Hamilton in Movie Theaters 2021. Spike Lee to Film American Utopia. West Side Story Thickens. #Stageworthy News of the Week

A film of “Hamilton,” with its original Broadway cast, is coming to cinema screens across the U.S. and Canada on October 15, 2021, released by The Walt Disney Studios, (which reportedly paid $75 million for the rights.)

Spike Lee will film David Byrne’s American Utopia. Lee previously filmed the Broadway productions of Passing Strange and Freak

The news of these stage-to-screen productions comes in a week when the “theater” most Americans are talking about has nothing to do with Broadway — the trials of Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein, the first votes of the 2020 Presidential election in Iowa.

It is bracing to see a video chart of attendance at the most popular shows over the last 12 years and realize how, even if you add up all those attendance figures, they don’t equal the audience for the 14 minutes half-time show at the Super Bowl last night

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The full Super Bowl Half-Time show with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez

 

 

Still, if theater may have become a niche art form, it remains a mighty alluring one, even in the relatively fallow month of February.

February Theater Openings

January Quiz

Off-Broadway Week two for one tickets on sale now

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Medea

From the get-go, the “Medea” on stage at BAM looks less like a modern update of Euripides’ tragedy than a fashion shoot: Bobby Cannavale talks quietly with Rose Byrne against an empty, blindingly white set…This “Medea” unfolds competently, the dialogue is often terse but sophisticated, and the performers are all fine. But the cast and the dialogue and even the story must cede much of the spotlight to the avant-garde stagecraft.

Nellie and the Women of Blackwell

Our safety word was “stunt reporter,” as Nellie Bly, one of the 19th century’s most celebrated journalists, took along the 18 of us undercover to the mental institution at Blackwell Island for her most famous exposé.

Since “Nellie and the Women of Blackwell,” a production by the young, woman-centered troupe Infinite Variety Productions, is taking place at Wildrence —the go-to Lower East Side underground hovel for immersive theater in New York — the implicit promise is that the audience will somehow experience the same abhorrent abuses that Bly witnessed. This is perhaps an admirable undertaking but certainly an impossibly challenging one.

Alyssa Simon as Dr. Jane with Len Rella as her father Dr. Alexander

Doctors Jane and Alexander

The Alexander in the title is Dr. Alexander Wiener, a pioneering scientist in the use of blood to identify individuals in ways similar to fingerprints, and co-discoverer of the Rh factor in blood; he was also a composer. The Jane is Dr. Jane Einhorn, a research psychologist who studied friendship; she was also a painter. Jane was Alexander’s daughter.

They are also the grandfather and the mother of the playwright and director, Edward Einhorn, who makes himself a character in his play, “Doctors Jane and Alexander”…which is the theatrical equivalent of his family album…

The Week in New York Theater News

Dancer Tries to Quell ‘West Side Story’ Controversy: ‘I Am Not a Victim’

“In the weeks leading up to the opening of the Broadway revival of “West Side Story,” a small contingent of protesters and an online petition have called for the removal of a prominent cast member, Amar Ramasar, who was at one point fired from New York City Ballet after he shared sexually explicit photos of another dancer.

“On Friday, the woman depicted in those photos, who is Mr. Ramasar’s girlfriend, spoke out. And she made clear that she thought Mr. Ramasar was being unfairly targeted…”

Shakespeare in the Park 2020 season: “Richard II” directed by Saheem Ali (May 19-June 21)
“As You Like It” (July 14-Aug 8), the Public Works musical by Shaina Taub which debuted in 2017 now gets a full four-week production.

 

 

I’ve always liked the National Asian American Theatre Co (NAATCO)
— their Henry VI was spectacular, their Awake and Sing eye-opening — and love that they’re partnering with the New York Theatre Workshop, Soho Rep, Two Rive Theater, the Long Wharf and other regional theaters to come, in order to foster a greater presence of Asian-Americans in theater.

pic.twitter.com/yjNCPoWn68

— New York Theater (@NewYorkTheater) January 31, 2020

Manhattan Concert Productions’ 50th Anniversary Celebration of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center on February 17, 2020 at 8:00 pm. In addition to a chorus of some 300 singers, the cast featuresNoah Galvin (Joseph), Eden Espinosa (Narrator), Alex Newell (Narrator), Jessica Vosk (Narrator), Chuck Cooper (Jacob), Merle Dandridge (Pharaoh), Andy Karl (Potiphar), Orfeh (Potiphar’s Wife), Brooks Ashmanskas (Baker), Gavin Lee (Butler), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Reuben/“One More Angel in Heaven”), Bonnie Milligan (Gad/“Those Canaan Days”), Mykal Kilgore (Judah/“Benjamin Calypso”), Robert Ariza (Zebulon), Rodrick Covington (Simeon), Jason Gotay (Issachar), Tiffany Mann (Asher), Julia Mattison (Levi), Brian Sears (Napthali), Daniel Yearwood (Dan), Mason Grey Zaroff (Benjamin)

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Former CBS anchor Dan Rather, now 88, will be presenting a one-man show “Stories Of A Lifetime” at Audible’s Minetta Lane Theater, two performances only Feb 18 & 19, followed of course by the audiobook.

Celebrating Jerry Herman at the 92nd Street Y’s Lyrics and Lyricists series –
Feb 22, 23 & 24, conceived by Andy Einhorn, directed by and featuring
Cady Huffman, along with Quentin Earl Darrington,Bryonha Marie Parham, Andrea Ross, Ryan Vona

Ed Harris and Kyle Scatliffe, center, in “To Kill A Mockingbird”

“To Kill A Mockingbird” will be the first Broadway show to play Madison Square Garden
The move to the arena, for one night only, Feb. 26, is meant to give a more diverse audience a chance to see the show; 18,000 tickets will be given for free to New York City public school students. –

 

 

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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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