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Takei vs Trump. Josh Groban On Broadway. Bowie Off. Hamilton Way Off. Week in New York Theater

This has been an unusual year in theater in several ways.

George Takei represents a couple of those ways:

Diversity

 

Politics

Takei challenged presidential candidate Donald Trump to see Allegiance, after Trump’s call to ban Muslims from the United States, and his comment in answer to a question in Time Magazine that he “would have had to be there” to know whether he might have supported the Japanese American wartime imprisonment.

Here is my list of top ten theater of 2015 — and my top 10 lists of top 10 theater

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Michael C. Hall

Michael C. Hall

Lazarus

Lazarus, the hottest ticket right now in New York, is a startling new musical, featuring 18 songs written by David Bowie (four of them new), a production directed by auteur-du-jour Ivo van Hove that’s a sensory stimulation chamber, and a plot that might as well be from a different planet…..Given the right frame of mind – it helps to be a Bowie fan, and to have seen the movie or read the book – the story is a tantalizing mystery.

One need not be a specialist, however, to enjoy the music – delivered by a terrific band placed behind a glass wall, and sung by a cast (especially Michael C. Hall) as if they had received extensive voice lessons from Bowie himself.

Maura Nguyen Donohur as Athena, John Gutierrez as The Boy

Maura Nguyen Donohur as Athena, John Gutierrez as The Boy

Pylade

There are three levels in which to take in “Pylade.” On one level, it screams prestige…it is one of six plays written by Pier Paolo Pasolini, who is far better known as an Italian filmmaker…On another level, the play is an allegory of modern politics adapted from the story of Pylades, a figure in Greek mythology… it is difficult to follow the political debate that’s supposedly at the heart of “Pylade” is that the approach the director takes is, um, distracting…The sensuality [and nudity] is the third level in which to take in the play, and which just about crushes the other two levels.

OnceUponaMattressPhotobyCarolRosegg

Once Upon A Mattress

Jackie Hoffman is the only person she knows who’s never until now performed in a production of the musical comedy “Once Upon A Mattress,” the comic retelling of the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea that made a star out of Carol Burnett.

“Once Upon A Mattress,” on the other hand, was the very first show in which John Epperson performed as a freshman in college, which helped hook him on musical theater, eventually leading to the creation of his drag persona, Lypsinka.

Jackie Hoffman as Princess Winnifred and Lypsinka as her evil future mother-in-law Queen Aggravain are the main draws for the Transport Group Theater Company’s inspired production of this well-worn musical

(Video:Jackie Hoffman on when she’s been shy)

Week in New York Theater News

Comet9

JoshGrobanNatasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 coming to Broadway in September starring Josh Groban making his Broadway debut. He is currently learning the accordion to take over the role of Pierre from the musical’s composer Dave Malloy.

Here is my review of the Tolstoy musical when it was at Kazino, a restaurant in a big tent created for the show.

Here are my videos of three songs from the show.

 

hamiltonlogo

 

Beginning in September of next year, a second production of Hamilton will play an open ended run in Chicago

Fun Home1

Fun Home has recouped its production costs on Broadway after eight months, becoming the first new musical of the 2014-2015 Broadway season to do so.  It was capitalized at $5.25 million

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Annie Baker’s The Flick will end at ‪@BarrowStTheatre on Jan 10, 2016, after 16 previews & 271 performances. Opens in UK in April

 

FindingNeverlandcCarolRosegg 4

Good news/bad news?‪ Kelsey Grammer returning to ‪Finding Neverland.
1/19/16. Matthew Morrison leaving it 1/24.

Much hubbub over playwright ‪Dominique Morisseau’s piece about encounter with audience member, which drew 256 comments before the commentary section was closed. It’s entitled Why I Almost Slapped a Fellow Theatre Patron, and What That Says About Our Theatres, and subtitled “How a seemingly normal night at the theatre led to an altercation with a patron over microaggressions and white privilege.”‪

 

The holiday show season has begun. Included in that link is the Broadway Christmas week schedule, and a list of holiday shows — four versions of Nutcracker Suites, four different productions of A Christmas Carol….not all of them suitable for children.

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About 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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