Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay Abaire (Rabbit Hole; Good People) is among the panelists participating in the newly announced Drama Desk’s panel “Everybody’s a Critic” this weekend at BroadwayCon. Chicago Tribune Chief Critic Chris Jones will moderate the panel, which will explore the changing face of criticism in the digital age and how those changes affect the writing and reception of criticism.
Also joining the panel are playwrights Matthew Lombardo (High, Looped), Sharr White (The Other Place; The Snow Geese), press agent Susan L. Schulman, York Theatre Artistic Director James Morgan, Washington Post Chief Theater Critic Peter Marks and critics and Drama Desk members Elysa Gardner (freelance, formerly USA Today), Helen Shaw (Time Out New York) and Linda Armstrong (New Amsterdam News).
The panel will be held at 3 pm Saturday, Jan. 28 in room D. For information on how to attend the conference, visit BroadwayCon.com.
Information on the panelists:
Chris Jones (moderator) is the chief theater critic and a Sunday culture columnist for the Chicago Tribune. He also serves as a critic for CBS-2 Chicago. He has covered the arts in numerous cities throughout the United States during his career, including a stint as Variety’s Broadway critic. He is director of the National Critics’ Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Connecticut and has twice served on the drama committee of the Pulitzer Prizes.
David Lindsay-Abaire is a playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, and librettist. His most recent play Good People premiered on Broadway, and was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, The Horton Foote Prize, The Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, and two Tony nominations. His previous play, Rabbit Hole, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, five Tony nominations, and the Spirit of America Award. He also wrote the book and lyrics for Shrek the Musical, which was nominated for eight Tonys, four Oliviers, a Grammy, and earned David the Ed Kleban Award as America’s most promising musical theatre lyricist. Mr. Lindsay-Abaire’s other plays include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, and A Devil Inside, among others.
Sharr White’s have been developed or produced at theatres across the country and Europe, including Manhattan Theatre Club, MCC Theatre, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Melbourne Theatre Company, The Magic Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and more. His play, The Other Place, directed by Joe Mantello receved its Broadway premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club starring Laurie Metcalf. The play received a 2010 Playwrights First Award; the 2011 Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation’s Theatre Visions Fund Award.
Matthew Lombardo’s Broadway credits include High starring Academy and Tony Award nominee Kathleen Turner and Looped starring Valerie Harper . He is also the author of the Off-Broadway hit Tea at Five, the Katharine Hepburn play starring Kate Mulgrew, which won an IRNE Award for Best Solo Play. His plays have broken box office records at several regional theatres across the country, and his work has been produced at such prestigious venues as Seattle Rep, The Shubert Theatre in Boston, Hartford Stage, The Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, Arena Stage, The Broward Center for Performing Arts, The Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, The Curran Theatre in San Francisco, American Repertory Theatre and others.
Peter Marks joined the Washington Post as its chief theater critic in 2002. Prior to that he worked for nine years at the New York Times, on the culture, metropolitan and national desks, and spent about four years as its off-Broadway drama critic. Marks was the Times’ second-stringer under Ben Brantley from 1996 to 1999. Marks left the job to cover the 2000 Presidential campaign.
Elysa Gardner, a former music and theater critic at USA TODAY, was also at different, sometimes overlapping points a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone and The New Yorker’s “Night Life” section. She has interviewed icons such as Stephen Sondheim, Tom Stoppard, Tony Kushner, Harry Belafonte, Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, Mavis Staples, Bono, Beyonce, Madonna, Jay Z and the late Arthur Miller, August Wilson, Edward Albee and David Bowie, She has written for Harper’s, Out, Entertainment Weekly, Spin and Vibe, and served on the jury for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in drama. She is a member of the Drama Desk Board of Directors and serves as a member of the NY Critics Circle.
Linda Armstrong covers theater for the NY Amsterdam News, started more than 100 years ago and now one of the most important Black newspapers in the country and today. At the 43rd Annual AUDELCO Awards, which recognize Excellence In Black Theatre, Linda was honored with a Special Lifetime Achievement Award for her 30 years of theater criticism for the paper.
Helen Shaw is a performance critic at Time Out New York. She teaches theater studies at New York University, and is the associate director of Programs for the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at CUNY, where she also co-curates the Prelude festival, a celebration of downtown performance. Her criticism has also appeared in TheatreForum, the New York Sun, the Jewish Daily Forward and Playbill, and she has served as a dramaturg for Martha Clarke, Simon McBurney, Lear Debessonet, Francois Rochaix and Janos Szasz.
