Spider-Man Closing. Sutton Foster and Monty Python Returning? Aladdin Peek. Week in New York Theater

Spider-Man2Kissing Spider-Man goodbye: Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark will close January 4, 2014, after a tumultuous three years of breaking all sorts of records nobody would want to break – as well as breaking more than a couple of bones.
It was the most costly musical ever produced on Broadway, and is reportedly projected to have lost $60 million, another record. Its first preview was on November 28, 2010 but did not officially open until June 14, 2011 – the longest preview period (182 performances) in Broadway history. The producers preferred to emphasize different records in their announcement: It is “currently the 16th highest grossing Broadway production of all time,”  (gross, not net), “has taken in more than $200 million at the box office, and has been seen by approximately 2 million fans.”

The Week in New York Theater

November 11, 2013

princess-bride-disney-stage-theatricalDisney is adapting The Princess Bride (1973 William Goldman novel/1987 film) for the stage. Musical or play? As yet unclear.

Jessica Hecht, Dominic Fumusa to star in Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss at ‪Playwrights Horizons in February as ex-couple forced to portray a couple on stage

David Lawson (@DTLawson): Amazing news: ‪Michael Cyril Creighton (@MCCisNauseous) cast in Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss: For years he worked in the box office there at Playwrights Horizons.

Top 5 places to take visitors to NYC on college budgets” includes Broadway rush tickets.

‪Veteran Artist Program helps veterans become artists. Director ‪BR McDonald on challenges facing artists after combat

The new Marius and Cosette of Les Miz, Andy Mientus and Charlotte Maltby

Today is 11-12-13

Ricky Martin  says he plans to return to Broadway in a one-man show ‪

Twitter Tips for Arts Organizations, a (formerly) live chat

While we wait for 4th Waiting for Godot on Bway, is it pronounced GOD-oh, or god-OH, or GOD-OH (or WHO CARES)?‪

7th Annual “Naked Holidays,” this year with A Very Paula Dean Hanukah, ‪ ‪Cutting Room, Nov 29-Dec 30


Noah Hinsdale, Griffin Birney, and Sydney Lucas
Noah Hinsdale, Griffin Birney, and Sydney Lucas

Fun Home, ‪the musical of ‪Alison Bechdel’s memoir, extends a third time, to Dec 29. Here’s why:

My review

Michael Cerveris and Sydney Lucas as Dad and Small Alison
Michael Cerveris and Sydney Lucas as Dad and Small Alison

Fun Home,  a remarkable musical now running at the Public Theater through December 29,  swiftly lays out what it seems to be about, when a middle-aged Alison compares herself to her father:

“My Dad and I both grew up in the same small Pennsylvania town

“And he was gay, and  I was gay

“And he killed himself, and I … became a lesbian cartoonist.”

Those are the bare facts of Alison Bechdel’s childhood, which she turned into a celebrated graphic memoir in 2006, and which has now been adapted for the stage by playwright Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori. What makes the musical extraordinary goes beyond the story. ….The makers of the musical recognize and reveal just how precious the seemingly tarnished real-life story of Alison Bechdel’s family. “Fun Home” is a work of theater that is inventive, entertaining, in places exhilarating, and almost inexpressibly heartbreaking.

Complete review of Fun Home

Lee Blessing’s rules for playwright success,some serious (Don’t take every commission),others not (Be rich) ‪


It will still be on Broadway, but ‪Newsies will launch a North American tour in Oct 2014 — 25 cities in 43 weeks.

High costs have redefined producer as investor. Hal Prince’s T Fellowship is for *creative* producers ‪

Belting out show tunes (eg Oklahoma) can boost the brain function of people with dementia, says a study. ‪

700Sundays2700 Sundays Reviews: Billy Crystal Back on Broadway 


Rebecca saga continues: Publicist is counter-suing producers, charging (among other things) he was never paid ‪

Stop Gun Violence NOW Theater Festival, Dec 12-15 (anniversary of Newtown massacre)


I began on Twitter as ‪@NewYorkTheater four years ago today. 34,025 Tweets later….(That’s 23 Tweets a day, rain or shine)

My first Tweet was:
Mr. Watson — Come here — I want to see you.

noelrubinton ‏‪@noelrubinton Great work!

