June IS busting out all over, but in new ways. For the finale of the 31st annual Broadway Bares, Broadway performers danced maskless atop the TKTS red steps in the theater district — which will be presented on June 20th…online; it’s the second year in a row that the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraising event has gone digital.
We’re emerging from hiatus into hybrid. A steady stream of Broadway shows have been announcing their opening or reopening in the Fall (in the past week, “Thoughts of a Colored Man” and “Pass Over,” which will begin previews on August 4th!); they’ve even decided finally on a date for the Tony Awards (although it’s weird.) But in-person shows are happening right now, both outdoors and indoors…even as live-streaming continues robustly.
June 2021 Theater Openings. Meryl Streep AND The Meatpacking District, AND Every Musical on the West End (Online!). Exciting shows this month include “What If If Only,” a new play by Caryl Churchill performed by the Asian-American actors of NAATCO (online); “June Rites” by Waterwell on Governors Island (in person), and “The Watering Hole,” a series of ten installations that take up most of the spaces of Signature Theater curated by creatives of color led by Lynn Nottage (in person and online.)
The Week in Reviews
The Week in Theater News
Remember the Tony Awards? The 74th annual celebration and promotion of Broadway will finally be broadcast on September 26, 2021, after a delay of more than 15 months from the originally scheduled ceremony, with nominations not announced until October, 2020 and voting not held until March, 2021. HOWEVER, the first two hours of the ceremony will be exclusive to the subscription streaming service Paramount Plus. The second two hours, on the CBS television network, will present live only the awards for Best Play, Best Revival of a Play and Best Musical
Broadway’s Hottest Marketing Tool: Streaming Shows (Variety)
“If all goes according to producers’ plans, then by the end of the year, filmed performances of three current shows — “Hamilton” on Disney Plus, “Diana” on Netflix and “Come From Away” on Apple TV Plus — will be available to stream at home while the live productions are running on Broadway at the same time.”
Why some indoor theaters are taking it outdoors (American Theatre)
Artist guaranteed income in San Francisco (SF Chronicle)
San Francisco’s pilot program to guarantee income for artists has named its first 130 recipients and announced that it is expanding, thanks to a $3.46 million gift from #StartSmall, a charity created by Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.
The end of the pandemic may be in sight, but….
- “The Pandemic’s Trauma Won’t Just Go Away” by science writer Ed Yong (Atlantic) i.e. Mental health issues will remain
“People have now lived through 14 months of pandemic life. Millions have endured a year of grief, anxiety, isolation, and rolling trauma. Some will recover uneventfully, but for others, the quiet moments after adrenaline fades and normalcy resumes may be unexpectedly punishing. When they finally get a chance to exhale, their breaths may emerge as sighs…Recovery from disasters is usually gauged in terms of dollars regained, jobs restored, and infrastructure rebuilt. Mental health is harder to measure, and so easier to ignore.” (Will the arts be able to help?)
- Salman Rushdie: What’s irretrievable after a pandemic year (Washington Post)
I couldn’t help finding strange our need to imagine the good emerging out of the bad. Europe in the time of the Black Death, and later London during the Great Plague, weren’t full of people trying to see the positive side. People were too busy trying not to die.
Rest in Peace
Samuel E. Wright, 74, Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, eight-time Broadway veteran including as the original Mufasa in The Lion King, one of his two Tony nominated roles.
Gavin MacLeod, 90, Murray on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (far left), the skipper on The Love Boat, also two-time Broadway veteran.