Connect with us

Broadway

He Says: Broadway’s Gender-Swapping Company Elevates Itself to Rises Up and Cheer

Published

on

The notion of Company, as told by Sondheim in his book “Finishing The Hat“, is all about a character, with no emotional commitments, reassessing the thirty-five-year life lived so far by reviewing the relationships of the married friends and love interests that gather together for a surprise birthday party in honor of Bobby or, in this case, Bobbie. “That is the entire plot,” he writes, noting the non-linear conceptualization with a daring sense of challenge, frivolity, and fun. In his impressively detailed book, and when Company was first presented in 1970, the lead character was most definitively a male who goes by the name of Bobby; “Bobby baby. Bobby bubi. Robby. Robert Darling.” Take your pick. Raul Esparza certainly did, grabbing hold of the character with an aggressive vigor that truly inspired, helped along by director John Doyle in their well-received revival of the show back in 2006. Together, they turned it into a compelling musical-revitalizing show about internal processing, vulnerability, and growth, circling around the lead’s impulse, as if they all were electrons moving down pathways inside of his brain. But the question of the day is how would it all go down if Bobbie was reassigned as a straight female instead of this 1970s bachelor? Would it all still make sense? Or could it possibly make even more sense than the original formulation? This production was determined to find out one way or the other. 

Katrina Lenk, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Nikki Renee Daniels in Company on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

In many ways, the surprising new, reconfigured revival makes this Broadway production of Company a much more solid and contemporary piece of insightful musical theatre than it ever was before, giving the show a wild and wonderful opportunity to deconstruct the limitations and preconceived notions that swirl around a thirty-five-year-old single woman’s head. Especially in this day and age. Sadly, many would wonder why this woman isn’t married by now, why she isn’t thinking about starting a family or having kids at this moment in her life, all while simultaneously demanding of her to keep her career alive and her sexual body in shape.  It’s a lot to ask for, from anyone to be honest, regardless of gender, but amazingly, this West End transfer revival is determined to ask those questions sharply, and in doing so, become a far more relevant musical in 2021 than it ever was before, particularly after the year and a half we just went through, on all fronts. 

It’s a miraculous piece of writing and rewriting by composer Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd), tweaking the lyrics and George Furth’s book to fit the flip, and one that fills me with wonder at the late Sondheim’s openness and brilliance of re-construction in his storytelling. It is his love for experimentation, formed early on in his illustrious career, that I’m assuming helped him find his way through, advancing the story with each delicious line after line after line, and finding a way to improve and realign each delicious reading of a lyric or verse. The whole reformation project gracefully entwines itself around the songs and the structures, courtesy of musical supervisor and music director, Joel Fram (Broadway’s Wicked), giving new movement and emotional clarity to all of the devastatingly ironic and witty lyrics and ideals. 

Katrina Lenk (center) and the company of Company on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Squeezed most beautifully into the confined lit-up boxes of a single female’s life in NYC, Bobbie and Company have miraculously risen from the COVID ashes and reignited the Broadway stage at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. Thrillingly staged with style and precision by designer Bunny Christie’s (National/St. Ann’s People, Places and Things), the set and the production almost seem smarter and stronger than the West End production that won a slew of awards when it played at the Gielgud Theatre in 2018. Jammed most inventively into a few tight and claustrophobic sliding squares alongside the shifting and floating Company letters that seem made for NYC, the piece looks as sharp and smart as Furth’s updated book and Sondheim’s music and lyrics. I’m a bit disappointed that the gender specificity of Bobbie’s sexuality remains entirely heterosexual, but the shifting of a gendered perspective does give her the freedom of choice and a particularly strong sense of self. It elevates the piece from some pretty intense bits of misogyny – just watch the Doyle revival on YouTubeand try not to squirm in discomfort as I most recently did with each stereotypical assumption negatively made of many of the female characters. Esparza elevated that revival to incredible heights, while also unearthing a new way to look at the musical’s internalized process of having actually no plot. This is true, and similar to Sam Mendes’s more intimate 1996 London production that turned its eye in on Robert’s emotional struggle far more so than the original one ever did. That 1970 production, directed by Harold Prince, seemed less about how Bobby’s mind was working, and more on the couples’ stories, just like its source material, George Furth’s eleven brief one-act plays written in the later 1960s.

