The Fall Season Begins: Broadway Picks. #Stageworthy News of the Week

The 2019-2020 Broadway season has begun, with the first Fall Broadway opening  of 15  scheduled from September through December,  and the first of the Fall previews, some covering the waterfront, others selecting  the “most anticipated.”  The most anticipated according to my New York Theater Reader Poll: Jagged Little Pill, The Inheritance, Slave Play, The Lightning Thief.

New York Magazine’s Sara Holdren and Jackson McHenry: The Inheritance, Jagged Little Pill, Freestyle Love Supreme (and plenty Off-Broadway)

Time Magazine’s Eben Shapiro: The Inheritance, Slave Play, The Rose Tattoo, the Sound Inside, Tina, David Byrne’s American Utopia

Broadway News’ Mark Shenton: The best of West End Imports this season


One day left to enter the 54 Below ticket giveaway contest

The Week in New York Theater Reviews


Stacked up against other Disney stage adaptations, this one avoids some of the standard Disney drawbacks – rather than overpriced, it’s free; rather than overlong, it’s only 90 minutes – and keeps what’s best about Disney stage shows, above all, a terrific cast.

Felix Starro

eye-opening musical written,  composed, directed and largely performed by artists of Filipino descent about a “psychic surgeon.” Authentic feeling glimpse into a world seldom seen on a New York stage… enhanced thanks to a spot-on seven-member cast, who invest the characters with psychological credibility….they also sing powerfully enough to make the most of a well-orchestrated if not especially memorable score.


Harold Pinter’s 1978 play about an adulterous triangle, which is being revived on Broadway starring Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Cox and Zawe Ashton,  is one of the most accessible and most frequently performed of the plays by Pinter…But I’d be content to see the play once a decade, and I saw the last Broadway revival just six years ago….In that production, director Mike Nichols took many liberties – and, in retrospect, I’m glad he did….The latest version restores the British reserve.  It’s nearly an understatement to call the production minimalist…The cast is perfectly appealing. But their delivery is so slowly paced and at an odd remove – Pinteresque, one might call it – that the humor that’s evident in the script didn’t make it to my seat.

Bad Penny and Sincerity Forever

To appreciate these first two productions of the five-play Mac Wellman festival at The Flea, entitled “Perfect Catastrophes,” it helps to know that Wellman — the 74-year-old co-founder of The Flea, distinguished professor of playwriting at Brooklyn College; and author of more than 40 plays over the past 50 years – is a pioneer of what could be termed the WTF? school of theater-making…. These two go back three decades…“Bad Penny” was first presented in 1989 as a site-specific work in Central Park….“Sincerity Forever” was first produced in 1991, and dedicated to Senator Jesse Helms: “…for the fine job you are doing of destroying civil liberties in These States.”

Play! and Theatre in the Dark: Carpe Diem

The audience creates the show in “Play!” The audience is the show in “Theatre in the Dark: Carpe Diem.”  Those are the uncomfortable ideas embedded in the two latest theater pieces…by the five year old theater company that calls themselves This Is Not A Theatre Company…“In both shows, there’s a hump to get over….Once you are over that hump, you’re like…. ahhh”

The Week in New York Theater News

The Lehman Trilogy, the history of the Lehman Brothers, is coming to Broadway. It opens at Nederlander Theater March 26, 2020 for a 16-week run.

 59e59 Fall Season will include Woman of the World, starring Kathleen Chalfant as Emily Dickinson’s editor.

The 2019 Idea Awards for Theater will honor playwrights Tina Howe and Adrienne Kennedy with its inaugural Tooth of Time Creative Career Awards

 The National Black Theatre’s 51st season will include revivals of plays by Adrienne Kennedy and Suzan-Lori Parks.

Theater happening this fall in the borough of Queens, via The Queens Chronicle

Jayne Houdyshell, Jefferson Mays and Shuler Hensley have joined the Fall 2020 Broadway revival of ‘The Music Man’”

David Josefsberg will step into the role of Adam Maitland in Broadway’s Beetlejuice beginning on September 24. Rob McClure  will play his final performance on September 22, leaving to star in the new Mrs. Doubtfire musical at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater

I’ll be there!


“Judgement Day,” adapted by Chris Shin  from Ödön von Horváth’s 1937 play, will play Dec 5 – Jan 11 at the Park Avenue Armory, the Armory’s first theatrical commission from the ground-up. It explores morality and guilt in a small town and will be directed by Richard Jones (Hairy Ape)

How a Summer Festival Is Shaping New York’s Theatrical Winter

Though the Williamstown Theater Festival season is still just eight weeks long, usually featuring seven shows in two- or three-week runs, those shows turn up with astonishing regularity on New York stages. Halley Feiffer’s Chekhov mash-up “Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow” just finished its run at MCC Theater, where Theresa Rebeck’s foodie comedy “Seared” opens in October. At Playwrights Horizons, “Unknown Soldier,” a chamber musical by Daniel Goldstein and Michael Friedman, begins performances in February; Sylvia Khoury’s “Selling Kabul,” about a former translator for the American military, starts in March.

How Audible is disrupting the theater space, for good


Theater workers, let’s reject ‘happy just to be here’

That attitude responds to scarcity. For jobs in the arts, especially jobs that pay a living wage

Backstage with Brian Frankel, the Man who Illuminates Hamilton

Rest In Peace

Playwright Peter Nichols
, 92, best-known for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.

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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