Susan L. Schulman has been a theatrical press agent for more than 40 years, handling publicity for Broadway and Off-Broadway plays and musicals, national tours, cabaret, special events and individual personalities. Her Broadway productions include Applause, Scapino, Sly Fox, Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, A Streetcar Named Desire, Death and the Maiden, Requiem For A Heavyweight, State Fair and Dream. She has handled publicity for the Manhattan Theatre Club, Circle in the Square, York Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Joffrey and Feld Ballets as well as Tony Award winners/nominees Karen Ziemba, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kathleen Chalfant among many others. Her memoir, “Backstage Pass To Broadway,” is one of Amazon’s 100 Best Selling books on theatre. www.schulmanpublicity.com
James Morgan is Producing Artistic Director of the York Theatre Company.
Since its founding in 1949, Drama Desk’s mission has been to promote and support artistic excellence in the New York professional theater, in its multitude of forms and styles and on stages of various sizes and configurations. The organization accomplishes its goal by hosting an annual Drama Desk Awards celebration and presenting various educational forums and panel discussions to its members and the theatergoing public. Dramadesk.org
BroadwayCon is theatre’s answer to comic-con, tailor made for fans. From January 27–29, 2017, join some of Broadway’s biggest fans, performers, and creators from classic and current shows as we gather at the incomparable Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to perform, discuss, debate, and celebrate theatre. BroadwayCon 2017 will feature panels, performances, interviews, workshops, singalongs, and more, all packed into an epic three-day weekend. Past panels have included previews from upcoming Broadway shows, conversations with the casts and creatives of this season’s hits, and discussions featuring the industry’s top producers and designers, not to mention the giant Opening Ceremony, the nighttime concerts, and the dance parties. BroadwayCon is produced by Mischief Management and Playbill. The BroadwayCon Artistic Director of Headline Programming is David Alpert.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.BroadwayCon.com.
Hadestown Celebrates Their 1000th Performances and The First Day of Spring With Lilies White, Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin
Hadestown, the Tony® and Grammy Award®-winning Best Musical, celebrated both tomorrow’s first day of Spring and the beloved show recently achieving a milestone 1,000 performances at Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street) with a surprise appearance by songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin.
After a heartfelt thank you from both, Mitchell and Tony Award winner Lillias White led the audience in a special performance of a classic springtime anthem. Then, as the audience departed the theater, the cast took to the Kerr’s fire escape overlooking West 48th Street and threw flowers to fans.
In addition to White, Hadestown also stars original Broadway cast member Jewelle Blackman as Persephone, Grammy Award® winner Reeve Carney as Orpheus, Tony Award nominee Tom Hewitt as Hades, and two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. They are joined by Amelia Cormack, Shea Renne, and Soara-Joye Ross as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Alex Puette, Trent Saunders, and Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Sojourner Brown, Brandon Cameron, Max Kumangai, and Yael “YaYa” Reich, Allysa Shorte, and Tanner Ray Wilson.
Hadestown originated as Mitchell’s indie theater project that toured Vermont which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With Chavkin, her artistic collaborator, Hadestown has been transformed into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.
Following two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience.
Hadestown marks the first time in over a decade that a woman has been the solo author of a musical: writing the music, lyrics, and book, and is the fourth time in Broadway history a woman has accomplished this creative feat. It also marks the first time in Broadway history that a show’s female composer and female director both won Tony Awards for their work. Earlier this year, the landmark musical became the longest running show in the history of the Walter Kerr Theatre and holds the record for highest grossing musical in that venerated stage’s 100-year history.
The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown is one of the most streamed cast albums of all time with over 300 million streams to date. It topped Billboard’s Broadway Cast Recording chart and debuted at #8 on the Top Album chart. The CD edition features a 64-page booklet and a two-disc set, while the triple vinyl edition features a 16-page booklet. Both editions include complete song lyrics and photos of the Hadestown cast and creative team in the studio, and other exclusive content. A special limited-edition transparent green vinyl box set was just released on Friday.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Pictures From Home
Theatre News: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Bad Cinderella, John Kander, KPOP and The Rewards of Being Frank
A Statement From Andrew Lloyd Webber
I am absolutely devastated to say that my eldest son Nick is critically ill.
As my friends and family know, he has been fighting gastric cancer for the last 18 months and Nick is now hospitalised.
I therefore have not been able to attend the recent previews of Bad Cinderella and as things stand, I will not be able to cheer on its wonderful cast, crew and orchestra on Opening Night this Thursday.
