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Summer Blockbusters…on Stage? The Week in New York Theater

Left: Scenes from Transformer: Age of Extinction (top) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (bottom) Right: Matilda's Jill Paice at Broadway Barks (top); If/Then's James Snyder at Broadway in Bryant Park.

Left: Scenes from Transformers: Age of Extinction (top) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (bottom)
Right: Matilda’s Jill Paice at Broadway Barks (top); If/Then’s James Snyder at Broadway in Bryant Park.

Is there a live theater equivalent of the summer movie blockbuster?

Yes!

But instead of sequels, they are original cutting edge work – or lovely, familiar classics.

Instead of blasts of hot air and intergalactic explosions, they offer gentle breezes and the occasional firefly.

We are talking about summer theater festivals.

NYCSummerFestivals

But that’s not all that theater offers during the summer. There is Broadway Barks and Broadway in Bryant Park – and many other outdoor celebrations of live theater.

The Week in New York Theater

 

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The Realistic JonesesLyceum TheatreEnded today: The Realistic Joneses,  with Michael C Hall,Marisa Tomei,Toni Collette, Tracy Letts

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After too long a wait, Lynn Nottage is going to be on Broadway! She’ll write the stage adaptation of 1959 film Black Orpheus, which will be directed by George C. Wolfe. (No other details – such as cast, date of opening or theater) available yet.

Making art boosts older people’s psychological resilience, new studies show. http://bit.ly/TZ0Ga3 

Lincoln Center is offering a two-year program with Hunter College and the New York City school system to train arts educators AND PLACE them in city public schools. Applications for Lincoln Center Scholars Alternative Certification Program due this summer. Program starts Fall 2014.

 

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.

The marquees already up but The Elephant Ma nwill be delayed three weeks. It will start Nov 7 (instead of Oct 18) and open December 7

Phantomat11000

While many other shows were dark, the Phantom of the Opera was performed for the 11,000th time! (26.5 years, 16 million patrons)

 

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LadyDay4

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Audra McDonald has been extended yet again, to September 21.

Wiesenthal, a  play about Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal written & starring Tom Dugan, on Theater Row Oct 24- Feb 1.

 

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The Music Man, Transport Groups one-night only concert with Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana, Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Andrea Silber, among others, will be offered on August 11th at Signature Theater.

The challenge of a long-running show is maintenance, not creativity – avoiding creating something new to “keep it fresh.”

People motivated internally, rather than by reward (ie $), have better work AND more $, study suggests.

World’s Fair Play Festival: 10 10-min plays by Kristoffer Diaz, Craig Lucas and eight others. Queens Theater, July 18-27

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“This isn’t theater, this is a problem.” ~ President Barack Obama, responding to questions about why he hasn’t gone to the Mexican border.

WICKED BBP WEEK 1

Broadway in Bryant Park

"The Merry Wives of Windsor (Towers)," a production of the Drilling Company's Shakespeare in the Parking Lot. The City of New York now plans to charge them a parking fee -- and demand they get automobile insurance!

“The Merry Wives of Windsor (Towers),” a production of the Drilling Company’s Shakespeare in the Parking Lot.

This may be the last summer for the Drilling Company’s Shakespeare in the Parking Lot (at least in current lot)

heathers-1061891

Heathers, which arrived Off-Broadway March 15, will close at New World Stages August 4.

 

“I made a rookie mistake by underestimating how much capital was necessary, but I’m tenacious.”~ producer – Eric L. Gold, producer of Holler If Ya Hear Me.
He plans to raise $5 million to keep Holler going until ticket sales pick up http://bit.ly/W1n8Rw

Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth IIDame Helen Mirren, who played Queen Elizabeth to raves in The Audience last year in UK, is reportedly bringing it to Broadyway in 2015. It will begin previews in February.

Joshua Bergasse, former choreographer of Smash, future choreographer of On The Town on Broadway, this week's choreographer for SYTYCD.

Joshua Bergasse, former choreographer of Smash, future choreographer of On The Town on Broadway, this week’s choreographer for SYTYCD.

Two breathtaking videos from On The Town, choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.

Another provocative post by Melissa Hillman: Forced Audience Participation Doesn’t Work (Yay for “passive” auds) http://bit.ly/1mObnIZ

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The Qualms by Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park), about swingers, to be part of Playwrights Horizons’ 2014-15 season. It opens in Chicago this week.

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What percentage of the time have you read reviews, then seen a show and gone “It’s not so bad’ — vs. “How could they have LIKED this?!”

Beverly Baker ‏@TheatreAddict  I think 10 percent of the time I usually think that the show isn’t as bad as the reviews and probably 25 percent how could they LIKE that.

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About 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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