Ma Rainey, The Prom Sneak Peeks. RIP Ming Cho Lee, Marge Champion, Edith O’Hara. #Stageworthy News of the Week

Week in Theater Videos: Trailers for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Prom. To Be Human from Hercules. I’m Losing You from Ain’t Too Proud.

There will be no Village Halloween Parade next Saturday,  although some outdoor Halloween events persist this year, including Haunted Broadway  a walking tour through the “strange superstitions” and “gory deaths” in the theater district.    Such theater lore loses its luster in a year of so many actual deaths in the theater community. Three deaths this week add up to a loss of almost three centuries of talent, wisdom and perseverance.

Theater Blog Roundup: 49 Plays about U.S. Politics, especially It Can’t Happen Here

Back on Broadway: A Tour of Times Square Favorite Spots

Week in Reviews

Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy

“I think what we do is evil but I still want to do a good job at it,” says Nikolai, one of the Russian trolls trying to sway the American Presidential election in Sarah Gancher’s funny and frightening new play.
“Speak for yourself,” his colleague Steve bellows. “I think we’re saving the f— world.”…That the Russians are reportedly trying to interfere again makes this play extremely timely…. also intelligent, well-acted, imaginatively staged online.

A West Wing Special on HBO and the merging of theater and politics, stage and screen, Democrats and democracy

The staged reading of an 18-year-old episode of the TV series “The West Wing” might seem like a peculiar exercise in nostalgia, and maybe vanity, by its creator Aaron Sorkin..[It’s].a glimpse into some emerging trends, all of which have to do with redefinitions and the breaking down of conventional distinctions….during what were the commercial breaks during the initial broadcast,  there are a variety of messages about the importance of voting….

Week in Theater News

Dear Evan Hansen creative team, accepting their Olivier Award

2020 Olivier Awards Videos and List of Winners: Dear Evan Hansen, Fiddler on the Roof

New York City Ballet is set to resume live performances in 2021, but not until the fall.

Stage Vs. Screen Becomes a Union Battleground (American Theatre Magazine) In the jurisdictional war between Equity and SAG-AFTRA over theatre work made for screens, actors and stage managers have the most at stake.

How the performing arts are adapting the pandemic landscape   (PBS News Hour.) The pandemic has affected every aspect of life, including the performing arts.There’s plenty of data, third-quarter unemployment rates of 54 percent for dancers and 52 percent for actors, a 33-fold decline in consumer spending on all performing arts. Many companies have announced that they will remain closed for in person performances for the foreseeable future.
But… there are glimmers of hope and pockets of movement, where the show, even in new ways, is going on.
One example:The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, known as BAAD!

Searching A Way Forward — a HowlRound series on what comes next.


Election Day marathon at Stars in the House (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.), featuring a full day of stars Annette Bening, Jeremy Jordan, Kelli O’Hara et al, including Jessie Mueller, Megan Hilty, Jeremy Jordan, Marc Shaiman, Vanessa Williams, Adam Pascal, Peri Gilpin, Anika Larsen, Judy Kuhn, Marilu Henner, Annette Bening, Kelli O’Hara, including Celia Keenan-Bolger and Lauren Patten from Poll Hero., which has been recruiting people to be poll workers on Election Day.

Meanwhile, started Saturday and continues through November 1.  Find your polling place.


More info on early voting, and “absentee voting” (applications for mail-in ballots are due by tomorrow, Tuesday, October 27.)

The Stratford Festival has launched a new “digital content subscription” for $10 a month, Stratfest@Home, including new content and productions it previously had screened for free on YouTube.

Antonia Banderas will direct and star in Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company in Spain

The theater of politics works only when the politician does not acknowledge that it is theater. This paradox has bedeviled Donald Trump, a businessman who simultaneously played a more successful version of himself on TV and now struggles to do the same thing with being president….Like most Lincoln Project videos, “Covita” is clearly less concerned with changing voters’ minds than with needling Trump’s very specific insecurities. It’s well known that “Evita,” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s and Tim Rice’s musical about the Argentine authoritarian power couple Juan and Eva Perón, is Trump’s favorite musical.


Rest in Peace

Edith O’Hara, 103, founder of the strange and eclectic 13th Street Repertory Company

Marge Champion, 101, dancer, actor, choreographer, real-life model for Walt Disney’s Snow White and  famous dance partner (and wife) of Gower Champion (They divorced in 1973. He became a celebrated Broadway director, and died in 1980.). She appeared in the Broadway revival of Follies in 2001 at age 81.

Ming Cho Lee, 90, the dean of American theater set design, a long-time professor at the Yale School of Drama, a veteran of more than two dozen Broadway shows, as well as opera, dance and regional theater.

‘Ming Cho Lee: A Life in Design’ Celebrates the Designer’s Work

Week in Theater Videos

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom trailer

The Prom trailer

To be Human from Hercules

“History continues to repeat itself until we get it right.” – Dominique Morisseau There has never been a more important time to make your voice heard in an election. #Vote2020 because #BlackLivesMatter.

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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