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Best and Worst of 2016. Hamilton High. Gyllenhaal and Sondheim launch new Broadway theater.

There IS still time left to do holiday shopping for theater lovers. There are also plenty of shows to see this holiday week: Today is the beginning of the Christmas week schedule for Broadway

With no more major New York theater openings until next year, it’s not too early to assess theater in 2016, both the best and the worst.

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Top Ten Lists of Top Ten Theater in 2016

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Favorite New York stage performances of 2016

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Poll: Worst show of 2016

Hamilton 2.0

Brandon Victor Dixon as Aaron Burr

Brandon Victor Dixon as Aaron Burr

Starting next week, not a single original lead will still be performing in Hamilton on Broadway.  My take on the new Broadway cast, with 14 new production shots and a look at the five announced replacement cast members to come.

(See below for more on the matinee I attended with 1,300 high school students.)

Week in New York Theater Reviews

David Oyelowo as Othello and Daniel Craig as Iago

David Oyelowo as Othello and Daniel Craig as Iago

Othello

While the “Othello” at the New York Theatre Workshop can be uncomfortable and even annoying, it is impossible for me to dismiss Sam Gold’s often startlingly effective production, even when David Oyelowo and Daniel Craig’s ultimately thrilling performances are initially in danger of being upstaged by the lighting and the seats.

Click here to see nine photographs of the production

Week in New York Theater News

A scene from "Sunday in the Park with George" presented by New York City Center on October 24, 2016 with Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Book by James Lapine Starring Jake Gyllenhaal (George Seurat) and Annaleigh Ashford, Dot, his mistress Phylicia Rashad, an Old Lady Zachary Levi- Jules, another artist, tall thin Carmen Cusack, Wife of Jules, red dress Phillip Boykin, Boatman-in cap, grey uniform Brooks Ashmanskas, Mr.- American Gabriel Ebert, Claybourne Elder, Jordan Gelber, Lisa Howard, Liz McCartney, Ruthie Ann Miles, Solea Pfeiffer, Gabriella Pizzolo, and Lauren Worsham Credit: Stephanie Berger

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1984 “Sunday in the Park with George,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, which was presented by New York City Center on an October weekend, will launch the newly renovated Broadway house, the Hudson Theater, which hasn’t been used as a Broadway theater for decades.

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“Sunday in the Park with George,” directed by Sarna Lapine (the niece of the show’s book writer James Lapine), begins previews Feb. 11 ahead of a Feb. 23 opening at the Hudson Theater. The show’s ten-week run is scheduled to end April 23. In the role originated by Mandy Patinkin, Gyllenhaal plays pointillist painter George Seurat in the show’s first act, and then a 1980s New York artist in the second act. Annaleigh Ashford portrays various characters in a part originated by Bernadette Peters.

 

The Hudson Theatre

It was announced almost exactly a year ago that the Hudson, built on 44th St. in 1903, and converted in 1994 for conferences, will reopen as the 41st Broadway theater.

The boxed of a set. In the playing area are Rachel Brosnahan as Desdemona, Daniel craig as Iago, Finn Wittrock as Cassio, David Oyelowo as Othello.

The boxed of a set. In the playing area are Rachel Brosnahan as Desdemona, Daniel craig as Iago, Finn Wittrock as Cassio, David Oyelowo as Othello.

There is talk of Othello transferring to a Broadway theater. Would they really turn one into a military barracks?

 

charliechocolatefactorycast

The full cast has been announced for “Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Christian Borle (Willy Wonka) will be joined by a cast of 35 that includes John Rubinstein as Grandpa Joe, Emily Padgett as Mrs. Bucket, Kathy Fitzgerald as Mrs. Gloop, F. Michael Haynie as Augustus Gloop, Ben Crawford as Mr. Salt, Emma Pfaeffle as Veruca Salt, Alan H. Green as Mr. Beauregard, Trista Dollison as Violet Beauregard, Jackie Hoffman as Mrs. Teavee, Michael Wartella as Mike Teavee and introducing Jake Ryan Flynn, Ryan Foust and Ryan Sell making their Broadway debuts as Charlie Bucket, with Yesenia Ayala, Darius Barnes, Colin Bradbury, Jared Bradshaw, Ryan Breslin, Kristy Cates, Madeleine Doherty, Paloma Garcia-Lee, Stephanie Gibson, Talya Groves, Cory Lingner, Elliott Mattox, Monette McKay, Kyle Taylor Parker, Paul Slade Smith, Stephen Carrasco, Kristin Piro, Amy Quanbeck, Michael Williams, and Mikey Winslow.

How Far I’ll Go, from Moana, by Lin-Manuel Miranda

There is talk of Othello transferring to a Broadway theater. Would they really turn one into a military barracks?

High school students at Hamilton

Some 1,300 New York City public high school students attended a Wednesday matinee performance of “Hamilton,” the sixth of 15 such performances planned for the school year, in a partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation,  the NYC Department of Education and Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, which developed a Hamilton history curriculum taught before the students attend the show.

Hamilton cast members (left to right) Nik Walker, Neil Haskell, Rory O'Malley, Roddy Kennedy, Quinton Johnson speak to 1,300 New York City public high school students before a matinee performance of "Hamilton"

Hamilton cast members (left to right) Nik Walker, Neil Haskell, Rory O’Malley, Roddy Kennedy, Quinton Johnson speak to 1,300 New York City public high school students before a matinee performance of “Hamilton”

Included in the day-long excursion were performances by students from 14 of the 17 schools. They also heard a panel discussion with five cast members: Nik Walker, Neil Haskell, Rory O’Malley, Roddy Kennedy, and Quinton Johnson.

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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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