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Midnight at the Never Get Review: Tuneful Cabaret Musical, Throwback Gay Love Story

In Mark Sonnenblick’s cabaret-like gay musical, Arthur, a pianist and songwriter, decides in 1965 that he will write songs to his lover, singer Trevor, without changing the pronouns in the lyrics from male to female. This act of defiance gets them a gig at a run-down backroom cabaret in a gay bar called the Never Get, where they put together a midnight act they call Midnight at the Never Get.
That’s the story at the center of the musical opening at the York Theater, at least on the surface. But the tone of the show, for better and for worse, is summarized in a remark that a record company scout says to them after they send out their songs in hopes of getting a recording contract. As Trevor recounts it: “He said Cole Porter had written these songs thirty years ago and better. What was the use in holding to something that was already dead?”
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Nazis and Me Review: A Humorous Jew Riffs on Hate Group Encounters

David Lawson was sent an elaborate cartoon of Pepe the Frog, a symbol of the alt right, and told “anti fascists like you are oven ready.” This was via Twitter shortly after Election Day, 2016. Not much later, his hometown Jewish Community Center in suburban Virginia was spray painted with Nazi slogans. Lawson looked at the Facebook page of the person who had been arrested for the vandalism: The 20-year-old had gone to the same high school as he had. On Election Night 2016, the man had posted: “The White Man saves Western Civilization once more.”

There is little doubt in “Nazis and Me”  that Trump’s election gave organized haters a boost. But those acquainted with Lawson’s shows know to expect something different than just a Michael Moore-like screed connecting the current president to hate.

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Week in New York Theater: A Mortgage for a Broadway Ticket?! Brava Suzan-Lori Parks, Dominique Morisseau. Coming soon: Tina Turner and The Temptations, Hillary and Clinton

A Hamilton ticket on the installment plan — $138 a month for a year.

You can now pay for Broadway tickets under a new Ticketmaster installment plan — monthly payments over a year, at 10 percent interest.

Much of the reaction to this news was not gratitude, but outrage: A mortgage for a ticket? This is what we’ve come to? The people reacting seemed primarily from Great Britain

As Broadway boosters are at pains to point out, there are deals to be had — lotteries, rush, and the occasional ticket giveaway contest…such as the ticket giveaway contest for “Head Over Heels” that I’m holding through Wednesday.
Below: News about Broadway openings for Tina Turner, The Temptations, “Hillary and Clinton,” awards for Dominique Morisseau and Suzan-Lori Parks. Beto O’Rourke, drama critic. Quiara Alegria Hudes: Wounded even by positive reviews.
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For Columbus Day: Christopher Columbus on Stage, from Lope de Vega to Eugene O’Neill to David Henry Hwang

There are statues of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Circle — although city officials have hinted they want to get rid of it — and Columbus, Ohio and Columbus, Georgia and Columbus, Wisconsin, and in many cities not named Columbus. But Christopher Columbus seems to have virtually disappeared from the American stage.

That’s not the way it always was. The first play about Columbus goes back to the 1500’s: “El Nuevo de Mundo” by Felix Lope de Vega. The first to be staged in America itself was in 1794: “Columbus, or The Discovery of America. A Historical Play” by Thomas Morton. Yet even as far back as 1858, the theatrical treatment was far less than worshipful of the Italian explorer of the New World.

That’s the year that John Brougham is said to have toured a show (starting at the Boston Theatre) whose satirical intent is evident in its lengthy title: “Columbus el Filibustero!! A New and Audaciously Original Historica-Plagiaristic, Ante-National, Pre-Patriotic, and Omni-Local Confusion of Circumstances, Running Through Two Acts and Four Centuries”

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Oklahoma Review: Hip and Homey not Hokey, with Mixed Results

At the scaled-down, reimagined production of “Oklahoma!” at St. Ann’s Warehouse, they didn’t give us the program until after the musical was over – one of the signs that director Daniel Fish sees his version as cutting-edge, and wants us to see it that way too. In a traditional show, they give you the program before the show begins.
“Oklahoma!” has been a traditional show for decades. Yes, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s first musical was considered groundbreaking when it debuted on Broadway, but that was 75 years ago.
Fish clearly felt it time to break new ground. What’s sprung from that broken ground is decidedly mixed.

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The Mile Long Opera Review: 1,000 New Yorkers Singing and Griping on the High Line

 

“Funny how hope changes everything. Funny how hope changes nothing,” a singer chants standing on the High Line overlooking 18th street, as a light in her black baseball cap eerily illuminates her face.
A few feet away, competing with the noise of a construction site, another singer chants: “Funny how construction next store changes everything. Funny how construction next store changes nothing,” while putting his hands in front of his face in a comical expression of annoyance.
Other individual performers nearby, all members of one of four different choral groups, sing how money or sex or tears or “a glass of really good red wine” change everything and nothing. Read more of this post

KINK HAÜS Review: Underground Gay Clubbing Celebrated in Dance

“What’s the password?” asked the woman with a punk blonde bouffant, stiletto heels and a penis brooch.
I stammered, tried to show her my ticket. She just glared.
“Um, La MaMa?”
“You can do better than that.”
“The Deuce.”
She let me into the underground club, in the basement theater of La MaMa, for “KINK HAÜS,” an hour of debauchery straight from the gritty gay bars of Berlin. Actually, performance artist and choreographer Gunna Montana has transferred this flagrant, fabulous, fun and sexy show from the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

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Are Actors’ Bodies Part of the Show, Or Off Limits?

Yet again, a drama critic has been attacked for making comments about actors’ bodies.

The new headlines were generated by a 1991 review of “Will Rogers Follies” on Broadway. Why was this old review suddenly turned into a current issue? The reviewer was Beto O’Rourke, now a candidate to represent Texas in the United States Senate, then a 19-year-old undergraduate writing for the campus newspaper at Columbia, the Spectator.
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Ticket Giveaway: Head Over Heels

Win two tickets to see “Head Over Heels” for free.

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Final Follies Review: A.R. Gurney’s Posthumous Play about WASP Porn Star

For the last few years before he died in 2017 at the age of 86, playwright A.R. Gurney had been experiencing a resurgence of a career that had already produced some 40 plays over 50 years, best-known for his elegantly-structured chronicles of dying WASP culture, like “The Dining Room” and “The Cocktail Hour.”  A couple of his plays, “Love Letters” and “Sylvia,” were revived on Broadway; Signature devoted a season to him Off-Broadway; and he was writing new plays Off-Off Broadway as well

So it’s no big surprise that, at the time of his death, he had written a new play, ‘Final Follies,” and had planned to send it to Primary Stages, one of his several artistic homes.
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