We are all praying that Nick will turn the corner. He is bravely fighting with his indomitable humour, but at the moment my place is with him and the family.
Opening Night Performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Bad Cinderella is Thursday, March 23, 2023 at Imperial Theatre, 249 W 45th Street.
Red Carpet arrivals of celebrity guests including Afyia Bennett, Senator Barbara Boxer, Alex Brightman, Tory Burch, Kandi Burruss, Jordan E. Cooper, Erin Dana Lichy, Lamar Dawson, Machine Dazzle, Bethenny Frankel, Mandy Gonzalez, Amber Gray, Jae Gurley, Amber Iman, Ashley Longshore, Carson Kressley, Judy Kuhn, Loosey LaDuca, Luann de Lesseps, Marcia Marcia Marcia, Martyna Majok, Ingrid Michaelson, Andy Mientus, Minnie Mills, Pablo Montalban, Justin Peck, Wendell Pierce, Zac Posen, T. Oliver Reid, Krysta Rodriguez, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Sylvester Stallone, Elizabeth Stanley, Alex Timbers, Tommy Tune, Tanairi Sade Vasquez, Ana Villafane, Anna Wintour and the cast and creative team of Bad Cinderella including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Linedy Genao, Carolee Carmello, Grace McLean, Jordan Dobson, Sami Gayle, Morgan Higgins, Cameron Loyal, Christina Acosta Robinson, Savy Jackson, Mike Baerga, Raymond Baynard, Lauren Boyd, Tristen Buettel, Alyssa Carol, Gary Cooper, Kaleigh Cronin, Josh Drake, Ben Lanham, Angel Lozada, Mariah Lyttle, Robin Masella, Sarah Meahl, Michael Milkanin, Chloe Nadon-Enriquez, Christian Probst, Larkin Reilly, Julio Rey, Lily Rose, J Savage, Dave Schoonover, Tregony Shepherd, Paige Smallwood, Lucas Thompson, Alena Watters and more.
John Kander celebrates his 96th birthday on Saturday, March 18, six days before New York, New York, his 16th original Broadway musical begins performances at the St. James Theatre., giving him the distinction of being the oldest composer to open a new musical on Broadway. To honor the legendary composer Susan Stroman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Colton Ryan, Anna Uzele and the cast and creative team of New York, New York surprised John Kander with a Big-Apple-sized rendition of “Happy Birthday.” You can watch the video here.
A titan of the American Theatre, John Kander made his Broadway debut as the rehearsal pianist for the original production of Gypsy starring Ethel Merman in 1951. The first Kander & Ebb musical, Flora The Red Menace, debuted in 1965 and starred Liza Minnelli in a Tony-winning performance. What followed was a string of legendary musicals including Chicago, Cabaret, Steel Pier, Curtains, The Visit and The Scottsboro Boys, all culminating in this new musical set in post-war New York, inspired by the 1977 Martin Scorsese film of the same name, which features the iconic song “New York, New York.” New York, New York marks the 15th Kander & Ebb musical to open on Broadway.
New York, New York marks the first new John Kander & Fred Ebb musical to open on Broadway since 2015’s The Visit, which was nominated for 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The legendary duo is also currently represented on Broadway with Chicago, which holds the distinction of being the longest-running American musical in Broadway history.
New York, New York stars Colton Ryan (Girl From The North Country, Hulu’s “The Girl From Plainville”) as Jimmy Doyle, Anna Uzele (Six, Apple TV+’s “Dear Edward”) as Francine Evans, Clyde Alves (On The Town) as Tommy Caggiano, John Clay III (Choir Boy) as Jesse Webb, Janet Dacal (In The Heights) as Sofia Diaz, Ben Davis (Dear Evan Hansen) as Gordon Kendrick, Oliver Prose as Alex Mann (Broadway Debut), Angel Sigala (Broadway Debut) as Mateo Diaz, and Tony Award nominee Emily Skinner (Side Show) as Madame Veltri. The ensemble includes Wendi Bergamini, Allison Blackwell, Giovanni Bonaventura, Jim Borstelmann, Lauren Carr, Mike Cefalo, Bryan J. Cortés, Kristine Covillo, Gabriella Enriquez, Haley Fish, Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Richard Gatta, Stephen Hanna, Naomi Kakuk, Akina Kitazawa, Ian Liberto, Kevin Ligon, Leo Moctezuma, Aaron Nicholas Patterson, Dayna Marie Quincy, Julian Ramos, Drew Redington, Benjamin Rivera, Vanessa Sears, Davis Wayne, Jeff Williams, Darius Wright. New York, New York begins performances Friday, March 24, 2023 and officially opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
Featuring music and lyrics by Tony, Emmy & Grammy Award winners and Academy Award nominees John Kander & Fred Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret), written by Tony Award nominee David Thompson (The Scottsboro Boys, Steel Pier), co-written by Sharon Washington (Audible’s Feeding The Dragon) and featuring additional lyrics by Pulitzer, Tony, Emmy & Grammy Award winner and Academy Award nominee Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In The Heights), New York, New York will be directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers, The Scottsboro Boys).
