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Mary Page Marlowe by Tracy Letts: How Six Actresses Portray One Ordinary Woman

Six actresses — from Tatiany Maslany of “Orphan Black” making her New York stage debut, to Tony winner Blair Brown — play the title character in “Mary Page Marlowe.” The play by Tracy Letts, opening tonight at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theater, presents 11 moments over 70 years in the life of an ordinary woman.

As I explain in an article on “Mary Page Marlowe” in TDF Stages, the play presented director Lila Neugebauer with a challenge: how to get the audience to accept six actresses as one character. A dialect coach helped, but one unusual move was encouraging all the Mary Pages to sit in on one another’s rehearsals and share feedback. “You were allowed to comment on other people’s scenes because it was actually your character as well,” says Susan Pourfar, who portrays Mary Page at ages 40 and 44. “Together, as a community, we created the backstory of this woman.”

Click on any photograph by Joan Marcus showing the different Mary Page Marlowes. Not shown: Mary Page Marlowe as an infant (portrayed by a baby doll.)

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Free Broadway in Bryant Park Concerts Summer 2018 Schedule

For the 18th year in a row, Bryant Park is the site of free lunchtime concerts by cast members of current Broadway (and some Off-Broadway) shows  on Thursdays in July and August between 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. This year’s offerings include Tony-sweeper The Band’s Visit on July 26 and an all-Disney Broadway program on August 2.

Here is the schedule for this summer:

July 12
Co-Host(s):Catherine Russell and the cast of “Perfect Crime”
“Chicago”, “SpongeBob SquarePants”, “Stomp”, “Waitress”
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Frozen on Broadway: First Preview Curtain Call

 

BroadwayCon – What To Expect

The third annual BroadwayCon, conceived by Anthony Rapp and fashioned after ComicCon, runs this Friday to Sunday at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Those attending really need to check out the BroadwayCon website (or app) in advance, especially the schedule

The biggest events, the ones on the Main Stage, include the opening ceremony, the 10th reunion of In The Heights, and “show spotlights” on Chicago and Frozen (on Friday afternoon), Dear Evan Hansen, SpongeBob Squarepants, and The Band’s Visit (Saturday), Come From Away (Sunday)

But that doesn’t give you a sense of the size of this thing — there are 238 people (by my count) participating in the various panels or sessions, many of them familiar faces, such as these:

Just walking around offers its own thrills — all the vendors and swag and fans in costume

Below are photographs and videos from the first two BroadwayCons.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child begins rehearsals for Broadway. Meet entire cast

Rehearsals have begun for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which will open at the Lyric Theater on Broadway on April 22, following up on J.K. Rowling’s characters 19 years after her last novel, The Deathly Hallows. Click on the first photograph above to get the list of names of the entire cast.

Holiday Shows 2017, And Why. Plus: Broadway Christmas Week Schedules

Some people wonder why the same holiday shows are so popular, year after year. Some people just attend them year after year.

Below, see the schedule for Broadway shows both during the week leading up to Christmas (this week) and the week following (next week.)

Above that is a list of holiday shows, which range from Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, which began in 1933, to the annual drag queen mock Christmas extravaganzas at the Laurie Beechman Theater.

But first, a question: What are the upside and downside of perennial holiday shows?

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Frozen Opens Tonight: First Pics

The first production photographs of Frozen the Musical, which opens tonight at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. It will move to Broadway’s St. James Theater on February 22.

Click on any photograph by Deen van Meer to see it enlarged.

Buy tickets to Frozen in Denver and/or Broadway

Free Broadway in Bryant Park Summer 2017 Schedule

 

For the 17th year in a row, Bryant Park is the site of free lunchtime concerts by cast members of current Broadway (and some Off-Broadway) shows  on Thursdays in July and August between 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Here is the schedule for this summer:

July 6:  Stomp (pictured above), Groundhog Day, Wicked,  The Phantom of the Opera.
July 13: Kinky Boots, Beautiful, School of Rock, Soulpepper
July 20: Waitress, Chicago, Cats, Spamilton. Host Billy Porter.
July 27: A Bronx Tale, Anastasia, Avenue Q, The Imbible
August 3: Miss Saigon; Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812; Broadway Dreams
August 10: Come From Away, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Bandstand, Curvy Widow

The schedule is subject to change.

Scenes and songs from previous Broadway in Bryant Park concerts:

Hello, Dolly with Bette Midler opens

In her first performance in a Broadway musical in 50 years, Bette Midler opens tonight as the 15th Dolly Gallagher Levi on Broadway,  in the fifth Broadway production of “Hello, Dolly.”

The new revival also stars David Hyde Pierce as Horace Vandergelder , Gavin Creel as Cornelius Hackl , and Kate Baldwin as Irene Molloy. Also in the 33-member cast: Taylor Trensch , most recently star of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and Jennifer Simard, Tony nominee for Disaster.

curtain call

Based on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker, the 1964 musical features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, both of whom won Tony Awards for the work on the original production, which won eight additional Tonys, including one for Best Musical and one for star Carol Channing

Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly, opened January 16, 1964.

 

ACT 1 Sung By
I Put My Hand In Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi and Company
It Takes A Woman Horace Vandergelder and The Instant Glee Club
Put On Your Sunday Clothes Cornelius Hackl, Barnaby Tucker, Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi, Ambrose Kemper and Ermengarde
Put On Your Sunday Clothes The People of Yonkers
Ribbons Down My Back Irene Molloy
Motherhood Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi, Horace Vandergelder, Irene Molloy, Minnie Fay, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker
Dancing Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi, Cornelius Hackl, Barnaby Tucker, Minnie Fay, Irene Molloy and Dancers
Before the Parade Passes By Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi and Company
ACT 2 Sung By
Penny in My Pocket Horace Vandergelder
Elegance Irene Molloy, Cornelius Hackl, Minnie Fay and Barnaby Tucker
The Waiters’ Galop Rudolph and Waiters
Hello, Dolly! Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi, Rudolph, Waiters and Cooks
The Contest Ambrose Kemper, Ermengarde, Irene Molloy, Cornelius Hackl, Minnie Fay, Barnaby Tucker and the Contestants
It Only Takes a Moment Cornelius Hackl, Irene Molloy, Prisoners and Policeman
So Long Dearie Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi
Hello, Dolly! Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi and Horace Vandergelder
Finale Company

Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly: First Pic

The first production photograph of Bette Midler as the 15th Dolly Gallagher Levi on Broadway,  in the fifth Broadway production of “Hello, Dolly,” which is scheduled to begin preview performances  Wednesday, March 15, and officially open on Thursday, April 20, 2017.