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Broadway

Andrea Martin Breaks Ribs and Kristine Nielsen Moves Up a Role in New Broadway Play

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Andrea Martin

Andrea Martin has been forced to drop out of the upcoming Broadway production Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus after breaking four ribs in a recent accident during rehearsals.

Cast member and Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen will assume Ms. Martin’s role of ‘Janice’. Tony Award winner Julie White will join the company in the role of ‘Carol’, which was intended to be played by Ms. Nielsen.

The show stars three-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane and is directed by five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe.

 Gary will now begin preview performances on matinee Saturday, March 9, with an opening night still set for Thursday, April 11 at the Booth Theatre.

Producer Scott Rudin, in a statement, said, “There is no greater company member than Andrea Martin, and we are heartsick to see her depart the production.  We wish her the speediest recovery possible.  We are very grateful to both Ms. Nielsen and Ms. White for stepping up and stepping in so swiftly.”

Ms. Martin said, “I am heartbroken to have to leave the production and have tried to convince the doctor that my funny bone is stronger than my broken ribs. But regretfully I must follow the doctor’s orders. I love everyone involved in this beautiful play and will miss them profoundly. I will be cheering them on from the audience at the Booth Theatre.”

George C. Wolfe added, “Andrea is a gifted artist who has already made an indelible mark on this wonderful play which we can’t wait to share with the world.”

Written by Pulitzer Prize finalist and MacArthur Fellow Taylor Mac, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus is set just after the blood-soaked conclusion of William Shakespeare’s first tragedy, Titus Andronicus. 

In Mac’s extraordinary new play, set during the fall of the Roman Empire, the years of bloody battles are over. The civil war has ended. The country has been stolen by madmen, and there are casualties everywhere (among them a midwife on the verge of death – White). And two very lowly servants – Lane and Nielsen – are charged with cleaning up the bodies. The year is 400 – but it feels like the end of the world.

Nielsen’s Broadway credits include Present Laughter; You Can’t Take It With You; Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson; and her Tony-nominated performance in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, among others.

White won the Tony Award for her starring role in 2006’s The Little Dog Laughed. Other Broadway credits include A Doll’s House, Part 2; the revival of A.R. Gurney’s SylviaAirline HighwayVanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; and The Heidi Chronicles.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Book Reviews

Countdown to Christmas: For The Dancer and Theatre Lover Chita Rivera

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2o days to go! Every year people panic to find the perfect gift. We at T2C have been collecting idea’s all year long to bring you the perfect gift guide at all price levels. When you’re at the end of your rope trying to find the perfect Christmas present this year, come to this guide for some great suggestions.

Chita & Patrick Pacheco at Drama Book Shop event May 15, 2023 Photo by Merle Frimark

There are a lot of books out there this year but we highly recommend Chita: A Memoir , the critically-acclaimed book is written by the legendary Broadway icon Chita Rivera with arts journalist Patrick Pacheco. Chita takes fans behind-the-scenes of all her shows and cabaret acts, she shares candid stories of her many colleagues, friends, and lovers. She speaks with empathy and hindsight of her deep associations with complicated geniuses like Fosse and Robbins, as well as with the mega-talent Liza Minnelli, with whom she co-starred in The Rink. She openly discusses her affair with Sammy Davis, Jr. as well as her marriage to Tony Mordente and her subsequent off-the-radar relationships. Chita revisits the terrible car accident that threatened to end her career as a dancer forever. Center stage to Chita’s story are John Kander and Fred Ebb, the songwriters and dear friends indelibly tied to her career through some of her most enduring work: Chicago, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and The Visit.

Chita’s love of performing began as a child in Washington, D.C., when her mother enrolled her in a local ballet school to channel her boundless energy. Still a teenager, she moved to New York to attend the School of American Ballet after an audition for George Balanchine himself and winning a scholarship. But Broadway beckoned, and by twenty she was appearing in the choruses of Golden Age shows like Guys and Dolls and Can-Can. In the latter, she received special encouragement from its star Gwen Verdon, forging a personal and professional friendship that would help shape her career. The groundbreaking West Side Story brought her into the orbit of Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, Hal Prince, and Stephen Sondheim.  After Bye Bye Birdie further burnished her rising star, she reunited with Verdon and her then-husband Bob Fosse to work on the film version of Sweet Charity and the celebrated original Broadway production of Chicago.

Chita: A Memoir was published in English and Spanish and the English audio version of the Memoir was recorded by Chita.  A Spanish audio version is also available. 

“Chita Rivera blazed a trail where none existed so the rest of us could see a path forward. She has been part of some of the greatest musicals in the history of the form, from Anita in the trailblazing West Side Story through Claire Zachanassian in the underrated masterpiece The Visit, over 60 years later. She is a Puerto Rican Broadway icon and the original ‘triple threat.’ We’re so lucky to be alive in the same timeline as Chita Rivera.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“A frank and fascinating memoir from one of the truly great artists of the American Theater. Lots of stories … Lots of insight … and quite a few caustic statements from Chita’s alter ego, Dolores. An illuminating history and a guaranteed pleasure!” John Kander

Broadway legend and national treasure Chita Rivera, multi-Tony Award winner, Kennedy Center honoree, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – has taken no prisoners on stage or screen for seven decades. From her trailblazing performance as the original Anita in West Side Story—for which she tapped her own Puerto Rican roots—to her haunting 2015 star turn in The Visit. Chita has proven to be much more than just a captivating dancer, singer, and actress beloved by audiences and casts alike. In her equally captivating and one-of-a-kind memoir, Written with Patrick Pacheco, the woman born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero shares an incomparable life, both on stage and behind the curtain.

By the way this Memoir has won a Gold Medal for “Best Autobiography – English” at the 2023 International Latino Book Awards. https://www.latinobookawards.org/

Click here to buy your copy.

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Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Spamalot

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Here is the amazing cast of Spamalot. Christopher Fitzgerald as Patsy, James Monroe Iglehart as King Arthur, Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer as The Lady of the Lake, Ethan Slater as The Historian/Prince Herbert, Jimmy Smagula as Sir Bedevere, Michael Urie as Sir Robin, Nik Walker as Sir Galahad andTaran Killam as Lancelot.

I was so inspired I drew the whole cast.

To read T2C’s review click here.

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Art

Ahead of the Broadway Opening of Lempicka The Longacre Theatre Is Showcasing Art Work By Tamara de Lempicka

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The Longacre Theatre (220 W 48th St.), soon-to-be home of the sweeping new musical, Lempicka, is showcasing a curated selection of renowned artist Tamara de Lempicka’s most famous works. Eschewing traditional theatrical front-of-house advertising, the Longacre’s façade now boasts prints, creating a museum-quality exhibition right in the heart of Times Square. The musical opens on Broadway on April 14, 2024 at the same venue.

The Longacre’s outdoor exhibition includes works of Self Portrait (Tamara in a Green Bugatti) (1929), Young Girl in Green (1927), Nu Adossé I (1925), The Red Tunic (1927), The Blue Scarf (1930), The Green Turban (1930), Portrait of Marjorie Ferry (1932), Portrait of Ira P. (1930), Portrait of Romana de la Salle (1928), and Adam and Eve (1932).

Starring Eden Espinosa and directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin, Lempicka features book, lyrics, and original concept by Carson Kreitzer, book and music by Matt Gould, and choreography by Raja Feather Kelly.

Spanning decades of political and personal turmoil and told through a thrilling, pop-infused score, Lempicka boldly explores the contradictions of a world in crisis, a woman ahead of her era, and an artist whose time has finally come.

Young Girl in Green painted by Tamara de Lempicka (1927). Oil on plywood.