Playbill flees. Museum of Broadway pleases. Mike Birbiglia and Kimberly Akimbo diseases. Shucked, Dancin’on Broadway 2023. #Stageworthy News of the Week

Theater is fleeting, which is why the new Museum of Broadway feels long overdue.

Theater twitter seems to be fleeting too – or fleeing, to be more precise.

Playbill’s last Tweet:

Twitter sent me a Tweet reminding me that I signed up as @NewYorkTheater thirteen years ago today. It’s been a good run. Is it running out?

The feeling of impermanence feels especially acute lately, with several new plays and musicals about serious illness and pandemic — with the pandemic cutting one of them short.

One thrilling exception this to the feeling: Watch the concert below by the cast of the Lion King on its 25th anniversary

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Mike Birbiglia The Old Man & The Pool

“The Old Man & The Pool” recalls the title of Hemingway’s novella, “The Old Man and the Sea,” and can be likewise interpreted as being about the struggle against death, except it’s funny. An engaging standup comedian even (especially?) when riffing on uncomfortable subjects like illness and aging and ugly genitalia, Birbiglia, in his fifth comic monologue (the second one on Broadway) has put together a show that’s not his best, but it’s his latest, and that is likely enough for his fans

Kimberly Akimbo

“Kimberly Akimbo” arrives on Broadway with its terrific cast and quirkiness intact. What’s best about this musical remains – above all, the slowly unfolding oddball relationship between two high school misfits, and the wonderful performances by the actors who portray them…the musical might have benefited from paring the various subplots. The problem for me is not primarily the odd pairing of zany comedy with trauma and tragedy (and criminality.)  But add up all these moments and they threaten to overwhelm or at least distract from the heart of “Kimberly Akimbo” —  Kimberly and Seth.”

Where We Belong 

“Where We Belong” is best when Sayet explains the culture and history of her tribe, especially through the stories of family members and individual Mohegan ancestors…. Sayet is more effective as a playwright than a performer, and the effort at a poetic effect…does not mask the gaps in the story that frames the play: Sayer’s personal journey to England to study for a PhD in Shakespeare, which leads to her feeling betrayed. 

Museum of Broadway: 10 things I learned, 11 rooms I liked]

The Week in New York Theater News

The eighth and ninth Broadway show of Spring 2023 season (the 30th and 31st of Broadway 2022-2023) have been scheduled:

Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ (is opening at  Music Box,  March 19, 2023  directed by Wayne Cilento. evival of the 1978 musical revue that had been directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse (and featured Cilento in the cast) with music by some two dozen composers, from Neil Diamond to Johann Sebastian Bach.

Left to right: John Bellman, Alex Newell, Caroline Innerbichler, and Andrew Durand

Shucked is coming to Broadway, opening April 4th at the Nederlander. A worrisome alliance between a hick and a huckster featuring a naïve farmgirl, and a citified con man in this musical that is a collaboration between two Nashville songwriters Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally and the Tony-winning book writer of “Tootsie” Robert Horn. It stars John Behlmann, Kevin Cahoon,, Andrew Durand, Caroline Innerbichler, Ashley D. Kelley, Alex Newell

Gabriel Byrne’s solo show “Walking With Ghosts” will close November 20th, 40 days early. Too bad: I liked this show!

This would be ironic if it weren’t so sad

Because of COVID cases in the company, “Plays For the Plague Year,” written by and co-starring Suzan-Lori Parks, is  on hiatus. It will resume on November 22nd but will then run only until November 27th.

Mamie Gummer and Anthony Edwards join 24 Hour Plays on Broadway “The one-night-only performance will be held at Town Hall on November 21.

The Week’s Theater Video

The cast of the Lion King celebrate its 25th anniversary in NPR Tiny Desk Concert

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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