“Even though success is a reality, its effects are temporary,” Don Draper tells Dow Chemical in season 5 of Mad Men, the TV series that is ending tonight in its seventh season. It’s a lesson the theater knows well (with the exception of Phantom of the Opera): Shows come to an end. But theater does not, despite endless pronouncements to the contrary. “The theater is the only institution in the world which has been dying for 4,000 years and has never succumbed,” John Steinbeck liked to say (and I like to quote him saying it.)
Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olsen) who made her Broadway debut a year after Mad Men began, in Speed-the-Plow, starred this season in The Heidi Chronicles.
John Slattery (Roger Sterling) is a three-time Broadway veteran. If he has no announced plans to perform on the stage, he will be playing a theater director in Netflix’s “Wet Hot American Summer.”
Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell) recently appeared Off-Broadway in Billy and Ray.
Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, January Jones? They’ll come around, eventually.
The Week in New York Theater: Looking Ahead
The New Group 2015-2016: Mercury Fur Steve, directed by Cynthia Nixon Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, with Ed Harris and Amy Madigan
2016 New York City Center Encores: Cabin in the Sky, Feb 10-14
1776, March 30 – April 3
Do I Hear a Waltz (Sondheim/Rodgers), May 11-15
Tuck Everlasting, set for Broadway April 2016. Book by Claudia Shear (Dirty Blonde) direct Casey Nicholaw(Something Rotten, Book of Mormon.)
The Week in New York Theater Reviews
Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek.
In what he says may be his last play, South African playwright Athol Fugard explores his characters’ fear, humiliation and desperation, as he has in such well-known anti-apartheid works as Blood Knot and MASTER HAROLD … and the Boys. But this time, a white woman, post apartheid, shares those emotions.
The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek, directed by Fugard at the Pershing Square Signature Center through June 7, is a modest, almost oblique but ultimately explosive look at the new South Africa. It begins as the story of real-life “outsider artist” Nukain Mabuza, who spent decades painting flowers on boulders on the farm on which he worked as a laborer. But Fugard’s play only borrows some elements from the actual life of Mabuza, who reportedly committed suicide in 1981. Fugard has told interviewers that he put the script in a bottom drawer a few years ago, until (prodded by a deadline from Signature), he realized recently how he could refashion it with a second act.
“Queen of the Night” is marketed as “a decadent fusion of theater, cuisine, circus, and nightlife that welcomes guests into a wholly interactive entertainment experience.” But the only thing I found truly decadent about it were the ticket prices — as high as $475, no lower than $140 – and the modern caste system that it suggests…It is a stretch to call “Queen of the Night” a work of theater at all….“Queen of the Night” can work as a splendid night out for some people – best suited, perhaps, for a group of (flush) friends to celebrate a birthday.
What does it mean to be an American?
The Civilians, the first-ever theater-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, finished their year-long residency with a flourish by addressing that question with their last show at the Met, “The Way They Live.”
The title comes from the first of more than a dozen works of art that the theater troupe selected from the Met’s American Wing, projecting them one by one on the screen of the museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, and putting each cleverly at the center of its own scene or song.
The Week in New York Theater News
Airline Highway, nominated for 4 Tony Awards, will close on June 7 (Tony Day!), a week earlier than planned
The Rebecca Saga continues. Legal strike against publicist who calls himself a whistleblower, in Broadway story
Two different heartthrobs host separate student fests one day apart Andy Karl presides over the Roundabout Theater’s Student Theatre Arts Festival May 18, Darren Criss over Broadway Junior May 19. Both feature performances by students of New York City public schools.
What ups the odds of staying sharp? Mental stimulation, physical exercise, healthy eating…and making art
Protect Wireless Technology for the Performing Arts, Performing Arts Alliance urges
The Love and Struggle of Producing a Left-Wing Circus: Circus Amok
Nine ways to survive as a theater artist with kids, by Melissa Hillman (1. Make sure your partner is wealthy)
On this date in…
Liza Minnelli made her Bway debut in Kander & Ebb’s 1st show, Flora the Red Menace, 50 years ago today. pic.twitter.com/rCemIRWtz1
— Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater) May 11, 2015