It’s Summertime, and one of these mornings you’re going to rise up singing — or at least hear some singing at the 16th annual New York Musical Festival, or at the free lunchtime Broadway in Bryant Park concerts, both of which begin this week, as does the Corkscrew Festival and the Fresh Fruit Festival. Other summer theater festivals are underway, including the Hot Festival of LGBT theater.
This Thursday’s Bryant Park concert, the first of the season, presents Be More Chill and King Kong, both of which are closing this summer, as well as Stomp and Wicked, which may never close.
Check out my calendar of July Theater Openings which this week includes Dave Chappelle on Broadway, free Euripides in the park, Rent Party with puppets…and more.
The Week in New York Theater News
“Pretty Woman” will close on Broadway on August 18, a year + 2 days after it opened (or to be precise 27 preview and 421 regular performances) — far longer than I had expected. It will close the same day as “The Cher Show” and “King Kong” It will live on in productions planned for Hamburg and London, with a U.S. tour starting in September
Jeremy Pope has left the role for which he was Tony nominated of Temptation star Eddie Kendricks in Ain’t Too Proud. Jelani Remy, who made his Broadway debut as Simba in “The Lion King,” takes over the role on July 9th.
Power Strip, a new play by Sylvia Khoury, will run October 5 – November 17 at Lincoln Center’s Claire Tow Theater, opening October 21. Yasmin, a young Syrian refugee (to be played by Dina Shihabi) spends her days tethered to an electric power strip in a Greek refugee camp. Once a middle-class student in Aleppo whose life was dictated by the expectations of men, her sheltered existence has been shattered by a brutal civil war.
Elaine Stritch, who died five years ago this month at age 89, is still on Twitter, & is coming out with a new “memoir” entitled “The End of Pretend” (clearly not the end) Based on interviews with the brash, consummate performer by John Bell, it’ll be published in August.
Macbeth by Migdalia Cruz: Shakespeare With A New Gaze
Migdalia Cruz’s translation of Macbeth, presented at the Classic Stage Company, was one of the last of the 39 new Shakespeare translations presented at the Play On Festival, which ran through June 30. She explains what it was like, and her next steps.
The Dominance of the White Male Critic
Provocative essay by Elizabeth Méndez Berry and Chi-hui Yang,makes two main arguments: 1. Culture, “born at monuments, museums, screens and stages,” shapes political opinion. (“…culture is a battleground where some narratives win and others lose.”) 2. “Old-school white critics ought to step aside and make room for… writers of color…”
Where are the lesbian characters on Broadway?
“The discrepancy between the visibility of gay men and the invisibility of gay women is frustrating, but sadly not all that surprising.”
Thank you 💫 pic.twitter.com/lcKMCudBoL
— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) July 7, 2019
Rest in Peace — Two West Side Story theater artists
Martin Charnin, 84, who began his Broadway career portraying Big Deal in West Side Story, and went on to become a big deal lyricist — especially for the musical Annie.
Sid Ramin, 100, orchestrator, arranger, composer, Leonard Bernstein’s best friend from age 13. He’s best known for his work on Broadway — including orchestrations for West Side Story, Gypsy, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.