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Pride and Hope. Farewell Fun Home, Shuffle Along, Etc. The Week in New York Theater

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Shuffle Along, Fun Home and An American in Paris all announced their closing dates this week — all, in my view, prematurely, Shuffle Along shockingly so. Three more Broadway shows are closing today.  Two New York drama critics were also laid off this week.

These losses don’t exactly help lift spirits during a period between the Tonys and Gay Pride Week that in past years has been marked by nothing but celebration, but that this year comes edged with anger and sorrow.

As always, however, there are reasons for hope, and pride.  President Obama designated the Stonewall Inn and adjacent Christopher Park as the first official National Monument for LGBT rights 

 

And the theater news wasn’t ALL bad. (See below.)

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A sneak peek at the new Broadway season

Week in New York Theater Reviews

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New York Spectacular

New York Spectacular, a new summer show at Radio City Music Hall that features the Rockettes and some terrific sets, aims to tap into a similar demographic as Broadway, where more than two-thirds of the theatergoers are tourists. But its appeal to tourists is more direct. It’s basically a sightseeing tour of New York.

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Babes 1 Judith Ivey and Estelle Parsons. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Out of the Mouths of Babes

In Israel Horovitz’s new play, four women who were sexually involved with the same man at some point over the past 65 years gather at his Parisian loft  for his funeral, after he has died at age 100. They trade barbs, crack wise, and reminisce. One of them keeps on trying to jump out the window. It is a silly comedy of little substance or consequence, and only occasionally amusing, but it’s terrifically appointed by set designer Neil Patel and costume designer Joseph G. Aulisi, and its four-member cast includes Estelle Parsons and Judith Ivey, who seem to be able to make anything feel like a sparkling entertainment.

Week in New York Theater News

The ensemble performs “Broadway Blues” in Shuffle Along,

The ensemble performs “Broadway Blues” in Shuffle Along,

Shuffle Along will close July 24, the day that Audra McDonald is going on maternity leave, because,  producer Scott Rudin said in a statement, “the need for Audra to take a prolonged and unexpected hiatus from the show has determined the unfortunate inevitability of our running at a loss for significantly longer than the show can responsibly absorb.” By the time it has closed, the show — full title, “Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed” — will have played 38 previews and 100 regular performances

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Fun Home will close September 10, after 26 preview and 582 regular performances. It starts a 40-city national tour in October.

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An American In Paris will close on January 1, 2017 having played 29 previews and  719 regular performances.

The Humansl

The Humansl

The Humans will end its run at Helen Hayes July 24, and then resume at larger Schoenfeld August 9

Sierra Boggess in School of Rock

Sierra Boggess in School of Rock

Sierra Boggess will leave School of Rock on August 8. Too bad because she’s terrific

Monopolymusical

Move aside, movies. Now, a board game is being adapted for Broadway: Hasbro and The Araca Group announce “Monopoly:The Musical.” Few details accompanied the announcement, the show is reportedly years away, but this is no game. The Araca Group has produced some two dozen shows on Broadway, starting with Urinetown, including Wicked, and most recently Shuffle Along, and Hasbro has already spearheaded such lucrative film franchises as “Transformers.”

“I can tell you this: It’s not going to be a musical about people sitting around playing Monopoly,” says Matthew Rego of the Araca Group. “What turns us on is creating something that explores the world of Monopoly, kind of like the Lego movies have done with Legos.”

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Ektor Rivera will make his  Broadway debut July 12 as Emilio Estefan in On Your Feet. Josh Segarra leaves July 10.

Will Chase

Will Chase will replace Christian Borle as Shakespeare in Something Rotten starting July 18.

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Christian Borle,who leaves Something Rotten, on July 16, will star in Falsettos, which opens on Broadway in Oct

Al Pacino

Al Pacino

Al Pacino, James Taylor,  gospel singer Mavis Staples,pianist Martha Argerich and the band The Eagles will be the 2016 Kennedy Center honorees.

Pacino reportedly plans to return to Broadway as Tennessee Williams in “When God Looked Away” by Dotson Rader, based on Rader’s  biography of the playwright.

Ragtimecast

Ragtime concert starring Brandon Victor Dixon, Georgia Engel, Laura Michelle Kelly et al set for Ellis Island August 8

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Gloria Estefan to join Bernadette Peters as co-host of the 18th annual Broadway Barks July 30, in Shubert Alley.

