Phyllis Newman, 86, has died. She was an entertainer from the age of 4; veteran of 11 Broadway shows (Tony winner for Subways Are For Sleeping, pictured); daughter of a fortune teller and a hypnotist; widow of legendary lyricist Adolph Green; mother of Broadway songwriter Amanda Green and theater critic Adam Green..
Phyllis Newman (1933 – 2019) was very accomplished — on stage, on screen, as a humanitarian, winning the Isabelle Stevenson @TheTonyAwards. She has a unique distinction as well — the only Tony winner to be streaked by a naked man when accepting her first Tony in 1962. pic.twitter.com/W5TVSUCxWG
— New York Theater (@NewYorkTheater) September 16, 2019
The first time I heard this recording of #PhyllisNewman, I burst out laughing – and I haven’t stopped since. She was a glorious performer and one of the great ladies of the American theater. Safe passage, and thanks for the joy. https://t.co/zmZX9B7yRM
— Jason Robert Brown (@MrJasonRBrown) September 15, 2019
The Week in New York Theater Reviews and Previews
On the surface, “American Moor,” written by and starring Keith Hamilton Cobb, is about a veteran African-American actor auditioning to play Othello for a clueless young, white director. On a deeper level, Cobb’s play offers several sets of insights. It is a Shakespearean actor’s take on Othello – his journey towards understanding the character, and what feels like the personal relationship he’s developed with him. This journey is enhanced by Cobb’s terrific, deep-voiced performance, both as the actor, and as the actor delivering delicious slivers from Shakespeare.
It is also an exploration of the perilous, sometimes putrid waters even an experienced actor (especially an experienced actor?) must navigate to pursue his craft and his profession.
But above all, “American Moor” is shot through with observations and declarations about what it’s like to be a black man in America.
Talmudic scholars and kung fu movie fans will both find something familiar in this singular hour-long hybrid by the eight-year-old theater company Meta-Phys Ed., in which four performers recite the verbatim text (translated into English) taken from a chapter of the ancient book of Jewish law, learning and commentary, while they dance to choreography inspired by decades of martial arts films….I could discern little connection at any given moment between what the performers were saying and how they were moving. I have to be content with the surface pleasures of this production — of which, luckily, there are many.
In his Broadway debut, Derren Brown performs some dozen mind games and magic tricks over 150 minutes that depend on audience participation, all of which are meant to provoke us to ask: “How did he do that?” I sometimes shared in that reaction. But I had another question too: ”Is this all there is?”
The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez is one of several new works that put the spotlight back on AIDS, both on screen and on stage. These also include Pose, the FX TV series starring Billy Porter about NYC’s drag ball scene; a handful of documentaries about AIDS; and two plays that open this month Off-Broadway: As Much As I Can, running at Joe’s Pub from September 12 to 16, and Novenas for a Lost Hospital at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater through October 13.
Their existence provokes several questions. Why was there a gap of nearly a quarter of a century before new shows about AIDS graced mainstream stages? Why is it happening now? How do these works differ from landmark plays such as Angels in America, which Lopez calls “the urtext of my generation as theatre artists and myself as a gay man?”
The Week in New York Theater News
Inducted into #TheaterHallofFame (chosen by @Theatre_Critics members, including me): @Andre_DeShields, @DonnaMcKechnie_, Ann Reinking, producer Michael Price, designer Natasha Katz, director Marshall Mason, playwright (posthumously) Thomas Meehan, & critic Michael Feingold pic.twitter.com/QdYg1fCAZI
— New York Theater (@NewYorkTheater) September 10, 2019
Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker are coming to Broadway in April in the first Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s 1968 comedy, Plaza Suite. Broderick and Parker (married in real life) perform as three couples in three one-act plays all taking place in the same suite in the Plaza Hotel. The previously appeared on Broadway together in 1996, in “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
Ari’el Stachel (Tony winner for The Band’s Visit)
) will play the lead role of Joseph in Manhattan Concert Production’s 50th Anniversary concert of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center on February 17, 2020
Angela Lansbury is back on Broadway! In Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest! (The fine print: It’s one night only, November 18th, and it’s a benefit reading for Roundabout, tickets $150-$5,000) Still: Rejoice!
The six wives of Henry VIII in “Six”have been announced
from left to right:@abcmuell, Abby Mueller, Samantha Pauly, @msadriannahickss, Andrea Macasaet, Britney Mack and Anna Luzele. The musical concert opens March 12, at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson
.@FringeNYC has announced their lineup Oct 1-31. A more manageable 40 shows now (down from the usual 200) in six “indie” venues in Manhattan & Brooklyn: @HTTheater‘s @KraineTheater & #UnderStMarks, @ChainTheatre, @metplayhouse, @IrondaleCenterhttps://t.co/0C8p9teTHt pic.twitter.com/ttoqAMxYpO
— New York Theater (@NewYorkTheater) September 10, 2019
Broadway at the Emmys
Outstanding Director In A Variety Special: “‘Springsteen On Broadway’ (on Netflix)
Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or Movie (Non-Prosthetic) – Fosse/Verdon (on FX)
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or Movie – Fosse/Verdon …
Outstanding Production Design For Variety Special – RENT (on Fox)…
Outstanding Music Direction – Fosse/Verdon, “Life Is A Cabaret” … Music Direction by Alex Lacamoire …
Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special – RENT …
Outstanding Production Design For Variety Special – RENT
“Musical theater is my first love. Saw Oklahoma when I was four and decided that’s me on stage, the guy with the lasso” – @AnselElgort who was in #WestSideStory in theater camp at age 12, and will be in it again as Tony in Spielberg’s moviehttps://t.co/WRcIkFrF6v
— New York Theater (@NewYorkTheater) September 11, 2019