Bullets and Billie Holiday on Broadway. Tax Help for Artists. Spring Beefcake. The Week in New York Theater

WeekinNewYorkApril13Eight Broadway shows are opening in the next ten days. Two opened last week, Bullets Over Broadway and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.
It’s tax time, which may be why there is a special section on artists and money (see 13 below)

Also below: News about Michael Cera, Taylor Mac, Tommy Tune, Spring is Here beefcake section (shirtless Zac Efron, Neil Patrick Harris, James Franco)

The Week in New York Theater

Monday, April 7, 2014

Anthony Rapp, James Snyder, Idina Menzel, and LaChanze at  the If/Then recording session. Album will be out June 3

Anthony Rapp, James Snyder, Idina Menzel, and LaChanze at the If/Then recording session. Album will be out June 3

Mayor Bill de Blasio names Queens Museum’s Tom Finkelpearl to be commissioner of NYC Department of Cultural Affairs


Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner in the original Broadway production of The King and I

Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner in the original Broadway production of The King and I

The King and I will be on Broadway (at Lincoln Center) for the fifth time in 2015, says Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization’s Ted Chapin. They are in talks with Kelli O’Hara to star

Morgan Saylor (Dana Brody in Homeland) will play Cherry Jones’s daughter in MTC’s When We Were Young & Unafraid.Opens June 17

The disabled are US’s largest minority, yet invisible on our stages, says Christine Bruno of Inclusion Arts.

8This is our Youth Media Call


Michael Cera (Juno, Arrested Developmnet), Kieran Culkin (Igby Goes Down.) to co-star in Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth on Broadway. Opens Sept 11, Cort.

Cera will play the character of Warren, a young man who has stolen $15,000 from his father, and Culkin will play his self-absorbed drug-dealing friend, Dennis. It will also feature the Broadway debut of Tavi Gevinson.

BkxzSEkCIAACIiT110 years ago today, Long Acre Square was renamed Times Square. (Pictures of Times Square through the years in Museum of the City of New York collection.)

Jane Greenwood, who’s been designing costumes for Broadway since 1963, will get a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement

2014-15 New York Theater Workshop season will include: 1. Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, adapted. 2. The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar (Pulitzer winner), about kidnapped stockbroker


JoanMarcus2014 Tony Awards for Excellence: The Actors Fund’s Joe Benincasa, photographer Joan Marcus, general manager Charlotte Wilcox

It was set to reopen tomorrow Off-Broadway, but A Night With Janis Joplin “will postpone its opening indefinitely due to production issues.”

Yes, accessible theater IS possible. third in Howlround series on disability. Q & A with Charles Baldwin of Wheelock Family Theater.



Even people who don’t care for a particular Broadway show give it a standing ovation, survey by Ken Davenport found.

Meh to show but standing ovations:

41 percent: “I liked the actors, just not the show.”

36 percent: “Everyone else was standing, so I did too.”

My reasons for standing during a standing ovation:

1. I can’t see the performers bowing otherwise

2. I need to put on my coat.



Theater should do what fashion does: Make avant-garde seem exciting, even if you don’t want to wear it ~  Taylor Mac in interview with Bomb Magazine. “My outsiderness gave me a way inside to something else.”

NINE-time Tony winner Tommy Tune in “More Taps,Tunes and Tall Tales” his #CafeCarlyle cabaret debut April 22-May 3





RIP Phyllis Frelich,Tony-winning deaf actress (Children of a Lesser God), co-founder of the National Theater for the Deaf, age 70.

Those who love him forgive his syphilis jokes. Drama Desk panel on Shakespeare 


“Most of my plays begin as questions,” says Cleveland’s Eric Coble, making his Broadway playwriting debut with The Velocity of Autumn.

What are your dream roles?

Ben Platt: Bobby in Company.

Nic Rouleau: I’m playing mine right now. Book of Mormon #BOMCHAT

The Obamas attended A Raisin in the Sun. At intermission, Michelle Obama gave A Raisin in the Sun actor Stephen McKinley Henderson a hug: “I’ll never be the same”



Theater Artists and Money

Haven’t done your taxes yet? Tax guide for freelancers (e.g. artists) from Freelancers Union

The theater is “built on the backs of unpaid young people”  writes Greg Redlawsk, who was one of them. Why unpaid internships are wrong.

They are also illegal: For an unpaid internship to be legal, it must be “for the benefit of the intern” not the employer, says the Department of Labor.

“Real artists have day jobs..The biggest myth we’re fed is that we need to sustain ourselves solely on our art”~ Sara J. Benincasa

Instead of unpaid internships, Americans need more paid apprenticeships . U.S. Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey is co-sponsoring a bill to create them.

In Mexico, artists can pay taxes with artwork  Can actors pay with performances?




