RIP Brian Friel. John Krasinski’s Stage Debut. Small Alisons. October Frenzy. Week in New York Theater

The New York theater season is heating up this coming week, with nine shows opening, two on Broadway:

Cloud Nine, Schooled, Old Times, Fool For Love, Sisters Follies Between Two Worlds, Fool For Love, Barbecue, Tinder Roulette, Would You Still Love Me

For details, check out October Theater Openings Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway


Review last month by answering the 11 questions in the New York Theater September 2015 Quiz

The Week in New York Theater News

Dancing at Lughnasa, written by Brian Friel
Dancing at Lughnasa, written by Brian Friel

Irish playwright Brian Friel has died at the age of 86.

From AP:

quote-confusion-is-not-an-ignoble-condition-brian-friel-120-41-68Friel’s fictional County Donegal universe of Ballybeg – whose name, in Ireland’s native tongue of Gaelic, means “little town” – provided the setting for most of his two dozen plays over five decades in which he sought to explore what he once called “the dark and private places of individual souls.”

In each work, he created worlds of meaning set in distinctive eras: of the imminent 1960s emigrant hoping to leave behind dashed dreams in “Philadelphia, Here I Come!”; of the mutual incomprehension and growing enmity in the 1830s between Gaelic Ireland and imperialist England in “Translations”; and of the claustrophobic power of 1930s rural Catholic Ireland in “Dancing at Lughnasa.”

From DC Theatre Scene: 

Tributes have been quick, effusive, and plentiful, and ranging from the Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland (“One of the giants of Irish literature, and a great Irishman”) to Meryl Streep (“We’ve lost a tender dramatist, an insightful humanist, and a lovely man”).Another movie star (and Friel’s countryman) Liam Neeson put it this way: “Brian was Ireland’s Chekhov.”


John Krasinski (The Office) to make his stage debut as a capitalist pig in Dry Powder, written by  Sarah Burgess. Directed by Thomas Kail (Hamilton), at the Public in March.

The plot: “The same week his private equity firm forced massive layoffs at a national grocery chain, Rick threw himself an extravagant engagement party, setting off a publicity nightmare. Fortunately, Seth [Karsinski], one of Rick’s managing directors, has a win-win deal to invest in an American-made luggage company for a song and rescue his boss from the company’s PR disaster. But Jenny, Seth’s counterpart, has an entirely different plan: to squeeze every last penny out of the company, no matter the human toll.”

Jessie Mueller in Waitress
Jessie Mueller in Waitress

Waitress by Sara Bareilles will open April 24 at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theater, and yes it will star Jessie Mueller.


American Psycho, with Benjamin Walker (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson; Cat on A Hot Tin Roof) as yuppie serial killer, starts previews March 24, 2016 at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld. (The opening date is not yet scheduled.)  The musical adaptation is written by Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”)

Passion, directed by John Doyle
Passion, directed by John Doyle

John Doyle will be the next artistic director of the Classic Stage Company. The Scottish director, best known in New York for his staging of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and Company on Broadway,  directed both Sondheim’s Passion and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s little known Allegro at CSC.


Billboard’s review of Hamilton album:

2015’s best rap album isn’t by Drake, Kendrick Lamar or Dr. Dre — it’s the cast recording of Hamilton, a vital companion to the most creative, most talked-about musical to hit Broadway this millennium (read Billboard’s cover story on the showhere). True, an audio recording (executive-produced by The Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter) can’t reproduce the subversive visual impact of seeing star/creator Lin-Manuel Miranda (recently awarded a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant”) and a predominantly black and brown cast take on America’s founding fathers and mothers — on the Great White Way, of all places. But digesting every nuance in these mostly rapped renditions of the infamously verbose title character’s oratorial jousts is almost impossible without a rewind button; every listen finds a new sanguine historical detail, slick interpolation of a hip-hop classic or dizzying rhyme pattern delivered withEminem-level intricacy, particularly on the epic “Cabinet Battles” between the lead and Thomas Jefferson. Hamilton’s stage production should be required viewing for every American citizen, but this exhilarating listen is a much more practical, and every bit as enjoyable, stand-in.

Remember, a SOUNDTRACK is the songs from a movie, a CAST ALBUM is what your dad asks you to turn down.

— Tim Federle (@TimFederle) October 3, 2015



Fun HomeCircle in the Square Theatre

Sydney Lucas, Tony nominated 12-year-old, leaves the role of Small Alison in Fun Home. Her replacement is Gabriella Pizzolo.
Here’s Sydney singing “Ring of Keys”

Here’s Gabriella singing the same song at a benefit concert this summer

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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