Killing Culture. After Oscars. Immigrants on Stage in All 5 Boroughs. #Stageworthy News of the Week

For the fourth year in a row, the Trump budget proposes shutting down the National Endowment for the Arts, along with many other cultural agencies — the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) — all, so the proposal states, ” as part of the Administration’s plan to move the Nation towards fiscal responsibility and to redefine the proper role of the Federal Government.”

Details from the Performing Arts Alliance and what you can do about it

Week in New York Theater Reviews

Two different shows about immigrants are traveling to all five boroughs

Fandango for Butterflies and Coyotes

The audience is invited to sing and dance along with the performers in an actual fandango, which is a lively, spontaneous, communal musical celebration. But that’s only after the 100 minutes of “Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes),” a play that depicts a fandango as practiced by immigrants from Latin America who have brought the tradition to New York.

Border People
one can be forgiven for assuming that “Border People” will be about the worldwide refugee crisis, like a spate of other New York theater this season, or at least about the tension over immigration in the U.S. Some of the monologues are indeed in part spot-on commentary on these issues…If Hoyle has a political purpose in “Border People,” it’s less about piecing together a ground-level look at a specific urgent issue, as it is to undermine popular assumptions based on a range of identities. That big black guy living in the Bronx is actually a chess master. That farmer in Arizona tells us he might have been a redneck except that he’s gay.

The Confession of Lily Dare

As he’s done for close to 40 years, Charles Busch sprinkles his latest campy melodrama with Oscar Wilde wit, Barbara Stanwyck grit, Marlene Dietrich glamour and Mae West shtick: “I don’t usually meet the wives…. except in court,” Busch as Lily Dare vamps in one of her many incarnations. “The Confession of Lily Dare” offers an overlong, convoluted tale that simultaneously pays homage to and parodies a genre of early talkies …

Riddle of the Trilobites

Trilobites were actual crab-like creatures of the sea who lived on earth 150 million years before the first dinosaurs – and, like dinosaurs, are long extinct. But they remain as sturdy fossils for scientists to study….and theater artists to imagine.

“The Riddle of the Trilobites,” running at New Victory Theater through February 23, is being billed as a musical for kids about climate change. That may be the most marketable way of describing a show that is also about puppets and paleontology.and puberty.

The Week in New York Theater News

AP: “The TV ratings for this year’s Oscars ceremony were the lowest in history. The Nielsen company says the audience of 23.6 million people who saw “Parasite” win best picture was down from 29.6 million in 2019.” (The Tonys would kill for that number.)


Thirty rush tickets (at $40) and 30 lottery ticket (at $30) will be available for every preview performance of “Six the Musical, “which begins performances Feb 13 and opens March 12 at Brooks Atkinson Theater

Finalists for this year’s Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for outstanding play by a woman dramatist

The third annual “Women’s Day on Broadway: The Decade Ahead and How Women Will Shape It” on March 10 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Free, but make a reservation.

Jeremy Jordan will be the third Seymour in the production of
Little Shop of Horror at Westside Theater March 17-May 10

Williamstown Festival summer calendar

Audra McDonald and Bobby Cannavale will star in A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams, directed by Robert O’Hara opening the festival.

Mathew Lopez answers critics of The Inheritance

…while I examine race in “The Inheritance,” it is not one of its central themes. This is a decision for which I have been criticized, but it is a decision that I made consciously as a person of color. It is a consideration that is not asked of white writers, but it is one that writers of color must face with every project we begin.

Responsibility to community is the first question we must answer for ourselves. I believe that in writing honestly about my experience as a gay man, I have also contributed one more example of what it means to be a Puerto Rican man.
I have been asked by some why I didn’t write “The Inheritance” from a Latinx perspective. It is a question that reveals to me just how far we have to go in understanding the true nature of diversity of expression. I answer: Can you not see how, by virtue of the fact that I have written it, “The Inheritance” is a reflection of a Latinx perspective?

From high art to tipsy night out: has immersive theatre sold its soul? 


Theater criticism jargon, translated, by San Francisco Chronicle critic Lily Janiak:
Dated: “This show is painfully racist, sexist, homophobic, heteronormative and/or nationalist, and quite likely very boring in the moments when it’s not making you wince…”

Edgy: “This production was created by people who are younger than I am.”

Experimental (of a genre): “I did not know what was happening in this play.”

How Nathan Lane avoided coming out to Oprah Winfrey
(but did so on The Advocate three years later)




Rest in Peace

Orson Bean, 91, was struck and killed by a car Friday night in Venice, California. The veteran of Hollywood and Broadway (Tony nominee for Subways Are for Sleeping) was still a working actor.

Kirk Douglas on Broadway in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1963, opposite Joan Tetzel as Nurse Ratched. He optioned the film rights but eventually gave them to his son Michal Douglas, who produced the movie directed by Milos Forman and starring Jack Nicholson.

Kirk Douglas on Broadway

Kevin Conway, 77, memorable turns in the 1970s in the plays “When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder?” and “The Elephant Man,”

Paula Kelly, 76, movie and TV actress, an four-time Broadway veteran who made her Broadway debut as Mrs. Veloz in the 1964 musical Something More!, alongside Barbara Cook.

“Time heals everything,” Bernadette Peters sang at the Jerry Herman memorial, as she sang in the original Broadway production of his Mack and Mabel (which is getting an Encores production this month at City Center.)  Let’s hope time really does heal everything. We miss Jerry Herman and his optimism.

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

Leave a Reply