Gypsy No More. West Side Story Up The Wazoo. Jeremy Jordan Back on Broadway. The Week in NY Theater

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In New York theater this week, below: Reviews, including the first Yiddish-language production of  Fiddler on the Roof in the United States,and the first couple of shows from the 2018 New York Musical Festival. News about West Side Story, Jeremy Jordan, innovative choreographers. Bobby Steggert on quitting acting. Theater moves by medical students and the DC City Council.  And what Actors Equity has done about the Gypsy Robe Ceremony.

Week in NY Theater Reviews

A Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish

“A Fiddler on the Roof” in Yiddish is not the same as, say, in Finnish. The musical is based on the 19th century short stories by Sholom Aleichem, who wrote in Yiddish about  Tevye the Dairyman, his family and his neighbors….The folksbiene production of Fiddler is as entertaining as any I’ve seen.

Jon Viktor Corpuz and Angel Lin


“Interstate,” an entry at the New York Musical Festival, is about two New Yorkers who form a band called Queer Malady and tour the country: Dash is a Chinese-born trans man and spoken word poet; Adrian is an Asian-American lesbian who is a gifted composer and guitarist. The show is written by Kit Yan, a Chinese-born trans man and spoken word poet, and Melissa Li, an Asian-American lesbian who is a composer and guitarist; the two formed a band called Good Asian Drivers and toured the country….. “Interstate” is something far more wonderful than a vanity project.

Pedro Pan

The title of this musical, a selection of the 2018 New York Musical Festival, comes from Operacion Pedro Pan (Operation Peter Pan),  which between 1960 and 1962 brought more than 14,000 children from Cuba to the United States without their parents.“Pedro Pan” is the (fictitious) story of one such Cuban kid, Pedro, and his adjustment to life in New York City…There is much to like in this 75-minute musical.

The Saintliness of Margery Kempe

In the current revival of John Wulp’s 1958 play “The Saintliness of Margery Kempe,” which was inspired by Kempe’s 600-year-old book, the character of Margery Kempe seems like something of a con artist. And the tone of the play, as directed by Austin Pendleton, registers somewhere between a picaresque like “Candide” and “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”

Taylor Mac

Gone Missing

“Gone Missing” is 75 minutes of stories and songs about losing things and even a mock radio interview with a loss expert.  But the nine songs  were written by Michael Friedman. Friedman was the newly appointed director of Off-Center Encores concert series when he died last year, from AIDS, at the age of 41. It’s easy to see “Gone Missing” as a tribute concert.

Mary Page Marlowe by Tracy Letts: How Six Actresses Portray One Ordinary Woman

The Week in NY Theater News

As Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner busy remaking a film version of “West Side Story,” innovative theater director Ivo von Hove (A View From The Bridge, The Crucible) will helm a new Broadway revival of West Side Story, his first musical on Broadway, starting Dec, 2019

“It’s called an American classic of the 20th century but we want to bring it into the 21st century, and you cannot do that without also looking at the choreography,” van Hove told The Hollywood Reporter

Stephen Sondheim, the musical’s lyricist said in a statement: “This is Ivo van Hove’s first Broadway musical, and I’m eager to see what he does with it. What keeps theater alive over time is reinterpretation, and when that reinterpretation is as invigorating as his productions of ‘A View From the Bridge‘ and ‘The Crucible’, it makes for something to look forward to with excitement,

“The Play That Goes Wrong” has changed its mind. It announced in May that it would close in August, but box office business has been good, and it will now run through January 6, 2019.

Jesus Christ Superstar Live on NBC was nominated for 13 Emmys, including for performances by John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Brandon Dixon.

Lots of Broadway veterans nominated for Emmys, including Lin-Manuel Miranda for his  hilarious guess stint on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” , where he and Larry David put together “Fatwa The Musical”



Jeremy Jordan, veteran of four Broadway musicals including Newsies, is returning to Broadway after 6 years on TV (Smash, Supergirl) in his first straight play, “American Son,” portraying a police officer. Directed by Kenny Leon,the play begins at the Booth Theater October 6

Michael John LaChiusa is writing a musical of “Cost of Living,” Martyna Majok’s Pulitzer Prize winning play — a commission of Williamstown Theater Festival.

Three actors will portray assassinated journalist Anna Politkovskaya in “Intractable Woman,” presented by PlayCo, Sept 13 – Oct 14, 122CC (150 1st Avenue.)

A newly discovered one-act play by Tennessee Williams, “Talisman Roses,” will star Amanda Plummer, directed by Marsha Mason, produced by The Collective , at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival Sept 27-30, 2018 “Williams imagines flowers might restore a crushed soul”

“The Prom” is moving to the Longacre Theatre, rather than the previously announced Cort Theatre. The dates remain the same; opening night is still November 15.

The wonderful actor  Bobby Steggert has spent the last 2 years getting a degree in social work! In his “Open Letter to The Artist” he’s not urging other artists to change careers — but he does say artists have a “superpower’ they should use responsibly.

How The Band’s Visit can credit some of its success to “Gaga (a made-up word),” that is at the heart of the innovative technique by Ohad Naharin, the choreographer and artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company.

Steven Hoggett’s choreography and movement direction for the two-part “Cursed Child” is no less meticulous and detailed than any dance number, and as important to the theatrical language of the play as the writing, by Jack Thorne, and the direction, by John Tiffany

Medical students learning to become theatermakers as part of their curriculum? Meet The Empathy Project

Lesson from DC: members of the Council of District Columbia approved a new sales tax to subsidize the arts in D.C.; advocates estimate that the new tax will infuse $30 million dollars per year into the D.C. arts scene.

Massachusetts contemplates tax incentives for Broadway bound shows.



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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