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Spring Guides. Golden Globes as Theater Awards. Meryl Streep’s Speech. Week in NY Theater

goldenglobe-collage“Theater Nerds Everywhere”: Among the winners of Golden Globes Sunday night were a movie based on a play; a musical; and a stage full of theater people.

Viola Davis won a Golden Globe for portraying the same character in the film of “Fences,” for which she won a Tony when Fences was on Broadway.
meryl_streep_071116_florence_foster_jenkins_4c_0“Moonlight,” based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” and featuring Andre Holland, who is on Broadway current in August Wilson’s ‘Jitney,’ received the award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for Best Motion Picture – Drama.

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, songwriters of the current Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen, shared a Golden Globe as the lyricists for the song “City of Stars” in LaLa Land, dedicating their award to “musical theater nerds everywhere.”

Meryl Streep made a pointed speech criticizing the President-Elect, and ending with an homage to her friend Carrie Fisher. (Scroll to the bottom for the complete transcript of Streep’s speech, and Viola Davis’s introduction of Streep.)

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Guide to 2017 Winter Theater Festivals

Off-Broadway Spring 2017 Guide

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Broadway Spring 2017 Guide

January Openings

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Tickets on sale for Broadway Week

 

Week in New York Theater Reviews

Richard Roxburgh and Cate Blanchett

Richard Roxburgh and Cate Blanchett

The Present

About halfway through The Present, an adaptation of Chekhov’s first play, Cate Blanchett, as a Russian general’s widow celebrating her 40th birthday, shoots off a shotgun, dances atop a table, and pours vodka on her head. It is an attention-grabbing moment in Blanchett’s Broadway debut performance – and one of the show’s few unmitigated pleasures…

There are those who are fans of the two-time Oscar winner who will find her performance entertaining enough to obliterate any other concerns, or who have the patience and curiosity to appreciate the production’s complex texture and thought-provoking themes of loss, regret, paralysis, desire, loneliness, fear of change — who will feel good for having experienced Quality Theater.  And then there are the rest of us, who wish it were shorter.

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Lula Del Ray

In this opening show at this year’s Under the Radar festival, a Chicago-based theater company with the completely apt name of Manual Cinema allows the audience at the Public Theater to watch a silent film about a lonely, star-gazing girl in the American Southwest of the 1950’s, and simultaneously to watch the making of that film….The essential charm of the show rests in the marvel of ingenuity on display, the rushing around of the actors and puppeteers and… overhead projector operators, to reproduce manually, on a simple screen placed on stage, the catalogue of modern film techniques – long shots of beautiful sunsets, extreme close-ups of Lula’s expressive face, panning, fade-outs, Dutch angles, tracking shots….Somebody at Manual Cinema clearly went to film school.

Hu Yang as Confucius

Hu Yang as Confucius

Confucius

The strength of Confucius, a 90-minute dance piece featuring 60 performers from the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater, is not found in its efforts to present Confucian philosophy and biography, nor even Chinese history and culture, none of which is especially illuminating. The show’s strength lies in its visual splendor and gymnastic choreography.

The Week in New York Theater News

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Mark Ruffalo has been cast in the Roundabout’s revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Price,” replacing John Turturro, who is said to be leaving due to a conflict in his filming schedule. Ruffalo joins Tony Shalhoub and Jessica Hecht in the play, opening March 16.

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“Escape to Margaritaville,” with the songs of JimmyBuffett songs, starts its pre-Broadway tour in May at the La Jolla Playhouse, and aims for Broadway in 2018

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Jenny Schlenzka, current curator of performance MoMAPS1, has been appointed the artistic director of PS 122, the third person in the post, the first woman.

TaymorAs part of the second annual BroadwayCon, Julie Taymor will discuss The Lion King, on its 20th anniversary year on Broadway, with Whoopi Goldberg, who voiced the character of Shenzi in the film. The conversation happens January 27th.