My review of Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill

Audra McDonald is the same age as the Billie Holiday she is depicting in the first Broadway production of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” a remarkable performance that transcends the two singers’ differences…ust looking at the photographs of Holiday in the period of the play show the challenge that a clean liver and radiant beauty like McDonald would have in depicting her. McDonald meets that challenge successfully — but a question remains: Why?

Full review of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill


Spring Is Here

Zac Efron at MTV Awards

Zac Efron at MTV Awards

Neil Patrick Harris with a snake, apparently promoting Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Neil Patrick Harris with a snake, apparently promoting Hedwig and the Angry Inch


James Franco promoting Of Mice and Men without ever leaving home.

James Franco promoting Of Mice and Men without ever leaving home.


Theater Etiquette: Curtain Calls. Rude To Leave Early?

Curtain call for Once. Most are standing up to applaud. Are some standing up to leave?

As a follow-up to the Twitter debate over leaving at a show’s intermission(which began after the discussion over standing “ovation inflation”) Frank Rizzo, the theater critic for the Hartford Courant, weighed in on a pet peeve – leaving during the curtain call. Another debate ensued, enlisting views of Wall Street Journal theater critic Terry Teachout, Washington Post critic Peter Marks and other critics, performers, a prominent artistic director, bloggers, and regular theatergoers.

Frank Rizzo (@showriz): Intermission exits are encouraged for the disgruntled. I’m talking just as show is ending to get a cab or get to their cars
Terry Teachout (@TerryTeachout): Never show your back to the performers. Don’t know who said it first, but it’s good counsel. I can’t claim to hew to it consistently, but I always feel guilty when I don’t.
Peter Marks (‏@petermarksdrama):I’ve been admonished by many on here about the impoliteness of early departure. So I’ve reformed. Somewhat.
Frank Rizzo: I block those who try to leave my row while actors are taking their bows
Jeff Kyler (@JKsTheatreScene): It is rude to leave just before/during curtain call. Especially if it means walking over people to get out. Hate it? Don’t clap!
Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater): Leaving during curtain call is not necessarily disapproval: Some people are disabled, live far away, etc.
Jeff Kyler: OK, disabled is one thing. But live far away? 3 minutes isn’t gonna change a thing.
Frank Rizzo: They can [expletive] wait 20 seconds. So what if they live far away. Why should disabled be the first to leave? Safer for them to leave last and not get pushed and shoved by crowd.
Natalie Robin ‏‪@natalierobinLD
absolutely rude unless it is a medical emergency. Catching a train or getting to the garage before the crowd doesn’t count
Dee Dee Benkie (‏@deedeegop): After they danced and sang their hearts out – what’s three more minutes of applause? Rude not to stay
Garrett Eisler (‏@theplaygoer): Even worse are the rustlers and coat-grabbers who spring into action as soon as there’s any hint of a denouement
Kate Devine (@luminositease) I think it’s atrociously rude. And in NYC, what do they think they’re going to do – beat traffic if they leave 30 seconds early?
Jonathan Mandell: I live close. For others, waiting 20 seconds can mean 20 minutes and missing train because, let’s face it, theaters are inefficient in crowd control
Ran Xia (@Rhinoriddler): Sometimes people leave before curtain call to catch buses, totally understandable.
Jeff Kyler: If they are late for a train, they should have planned better. It is so disrespectful.
Jonathan Mandell: If we ignore the practical needs of the average theatergoer, there won’t be much of an audience
Frank Rizzo: If they disrupt other people’s theater experiences by their rude behavior, you will lose those good folks
Suzan Eraslan (‏‪@SuzanEraslan)
Oh, barf. Like indulging our egos is more important than being on time to a later appointment or attending to an emergency.
Sondra (@Sondra): You have to cut out early to make it to the stage door if the actor you want to meet leaves very quickly
Frank Rizzo: So Sandra says be rude to actors and cut out of curtain call in order to meet actors afterwards. Strange.
Carli (@CarliFromNJ):
It shows a complete lack of respect for the performers….. If your bus home to Alabama is leaving in 5 minutes and there isn’t another one for two days, that’s MAYBE ok.
Jonathan Mandell: Is it devilish of me to point out that a standing ovation makes it easier to leave mid-curtain call.
@DrHornetBupp: I must confess after several curtain calls of a show I didn’t love, I have snuck out while people were standing. Many do it!
Sarah-Jane Stratford ‏(@stratfordsj): It’s more polite to leave during curtain calls than to sit with arms folded, seething.
Charlene V. Smith ‏(@charlenevsmith): I don’t understand the vehement responses. The play’s over. Go ahead and leave. I’m not in the arts for the curtain calls.
Robert Falls (‏@RobertFalls201): It’s just fucking rude to exit during bows. THEY ARE part of show. Hate production, fine; respect cast.