Yes, Virginia, There Is A Broadway. New Casts for Harry Potter and Rent. A Summer of Sondheim,Fornés,Schwartz. #Stageworthy News of the Week

This is the last Christmas Eve New Yorkers will be spending with Christmas Eve, the character originated by Ann Harada in Avenue Q, because, after 15 years, Avenue Q will close in April. All those puppets, gone.

Today we look back at 2018 with 20 of my favorite human performances in shows that opened this year on New York stages, plus five of my favorite puppet performances.


We look ahead with the Spring 2019 Broadway Preview Guide: A Season of Theater Geniuses Making Their Broadway Debuts

We look at the present too, with
Holiday Theater Going, including the Christmas Week Broadway schedule. There are four Broadway shows with matinees on Christmas Eve, 14 with evening performances on Christmas Day, and 38 Broadway shows with performances the day after Christmas – indeed almost all have two performances that day, and one show has three!

Santa chorus line at Radio City


The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine

Lynn Nottage’s play about a fashionable public relations executive’s Job-like descent into poverty and ascent into moral clarity, is the first in Signature’s season of Nottage’s comedies…But as the play progresses, and Undine regresses, “Fabulation” turns into something more clever and pointed than just broad comedy. The playwright does no less than subvert common assumptions about the characters that populate her play – some two dozen of them, portrayed by an impressively versatile eight-member cast.

Marisol Rosa-Shapiro as Pizza Rat

Up Close Festival

reminded me what there is to love about theater, and how I can fall in love with it anew.
At first, though, I felt misled. The show is billed as “an immersive festival about New York for New Yorkers of all ages” and “modeled after the community organizing legacy of Jane Jacobs,” who was an important writer, urban theorist, and community activist of Greenwich Village. The New Ohio is located in the Village, and “Up Close” promised “reimagined real moments” from the neighborhood’s history.

But when a woman who identified herself as Ms. Pea (Summer Shapiro), led us from the theater lobby down a dark staircase to the room where the festival would take place, I discovered that the New Yorkers present represented all ages between roughly five and 10.

The Week in New York Theater News

The Play That Goes Wrong will close on Broadway January 6, after 27 previews and 745 performances — and move six blocks away the following month to New World Stages, re-opening February 20. Here’s my wrong review

Director Gregory Mosher quit the Roundabout production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons because he wanted to cast two supporting roles with actors of color, while Rebecca Miller (Arthur Miller’s daughter and the executor of his estate) thought his concept “not fully thought out.” Jack O’Brien has taken the helm.

The 2019 City Center Encores Off-Center season promises an exciting summer:
Working: A Musical, based on Studs Terkel book, featuring songs by Stephen Schwartz, Mary Rodgers, James Taylor, Lin-Manuel Miranda and others, June 26 – 29
Promenade, by Maria Irene Fornés & Al Carmines, about two escaped prisoners mingling in the city July 10 & 11

Road Show by Sondheim and Weidman July 24 – 27

La MaMa 2019 season highlights include Generation NYZ, the latest in Ping Chong’s Undesirable Elements series, China Fringe Theater Festival in February, Stonewall 50 in June.

James Snyder will play Harry Potter with Diane Davis as Ginny Potter and Nicholas Podany as their son Albus Potter. Matt Mueller will play Ron Weasley with Jenny Jules as Hermione Granger and Nadia Brown as their daughter Rose Granger-Weasley. Playing Draco Malfoy will be Jonno Roberts with Bubba Weiler as his son Scorpius Malfoy.

Also joining the cast are Aaron Bartz, Will Carlyon, Kimberly Dodson, Patrick Du Laney, Sara Farb, Jonathan Gordon, Steve Haggard, Eva Kaminsky, Jack Koenig, Rachel Leslie, Sarita Amani Nash, Fiona Reid, Katherine Reis, Kevin Matthew Reyes, Antoinette Robinson, Stephen Spinella, Tom Patrick Stephens, Erica Sweany, and Karen Janes Woditsch, who are featured along with returning cast members Brian Thomas Abraham, Olivia Bond, Stephen Bradbury, James Brown III, Lauren Nicole Cipoletti, Zoë Feigelson, Jack Hatcher, Edward James Hyland, Joey LaBrasca, Landon Maas, James Romney, and Alex Weisman.

The end of an era! Concord Records has taken over 188-year-old Samuel French and created Concord Theatricals, (which also includes Rodgers and Hammerstein, Tams Witmark, and a joint venture with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company.)


Galt MacDermot, 89, the composer of “Hair.”

Donald Moffat, 87, a veteran of 20 Broadway shows as well as 60 other stage plays, 70 Hollywood and television movies and at least 60 television productions.

Peter Masterson, 84, actor (five times on Broadway), director and co-writer of the Broadway musical “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas


Astronaut Bill Anders, orbiting the moon as part of the Apollo 8 mission, photographed “Earthwise” on Christmas Eve, 1968 — 50 years ago today.

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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