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Nathan Lane

Nathan Lane

The Front Page, after just 15 weeks, recouped its entire $4.875 million capitalization during the week ending, Sunday, January 1, the first Broadway production of the 2016-2017 theater season to do so

Apple’s next iPhone (iOS 10.3) reportedly to have “theater mode” — button to dim screen/mute audio SO YOU CAN USE IT IN A THEATER

Javier Munoz as Eliza Hamilton and the cast

Javier Munoz as Hamilton

Hamilton’ Hits $105 Million in 2016 as Broadway Rings in $1.37 Billion

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Closing January 15th, The Humans was the best-selling straight play on Broadway in 2016, with $22.2 million worth of tickets sold.

 

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Broadway dimmed its lights, Friday, January 6th at 7:45pm in memory of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

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“Thank you very much. Thank you. Please sit down. Please sit down. Thank you. I love you all. You’ll have to forgive me. I’ve lost my voice in screaming and lamentation this weekend. And I have lost my mind sometime earlier this year. So I have to read.
Thank you, Hollywood foreign press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said. You and all of us in this room, really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it. Hollywood, foreigners and the press. But who are we, and what is Hollywood, anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places. I was born and raised and educated in the public schools of New Jersey. Viola was born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina, came up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Sarah Paulson was born in Florida and raised by a single mom in Brooklyn.
Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio. Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Italy, and Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem — where are their birth certificates? And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in — no, in Ireland, I do believe, and she’s here, nominated for playing a small-town girl from Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people, is Canadian. And Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, is here for playing an Indian raised in Tasmania. So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick ’em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.

“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick ’em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”

They gave me three seconds to say this, so. An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like. And there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that, breathtaking, compassionate work. There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.
And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, ’cause it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.
Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose. Okay. Go on with that thing.

“Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

This brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our Constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood foreign press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, because we’re going to need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.
One more thing. Once when I was standing around on the set one day whining about something, we were going to work through supper, or the long hours or whatever, Tommy Lee Jones said to me, “Isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor?” Yeah, it is. And we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight. As my friend the dear departed Princess Leia said to me once, “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

As my friend the dear departed Princess Leia said to me once, “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

(Viola Davis’s introduction to Meryl Streep:

“She stares. That’s the first thing you notice about her. She tilts her head back with that sly suspicious smile, and she stares for a long time. And you think: Do I have something in my teeth? Or does she wanna kick my [expletive] — which is not gonna happen?

And then she’ll ask questions. “What’d you do last night, Viola?”

“Oh I cooked an apple pie.”

“Did you use Pippin apples?”

“Pippin apples, what the hell are Pippin apples? I used Granny Smith apples.”

“Oh. Did you make your own crust?”

“No, I used store-bought crust. That’s what I did.”

“Then you didn’t make an apple pie, Viola.”

“Well that’s because I spent all my time making my collard greens. I make the best collard greens. I use smoked-turkey chicken broth and my own special sauce.”

Silence. I shut her down.

“Well, they don’t taste right unless you use ham hocks. If you don’t use ham hocks it doesn’t taste the same. So how’s the family?”

And as she continues to stare you realize that she sees you. And like a high-powered scanning machine she’s recording you. She is an observer and a thief. She waits to share what she has stolen on that sacred place, which is the screen. She makes the most heroic characters vulnerable, the most known familiar, the most despised relatable. Dame Streep. Her artistry reminds us of the impact of what it means to be an artist, which is to make us feel less alone. I can only imagine where you go, Meryl, when you disappear into a character. I imagine that you’re in them, patiently waiting, using yourself as a conduit, encouraging them, coaxing them to release all their mess, expose, to live. You are a muse. Your impact encouraged me to stay in the line.

Dame Streep, I see you. I see you. And you know all those rainy days we spent on the set of “Doubt”? Every day my husband would call me at night and say, “Did you tell her how much she means to you?”

And I said, “No, I can’t say anything, Julius, I’m just nervous. All I do is stare at her all the time.”

He said, “Well, you need to say something. You’ve been waiting all your life to work with this woman. Say something.”

I said, “Julius, I’ll do it tomorrow.”

“O.K. you better do it tomorrow because when I get there I’m going to say something!”

I haven’t said anything. But I’m gonna say it now. You make me proud to be an artist. You make me feel that what I have in me, my body, my face, my age, is enough. You encapsulate that great Émile Zola quote that if you ask me as an artist what I came into this world to do, I, an artist, would say, I came to live out loud.”)

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