Six, Chicken & Biscuits, Is This A Room. Theater Boosters. Darren Criss, Pal Joey to hustle on Broadway at last. #Stageworthy This Week

“Booster” has taken on a new meaning in the age of COVID, which Broadway has embraced in its own way. Some 250 people have been hired (so far) to serve as safety team members in Broadway theaters, checking proof of vaccinations and making sure theatergoers “mask up.”

At the same time, Broadway boosters like NYCGO and the Broadway League are continuing their “Broadway is Back” campaign, with videos like the one below starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Ben Vereen.

Meanwhile, theater artists and arts advocates are trying to boost the chances that 1. they remain healthy (“For performers trying to get back onstage, it’s been a struggle to balance covid safety and the show“) and 2. that Off Off Broadway will survive. “The illusion of reopening is that we’re back where we were in February of 2020,” says Guy Yedwab, the president of the League of Independent Theaters.“The reality is that in the meantime, there’s been incredible damage that has happened.” That’s why they’re pushing proposals on federal, state and level, including a push for commercial rent control (Saving New York Independent Theater: An Update)

The Week in New York Theater Reviews


“Divorced. Beheaded. Died. Divorced. Beheaded. Survived.” The first six words of “Six” sum up the fate of each of King Henry VIII’s six wives……The start of the concert is a high-energy spectacle, loud, busy and electrifying. And “Six” remains high-energy and loud for most of its 80 minutes, with a six-member cast, backed by an all-female band, that’s charismatic and indefatigable. But the electricity winds up feeling static. 

Hit Your Mark, Die Beautiful 

 lured me in because it was being promoted as a “Waiting for Guffman” for Off Off Broadway, which I took to mean a comic but affectionate look at how bad New York indie theater can be…If the play as a whole captures way too accurately the tedium of tech day, individual moments and monologues reflect a savvy insider knowledge of New York theaterexample  

Chicken & Biscuits 

The play feels readymade for a series TV adaptation. Its characters are familiar types, and their relationships with one another unfold according to a formula: Tension followed by confrontation followed by reconciliation. But it’s also full of laughs, performed by a great, eight-member cast…And, underneath the formula, Douglas Lyons’ play offers a clear-eyed look at what one character calls a “family in its purest and most fragile form.”

Is This A Room

It was improbable that downtown theater artist Tina Satter decided to turn Reality Winner’s story into a play by staging just the verbatim transcript of the initial FBI interrogation of Winner….which makes the play feel almost like a psychological thriller.  But there’s a lot that’s left out….unexamined, unexplained, inexplicable,..Maybe that’s Satter’s point.Her play is not about the reality of Reality Winner but the surreality of modern existence, so much of which keeps us in the dark.

The Week in New York Theater News

Maria Rosario Jackson will be nominated chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (the first African-American and the first Mexican-American to lead the agency), and Shelly Lowe as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (the first Native American.)

A revival of “American Buffalo,” David Mamet’s 1977 play about small-town hustlers starring  Darren Criss  , Laurence Fishburne, and Sam Rockwell, will open April 14, 2022 (two years to the day after it was initially scheduled) It is the 47th play scheduled in the 2021-2022 Broadway season!

The 1940 Rodgers and Hart musical “Pal Joey,” is being revived and revised for Broadway’s 20 22-23 season, set in Chicago’s South Side. Directed by Tony Goldwyn and Savion Glover, with a new book by Richard LaGravenese. More on the history of the musical that brought us “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” and starred first Gene Kelly and then Frank Sinatra and then Bob Fosse, from the book Pal Joey: The History of a Heel

A musical based on the YA novel “Between the Lines” will debut Off Broadway at Second Stage in June, 2022. In the best seller, written by Jodi Picoult with her daughter Samantha Van Leer, a teenage bookworm discovers that the fairytale prince in her favorite book is very much alive — and wants her help escaping his literary existence. 

The cast of Skeleton Crew, which is opening January 12 on Broadway’s Samuel J Friedman Theater, will include Brandon J. Dirden, Chanté Adams making her Broadway debut, and Adesola Osakalumi, who join Phylicia Rashad in Dominique Morisseau’s play about auto workers struggling in Detroit, which is being directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. (Noted: Brandon’s brother His brother Jason Dirden was in the Off-Broadway production of the play.)

Ramin Karimloo, Jane Lynch, Jared Grimes are joining Beanie Feldstein in the cast of the revival of Funny Girls, which is scheduled to open at Broadway’s August Wilson Theater on April 24, 2022.

TEDxBroadway will be offered at New World Stages March 8, 2022, at 1 PM ET with a live stream option on Stellar.

Nominations for The Outer Critics Circle Awards  will take place on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Winners will be announced on Monday, May 16, 2022

Theatre Access 2021 — a UK report, surveying 500 theatergoers in need of access, which concludes ” access in theatre is not an optional extra – it’s the only way deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people can engage, contribute and lead. Disabled theatre-lovers aren’t missing, access to theatre is. The pandemic has only heightened disabled inequality and invisibility, and online culture has failed to fulfil its access potential for many…Return and reopening offers a moment to change…”

Is there anybody doing such a report of U.S. theater?

This Week’s Theater Video

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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