Voting for the Tony Awards starts today, and in less than four months New Yorkers will start voting for mayor. The candidates have been offering their plans on how to bring back Broadway, which New York Times reporters covering the campaign call “a central issue in the race.” (The Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled to take place June 22, 2021, the general election on November 2.) Not every candidate explicitly mentions Broadway or arts workers in their policy plans on their websites. Here are some who do:
Former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia released her plan last week called “Reopen to Stay Open,” which calls for removing red tape for small businesses and working with streaming services to broadcast Broadway shows.
Maya Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, has talked about rebuilding the arts and proposed spending $1 billion on a recovery plan for artists and culture workers as part of her “New Deal New York” proposal.
Former Citigroup executive Raymond McGuire, in his “Comeback Plan” promises to “kickstart our cultural, tourism, and nightlife industries — and do so in a way that not only brings back Broadway and the incredible ecosystem around it, but also drives visitors and spending to communities that were hardest hit by the pandemic.”
Entrepreneur and former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang, in his “Culture, Society, and Nightlife” policy statement, proposes “a new program: Broadway to the People, working with Broadway producers to show Broadway theater in public parks at reduced fees. This will allow more New Yorkers to partake in the magic of Broadway and provide financial support to theaters as they begin turning the lights back on.”
The Week in Reviews
The Week in Theater News
The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) announced that 1,225 arts and cultural organizations across New York State,including some 600 in New York City, will receive $40 million in grant funding. Here is a complete list of the New York City grantees (scroll to the end.) But here’s a sample:
The grants include two totaling $85,500 to the Vivian Beaumont Theater and another two grants totaling $84,500 to the Brooklyn Academy of Music; $49,500 to Ars Nova to replace their elevator, and another $25,000 to themin general support; two grants totaling $55,000 for Performance Space 122; two grants totaling $35,000 for ManhattanTheatre Club (one of which is for playwriting residencies in alternative schools), another two grants totaling $35,000 for The Tank; $35,000 for Chinese Theatre Works, Inc; $30,000 each for Classical Theater of Harlem and Vineyard Theater, $27,497 or the Baryshnikov Arts Center, $25,000 each for Amas Musical Theater, En Garde Arts, New York Shakespeare Festival, and Rattlestick; two grants totaling $17,500 to the Pan Asian Repertory Company; $10,000 each for Fiasco Theater, Hip Hop Theater Festival, and the Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, as well as to Signature Theater for Branden Jacobs‐Jenkins; $8,000 each for New York Deaf Theatre Ltd and for Mara Nelson‐Greenberg of Clubbed Thumb, Inc.
Lincoln Center plans to create 10 outdoor performance spaces and stages this spring, in an effort to revitalize the performing arts industry. The program, entitled Restart Stages, will include a concert and cabaret series by Lincoln Center Theater, dance workshops from New York City Ballet, concerts from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and movie screenings by Film at Lincoln Center. Restart Stages will commence on April 7 with a performance for healthcare workers
“Love Letter to Liza,” celebrating Liza Minnelli’s 75th birthday on March 12 (which is also the first anniversary of Broadway’s shut-down) will feature Feature Chita Rivera, Jonathan Groff, Nathan Lane, Lorna Luft, John Kander, Jason Alexander, and Kathy Griffin.
“My time on the stage is basically up,” she tells Parade Magazine with a shrug. “I’m 75. I don’t have the impulse to prove myself anymore. I feel like ‘I did that.’ And I’ve done a lot. I’ve earned my rest. Am I going to make an announcement? No. I’m just going to fade away.”
Rest in Peace
Douglas Turner Ward, 90, playwright (Day of Absence), Tony-winning producer (River Niger) co-founder & first artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company — “A theater evolving not out of negative need, but positive potential… “