Theater Pier Revived! Another Audra Award. The Lion King for Free. Barbra Online. The Week in NY Theater

Diller Island is back! Plans for Pier 55, Barry Diller’s arts complex on the pier off 14th Street — with theatrical productions organized by such experienced hands as playwright George C. Wolfe and producer Scott Rudin — have been revived in a deal brokered by Gov. Cuomo. Diller announced in September he was killing the project out of frustration over the legal battle against it. Other good news this week in New York theater is about Melissa Gilbert, The Prom, Olaf, elephants, and The Lion King for free, with a bit of a catch.

Week in New York Theater Reviews

Roxanna Hope Radja, Ward Horton, Michael Urie and Michael Rosen

Torch Song

It’s crazy, says Michael Urie as Arnold, that “after all these years I’m still trying to justify my life.” Arnold means his life as a gay man, and though he is talking specifically to his mother (Mercedes Ruehl), the comment lands with force in Torch Song, the Off-Broadway revival of the 1982 Broadway play that launched Harvey Fierstein’s mainstream career as both playwright and performer. It would be terrific to report that the issues Fierstein wove into his Tony winning comedy about Arnold Beckoff’s life and loves make the play seem dated 35 years later…But the search for love and acceptance and self-acceptance remains as fresh as a wound….What does feel dated, though, is a steady beat of jokes as if set to the metronome of an old-fashioned Broadway comedy…Torch Song can probably best be appreciated, even celebrated, as a piece of living gay history. Torch Song has been extended through December 9   Ferguson Review: Michael Brown’s Killing, Via Grand Jury Transcript .“Ferguson,” a play by Phelim McAleer, presents verbatim testimony from the Grand Jury that declined to indict white Police Officer Darren Wilson for the August 9, 2014 shooting death of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown….But it would be misleading to speak in isolation about “Ferguson” as if strictly a work of theater. McAleer’s play doesn’t just plug into the controversy surrounding the killing; it has generated its own controversy…

Jesus Hopped the A Train

Jesus Hopped the A Train

Two killers in adjoining prison cages face off about God in this killer revival of one of the earliest plays by Stephen Adly Guirgis, the streetwise New York playwright of such acclaimed recent dramas as the Pulitzer-winning Between Riverside and Crazy and Broadway’s The M-F With the Hat. Foul-mouthed funny and intense and thought-provoking, the play is a promising start to Guirgis’ 2017-2018 “residency” at New York’s Signature Theatre. Jesus Hopped The A Train has been extended through November 26, 2017

People, Places and Things

“Drugs and alcohol have never let me down. They have always loved me,” Emma (Denise Gough) tells the doctor at the rehab clinic, not quite halfway through Duncan Macmillan’s play. Her comments are actually a sign of progress. If an alcoholic’s 12-step journey toward recovery is a familiar subject, “People, Places & Things” offers enough special and surprising, well, people, places and things to justify a visit to St. Ann’s Warehouse

Week in New York Theater News

The Prom, new musical comedy with a book by Bob Martin  (Drowsy Chaperone) and Chad Beguelin (Aladdin) will open on Broadway Nov. 15, 2018 The musical, which was staged at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta last year,is about a group of publicity-hungry Broadway actors who decide to intervenewhen a small-town Indiana high school cancels its prom rather than let two girls attend as a couple. Melissa Gilbert ( Little House on the Prairie) will be starring in Irish Rep’s “The Dead 1904,” an encore of the immersive show based on James Joyce’s story. November 18-January 7 Audra McDonald is the recipient of the 2018 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT. The $100,000 cash prize awarded at a gala in her honor also includes an artist residency, during which McDonald will present a public talk at MIT on April 14, 2018 about her performances in musical theater, film and television. Shows that have announced national tours: Michael Moore’s Terms of My Surrender, The Humans, Amazing Grace – and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will play Australia Barbra Streisand’s most recent concert engagement, Barbra: The Music … The Mem’ries … The Magic!, will premiere on Netflix November 22. The Lion King will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Broadway with a free performance on November 15 at 8 PM. Theatergoers will be chosen by lottery. The catch? You have to appear in person on November 12th Sunday in Times Square from 10 am to 6 pm or Queens Library, Bronx Library Center, Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch, Inwood Library in Manhattan, or Todt Hill- Westerleigh Library on Staten Island.

Scalpel, Sponge, Show Tunes: When Doctors Moonlight as Actors


Harvey Weinstein produced Singin’ in the Rain is shelved for Broadway

Broadway producer Roland Scahill who admitted scamming friends and others into investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into a nonexistent play about opera star Kathleen Battle has been sentenced to six months in jail.   Howard Sherman has been appointed first ever director of communications and education of Stage Directors and Choreographer’s Society, a union. He’ll also continue w/ Arts Integrity

Elephants outlawed for entertainment in New York I found my thrill On Blueberry Hill — RIP Fats Domino, 89, boogie-woogie pianist, rock n roll pioneer.

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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