In 2018, I organized a November trip to London, specifically because of the announcement that Sondheim’s Company was being revived in the West End with one of my all-time favorites, Patti LuPone (Gypsy, Sweeney Todd) playing the part of Joanne, one made famous by Elaine Stritch back in the original Broadway production. I’ve seen LuPone perform “The Ladies Who Lunch” numerous times, particularly when she sang it as part of a red-dress- ladies tribute giving celebration to Sondheim’s 80th birthday. LuPone wondrously sang the song with a sweet nod directly to Stritch’s red hat stating quite marvelously, “I’ll drink to that!” LuPone was also seen in the role opposite Neil Patrick Harris in the 2011 New York Philharmonic concert version, one I missed live but watched with joy as I streamed it from somewhere into my living room while cursing the world for allowing me to miss it. Now in London, directed by the wise and creative Marianne Elliott (National’s Rules for Living, West End/Broadway’s Angels in America), the iconic musical was going to get another chance of rediscovery; reveling and redesigning itself under the watchful eye of this inventive director. The musical has forever been breaking boundaries, but with this production, it broke the mold that ultimately needed to be broken, and now, finally making its way to Broadway, we get our chance to take in its wonder. Company has finally come home.

Katrina Lenk in Company on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

With an entirely new cast, except, of course for Patti LuPone who continues to strengthen her attachment to the part, the company of Company has delivered a new way of being and maybe a new purpose for the musical’s existence. Watching the Esparza revival after watching the current revival really made me sit up and take notice. Man, oh, man. There are just so many moments when the female characters are belittled; treated and viewed in a negative demeaning manner, sometimes slightly, but other times pretty overtly. I was shocked that I had never felt that sharp edge before, but that’s the power of Elliott’s illuminating production. She doesn’t just change the lead’s gender, but deconstructs the whole to find something that is more balanced and fair, and in a way more meaningful to the world we now inhabit.

LuPone once said in an interview that she is not really interested in doing revivals, especially if there is no unique or creative vision at its core that makes it seem necessary. She wants a raison d’être or at least a different slant to the piece (this is not a direct quote). Lucky for us all, inside Elliott’s vision, LuPone certainly found the compelling argument to jump on board. Elliot’s Bobby is magnificently restructured, with a blessing and a bit of a rewrite from Sondheim into the gender-swapping framework of Bobbie, a thirty-four, turning thirty-five-year-old single female played meticulously well by one of my favorites, Katrina Lenk. As with all previous Bobbys, this Bobbie finds it equally difficult to commit fully to a serious relationship, let alone the idea of marriage, but being a female, the whole thing carries an added layer or weight. She cringes and shies away from the argument, giving the gendered landscape the flip the musical needs to be relevant. Ripe with possibilities and reformations, Company delivers forth five married couples, all Bobbie’s closest of friends, although one now is a gay male couple, the adorable Jamie and his steadfast partner, Paul, played to perfection by Matt Doyle (Broadway’s Spring Awakening) and Etai Benson (Broadway’s The Band’s Visit). And that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Claybourne Elder, Manu Narayan, and Bobby Conte in Company on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Each of the pairs are given a moment to shine and engage in a debate of sorts with Bobbie through vignettes in no particular chronological order, all circling around the beautiful complications and ugly truth of marriage and partnership. The most solid being the magical “Sorry-Grateful” number, beautifully performed by the husbands; Christopher Sieber (Broadway’s The Prom) as Harry, Christopher Fitzgerald (Broadway’s Waitress) as David, and Terence Archie (Broadway’s Ragtime) as Larry. In another twist of the gender theme, Bobbie’s lovers are now, not surprisingly in this very hetero-happy narrative, all male; embodied by the delicious Bobby Conte (Broadway’s A Bronx Tale) as PJ, the handsome Claybourne Elder (Broadway’s Sunday in the Park…) as Andy, and the intriguing Manu Narayan (Broadway’s Gettin’ the Band…) as Theo. They each have something to say to Bobbie regarding her lack of commitment and engagement, and together they deliver a great door-slamming “You Could Drive a Person Crazy.” “Bobby is my hobby, and I’m giving it up!

