#Oscars Hidden Theater Connections. New Michael Jackson in MJ. #Stageworthy News of the Week

Connecting Oscars to theater news: A24, the film company that had the best night — with its seven awards for “Everything All At Once,” including Best Picture and three of the four performance awards, and its “The Whale” winning the fourth performance award and another for makeup and hairstyling — just bought the Cherry Lane, iconic avant-garde Off-Broadway theater in the West Village. (Cherry Lane Theater History and Hollywood Connection)

And, to stretch this a bit, Tony Curtis was discovered at the Cherry Lane in 1948. Her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, is one of those who won an Oscar

Also, Brendan Fraser was a Broadway veteran, albeit briefly (Elling Review: Brendan Fraser, Denis O’Hare as Odd Norwegian Odd Couple, 2010), and the screenwriter for “The Whale” was the playwright Samuel D. Hunter adapting his own play. (The Whale: Screen vs. Stage, or why I loved the play, but not the movie)
And, not surprising, Baz Luhrmann, director of the movie “Elvis,” told Variety on the Oscars “champagne carpet” he is planning to do a stage adaptation for Broadway. “A bit like ‘Moulin Rouge!,’ there will be an Elvis stage musical; we’re getting into that right now.” 

Oscar Winners 2023

Oscar Nominations 2023

10 Best Picture Oscar Nominees as viewed by a theater critic

Poll: Which Best Picture Oscar Nominee Would Be Best and Worst On Broadway?

2023 Oscar Nominees Who Are Broadway Veterans!

Broadway at the Oscars Quiz

Commentary by Michelle Yeoh: The Crisis That Changed My Life 8 Years Ago Keeps Happening (NY Times)
She writes about being caught in an earthquake in Nepal, and how such crises “expose deep existing inequalities. Those living in poverty, especially women and girls, bear the brunt.”

Commentary by Isaac Butler: “There is no award for “best sound editing by a female” or “best screenplay by a gentleman.” So why are acting awards split up this way? (NY Times)

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Puppetopia Festival: Deeper Closer Warmer

a fun hour of puppet monster mayhem, is the creation of identical twin brothers Pablo and Efrain Del Hierro from Santurce, Puerto Rico who for more than a decade, as Poncili Creación (emphasis on silly), have given life to huge goofy monsters and tiny hyperactive critters. They work their anarchic charm together with The Daxophone Consort, the oddest-ever three-member musical band, in this centerpiece of the second annual Puppetopia festival, which is showcasing five new works of puppetry at HERE Arts Center through March 25.

Dark Disabled Stories

the most accessible play I’ve ever attended; it even expands the concept of accessible, and certainly drives it home. Much of the show is also hilarious. Some of the stories are raunchy or foul-mouthed; some are suspenseful; some make us feel exasperated along with Ryan. “Dark Disabled Stories” is rarely dark. It is always entertaining, and eye-opening.

The Week in New York Theater News

Broadway shut down three years ago this week, and reopened eighteen months later – so it’s now been reopened as long as it was shut down.  Charlotte St. Martin on the state of Broadway: “we are well on our way to recovery. We’re not at 100 percent yet, but we haven’t had to close down. We’ve kept everybody employed since September of ’21.” (Broadway News)

Some things have changed because of the pandemic. One of them is the continued existence, despite reports to the contrary, of digital theater.

Digital theater is still here! 6 Innovators Who Persist.

Broadway newcomer Elijah Rhea Johnson will take over the role of Michael Jackson in MJ on Broadway beginning April 4, 2023, two days after Myles Frost departs the role that won him a Tony after a year and a half. A native of Detroit, he starred as Young Simba in the touring production of “The Lion King” at nine years old.

Here Lies Love turning Broadway Theater into a disco – sort of

This promises to be the first immersive theater on Broadway since Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. (Read my post: “What is Immersive Theater? The Six Elements That Define It At Its Best.”)

The cast of Peter Pan Goes Wrong will feature Bartley Booz as Dennis (March 17 – April 9), Matthew Cavendish as Max, Bianca Horn as Jill, Harry Kershaw as Francis, Chris Leask as Trevor, Henry Lewis as Robert, Ellie Morris as Lucy, Charlie Russell as Sandra, Jonathan Sayer as Dennis (starting April 11), Henry Shields as Chris, Greg Tannahill as Jonathan and Nancy Zamit as Annie. The company is completed by Ryan Vincent Anderson, Stephen James Anthony, Fred Gray, and Brenann Stacker.

Women producers on Broadway (New York Public Library)

In Memoriam

Chaim Topol, 87, actor, singer and illustrator, who portrayed Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway and in the movies.

Joan Shepard, 91, actress and children’s theater producer

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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