Broadway 2023 Shapes Up. Off Broadway Heats Up. Sondheim Salvaged. #Stageworthy News of the Week

Broadway 2023 is shaping up, even as Fall 2022 heats up, with eight Broadway shows having opened in October, six more scheduled to do so in November, and Off Broadway featuring new plays with big stars as well as classics with new takes.

Opening dates for three new Broadway shows were announced last week:

 •“Pictures From Home,” starring Nathan Lane, Danny Burstein and Zoë Wanamaker in an adaptation of the photo memoir by the late photographer Larry Sultan about his parents, opening February 9 at Studio 54

•“Life of Pi,” Lolita Chakrabarti’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel about a teenager on a lifeboat with four animals, opening March 30 at Gerald Schoenfeld Theater

•“New York, New York,” loosely based on Martin Scorsese’s 1977 movie, opening April 26 at the St. James Theater.

For details and links check out my Broadway 2022-2023 Season Preview Guide

A fourth show is the first of the 2022-2023 season:  “Back to the Future The Musical” will open at the Winter Garden August 3, 2023. Based on the 1985 movie, it will star Roger Bart as Doc Brown and Hugh Coles as George McFly. (Casting of Marty McFly yet to be announced.)

Theater Quiz for October 2022

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Walking With Ghosts

Walking With Ghosts,” Gabriel Byrne’s solo show based on his memoir, is modest, with quiet humor and gentle pathos — which is exactly why it’s so wonderful. Even on Broadway, modesty can be a virtue. Full review

Straight Line Crazy 

Ralph Fiennes nails Robert Moses – the gruff, no-nonsense New York voice, the pugnacious face, the planted stance ready for combat; pelvis thrust forward. Confident to the point of hubris, Fiennes brings to life a man dead forty years who was the most powerful New Yorker of the twentieth century…It takes a certain amount of confidence, though perhaps not to the point of hubris, to bring David Hare’s play to New York Full Review 

A Raisin in the Sun

The portrayal of Walter Lee Younger as a drunk is one of director Robert O’Hara’s many conspicuous choices…. Some of his changes work well, especially a couple of outright additions that provide eye-opening historical context ..Other touches, most also meant to deepen the story, prove to be more distracting. But what’s most effective about this production of “A Raisin in the Sun” is not the obvious handiwork by the director. It is the core of capable if not always outstanding acting, led by the almost unrecognizable Tonya Pinkins giving a powerful performance as the matriarch Lena Younger. It is also a design team quietly attentive to the inner lives of the characters. Their competence allows Lorraine Hansberry’s craft to emerge,… Full Review

Hound Dog 

“Hound Dog,” a play with music, evokes Elvis, Joni Mitchell and “Ramy” the Hulu series about an Egyptian-American immigrant family in New Jersey (the last unintentionally) — which provide the main pleasures in a world premiere that needs work. In this play written by Melis Aker, a character we know only as Hound Dog (Ellena Eshraghi) is a musician who has returned after college in the U.S. to her home in Ankara, Turkey, feeling numbed and alienated. ..We eventually figure out that Hound Dog hasn’t fully processed her grief at the death of her mother a year earlier, and is also probably experiencing culture shock after her years away.  The problem with the play is that the playwright doesn’t seem to have fully processed Hound Dog’s grief and culture shock either…Full Review 

Book Review: Finale: Late Conversations with Stephen Sondheim

In 2016, Stephen Sondheim, who was working on a new musical based on two movies by Luis Buñuel,  was listed on an internal memo at the New Yorker Magazine as a possible subject for a profile. Staff writer D.T. Max signed up. The two met five times over the next several years, but neither the musical nor the profile had happened by the time Sondheim died on November 26, 2021 at the age of 91….Two and a half months later, the New Yorker published an article with an edited and condensed but still lengthy version of Max’s interviews with Sondheim, in Q&A format…D.T. Max’s expansion of that article, hooked to the first anniversary of the composer’s death. is an embarrassing book… It’s hard to avoid concluding that “Finale” is a salvage job, selling to the public the raw material of an aborted project now that Sondheim can no longer object..Full Review

The Week in New York Theater News

Katie Holmes will star as a movie star (not a stretch) in “The Wanderers” a play by Anna Ziegler about a newly wed Orthodox Jewish couples, and a secular Jew who unexpected email from a movie star puts his marriage to the test . The play will begin performances on January 26, 2023 and open on February 16 Off-Broadway at Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theater.

Denee Benton reprises her role as Cinderella November 22 through December 24 in “Into The Woods,” which has been extended for a final time through January 8, 2023.

NaTasha Yvette Williams and company members at rehearsal for “Some Like It Hot”

Some Like It Hot digital lottery announced for $45. Rush tickets on the day of the performance, $40. The musical begins previews November 1, and opens December 11.

New York Stage Productions Are Feeling the Strain of Supply Shortages (Hyperallergic)
Rising costs and a shortage of material are hobbling theatrical productions across the city. “Scene shops and lighting and sound shops got rid of a lot of their equipment during the shutdown. They sold it or did other things, so there’s literally not enough equipment on the shelves to go around.”

Luis Miranda Jr. — a political consultant and activist whose son, Lin-Manuel Miranda, composed one of the Public Theater’s biggest hits, “Hamilton” was named chair of the Public Theater’s board.

Maya Lin will design a $42 million building for Bard College that that will provide studios for its Fisher Center’s dance, theater, opera and orchestral performances.

An actor on her experience while in the cast of “I’m Revolting”, advocating for a more responsive theater.
Portia: “I told the technical director that I was asthmatic and couldn’t work with fog as it was a trigger.”

A theater editor on his experience, advocating for a more accessible theater:

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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