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There ARE Straight Plays on Broadway. Ask Kerry Washington and Daniel Radliffe. Tony Recap. The Week in NY Theater

Daniel Radcliffe will star in Lifespan of a Fact

There ARE straight plays on Broadway, contrary to the impression left by the 2018 Tony Awards, which showcased only the musicals. Maybe not a Scandal exactly, but Kerry Washington can set them straight. She is in one of the two new plays that were announced this past week for the new Broadway season, both with starry casts and intriguing premises. (See The Week in New York News, below)

But it’s hard to complain too much about an awards show that hono43e the drama teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who had shielded her students from the mass shooter on Valentine’s Day, and then featured her students singing “Seasons of Love” from Rent. At the same time (and perhaps not coincidentally), the Tony voters ignored a flashy musical that stereotyped high school students.

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The Tonys also went big for a little show. The day after, three different people told me that they had never heard of The Band’s Visit. Here are seven photographs, three videos and my rave.    Read more of this post

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Privacy, with Daniel Radcliffe

“Privacy,” a play exploring the death of privacy, is inspired by Edward Snowden’s revelations about surveillance; Snowden even appears on stage (via video.) But, for all its alarming info, the show is more playful interactive lecture than cautionary drama: An audience member may even find herself on a date with Daniel Radcliffe.

Full review at DC Theatre Scene

Click on any photograph by Joan Marcus to see it enlarged.

Disgraced, The Real Thing, Lift, Angels in America. Week in New York Theater

hand-to-god-marketing

The newly announced Broadway transfer of “Hand of God” came accompanied with a sly advertising campaign to turn their “weaknesses” into strengths. But some of the best shows now playing are also without movie stars, a London origin, or a film provenance  — I’m thinking especially of “Disgraced,” reviewed below.

But yes, celebrities sell, so also below: Daniel Radcliffe answers your questions, Benedict Cumberbatch portrays a real-life character 27 years after Broadway, Justin Kirk will get kidnapped on stage,  Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal make their Broadway debuts, Neil Patrick Harris’s husband David Burtka returns to Broadway, Cory Michael Smith transforms from Off-Broadway wunderkind to TV star, Bradley Cooper deforms and explains why, and Glenn Close and Hugh Jackman are among those highlighted in a rundown on the New York theater openings this month.

Week in New York Theater,Oct 27-Nov 2

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Set and light design by Jan Versweyveld Costume design by Wojciech Dziedzic Video design by Tal Yarden Music by Wim Selles

My review of Angels in America at Brooklyn Academy of Music

Belgian director Ivo van Hove’s Dutch-language production of the play cast two members of his theater company, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, to portray (Jewish word processor) Louis and (black ex-drag queen nurse) Belize — Fedja Van Huet and Roeland Fernhout….a couple of Dutch guys, with little discernible trace of anything Jewish or black or New York.

This is one of the slightest changes, truly, in a production that radically revises this epic play – a production that, despite such disappointments, ultimately worked for me.

Full review of Angels in America

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Justin Kirk (Weeds, Angel in America) will play kidnapped businessman in The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced) New York Theater Workshop Nov 19-Jan 4

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A look at Israeli author and critic (and critic of Israel) Amos Keenan, and his “Salt of the Earth,” which  is currently at BAM.

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21 Random Questions with Daniel Radcliffe

What are your future plans in the entertainment industry?

Alongside acting I would definitely like to direct something in the future. I’ve written a script which is not terrible(I think!) and might like to do something with it in the future.

If you wouldn’t be actor, what other career would interest you?

If I had to change career now I would like to go back to school and be an archeologist. The idea of digging up bits of bone and handaxes in a muddy field is very exciting to me.

Impossibility-of-Freedom-4--CROP

Performance artists are creating powerful pieces on forgotten issues.

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My review of Lift

Lift, a play about a man and a woman stuck in an elevator after a terrorist attack, is written by Walter Mosley, who has had three decades of success as a novelist, especially with the Easy Rawlin mysteries, such as Devil in a Blue Dress, which was made into a movie starring Denzel Washington. Although he is new to playwriting, one expects from a Mosley play three things — suspense, surprise, and an African-American perspective. One doesn’t expect tedium.

