RIP Elaine Stritch. Les Miz vs Book of Mormon. Theater Artists: Know Your Rights. Week in New York Theater

Elegant Elaine Stritch“You cannot tell the audience a lie; they know it before you do….”

‘If you can’t give a reason for the banana peel being in the alley, then don’t have the comic slide over it.’

~Elaine Stritch, 1925-2014.


The middle of July is usually a slow time for New York theater, and this past week was a sad time for theater as well.

One bright spot: Samuel French and Howlround sponsored a week-long series of free panel discussions and articles about the legal rights of theater artists.

The schedule and videos of the four discussions are here

Two especially useful articles:

Identifying & Sharing Intellectual Property by Amy Rose Marsh.

Protecting, Distributing, and Monetizing Your Work Online by Sean Patrick Flahaven.


Also going on this week: CD Giveaway Contest for Audra McDonald in Lady Day At Emerson Bar and Grill.

The Week in New York Theater


We don’t yet know who Peter Pan will be, but NBC has lined up its Captain Hook for its live December broadcast: Christopher Walken

Atomic 2 Jeremy Kushnier. photo by Carol Rosegg

Atomic Review: A Musical About The Bomb

Leo Szilard  convinced his teacher Einstein to send a letter to FDR about the real danger that the Nazis would develop an atomic weapon. This led to the creation of the Manhattan Project, in which Szilard played a prominent role.

But it was also Szilard who, once the bomb was developed, drafted a petition (now called the Szilard Petition) —  and got 70 of his fellow Manhattan Project scientists to sign it – urging Truman to demonstrate the power of the bomb rather than use it on a population.

Later, Szilard was diagnosed with cancer, and developed a treatment based on radiation that completely eliminated his cancer – a treatment that is still used today.

Leo Szilard, in short, was a remarkable person. One sees why the creative team of “Atomic” would want to dramatize both his life and the mindboggling dilemmas that he and the other scientists faced.

The very richness of the story of the Manhattan Project and its aftermath, however, explains both the strengths and the flaws of the musical.

Full review of Atomic



American Psycho, musical of Bret Easton Ellis’s novel, with music by Duncan Sheik, starts at Second Stages  February 2015. (Not yet cast.)

Holler If Ya Hear Me Ensemble

Holler If Ya Hear Me, with  music and lyrics by Tupac Shakur, is closing Sunday.


Rocky 11 Terence Archie and Andy Karl
Rocky will close August 17, having run for 28 previews and 188 regular performances.

The Belle of Amherst, a play about Emily Dickinson that Julie Harris made her own, comes to Westside Theater October 7,  starring Joely Richardson.



Happy Birthday Laura Benanti, 9-time veteran of Broadway, and you cannot turn on the TV without seeing her guest-star on something


The Long Shrif Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
My review of The Long Shrift, a play that marks James Franco’s debut as a New York stage director

LBJ  (Cranston) with Hubert Humphrey (Robert Petkoff)
LBJ (Cranston) with Hubert Humphrey (Robert Petkoff)

Bryan Cranston is returning to cable, when HBO adapts All The Way play about LBJ for the screen


A stage adaptation of the Gershwin musical, An American in Paris, directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, will open at Broadway’s Palace Theater April 12.

“I was definitely pushed out” of Womens Project Theater, Julie Crosby says. Board leadership says she wasn’t

Broadway In Bryant Park

Ciara Renee, the new Leading Lady of Pippin, twirls

Carol Woods, the Matron of Chicago, belts

Nikki James sings “On My Own,” and answers: Book of Mormon vs. Les Miz?

Nikki James at Bryant Park

Atomic: Randy Harrison, Jeremy Kushnier, Sara Gettelfinger Sing “Only Numbers”

Randy Harrison and Jeremy Kushnier sing from Atomic


Elaine Stritch, 1925 – 2014




To celebrate its 11th anniversary in NY on July 31, all tickets to Avenue Q will be $11. Use code AQTWEET40





Six movie musical screenings this summer in NYC under the stars (not all of them free, but some)


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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