Erica McLaughlin ‏‪@EricaTWNY my how you’ve grown! It’s been a pleasure following all these years!

Michael Fitzgerald ‏‪@riparian happy anniversary!

lisa jane persky ‏‪@lisajanepersky Thank you for the ‪#FF! Much love from me (one of your earliest fans!)


Adam Jacobs
Adam Jacobs

Gorgeous pictures of Aladdin, currently in Toronto, heading to Broadway.

Good news/bad news: ‪Matilda Broadway will be made into a movie, but not until 2019. (Not sure which is the good news, which bad)

Buddy LaBeija ‏‪@CeliesTwoFangas  None of it is bad. The 90’s film is still relevant and the cast recording will suffice…for now.

Jonathan Mandell: I’m not sure it will make a good movie.

Why Is Theater On The Wane?

Yes, attendance at live theater is on the wane, writes Gordon Cox, sorting through three recent reports.  BUT….staged readings, workshop productions, “digital distribution” of live theater are all increasing.Strategy to keep theater going?

Why is theater attendance on the wane? Two factors suggested: 1. rise of digital couch potato. 2. cuts in arts education.

Linda Buchwald @PataphysicalSci: I think it has more to do w/ ppl thinking tix aren’t affordable. I always hear I’d like to see ______ but I can’t afford it.

Brad Buchholtz @BBwithpickles Linda is right, but it’s more than that. Tix AREN’T affordable, unless you wanna sit in God’s country

Linda Buchwald True, but many people who aren’t regular theatergoers don’t know about rushes, lotteries, or discount codes.

Brad Buchholtz Those lotteries and rushes, etc, do not benefit those who don’t live or work in the city. We aren’t going to go in for a “shot” at tickets. With tolls, parking, transport, etc., it’s not worth it.


Fun Home the musical, says ‪Alison Bechdel, has a more “potent, cathartic feeling” than her book

Current NYC Shakespearean actors on roadblocks and rewards,physical and mental, of performing the Bard.  Performing Shakespeare for the first time, says Orlando Bloom, is as traumatic as a car crash. “Which is great, right? Sign right up.”

Lovely obit by ‪Charles McNulty of Shakespeare scholar Ann Barton, 80, co-editor of Riverside Shakespeare, “the backbreaking tome American undergraduates have been lugging in their knapsacks for generations.”


Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder 1My review of A Gentlemans Guide To Love and Murder

A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder is well-designed, well-acted, and well enough plotted (with some twists that are well-crafted.) Yet for all its cleverness and wicked charm, this is an entertainment I could easily have skipped.

Full review of A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder


Unconfirmed report: Composer Jeanine Tesori will have musical on Broadway in the Spring. Not ‪Fun Home. Violet, starring ‪Sutton Foster, which was presented in the City Center Encores! Off-Center series.

Carol Channing to celebrate 50th anniversary of Hello,Dolly at Town Hall on  January 20,2014 – the same month she turns 93


Bloomberg News laid off theater critic,”plans to continue to cover the arts, but w/an emphasis on luxury” ‪

Pippin Parker ‏‪@NSD_Director  Ach! They were doing so well!Arts is the very fabric of a culture not a luxury for the privileged.

The five surviving Monty Pythons say they’re reuniting for a new stage show. A press conference Thursday.We’re getting together and putting on a show — it’s real,” Terry Jones told the BBC, adding: “I’m quite excited about it. I hope it makes us a lot of money. I hope to be able to pay off my mortgage!”

Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and the late Graham Chapman created Monty Python’s Flying Circus in October 1969. They conquered Broadway years later with Spamalot, which won the 2005 Tony for Best Musical and ran for four years.

Official closing date announced for @SpideyOnBway:Jan 4. Producers tout it as “16th highest-grossing Bway show” ever. #GrossNotNet

Romeo and Juliet, starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad, will close December 8th. It was supposed to run through January 12, but has had the lowest grosses of any show on Broadway.

Cynthia Nixon will be joining the ‪Thornton Wilder reading at the Public Theater’s Drama Club on 12/10 ‪

The arts can heal our troops, ‪the National Endowment for the Arts believes. ‪
Bryan Cranston in All The Way

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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