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Amy, Uma or Chloe? Terrorist Attempt in Times Square. More Theater Harassment. The Week in NY Theater.

As if to underscore what a demoralizing year this has been, theater lovers can’t just snuggle up with the rash of new openings, usual holiday season sentimentality and end-of-year assessments – such as which blonde star made the most impressive Broadway debut? Disturbing news just keeps on coming, including an explosive device set off this morning in Port Authority Bus Terminal, and more about harassment in the theater, including a credible accusation against Dustin Hoffman while on Broadway.

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Sexual Harassment in the Theater. Also: Lin-Manuel Miranda in Fatwa the Musical. Gyllenhaal sings to Sondheim. Armie Hammer, Reggie Jackson On Stage. Week in NY Theater

You are not alone. That was the message of  the Town Hall on sexual harassment in the theater that was held on Monday at the Public Theater, which included both comments from dozens of people from the theater community, and a list of resources (See below.) The convening occurred amid a growing accumulation of public accusations, the latest a well-known playwright and a casting agent.

Also this week in New York theater: Lin-Manuel Miranda performs in Fatwa the Musical (in Curb Your Enthusiasm),Armie Hammer to make his Broadway debut, Reggie Jackson joins a musical, the Broadway League escalates fight with casting agents, Marlee Matlin at the Broadway Accessibility Summit, the Boss extends, the Butterfly ends early;  November’s quiz, December’s openings. And Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford record “Move On” while Stephen Sondheim reacts.

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Cyber Monday for Theater Lovers 2017. Broadway on Parade. Week in NY Theater

Cyber Monday deals are not just for gadgetry. They extend to shows, as offered by theaters and ticket services. This week in New York Theater: Broadway stars give Thanksgiving greetings, Broadway on Parade (watch Lea Salonga sing “The Human Heart”  from Once on This Island and the new Evan Hansen Noah Galvin sing “You Will Be Found”);  the theater community takes a stand against harassment, Pretty Woman gets a date, and how smelling helps you act and singing show tunes helps you stay sane. Also: how to ruin a musical with just one letter.

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Bye, Ben Platt. Hi, Evan Hansen Book. The Future of Theater? Thanksgiving Week in NY Theater

Ben Platt left “Dear Evan Hansen,” the Tony-winning musical that made him a star. That was yesterday. Tomorrow marks the publication of the  behind-the-scenes book and libretto of the musical, “Dear Evan Hansen: Through The Window.” My review

Platt told People, who named him Sexiest Broadway Performer of the Year (Sexiest Man Alive was already taken) about “TV things in the works” and a pop album and “I’d love to do some film, of course.”  But what about Broadway? Is theater in his future?

Is theater in anybody’s future? That’s the question I was wondering about when I attended the Future of Storytelling Festival, which I wrote about in HowlRound. One answer I got: “I believe the future is less about what ‘live theater’ is or isn’t, and more about the further blurring of lines of categorization.” People will be less clear about the difference between “theater” and “live performance” and “immersive” and “public art” and “interactive”….

Evidence that it’s already happening:

 

A Night at the Theater From Your Couch? No Apologies Needed.

 

Still, one can believe that live theater as we know it will stick around for a while, in the week after The Lion King celebrated its 20th anniversary on Broadway, and the week when the nation will get to see floats and performances from Broadway shows during the 91st Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and then will buy tickets to see them live (What to see on Broadway during Thanksgiving Week) — and when there’s so much theater news and reviews, below:

 

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Lin-Manuel Miranda Back in Hamilton. King Kong Meets Harry Potter. Week in New York Theater

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s efforts to aid Puerto Rico in recovering from Hurricane Maria took the logical next step during his visit there this past week, when he announced his return to his starring role in Hamilton, in a production in Puerto Rico, scheduled to run from January 8 to 27, 2019 at the University of Puerto Rico’s Teatro UPR. “I have a year and a bit to remember the words.”

Hamilton’s costume designer Paul Tazewell will also have time to make him a new outfit. His original was donated to the Smithsonian, and will be on display there starting in March.

If any number of stars, directors and producers might be described as Broadway’s proverbial 800-pound gorilla (they can sit wherever they want), that odd phrase is getting a literal meaning, with the announcement that King Kong the musical is finally scheduled for Broadway, featuring a very heavy puppet. Below, details on this and other announcements — about Kelli O’Hara, Daphne Rubin Vega, Mabou Mines, Stephen Sondheim’s long-remembered advice, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s next and “most boring” project.

 

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Surviving the Bad News. Week in New York Theater

The bad news hits relentlessly, from the horrific — on Halloween, New York endures the worst terrorist attack since 9/11  — to the ugly — accusations of sexual harassment hit the theater community — to the absurd — the president of the United States attacks another Broadway show. Where do we go from here? What lessons will we choose to take out of any of this? How do we turn anger, grief, hatred, or despair into something positive that goes beyond platitudes? Luckily, even in the worst of weeks, there is some good news, such as the announcements below of new shows November 2017 New York Theater Openings

 

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Theater Pier Revived! Another Audra Award. The Lion King for Free. Barbra Online. The Week in NY Theater

Diller Island is back! Plans for Pier 55, Barry Diller’s arts complex on the pier off 14th Street — with theatrical productions organized by such experienced hands as playwright George C. Wolfe and producer Scott Rudin — have been revived in a deal brokered by Gov. Cuomo. Diller announced in September he was killing the project out of frustration over the legal battle against it. Other good news this week in New York theater is about Melissa Gilbert, The Prom, Olaf, elephants, and The Lion King for free, with a bit of a catch. Read more of this post