Love for Fiddler at 50, Angela Lansbury at 88. Two New Theater Geniuses. Week in New York Theater

Fiddler originalFiddler on the Roof opened on Broadway on September 22, 1964 – 50 years ago today.

Initially playing for eight years and some 3,300 performances, it’s been back on Broadway four times, played London’s West End four times, and seen stage productions all over the world – 15 times in Finland alone – according to Tradition, a new book by Barbara Isenberg, that can be yours …by entering a contest that has a day left to go.


Angela Lansbury, 88, was honored this week in New York theater, and immediately afterwards announced that she would be going on tour with Blithe Spirit.


Admiration for Lansbury, who arrived relatively late in her career to Broadway and has thrived in 14 productions there, is boundless – e.g.

The season is ramping up, with several more openings in September:

Sept 22

The Money Shot by Neil LaBute, at MCC Theater

Scenes from a Marriage by Ingmar Bergman, at New York Theater Workshop

28 You Can’t Take It With You by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman at Longacre Theater

29 Stalking the Bogeyman adapted by Markus Potter at New World Stages

30 Indian Ink by Tom Stoppard at the Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theater.


The Week in New York Theater, Sept 15-21



Off-BroadwayWeek 2-for-1 tickets Sept 29 – Oct 12. Tickets go on sale starting today.

Solitary Light 1 by Dixie Sheridan

My review of Solitary Light 

In the program for “Solitary Light,” one of the four shows in this year’s Theater: Village Festival,there is a paragraph that describes the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which occurred on March 25, 1911 “a few blocks from this theatre,” resulting in the death of 146 garment workers….It is useful to have this in the program because, other than a sign that the cast holds up at one point that says “Triangle Shirtwaist Factory,” it might be difficult for the casual theatergoer to figure out that’s what the show at the Axis Theatre Company is about.
“Solitary Light” is an hour-long musical with no dialogue and no conventional scenes. A cast of nine sings some two dozen songs, mostly in unison; only occasionally can any of the performers be discerned as individual characters.

Full review



In honor of Congressionally-designated National Arts in Education Week, here are 10 Lessons the Arts Teach 

A page of resources for Arts in Education Week

angelalansburyasMadame Arcati

Angela Lansbury is reprising her 2009 Bway role in Blithe Spirit on national tour (not in NYC) from December to March.

“Child of feminist parents” Zak Berkman couldn’t make his theater company’s 40th season gender-equitable.Here’s why

Financial barriers to training have made the acting profession more elitist,Judi Dench says. True in US too?

Let your favorite artist take you on a walking tour of New York eg Karen Finley Columbus Circle, Sarah Schulman in he West Village.



Noah Hinsdale, Griffin Birney, and Sydney Lucas
Noah Hinsdale, Griffin Birney, and Sydney Lucas

The Whale Playwrights Horizons/Peter Jay Sharp Theater

New MacArthur Foundation “geniuses” include Alison Bechdel (whose novel was the source for Fun Home, a musical soon to be on Broadway) and playwright Samuel D. Hunter, author of (among other plays) The Whale.

Experiments continue combining live theater with online. e.g. @BetterThnLife, which @PAN_studio describes

Colombian theater artist Patricia Ariza has won the League for Professional women’s Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award

As Joel Kaye,the legendary Joel Grey made his Broadway debut on this date in the 1951 production of “Borscht Capades”

The New York Theater Workshop  is now accepting applicationss for the 2015/16 Season 2050 Fellowship for playwrights & directors

Haynes Thigpen and Lisa Ramirez
Haynes Thigpen and Lisa Ramirez

My review of To The Bone 

In “To The Bone,” an exquisitely acted and splendidly directed new play by Lisa Ramirez that’s part of the Theater:Village Festival, Reina greets her niece Carmen, who is newly arrived from Honduras, with the news that she is going to try to get her a job in the local poultry plant.

“Why would you send your niece to work there?” Olga, Reina’s housemate, says to her with contempt.
“Olga, stay out of this,” Reina spits.
“I wouldn’t send my daughter to work there,” Olga says.
But Olga herself works there, as does Reina, and the other woman in the household, Juana, who is so stressed-out that she has the disturbing habit of sleepwalking, accompanied by zombie-like utterances such as “Go back, go back” and “Dirt like smoke.”
They are Salvadoran, Honduran and Guatemalan women, documented or undocumented, who feel they have no choice but to work at a job they hate, with an abusive boss…

Playwright Ramirez has based her play on interviews with meatpacking workers of Sullivan County. But her touching drama, ultimately a tragedy, transcends her research, and goes beyond exposure of the unjust conditions.

Full review of To The Bone




Get up close with Elmo, not on Times Square but Lincoln Center.  A Sesame Street exhibition opens today at the The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

A.R. Gurney: Saved by Off-Off Broadway, Back on Broadway with Love Letters, opening today

NYC theater companies Ars Nova, Keen Company, Red Bull, The Team have each received $12,000 grants from The American Theater Wing.

All the World on Stage In One Neighborhood? Theatre: Village Festival

The theater festival that is trying to reinvigorate the world’s most important neighborhood for theater



Polly Bergen, an actress whose career highlights ranged from Gregory Peck’s terrorized wife in the 1962 film “Cape Fear,” to Felicity Huffman’s mother on “Desperate Housewives” and Tony Soprano’s late father’s mistress on “The Sopranos,” has died at age 84.
She received a Tony nomination for singing I’m Still Here in the 2001 Broadway revival of Follies

I found god in myself – 40th anniversary exhibition at of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls ôpens today at the Schomberg branch of the New York Public Library.

The new id cards for undocumented in New York City to have discounts to 33 cultural institutions in cludin gthe Public Theater and BAM.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Civilians Look at Love and Lust at the Metropolitan Museum of Art


Is it possible to lust after a statue?

Of course, one of the curators of the Metropolitan Museum of Art says, as portrayed by a member of the theater company The Civilians in the first performance of its year-long residence at the Met.


5 Things I learned on Broadway I wish I knew as a kid~Tim Federele (Setbacks make good stories; Be kind, etc)

Ben Rimalower’s top 10 showstoppers: 1 Rose’s Turn (Gypsy) 2 Hello,Dolly 3 Cabaret.

8 places that charge you MORE in Times Square than elsewhere. SHAME McDonalds Red Lobster AMC Theatres etc.


Listen to Side Show: Who Will Love Me As I Am?



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