BroadwayCon! Broadway at the Grammys, Oscars, and Empire State Building! Week in NY Theater

The third annual BroadwayCon demonstrated that theatergoers can be as creative as theater makers — witness above the trio of cosplay artists as (left to right) Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet, or the winner of the Cosplay Fashion Show, dressed as Squidward Tentacles from Spongebob Squarepants, complete with a homemade costume with four legs.

But this week in theater was also a series of showcases for the professionals — with Broadway’s distinct presence at the Grammys (Watch below Patti LuPone sing in tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Platt in tribute to Leonard Bernstein), and at the Oscar nominations, the Phantom at 30  celebration, and sneak peeks of forthcoming Broadway shows BroadwayCon. At its tenth reunion, original cast members of “In The Heights” sang songs that didn’t make the final cut.

Broadway At The Grammys

“Dear Evan Hansen” won the best musical theater album Grammy.
The songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul now have won a Grammy, Oscar (for song in LaLa Land), and Tony (for Dear Evan Hansen.)  They are only missing an Emmy, to be #EGOT winners, along with just a dozen others, including Bobby Lopez, Whoopi Goldberg and Helen Hayes

Lin-Manuel Miranda won a Grammy (his third) for “How Far I’ll Go,” from the movie Moana. (He too is just short of an EGOT, having won three Tonys and an Emmy for the music and lyrics at the 2013 Tony award show, but no Oscar yet. He is, however, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, a McArthur ‘Genius’ Grant, and the gratitude of the crowd at BroadwayCon (see below.)

Patti LuPone sang, in tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber

Ben Platt sang, in tribute to Leonard Bernstein

Broadway at the Oscars

Theater veterans nominated for the 90th Academy Awards include Laurie Metcalfe (soon returning to Broadway in Three Tall Women), Denzel Washington (soon on Broadway in Iceman Cometh), as well as Frances McDormand, Christopher Plummer, Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep (of course, nominated for the 21st time)…and newcomer Timothée Chalamet

Guillermo del Toro’s much Oscar-nominated The Shape of Water was shaped by Paul Zindel’s 1969 play Let Me Hear You Whisper; the filmmakers used the play’s plot without giving credit nor buying the rights, his son David Zindel tells The Guardian
The late Paul Zindel is best known for his play
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, which won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Miles for Mary

Miles for Mary” is the Mad Ones theater troupe’s spot-on, deadpan funny look at a year’s worth of planning committee meetings for a local telethon at an Ohio high school. Originally presented last fall Off-Off Broadway at the Bushwick Starr, where it was well-received, it is the first production in what Playwrights Horizons is calling its Redux Series, an effort to bring shows at smaller theaters to Off-Broadway for a longer run. As such, it seems like a test case. Will the Playwrights Horizons audience take to a show that requires so much patience and at least a little insolence?

The Week in New York Theater News

2018 finalists for $100,000 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History: Junk by Ayad Akhtar
Bella An American Tall Tale by Kirsten Childs
Roe by Lisa Loomer
Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau
King of the Yees by Lauren Yee

Phantom of the Opera Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary on Broadway

“The Prom,” is scheduled to open on Broadway (theater not yet announced) on November 15, 2018 with a cast including.
Brooks Ashmanskas, Beth Leavel, Christopher Sieber, Caitlin Kinnunen, Isabelle McCalla, Michael Potts, Angie Schworer, Courtenay Collins and Josh Lamon.
The musical is about two snubbed Broadway stars who, hoping to get some Good Samaritan credit and attention, descend on a high school to support a student wants to go to the prom with her girlfriend.
Here is a song from the show as previewed at BroadwayCon


Joining Denzel Washington in the cast of Eugene O’Neill’s Iceman Cometh (opening April 26th) are some veteran Broadway actors:

Colm Meaney, David Morse, Bill Irwin, Tammy Blanchard,
Carolyn Braver, Austin Butler, Joe Forbrich, Nina Grollman,
Thomas Michael Hammond, Neal Huff, Danny Mastrogiorgio,
Dakin Matthews, Jack McGee, Clark Middleton, Michael Potts,
Reg Rogers, and Frank Wood.

Audra McDonald to receive Human Rights Campaign’s National Equality Award “she uses her incredible talent to help make the world a better place by speaking out for the vulnerable and the oppressed. We are proud to recognize such a vocal advocate for LGBTQ equality.” (Equality is her middle name)

Shakespeare in the Park, Summer 2018:

Othello (May 29-June 24), directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson

A re-imagined staging of the critically-acclaimed Public Works musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (July 17-August 19), conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub

Tootsie, musical based on 1982 movie, music by David Yazbek (The Bands Visit) starring Santino Fontana, aims for Broadway in 2019 after run in Chicago’s Cadillac Palace

Choir Boy, the 2013 play by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Oscar winning screenwriter for Moonlight), which appeared Off Broadway, will open on Broadway Jan 22, 2019, at MTC’s Samuel Friedman Theater.

Jelani Alladin as Kristoff and Patti Murin as Anna

Four brand new songs written for the Broadway production will be released on consecutive Fridays beginning on February 23, the day after Frozen’s first Broadway performance at the St. James Theater

The Genesis Plays, 5 plays inspired by stories from the 1st book of the Bible, & devised w/ Jewish communities in 5 different cities. will be performed in rep May 1-18 Theater at 14th Street Y

Rhea Perlman joins the cast of “Good for Otto,” The New Group play by David Rabe about a rural Connecticut mental health center. The play opens at Signature Center on March 8. She replaces Rosie O’Donnell due to illness.

Responding to criticism in this #MeToo era, Harvard ‘s 223-year-old Hasty Pudding (“the third oldest theatrical group in the world”) says it will allow women to join its cast starting next year. This comes after people had urged #MilaKunis to reject the theater troupe’s Woman of the Year Award.


Scenes at BroadwayCon

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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