It is 1946, the war is over, and a resurgent New York is beginning to rebuild. As steel beams swing overhead, a collection of artists has dreams as big and diverse as the city itself.
Among them is New York native Jimmy Doyle, a brilliant but disillusioned musician looking for his “major chord” in life: music, money, love. The odds are against him getting all three until he meets Francine Evans, a young singer just off the bus from Philly, who is destined for greatness. If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere.
Tickets for New York, New York are now on-sale at www.NewYorkNewYorkBroadway.com. Tickets start at $59.
This new musical is inspired by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Motion Picture New York, New York written by Earl M. Rauch.
Sony Masterworks Broadway, along with producers Tim Forbes and Joey Parnes, share new track “Super Star” from KPOP – Original Broadway Cast Recording – listen here. Featuring vocals from chart-topping Korean songstress and show lead Luna as well as the show’s talented cast of performers, “Superstar” is the second track to debut from the album, which arrives digitally on Monday, May 8 and on CD Friday, May 12. “Super Star” premieres today alongside an accompanying video featuring Luna – watch here.
Available for preorder and presave now, KPOP – Original Broadway Cast Recording was produced by Helen Park, Matt Stein, and Harvey Mason jr.(NCT 127, Red Velvet), and features music, lyrics, music production and arrangements by Park and music and lyrics by Max Vernon. The first-ever Broadway musical to celebrate Korean culture with Korean, Korean-American, and API representation on and off-stage, the album features a star-studded cast of performers from the world of K-pop, including chart-topping superstar and lead Luna, BoHyung (from the K-pop group SPICA and half of the duo KEEMBO), Min (from the K-pop group Miss A), Kevin Woo (from the K-pop group U-KISS), and more.
The Rewards of Being Frank, currently running through March 26, 2023 at the Mezzanine Theatre at ART/New York Theatres (502 West 53rd Street), is now available for streaming, also through March 26 only. The World Premiere play, written by Alice Scovell, is a sequel to Oscar Wilde’s immortal 1895 comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest. https://ci.ovationtix.com/35099/store/donations/49755 The cast for The Rewards of Being Frank feature Moboluwaji Ademide Akintilo (New York Classical’s The Importance of Being Earnest (Two Ways), Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Frank, James Evans (The McKittrick Hotel’s The Woman in Black) as Algernon, Kelly Mengelkoch (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company) as Gwendolyn, Tora Nogami Alexander (The Acting Company’s Twelfth Night) as Cecily, Jeremy Dubin (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company) as Ernest, and Christine Pedi(Broadway’s Chicago, Talk Radio, Off-Broadway’s Forbidden Broadway) as Lady Bracknell. Oscar Wilde’s much-loved The Importance of Being Earnest receives a hilarious sequel in this world premiere. Set seven years after Wilde’s play, see what happens to our characters when they meet Frank. After all, the only thing more Important than being Earnest, is being Frank! Performances are Tuesday-Sunday at 7:00 PM with matinees on Wednesdays at 2:00 PM. Running time is two hours including intermission. Tickets are available on the NY Classical website. Advance reservations are $35 per seat. These reservations are refundable—in cash, at the theatre—following each regular performance.* All NY Classical programs are free and open to the public. Pending seating availability, FREE admission will be available beginning one hour before curtain, on a first-come, first-served basis.The Rewards of Being Frank is a co-production of New York Classical Theatre (Stephen Burdman, Founding Artistic Director, Matthieu Chapman, Literary Director) and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (Brian Isaac Phillips, Producing Artistic Director). Mr. Burdman directs. The streaming version of The Rewards of Being Frank is available for a donation of $10 or higher. You can watch the recording as often as you wish and at any time. The link will expire at 10:00 pm on Sunday, March 26, 2023. To order, or for more information, please visit:
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