It’s LuPone’s Joanna that leads us strongly into the couples’ complications through an exact and dramatically fun rendition of “The Little Things You Do Together.“ The glib smartness of the lyrics rings true in her amused presentation, sung to perfection, “Mm-hm” as we watch one couple, Sarah and Harry, played strongly by Jennifer Simard (Broadway’s Mean Girls) and Sieber, battle it out for supremacy. “It’s not so hard to be married,” she and the company of Company sings, although it’s her follow-up line, “I’ve done it three or four times” that gives the punch to the puzzle. Later in the production, LuPone raised up strong to the occasion, destroying the competition, if there is one, with her breathtakingly smart turn on “Ladies Who Lunch.” It is unlike any other, including her own, feeling deadly honest and heartfelt in a way that I haven’t heard before. The performance is deviously unique and compellingly detailed in thought and deconstruction, leading the way forward to the emotional crack in Bobbie’s stalemate of the heart. 

Christopher Sieber, Jennifer Simard, Katrina Lenk, and Patti LuPone in Company on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

But, in reality, it is all about the brilliant birthday girl Bobbie, and even though she doesn’t get her candlelight wish, as the rules say, Lenk stands tall in the center of this storm, delivering her Act One closer, “Marry Me a Little” and the finale-to-end-all finales, “Being Alive“, with strength and commitment. She soars high and strong, doing her best to tear down the house, and she almost does, but not quite as intensely as Esparza did back in 2006. This is a fact that I’m not that thrilled to say, to be honest. And the same could be said about Rosalie Craig (National Theatre’s The Threepenny Opera) in the West End production. Lenk is one of the most talented women on Broadway today, easily morphing herself into every part she has taken on. I mean, just watch her in Broadway’s The Band’s Visit and Paula Vogel’s Broadway play, Indecent. It’s an astounding engulfment to bear witness to. In Company, her voice is as gorgeous as ever, filling the space easily with a beautiful presence and star quality, but somewhere along the way, her Bobbie never really finds the grit or the intensity needed to make those moments devastatingly engaging. She’s charming and captivating, but never grabs hold of you firmly enough to take our eyes off the star-powered performances happening all around her. It’s a shame because everything is there for her to take full advantage of, but for some reason, her powerhouse songs fail to shine as bright as we were all wanting and waiting so desperately for.

The whole cast is clearly behind her though, performing majestically in her honor, wonderfully creating exciting musical chair versions of “Side by Side by Side” for our pleasure. The gloriously infusive title song, “Company” sticks solid and clear in an arena made perfect for the presentation, most delicately lit by Neil Austin (Broadway’s Travesties), with sound design by Ian Dickinson (National’s Hangman), and illusions by Chris Fisher (Harry Potter…). Specifically, Bobbie’s airline attendant boyfriend, Claybourne Elder’s Randy, wait, I mean Andy, as opposed to the original flight attendant June, I mean, April, is tremendous, delivering a growing attachment with such depth and dimension that I was male struck, and not just by Elder’s impressive good looks. His version of “dumb” is as delicate and fascinating as one could hope for, elevating the character while bringing an added investment to his Andy that breathes simplicity into the beautiful “Barcelona“. Bobbie’s third boyfriend (we’ll get to number two in a bit), Theo, played well by Narayan, isn’t given that much to do beyond a lovely, sweet scene that registers, much like Rashidra Scott’s (Broadway’s Ain’t Too Proud) Susan and Greg Hildreth’s (Broadway’s The Rose Tattoo) Peter as the seemingly perfect couple who are about to get divorced and live happily ever after together. They wonderfully deliver their connection, but beyond that particular formulation and idea, they aren’t really given a true vocal moment to shine before shifting on to another couple.

