April is the Foolest Month! Superstar Soars. The Week in New York Theater

The theater community always takes April Fools Day seriously:

“The Lion King Will Become First Musical to Play Seven Continents- Antarctic Production Will Open in 2019” BroadwayWorld

“TCG Announces New Playwright Trading Cards” (Clyde Fitch Report) (I’m still hoping this one is true)


“Lin-Manuel Miranda Working on Musical of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room” (Theatermania)


“Stephen Sondheim To Make Guest Appearance, Premiere New Song, On Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (Broadway World)

DC Theatre Scene, overwhelmed by the actual foolish news (“Porn Star sues President of the United States, Seeks to Void No-Tell Agreement.”) recalled past pranks, e.g.”Trump Buys Naming Rights to the Kennedy Center.”

The real theater news this week below: The new stage Cher, an American Idol goes Kinky, Beetlejuice on stage, cast complete in Phylicia Rashad-directed play by Stephen Adly Guirgis. Plus: Catch up on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s surprise hit, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert

April openings

March quiz

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Glenda Jackson

Three Tall Women

“I was tall and I was strong,”  recalls the oldest woman in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, and you believe it, because it is Glenda Jackson, who commands even as she winces in pain or cries in embarrassment or drifts into sad memories….Jackson makes clear how much we’ve missed by her absence from acting. But this is just one of the many triumphs of this exquisite Broadway premiere directed by Joe Mantello and co-starring Laurie Metcalf and Alison Pill.   It is hard to imagine a better production of Albee’s humorous, caustic, secretly compassionate look at a life – and a death. It feels a fitting homage to the playwright, who died in 2016.

Chris Evans and Michael Cera in Lobby Hero, at the Helen Hayes

Lobby Hero

If with its choice of “Lobby Hero” as its inaugural production at the Helen Hayes, Second Stage does not yet offer any kind of breakthrough for diverse voices on Broadway, director Trip Cullman delivers an effective production of a play that winds up offering some food for thought…Each of the characters faces a moral quandary. When is it right to betray your principles to support a friend? When is it acceptable to betray a friend to support your principles? How mixed can your motives be?


“Rocktopia” mashes up pieces by Mozart and Beethoven as well as a dozen more classical composers with rock songs by Queen, as well as Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, the Beatles and more. (See playlist.) While some of the song pairings work better than others, for the open-minded, “Rocktopia” is an intriguing idea…no shortage of musical talent… Rocktopia” does, however, have a shortage of stagecraft or stage smarts (including) godawful tacky projections.

Eric Tucker as Henry Higgins and Vaishnavi Sharma as Eliza Doolittle in Bedlam’s Pygmalion

Bedlam’s Pygmalion

With its usual verve, the acclaimed downtown company puts on a good show, in the process demonstrating that, if Pygmalion is not as mellifluous as My Fair Lady, it retains the sharp social satire that the musical largely drops…The inclusion of performers of Indian descent adds the issue of race (and colonialism and immigration) to the textual ones of class and gender.

The Week in New York Theater News

“Beetlejuice,” a musical based on Tim Burton’s 1988 movie about a ghost seeking to scare a family out of a house, will play in http://thenationaldc.org/beetlejuice/ Washington D.C. ‘s National Theater in October, then aim for a transfer to Broadway. The show is directed by Alex Timbers, composed by Australian musician Eddie Perfect (who’s also the composer for the planned Broadway musical “King Kong), with a book by former New York theater critic Scott Brown and Anthony King, the former artistic director of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.

David Cook in 2008, when he won American Idol:


David Cook from April 3 through May 5.

$40 rush tickets announced for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Theater Breaking Through Barriers, the Off-Broadway company integrating able-bodied actors with artists with disabilities, will present the first Off-Broadway revival of A.R. Gurney’s 1992 play The Fourth Wall, at ART/NY May 26 to June 23. In The Fourth Wall, a woman, to her husband’s chagrin, has redecorated their living room to resemble a stage set. Everything faces one wall, and everyone who enters the room begins to behave as if they were actors in a play.

Stage and screen stars will perform at From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Parkland, which will be held April 16 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida to benefit the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund and Shine MSD, which is working to promote arts advocacy in the community in the wake of the February 14 shooting at the Florida high school. ome of the songs that will be performed were written by the Stoneman Douglas students in collaboration with composers such as Joe Iconis.

Partial list of performers: Matthew Morrison, Christy Altomare (Anastasia), Telly Leung (Aladdin), Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Deborah Cox (The Bodyguard), Wayne Brady (Kinky Boots), Kirsten Maldonado (Kinky Boots), Noah Galvin (Dear Evan Hansen), Justin Guarini (In Transit), Vincent Rodriquez III (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Ephraim Sykes (Hamilton), Erich Bergen (Jersey Boys), Laura Bell Bundy (The Honeymooners), Jordan Donica (My Fair Lady), Donna Lynne Champlin (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Gabrielle Ruiz (If/Then), Etai Benson (The Band’s Visit), Carrie Manolakos (Mamma Mia!), George Salazar (The Lightning Thief), Bryan Fenkhart (Waitress), Charity Angel Dawson (Waitress), Jessica Vosk (Wicked), Brandon Shapiro and Jake Wildhorn.

Courting older audiences will be crucial over next decade (in England), theatres told, because the population is aging

Jesus Christ Superstar Live Concert on NBC

Watch Jesus Christ Superstar Live online in its entirety

Jesus Christ Superstar Tops Live TV Musical Critical Ranking

Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on NBC: Dress Rehearsal Pics

Kudos to entire cast:

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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