The Good Wife Gets A Theater Award. On Broadway: Jennifer Hudson Debuts; Chita Rivera Returns; Helen Hayes Disappears? Week in New York Theater


The Good Wife is getting a theater award, which seems to raise the question yet again: What does “theater” mean in an age of screens? (See link in January 9th below)

In this case,  though, The Drama League is awarding the TV series its first Arts Ally Award because, as Executive Director Gabriel Shanks points out, it is “abundantly filled with top-tier theater talent.”

TV-watchers tend to get proprietary about the characters they invite into their homes each week, but let’s establish that some of the show’s most vivid guest stars, such as Nathan Lane – two-time Tony-winning star of 20 Broadway productions —  owe their first allegiance to theater.  Series regular Alan Cumming (Eli) is a Tony-winning veteran of five Broadway productions, including the current Cabaret.  Christine Baranski (Diane) is a two-time Tony-winning veteran of seven Broadway shows. Zach Grenier (the fulsome David Lee) has been a regular both on Broadway and Off-Broadway; I saw him in a magnificent production of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros.


Even series star Julianna Margulies, while not a Broadway veteran, has performed in at least three productions Off-Broadway: Kate Robin’s Intrigue with Faye at MCC Theater opposite Benjamin Bratt,  in Jon Robin Baitz’s Ten Unknowns at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater, (that’s her behind Donald Sutherland), and in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.

If/Then announced this week it will close in March, adding to a growing list, and giving you more incentive to enter the contest — What show closed too early?for a signed copy of the script or Playbill of Disgraced.

The Week in New York Theater
January 6 to 11, 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Complains about "The Flick" have led Playwrights Horizons artistic director Tim Sanford to send an e-mail to the theater's subscribers.

Annie Baker’s The Flick, a play about movie workers that won the Pulitzer Prize, moves in May to Barrow Street Theater with the same cast and director as it had at Playwrights Horizons

Jackie Hoffman reunites in the Fall with Lypsinka in Transport Group’s full production of Once Upon a Mattress at the Abrons Arts Center. The two starred in a previous concert version:


A Week of New York Theater Tweets, 01/04/10

Theater vs. Theatre, Revisited

More than 50 million people attend  some 37,500 high school stage shows in US. It matters, writes Howard Sherman, that some are censored.

Charles Isherwood assesses the upside of the Second Stage Theater’s plan to buy the Helen Hayes — “Second Stage has an impressive track record of presenting work by less established artists, and new plays by women.” — and the downside — it will remove the name Helen Hayes so that it can sell the naming rights to the highest bidder.


Who Helen Hayes was


Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Cartoonists respond to terrorist killings in Paris.


Lucy Thurber’s new play The Insurgents features historical characters from Nat Turner and Harriet Tubman to Timothy McVeigh. Labyrinth Theater, February 5-March 8


Artists can get funding to perform, train, etc in other countries. Check out U.S. Cultural Mobility International Funding Guide

The Audience video “teaser”:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Visit
The Visit

The Visit, Kander and Ebb’s last Broadway musical, with Chita Rivera and Roger Rees, will open April 23 at the Lyceum.


Chita Theater – 60 Years of Chita Rivera on Broadway

SOMETHING-ROTTEN James and Christian

Christian Borle and Brian d’Arcy james will be the stars of Something Rotten, which opens April 22 at the St. James. d’Arcy James will play Nick Bottom, one of the two brothers who attempt to write SiennaMillerthe first musical. Borle will play their competitor, Shakespeare.

Sienna Miller takes over from Emma Stone as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, February 17 to March 29 (closing day)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Idina Menzel
Idina Menzel

If/Then is closing March 22 after 401 performances

Jennifer Hudson will be making her Broadway debut in a revival of The Color Purple as Shug Avery (not Celie.) Date, theater and other cast members to be announced.

Here she is singing “I’m Here” from the show at the Kennedy Center Honors five years ago

The New Play Exchange goes live January 15. My old American Theatre article about such theater-playwright meetups Hope and Exchange

The biggest subsidizer of the arts? In UK, writes Lyn Gardner, it’s the artists themselves (through low pay)

Watch: Lea Michele Sings Let It Go in Glee Final Season

Live Theater in the Age of Screens

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Taylor NegronWicked producer sounds iffy on 2016 release date for film adaptation.


Taylor Negron,dead at 57, left a last funny essay on being “fame-ish” as an actor

Texting and tweeting at concerts, academic paper by Lucy Bennett, who has “a PhD in online fandom.”

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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