Patti LuPone and Katrina Lenk in Company on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

One of the questions I had walking in with, was how well they would walk the tightrope around Joanne’s final plot-twisting proposition she makes to the relationship-phobic Bobbie. In the original, this rich and strong woman, wife to Larry, suggests that Bobby should become her kept-lover, but I wondered, especially when I first saw it in London, was how would Joanne push Sondheim’s new female Bobbie over the edge, bringing her to the astonishing realization that would prompt her to say that ever-important line, “but who will I care for?” In London, I fantasized that maybe Bobbie could be bisexual making Joanne’s proposition work, and it would, that is if they had already formulated Bobbie’s sexuality into something that is more fluid and bi-curious.  I contemplated that the quick opportunity could reside with the feisty PJ, lover number two and the more emotionally disconnected lover of Bobbie. PJ’s song, one of the most fascinating and complex in the show, and the one Sondheim wrote specifically for the original Marta, Pamela Myers to sing, “Another Hundred People” slides its way into this revival with an electric motored ease, looping the stories of Bobbie’s lovers together in a complex dance of integration. Performed by the magnificently magnetic and sexy Conte, the song and the production sparkles bright in a brand new New York reconfiguration that alphabetically improves upon itself with every turn of the letters. The song itself is a dynamic engagement, elevated by the revitalized reinvention by choreographer Liam Steel (Delacorte Theater’s Into the Woods), and even though it is really the only song that isn’t about love or marriage, it is the number about possibility and adventure in the thrilling world of NYC, this musical’s true home.

But, and give me a moment to play this out (and get back to my point), what would it have been like if PJ was played by a woman, giving Bobbie a more open sexuality that would allow a progressive Joanne to want to find her own brand of freedom in Bobbie’s bed. I envisioned someone like Angel Desai who was utterly magnificent in the part in the 2006 revival (check her out here) leading the way. LuPone certainly could have pulled that powerplay off, and it would have been a compelling and fascinating exploration of control and sexuality in the modern world (and from what I hear through the grapevine, it was an idea suggested by and to LuPone more than once). But it is not to be, at least just yet. As it stands now in this revival, the proposal feels convoluted, and much more difficult to swallow than one of Joanna’s vodka stingers.

Overall, the crossing of gender hair works magnificently well throughout the show. The reversal of squares, flipping Fitzgerald’s David and his wife Jenny, deliciously portrayed by Nikki Renée Daniels (Broadway’s Hamilton) in a delight, miraculously redefining the fun pot-smoking scene by dismissing an awkward stereotype and misogynist construct that when watching the 2006 revival made me feel very uncomfortable for its demeaning intention. But switching the task and making David the square erases the complication, and shifts the focus back to where it should be, on Bobbie’s contemplations and emotional crisis that’s looming up ahead. 

Etai Benson and Matt Doyle in Company on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Another that works extremely well is gifting the deliciously talented Matt Doyle the role of Jamie, the gay groom having a meltdown over warm orange juice and commitment. Looking and sounding beyond great, Doyle freaks out spectacularly in one of the funniest and most brilliantly performed (and written) numbers in the show, “Getting Married Today.“ Beautifully realized and emotionally dense, Doyle’s performance shines incredibly bright in his well-crafted earth-shattering performance, giving us one of the funniest, most serious performances of this song I’ve seen. He self-destructs his way past his loving and patient partner Paul’s heart with the most hurtful statement on love in the show, crying out a politically vibrant and timely plea of “just because we can, doesn’t mean we should“.  And then, when Bobbie proposes, once it seems clear that no wedding is going to happen here today, the energy in the room prickles. Bobbie is right, in a way, to suggest such a crazy idea, because if they do, everyone will just leave them alone and carry on as if the party had never ended. It’s a win/win but also a loss, with a far more compelling connection being explored than when the male Bobby suggests the same to his best friend’s bride-to-be Amy. Sorta creepy, Raul, if you ask me. 

