March is designated Women’s History Month and there is no better example of a theater woman on the march this March than Dominique Morisseau, who is 1. curating “50 in 50: Letters to Our Daughters” (March 9), 2. will appear as a panelist for Women’s Day on Broadway (March 12) and 3. will be making her Broadway debut as the book writer for “Ain’t Too Proud,” opening this month. (Details for all below.)
Morisseau is certainly not alone. Alexandra Schwartz will join Vinson Cunningham as the co-theater critic of the New Yorker. (Hilton Als is remaining at the New Yorker but “stepping away from the daily theater beat.”) A number of plays on stage in March tell their stories from a woman’s perspective, from “Good Friday” and “Hurricane Diane” to “What The Constitution Means to Me.”
Women make up just under 43 percent of the actors on prominent New York stages, 31 percent of directors and about 25 percent of playwrights, according to the just-released latest annual edition of “Ethnic Representation on New York City Stages,” by Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC), which looks at the demographic breakdown in Broadway and major non-profit theaters during the 2016-2017 season.
Of the theaters examined, the report discovered that Playwrights Horizons hired the greatest percentage of minority actors, 58 percent, and Vineyard the least, at five percent. Caucasian performers “continue to be the only group that over-represents compared to their respective population size in New York City.”
Week in New York Theater Reviews
The Week in New York Theater News
After being injured (four ribs broken!) during a rehearsal, Andrea Martin has to drop out of Taylor Mac’s Broadway debut play, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus.” Kristine Nielsen will play Martin’s role this three-character play, and Julie White will take over the role Nielsen was to play.
Scott Rudin Responds to ‘Mockingbird’ Controversy With a Solution (Hollywood Reporter)He’ll let the theaters forced to cancel do the Aaron Sorkin version that’s now on Broadway.
The Long Strange Flight of “Mockingbird” (American Theatre)
Despite the persuasive account by two men in the documentary “Leaving Neverland” that Michael Jackson sexually abused them for years when they were young children, the Michael Jackson musical, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” is still slated for a Broadway run in 2020, with a book by Lynn Nottage and directed by Christopher Wheedon.
“The musical is set in 1992, as Michael and the team are rehearsing for the Dangerous World Tour.” The first public accusation that Jackson molested children occurred in 1993.
Jackie SIbblies Drury has won $25,000 and the 2019 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, for her play “Fairview,” a comedy about an African-American family that morphs into a provocative discourse on race, representation, identity and performance. The prize annually recognizes a woman playwright. (Previous winners include Lynn Nottage, Sarah Ruhl, Caryl Churchill, Annie Baker, and Paula Vogel.) “Fairview” is getting an encore presentation at Theatre for a New Audience in June. Her “Marys Seacole” is currently running through April 7 at Lincoln Center.
Lily Padilla’s play “How To Defend Yourself” as the winner of the 2019 Yale Drama Series and $10,000. The play is about 7 college students gathering for a self-defense workshop after a sorority sister is raped.
The third annual “50 in 50: Letters to Our Daughters,” curated by Dominique Moriesseau, will offer 50 monologues by women writers from all over the world read by actresses LaChanze, Pauletta Washington, Jasmine Cephas Jones, and Phyllis Yvonne Stickney
March 9, 2019 at 3pm and 7pm at the Kumble Theater at LIU, Brooklyn.
The second annual Women’s Day on Broadway, an afternoon of panel discussions St. James Theater, will take place on March 12th, FREE.
Susan Sarandon and Marin Ireland will star in The New Group’s production of Jesse Eisenberg’s new play “Happy Talk,” about a saint of the suburbs who turns matchmaker for her ill mother’s immigrant home aide, April 30 – June 2 at Signature Center
April Matthis will replace Uzo Aduba as the star of “Toni Stone,” a play by Lydia R. Diamond about he first woman ever to play professionally in a men’s league, when she joined the Negro Leagues in 1953. Uzo Aduba, a star of “Orange is The New Black,” has exited the production “due to a scheduling conflict.” The play will be on stage at Roundabout’s Off-Broadway theater May 23-August 11.
Matthis, an Obie winner, has performed Off-Broadway in Everyone’s Fine With Virginia Woolf, Measure for Measure, Signature Plays, Antlia Pneumatica, Iowa, On the Levee, The Sound and the Furyand Fondly, Collette Richland. Other cast members include: Jonathan Burke (currently starring in Choir Boy) Eric Berryman, Harvy Blanks, Phillip James Brannon,, Daniel J. Bryant, Toney Goins, Kenn E. Head and Ezra Knight.
Rachel Bloom, creator and star of the television series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” announced that the show’s cast will perform live at Radio City Musical Hall May 14
Christie Brinkley will return to “Chicago” on Broadway as Roxie Hart April 18 – May 12
“The Rolling Stone,” a play by Chris Urch, opens at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater July 15th. Set in anti-gay Uganda, it pits a gay man in a secret relationship against his brother, a church pastor. Cast: Ato Blankson-Wood, Latoya Edwards, Robert Gilbert, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Adenike Thomas, James Udom.
The line-up for Clubbed Thumb‘s 24th annual Summerworks Festival, May 17 – June 29 at The Wild Project.
By Sarah Einspanier
Directed By Tara Ahmadinejad
MAY 17 – MAY 28
Seven public defenders on a frenzied quest for the perfect lunch–whilst battling ACS, inequality, burn out, and a big ole serving of existential dread.
YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT
By Zhu Yi
Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll
JUNE 3 – JUNE 13
The Li family would be enjoying their new lake-view luxury villa outside of the city, were they not surrounded by the gardeners, maids, and security guards who had once owned the land–as well as the Gods, ghosts and unnamed spirits there for thousands of years before them.
KING PHILIP’S HEAD IS STILL ON THAT PIKE JUST DOWN THE ROAD
By Daniel Glenn
Directed by Caitlin Ryan O’Connell
JUNE 19 – JUNE 29
The councilmen of Plymouth Plantation fight about what the Good life is— all the while displaying the head of Wampanoag leader Metacom on a spike.
Clubbed Thumb’s previously announced return engagement of Plano will begin performances on Monday, April 8 at the Connelly Theater (220 E. 4th Street) for a limited run through Saturday, May 11. Opening night is set for Saturday, April 13.
Television series “Nashville” is being adapted into a stage musical, aiming at Broadway.
Tony Kushner on why he loves “What The Constitution Means to Me” (in conversation with Heidi Schreck and critic Sara Holdren in New York Magazine)
NYC is not the only city w/ a theater building boom. After 40 years in Cambridge, Mass. American Repertory Theater will move to a planned “research and performance center” in Allston, a section of Boston just across the Charles River from Harvard Square.
Rest in Peace
Luke Perry, 52, after a stroke. Best-known as an actor on “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Riverdale,” he was also a Broadway veteran, performing in the Rocky Horror Show in 2001.
André Previn, 89, celebrated conductor, jazz pianist and Oscar-winning film composer. Mia Farrow was one of his five ex-wives. He was also a Tony nominated composer for the 1969 Broadway musical “Coco”