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Lin-Manuel Miranda Back in Hamilton. King Kong Meets Harry Potter. Week in New York Theater

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s efforts to aid Puerto Rico in recovering from Hurricane Maria took the logical next step during his visit there this past week, when he announced his return to his starring role in Hamilton, in a production in Puerto Rico, scheduled to run from January 8 to 27, 2019 at the University of Puerto Rico’s Teatro UPR. “I have a year and a bit to remember the words.”

Hamilton’s costume designer Paul Tazewell will also have time to make him a new outfit. His original was donated to the Smithsonian, and will be on display there starting in March.

If any number of stars, directors and producers might be described as Broadway’s proverbial 800-pound gorilla (they can sit wherever they want), that odd phrase is getting a literal meaning, with the announcement that King Kong the musical is finally scheduled for Broadway, featuring a very heavy puppet. Below, details on this and other announcements — about Kelli O’Hara, Daphne Rubin Vega, Mabou Mines, Stephen Sondheim’s long-remembered advice, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s next and “most boring” project.

 

 

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk

The Band’s Visit

What happens when a lovely, low-key musical based on an offbeat Israeli film moves from Off-Broadway to a Broadway theater five times its size?

You get the same widely acclaimed show – with David Yazbek’s exquisite Middle Eastern score and delicious lyrics, a spot-on cast (12 of 14 the same) led by the incomparable Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk, a story adapted by Itamar Moses that’s both doleful and droll – plus better acoustics, and better accents.

Ito Aghayere and Matthew Saldivar

Junk

“When did money become the thing – the only thing?” a character asks at the beginning of “Junk,” a play by Ayad Akhtar, who seems to answer: In the 1980s. Akhtar, the playwright of “Disgraced,” the Pulitzer-winning play about the price of assimilation for a Muslim American, and “The Invisible Hand,” about a terrorist kidnapping, here presents less venturesome dramatic territory by revisiting the heady era of corporate raiding, insider trading, junk bonds — a well-staged production about a well-trod subject.

Full review

Sue Jean Kim and Ki Hong Lee

Office Hour

Dennis, the sullen and unsettling student at the center of Julia Cho’s play “Office Hour” is strongly reminiscent of the real-life student Cho Seung-Hui, an English major at Virginia Polytechnic Institute who killed 32 people on campus in 2007…Given the almost 300 mass shootings in the United States so far this year alone, a play that uses gun violence in the opaque and overly clever way that “Office Hour” does will surely be ill-timed for some time to come.

Full review

The Week in New York Theater News

King Kong, which premiered in Melbourne in 2013, will open at the Broadway Theatre on Nov 8, 2018. Jack Thorne, co-author of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, has written the new book for the musical. The theater artists who’ve written previous versions include Craig Lucas, Marsha Norman and Jason Robert Brown.

Roundabout is reviving Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate, starring Kelli O’Hara. It starts February.  She performed the musical, which tells the story of the two performers mirroring the action in a production of   Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, in a one-night-only benefit concert of the musical for the Roundabout Theatre Company last year which also featured Will Chase. There is no word on who else will be appearing in the cast, nor which Broadway theater it will play in.

Andrew Lloyd Webber has written a book about “the most boring person I’ve ever written about” — himself. “Unmasked” coming March 6

The Tony Awards nominating committee has ruled “1984” ineligible for Tony Awards because the production refused to allow the journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who is a member of the nominating committee, to see the play.

Complete initial rules

After 47 years, Mabou Mines has its own theater (9th St & 1st Ave), where it’ll be presenting “Glass Guignol” (using Tennessee Williams texts) Nov 28-Dec 23

 

An in-person lottery of $39.50 begins Thursday for Once On This Island, two hourrs before each performance. The musical opens Dec 3.

Daphne Rubin Vega will play undocumented immigrant in “Miss You Like Hell” by Quiara Hudes (In The Heights, etc.) and Erin McKeown, at the Public Theater in March

 

A Clockwork Orange  is ending a month early; final performance Dec. 2

 

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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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