Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) led local elected officials New York City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo, Councilman Joseph Borelli, New York State Senator Andrew Lanza, and Assemblymen Michael Reilly and Michael Tannousis in sending a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio calling on him to immediately reverse the city’s unfair COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Under the Mayor’s executive order, New York City has become the first U.S. city to require proof of vaccination for a variety of activities for city employees and customers, including indoor dining, gyms, entertainment, and performances.
“It is clear to us and our constituents—most of whom have received the COVID-19 vaccine—that this directive represents an extraordinary level of government overreach,” the letter states. “Further, it attempts to turn our city’s small businesses into “COVID police” by forcing them to require employees and patrons to show proof of vaccination. Our businesses are already short staffed, and to place the burden on them to check vaccine cards and ensure their authenticity is unreasonable. Coercing anyone into taking any form of treatment violates every principle of medical ethics and informed consent. No one—no New Yorker—should be forced out of society on such a basis. We ask that you reverse this mandate.”
Malliotakis has also cosponsored H.R.3868, The No Vaccine Passports for Americans Act, legislation that would impose a 5-year prohibition on any government vaccine mandate for vaccines authorized by the FDA, protect Americans’ privacy by ensuring people can’t be forced to disclose personal health information, and prohibit any federal vaccine passport and discrimination in the workplace over an individuals’ vaccination status.
My View: A Cult Following At Birdland For The Hilarity of CASHINO
I had no idea what I was walking into, but boy, oh, boy….am I glad we went. Birdland was packed last night for a return engagement of CASHINO which stars Susie Mosher and John Boswell. These two have, literally, built a cult following as Pepper Cole and Johnny Niagara with this unexpected piece of hilarity and music. It is so fresh, so funny, so crazy and so original that all I can say is, “You had to be there.” Thank you for such a memorable evening and Congratulations! I hope these photos give you some idea of what fun this evening was.
My View: William Finn Attends Opening Night of NEW BRAIN at Barrington Stage Company
Last night Barrington Stage Company (BSC) in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) presented William Finn’s 1998 musical A NEW BRAIN on Barrington’s Boyd-Quinson mainstage. Check out the opening night photos and after party below. A NEW BRAIN will play through September 10, 2023.
A New Brain features Adam Chanler-Berat (Broadway: Next to Normal, Peter and the Starcatcher; HBO Max: “Gossip Girl”; WTF: Animal Crackers) as Gordon, three-time Tony Award nominee Mary Testa (Broadway: Oklahoma!, 42nd Street; Off-Broadway: Bill Finn’s In Trousers; BSC: Sleepless Variations; WTF: Most Happy in Concert) as Mimi, Tally Sessions (Broadway: Company, Anastasia, Bill Finn’s Falsettos) as Dr. Jafar / Dad, Demond Green (Broadway: Sister Act; BSC: Funked Up Fairy Tales, Bill Finn’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as The Minister, Dorcas Leung (Broadway: Miss Saigon; National Tour: Hamilton; BSC: Into the Woods) as Rhoda, Andy Grotelueschen (Broadway: The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, Tootsie) as Mr. Bungee, Salome B. Smith (Broadway: 1776) as Lisa, and Justine Horihata Rappaport (National Tour: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella) as Nancy, Darrell Purcell, Jr. (Signature Theatre: The Scottsboro Boys; Temple Theatre: Hairspray) as Roger, and Eliseo Roman (BSC: Fall Springs; Broadway: In The Heights, On Your Feet!) as Richard. Understudies are Ross Griffin, Courtney Balan and Jamen Nanthakumar.
In A New Brain, Gordon can’t get past his writer’s block when a medical emergency forces him to reassess if his songs (or lack thereof) are more important than his family, his friends, or his partner. He needs to navigate a mean nurse, shelves of books and a bossy frog to get to the heart of his music.
A New Brain features music and lyrics by BSC Associate Artist William Finn (BSC: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Royal Family of Broadway), book by Finn and Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner James Lapine (Broadway: Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George), and direction by BSC Associate Artist Joe Calarco (BSC: Waiting for Godot, Into the Woods, Ragtime), with music direction by Vadim Feichtner (BSC: The Royal Family of Broadway; Broadway: Falsettos, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and choreography by Chloe O. Davis (Paradise Square).