Katrina Lenk as Bobbie in Company on Broadway. Photo by Brinkhoff Moegenburg.

Utilizing a staging that only gets better as the show struts confidently forward, this scene and the complicated engagement within is the moment when this Company and its Bobbie, gal pal to Jamie, leaps beyond the original into a stronger universe of understanding and meaning. It is happening all in and around Bobbie’s thirty-fifth birthday, a surprise party no less, that is setting the stage for an epic whirlwind of thought and manically smart motion. The deep internal psychology of that process of Bobbie’s self-discovery is what makes this musical one of Sondheim’s best, and with this smart reinvention lodged securely inside Elliot’s game-changing revival, the high-flying concept expands this show into something even more relevant and timely than one could ever have hoped for or expected. It sheds decades of misogyny and the demeaning stereotypes of women, and by doing so, Sondheim and Elliott give this show a new sense of glory and wonderment. So rise up. This Company has been elevated, and I hope it never comes back down.

For more from Ross click here

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Broadway

Theatre News: Teeth, Soft Power, Redwood, BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical and Pre-Existing Condition

Published

on

Jenna Rose Husli, Wren Rivera, Alyse Alan Louis, Phoenix Best and Helen J Shen in Teeth (Photo: Chelcie Parry)

Teeth is coming back to New World Stages in the fall for an open-ended run. The transfer begins on October 31, Halloween night, as its official opening. While casting for the commercial remount is yet to be announced, the Playwrights Horizons cast featured Alyse Alan Louis, Steven Pasquale, Will Connolly, Jason Gotay, Jared Loftin, Courtney Bassett, Phoenix Best, Jenna Rose Husli, Lexi Rhoades, Wren Riveras and Helen J. Shen.

The off-Broadway cast album for Teeth, written by written by Pop! creator Anna K. Jacobs (book and music) and Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop creator Michael R. Jackson (book and lyrics), is now available to stream on all major music platforms. The physical CD will be released August 30. Teeth opened its off-Broadway world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in March with direction by Sarah Benson and choreography by Raja Feather Kelly.

Based on Mitchell Lichtenstein’s screenplay for the cult-classic 2007 horror comedy, Teeth is a tale of revenge and transformation that tears through a culture of shame and repressed desire one delightfully unhinged song at a time. The musical follows Dawn O’Keefe, an evangelical Christian teen struggling to be an exemplar of purity amongst her community of fellow Promise Keeper Girls. As Dawn’s desires become tested and twisted by the men in her life, she discovers a deadly secret not even she understands: when men violate her, her body bites back—literally.

I loved Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang’s SoftPower when it appeared at The Public, now it’s coming to the Signature Theatre in Washington  D.C., newly revised production and directed by Signature Associate Artistic Director Ethan Heard. The show opens August 6 and runs until September 15. Could NYC be next? The cast will feature Steven Eng as DHH, Daniel May (Flower Drum Song) as Xue Xing, and Grace Yoo (Hadestown) as Hillary Clinton with Eymard Cabling (Miss Saigon national tour) as Randy Ray and others, Andrew Cristi (A Christmas Story) as Chief Justice and others, Jonny Lee Jr. as Bobby Bob and others, Quynh-My Luu as Waiter and others, Christopher Mueller as VEEP and others, Ashley D. Nguyen as Jīng and others, Chani Wereley as Betsy Ross and others, Nicholas Yenson as Holden Caulfield and others, and Sumié Yotsukura as Flight Attendant and others. Olivia Clavel-Davis, Brian Dauglash, Emily Song Tyler, and Joey Urgino are swings.

After the 2016 election, when a Chinese American playwright is attacked by an unknown assailant, he hallucinates a Golden Age musical comedy about a Chinese theater producer and Hillary Clinton falling in love. Hilarious and biting, this political satire dares to ask: Does American Democracy still work? And is it worth believing in?

