Week in NY Theater: Hamilton Spamilton. DeVito and Chenoweth. Taking on Trump.

Broadway shows closing, new ones announced; much about theater on screen. But the news for individual theatergoers on a budget are the discount programs in effect now or in the near future:

Broadway Week, two for one tickets now through September 18

20 at 20 Off Broadway now through September 25

Off Broadway Week September 26 to October 9

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

The Trump Card

Mike Daisey says at the outset of his monologue about Donald Trump that the aim is not to flay him for the audience’s pleasure. But Daisey himself takes such obvious pleasure in calling Trump at various times a “dyspeptic toad,” an “orange gremlin,” an “orange goblin,” a “free-floating aneurysm.”

Full review

Unicorn Gratitude Mystery

Some might consider Karen Finley’s three back-to-back theater pieces little more than profanity-filled screaming rants and non-sequiturs – and the critics this time could be more than just on the right, since Hillary Clinton gets the Finley in-your-face treatment just as bluntly as Donald Trump.

Full review


Spamilton,” an often clever if uneven spoof of the musical “Hamilton,” is like the 26th edition of “Forbidden Broadway,”hitting “Hamilton” highlights but also spritzing barbs at targets up and down the Great White Way.

Full review


“Caught” messes with your head in the most exquisite of ways. In part a send-up of the art scene – the conceptual artist as con artist — it is itself a form of conceptual art, and a series of cons.

Full review

The Wolves

Nine teenage girls are members of The Wolves soccer team in Sarah DeLappe’s impressive first professional play, in a production that both shows off the playwright’s terrific ear for the way her adolescent characters speak, and respects her attempt to capture the texture of everyday life in a community of young women.

Full review

Aubergine 10


In “Aubergine,” an appealing, lyrical family drama by Julia Cho, life boils down to two essentials — food and death.

Full review

The Week in Theater Books

What accounts for the phenomenal success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton? Four new books offer some clues. Only one of them focuses on the show exclusively: Hamilton: The Revolution includes the complete libretto, annotated by Miranda, alternating with chapters by former critic and Public Theater staff member Jeremy McCarter chronicling the six years it took to make the musical about the “10-dollar Founding Father without a father.”

This official Hamilton book is not shy about proclaiming the show’s greatness. McCarter declares that the “widely acclaimed musical…doesn’t just dramatize [Alexander] Hamilton’s revolution. It continues it.”

Such over-the-top assessments are commonplace these days. First Lady Michelle Obama has called it “the best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life.” The new books are equally enthusiastic.

Full review

The Week in New York Theater News

Jersey Boys on Broadway, current cast
Jersey Boys on Broadway

After 11 years on Broadway, “Jersey Boys” is closing on January 11, 2017


“My Love Letter to Broadway” Kristin Chenoweth concert from the American Songook, will be presented at Broadway’s  Lunt-Fontanne from November 2nd to November 13th.


Roundabout is bringing “Marvin’s Room,” Scott McPherson’s 1991 comic play about death and family feuds, to Broadway in June. It was made into a 1996 film starring Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio and Diane Keaton.


Danny Devito will make his Broadway debut in Arthur Miller’s The Price, opening Marcy 16, 2017 at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater . He joins John Turturro, Tony Shalhoub and Jessica Hecht. “When the Great Depression cost his family their fortune, Victor Franz  gave up his dream of an education to support his father. Three decades later, Victor has returned to his childhood home to sell the remainder of his parents’ estate. His wife, his estranged brother, and the wily furniture dealer hired to appraise their possessions all arrive with their own agendas.” DeVito will portray the furniture dealer.

Evan Hansen 3

Dear Evan Hansen will now open December 4 at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre; the musical had been scheduled to transfer to a different Broadway theater, the Belasco

Two world-premiere one-act plays by A.R. Gurney, “Squash and “Ajax,” will open at The Flea on October 23

A concert version of Joe Iconis’ Broadway Bounty Hunter, after acclaimed Barrington Stage run, set for Joes Pub September 26. Annie Golden will star.

Broadway Supports Black Lives Matter was canceled. Scheduled for September 11th at Feinstein’s/54 Below, the concert was cancelled due to the Black Lives Matter organization’s support of sanctions against Israel.

Proposal to charge theaters more on sale of air rights sets off debate

Theater on Screen

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 version of August Wilson’s “Fences,” starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, has moved its opening to Christmas Day.

The making-of documentary Hamilton’s America will be broadcast on PBS on Friday, October 21 at 9:00 PM.




Hamilton’s Ephraim Sykes and School of Rock’s Shahadi Wright Joseph join “Hairspray Live!” Sykes will portray Seaweed J. Stubbs. The live musical is set for broadcast on NBC on December 7. (Sykes pictured below in Newsies, which he left to go to Motown, which was followed by Hamilton.)


Grease Live won four Emmys
-Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Special
–Outstanding Production Design For A Variety, Nonfiction, Event Or Award Special
–Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special
–Outstanding Special Class Program

The Wiz Live!

The Wiz Live! won an Emmy for Paul Tazewell for Outstanding Costumes For Variety, Nonfiction Or Reality Programming.

School of Rock 1 Alex Brightman

Alex Brightman will be the host this year’s Broadway Salutes on September 20 at 4:00 PM in Shubert Alley, the annual event that recognizes theater workers who aren’t normally in the spotlight.


Mario Vargas Llosa: How Entertainment Killed Culture

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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