A New Brain was originally presented in 1998 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, where it won the 1999 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. The largely autobiographical musical is about Finn’s life-threatening experience surviving a neurological brain condition.
For a 2015 production of A New Brain at New York City Center’s Encores! Off-Center, Jesse Green, writing for New York Magazine, said, “What makes A New Brain so satisfying is that its almost relentless humor and cynicism are used to promote a very serious and often sad inquiry into key human questions. What do we make of our time here? What do we make of our abilities? Finn’s answer is the obvious one, but no less generous for that. If your brain is wired for it, you make music.”
A New Brain features scenic design by Paige Hathaway, costume design by Debra Kim Sivigny, lighting design by Jason Lyons, and sound design by Ken Travis. Production Stage Manager is John Godbout. Assistant Stage Manager is Leslie Sears.
The Boyd-Quinson Stage season opened with the legendary Tony Award-winning musical Cabaret, directed by BSC Artistic Director Alan Paul. It also includes Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky (now-August 5), directed by Candis C. Jones, and Steinberg Playwright Award winner Sanaz Toossi’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play English (September 27-October 15).
The St. Germain Stage season at Barrington Stage Company opened with The Happiest Man on Earth by Mark St. Germain, based on Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku’s extraordinary 2020 memoir of the same name, published when Jaku was 100 years old, starring Kenneth Tigar and directed by Ron Lagomarsino. The St. Germain season continued with Mike Lew’s tiny father, a co-world premiere play produced by Chautauqua Theater Company and BSC, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel. The season concludes with a revival of Brian Friel’s Faith Healer (August 1-27), directed by Julianne Boyd and starring BSC Associate Artists Christopher Innvar, Mark H. Dold and Gretchen Egolf.
BSC casting is by McCorkle Casting (Pat McCorkle, CSA; Rebecca Weiss, CSA).
For tickets to A New Brain or the BSC Season, please call the BSC Box Office at 413-236-8888 or visit www.BarringtonStageCo.org/Tickets.
ABOUT BARRINGTON STAGE COMPANY
Barrington Stage Company (BSC), under the leadership of Artistic Director Alan Paul and Managing Director Meredith Lynsey Schade, is an award-winning theatre located in Pittsfield, MA, in the heart of the Berkshires. Co-founded in 1995 by Julianne Boyd, BSC’s mission is to produce top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to engage our community with vibrant, inclusive educational outreach programs. Alan Paul succeeded Ms. Boyd as the company’s Artistic Director in 2022.
BSC attracts over 60,000 patrons annually and has gained national recognition for its superior-quality productions and comprehensive educational programming, including the award-winning Playwright Mentoring Project, the Musical Theatre Conservatory, Youth Theatre, KidsAct! and other initiatives. The company has become integral to the economic revitalization of downtown Pittsfield.
BSC’s reputation for excellence began with a smash revival of Cabaret that moved to Boston in 1997 for an extended run. The theatre’s prominence grew with the world premiere of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin (BSC 2004; Broadway 2005-2008, winner of two Tony Awards). Other notable productions include the world premiere of Christopher Demos-Brown’s American Son (BSC 2016; Broadway 2018); Mark St. Germain’s Freud’s Last Session (BSC 2009; Off-Broadway 2010-2012); Leonard Bernstein, Comden & Green’s On the Town (BSC 2013; Broadway 2014, four Tony Award nominations); Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company, starring Aaron Tveit (2017); and West Side Story in honor of Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins’ centenaries (2018).
BSC develops and commissions new work with two programs: PlayWorks, which supports the creation of new plays, and the Musical Theatre Lab, which develops new musicals. Since 1995, BSC has produced 45 new works, 22 of which have moved to New York and major US regional theatres.
ABOUT WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL
For seven decades, the Tony Award-recognized Williamstown Theatre Festival has brought emerging and professional theater artists together in the Berkshires to create a thrilling summer festival of diverse, world premiere plays and musicals, bold new revivals, and a rich array of accompanying cultural events.
Artists are drawn to Williamstown Theatre Festival to make great theater in an environment conducive to artistic risk-taking. Matthew Broderick, Audra McDonald, Dominique Morisseau, Mary-Louise Parker, Susan Stroman, Uma Thurman, and Blair Underwood are just a few of the luminous theater artists who have worked at the Festival. Many others, including Sterling K. Brown, Ty Burrell, Charlie Day, Paul Giamatti, Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Brie Larson, Chris Pine, and George C. Wolfe, began their careers at the Festival.
