Tony Silent Treatment. Ruby Dee RIP. stAgeism. Week in New York Theater

Old soldiers never die and neither do old Tony winners – at least judging from the omission of the In Memoriam video from the Tony broadcast last week.

Complaints against this snub were drowned out by the protest over the Tonys’ subsequent decision to eliminate the awards next year for sound design of a play and of a musical.

More fall-out from the Tonys – two Broadway shows announced this they were closing. But two new shows announced Broadway runs, including one in which Jake Gyllenhaal will be making his Broadway debut.

Scroll down for more theater news involving Steven Spielberg,  Bryan Cranston, Audra McDonald, Randy Harrison, Neil Patrick Harris (they announced his replacement in Hedwig) and my two controversial essays – about diversity and the anti-elderly attitude in the theater, where many seem to want older audience members to fade away.

The Week in New York Theater



NPH kissing Tony Award

2014 Tony winners






Hugh Jackman hopped, the ratings dipped: Preliminary Tony figures show 7.02 million viewers, down from last year’s 7.24 million.

LBJ (Cranston) with MLKing Jr (Brandon J. Dirden)
LBJ (Cranston) with MLKing Jr (Brandon J. Dirden)

Director Steven Spielberg reportedly wants Bryan Cranston to play LBJ some more — on a television mini-series, says Deadline.

Era of grant-funded artists is dead, writes Hannah Wolf. How to turn “there’s no money” into an advantage

Ofmicenandmen3O'Dowd, Franco-Photo by Richard Phibbs

Of Mice and Moolah: Of Mice and Men recouped its $3.8 million capitalization (broke even) with  7 weeks to go on its limited run.


RIP Julie Harris
In Memoriam – not shown during the Tony broadcast

“Why should dead people expect special treatment?”~Tony Kushner (facetiously) on Tony snub of In Memoriam.


Mothers and SonsJohn Golden Theatre

Mothers and Sons by Terrence McNally will play its final performance June 22nd matinee after 104 regular performances.


Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer winning play, will open on Broadway’s Lyceum Oct. 23. The lead will be played by Hari Dhillon (pictured), who played the lead in the London production.  The play is described as the story of “a successful Pakistani-American lawyer whose dinner party spins out of control amid a heated discussion of identity and religion.”


Jersey Boys, The Clint Eastwood Movie: Photographs, Trailer

The Ballad of Audra McDonald and ADHD
1. Tony speech thanks her folks “for disobeying the doctors’ orders and not medicating” her but pushing her “into the theater.”

2. Sorry, Audra McDonald—My Kid Needs His ADHD Meds – in TIME , \

3. Audra replies to her critic: I have no doubt that had they medicated me I wouldn’t be in the theater.

In praise of the proscenium (Prosceniums don’t cause distance;people cause distance)


No Sound Tonys

The Tony Administration Committee has cut the categories of Best Sound Design of a Play and Best Sound Design of a Musical.

Sound designer John Gromada circulates petition: Reinstate Sound Design Tonys. (1000s have signed already)

Yes, writes Douglas Clayton, most Tony voters are ignorant about sound design. So educate them.


Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday extends through August 31st

David Henry Hwang: “Ageism is a valid concern. I believe diversity includes older people."
David Henry Hwang:

10 Questions About Diversity

My sweet encounter (at Cupcake Café) with David Henry Hwang

Creating a Theater of Inclusion with Jeff Calhoun (Deaf West) and Ike Schambelan (TBTBTheater) Wed June 18 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (1501 Broadyway) Free


Broadway to dim its lights tomorrow at 7:45 p.m. in honor of Ruby Dee, who appeared on Broadway in eight productions, including the original “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, married for nearly 60 years, "Their partnership was romantic, familial, professional, artistic and political."
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, married for nearly 60 years, “Their partnership was romantic, familial, professional, artistic and political.”

Hilton Als in the New Yorker:

Dee and Davis, who married in 1948, and whose marriage lasted until Davis’s death, in 2005, had become, together and separately, stars in a world that didn’t exactly welcome actors of color or handle them with anything approaching sensitivity. Dee was born in Ohio, in 1922; she moved with her family to Harlem while still a young girl, and it was there that she became immersed in theatre, her great love. With the support of black-run theatre companies formed by the likes of Frank Silvera, Dee was able to work and hone her craft. Being in the majority always gives you confidence, and for many years her world was the black stage and, eventually, black film.


jake gyllenhaalJake Gyllenhaal will make his Broadway debut in “Constellations” by Nick Payne, the same playwright who wrote “If There Is I Haven’t Found it Yet,” the play in which Gyllenhaal made his New York stage debut in 2012. Constellations is described as telling the story of two strangers who continue to meet by chance under the parallel universe framework of string theory. It opens January 13 at MTC’s Sam Friedman Theater, a couple of months after his sister Maggie is scheduled to make her Broadway debut opposite Cynthia Nixon and Ewan McGregor in a revival of Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing.”

Hedwig and the Angry Inch 19

Neil Patrick Harris is leaving Hedwig and the Angry Inch as planned on Aug 17th. Replacing him: Andrew Rannells, Aug. 20 to Oct. 12.


Randy Harrison, at rehearsals for Atomic
Randy Harrison, at rehearsals for Atomic

Randy Harrison’s Manhattan Project


stAgeism: Anti-Elderly Attitudes In The Theater

Everett Bradley
Everett Bradley

Sadly,After Midnight will close on June 29 after 8 months, losing $. A terrific revue!

OITNBonBwayLike the acting in Orange is the New Black? As it turns out, ELEVEN of the cast members are Broadway vets; 2 currently.

The Broadway marquee of the Elephant Man with Bradley Cooper is already up, although the show doesn't open until November.
The Broadway marquee of the Elephant Man with Bradley Cooper is already up, although the show doesn’t open until November.

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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