Full review of Lift

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Scheduled for Broadway in the Spring: It Shoulda Been You, a new musical comedy about a wedding, starring Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris, as two rival mothers-in-law, as well as Sierra Boggess, and David Burtka (Neil Patrick Harris’s husband) will be directed by David Hyde Pierce, in his Broadway directorial review. The music is by Barbara Anselmi  , and the book and lyrics are by Brian Hargrove, a television writer who is married to Pierce.

You Can’t Take It With YouLongacre Theatre

You Can’t Take It With You extends a month, to February 22.

Jim Simpson,artistic director of The Flea, announces he will be stepping down after 18 years. I profiled him recently for American Theater

BAM’s Spring theater season:

February:  Goodman Theatre’s Iceman Cometh

March: Tectonic Theater’s new play, The Tallest Tree in the Forest

April: Ibsen’s Ghosts

May: Fugard Theater’s A Human Being Died That Night

YoungJeanLee

Hilton Als looks at Young Jean Lee and her new play at the Public Theater,Straight White Men, not her usual fare.

THE IMITATION GAME

New film Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch as war hero/father of the computer/hounded homosexual Alan Turing comes a mere 27 years after Broadway play about the same man and based on the same book.  “Breaking The Code” by Hugh Whitmore starred Derek Jacobi; it marked the second appearance on Broadway of Robert Sean Leonard.

Words reach the brain, music the heart. When you combine them into a musical, tt becomes a singular force” – George Takei

DisgracedLyceum Theatre

My review of Disgraced

It is easy to argue that playwright Ayad Akhtar exerts an almost mathematical craftiness in his bluntly provocative play: His wily navigation through charged terrain includes putting the anti-Muslim arguments into the mouth of the Muslim character, and giving the non-Muslims the reasonable counter-arguments.

But it is hard to dispute that “Disgraced”… introduces a fresh and important new voice to the American stage; the play is in my view deserving of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama that it won. What makes this all the more astonishing is that “Disgraced” was the first play Ayad Akhtar ever wrote…

Full review of Disgraced

 

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Real Thing, TheAmerican Airlines Theatre
My review of The Real Thing

Both Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal are making their Broadway debuts in ‘The Real Thing,” Tom Stoppard’s trickster meditation on what is reality versus artifice in art, politics and above all in love, but Cynthia Nixon is the most interesting performer in this disappointing Broadway production, although not for what she does on the stage.

Nixon appeared in the original Broadway production of “The Real Thing” when she was 18 years old, as Debbie, a small enough role that she simultaneously appeared in David Rabe’s “Hurly Burly,” walking back and forth between the theaters each night – thus giving birth to the Nixon Rule; Actors Equity forbids any performer to appear in two Broadway shows at the same time…

…Ewan McGregor, an undeniably charismatic movie star still probably best known as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars movies, is an intelligent actor with extensive experience on stage, but he doesn’t seem precisely right as Henry…

Full review of The Real Thing

 

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Cory Michael Smith, Breakfast At Tiffany's

Cory Michael Smith, Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Cory Michael Smith, great in Cock, The Whale Off-Broadway, the saving grace in Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Broadway, is now on TV as Edward Nygma, aka the Riddler, in Gotham and in Olive Kitteridge on HBO

Cory Michael Smith as The Riddler in Gotham

Cory Michael Smith as The Riddler in Gotham

Art journalists and critics are getting work — at the arts organizations they used to cover.

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New York Theater October 2014 Quiz

November 1

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Preview guide of shows opening in New York in November

 

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Every Brilliant Thing, hit UK play about boy who makes list of world’s best things to cheer up his mom, Barrow Street, Dec 6-Mar 29

Tom Stoppard, “the top living playwright” (says Toronto Star), offers some clues as to how he writes plays.

Set and light design by Yves ColletMusic by Jefferson LembeyeCostumes by Corinne Baudelot

My review of Six Characters in Search of an Author

What’s most shocking about Luigi Pirandello’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author,” is that it was written and produced in 1921, decades before Beckett or Albee…

Broadway Revealed: Photographs by Stephen Joseph Behind the Theater Curtain, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, November 8-January 31

Video when the exhibition was at a gallery two years ago:

 

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Bradley Cooper on CBS Sunday Morning:

The story of The Elephant Man “left such an impression on Cooper that he performed the role of Merrick for his master’s thesis in drama school in New York.

“His research led him to England. “Honestly, it was something that sort of overtook me,” he said. “It wasn’t a big planned thing. I thought I was going to do the thesis, I was doing research. And then I just thought, ‘Wait a second. I have money saved. Why don’t I get a round-trip ticket?'”

