Leslie Odom, Jr. and Audra McDonald Tony Awards hosts, with a catch. The busiest week on Broadway, and NYC. #Stageworthy News of the Week

This week could not be busier. Today,  300,000 employees go back to work for New York City’s government, and a million students go back to the city’s public schools. Tomorrow, “Chicago,” “Hamilton,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked” resume public performances, TDF’s TKTS booth in Times Square reopens, and “Lackawanna Blues” starts previews (with an official opening September 28.) Wednesday, Stephen Sondheim will sit down with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. Both Wednesday and Thursday, Orfeh and Andy Karl return to Feinstein’s/54 Below with their cabaret act Legally Bound. Friday, both “Six” and “David Byrne’s American Utopia” begin again; it’s also the first day of Curtain Up, the free three-day outdoor festival celebrating Broadway.
And, less heralded but just as worthy, Broadway for Broke People (which lists rush tickets, lotteries, etc. for each show) might help you feel a little less left out.

Week in New York Theater Reviews

Angela’s Ashes the Musical  McCourt’s childhood trauma and lilting uplift

Return the Moon. Third Rail Projects latest site-specific experiment

What Happened?  10 Pithy, Poignant, and Exasperating Aspects of Richard Nelson’s Rhinebeck Panorama formula.

The Week in Theater News

Leslie Odom, Jr. and Audra McDonald will be the hosts of the 74th annual Tony Awards on September 26th but not together. McDonald on the subscription-only streaming service Paramount+ from 7 p.m.-9 p.m; Odom on CBS from 9pm-11pm. As the Associated Press puts it: “Not everyone is happy with the way CBS is handling the awards this year. The bulk of the Tonys — the acting, directing and technical ones — will only be accessible to Paramount+ customers — with Odom’s special then airing on CBS.”

A reminder: The nominations for the 2019-2020 (!) Tony Awards. (They include Audra McDonald,  which, if she wins, will break her own record of six competitive Tony Awards.)

Full cast announced for To Kill A Mockingbird reopening October 5th. Jeff Daniels, Celia Keenan-Bolger and Russell Harvard return. Interesting new cast include Hunter Parrish and Noah Robbins.

For complete cast list check out my Broadway 2021-22 Season Preview

The Book of Mormon, whose box office opens today for performances restarting November 5, will star Kevin Clay as Elder Price, Cody Jamison Strand as Elder Cunningham, Kim Exum as Nabulungi, Olivier Award winner Stephen Ashfield as Elder McKinley and Sterling Jarvis as Mafala Hatimbi. 

The cast for “Is This A Room,” joining the previously announced Emily Davis as Reality Winner, will include Becca Blackwell as Unknown Male, Will Cobbs as Agent Taylor and Pete Simpson as Agent Garrick. 

Broadway costume shops return to work

What it’s taking to reopen Broadway: Huge New York Times piece by theater reporter Michael Paulson and photographer Mark Sommerfeld.

“By the end of the year, if all goes as planned, 39 shows will have begun runs on Broadway. As casts and crew come back to work, much has changed: There have been deaths (the virus claimed the lives of the playwright Terrence McNally and the actor Nick Cordero) and births (the writer and director of “Hadestown” were among the many who had babies), an uprising (over racism, prompting promises of change) and a downfall (of the powerful producer Scott Rudin, over chronically tyrannical behavior). The task now: making sure everything, and everyone, is ready for showtime.”

John C. Russell’s “Stupid Kids,” starring John Clay III, Lauren Patten, Ali Stoker, Taylor Trensch and Christian Borle, will get a free online reading to benefit the Actors Fund via Broadways Best Shows’ Spotlight on Plays from September 22-25. Four students at Joe McCarthy High School make their way from first through eighth period and beyond, struggling with the fears, frustrations, and longings peculiar to youth.

Rest in peace

Liz McCann, 90, pioneering woman producer on Broadway who won nine Tony Awards (from the Elephant Man to Amadeus to Hair) during a 60-year career in theater.

Theater Video of the Week

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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