2019: What’s Ahead. The Best of 2018. Watch Hamilton, Cher, Reba et al at Ken Cen Honors. #Stageworthy News of the Week

When the ball dropped in Times Square, signaling the start of a new year, it took a while for the smoke and the confetti and the fireworks and the rain to clear before we could even make out the “2019” and the “Happy New Year” — and in that, there is a metaphor.  It will be a while before we’ll be able to make out what the new year will bring.

Luckily, for theatergoers, there are at least some guides:








I offer Theater Books of 2018 to Read in 2019 — with recommendations in four categories: 1. Scripts. 2. Coffee Table Books. 3. History, Criticism and Memoir/Biography. 4. For Fans, For Fun, For Kids.

Then there’s my Spring 2019 Broadway Preview Guide: A Season of Theater Geniuses Making Their Broadway Debuts

Still ahead later this week: a preview of Off-Broadway; a monthly calendar for January that includes lists for the January theater festivals.

The Best of 2018 in Theater, Sliced and Diced.

New York Theater Year-End Quiz: A Look Back at 2018

Best Posts of 2018: A Broadway Fixer, The Fall of Rise, Actors’ Bodies, Immersive Pioneer Re-Emerges, Life Without Theater.

2018 in Theater News: 5 #Stageworthy Trends on Broadway and Beyond

Watch Top 10 New York Theater Videos of 2018: Be More Chill, Anastasia, John Leguizamo, Lin-Manuel

Memorable Moments on Stage in 2018


Celebrating the New Year


Ring IN The Old: Saluting Broadway Stars, Age 91 to 104

New Year Tweets

The Week in New York Theater News

Watch the 41st annual Kennedy Center Honors in its entirety (or just individual clips)

Shows closing:

Closing Sunday, January 6, 2019: On Broadway: Head Over Heels, Once On This Island, The Play That Goes Wrong (though it’s moving next month Off-Broadway), Torch Song, Off-Broadway: The Hard Problem

Closing Sunday, January 13: On Broadway: The Lifespan of a Fact, Off-Broadway: Fabulation, Slave Play

Closing Sunday January 20: Mike Birbiglia’s The New One, School of Rock

Closing Sunday January 27: American Son, The Waverly Gallery

Public Domain!

Starting today, all works first published in the United States in 1923 will lose their copyright and enter the public domain. What that means, according to George Fleishman writing in the Smithsonian: “After January 1, any record label can issue a dubstep version of the 1923 hit “Yes! We Have No Bananas,” any middle school can produce Theodore Pratt’s stage adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and any historian can publish Winston Churchill’s The World Crisis..And we can quote.Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” in its entirety.

What about plays? Howard Sherman addresses this question in his latest blog post with a charming description of some dozen old plays, few of which seem likely to be revived, even without having to pay royalties. A couple of exceptions may be Elmer Rice’s The Adding Machine and George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan. (However, the latter, as he was informed, debuted in 1923, but was not copyrighted until 1924.)

Feel like screaming? Head to the theater

“Space always exists in a theater season for works of conscience, but this year feels different,” writes Peter Marks, citing The Jungle, Slave Play, American Son (the links are to my reviews), as well as What to Send Up When It Goes Down, and, with a sweeter approach, The Prom.


Rest in Peace

Norman Gimbel, 91, lyricist

Don McKay, 93, an American actor who was the original star of ‘West Side Story in London

Liza Redfield, 94, Broadway’s first full-time female conductor

Sono Osato, 99, barrier-breaking Japanese-American ballet dancer who created the role of Ivy Smith in the 1944 Broadway premiere of On the Town


Members of the theater community who died in 2018

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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