Screens are now the norm, for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Daniel J. Mertzlufft alike. #Stageworthy News of the Week

“I’m a theater animal. I’m not really a cinema animal, ” Andrew Lloyd Webber said in an interview with CNBC on Friday, “and I don’t believe you can really, really ever, at the moment, have a substitute for the live experience.” Yet even Lloyd Webber added: “there is a great value in filming theater and it’s getting much, much better.”

Lloyd Webber is certainly not alone in his attitude. Theater is “an antidote to the screens,” said Sara Cardona of Teatro Dallas, one of thirty theater companies across ten states who responded to graduate student Janice Rabian’s research project on the pandemic’s effect on theater, as reported in HowlRound.

And yet, in truth, “at the moment,” it’s now the “in-person” productions that are experimental, and theater on screens the norm. That’s certainly evident in my list of Top 10 theater of 2020.
And, judging from some of this week’s theater videos below, that norm is…expanding. (Exhibit A: Daniel J. Mertzlufft.)  Or as Variety’s Gordon Cox puts it: All Arts Organizations Are Media Companies Now: “The pandemic has prodded an ancient art form — and an often hidebound industry — to explore the digital potential it’s eyed so warily in the past. As the theater’s biggest commercial motor, Broadway, has languished, resourceful artists and producers are making work that incorporates video, gaming and interactivity into hybridized digital-theater forms that, rather than serving as mere stopgaps, stand poised to endure even after the return of theater as we knew it.”

In the interview with CNBC, Lloyd Webber said “certainly fans will come back” to Broadway and the West End and pronounced himself “pretty optimistic that things will get back to normal.” But what will normal look like?

Theater Quiz for November 2020

Holiday gifts for theater lovers

Week in Theater News

Best Musical Theater Album #Grammy Nominations 


Matthew López has been hired by Searchlight Pictures to write a screen adaptation of “Leading Men,” the Christopher Castellani novel about Tennessee Williams and his longtime lover Frank Merlo

The Week in Theater Videos

The theater video journey of Daniel J. Mertzlufft

It first needs be said that Daniel J. Mertzlufft is no musical theater novice. He’s created dozens of musical TikToks for months, as you can see from his TikTok page.


Remy: The Musical OG Song @e_jaccs add. Vocals @cjaskier #remy #ratatouille #musicaltheatre #broadway #singer #musical #disney #fyp #disneymusicals

♬ original sound – danieljmertzlufft

As this history of #ratatouillethemusical makes clear, Mertzlufft didn’t post the first song, but his arrangement of it inspired all those who followed

James Corden was entranced, and brought him on the show, to initial Thanksgiving The TikTok Musical, enlisting musical theater royalty

Here’s the full segment including Corden’s introduction and Mertzlufft’s reaction

Here’s the 271-second musical straight up

And it’s not the only Thanksgiving Musical! New York-based Fault Line Theater a Thanksgiving musical by Rob Shapiro starring Lynne Rosenberg on Instagram


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A post shared by Fault Line Theatre (@faultline_th)

Broadway in Thanksgiving Parade 2020 (blocked in the U.S.)

(Watch full videos of these performances at Broadway at Thanksgiving Parade 2020)

Sit Down You’re Rocking the Vote

Another trailer for The Prom

The Liz Swados Project

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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