Broadway Week 2-for-1 tickets launches today through February 12, a traditional fallow period in New York theater, but one full of hope this year, judging from the announcements this past week of two more shows headed for Broadway, and the speeches from Senator Charles Schumer, Brian Stokes Mitchell (“Reconnecting people to their joy”) et al at the annual conference of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, The Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin boasted that it’s been a good week for Broadway – the first to gross a billion dollars this season — and the 22 shows that opened in 2022 and 16 more scheduled so far in the Spring, and added:
“Of course I can’t say that we’re back to where we were on March 12 2020 when we shut down, but we’re pretty darn close. We’re at 85 to 88 percent of where we were. And we’re very fortunate that domestic tourism has definitely helped overcome the loss of all of the international travelers but the international travelers were 14 to 20 percent of our audience. So we believe we’ll have them back by 2025 according to the research from NYC & Company. That is of course if our nasty visitor called COVID doesn’t wreak havoc on us once again.”
For a less upbeat perspective, read this interview with Barry Grove, who is retiring as executive producer from Manhattan Theater Club after 48 years: “It’s now clear that we’re still not out of the woods on the pandemic aftereffects…If ever there was a time to support your local theater, whichever one that is, now is the time to do that.”
The Week in New York Theater Reviews
Kaneza Schaal describes her show in a program note as “an exorcism, in theater, starring one of the villains of the 19th century, [King Leopold II], whose actions resonate through the present day.” A failed extended scene in “KLII” that combines three intellectual texts about King Leopold II is especially exasperating because the other half of the 65-minute production is so theatrically inviting and emotionally memorable.
A middle aged man hires a teenager for sex in a cheap Dublin hotel, but both the older man (Marc Kudisch) and the younger man (Kyle Bielfield) actually want something else. A woman (Naomi Louisa O’Connell) explains from prison why she killed her husband….Each made me struggle with some basic questions, starting with: Why are these operas?
What was most jaw-dropping about “Mothermotherland,” which was presented for free through January 15 at A.R.T./New York Theatres, was not that Audrey Rose Dégez breastfed her baby on stage, but that the baby in question, 11-month-old Lili Maritchka Dégez, had been part of the show for the entire hour before that, engaging actively with her mother and the four other actresses in this theater piece inspired by an incomprehensibly brutal story from Ukraine. Full review
The Week in New York Theater News
“Parade” is coming to Broadway . The New York City Center production of the Alfred Uhry/ Jason Robert Brown musical about Leo Frank starring Ben Platt is opening March 16. It is the 15th scheduled show for the Broadway Spring 2023 season
“Here Lies Love,” the musical about the rise and fall of former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos, will open on Broadway this summer. Previews will begin on June 17 ahead of an official opening night on July 20 at the Broadway Theater. Casting has not yet been announced. My review of the 2013 Public Theater production
The original cast recording of Some Like It Hot will be recorded this month and released on March 24 on streaming and digital platforms worldwide, with physical release to follow.
“Between Riverside and Crazy“, which takes place in a grand rent-controlled Upper West Side apartment building, was inspired by the apartment occupied by playwright Stephen Adly Guirgus, and was developed at readings with well-known actors there. (NY Times)
How theater can teach our kids to be empathetic (Washington Post)
Among the 17 productions being given a total of $725,000 as winners of the 2022-23 Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards are five recently and soon-to-be produced in New York:
Atlantic Theater Company
The Far Country
Atlantic Theater Company
The Public Theater
Roundabout Theatre Company
Letters from Max
Signature Theatre Company