Broadway’s April Avalanche. Critics’ Musical Chairs. Week in NY Theater

Right before the busiest month in New York theater – 14 shows opening on Broadway alone in April, exactly one third of all the shows for the entire season – theater critics are getting new assignments (a polite way of putting it.) Jesse Green, the current critic at New York Magazine, has been named “co-chief theater critic” of the New York Times: Press releaseQ and A with Green in American Theatre

This means of course an opening for a critic at New York Magazine, although Green doesn’t start his new gig until May 1.

Charles Isherwood

Meanwhile, Charles Isherwood, who was until recently the second string critic at the Times, will become a “contributing critic” at a new online publication, Broadway News, created by the e-mail newsletter Broadway Briefing. Details in Deadline


Week in New York Theater Reviews

Miss Saigon

The first Broadway revival of Miss Saigon is being marketed as the return of a classic. But, if the show has become an undeniable fan favorite, the production’s impressive visual spectacle, lively staging and crowd-pleasing vocal calisthenics cannot completely mask a script that leans heavily on emotional manipulation and one-dimensional storytelling.

How to Transcend A Happy Marriage

In Sarah Ruhl’s new play,  two middle-aged married couples, long-time friends, find themselves fascinated with a young woman nicknamed Pip ( Lena Hall, Tony winner for Hedwig and the Angry Inch) who lives and loves with two men, in what they call a polyamorous relationship, or a throuple, or a triad. The two couples decide to invite the throuple to a New Year’s Eve party.

“And our lives would change forever,” George (short for Georgia), portrayed by Marisa Tomei, says to the theatergoers sitting politely at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater.

It’s not actually clear that their lives do change forever. But ours certainly don’t.

Latin History for Morons

For “Latin History for Morons,” John Leguizamo has come up with a sixth solo show that will be in many ways familiar to his fans , with its mix of in-your-face jokes, spot-on mimicry, candid memoir, energetic dance breaks. But it is also a timely cultural and political critique, suggesting what could become a new direction for the talented performer.

Week in New York Theater News

Once on This Island, a 1990 musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, is scheduled to return to Broadway, opening on December 3, 2017.
The show focuses on “a young dreamer named Ti Moune. After a massive storm rages through her village, a ray of hope appears through a young man from the wealthy side of the island. An unexpected romance blossoms. But when their different cultures threaten to keep them apart, Ti Moune—guided by the island gods—sets out on a journey to stay beside the man who has captured her heart.”
Michael Arden (Spring Awakening) will direct. The show has no theater or cast yet. They are
“sailing to Haiti to find Broadway lead”

Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children, a London hit about two retired nuclear scientists living in a cottage after a nuclear disaster, opens on MTC’s Broadway theater, the Samuel Friedman, on December 14.

Janeane Garofalo will star as Lee in her Broadway debut; Lili Taylor  as Bessie and Celia Weston  as Ruth in Marvin’s Room, at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater June 8 – August 27, 2017

  1. How to Hamlet, or Hamletting Hamlet a “theatrical conjuring” by Theater Reconstruction Ensemble at HERE Mar 30 – Apr 14

2. Hamlet: A Version by Russian dissident Boris Akunin set in police state Ap 21-May 7 Theatre St Clements

A different perspective on The Glass Menagerie — and an overview of disability on stage:

NEA grants to NYC cultural nonprofits: $233 million from 2000 to 2016.
Nearly $43 million was granted to the media arts, $32 million for musical theater,
$31 million for dance and $21 million for music.
An additional $21 million was granted specifically for arts education


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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