Coming to Broadway: Fun Home! Helen Mirren! Larry David! Side Show! Best Little Whorehouse! Week in New York Theater

As the Fringe begins, the exciting announcements about the Main Stem tumbled out all in two days (See August 6 and 7 below)

The Week in New York Theater




Piece of My Heart: the Bert Berns Story has been extended 2 weeks, to Sept 14.

Fitzgerald Finian's rainbow

Christopher Fitzgerald, who played Roxie Hart’s put-upon hubbie in Chicago,starts new role as lawyer Billy Flynn tonight, the first time the same actor has played both roles. I’ve admired Christopher Fitzgerald – actor, clown, juggler, acrobat, Boq (in Wicked), Igor (in Young Frankenstein) – since Finian’s Rainbow

Insightful,provocative essay by MelissaI Hillman on “the class divide in theater”

Remember her from Akalah and the Bee?
13 new musicals opened on Broadway 2013-14. Only three were hits, says critic Robert Feldberg. Maybe next year


enhanced-9053-1407193930-9“32 plays you need to read before you die” according to Erin La Rosa (interesting list; only some of the plays I can live without)


Joining Keke Palmer in new cast of Cinderella- The View co-host Sherri Shepherd in her Broadway debut as the evil stepmother.

125 playwrights this month are taking shifts via Write Out Front writing in the Drama Bookshop store window. What will emerge?


Broadway Week, with 2 for 1 tickets to 21 Broadway shows, returns Sept. 1–14. Tickets on sale Aug 18.

The 39th annual Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, tonight through Sunday. Schedule:

14 people were injured in Times Square this afternoon in an accident involving 2 double-decker tour buses.

King LearDelacorte Theater

King Lear Reviews

An article in Modern Farmer (I’m not making this up) about a UK production of King Lear staged with sheep.


Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth in The Audience
Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth in The Audience

The Audience with Helen Mirren will run Feb 17-June 28 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater on Broadway, opening March 8. In the play by Peter Morgan, which was a hit in London last year, Mirren plays Queen Elizabeth II, meeting each of the 12 British prime ministers who have been in office since she became Queen in 1952.

Scene from Side Show
Scene from Side Show

The La Jolla Playhouse/Kennedy Center reimagined production of “Side Show” with Erin Davie and Emily Padgett, is coming to Broadway, opening at the St. James November 17.

The musical by Henry Krieger and Bill Russell that  first opened on Broadway in 1997 tells the more or less true story of the Hilton Sisters, conjoined twins who were raised to be entertainers, first in carnivals then in vaudeville. The original production, which co-starred Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, ran for only 91 performances.


Larry David, star and writer of Fish in the Dark
Larry David, star and writer of Fish in the Dark

Larry David will star in a play he wrote, “Fish in the Dark,” a comedy about a death in a family, opening March 5. David is best-known as the co-creator of “Seinfeld,” and the star and creator of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

“I haven’t been in a play since the eighth grade, when I did Charley’s Aunt. I seem to remember wearing a dress.”

“Nothing wrong with that,” replied dress-wearing Tony nominee Paul Chahidi.

Michael Cerveris and Sydney Lucas as Dad and Small Alison
Michael Cerveris and Sydney Lucas as Dad and Small Alison

Delightful news: Fun Home, the musical based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, is coming to Broadway!  It is set to open April 22 at Circle In The Square.


The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas will be revived in 2015, directed by Rob Ashford. (No more details yet)  The musical by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson and Carol Hall debuted on Broadway in 1978, running for four years. Its official story goes like this: “Miss Mona, the madam of a beloved Texas whorehouse, finds her business suddenly under attack from a television evangelist and local politicians, with even the local sheriff unable to do much to stop the sudden switch in public opinion.” This is the second revival on Broadway. A 1994 sequel, “The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public,” ran only 16 regular performances.



Lady Day at Emerson Bar and Grill gets a final extension, through Oct 5th, 2014.

Fringe Preview

Phoenix The Play 2014 Julia Stiles James Wirt

My review of Phoenix

In “Phoenix,” a slight and slightly dark romantic comedy with several twists that theoretically should make it feel like a more substantial play, Julia Stiles portrays Sue, an anti-social nurse who in the first scene visits Bruce (James Wirt) to tell him three things: 1. She enjoyed their one-night stand a month earlier. 2. She never wants to see him again. 3. She’s pregnant by him, and is going to have an abortion.
This last piece of information shocks Bruce – because doctors had told him that he was infertile. It also drives the remaining five scenes of “Phoenix,” which – with charm, heavy symbolism (a Phoenix rises from the ashes), and jokes that are sometimes more good-natured than amusing – chronicles Sue and Bruce’s thrust and parry towards a connection with one another.

Full review of Phoenix


Did you miss the two Sirs do Waiting for Godot on Bway? See it in Yiddish – part of the Barrow St. Theater’s new season


Cast of Rocky 1

Cast members of Rocky – Okieriete Onaodowan, Adam Perry, Adrian Aguilar and James Brown III – pose in the altogether for Out. Maybe if they had done this earlier, the show wouldn’t be closing August 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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