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New King in Hamilton, New God on Broadway. RIP Patty Duke. The Week in NY Theater

Are theatergoers fools for April?  We’ve survived some dopey April Fool’s Day jokes (Google’s Mic Drop; Brokelyn’s promise of a free Hamilton concert) and one hilarious one from Disney (see below) — and now it’s time to get serious.

April New York theater openings, on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway

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March Theater Quiz

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UK’s 40th Olivier Awards to be shown in US (first time ever) tonight (Sunday) 5 pm online

Great April Fool’s Day prank

I’ve always thought they should hire out the wax figures to do all the necessary fan nurturing, and leave the actual people just to perform. I hadn’t thought of the reverse.

The most unusual jobs on Broadway — pie maker, distressed, and religious adviser.

Piemaker

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

John Earl Jelks, Arnetia Walker, Phylicia Rashad, and Francois Battiste

John Earl Jelks, Arnetia Walker, Phylicia Rashad, and Francois Battiste

Head of Passes

in Head of Passes, Phylicia Rashad portrays Shelah, a woman so religiously devout she objects to Deviled eggs. Her faith is tested in the Public Theater’s well-acted, richly atmospheric production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play, which is inspired by the Book of Job. But the audience’s faith is also tested, in several ways…

The ending of Head of Passes turns into a long monologue, Shelah’s conversation with God, a challenge for any actress – and, frankly, for any audience. Phylicia Rashad — a veteran of nine Broadway productions whom theatergoers long have seen as far more versatile than was evident in her role as Clair Huxtable — is up to the challenge.

Santino Fontana (John Adams)

Santino Fontana (John Adams)

1776

Alexander Hamilton is not a character in “1776” – and John Adams, the central character in “1776” is not a character in “Hamilton.” But both are entertaining history lessons about the founding of the United States of America, and, if nothing else, the Encore production of the earlier musical is well-timed; one hopes the fanatical interest in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s current hip-hop hit will fan renewed interest in the earlier hit, which first opened on Broadway 47 years ago.
But there are other things that the Encores production does well – principally the casting of Santino Fontana as John Adams.

Ben Whishaw, Bill Camp, Tavi Gevinson, and Ciaran Hinds

Ben Whishaw, Bill Camp, Tavi Gevinson, and Ciaran Hinds

The Crucible

Of some 100 productions of The Crucible scheduled this year in the U.S., director Ivo van Hove’s eerie, often enigmatic but periodically powerful Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s most frequently produced play stands out in several ways. It is the only one with a cast that includes so many British and Irish stars, and the only one to feature a live wolf….Van Hove dabbles in the supernatural: At one point, the black curtain rises on a lifeless girl floating ghostlike in mid-air, then quickly falls again. As bewitching as these theatrical effects can be, they wind up distracting if not detracting from Miller’s text, which is a meticulously researched dramatization of the mass hysteria that occurred during the 17th century Salem witch trials.

youareherenow6

 

YOUARENOWHERE

What Andrew Schneider achieves on stage literally using smoke and mirrors leaves theatergoers as astonished as 19th century audiences must have felt watching Lumière’s “Arrival of the Train,” that first movie of a locomotive magically appearing on a screen. Those audience members supposedly fled in terror and panic. The audiences at 3LD Art and Technology Center, where YOUARENOWHERE is sold out through April 10, gather in clusters after the show.

The Week in New York Theater News

RoryOMalley

Rory O’Malley to join “Hamilton” as King George April 11 — two days after Jonathan Groff departs

The Humans and Futurity lead in nominations for the first of the season’s theater awards, the Lucille Lortel Awards for Off-Broadway.

NBC will produce a live version of “A Few Good Men,” written by Aaron Sorkin, in 2017

John Slattery (Mad Men) joins Nathan Lane in a revival of the screwball newspaper comedy The Front Page, set to open on Broadway (at a theater to be announced) on October 20, 2016, directed by Jack O’Brien.

SeanHayesinActofGod

Act Of God returns, this time Sean Hayes May 28- Sept. 4, Booth theater

 

Filibuster by Alicia Grullon enacts all 11 hours of Wendy Davis 2013 filibuster to block Texas abortion bill BRIC April 13, free.

Barbara Cook

One-woman show “Barbara Cook: Then and Now” has been cancelled until further notice, supposedly to give her time to work on her memoirs, but Michael Riedel says otherwise.

First Daughter Suite cast album on sale

RIP Frankie Michaels (born Francis Chernesky), age 60. He holds record as youngest ever Tony winner (age 10) for Mame

RIP Patty Duke,  who made her Broadway debut at age 12 as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker

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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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