Albee Memorial. Bette’s Buddies. Audra’s Medal. Week in New York Theater

Broadway theater marquees will dim at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday in honor of Edward Albee, the Broadway League announced — as will Off Broadway theaters, the Off Broadway League announced.

Albee, 1928 to 2016, was a provocateur, both in his many plays (the photographs are of recent New York productions), and in his interviews.

A sample:

“If you have no wounds, how can you know if you’re alive?”
― The Play About the Baby


“Sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly.”
― The American Dream and The Zoo Story


“I failed as a poet, a novelist, a short-story writer and as an essayist, but I was determined to be a writer. So I began writing plays.

“Unless you are terribly, terribly careful, you run the danger– without even knowing it is happening to you– of slipping into the fatal error of reflecting the public taste instead of creating it. Your responsibility is to the public consciousness, not to the public view of itself.”


Week in New York Theater Reviews

Kecia Lewis as Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Kecia Lewis as Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Marie and Rosetta

Whenever the two stars of “Marie and Rosetta” sing, it’s all that matters: Kecia Lewis swinging and soulful as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a gospel singer and guitarist who filled stadiums and influenced Ray Charles and rockers from Elvis to Jimi Hendrix, but when she died at age 58 was buried in an unmarked grave; Rebecca Naomi Jones pretty and piercing as Marie Knight, gospel and r&b singer and pianist, who toured with Tharpe at the height of her popularity in the 1940’s.


Missed Connections

The half dozen performers, all of whom also play musical instruments, are talented; the songs…are tuneful. There are many songs that theatergoers in the right frame of mind will surely find amusing. But…”Missed Connections” struck me as entertaining without being insightful; clever without being particularly funny. “Missed Connections” seems to miss the point of Craigslist, or at least what’s most interesting about it.

Amy Warren and Jay O. Sanders as sister and brother in What Did You Expect?,
Amy Warren and Jay O. Sanders as sister and brother in What Did You Expect?,

What Did You Expect?

What Did You Expect?, the second installment of Richard Nelson’s trilogy at the Public subtitled The Gabriels: Election Year In The Life Of One Family, is literate (the characters tell a story about Melville; read from Edith Wharton and Euripides), aromatic (they cook a meal), and, arguably, misleading: The name “Trump” is uttered only once….
Although it may be reasonable to assume from the subtitle of the series that it will focus on one family’s take on this year’s presidential election, that is not what has happened so far.

Week in New York Theater News

Will Chase as William Shakespeare
Will Chase as William Shakespeare

Something Rotten will close January 1, after 742 performances. Will Chase will leave October 9th.


“Come From Away” will begin performances on Broadway on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre and officially open Sunday, March 12, 2017

The show portrays how “38 planes and 6,579 passengers were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, doubling the population of one small town on the edge of the world.”

Arian Moayed, Reed Birney, Jane Houdyshell, Loren Klein, Sarah Steele
Arian Moayed, Reed Birney, Jane Houdyshell, Loren Klein, Sarah Steele

The Humans will end its run at the Gerald Schoenfeld on January 15.  That does not necessarily mean it will end its run in New York. Producer Scott Rudin announced that it has broken even – one in about five Broadway shows ever do so.

Groundhog Day the musical in UK

Ground Hog Day, a musical composed by Tim Minchin (Matilda) based on Bill Murray film, is set to open in Broadway’s August Wilson Theater April 17, 2017

Hello Dolly logo


Joining Bette Midler (Dolly) and David Hyde Pierce (Horace Vandergelder) in the revival of Hello Dolly opening April 20, 2017: Gavin Creel (Cornelius Hackl), Kate Baldwin (Irene Molloy), Taylor Trensch (Barnaby Tucker), Will Burton(Ambrose Kemper), Melanie Moore (Ermengarde), Jennifer Simard(Ernestina), and an ensemble of twenty-seven.

The ensemble features Cameron AdamsPhillip AttmoreGiuseppe BausilioJustin BowenElizabeth EarleyTaeler Elyse CyrusLeslie Donna FlesnerJenifer FooteJessica Lee GoldynBlake Hammond,Stephen HannaMichael HartungRobert HartwellAmanda LaMotte,Analisa LeamingJess LeProttoIan LibertoKevin LigonNathan MaddenLinda MuglestonHayley PodschunJessica Sheridan,Michaeljon SlingerChristian Dante WhiteBranch WoodmanRyan Worsing, and Richard Riaz Yoder.


Among the winners of the 68th annual Emmy Awards (complete list of winners and nominees) there were several Broadway veterans: Courtney B. Vance & Sarah Paulson  for The People v. O.J. Simpson; director Thomas Kail  for “Grease Live”

Audra McDonald, Mel Brooks, Moises Kaufman and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center were among this year’s National Medal of Arts winners given by the National Endowment for the Arts

Alphabetical list (click on link above for bios)


Mel Brooks

Sandra Cisneros

Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

Morgan Freeman

Philip Glass

Berry Gordy

Santiago Jiménez, Jr.

Moises Kaufman

Ralph Lemon

Audra McDonald

Luis Valdez

Jack Whitten


Jordan Harrison (Marjorie Prime) and Zayd Dohrn (The Profane) have won the 2016 Horton Foote Prize, which honors excellence in American theater every two years.

Gay Men’s Health Crisis will honor Javier Muñoz with the 2016 Howard Ashman Award for his activism in the fight against HIV/AIDS.


Leona Lewis as Grizabella
Leona Lewis as Grizabella

Leona Lewis will leave Cats on October 9.

Cancelled Black Lives Matter Benefit Gets a Second Chance at Joe’s Pub


Labor unrest, unionization and retaliation at Ellen’s Stardust Diner


Reminder: #IdentityWeek Panels on access,transgender etc. Vineyard Theater,  FREE Sept 27-30


The Sound of Music’s ‘Liesl’ Charmian Carr dies at 73

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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