An exhilarating ride through political absurdity with a faceoff between Chinese and American exceptionalism, Soft Power makes an electric debut in the nation’s capital.

Idina Menzel, will open at the Nederlander Theatre in Redwood. This new Broadway musical starts previews January 24,  with a February 13 opening. Written and directed by Tony Award nominee Tina Landau, Redwood features music by Kate Diaz and lyrics by Diaz and Landau. The show is conceived by Landau and Menzel, with additional contributions by Menzel. The musical premiered earlier this year at La Jolla Playhouse. “I made my Broadway debut at the Nederlander Theatre in Rent almost 30 years ago, so to be returning there with Redwood is very emotional for me as it feels like a real homecoming. It has been such a gift to collaborate with Tina and Kate on this show, and I’m so proud to bring it to Broadway” stated Menzel. Redwood follows Jesse (Menzel), a successful businesswoman, mother and wife who seems to have it all, but inside, her heart is broken. Finding herself at a turning point, Jesse leaves everyone and everything behind, gets in her car and drives. Thousands of miles later, she hits the majestic forests of Northern California, where a chance meeting and a leap of faith change her life forever.

BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical has found is set to open at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theatre on April 5, 2025. Tony Award®-winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell brings the Queen of the Animated Screen to the theater  with celebrated multiple Grammy® Award-winning composer David Foster, Tony Award®-nominated lyricist Susan Birkenhead and Tony Award®-winning book writer Bob Martin. This score is fabulous and we can’t wait to hear the rest of it.

Edie Falco Photo by Emilio Madrid

Today, producers O’Henry Productions, The Cohn Sisters, Jessica Chase, Taylor Williams, David Blum, Jesse Eisenberg and Charlie Kaufman announced that Pre-Existing Condition by Tony Award® nominee Marin Ireland will extend for two weeks through August 17 and will star Emmy Award® winner Edie Falco in the rotating role of “A” beginning on August 6

Pre-Existing Condition, directed by Maria Dizzia, is currently playing at the Connelly Theater (220 East 4th St.) in the intimate 60-seat Upstairs space. The play was originally set to close on August 3.

Pre-Existing Condition is a play exploring the challenges, shared community, and everyday indignities of learning to move forward after a life-altering, harmful relationship.

About the play, Ms. Falco said, “I am thrilled at the opportunity to be a part of something that moved me so much as a spectator. It involves an intimacy and vulnerability that I’ve sorely missed in the theater. I can’t wait to work with these people who I deeply respect so that hopefully more people can see and feel what I did when I saw the play.”

The role of “A” has rotated throughout the production and is currently played by Tony Award® winner Deirdre O’Connell (Dana H.). Tavi Gevinson (“American Horror Story”) will play the role from July 24-August 3 with Ms. Falco starting August 6-August 17. Previously, the role was played by Emmy Award® winner Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”), Julia Chan (Uncle Vanya) and Tony Award® nominee Maria Dizzia (In the Next Room).

The cast also includes Sarah Steele (“The Good Fight”), Dael Orlandersmith (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Yellowman), Greg Keller (Alliance); with Raquel Chavez (Uncle Vanya) and Gregory Connors (The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window), understudies.

Tony Award® nominee Anne Kauffman (Mary Jane) serves as Creative Consultant on the production. In addition to Ms. Kauffman, the creative team includes Louisa Thompson (A Simulacrum), Set Designer; Tony Award® nominee Enver Chakartash (Stereophonic), Costume Designer; Tony Award® nominee Isabella Byrd (Enemy of the People, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club), Lighting Designer; Tony Award® nominee Palmer Hefferan (The Skin of Our Teeth), Sound Designer. Taylor Williams is Casting Director, Ashley-Rose Galligan is Production Stage Manager, Eric Nolan Mattingly is Assistant Stage Manager with Wagner Johnson Productions serving as General Management.  Associate Producer is Joe Meyer. David Manella at Loeb & Loeb LLP serves as Production Counsel.

