Jake Gyllenhaal Reopens Broadway Theater. Motown Bows and Bows Out. Week in New York Theater

bad idea t-shirt from waitress

This shirt (and song) from “Waitress” may sum up for many the week’s news outside New York theater. (See the Laura Benanti video below.)

The ensemble performs “Broadway Blues” in Shuffle Along,
The ensemble performs “Broadway Blues” in Shuffle Along,

This week in New York theater saw openings (Privacy with Daniel Radcliffe ), and closings (Shuffle Along)  – and, in the unusual case of Motown, a reopening and re-closing.


One day left to enter the Wicked Broadway Ticket Giveaway contest

Week in New York Theater Reviews

Daniel Radcliffe as The Writer, coming to America
Daniel Radcliffe as The Writer, coming to America


“Privacy,” a play exploring the death of privacy, is inspired by Edward Snowden’s revelations about surveillance; Snowden even appears on stage (via video.) But, for all its alarming info, the show is more playful interactive lecture than cautionary drama: An audience member may even find herself on a date with Daniel Radcliffe….If this sounds more like a TED talk than conventional theater, the impression is reinforced by there being little plot to speak of … Still, the creative team works hard to keep us engaged

krisha Marcano, Allison Semmes, Trisha Jeffrey as the Supremes
krisha Marcano, Allison Semmes, Trisha Jeffrey as the Supremes


Most everything about this production is more….efficient….than the original one on Broadway. The cast has been reduced in size; sets have been simplified; scenes have been trimmed or excised…Unfortunately, the efficiency seems to extend to the performances as well…. The cast members make all the right moves, their voices are in fine form, but there surely needs to be some extra, indefinable spark to stand out in a show that is jam-packed with some 60 songs — most shortened versions or mere snippets of the original. Maybe they’ve just been on the road too long.

the "Encore" which comes after every performance
the “Encore” which comes after every performance

Takarazuka Chicago

The all-female Japanese theater company that is putting on Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago” as part of the Lincoln Center Festival…is not an interpretation of the Broadway production two subway stops away; it’s an exact copy… But the half-hour “Encore” spectacle after “Chicago,” an exercise somewhere between tacky and classy, between Busby Berkeley nostalgia and a hallucinogenic trip through some alternate universe — is itself worth the price of admission.




“iLuminate” is a light show in which the lights are portrayed by 11 acrobatic dancers resembling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who fell into a vat of radioactive day-glo paint. They glow in the dark. The combination of the technology and the choreography makes for a stunning spectacle of a show, it not an especially coherent one.

The Week in New York Theater News

On the day it opened, Motown the Musical announced it would close just nine days later

Fiddler on the RoofBroadway Theatre

Fiddler On The Roof will close on December 31, one year & 11 days after it opened.

jake gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal is back on Broadway in a revival of Lanford Wilson’s Burn This, which will open March 6 at the Hudson Theater, which was last a functioning Broadway theater in 1968.

The Hudson Theatre


Fences by August Wilson: Denzel Washington (Troy Maxson) and Viola Davis (Rose)
Fences by August Wilson: Denzel Washington (Troy Maxson) and Viola Davis (Rose)

The film of August Wilson’s Fences, directed by Denzel Washington, starring him and Viola Davis will be in movie houses  in New York and Los Angeles on December 16, 2016, and in nationwide release on December 25.

Stephen Schwartz at ComicCon

At Comic Con, Stephen Schwartz revealed he’s writing four new songs for the film of Wicked, due out in December 2019


Spamilton lottery for 10 cents. ( Otherwise $49 + 2 drink minimum) thru August 23 at The Triad


Before she played Tina Cohen-Chang in Glee, Jenna Ushkowitz was in two Broadway musicals (The King and I, and Spring Awakening). Now she returns, as Dawn in Waitress Musical July 29. This is temporary, while Kimiko Glenn takes a leave of absence from the production, although it’s not clear for how long.


Michael Riedel’s “Razzle Dazzle” is being turned into a TV miniseries. (It’s not yet clear where.)

See Theater Books Worth Reading

Daveed Diggs

Already cast in an HBO “mockumentary” and a Julia Roberts flick, Daveed Diggs joins the ABC TV series Blackish in its third season.


The team that created “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” director Rachel Chavkin and composer Dave Malloy,  is working on a musical adaptation of Moby Dick.

Paramour at Broadway in Bryant Park

Broadway in Bryant Park: Watch videos of performances by the casts of Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, Paramous, and The Wonderful Marvelettes

Kinky Boots’ 7-year-old Devin Tray Campbell at the 14th annual Broadway Stands Up for Freedom NYCLU fundraiser

Deaf West Hell No

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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