Elisabeth Vincentelli is departing her job as the chief drama critic as the New York Post, Jeremy Gerard as the executive editor and drama critic for Deadline. Gerard will not be replaced; it is unclear what the Post will do.

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Hamilton News

Spamilton

A documentary about the musical will debut on PBS October 21st.

The Rockefeller Foundation is spending $6 million to bring the musical to 100,000 schoolchildren throughout the United States.

The number of parents naming their newborn “Hamilton” has jumped 60 percent since last year; but “Jefferson” up 171 percent, says the Baby Center. And, no, there’s been no increase in “Lafayette” or “Daveed”

Gerard Alessandrini, the satirist behind the Forbidden Broadway franchise,  is presenting Spamilton, July 13-Aug 23 at The Triad.

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For St. Ann’s Warehouse new season, Taylor Mac will present his entire A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, September 15 – October 8.
PLUS

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The Kilroys have released their third annual list of good but unproduced plays by women.

 

The 51 nominators for 2016-17 Tony Awards include 14 new members, such as playwright Paul Rudnick, composer Michael John LaChiusa, journalist and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas, and sound designer Tony Meola – even though the Tonys elminated sound design
(**Denotes new Nominating Committee Member)
Adrian Bailey – Actor
Victoria Bailey – Executive Director, Theatre Development Fund
Luis Castro – Media and Entertainment Executive/Producer**
Hope Clarke – Choreographer
Paul Cremo – Dramaturg/Director of Opera Commissioning Program, The Metropolitan Opera
Patricia Cruz – Executive Director, Harlem Stage/Aaron Davis Hall, Inc.**
Trip Cullman – Director
Edgar Dobie – Executive Producer, Arena Stage – Washington, DC**
Scott Elliott – Director/Artistic Director, The New Group**
Harvey Evans – Actor
Sean Patrick Flahaven – Writer/ Composer/Orchestrator/ Conductor/Producer
Paul Gallo – Lighting Designer
Jenny Gersten – Former Executive Director, Friends of the High Line
Daniel Goldfarb – Playwright, Bookwriter
Sam Gonzalez – Dir. of Operations, Pfizer Medical/Board of Trustees, Playwrights Horizons
Adam Gwon – Composer/Lyricist
Roy Harris – Production Stage Manager
Peter Hedges – Writer**
Jack Hofsiss – Theatre, Film, Television Director
Mara Isaacs – Founder and Director, Octopus Theatricals, LLC**
Lou Jacob – Director at the New School for Drama
Anne Keefe – Associate Artist, Westport Country Playhouse**
Tom Kitt – Composer, Lyricist, Bookwriter
Fran Kumin – Consultant, Perf. Arts Organizations/Foundations/University Theatre Programs
Michael John LaChiusa – Composer, Lyricist, Librettist**
Kate Levin – Cultural Assets Management Principal, Bloomberg Associates
Reynold Levy – Former President of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Patricia Marx – American Humorist and Writer, Former Television Writer
Jim McLaughlin – Former Producer, CBS News/TV Feature and Documentary Producer
Tony Meola – Sound Designer**
Jessica Molaskey – Actor**
Debra Monk – Actor
Roger Morgan – Lighting Designer, Theatre Designer
Laurence O’Keefe – Composer
Katherine Oliver – Media and Technology Principal, Bloomberg Associates
Christian Parker – Chair, Graduate Theatre Program, Columbia University
Paige Price – Actor/1st Vice President of AEA/Executive Artistic Director, Theatre Aspen
Ravi S. Rajan – Dean, School of the Arts – SUNY Purchase
Paul Rudnick – Playwright, Novelist, Screenwriter, Essayist**
Susan H. Schulman – Director/President, Stage Directors and Choreographers
Mikki Shepard – Executive Producer, The Apollo Theatre**
Warner Shook – Director
Ellen Sorrin – Director, The George Balanchine Trust**
Jessica Stone – Actor/ Director**
Edward Strong – Producer
Wynn Thomas – Production Designer
Jose Antonio Vargas – Journalist/Filmmaker/Founder of Define American **
Jennifer von Mayrhauser – Costume Designer
Tom Watson – Retired Executive, Television Advertising
Preston Whiteway – Executive Director, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center
Evan Yionoulis – Director*

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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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