The Arts #StandWithUkraine. #Stageworthy News of the Week

Many are speaking out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, an independent nation of 44 million people with its own language, history and culture, including more than 400 theaters.

Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live’s “cold open” featured the song “Prayer for Ukraine” performed by Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra played the Ukrainian national anthem (see videos below). The Metropolitan Opera announced that it will cut ties with all performers and institutions who support Russian President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Among the many who spoke out for Ukraine at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last night, Brian Cox praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, pointing out he is a former actor, “a wonderful comic performer,” and urging Hollywood to support Russian actors who are taking risks by speaking out against the invasion.  Artists of many stripes are using the colors of the Ukrainian flag, yellow and blue, to make statements in support. Veselka, the Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village, has turned their famous black and white cookies into yellow and blue.

George Takei: The Ukraine resistance makes this old heart soar with hope.
John Patrick Shanley: The Ukrainians make me proud to be a human being

New York Theater Quiz for February 2022

The Week in New York Theater Reviews


Sandblasted begins with a woman buried in the sand, and you immediately think: Beckett’s “Happy Days.” She doesn’t remain buried, though,  and another woman pops up out of the sand next to her, and just as soon as she does, her arm drops off.  Losing body parts, we learn, is a common occurrence in the world created by playwright Charly Evon Simpson, which is why the two Black women, Angela and Odessa (Brittany Bellizeare and Marinda Anderson),  seek out Adah (Rolonda Watts), an older Black woman whose body parts have stayed intact, which has turned her into a celebrity…As in much of Beckett’s work, Simpson’s play requires patience, and depends on good acting to bring out the humor in what is otherwise a grim, apocalyptic scenario….the actors deliver…Still, for all of its appeal, the production by the end of its 100 minutes felt too long,  too repetitive, too vague. 

The Daughter-in-Law

While D.H. Lawrence was working on “Sons and Lovers,” his most popular novel, he wrote “The Daughter-in-Law,” the first of his eight plays, which (unlike his novels) was neither published nor produced during his lifetime. Gritty, odd, oddly gripping, sometimes subtly comic and often impenetrable, it is set in 1912, during the first national strike by coal miners in the United Kingdom, and focuses on a coal miner named Luther, his bossy mother Mrs. Gascoyne, and his new wife Minnie, an ex-governess, who doesn’t seem to like her husband at all: “You’re not a man, you’re not. You’re something crawling,”  The Mint Theater Company, justly celebrated for bringing neglected old plays back to life, reportedly had great success when it produced Lawrence’s play in 2003. Now, “The Daughter-In-Law” returns, in a production that is uniformly and manifestly well-acted, and effectively designed — but, at the same time, for me at least, a little too authentic…The characters speak a dialect that’s hard to decipher.

The Week in New York Theater News

Kimberly Akimbo is transferring to Broadway, cast intact, in Fall 2022 (planned opening November 10.) David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori’s musical adaptation of his own play stars Victoria Clark as a teenager who suffers from a condition that makes her age prematurely, and look 70.

The 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Award winners included Broadway veterans Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Ariana DeBose for West Side Story, Troy Kotsur for Coda and Jean Smart for Hacks

Mayor Eric Adams announced Sunday that his administration would end its vaccination mandate requirements on March 7 as long as Covid-19 case numbers continue to trend downward

Covid is not over:

LuPone will not return to perform in “Company” until at least March 8th. Jennifer Simard, who usually plays Sarah, went on in Patti’s place as Joanne this weekend

Broadway conductor Joel Fram, musical director for “Company,” chronicles his struggles with long Covid (NYTimes)

What The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Gets Right About Broadway in Season 4

The Week’s Videos

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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