World Theatre Day 2016! Week in New York Theater


WorldTheatreDaylogoWorld Theatre Day messages:

“The very act of theatre-making is a fundamentally utopian act….[P]erformance is creating community. . In this time of profound do we in the theatre help to shepherd in a new century of hope, compassion, and reconnection? By doing what we do best….by providing the saving grace of humor, empathy, and understanding in the face of all obstacles.

Ping Chong, theatre artist since 1972

Theatre can tell us everything — how the gods dwell in heaven, and how prisoners languish in forgotten caves underground, and how passion can elevate us, and how love can ruin,

Anatoli Vassiliev, theatre director, and founder of the Moscow Theatre School of Dramatic Arts

World Theatre Day has been celebrated every March 27th since 1961.

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

The Effect 2 Carter_Hudson_and_Susannah_Flood_(photo_by_Matthew_Murphy)


The Effect

Is falling in love just a chemical response that you can recreate in the laboratory?

That’s one of the fascinating questions addressed in The Effect, a play about two volunteers in a clinical trial who fall for one another – or do they?

The researchers in Lucy Prebble’s play, which has opened at the Barrow Street Theater directed by David Cromer, are not intentionally testing love. They are injecting the healthy volunteers with an experimental anti-depressant drug to determine if it has any side effects. Is one of the side effects a physiological response that convinces them that they are in love with one another?

John Krasinski and Claire Danes as rivals in Dry Powder
John Krasinski and Claire Danes as rivals in Dry Powder

Dry Powder

Dry Powder is a play about a private equity firm that tries to buy a luggage company, but it is not as dry as it sounds, and not just because its cast includes John Krasinski (formerly of The Office), Claire Danes (Homeland) and Hank Azaria (The Simpsons), and it’s directed by Thomas Kail (Hamilton.). 

The performers in a centerpiece of the set that doubles as a log cabin, a bandshell for the musicians, and a romantic gazebo
The performers in a centerpiece of the set that doubles as a log cabin, a bandshell for the musicians, and a romantic gazebo

Bright Star

After collaborating on two bluegrass albums, Steve Martin and singer-songwriter Edie Brickell, two celebrated Texas-born talents, decided to create a musical around the songs. The result is Bright Star, a tuneful display of American roots music, which has opened on Broadway at the Cort – one of several fiddle-driven musicals on New York stages this season. Its sweet score makes up for the preposterous if occasionally moving story into which the 19  (mostly newly written) original songs have been fitted.

The Week in New York Theater News

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will close Sept 4, 2016, having played 23 previews and 800 regular performances


Theatre Access – a new website by The Broadway League and Theatre Development Fund – enables theatergoers to find accessible shows (signed, CCed, etc.)



Congratulations to playwrights Lynn Nottage, Stephen Adly Guirgis, and  Branden Jacobs Jenkins for winning the 2016 awards in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Turn Me Loose, play by Gretchen Law about Dick Gregory, starring Joe Morton, produced by John Legend

Turn Me Loose, a play by Gretchen Law about comedian/ activist Dick Gregory, will be performed  at Westside Theatre in May, starring Joe Morton, produced by John Legend

Worlds Greatest Leaders 2016

Fortune Magazine’s 2016 list of the 50 “World’s Greatest Leaders” includes Pope Francis, Ruth Bader Ginsberg…and, number 18 Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Shakespeare’s skull may have been stolen from his grave by a local doctor in 1794.

The Walking Dead has been turned into touring immersive theater. Audience members portray survivors or zombies


The Week in New York Theater Reads

How non-profit Roundabout Theater Company became an empire. Q&A with Todd Haimes in American Theatre Magazine (He complains he makes only $450,000 a year!)

“…is this a new golden age for the American musical as some have suggested? Maybe,” writes Alexis Solski in The Guardian, by which she means no. But musical theater people she interviews — Alex Timbers, Bobby Lopez, Jeanine Tesori, Michael Friedman –  sound more hopeful

AmericanPsychocomesofageIn hindsight,  American Psycho looks a lot like us. Book critic Dwight Garner contrasts the outrage that greeted Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991  novel about a fashionable serial killer with the embrace of character Patrick Bateman today — including “a brash new musical based on “American Psycho”… set to open on Broadway.”


Mark Kennedy interviews Akosua Busia 

“After leaving show business for 18 years to raise her daughter, Busia is back, starring in “Eclipsed,” Danai Gurira’s searing, important play about enslaved women in Liberia’s 12-year civil war. That Busia is part of such a groundbreaking show isn’t unusual for this royal-born daughter of a Ghanaian prime minister. She’s a novelist, actress, activist and mother to her daughter with ex-husband, John Singleton, director of “Boyz N the Hood.”

Shuffle Along, and the painful history of black performance in America 

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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