Theater Blog Roundup: Yes, Hamilton, but also Summer Theater Books, Disability Rights Month, Albee on Stage and Screen

Two of the theater bloggers below wrote about Hamilton this month, but not in a way you might expect. There is a summer theater book reading list, a guide connected to Disability Rights Month, the latest theater accusations, a comparison between stage and screen Albee, and a report of the first in-person stage show in four months….which comes with a rub.

On About Last Night, one of the most consistent surviving theater blogs, Terry Teachout looks at Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf On Screen and Stage
“On paper, Mike Nichols’ 1966 film version looked like a disaster in the making….Yet against all odds, the film version of “Virginia Woolf” proved to be a wholly successful big-screen realization of Albee’s play…”

Adam Szymkowicz is back interviewing playwrights, four this month (that’s numbers 1087-1090): Yvette Heyliger, Christina Hamlett Annabelle Lee Revak, Amy Drake

For Disability Pride Month, Melissa Hillman offers what she promises to be the first of several posts, this one entitled Anti-Ableism 101: How to Be A Better Ally (I’m hoping one of them will be about disability and the theater — a rich topic in itself.)

Her post reads like a course syllabus (she’s a professor after all, in addition to being a theater director) — but an especially clear one

Examine Your Expectations
Not every disability is visible
Disability is not all or nothing
Do not assume you know what we need

Language: Refer to us as “people with disabilities”…Put people first.
“Avoid … “blind” and “deaf” as metaphors for ignorance”

On Broadway & Me,Janice Simpson offers a list of recommended Theater Books for Summer Reading — two of which I agree wholeheartedly: Playwrights on Television by Hillary Miller and especially Shakespeare in a Divided America by James Shapiro.

On Broadway Journal,  Philip Boroff has (as usual) been breaking news. The latest: Hamilton Producer Received Emergency Small Business Loan

On JK’s Theatre Scene,  Jeff Kyler announces what he considers the three best performances of the decade: Elaine May in the Waverly Gallery; Cynthia Errivo in The Color Purple; Katrina Lenk in The Band’s Visit


Onstage Blog’s Ryan Burle writes Zoom is Changing Theatre and Tiring You Out, Here’s Why, while Chris Peterson details accusations against Circle in the Square Theatre School leveled by some of its students that are at best insensitive

For Theatre’s Leiter Side, Samuel Leiter continues to post entries from his unpublished  Encyclopedia of The New York Stage, 1970-1976, each entry a different show, organized alphabetically. Among the latest (with an excerpt of his comments):
Hay Fever

Some of New York’s best-known actors were involved in this sorry revival of the popular 1925 comedy about Judith Bliss (Shirley Booth), an overly dramatic ex-actress, her eccentric family, and their odd assortment of discomfited June weekend guests. Almost without exception, the critics were allergic to the performance of the egregiously miscast leading lady

The Hashish Club
Brought to New York from Los Angeles by its original troupe, members of the Company Theatre, this would-be piece of experimental theatre was yawned off the stage in a week.

On The Play’s The Thing UK, Laura Kressly writes about an actual play in person, not online. Bard in the Yard, a play ironically about how Shakespeare is stuck at home during the 1605 plague. There are a few catches, or rubs as she puts it, cleverly. It was a solo show outdoors in a park, which was performed for just two critics, including Laura. AND: “The show is only bookable for private performances and due to a lack of funding and a need to cover costs, it isn’t cheap.”


In The Wicked Stage, Rob Weinert-Kendt writes about Hamilton, which he covered for the New York Times before it opened Off-Broadway. His take now: The Moment ‘Hamilton’ Slips Off Track

Hamilton happens to be one of those pop culture staples, like Seinfeld or the Beatles, that you almost don’t need to immerse yourself in deeply to feel soaked in; it’s somehow everywhere all the time, as if it were always there.
Still, my tween son’s fervent embrace, and incessant replaying, of the cast album in recent years has imprinted much of it on me afresh. And there’s one part of it that has always brought me up short in the best way…

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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