He made his way to the hospital where Merrick lived and was studied until he died in 1890 at the age of 27.

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“And all of a sudden I’m at the London Hospital crossing Whitechapel Road to where he was, and walked in the gardens that he walked at midnight. I mean, it was incredible.”

Shia in Handcuffs. RIP Eli Wallach, Mary Rodgers. Lin-Manuel=Meryl. Week in New York Theater

Worrying enhances creativity, some new studies suggest, which is surely a cause for celebration in the back stages, posh offices, warren holes, wait stations and (at least in one case) police holding cells where actors, playwrights, producers and other theater people congregate.

The Week in New York Theater

 

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Newsies is closing on Broadway on August 24, after 1005 performances. National tour begins in October.

Mothers and SonsJohn Golden Theatre

Closing today: Mothers and Sons

Adult actor playing a child is too often a dance of cuteness cliches, writes Tim Etchells of Forced Entertainment.

 

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Update on Into The Woods changes: Sondheim released a statement that no he wasn’t censored and Into the Woods won’t have ALL those changes.

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She had to wear a blond wig in Annie, but now Ruthie Ann Miles stars in Here Lies Love – one of many Asian actors getting jobs. Planned “The King and I” and “Miss Saigon” Broadway revivals are not the only source of a “bonanza” for Asian actors.

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN by MARTIN McDONAGH

Daniel Radcliffe preparing for a role:”I know the song I want to play if I want to get angry… I create a playlist for every part.”

Refreshing Q&A with “The Kilroys,” pushing to get more work by women playwrights on stage.  Joy Meads: Theater’s gender disparity not due to “shadowy smoke-filled rooms full of avowed misogynists.”The bias is systemic

Drama schools do NOT teach actors how to memorize lines. Actors learn tricks on their own. (eg walking helps)

Cease and desist letters: Using the law to enforce your artistic vision.

 

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Richard Greenberg collaborates for 11th time with Manhattan Theater Club in “The Swing of the Sea” a play about a dead father, his two sons and a lover.  Opens May, 2015.

Annaleigh Ashford

Annaleigh Ashford

Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots,Masters of Sex) join James Earl Jones and Kristine Nielsen in You Can’t Take It With You. Opens September 28, 2014.
Artists are increasingly taking charge of their own projects, a “radical response to a critical situation.”

Two lessons Andrew Roblyer has learned while starting This Is Water theater company: 1.You have to communicate even your struggles to your company. 2. People come first, even at expense of the project.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 21 Chump Street: The Musical (mini-musical anyway)

 

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BrownandKingSharing the Tony stage, Jason Robert Brown shared his secret with Carole King: His dad was her upstairs neighbor in Brooklyn.

For the first time last year, NYC surpassed LA in number of one-hour TV pilots shot: 24 in NYC; 19 in L.A. (LAT)

When movie theaters HD-cast live theater shows, it does not decrease live theatergoing (at least not in the UK)

They brought us Lombardi, Magic/Bird, and Bronx Bombers. Now Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo have bought the rights to the life of boxer Joe Louis.

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The New Group star-studded forthcoming season:

1. Sticks and Bones: Holly Hunter, Bill Pullman

2. Rasheeda Speaking,” Dianne Wiest,Tonya Pinkins

3. The Spoils starring Jesse Eisenberg

 

Mary Rodgers and her father Richard Rodgers

Mary Rodgers and her father Richard Rodgers

Mary Rodgers, daughter of Richard Rodgers; composer of Once Upon A Mattress & author of Freaky Friday, has died at age 83.

 

For every rocker-helmed hit on Broadway – Cyndi Lauper, Green Day,Elton – there is a flop – Phish, Paul Simon, Elton John. Now Sting steps up. More than you want to know about Sting and his Broadway-bound musical The Last Ship, now opened in Chicago

Shia LaBeouf after being released from jail this morning.

Shia LaBeouf after being released from jail this morning.

Shia LaBeouf Taken from Cabaret in Handcuffs: Social Media Unleashed

 

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Don’t worry about worrying. Studies show worry can enhance creativity.

We fail our returning combat veterans – just like Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. Latest in Stefan Wolfert series

Critics: Should you (do you) ever review the work of a friend?

Russell Warne: Yes, because the theatre community is small here. It’s never a problem because I’m honest & professional, and they are too.

