Phyllis Newman, 1933-2019. Theater Hall of Fame: Andre De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Michael Feingold et al. Angela Lansbury, Ari’el Stachel on Stage. #Stageworthy News of the Week

Off Broadway Fall 2019 Preview Guide

The Week in New York Theater Reviews and Previews

American Moor

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.

Lucie Alloche, Jae Woo, Abrielle Kuo All

The Talmud

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.

Derren Brown Secret

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?”

Andrew Burnap in The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez

AIDS Back on Stage

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

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

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

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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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