Ratatouille the Tick Tock Musical (my review) has raised more than a million dollars in ticket sales for The Actors Fund, the enthusiasm of the audience seeming to match that of its creators.
One day left to get your tickets on @todaytix! RatatouilleMusical
It’s a great theatrical start for 2021. But what’s next? Below are predictions from the usual sources, but they feel vague or obligatory at the start of a new year, rather than authoritative. If only this new year started in, say, June; things will surely be clearer by then.
The one certainty now: For the first time since the pandemic shut down physical theaters, we know they won’t reopen this season. Everything else is uncertain.
Which of the following recently streamed musicals would have the greatest success on an actual stage?
— New York Theater (@NewYorkTheater) January 2, 2021
2021 At Last
Whether or not hindsight is always 20/20, 2020 is now in hindsight.
Watch 20 Stunning Broadway Music Videos from 2020
Theater Blog Roundup: 2020 in Hindsight
Year-End Theater Quiz: A Look Back at 2020
Ring IN The Old: Broadway Veterans age 89-106
Watch New Year’s Eve 2021: The Times Square Ball Drop, Concert For Peace, Natalie Douglas
Theater Books of 2020 To Read in 2021
In 1921, Irving Berlin wrote “All By Myself” for a revue in his then-new Broadway theater, the Music Box. A century later, it feels like an anthem for our era. Listen to the song sung by Al Jolson and Bing and Ella and Ethel Merman.
Rest in Peace
Joan Micklin Silver, 85, filmmaker of Crossing Delancey and six other feature films. “Ms. Silver ventured into Off Broadway theater with mixed results. Mel Gussow of The Times did not care for “Maybe I’m Doing It Wrong” (1982), her revue with Randy Newman’s music. But when Ms. Silver and Julianne Boyd conceived and staged the musical revue “A … My Name Is Alice,” it had three runs in 1983 and 1984 and was pronounced “delightful” by Frank Rich of The Times. There were two sequels in the 1990s.”
Dawn Wells, 82, Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ “After her TV career cooled, she focused on theater acting.”
Broadway 2021: What To Expect When New York Turns The Lights Back On (Interviews with “eight prominent Broadway insiders”)
Producer Ken Davenport: I think the locals will come out first, and the locals that only went to the theater once a year might go twice or three times…Hopefully they’ll come enough to make up for the lack of tourists we may have in the first six months…I think the world is going to f*cking party like they’ve never partied before …There’s no coincidence that the Roaring ‘20s followed the 1918 flu epidemic.
The Broadway League’s Charlotte St. Martin: We all envisioned a grand opening night….But the reality is, if Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo rolls us out like he rolled out restaurants, it could easily be we open five shows or three shows and wait two weeks and see if there are any incidents or any spikes.
Producer Mara Isaacs: I think the challenge is actually what happens at intermission. What do you do with the bathroom line? Is the bar open?
Russell Granet, president of New 42nd Street: I think organizations that just put a Band-Aid on Covid with the idea that they would come back to business as usual are not going to fare as well as the organizations that took this opportunity to reconfigure their organization, their mission, their goals.
Producer Brian Moreland: I think of this shutdown, amidst this horrific pandemic and our racial and social uprising, as a much-needed and long-overdue reset. I am seeing changes to bylaws, to boards…We have seen new social groups being formed, and all these things are collaborating and growing us in the right direction. For change.
Anonymous in the comments: There needs to be a working actor or agent’s perspective here.
.@PeterMarksdrama‘s prediction for theater in 2021: A renaissance for Black artists https://t.co/Ad1yS8uXYr pic.twitter.com/eAzSzlZVGb
— New York Theater (@NewYorkTheater) January 1, 2021
From 11 Things Our Critics Are Looking Forward To in 2021 (NY Times), the one work of theater, maybe in February, via Jesse Green: “Duchess! Duchess! Duchess!” — a filmed play by Vivian J.O. Barnes, directed by Weyni Mengesha. Inspired and/or appalled by the experiences of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, Barnes imagines a dialogue in which a Black duchess helps acculturate a Black duchess-to-be to her new position. Together, they explore what it means to join an institution that acts as if they should feel honored to be admitted, even as it eats them alive.
Out of the wreckage that is 2020, @CharlesMcNulty, will there be “artistic renewal” in 2021? I sum up his hope for the future. https://t.co/sCJOG53rFF pic.twitter.com/5QFalb2eg0
— New York Theater (@NewYorkTheater) December 28, 2020