Wendy Rosenfield:  I don’t. I told my editor I can’t review my best friend’s work, & keep a distance from everyone else. It’s hard because of course they’re the ppl with whom you have the most in common, but it’s bad professional practice. I believe. I’ve also been asked to come to readings or edit scripts & I won’t if there’s a chance I’ll review them.

There are small parts AND small actors

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10 crimes Hollywood committed against Broadway shows (eg casting Russell Crowe in Les Miz)

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The Cripple of Inishmaan Review: Daniel Radcliffe Back on Broadway

Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan on Broadway

 

There was no applause for Daniel Radcliffe when he first enters “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” the first and first-rate Broadway production of Martin McDonagh’s harsh 1996 comedy. I’m sure the many Harry Potter fans in the audience would have applauded if given the chance, but director Michael Grandage’s staging discouraged such behavior – proof that a good director can hire a movie star without turning a play into a mere vehicle.

cripplelogoIt’s undeniable that Radcliffe is the marketing draw – the poster and Playbill cover show his face three times – and unlikely that this play, which has had two previous Off-Broadway productions, would now be on Broadway without his being in the cast. But it doesn’t take a Radcliffe fan to appreciate his physically impressive performance as the character everybody else calls Cripple Billy. Radcliffe persuasively inhabits the cruelly deformed body with which Billy was born, and subtly shows the sensitive intelligence bombarded daily by the even crueler behavior of his neighbors.

Many a theatergoer is sure to find more than just Radcliffe’s performance winning, providing they are able to make two adjustments. First, we must adjust to the thick ladling of Irish accents. Then we have to submit to the dark, violent and belittling sense of humor of the playwright, who makes every character blunt-speaking and eccentric to the point of caricature. One character talks to stones, another likes to throw eggs at people, a third is obsessed with telescopes and sweets, another is trying to kill his mother with drink, yet another likes to stare at cows. They are all, as we might say by the end of the play, a wee daft.

Click on any photograph to see it enlarged

Is this because they all live on Inishmaan, the most isolated of the three actual remote Aran islands in Galway Bay? The play takes place in 1934, when in real life the Hollywood filmmaker Robert Flaherty traveled to the islands and recruited locals to make “Man from Aran,” a feature film disguised as a documentary. When the island’s gossip Johnnypateenmike (Pat Shortt) spreads the news, 17-year-old Cripple Billy decides this is his chance to escape the island. He hatches a plan that will enable him to attend the auditions, although it upsets several of those closest to him. Billy is the one who likes to stare at cows. He also likes to read. It’s not clear which behavior that his two aunties find odder. Aunty Kate (Ingrid Craigie) and Aunty Eileen (Gillian Hanna), proprietors of the island’s only shop – mostly stocked with peas and sweets — have been caring for Billy since his parents drowned when he was an infant.

Kate: A fool waste of time that is, looking at cows.

Eileen: If it makes him happy, sure, what harm? There are a hundred worse things to occupy a lad’s time than cow watching. Things would land him up in hell.

Kate: Kissing lasses.

Eileen: Kissing lasses.

Kate: Ah, no chance of that with poor Billy.

Eileen: Poor Billy’ll never be getting kissed. Unless it was be a blind girl

Kate: Or Jim Finnegan’s daughter.
Eileen: She’d kiss anything.

Kate: She’d kiss a bald donkey.

Eileen: She’d kiss a bald donkey. And she’d still probably draw the line at Billy. Poor Billy.

The key to the humor of this and many similar passages is in its credible, deadpan delivery, and the mastery of its rhythms. It is hard to picture a better ensemble than the nine-member cast that Grandage has put together.

Although he is loathe to admit it to anybody, Billy would love to be kissed by Slippy Helen McCormick (Sarah Greene) – so-called because, while she works for the egg-man, she is just as likely to throw the eggs as to deliver them. Helen is the meanest person in all of Inishmaan.

“It doesn’t hurt to be too kind-hearted,” Helen’s dim brother Bartley McCormick (Conor MacNeill) says to her.

“Uh-huh,” she replies. “Does this hurt?” – and she pinches him, twists his arm, then breaks some eggs on his forehead.

Helen is the most violent of the characters in “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” but, hers is not the only violence. Christopher Oram’s Depression-era costumes and rotating sets full of cracked stone walls and broken-down wood furniture, as well as Paule Constable’s stark lighting,  help underscore the bleakness of their environment.

