#Stageworthy News: RIP Nick Cordero, 41; Carl Reiner, 98. Still High on Hamilton.

Nick Cordero, a Broadway musical theater actor, died yesterday at the age of 41, after a long and horrible struggle with COVID-19 that was chronicled in painful detail on social media by his wife Amanda Kloots, also a Broadway veteran. He leaves a one-year-old son named Elvis. (obituary)
His death hits hard, in part because he was so relatively young; in part because we’ve spent the last three months rooting for him. We joined his wife in her daily singing of the song he wrote, “Live Your Life.”

I first saw him in his starring role Off-Broadway in “The Toxic Avenger,” but was especially taken with his talent in 2014, in his Tony-nominated performance as the mobster Cheech with a gift for playwriting in “Bullets Over Broadway,” by far the best thing about that musical, and the first of his tough-guy roles on Broadway.

At a time of so much sadness, anger and anxiety, the release of “Hamilton” on Disney+ was a surprisingly emotional experience. We are in need of some good news these days, and the streaming of Hamilton — and the promise of other exciting productions to come — supplied some of it.

The Week in Reviews
The Week in Quizzes and Polls
The Week in News
The Week in Videos

The Week in Reviews

And So We Come Forth Review. The Apple Family Once Again on Zoom
I compare “And So We Come Forth” to my experience now in lockdown – a safe, insular, by-now too familiar routine. Still, there are enough moments of insight and pathos to be worth spending the 70 minutes in another visit with these comfortable characters.

Hamilton on Disney Plus

What’s most gained by putting “Hamilton” online comes from the close-ups and the captions.In the number “Satisfied,” after Angelica Schuyler in effect has given up Alexander Hamilton to her sister Eliza, the close-up of Reneé Elise Goldsberry’s face drives home what this has cost her.Indeed, though I always grasped that the musical toggled between the personal and the political, the close-ups somehow make the personal feel more prominent than they seemed on stage…The editing here is generally first-rate, but the use of these close-ups largely assigns the ensemble’s thrilling and inventive choreography to the periphery. Perhaps this is unavoidable, but it’s a loss.

Theater of War’s The Book of Job

Les Blancs
Lorraine Hansberry’s third and final Broadway play, which is being presented online through July 9 in a dark, expressionistic production directed in 2016 by Yael Farber for the National Theatre, is set in an Africa struggling against British colonialism. But some of the issues the playwright explores make it feel especially timely: It argues for racial reckoning, questions the value of good intentions, and dramatizes the complex choices in a time of crisis

The Week in Quizzes and Polls

New York Theater Quiz for June 2020

Hamilton 2020 Quiz

4th of July Poll: Your Favorite American History Theater That’s Not Hamilton

The Week in News

Dustin Hoffman, now 82, is said to be planning his first performance on Broadway in since his Tony-nominated performance in “The Merchant of Venice” in 1990,  portraying the Stage Manager in a revival of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” for sometime in 2021, depending of course on when Broadway reopens. To Kill a Mockingbird director Bartlett Sher will helm the production, which is being produced by Scott Rudin.

Andrew and Kevin Atherton in foreground of “Paramour” on Broadway

Cirque du Soleil, the circus company founded four decades ago in Montreal that had entertained audiences across the world with its acrobatic theatrics, including on Broadway, has  filed for bankruptcy protection and cut 3,500 jobs

We Got ‘Hamilton.’ Why Can’t We Stream Every Broadway Show?
“Video recording a show is up to individual producers. And they have tended to pass on the opportunity for two main reasons: cost, and the fear that streaming will cannibalize ticket sales. “To do what ‘Hamilton’ did would require a real outlay of cash from the producers,” said Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League. That show’s three lead producers, who have made fortunes from it, financed the filming themselves; for others, a multicamera investment can be prohibitive.”

A wealth of exciting online theater this month:

Germany’s Theaters Return…cautiously
“From abridged presentations and monologues to other solutions that seem closer to happenings than plays, theatermakers are adapting to changed circumstances as restrictions are eased. This has meant performing for smaller audiences and devising productions that require few actors and stagehands, to ensure a safe distance between the performance and spectators.”

Rest in Peace

“The absolute truth is the thing that makes people laugh.”
Carl Reiner, 98, comedian, creator of Dick Van Dyke Show, Broadway veteran, starting in the 1940s.
His roman a clef “Enter Laughing,” about growing up in the Bronx wanting to be an actor, was turned into a Broadway play, and then a more successful musical.

Lewis John Carlino, 88, screenwriter and playwright who earned an Oscar nomination for “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” and who both adapted and directed “The Great Santini.”

The Week in Videos

Not everybody sees the Fourth of July as a cause for celebration
Daveed Diggs

From The Capitol Fourth

Vanessa Williams

Mandy Gonzalez Performs the National Anthem on the 2020 A Capitol Fourth

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Kelli O’Hara Performs “If I Loved You”

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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