“The Wiz” announced its opening date in April, starring Nichelle Lewis as Dorothy, Deborah Cox as Glinda and Melody A. Betts (featured in this first photograph above) as Aunt Em and Evillene, The musical revival joins an expanding line-up for the Broadway 2023-2024 season, which heats up this week with “PURLIE VICTORIOUS” opening tomorrow and “Melissa Etheridge: My Window” the next day.
Meanwhile, there is a changing of the guard behind the scenes in Broadway’s non-profit theaters. (See details below.)
The Week in New York Theater Reviews
Hrotsvitha, a German canoness who wrote in Latin, intended “Abraham, or Fall and Redemption of Mary” to glorify Christian virtue…while Horwitz, a queer Jewish woman writing eleven centuries later, wants her adaptation to get laughs. I’ll confess it was mostly other theatergoers who laughed…but I did find the script pointed and witty, and the use of an all-female cast clever, and that itself was a kind of redemption. Full Review
During the second of the five concerts that are launching the new performing arts center at the World Trade Center, the violinist Trina Basu went up to the microphone after her set and said aloud the words that were suddenly projected on the backdrop: “Talk to someone in the audience, but someone you don’t know, and share a moment with them where you understood another person’s faith in a new way.”
Oh no. This was what I was afraid of….
some kind of allegory about war and totalitarian/military/theocratic societies, although the audience is left to piece together uncertainly the answers to basic questions, such as who, what, when, where, and why. Far clearer, and more rewarding, is the riff promised by the title: Though not directly enumerated, and more often implied than spelled out, we are encouraged to contemplate silence in some of its many uses and meanings …. Full Review
Half of what happens in “Prometheus Firebringer” is extraordinary, unprecedented. But you wouldn’t know that just by watching what’s on stage … you need the other half of it, writer and performer Annie Dorsen sitting at a desk on the other side of the stage, reading aloud an essay that explains that everything Stage Right – the script, the heads, the voices — is generated by Artificial Intelligence. Full Review
The Week in New York Theater News
Changing of the guard:
Second Stage artistic director Carole Rothman announced last week that she will step down at the end of the season, her 45th.
The next day, Lincoln Center Theater artistic director André Bishop announced he will step down at the end of the season, his 33rd.
These two lead two of the four non-profit theaters on Broadway – Lincoln Center running the Vivian Beaumont, and Second Stage the Helen Hayes theater.
What of the other two?
Roundabout Theater Company, which operates three Broadway houses, including the American Airlines, the Stephen Sondheim and Studio 54, is being led by an interim artistic director following the death in April of Todd Haimes, who led Roundabout for four decades
Manhattan Theater Club, which runs the Samuel F. Friedman Theater on Broadway, has been led for fifty years by artistic director Lynne Meadows. There are no reports talk that she’s thinking of stepping down, but she is 76, and her longtime manager director Barry Grove, who is 71, retired in June.
The 15th Annual United Solo Theatre Festival begins today
Tim Daly, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Lea DeLaria, Austin Pendleton to star in Tennessee Williams’s “Night of the Iguana” directed by Emily Mann, La Femme Productions at Signature Dec 6 – Feb 25, opening Dec 17
“Dead Outlaw,” Audible Theater’s first commissioned musical, will run from February 28-April 7. The musical has a book by Itamar Moses, music and lyrics by Erik Della Penna and David Yazbek, and direction by David Cromer, reuniting the Tony-winning creative team of The Band’s Visit
Jeremy O. Harris, Before and After Slave Play: Harris has forged an unlikely career with sharp institutional critiques. Now he’s almost an institution onto himself an institution . (The New Yorker)