Thanksgiving Week 2013 on Broadway. Is Art A Luxury? The Week in New York Theater

After the Tony Awards broadcast, the Thanksgiving Day Parade is probably the best opportunity for television viewers to see performances by current casts of Broadway shows. But the week of Thanksgiving is also a good time to see the full shows, live, in person.

Yes, only five Broadway shows this year have scheduled performances in their theaters on Thanksgiving Day itself:



Phantom of the Opera


The Winslow Boy

But most Broadway shows offer a matinee on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Here’s the schedule:

Week in New York Theater

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

KealaSettleKeala Settle (so great in Hands on a Hardbody) has been cast along with Cliff Saunders as the Masters of the House in the revival of Les Miserables.

The Music Man will be performed by an African-American cast in concert at the NJPAC (New Jersey Performing Arts Center) and then Two River Theater, in March, 2014.

Political theater today “flatters the audience and is devoid of critical thinking” Tiffany Jenkins writes in The Scotsman. Begun in 2010 to protest arts cuts, Theatre Uncut has staged thousands of free plays in at least 17 countries across four continents.

Small Engine Repair MCC - Lortel Theatre

My review of Small Engine Repair

Small Engine Repair feels like an hour-long acting lesson, full of fast, tough and jocular exchanges. The problem is that John Pollano’s play is 70 minutes long – and the last ten minutes turn it into an empty acting exercise: fake, preposterous, offensive.

Full review of Small Engine Repair


Alabama’s parole board have pardoned the Scottsboro Boys 80 years after their arrest. Their story was made into Kander/Ebb musical.

Now you can have your Macbeth and eat there too. Punch Drunk is opening a restaurant at McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More, the immersive theatrical experience based on Macbeth.

macbethatLincolnCenterReviews of Macbeth: Ethan Hawke Upstaged by Witches, Set


JackieKennedyandLeonardBernsteinJFK and the Arts

“I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty.”JFK, May 29, 1917-Nov 22, 1963


Stephen Kunken, Sally Murphy, and Jon DeVries
Stephen Kunken, Sally Murphy, and Jon DeVries

My review of Regular Singing

In “Regular Singing,” the fourth, final and most emotional play in Richard Nelson’s pioneering Apple Family series, a character says that the assassination of JFK was one of the few times in his lifetime that he felt “our whole country was connected.”

“Regular Singing” takes place – and opened — on the day of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, and in this it followed the formula of the first three plays in the series, presented over the past three years as an epic experiment in making theater a place where people feel connected.

Full review of Regular Singing


Waiting for Godot Cort Theatre

My review of Waiting for Godot

The Broadway production of “Waiting for Godot” sells itself, which is a relief, since it means I won’t have to sell it. Its two stars, British actors Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen, were knighted by the Queen for their distinction on stage and crowned by the public for their roles in such blockbusters as Star Trek (Stewart) and Lord of the Rings (McKellen) and X-Men (both together.) They are performing the signature work of Nobel Prize winning author Samuel Beckett on the 60th anniversary of its first production (which was in French.) … To my surprise, then, I found it easier to be impressed with this production of “Waiting for Godot” than to be engaged in it.

Full review of Waiting for Godot

Is Art A Luxury?

Bloomberg News has eliminated its Muse section, and laid off its theater critic. It ”plans to continue to cover the arts, but with an emphasis on luxury” ‪

Pippin Parker ‏@NSD_Director I really don’t understand this move. Felt that Bloomberg was really contributing. Sad.

Wyatt Fenner ‏@WyattFenner Is sunlight a luxury?

David Lawson ‏@dtlawson I always think back to the Dead Poets Society line: medicine and law are needed to sustain life.Art is WHY you sustain life

Adam Thurman ‏@missionparadox The professional arts i.e. theater, dance,.etc are often priced as luxury goods

Jim Mitchem ‏@jmitchem only when we put a price on them. otherwise they’re just intrinsically human.

Lonnie Firestone ‏@LonnieFirestone  Being an avid consumer of the arts (film, theater, most art museums) is expensive. But remember the gates in Central Park?

EN(LIVE)N Production ‏@enLIVEn_prod1 A necessity: in times of poverty or war, art boosts morale, employs ppl, offers hope, diversion

Rick Ross ‏@TheatreBuff2 they shouldn’t be, but my first Broadway show, A Chorus Line, was only $17


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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