2023 Oscar Nominees Who Are Broadway Veterans! NEA chief on changes since the pandemic. #Stageworthy News of the Week

Nine of the 20 Oscar nominees for performance announced this morning are veterans of Broadway. (Full list of nominations) They are:

Actor in a Leading Role
Austin Butler (Elvis) made his Broadway debut in 2018 in “The Iceman Cometh
Brendan Fraser (The Whale) made his Broadway debut in 2010 in “Elling” (which closed seven days after it opened, but I saw it and LIKED it.)
Bill Nighy (Living) is a two-time Broadway veteran, most recently in Skylight.

Actor in a Supporting Role
Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway) was on Broadway in The Book of Mormon and Lobby Hero
Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans) is a ten-time Broadway veteran and two time Tony winner.

Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett (Tar) made her Broadway debut in “The Present”
Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans) has been on Broadway in “Cabaret” and “Blackbird”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), three-time Broadway veteran, most recently in The Mountaintop
Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once), two-time veteran, in SpongeBob SquarePants, and Be More Chill

(Check out Broadway at the Oscars Quiz)

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Small Talk 

Both Colin Quinn’s analysis of small talk, and his examples of it, turn out to be fascinating, fresh and funny. If only “Small Talk” had focused on its titular subject exclusively.  


Maya Lin was still a college student when her design was selected out of more than 1,400 entries for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., which resulted in criticism, conflict, delay and compromise, all of which she fought to overcome.

“Memorial,” a low-key, imperfect but resonant play produced by Pan Asian Repertory at A.R.T./New York Theatres through February 19,  dramatizes this forty-year-old story. It is a tale told before: The architect was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary in 1996, “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision.”  But, as “Memorial” playwright Livian Yeh makes clear, the story continues to offer an opportunity to contemplate some deep, unresolved strains in American history and culture, not least of which is anti-Asian prejudice.

Otto Frank

There is an implicit promise – and welcome timing! — of having an old Jewish man, embodiment of the ravages of antisemitism, interpreted by Smith, an African American actor and writer,.I found so many of the disparate verses in “Otto Frank”  admirable – evidence of a politically-informed imagination and a lyrical sensibility – that I wish “Otto Frank” had worked better for me as a whole.

The Week in New York Theater News


“Room” is coming to Broadway, starring Adrienne Warren. Emma Donoghue’s harrowing novel, which she turned into a film, and now a play with music (first produced in the UK in 2017), tells the story of a young boy raised in a shed where he and his mother are held captive by a sexual predator. It will open April 17 at James Earl Jones Theater, it is the 16th  show scheduled for the Spring, 2023 Broadway season.

New cast announced for Camelot, which opens April 12th at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater : Dakin Matthews (as Merlyn/Pellinore), Taylor Trensch (as Mordred), Marilee Talkington (as Morgan Le Fey), Anthony Michael Lopez (as Sir Dinadan), Fergie Philippe (as Sir Sagramore), and Danny Wolohan (as Sir Lionel)

They join Andrew Burnap (as Arthur), Phillipa Soo (as Guenevere), and Jordan Donica (as Lancelot Du Lac) in this new take on the Lerner and Lowe musical, with a new book by Aaron Sorkin, based on the original book by Alan Jay Lerner, and direction by Bartlett Sher, 

8 Things to Understand About Digital Theater Now, According to Jared Mezzocchi

Theater Blog Roundup: Assessing 2022. Rebuilding. Reminiscing. Retiring?

Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts Maria Rosario Jackson addressing the 2023 conference of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals: 

Her speech starts shortly after 11:00 and ends about 33:00, after which there is a question and answer session.


“Coming back from the pandemic is an opportunity to reimagine how we work, how we can improve on past practices to make opportunities for arts participation more relevant, accessible and equitable across this country.” 

The importance of arts for the nation

“None of the things that we aspire to as a nation … are possible or durable without the arts and related work. The arts help us make sense of the world, offer us different ways of thinking, feeling, and being. They’re a source of inspiration and innovation; they help us protect and advance our humanity and the humanity of our neighbors, and the arts are critically important to our well-being as individuals, as communities and as a country.” 

The arts mean more than professional production
 “Our concept of art and cultural engagement has to be expansive. It includes, very importantly, professional production for the consumption of art, but it can’t only be limited to that. It must also include making, doing, teaching, learning… It has to include art as part of our daily, lived experience. We have to recognize that art process can be as important as ,or in some cases even more important than, art product. Sometimes that’s hard to fathom. At the NEA, we just added ‘creative process’ to our definition of artistic excellence…

New ways of working

”Artists have created new ways of working, constructing their careers, and they are working outside of their lane, as they should be.”

Digital theater continues

“While some of the new ways of working may have been born out of hardship, I’m heartened by the fact that new and first-time audience members have attended events virtually, and that available technology makes it possible to keep these audiences engaged.  Many of the projects we’re seeing in grant applications are working to meet audiences where they live, and there’s evidence of thinking differently about the possible connection between virtual participation and live engagement.”  

NEA as a National Resource

We will continue to be a funder, as we’re known primarily, but we also emphasize our role as a national resource for creating and bolstering health arts ecosystems that contribute to building communities…where people can live artful lives….This includes leveraging our relationships with other federal agencies, like the Department of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation, identifying ways in which the arts can contribute in these realms and also unlock new opportunities for arts organizations and artists….We have the ability to conduct research about the role of arts in our society including focusing on well-being.

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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