Binge Watching on Broadway! Theater Critics DO Like Theater. The Week in New York Theater

The annual April Broadway marathon begins this coming week — 14 openings in 21 days, with two of these shows opening on the Tony eligibility cut-off date of April 23, 2015.

The shows opening in April represent two-thirds of the entire Spring 2015 Broadway season.

WilliamsBash3nycwtd-logo-hiIn the meantime, we celebrated World Theatre Day and Tennessee Williams’ birthday this past week,  and we say goodbye to some great Off-Broadway shows.

With the Nether closing at MCC Theater, here’s an interview with its author, Jennifer Haley, the first major playwright of the digital age.

Below: news of new casting, new cast albums, old shows saying goodbye, and the worst people in theater — and no, these are not critics. Indeed, scroll down for a couple of arguments (backed by some statistical evidence) in favor of critics. Forty-five percent of the reviews over the past ten years by the two main theater critics of the New York Times, Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood, were positive, according to a recent calculation by Broadway producer Ken Davenport, who owns the review aggregation site Did He Like It. (The complete info graphic below.)

Also: Putting cell phone annoyance in perspective.

The Week in New York Theater News


The Fantasticks is closing May 3, after some 3,500 performances at the Snapple Center. It opened at the Sullivan Street Thetaer Off-Broadway in 1960, 55 years ago, closing in 2002, then reopening at Snapple in midtown in 2006.



Jason Alexander will succeed Larry David in Fish In The Dark on June 9.

… Maria Irene Fornes, Adrienne Kennedy, Bill Irwin, etc.
Details here

On the 20th Century Gallagher, McGrath, Chenoweth, Linn-Baker, Karl

The cast album of On The Twentieth Century, recorded this week, will be released in May.

Patti LuPone and Bobby Cannavale star in The Acting Company’s The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams, April 27th only, Samuel Friedman Theater

Week in Theater Articles

With 14 shows still to open on Bway (1/3 the whole 2014-2015 season), Gordon Cox of Variety assesses how the 2015 Tonys are shaping up.

Arts participation  is closely linked to civic engagement, says research by the National Endowment for the Arts

Eight theater podcasts recommended by Robbie Rozelle in Playbill.

Stage shows are most alive at the first preview

Joe Allen, Broadway restaurateur for 50 years, and the origins of the Joey Awards

Week in Previews and Promotions


Kevin McCollum is producing two shows the same season with “no brand” — Hand to God, and Something Rotten
McCollum has history of putting “risky” shows on Bway – such as Rent, Avenue Q,  and The Drowsy Chaperone.

How three Broadway novices wrote Something Rotten

TheDemoComposers Ben Neill and Mike Rouse  @ben_neill & @mikelrouse created #TheDemo, musical about the moment that launched the digital age

“I had not been prepared for the power of a really good musical.” Alison Bechdel, says about Fun Home, the musical based on her graphic memoir.

The Week in Wisdom

Secret to creativity? Creative people say “no” a lot, using their time for their work, writes Kevin Ashton

Critics, not artists, should be responsible for “audience engagement,” writes theater artist Rachel Walshe.

The worst people in theater. e,g, The Bully, The Dictator Director, The Protector of Broadway.

Forty-five percent of the reviews by the two main theater critics of the New York Times, Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood, were positive over the past ten years, according to a recent assessment by Broadway producer Ken Davenport, who owns the review aggregation site Did He Like It. Only 29 percent were negative, and 26 percent were mixed. Here is the info graphic, summarizing his calculations.


Cell phones are far from the first device that irritated theatergoers:


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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