Productions and artists shaped at the Festival fill theaters in New York City and around the world. Recently, Williamstown Theatre Festival was represented on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally by The Sound Inside, Grand Horizons, The Rose Tattoo, The Visit, Fool for Love, The Elephant Man, Seared, Selling Kabul, Unknown Solider, and Lempicka, to name just a few. Cost of Living, which was developed and premiered at Williamstown Theatre Festival, was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and made its Broadway debut last fall.
Biden Approves NYC Congestion Charge
Thanks to Biden New Yorkers and commuters will be paying a traffic congestion charge of up to $23 a day by mid-2024, while the cost of a round trip by car from areas like Princeton, New Jersey, could be as much as $120. The toll will be applied on top of existing bridge and tunnel tolls to congestion charges.
NYC wants to charge a daily variable toll for vehicles entering or remaining within the central business district, defined as between 60th Street in midtown Manhattan and Battery Park on Manhattan’s southern tip.
Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy condemned the approval as “unfair and ill-advised.”
Governor Hochul is committed to implementing congestion pricing to reduce traffic, improve air quality, and support our public transit system, states John Lindsay, a spokesperson for Hochul.
New York lawmakers approved the plan in 2019, to start in 2021, but under President Donald Trump this did not happen.
MTA says they would need almost a year to set up the new tolling infrastructure once they obtains federal approval, putting it on track to meet its current target of launching congestion pricing in the second quarter of 2024.
Last year, the MTA said passenger vehicle drivers could pay between $9 and $23 to enter at peak times, while overnight tolls could be as little as $5. It would cost between $12 and $82 for trucks.
The toll will generate $1-$1.5 billion a year for MTA, which runs the city’s public transit system and faces a financial crisis as ridership continues to lag behind pre-pandemic levels.
The money would also support $15 billion in debt financing for mass transit improvement.
A study released last year projected it would reduce the number of cars entering Manhattan by 15 to 20 percent.
Illegal Migrants Now Are Given The Old McDonald Building On 42nd Street
Mayor Eric Adams is set to open another illegal migrant shelter right in the heart of Times Square. The vacant Candler Tower office building, at 209-213 West 42nd Street is about to house more illegal migrants.
This is smack dabb in the pulse of Times Square.
The building, once home to the 24-hour McDonald’s restaurant was long billed as the busiest and most profitable of its kind in the US. Thanks to COVID-19 the building was lockdown in June 2020 and the building’s owner, UK-based investment company EPIC, reportedly signed over the deed in March 2022 to avoid foreclosure.
This property is 227,685 square feet and has 24 floors, with a market value of $110,464,000.
There are now 103 emergency shelters being used to house migrants and guess who is footing the bill?
Why are we not housing our Vets, our homeless or our senior citizens? I guess if you are illegal you get a free pass!
Illegal Migrants Become Picky On What New York Tax Payers Offer
Over hundreds of illegal migrants that were housed in high end Midtown hotels have set up a tent encampments rather than move to a shelter set up by Mayor Eric Adams. These rooms were costing New Yorkers $450-a-night, and were at 3.5-star hotels.
The encampment is outside The Watson Hotel, but expect more outside The Row and other hotels where the migrants trashed the rooms.
The tent city in The Bronx and on Randall’s Island were not deemed good enough and were abandoned. Now a shelter at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is to be the new home for at least 1,000 male migrants who were housed at the Watson. That led to the migrants to refuse to relocate, setting up camp directly outside in direct defiance of Adam’s order. For people who have no money now they have tents. Who is funding this rebellion?
The tents reportedly were gifted to the displaced by members of the local community, but New Yorkers are trying to fend for themselves. There is definitely somebody or a group behind this as a table complete with coffee, bananas, water, and pizza were available.
They are writing on signs “Permanent homes,” but what about the veterans, the American homeless, the abused families in America who are homeless? Why do illegals expect so much.
This is reportedly going to cost taxpayers $1 billion for 2022 alone. Before the migrant crises NYC already had tens of thousands of New Yorkers in shelters. They never got 3 – 4 star hotels.
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