendous draw. I’ve seen various of their shows at Radio City Music Hall, in Disney World, and in Las Vegas, and have always been impressed by the acrobatic feats. I am also always baffled by those shows (Quidam, Zarkana)  that try to impose some kind of vague storyline….

Was “Quidam” the first theater piece at the Barclays arena?

That depends on whether “Quidam” is a work of theater.

Full review of Quidam


Patrick Page (Green Gobln in Spiderman) and Tonya Pinkins are among those joining Sebastian Arcelus and former Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson in the cast of the Broadway adaptation of John Grisham’s “A Time To Kill.”

Souldoctor5Watch three songs from Soul Doctor, a musical about the ‘Rock Star Rabbi Shlomo Carlbach.



My look at Avenue Q on its 10th anniversary. Does it still suck to be me?  Behind-the-scenes videos, photo gallery of current cast, interviews with the creators, controversy.

Off-Broadway Should Get A Tony Every Year

In an essay I’ve written for Howlround, I ask  ” Is New York City part of America?“ Next year for the first time, theaters within the five boroughs of New York City will be eligible for the Regional Theater Tony Award, which has been awarded every year since 1976.  As I wrote previously in this blog, this means  the Tonys, which has never honored Off-Broadway, may finally begin to do so, 

The rules change annoyed the members of the organization that chooses the winner each year, the American Theatre Critics Association. I was startled by their indignation,  and detected a resentment and prejudice towards New York,.. more


The challenges and glories of adapting a beloved story for the stage – and adding music to it.  The Bridges of Madison County musical

At Vassar, Powerhouse Theater festival wraps up another star-filled season (its 26th) as “theater camp for grown-ups”

The Assembled Parties Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

Ending today — The Assembled Parties I loved this;

Here Lies Love 5

Also ending Here Lies Love at the Public Theater. Exciting, game-changing.

Broadway Panorama: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and SpikeLast day to see Sigourney Weaver in Vanya, Sonia Masha and Spike

My #NoApologies essay in @HowlRound: 1. NYC IS part of the USA. 2. Give Off-Broadway a Tony – every year! http://wp.me/p2sIV0-1IY

Storyville 5

My review of Storyville at York Theater: Bursting Birth of Jazz in NYC at Last. Includes three  rousing videos h

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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