Still, Cripple is among the least gruesome of the plays by McDonagh (who is probably better known now as the director and screenwriter of the film “Seven Psychopaths.”) McDonagh’s plays include the very bloody “The Lieutenant of Inishmore,” as well as “The Beauty Queen of Lenane,” and, his last foray on Broadway, in 2010, A Behanding in Spokane, with its severed hands littering the stage. That was the only one of his plays set in the United States, and its failure was instructive. “The Cripple of Inishmaan” has a plot of sorts, made up mostly of a series of twisty revelations and teases that play with the audience’s expectations, and a tentative resolution that could be called bittersweet, if it were somewhat less bitter and somewhat more sweet. But, although born and raised in London (albeit of Irish parentage), what McDonagh most has to offer in this play is the culture and characters and context and above all the language of the Irish.

 The Cripple of Inishmaan

At the Cort Theater

Directed by Michael Grandage

Scenic and costume design by Christopher Oram, lighting design by Paule Constable, sound design by Alex Baranowski

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe (Billy), Ingrid Craigie (Kate Osbourne), Pádraic Delaney (Babbybobby), Sarah Greene (Helen McCormick), Gillian Hanna (Eileen Osbourne), Gary Lilburn (Doctor), Conor MacNeill (Bartley McCormick), Pat Shortt (Johnnypateenmike) and June Watson (Mammy).

Running time: About two hours, including one 15-minute intermission.

Tickets: $27 to $152

The Cripple of Inishmaan is set to run through July 20, 2014

See Daniel Radcliffe For Free in The Cripple of Inishmaan on Broadway

DanielRadcliffe2Ticket Giveaway: Win two tickets to see Daniel Radcliffe in his third show on Broadway: The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh, opening at the Cort Theater on April 20, 2014. (Previews begin April 12)

Update March 12: Cody Andrus is the winner of the random drawing, conducted on Random.org.

Set on the remote island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland, word arrives that a Hollywood film is being made on the neighboring island of Inishmore. The one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is  young Cripple Billy (Radcliffe), if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life.

To win a pair of tickets to the show on any Tuesday to Thursday performance of your choosing (although some blackout dates may apply), answer this question:

What’s your favorite moment (or line) in a performance by Daniel Radcliffe? Why?

1. Please put your answer in the comments at the bottom of this blog post, because the winner will be chosen through Random.org based on the order of your reply, not its content.

But you must answer the question, complete with description and explanation, or your entry will not be approved for submission.

2. Please include in your answer your Twitter name and follow my Twitter feed at @NewYorkTheater so that I can send you a direct message. (If you don’t have a Twitter name, create one. It’s free.)
3. This contest ends Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at midnight Eastern Time, and I will make the drawing no later than noon the next day. You must respond to my direct message on Twitter within 24 hours or I will choose another winner.

 (All submissions have to be approved, so you won’t necessarily see your entry right away: Please be patient, and don’t submit more than once.)

Daniel Radcliffe, Hugh Jackman, Frozen Heading to Broadway. Week in New York Theater

Week in New York Theater Jan 19Disney is turning its animated film “Frozen” into a Broadway musical, and NBC has chosen “Peter Pan” as the successor to “The Sound of Music” for its December holiday “live theater” broadcast. Both Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman are returning to Broadway (scroll to 16) as is Titanic. They’re soon to rename Broadway, Super Bowl Boulevard.And the first universally praised play of 2014 has opened on Broadway — written in 1928.

Week in New York Theater, Jan 13-19, 2014

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FrozenFrozen is heading to Broadway

Disney is planning to turn the movie Frozen, a HUGE hit (almost $700 million in earnings and  counting), winner last night of a Golden Globe, into a Broadway musical.

RealisticJoneses

Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses will open April 6 (no theater yet.) The play about two couples named Jones stars Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei,Michael C. Hall, and Tracy Letts

MichaelUrieBuyerandCellarMichael Urie is leaving Buyer and Cellar March 16 to tour the show in Chicago and LA. It’ll continue Off-Bway with someone else until August 31.

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Larry David: “I’ve written a play.”

Showbiz411: A play? For, like, Broadway?

Larry David: “Yes.”

SB: And Jerry would star in it?

Larry David: “Maybe. We’re talking about it.

