Broadway Finale. Awards Up The Wazoo. #Stageworthy News of the Week

When the nominations for the Tony Awards are announced tomorrow morning, it will be five days after the five final shows officially opened on Broadway, marking the end of the Broadway 2022-2023 season. The Tonys will be the fifth New York theater award to announce its nominations in a week – coming a week before the Lucille Lortel Awards for Off-Broadway and the Pulitzer Prizes are announced.    Some dizzying days ahead for theater lovers.

Broadway Season Closer Quiz: How well were you paying attention in April? Answer these questions to find out.

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Good Night, Oscar 

Hayes’ beautiful live rendition of Rhapsody in Blue is without question the highlight of “Good Night, Oscar,”… Unfortunately, there were few other highlights for me in this workmanlike production that attempts a portrait of Oscar Levant.… How do you dramatize the complex life of such a complicated man? “Good Night, Oscar” does so primarily by relying on 65-year-old one-liners and a bit of psychodrama during a single TV talk show appearance. Full Review 

Summer 1976 

Laura Linney and Jessica Hecht sit at the same table but don’t look at one another, nor talk to each other, at the beginning of this exquisitely acted production of David Auburn’s gauzy, bittersweet, and largely inert new play.  Instead, in long, alternating monologues addressed to the audience, each actress describes the friendship that their characters Diana and Alice once had – in (you guessed it) the Summer of 1976. ..“Summer, 1976” has the modest lyricism of a short story, albeit one voiced by world-class actresses. It’s no surprise that Audible is planning to release a recording of it as an audiobook.

New York, New York 

It’s not until the very end of the musical that we get the “New York, New York” song in full… It’s the most exhilarating finale I can remember ever experiencing on a Broadway stage…. But the musical is thrilling in ways that go beyond just that song. This brand new but vintage-feeling musical presents an eclectic and electric score…spectacular sets… energetic dance…the bustle, hustle and swirl of New York humanity Full Review 

Hong Kong Mississippi 

In this solo play about a Chinese-American boy named Pinky who wants to be a blues guitarist, Wesley Du portrays more than a dozen characters, nailing their disparate voices…The harshness of Du’s depictions at first seems humorous…but turns ugly…Given how much “Hong Kong Mississippi” centers on Pinky’s infatuation with blues music, it’s surprising that it’s not until hallway through the play that we even see a guitar…And it’s outright disappointing how little Du plays it…. there is so much missed opportunity for authentic dramatic moments Full Review 

The Week in New York Theater Award Nominations

(New York Theater Awards 2023: Guide and Calendar)

Drama League Award 2023 Nominations

Outer Critics Circle Award 2023 Nominations: “New York, New York” Leads.

Drama Desk Award Nominations 2023

2023 Chita Rivera Award Nominations

The Week in New York Theater News

Harmony is finally coming to Broadway! The  Barry Manilow/Bruce Sussman musical about the Comedian Harmonists, which took twenty-five years  to get Off-Broadway (my rave), is set to oopen at the Barrymore on November 13, 2023, with previews starting October 18.

The Shark is Broken,” a comedy about the making of the film Jaws, is coming to Broadway, opening August 10. It is co-written by Ian Shaw (pictured), who stars as his father Robert Shaw, who played “Quint” in the movie.

Two Broadway shows announce extensions: The Thanksgiving Play will now play through June 11, Prima Facie through July 2.

Season 3 of Roundabout’s wonderful series The Refocus Project will begin May 22nd, featuring revived work by Asian American/ Pacific Islander playwrights Prince Gomolvilas, Velina Hasu Houston, Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl, and Anuvab Pal. The series, which this season will be first in person and then online, aims to rethink the theatrical canon – the first two seasons focused on neglected works by African American and Latino playwrights, respectively.

Arts workers are still worse off than they were pre-pandemic, according to a survey of 4,000 of them by Entertainment Community fund (previously Actors Fund) Fifty percent still struggle to find employment, 63 percent have lower income than they did pre-pandemic.

Ruby Aiyo Gerber, 25, poet and nonfiction writer and her mother Lynn Nottage, 58, playwright, screenwriter, talk about their collaboration as librettists on two operas, “This House” and another tentatively called “The Highlands,” both of which deal with intergenerational trauma. Nottage: “Embedded in the themes we’re exploring is our relationship.” (NY Times)

Shakespeare’s First Folio turns 400: what would be lost without the collection? (The Conversation)

In Memoriam

Harry Belafonte, 96, was a huge star in the 1950s as a record-breaking hit singer and Hollywood actor, who then became a force in the civil rights movement. His Broadway debut in 1953 in “John Murray Anderson’s Almanac” (pictured left) won him a Tony Award  and helped launch his stellar career.

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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