Happy World Theater Day. DeVito, Smash on Broadway. #Stageworthy News of the Week

In honor of World Theater Day, celebrated internationally every March 27th since 1962, here are some beautiful theaters from around the world:

Theater isn’t just the buildings in which it takes place. The word “theater” comes from a Greek verb meaning ‘to behold’.

Marble disk with two theater masks in relief, 1st century Roman

World Theater Day Message, from playwright Martyna Majok:

To make theatre is to fight against death.
Against forgetting and being forgotten.
Against indifference to our existence.
Or hatred of it.

(see complete video below)

The Week in New York Theater Reviews


the Broadway revival of “Parade,” is a reexamination of the 1998 Broadway musical inspired by the true story of Leo Frank, a Jewish manager of a pencil factory in Atlanta, Georgia who was lynched in 1915. …The show I saw this week struck me as sophisticated musically, intensely acted and gorgeously sung, with a grand 17-piece orchestra and a large splendid cast. (Hear the new Broadway cast album below.)   Certainly, a story involving antisemitism is timely. But “Parade,” despite the revisions, also feels undermined by some of the same problems identified in the initial production…

Bad Cinderella

It takes great liberties with the fairy tale, sexing it up, setting it to loud pop music, replacing the familiar story with a berserk comic plot and a twist that reflects 21st century progressive mores.  But doesn’t “& Juliet” do the same thing to “Romeo and Juliet”?  Doesn’t “Into The Woods’ also fracture fairy tales?  Doesn’t “Six” put a loud contemporary spin on an old story? It slowly occurred to me that the similarities may not be a coincidence – that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s thirteenth new Broadway musical, opening the day after his 75th birthday, may be his attempt to stay hip. Whatever his motives, “Bad Cinderella” is Lloyd Webber’s least original musical. 

The Week in New York Theater News

Danny DeVito returns to Broadway as a hoarder forced to clean up his mess in “I Need That,” by Theresa Rebeck at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater in Oct. 2023, with daughter Lucy DeVito & Ray Anthony Thomas in cast, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel.

 Also newly announced for Roundabout’s new Broadway season is a spring 2024 revival of Samm-Art Williams’ 1980 Tony-nominated play “Home,” directed by Kenny Leon: Cephus Miles has the whole world in his callused hands—until his sweetheart Pattie Mae goes off to college and marries another man. Roundabout’s Off-Broadway season will feature: The Refugee Plays by Nathan Alan Davis, Covenant by York Walker, Jonah by Rachel Bonds.

Streaming Could Help Broadway Bounce Back – but There Are Obstacles in the Great White Way (The Wrap)
“Even as Broadway heads into its busy spring season, a lack of audience accessibility due to geography and high ticket prices remains a critical issue for New York City’s 41 theaters looking to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic’s lingering impacts on tourism and large gatherings. There are also a vast number of potential theatergoers who might only learn about a show and become motivated to see it if it’s available to stream.”

Smash the TV series is being adapted for Broadway! “Slated” for 2024-2025 season, it will feature music by Marc Shaiman; Lyrics by Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman, a ook by Rick Elice & Bob Martin, choreography by Joshua Bergasse, direction by Susan Stroman

Seven years after her death at age 64, Elizabeth Swados’ unconventional musical “The Beautiful Lady” is finally getting its New York debut at La MaMa directed by Anne Bogart, opening May 8th. Set in the historic Stray Dog café in St. Petersburg, Russia, This Beautiful Lady explores “the power of art and the delicate nature of free speech.” The café was a popular meeting spot for poets, writers, performers, and other artists between 1911 and 1915. There they pushed the boundaries of art and language as part of a revolution that would eventually turn on them

“Bathhouse.pptx,” a play  by Jesús Valles that explores queer history, has won the Yale Drama Series Prize, chosen by judge Jeremy O. Harris. Valles, a Mexican immigrant from Ciudad Juaraz who is pursuing an M.F.A. in playwriting at Brown University, described “Bathhouse.pptx” by saying, “This work is a group project for perverts. Somewhere between lecture, re-enactment, and cruising ground, an informative presentation on the history of cleanliness and bathing starts to burst at the seams with the ghosts of a bathhouse at the end of the world.”

Candrice Jones has been awarded the 2023 Kesselring Prize for Playwriting, for the play “Flex” which is coming to Lincoln Center in June. The play follows an Arkansas all-girls high school basketball team in 1997 juggling aspirations of going pro in the WNBA and the pressures of being young, Black, and female in rural Arkansas

This Week’s Theater Video

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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