Frozen Angels. Why I Pan. The Week in NY Theater.

This week, “Frozen” opened on Broadway the day after the latest blizzard, and  “Angels in America,” which includes scenes from Antarctica and co-stars Nathan Lane as Roy Cohn, opened while the president of the United States continues his search for a new attorney who will act like his first one, Roy Cohn.

Theater, the new reality series.

Below: The Fringe returns,  Sam Shepard is revived, the Boss extends, MCC gets its new building, a breakthrough in accessibility, new anti-harassment measures. Also: A Critic’s Corner



The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Beth Malone as the angel in America and Andrew Garfield as Prior Walter

Angels in America

In the current production at the Neil Simon Theatre, which originated in London’s National Theatre, Angels in America remains compelling. It is very funny and moving and smart. It is also overwhelming and sprawling – more than seven hours, spread out over two parts, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika – and at times inaccessibly esoteric.

In an era when AIDS is no longer a death sentence and a different Kushner is often in the news, Angels in America is nevertheless in some ways surprisingly timely too


There was something simple, clearly thought out, and heartfelt in Sven that seems more rare than it should be in Frozen, for all the Broadway musical marks it hits. It’s as if in striving and straining to give us a really big show, it skips over some storytelling and characterization that might have drawn some of us in more fully.

Locked Up Bitches

“We wanted to throw the best party in town,” says Catya McMullen about Locked Up Bitches, the hip-hop musical parody of Orange Is the New Black she wrote with composer Scott Allen Klopfenstein. Currently running at The Flea, the irreverent comedy features 25 members of the theatre’s resident ensemble The Bats as warring cats and dogs at the Bitchfield Animal Shelter. Prancing around the stage in their canine noses and kitty ears, gleefully spouting McMullen’s puns and singing her profanity-laced lyrics, the young performers are nothing if not party animals

The Week in New York Theater News


Paul Dano and Ethan Hawke will star as the warring brothers in a revival of Sam Shepard’s 1980 play True West, to open January 24, 2019 at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater. It debuted on Broadway in 2000 with Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly


The Boss loves Broadway. Bruce Springsteen extends to December 15, 2018. Originally scheduled for just an 8-week run, Springsteen On Broadway is now stretched to 14 months!

After a year-long hiatus, the New York International Fringe Festival will return, with two changes — #Fringe21 will be in October 2018 (not August) and it’ll take place IN ALL FIVE BOROUGHS, thanks to #FringeBYOV (Bring Your Own Venue), explained here:

Accessiblity breakthrough! Children of a Lesser God offers supertitles and closed captioning (through GalaPro App, available on your own smart phone) AT EVERY PERFORMANCE. Plus #ASL (American Sign Language) interpreters at select performances.

MCC’s current home is the Lucille Lortel Theater in the Village.

MCC Theater will open its new theater complex at West 52nd Street and 10th Avenue in 2019 in time for its new season.:

Alice By Heart, a new musical with a book by Steven Sater with Jessie Nelson,
music by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Steven Sater (Spring Awakening);

Halley Feiffer’s Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow, directed by Trip Cullman;

BLKS by Aziza Barnes;

The Light by Loy A. Webb and directed by Logan Vaughn.

The original cast recording of Mean Girls  will be released digitally on May 18 and physically on June 15th. The Broadway musical opens April 8th.

Actors’ Equity announces formation of a sexual harassment prevention committee

Stockard Channing star Off-Broadway in Apologia by Alexi Kaye Campbell (The Pride), portraying a 1960s  radical activist and political protester, now a celebrated art historian, whose publication of her memoir threatens to split her family apart. It opens October 16, 2018 at Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theater.

Critics Corner

Why I Pan

What really makes a pan a responsibility is that criticism is a form of journalism, which is, in theory, a form of truth. A critic reports honestly on his own thoughts and feelings- NYT critic Jesse Green on why he had to pan Escape to Margaritaville

Meeting The Artist You Panned

It took Anders Walter four years to make “I Kill Giants,” four seconds for critic @davidehrlich to pan it on Twitter. But at least there’s a happy ending — or an interesting one. They had a meal to talk about it. Good idea?

Mark Shenton: Why I will no longer review shows that don’t pay actors and crew

Reviews matter in two ways: as filters, and as shapers of opinion – by Chris Power in New Statesman

A Brief History of Gay Theater

Inside Broadway’s “Secret Laboratory”
A six-minute video, with footnotes, that offers a vertiginous glimpse into the activities in the 14 rehearsal studios of the ten-story New 42nd Street Studios, which opened in 2000.

A.T. Jones & Sons, the oldest costume shop in America, turns 150.
(It’s in Baltimore.)

Arthur Schopenhauer on the relationship between genius and madness 

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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