Tupac Shakur At The Palace. Harry Potter Star Broadway-Bound. Sondheim Censored. Week in New York Theater

“The theater is the only institution in the world which has been dying for 4,000 years and has never succumbed. It requires tough and devoted people to keep it alive.”-John Steinbeck,

Another theater season is dead.

But a new one has already begun, with the opening of “Holler When Ya Hear Me,” a new musical using the songs of Tupac Shakur. (Review below.)

The Week in New York Theater

June 15, 2014

Broadway acting debut -check. Next: James Franco will be making his theatrical directorial debut for Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater’s, The Long Shrift July 7-Aug. 23 .  Written by Robert Boswell, the play tells the story of a dorky teenager thrown in jail for rape, who meets his accuser nine years later.

Nine Thoughts on Theater Awards, clever/informative by Robert Kaplowitz, Tony winner in sound design (Fela) http://bit.ly/1sgMZ5T

Who and what are the new avant-garde? Kate Kreme begins an answer http://bit.ly/1p7Te6f

Closing today:

Tony Shalhoub as quirky George S. Kauffman, mentor and collaborator to Moss Hart, portrayed by Santino Fontana
Tony Shalhoub as quirky George S. Kauffman, mentor and collaborator to Moss Hart, portrayed by Santino Fontana

Act One (Santino Fontana, the Unluckiest Lucky Actor in New York)

A Raisin in the Sun

17 Amazing Theater Cities That Aren’t London or New York – http://bit.ly/1y5ygLi



An evening of lost Cole Porter songs, The Ambassador Revue, will be performed June 27 only, at Town Hall.


The World Cup Translated for Theater People

Best Plays by Women That Aren’t Being Produced (and Should Be)

Using improv comedy theater to prevent rape: Sex Signals


Rupert Grint
Rupert Grint to debut on Broadway

Harry Potter star  joins Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick etc in the revival of Terrence McNally’s It’s Only A Play, making his Broadway debut. It opens October 9th.


A Tony bounce? All The Way way up in attendance (13.6%), and in grosses. A Gentlemans Guide slightly DOWN in attendance, but also substantially up in grosses.  Aladdin, Raisin, All The Way, Beautiful, Hedwig all got positive airtime at Tonys, all this week grossed $million+.

Playwrights David Henry Hwang and Lynn Nottage will join the faculty of @ColumbiaSchArts, which offers a 3-year playwriting MFA.


l’m really enjoying having a connection with a live audience, said James Franco to 100s of whooping teens. My article for Broadway Direct, Young Audiences Connect with Of Mice and Men.

James Franco on the difference between movies and theater, and what happens now:

“I went into this project with the object of wanting to learn,”  and that’s what happened. “You have to project your voice in a different way. There are different kinds of rhythms. On stage, the whole play depends on everybody’s rhythm. If an actor is taking too long, the whole play is affected.

“I really like being able to step on stage, and you’re in that world, and it’s all around you. A camera is just a moment. It’s not the same kind of immersion.

“The energy you get from a live audience is really great as a performer. I’m loving that. I’m gobbling it up. It’s a new chapter in my life that I hope to visit some more.

“I’m having one of the best times of my life doing this. But I’m not going to give up movies. I don’t get trapped into any one thing.”


It’s official: Honeymoon in Vegas by Jason R Brown opens at Brooks Atkinson Theater January 15, starring Tony Danza,Rob McClure and Brynn O’Malley.

Sondheim On Changing ‘Into The Woods’ for Disney, and Living With Censorship

Meryl Streep will reportedly play Maria Callas in film of Terrence McNally’s play Master Class. Mike Nichols will direct.

Are artists born or made? Two studies suggest that artistic talent begins in the womb, shaped by


The Escape by William Wells Brown, oldest surviving play by African-American (1858). Sunday New Brooklyn Theater

Holler If Ya Hear Me 6

Holler If Ya Hear Me Review

Eighteen years after his murder at the age of 25, Tupac Shakur has made it to Broadway, in a show that has taken on the awesome challenge of weaving 21 songs and poems by the charismatic rapper and actor into a newly created story about the struggling community on a block in a Midwestern industrial city…Despite a conscientious effort, the story is what is most disappointing about “Holler.”  The multi-character plot that replaces the expected bio-drama is at times muddled or poorly paced…There are enough arresting moments, the music is often exciting enough, and the large cast is talented enough, to have made me wonder whether  it would have worked better without a plot…

Full review, photo essay, and three of the songs.



Puppet Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare’s worst play done like Avenue Q by @PuppetShakes July 24 – August 17 Theater Row.


James Earl Jones reads from Othello, Adam Baldwin Macbeth etc in Shakespeare in America. FREE June 30 Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Recap of panels at the annual TCG conference: 1. Taylor Mac and  Craig Lucas 2.  talks about gaming. 3. diversity. Theaters foster diversity by supporting artists:”We need many things,because we’ve made a terrible career choice”~Kristoffer Diaz

Mamet shuts down a production of sexual harassment drama Oleanna because female part cast w/male actor

We employ camaraderie to kill, Stefan Wolfert learned in combat… and from Henry V. (Latest in series.) The third in his series about a combat veteran discovers Shakespeare

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

Leave a Reply