10 Theater Stories of 2022. #Stageworthy News

“on hiatus”→closed. (e.g.)

mask mandatory→mask optional.

Brooks Atkinson→Lena Horne; Cort→James Earl Jones.


Sara Porkalob vs. 1776.

Lillias White vs. disabled theatergoer at Hadestown

Garth Drabinsky vs Actors Equity Association over Paradise Square.

Patti LuPone vs. Actors Equity over 50 years

The Musical Theater Album  Grammy for a musical never on stage.

The Pulitzer Prize for Drama for a play never on stage.

Will we even know what we were talking about in 2022, this back-to-normal year that wound up anything but normal? Will any of these stories enter Broadway or New York City lore, or will they  fade from memory to make room for strange new stories in the new year?  

The Week (and Year) In New York Theater Reviews

Between Riverside and Crazy 

It’s hard not to fall instantly in love with Pops at the beginning of this must-see Broadway production of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning play by Stephen Adly Guirgis, the playwright laureate of streetwise New Yorkers….As subtle in its craft as it is blunt in its language — and performed by a first-rate cast — the play is likely to make you delight in all the New Yorkers on stage in the first act…and then force you to question your initial judgement in the second. Full Review   

The Collaboration 

a showcase for the memorable performances by two formidable actors, who go beyond simple impersonation. …[but a] script that can feel surprisingly clunky, in both moments of exposition and in the overall plot, which is largely predictable, even as the actors somehow redeem it. Full Review

Top 10 Lists of Top 10 Theater in 2022

“A Strange Loop,’ is the most acclaimed show among theater critics whose lists of top 10 New York theater for 2022 are featured below. Following close behind is “Oratorio for Living Things” and then three shows that were each selected in half of the ten lists: “A Case for the Existence of God,” ‘Kimberly Akimbo,” and “Into The Woods.”

Memorable Moments on Stage in 2022

The Week in New York Theater News

Radio City Musical Hall Christmas Spectacular

Holiday Season: “After two years of Christmastime washouts…so far so good” (NYTimes Dec 21):

“Of course there are still viruses in the air this year: public health officials are warning of a “tripledemic” of the coronavirus, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, known as R.S.V. Covid cases and hospitalizations have risen nationally since Thanksgiving, and New York’s mayor, Eric Adams, donned a face mask on Tuesday as he urged New Yorkers to take precautions. One new Broadway play, “The Collaboration,” had to cancel several performances this week, including its opening night, after someone in the company tested positive for the coronavirus.
But with Christmas just days away, there have yet to be the wholesale closings that marred last year. And now most people over six months old can be vaccinated, and there is a new bivalent vaccine, lowering both risk and anxiety.
“’We learned a lot from last year: there are more understudies in place, there is more crew coverage, and we have contingency plans that feel more spelled out’” said [Eva Price, a Broadway producer whose musical last year, “Jagged Little Pill,” permanently closed as Omicron bore down, but whose new musical, “& Juliet,” is thriving as this year’s holidays near.]

In Memoriam: Theater Community Members Who Died in 2022

“Almost Famous” will play its final performance on Broadway on Sunday, January 8, 2023, after 30 preview and 77 regular performances . (The 2000 movie from which the musical is adapted will live on in several streaming services)

“The Collaboration,” which has been shut down since opening night last Tuesday because of a case of COVID-19 in the cast, plans to resume performances today (December 26)

After “Ain’t No Mo'” posted a closing notice of December 18, just 17 days after it opened, playwright Jordan E. Cooper launched a campaign to keep it alive. A string of celebrities bought tickets to distribute for free, which wound up extending the show five days. It closed on December 23rd.

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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