Week in New York Theater: A Mortgage for a Broadway Ticket?! Brava Suzan-Lori Parks, Dominique Morisseau. Coming soon: Tina Turner and The Temptations, Hillary and Clinton

A Hamilton ticket on the installment plan — $138 a month for a year.

You can now pay for Broadway tickets under a new Ticketmaster installment plan — monthly payments over a year, at 10 percent interest.

Much of the reaction to this news was not gratitude, but outrage: A mortgage for a ticket? This is what we’ve come to? The people reacting seemed primarily from Great Britain

As Broadway boosters are at pains to point out, there are deals to be had — lotteries, rush, and the occasional ticket giveaway contest…such as the ticket giveaway contest for “Head Over Heels” that I’m holding through Wednesday.
Below: News about Broadway openings for Tina Turner, The Temptations, “Hillary and Clinton,” awards for Dominique Morisseau and Suzan-Lori Parks. Beto O’Rourke, drama critic. Quiara Alegria Hudes: Wounded even by positive reviews.

The Week in NY Theater Reviews

Final Follies

At the time of Gurney’s death, he had written a new play, ‘Final Follies’…The theater has chosen to produce this short play with two of his earliest plays…These three plays are not Gurney at his best; they are not so much dramas as comic skits. But they are also not for the skittish – showing a mischievously blunt side of Gurney with which even some of his fans might not be familiar

Kink Haus

an hour of debauchery straight from the gritty gay bars of Berlin. Actually, performance artist and choreographer Gunna Montana has transferred this flagrant, fabulous, fun and sexy show from the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. It is largely a dance piece, with vigorously athletic and erotic choreography performed by seven skilled performers who are in remarkably good shape and often mostly undraped.

The Mile-Long Opera

A thousand performers sang lyrics (written by Anne Carson, with music by David Lang) or reciting monologues (by Claudia Rankine) along the entire 30 block length of the High Line. It is an astonishing, spectacular, moving, and deeply odd work of theater.


A scaled-down, reimagined production of “Oklahoma!….The director seems to be asking us for a trade-off — the sacrifice of the familiar sweep and grandeur of the musical in exchange for a you-are-there believability…I might have been more wholly accepting of this radical alteration, and of the inconveniences of the set-up, if I didn’t see director Daniel Fish as in part swapping aspects of one tradition (the way Oklahoma is usually presented) for elements of another — avant-garde, hip and literally inaccessible.

Will Rogers’ Follies in 1991

Are Actors Bodies Part of the Show, or Off-Limits?

et again, a drama critic has been attacked for making comments about actors’ bodies.The new headlines were generated by a 1991 review of “Will Rogers Follies” on Broadway. Why was this old review suddenly turned into a current issue? The reviewer was Beto O’Rourke…Is it always wrong to consider the actors’ bodies – and if so, why do so many people do it? How guilty should theater critics – and casting agents and directors and theatergoers — feel for seeing a performer’s appearance as an integral part of the show?
Several recent and current plays and musicals in New York have addressed this issue head on, often unintentionally.

The Week in NY Theater News

Aint Too Proud The Life and Times of The Temptations, has set the date for Broadway: The musical will begin performances at the Imperial on Feb 28, 2019 and open March 21, 2019.

The book for the musical is by Dominique Morisseau, who is one of the 25 just-announced MacArthur Foundation “Geniuses” of 2018, each getting $625,000 over five years no strings attached!

“I like to create characters that come from real life.I try to listen to the everyday language of the working people, and I try to capture the poetry of our everydayness”

“Hillary and Clinton” a play by Lucas Hnath (A Doll’s House, Part 2) directed by Joe Mantello, starring Laurie Metcalf & John Lithgow, will open on Broadway April 18, 2019. In New Hampshire in early 2008, a presidential candidate is desperate to save her campaign.

Currently in London, Tina, the musical about Tina Turner (written by Katori Hall) will open on Broadway in Fall 2019, says its producers.


Termination or Continuation? Parsing the Uncertain Status of Federal Arts & Humanities Appropriations

Critics Corner

Theater reviews, decoded

eg “coruscating”/”febrile”/”invidious”/”meretricious” – I sure as hell couldn’t define these words but using them makes me feel alive 

Quiara Alegria Hudes: Has theatre wounded me as much as or more than it’s healed me? 

(One aspect of what she calls her theater psychosis and need to take a break:)

“Reviews are posted. I will not read them for days or weeks, but their simple existence suffocates me. Even positive reviews yank my art from my hands and serve up my heart like a well-dressed ham. Even rave reviews have deposited me, post-celebration, in a disorienting depression where I feel my mouth has been slapped with duct-tape. People call and congratulate me not on the work but on the Times review. Against my affirmations and meditations, I become once again the little girl seeking approval when I have worked so hard to reject that frame.”

To prepare for his role as a fact-checker in The Lifespan of a Fact, Daniel Radcliffe tried his own hand at fact-checking, with the help of The New Yorker’s fact-checking department, which the New Yorker writes about this week … Passing a wall displaying recent New Yorker covers, he said, “That makes me feel a lot better about our play. We’ve talked about whether an editor would have loads of covers in their office. I’m going to go back and say, ‘Yes.’”

UK’s National Theatre offers “smart caption glasses” that display dialogue on the lenses as actors speak. The theater has announced the glasses will be available for free for all its shows in the 2019 season. Broadway, are you listening/reading?

“The Jonathan Larson Project” will present 30 little known compositions by Jonathan Larson in 12 concerts at Feinstein’s /54 Below, from October 9 – 14. These come from  his never-produced shows, 1984 and Superbia, and songs cut from “Rent” and “tick, tick….boom.”  Performers include Andy Mientus, Krysta Rodriguez and George Salazar

Actress Lois Smith will be in conversation with retired Newsday drama critic Linda Winer October 22 the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center

Joe Mantegna will direct “I’m Not a Comedian….I’m Lenny Bruce,” written by and starring Ronnie Marmo,  co-produced by Lenny Bruce’s daughter, Kitty Bruce, beginning October 23 at The Cutting Room.



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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