For information on performance dates, ticketing lottery information please visit preexistingconditionplay.com. Tickets start at $49.

Continue Reading

Broadway

Hell’s Kitchen And New York Liberty Host Block Party At Block Party

Published

on

The new musical Hell’s Kitchen will be the presenting sponsor of the New York Liberty’s game today July 16th. As a celebration of New York culture, Hell’s Kitchen and the New York Liberty will host a free open-to-the-public Block Party for fans on Tuesday, July 16 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. on the Ticketmaster Plaza at Barclays Center. The New York Liberty continue to underscore their intentional focus to bring together its passionate community and fanbase.

To emphasize the unique intersection of sport and theater, the Block Party will include a meet and greet with select cast members of Hell’s Kitchen, special performances from the New York Liberty Entertainment team and the Brooklyn Elite Jumpers Double Dutch, exclusive giveaways from Keys Soulcare and American Express, food vendors and more!

The festivities will continue during the New York Liberty’s game against the Connecticut Sun, where the Liberty aim to build upon the historic momentum experienced throughout the 2024 WNBA season. During the game, there will be a special halftime performance choreographed by Hell’s Kitchen’s choreographer Camille A. Brown and associate chorographer Rickey Tripp featuring the New York Liberty mascot, Ellie the Elephant, and dance team, as well as an on-court giveaway where two fans will have the chance to win tickets to an upcoming Hell’s Kitchen performance.

Ali is a 17-year-old girl full of fire – searching for freedom, passion and her place in the world. How she finds them is a New York City coming-of-age story you’ve never felt before – Hell’s Kitchen, a new musical from 16-time Grammy® Award winner Alicia Keys, whose songs and experiences growing up in NY inspire a story made for Broadway.

Rebellious and stifled by an overprotective single mother, Ali is lost until she meets her mentor: a neighbor who opens her heart and mind to the power of the piano. Set to the rhythm of the 90s, Hell’s Kitchen is a love story between a mother and daughter.  It’s about finding yourself, your purpose, and the community that lifts you. Come remember where dreams begin.

The “powerhouse cast” is led by Tony Award® winner Maleah Joi Moon, Shoshana Bean, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tony Award® winner Kecia Lewis and Chris Lee. Hell’s Kitchen is directed by four-time Tony Award® nominee Michael Greif, with choreography by four-time Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown, a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee Kristoffer Diaz – and the music of Keys, featuring new songs and her greatest hits.

The Hell’s Kitchen Original Broadway Cast Recording is available now via Alicia Keys Records/Interscope Records on streaming and digital platforms worldwide with a physical release to follow.

Hell’s Kitchen lottery tickets are available through a digital lottery the day before the performance at rush.telecharge.com. The digital lottery opens at rush.telecharge.com at 12AM (ET) one day before the performance with winners announced that same morning at 10AM (ET), with a second announcement of additional winners that afternoon at 3PM (ET). Winners may purchase up to two tickets at $39 each (inclusive of $5 service fee), subject to availability. Seats may be partial view.

A limited number of in-person Hell’s Kitchen rush tickets will be available on the day of each performance for $39 per ticket when the Shubert Theatre box office opens. Maximum of two tickets per person, subject to availability. Seats may be partial view. The box office opens Monday through Saturday at 10AM (ET) and Sunday at 12PM (ET).

Tickets for Hell’s Kitchen are available at HellsKitchen.com and Telecharge.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the Shubert Theatre box office. Ticket prices range from $59-199.

Season ticket memberships and single game tickets for New York Liberty home games at Barclays Center are on sale now via Ticketmaster. To learn more and view additional ticketing options such as group tickets and ticket plans, visit liberty.wnba.com/tickets.

The performance schedule for Hell’s Kitchen is Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 7PM, Wednesday at 7:30PM, Saturday at 8PM, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2PM, and Sunday at 3PM.

