Sondheim on Broadway This Season and in Hollywood in 2039. Ticket price probe. RIP Rhoda. #Stageworthy News of the Week:

Coming to Broadway this season:  Katrina Lenk and Patti Lupone will star in a “re-gendered” revival of “Company” (which was a hit in London), opening at Bernard Jacobs Theater on March 22nd — Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday. It is the latest addition to an exciting new Broadway season that starts this month.

Coming to Hollywood in 2039: Richard Linklater, the filmmaker who made “Boyhood” over 12 years, has announced he will film Sondheim/George Furth musical “Merrily We Roll Along” over 20 years, starring Blake Jenner, Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt. The musical, if you recall from the latest revival earlier this year, follows three old friends backwards in time, from their cynical adult selves to their idealistic youth dreaming of future artistic success.

Richard Linklater is 59, so this is an optimistic project

September Openings

In this eclectic opening month of the New York Fall theater season laid out below, legendary theater artists Mac Wellman (74),JoAnne Akalaitis (82), and Peter Brook (94) each get showcases for their work; Wellman a whole festival.  Three shows are opening on Broadway….Off-Broadway plays by Jack Thorne and  Mfoniso Udofia, a musical by Jessica Hagedorn

August Quiz

Fall movie preview for theater lovers

Both the movies “Judy” (about Judy Garland) and “Cats” are based on Broadway shows.Among stage actors in movies this fall: Leslie Odom Jr and Cynthia Erivo in “Harriet,” Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench in Cats, Sir Ian and Dame Helen Mirren in The Good Liar.

Review of “Judy” in Variety

Steven Skybell as Tevya and Ensemble sing “Tradition” (“Traditsye” טראַדיציע)

Ticket Giveaway for Fiddler on the Roof, last day!

Both Broadway Week, and 20at20 for Off-Broadway, begin tonight, September 3rd.

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

House, or how to lose an orchard in 90 minutes or less

Theater Mitu’s latest devised theater piece is a 70-minute tech-heavy sensory bombardment, a collage  of disparate images, monologues, songs and sounds that are focused (if that’s the right word) on what a house means to people

To Kill A Mockingbird, revisited

Aaron Sorkin’s play turns Harper Lee’s novel into a detective story, a courtroom drama, political commentary…and satisfying theater

A Question for Labor Day: Why is there so little theater about labor?


The Week in New York Theater News

Repertorio Espanol’s stage adaptation of Junot Díaz’s 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” in Spanish with English supertitles, opens Oct 15. Oscar is a naive “nerd” who as a freshman at Rutgers struggles to overcome his Dominican family curse

Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — both Democrats — called the ticket industry “broken” and complained of “exorbitant fees and inadequate disclosures” in the ticket buying process….“The Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger has contributed to consumers’ difficulties in the ticketing market.”

Broadway’s Women of Color on confronting racism and reshaping theater

A reminder, despite all the fine words spoken these days around increasing diversity and inclusion, “of how much work still needs to be done.”

“Do I think that Broadway is an old bastion of white, patriarchal supremacy? Yes, but I think the entire culture is, so how is Broadway going to get away from where we are as a nation? It’s not. I think we have to push it.” Cracks are appearing in this edifice, “but how much is Broadway willing to risk and sacrifice to achieve true diversity?” – Dominique Morisseau

Concord Music Group Shakes Up Theatrical Licensing

Since 2017, the independent music company has snapped up Tams-Witmark, Samuel French and the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization etc…Concord’s theatrical division now encompasses everything from “A Chorus Line” to “Fences” to “Fun Home” to “Oklahoma!” to “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

John Simon on jukebox musicals: “..basing an entire show on preexisting numbers is almost like finding a button in the street and having a suit made to go with it.”

Rest in Peace

Valerie Harper, 80, beloved for her character Rhoda Morgenstern, yes, but also eight-time veteran of Broadway – most recently in 2010 in a Tony-nominated role as Tallulah Bankhead in “Looped.” Whatever she played, you felt like you knew her.

Ken Leroy, 92, 15-time Broadway veteran, including as the original Bernardo in West Side Story (pictured with Chita Rivera)

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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