New Videos of the Week: Jake Gyllenhaal, West Side Story’s Isaac Powell, Lin-Manuel Reincarnated. Two Months In: More Questions, Fewer Answers.

Stageworthy News of the Week.
At the finale for the Broadway Does Mother’s Day virtual concert yesterday, the cast of Hamilton sang different lyrics to a King George number:

We’ll be back
Just you wait
Our community will still be great

The question since the March 12th shutdown has been when. Over the past two months, the answers have shifted – and the uncertainty has increased.

All that is certain are the numbers that reveal New York City’s devastation
Death toll in NYC from COVID-19: more than 19,000
Unemployment claims in NYC since the shutdown: More than 830,000

Whenever New York starts to reopen , Governor Andrew Cuomo said last week, it will be in four phases: 1. construction and manufacturing 2. professional services, retail and real estate 3. restaurants and hotels 4. arts and entertainment. Theater, in other words, will be last.  And even then,
Upstate Will Be First to Test New York’s Arts Appetite. Under the governor’s reopening plan, theaters, museums and community art centers upstate will open well before city venues.
In the meantime, as other states start to reopen,  some are focused on another question about New York theater: How?

“We have to be really, really careful about how we start to come back,” said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors Equity told the Associated Press. The questions the reporters asked, without attempting any answers: “Will every other seat be kept empty? Will there be thermometer checks? Mandatory masks? Bar service? Deep cleanings between shows? More ushers? More exits? No shows until a vaccine?”

And once the theater returns, will the audiences?
A couple of recent studies suggest that the majority of New Yorkers are taking a wait and see attitude.

“I don’t even need to have any expertise in the field to see that people are not going to likely want to be sitting too close together for a long time,” Broadway actor Paul Nolan (most recently in “Slave Play”) told the CBC.

So, right now, even as we continue to honor the truncated season past, New York theater has become synonymous with online theater. And the world for many New Yorkers has largely gone online.

The Week in Awards

“A Strange Loop” by Michael R. Jackson won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Remaining awards calendar

May 11 (later today): The 70th annual Outer Critics Circle Awards will announce its honorees, rather than nominees
May 19: Off Broadway Alliance Awards, whose nominations were announced April 28, will announce winners at 11 a.m. via Facebook, with a reception planned for sometime in the Fall.
May 31: The 65th annual Drama Desk Awards, whose nominations were announced last week, will announce its winners on NY1 TV program On Stage at 7:30 p.m.

Variety: Will the Tonys be canceled in 2020?

The Week in Online Theater

Members of the seance shocked when they hear what seems to be a spirit from the other side

Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward

November by David Mamet

The Homebound Project

Tiny, Beautiful Things by Nik Vardelos

Love, Loss and What I Wore by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron


Rest in Peace

Jerry Stiller, 92,known as one-half the comedy duo Stiller & Meara, father of Ben Stiller, familiar face on screen (Seinfeld), and also a classically trained actor and long-time Broadway veteran who performed on the Great White Way in 15 shows from 1954 to 1997.

The Week in New Videos

New York, Paused, from the Museum of the City of New York

Jim Glaub took this video, with a soundtrack of Cyndi Lauper singing Irving Berlin’s There’s No Business Like Show Business

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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