On Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday today, the producers of the Dylan musical “Girl From The North Country” announced its reopening on October 13, more than 19 months after it was the last Broadway show to open before the shutdown. (See the cast singing “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” all over NYC in The Week in Theater Videos below) “Hadestown” will now be the first to reopen, announcing it will do so on September 2, nearly two weeks before any of the 25 other Broadway shows with specific opening or reopening dates.
Here are the 26: Broadway 2021-2022 Season Preview Guide
Much is happening before all that: This coming week
May 2021 Theater Openings, Final Week: the Platt Brothers, Andrew Lloyd Webber through the years,
and then a summer that promises a vigorous (albeit still cautious) life after lockdown. Most businesses have been allowed to return to 100 percent capacity since May 19, and theaters and other large venues as well, IF they require patrons to show proof of vaccination. There have also been a stream of announcements of new openings of interest to theatergoers:
Feinstein’s/54 Below reopening its doors for live, in-person performances starting June 17.
The hope is that New Yorkers’ moods will be lifted to reflect that of Dick Van Dyke, a Kennedy Center Honor recipient this year (which airs on June 6.) At age 95, he is eager to get back on stage, and doesn’t dwell on his personal battles. “I seldom get down or depressed. I don’t want to waste a minute when I could be enjoying life.”
The Week in Theater Reviews
The Week in Theater News
What the pandemic has done to the arts (Harper Magazine)
The arts economy is broken; the pandemic only showed us just how badly. Nothing less than a wholesale reconstruction is required. We need to reform our labor laws—including making something like PUA permanent—to better protect the self-employed. We need to increase public funding for the arts. As of 2019, support for the arts at all levels of government came to $1.38 billion per year, or $4.19 per person. We need to implement, if not a universal basic income for artists, then something like the system in Ireland, in which the first 50,000 euros earned from creative activity is exempt from income tax. We need to hold online platforms accountable for piracy. And, of course, we need to break up Big Tech—dismantle the companies themselves and, by regulating their core platforms like utilities, force them to pay creators a fair share of the revenue generated by their work….
Raja Feather Kelly is a brilliant young choreographer, the founder of his own dance company, the feath3r theory. Like pretty much every artist I’ve talked to, he has been working nonstop since he got out of school…. The pandemic’s forced pause has brought him some realizations about himself and his peers. First, that “if we don’t create, then there’s nothing.” Second, that “my creativity is something that I cultivate, that is mine,” and that he therefore ought to be in charge of it. And finally, that while the current situation may be awful, “we’re not hustling. We’re creating for ourselves right now. And we should always be doing that.”
Is digital theater here to stay?
“The question of how to integrate digital media into the cultural landscape is a live issue for everyone,” according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle (“Performing arts outfits, once analog’s champions, realize that digital is here to stay“) which points out that “the League of Resident Theatres, which comprises many of the top nonprofit theaters throughout the country, has negotiated contracts with theatrical unions to be able to record shows through June 2022.”
But the answer might be different in New York. I asked the question this way
This prompted a thread worth reading. Sample:
@EdwardEinhorn: Actor’s Equity
@GooleyChris: There is no money to be made in live streaming unless it was through a streaming app directly like Netflix or Hulu.
@JennieRyan1: Live streaming is absolutely at a place where it should be utilized as a supplement. In addition I believe we should develop it as it’s own genre. In addition to live, recorded streaming, broadcast!
@MisseeMo: The Met has done a fantastic job with recordings to be played in movie theaters. It’s the closest I’ve been to opera in years. I’ve seen a couple plays/musicals the same way & wished for more. I’m in California & average 6 years betwn visits to NYC so anything helps us far away
@sianrodgersNT Live has been doing it in the UK for some time.
@Elizabeth_M414Why can’t theater be something special that people experience in a theater? Why does everything have to be right at our fingertips? Is nothing special anymore?
Rest in Peace
Charles Grodin, 86, (deadpan comic) actor, writer, director, familiar face on the big and small screen, and six-time Broadway veteran, including in “Same Time Next Year” which got noticed in Hollywood.