New Sondheim at the Public. Fringe for Free. Black Lives Matter, On Stage. Week in New York Theater

Should a work of theater be an entertainment that allows us to escape from the world, or a piece of art that more or less forces us to engage in the world? Can it do both?
That’s the question I asked at the end of my piece about the recent revival of Runaways, and it’s especially timely now:


The Fringe begins on Friday, with its usual supply of silly titles (Happy Lucky Golden Tofu Panda Dragon Good Time Fun Fun Show!that’s all one show ) mixed with a trend that I noticed last year of more serious, political fare: This year it seems to have stepped up, with such shows as: Financial Slavery: College Debt Sentence, Zuccoti Park: A Musical About the Human Side of Economics,  Machine Gun America, and Black and Blue, a play about a black man trying to find common ground with a NYC police officer.


Friday is also the last day to enter the contest to get a free pass to any and all of the some 200 shows at the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival.


Broadway for Black Lives Matters – The stars came out on Monday to support a  movement that began as a hashtag, in a combination concert and conference that Audra McDonald promised would only be the beginning.

New York Theater July 2016 Quiz


Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim

The musical by Stephen Sondheim and David Ives based on two Bunuel films has found a home at the Public Theater. The target is 2017.


Miss Saigon is coming to the Broadway Theatre March 1, 2017 to January 14, 2018 (then on tour) It opens March 23

Disney has fired Alex Timbers as director of the Broadway adaptation of Frozen, putting its timeline into doubt.

Julie Taymor (Lion King, Spiderman), says she’s back on Broadway next year, but she won’t say in what.

The 92nd Street Y is launching a new series: In the Director’s Chair (tickets start at $29)

Pam MacKinnon and Michael Wilson
Mon, Nov 7, 7:30 pm,
Pam MacKinnon: Broadway credits include: China Doll; The Heidi Chronicles; A Delicate Balance; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Michael Wilson: Broadway credits include: The Trip to Bountiful; Dividing the Estate; Gore Vidal’s The Best Man.

Leigh Silverman and Sutton Foster

Mon, Nov 21, 7 pm,
Leigh Silverman : Broadway credits include Violet (Tony nomination); Chinglish; Well.

Sutton Foster: Broadway credits include Violet; Anything Goes; The Drowsy Chaperone; Thoroughly Modern Millie. She stars in The New Group’s forthcoming 50th anniversary production of Sweet Charity and can be seen on TV in the hit TV Land series Younger.

Kwame Kwei-Armah and Liesl Tommy

Mon, Dec 12, 7 pm
Kwame Kwei-Armah: Artistic Director, Baltimore Center Stage. Credits include Marley, One Night in Miami, Amadeus, dance of the holy ghosts, The Mountaintop, An Enemy of the People. Off-Broadway credits include The Public Theater Mobile Unit: Comedy of Errors; Much Ado About Nothing. Forthcoming – The Public Theater Public Works: Twelfth Night; Donmar Warehouse: One Night in Miami.

Liesl Tommy: directed Eclipsed on and Off-Broadway. Other Off-Broadway credits include Appropriate; The Good Negro; The Antigone Project.

Harold Prince in Bloomberg

Harold Prince:

(As a kid) I didn’t have a lot of respect for musicals…I wanted them to be more serious.

(As a young producer) I raised all my money from dressers and stagehands. Now you have to have wealthy people

Q and A with producer and director Harold Prince

Tony Shalhoub is among cast in The Band’s Visit, musical by David Yazbek based on charming 2007 film. Opens Dec. 8 Atlantic Theater

HowlRound weekly chat: Podcasts and Performing

Also: Playwrights on Podcasts


Watch performances from the casts of Beautiful, Avenue Q, An American in Paris, and Holiday Inn at the week’s Broadway in Bryant Park lunchtime concert.


James Houghton (Founding Artistic Director, Signature Theatre Company)

James Houghton September 4, 1958-August 2, 2016, founder of Signature Theater and director of the drama division at the Juilliard School


Michael Feingold says goodbye

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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