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Harry Potter Kicks Out Paramour. The Trump Effect. Lin-Manuel Inc. Week in NY Theater

The world may feel as if it’s coming to an end (see The Trump Effect, below), but the future looks promising for the theater, even in the few weeks remaining of this year, with several intriguing shows still to open (December theater openings) – and that doesn’t even count Hairspray Live on Wednesday.

Or La La Land, which opens in movie theaters on Thursday

Or the 1966 rediscovered Glass Menagerie starring Shirley Booth on TCM on Thursday (See New York Theater News below.)

Did you take the November New York Theater Quiz yet?

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The Trump Effect

It’s been almost four weeks since Election Day, but those who didn’t support the winner – including much of the theater community – remain in shock. One manifestation of this, as I write in an essay for HowlRound, is in a changed perception of what’s happening on stage at nearly every show since then, from “Master Harold….and the boys” to “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” and even “Sweet Charity.” (Also included in the article are links to reactions by a variety of critics and theater artists.)

Theater artists have begun to mobilize, such as the newly formed Broadway Advocacy Coalition which on Sunday night held a combination concert and conference entitled “The Invitation: The American Hangover.”

Here is Brandon Victor Dixon’s appearance at the event, which was held in an auditorium at Columbia University:

Also presenting at the event were performers Ben Vereen and Condola Rashad, and Fun Home composer Jeanine Tesori, who revealed that she’s taking courses at the law school.

Week in New York Theater Reviews

The song "You Will Be Found" from "Dear Evan Hansen"

The song “You Will Be Found” from “Dear Evan Hansen”

Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen” has changed now that it’s on Broadway, in ways that make it an even more affecting musical. Ben Platt’s performance, impressive from the get-go, is even better. But what’s changed the most is the world outside the theater, turning the story of a lie that gets out of hand into something more realistic and unfortunately more relevant…

The Illusionists

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For its third annual holiday appearance on Broadway, The Illusionists, a variety showcase for a rotating group of magicians and stunt performers, has a new subtitle, “Turn of the Century,” which may be an attempt to spin overly familiar acts as vintage classics…Luckily, The Illusionists also includes Justo Thaus, aka The Grand Carlini — who executes some equally antediluvian tricks involving a little red ball but at least does it using marionettes — and Jonathan Goodwin, who is dubbed The Daredevil.

Emily Rohm

Emily Rohm

Ride The Cyclone

“Ride the Cyclone” begins with six teenagers from the high school choir of a small Canadian town dying on a roller coaster called the Cyclone. Then, one by one, we hear their stories – or, more accurately, we get a show-stopping musical number out of each one of them. If the musical feels largely derivative, it features an appealing, talented cast, a dozen witty, energetic songs in a variety of popular styles, and a spectacular design for such a small-scale show. Although the characters are dead, that doesn’t stop them from being fun and funny, albeit in a familiar way. Viewers might immediately think of “Glee,” or any number of peppy musical comedies. But I thought of Thornton Wilder….

Week in New York Theater News

 

lyric-marquee-with-paramourAlthough there was some confusion due to a misleading press release put out by Cirque de Soleil, the real story is that the owners of the Lyric, Ambassador Theatre Group, aka ATG, plan to renovate the Lyric in hopes of its housing in 2018 “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” now playing to sold-out audiences at the Palace in London’s West End. ATG is therefore kicking out “Paramour” in April, 2017.

It’s unclear whether Paramour will be able to find another Broadway theater that’s open and suits its needs. Paramour was critically panned when it opened in May, and, while it often grosses close to a million dollars a week, that represents little more than half of its potential, and it has among the lowest percentage of seats filled; the Lyric, as presently configured, is the largest house on Broadway, with more than 1,900 seats. (The second largest is the Gershwin, where Wicked consistently ranks among the highest attended Broadway shows.) The aim of the renovation is in part to reduce the number of seats.

Jersey Boys Drew Seeley Nick Dromard Matt Bogart Mark Ballas

“Jersey Boys” creators found guilty of copyright infringement in lawsuit brought by widow of ghost writer.

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The Humans will close on Broadway on January 15, 2017. Come From Away had already announced that it will begin performances at Schoenfeld (where The Humans is playing) on February 18. The Humans will launch a national tour next November.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a “ticket bot bill” making it a crime for scalpers to use computer software to purchase tickets

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Fifty years to the day after it was first broadcast, the famously “lost” 1966 TV production of  The Glass Menagerie starring Shirley Booth as Amanda, Hal Holbrook as Tom, Barbara Loden as Laura and Pat Hingle as the gentleman caller has been found and restored, and is scheduled to air Thursday, December 8 on TCM. Of note, it was directed by British director Michael Elliott, who is the father of Marianne Elliott, the director of “War Horse” and “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
The first TV version of Tennessee Williams play was in 1950, starring Jane Wyman as Laura, Kirk Douglas as the Gentleman caller, Gertrude Lawrence as Amanda, and Arthur Kennedy as Tom.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Is Busy

Good news/bad news. Good news: Hamilton grossed a record-breaking $3.3 million (Take that, #BoycottHamilton!) Bad news: The top ticket price was $998

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The Hamilton Mixtape was released this past week.

The day before, there was a Hamilton Mixtape concert livestreamed  from the Richard Rodgers Theater, featuring QuestLove of The Roots

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and his bandmate Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter; Joell Ortiz (who sang “My Shot” with Black Thought), Regina Spektor (“Dear Theodosia”)

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Andra Day (“Burn”)

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Ashanti with Ja Rule (“Helpless”)

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Three observations about the  concert

1. longest #Ham4Ham ever

2. shortest #rapconcert ever

3. More women proportionally than in the musical

(To learn more about the books, and/or buy them, check out 3 Book Set of The Kingkiller Chronicle Series (The Name of the Wind, Wise Man’s Fear and The Slow Regard of Silent Things))

 

Click here for discount tickets to the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

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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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