ValisiaLeKaeofMotown

Valisia LeKae has left the cast of Motown to focus on her battle against ovarian cancer, but the cast hasn’t left her. They composed a song for her, and sang it en masse: “I Am Here”

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SatchmoattheWaldorfOne show Terry Teachout won’t be reviewing. His “Satchmo at the Waldorf,” starring John Douglas Thompson as Louis Armstrong, opens March 4 at the Westside Theater.

RomeoandJuliet1Missed Romeo and Juliet on Broadway with Orlando Bloom & Condola Rashad? A tape of it will be broadcast in 2,000 movie theaters in U.S. February 13-19.

Lincoln Center’s Act One looking even better: Andrea Martin and Chuck Cooper join Santino Fontana and Tony Shalhoub in the cast.

Although it’s not open yet, Hedwig and the Angry Inch has been extended four weeks. This doesn’t surprise me, since it’s one of the two front-runners in the poll of most anticipated shows on Broadway in Spring 2014

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Edwin Lee Gibson, cast member of Death of Bessie Smith. He traveled from his home in Pittsburgh to be in the play.

Edwin Lee Gibson, cast member of Death of Bessie Smith. He traveled from his home in Pittsburgh to be in the play.

Can Edward Albee save Brooklyn’s Interfaith hospital? (Can theater change the world?)

Legendary theater director Peter Brook in conversation w/ his son Simon, and sneak preview of documentary by the son about his father.  at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, January 29.

Broadway Musicals 1915-1939 sung by Tonya Pinkins, Julia Murney, Stephanie J Block, Beth Leavel, Carolee Carmello, among other Broadway stars, on February 24 at Town Hall.

Christian Borle, Jay Johnson, Erin Mackay and others to join Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel in the cast of Sweeney Todd at the New York Philharmonic, March 5-8

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Complete list of 2014 Oscar nominations includes both Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts for A:OC

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN by MARTIN McDONAGHDaniel Radcliffe returns to Broadway, in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, which is slated to open April 20 at the Cort.

Hugh Jackman at Tony'sHugh Jackman is returning to Broadway in “The River,” a play by Jez Butterworth (a playwright whose “Jerusalem” was on Broadway starring Mark Rylance). Dates and theater not yet determined.  The River is a spiritually searching drama about a trout-loving loner in a remote cabin and two of the women in his life.

TitanicMusical

Titanic the musical revived: 1-night concert Avery Fisher Hall on Feb. 17, AND different production on Bway sometime Fall 2014

Yet another Broadway revival of “Noises Off,” Michael Frayn’s backstage farce, slated by the Roundabout for January, 2015.

Rebecca Hall in Machinal with Jason Loughlin and Ryan Dinning

Rebecca Hall in Machinal with Jason Loughlin and Ryan Dinning

My review of Machinal

Machinal, now opened in a stunning production at the American Airlines Theater, is the first Broadway revival of Sophie Treadwell’s haunting 1928 play, inspired by the murder trial of housewife Ruth Snyder, who enlisted a corset salesman to do in her husband….Machinal means machine-like, and director Lyndsey Turner has taken the title to heart, with startling effect. This may be the best-staged play of the season, certainly one of the most aptly designed.

Complete review of Machinal

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KingLearLangella2

My review of Frank Langella in King Lear

Terrific stab at explaining Pinter’s No Man’s Land, by Newsweek (Ignore the pandering lead)

Efforts to lure football fans here for the Super Bowl (Feb 2 in New Jersey)  include turning Broadway into “Super Bowl Boulevard” theme park.  The cast of Jersey Boys, for example, will perform for free on Broadway on January 29th.

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GreenPorno2

Green Porno

“Why does sex exist?” asks Isabella Rossellini, the Parisian-bred actress, model and director, the glamorous daughter of the Hollywood star Ingrid Bergman and the European filmmaker Roberto Rossellini.

Her answer is a 75 minute lecture, both erudite and hilarious, animated by a series of short films familiar to fans of the Sundance Channel online, in which she acts out the reproductive habits of marine animals and insects.

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Year of the Rooster 4 Bobby Moreno and Thomas Lyons - Please Credit Russ Kuhner-1389

My review of Year of the Rooster

Has there ever before been such a touching love scene between poultry? … Such fowl doings make up for the frequently foul-mouthed brutality of the human characters.

NBC has chosen follow-up to Sound of Music. Next December’s live “theater” broadcast: Peter Pan. (Will it star Kelly Clarkson?)