Continue Reading

Broadway

Broadway in Bryant Park And You Are There With Hell’s Kitchen, Water For Elephants, The Wiz and More

Published

on

July 11, 106.7 LITE FM’s Broadway in Bryant Park kicked off its 2024 program, bringing the best of Broadway back together for free performances, every Thursday in July.

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker, Charity Arianna , Destiny David, Ailadis Hernandez De Leon, Nyjair Wilkerson and Jackson Bateman

This week’s performances included: a preshow featuring students from AMDA

Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte and Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte, Ali Louis Bourzgui and Adam Jacobs

Ali Louis Bourzgui, Bobby Conte,

Lily Kren, Alexandra Matteo, Daniel Quadrino, Jenna Nicole Schoen, Nathan Lucrezio, Reagan Pender, Bobby Conte, Tyler James Eisenreich, Mark Mitrano, Haley Gustafson, Afra Hines, Dee Tomasetta, Adam Jacobs, Ali Louis Bourzgui, David Paul Kidder, Jeremiah Alsop, Andrew Tufano and Ronnie Bowman, Jr.

The Who’s Tommy (Ali Louis Bourzgui, Adam Jacobs, Bobby Conte, Haley Gustafson and more)

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Isabella McCalla

Water for Elephants (Isabelle McCalla, Ken Wulf Clark, Asa Somers, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul)

Avery Wilson

Kyle Ramar Freeman and Nichelle Lewis

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Melody A. Betts

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Nichelle Lewis

Nichelle Lewis, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Polanco Jones Jr., Nichelle Lewis, Melody A. Betts and Avery Wilson

The Wiz (Avery Wilson, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Melody A. Betts, Nichelle Lewis, Polanco Jones Jr.)

Jelani Remy

JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, Katie Laduca, JJ Niemann and Aaron Alcaraz

Hannah Kevitt and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy and The Cast of Back To The Future that includes Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy, Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Back to the Future (Jelani Remy, JJ Niemann, Evan Alexander Smith)

Gianna Harris and Lamont Walker II

Lamont Walker II

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino, Gianna Harris, Lamont Walker II, Jade Milan and Jackie Leon and Jackie Leon

and Hell’s Kitchen (Gianna Harris, Vanessa Ferguson, Jackie Leon, Donna Vivino, Lamont Walker II)

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little is joined by Co Host Kyle Ramar Freeman

with host Helen Little and co-host Kyle Ramar Freeman.

Continue Reading

Broadway

Get Ready For Broadway in Bryant Park

Published

on

The most popular shows on and off Broadway will perform their biggest hits in the park starting this Thursday the 11th! Head to the the lawn at Bryant Park and enjoy Broadway for lunch. The performances will happen on four summer Thursdays, hosted and presented by LiteFM.

This week from 12:30pm-1:30pm 106.7 LITE FM Host: Helen Little will host. For the pre-show: A special performance by the students of AMDA College of the Performing Arts. Then get ready for performances by Back to the Future, Hell’s Kitchen, The Who’s TOMMY, The Wiz and
Water For Elephants.

In coming weeks look from The Outsiders, SIX: The Musical, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Wicked, Chicago and & Juliet.

Continue Reading

Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway:​ Happy Birthday Audra McDonald

Published

on

On July 3rd, Audra McDonald celebrated her 54th birthday. The 1970 American Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning theatrical and operatic singer, and stage and screen actress (Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill; Sweeney Todd; Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny; TV Private Practice, The Good Wife), was born in West Berlin, West Germany (now Berlin, Germany)

As been announced six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will return to Broadway this fall, as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

Performances begin Thursday, November 21st, at Broadway’s newly renovated Majestic Theatre. Happy Thanksgiving! The show will open on Thursday, December 19th. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.

The last show to play the Majestic Theatre was The Phantom of the Opera, which concluded its 35 year-run on April 16, 2023.

This upcoming revival will be directed by the legendary five-time Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe. The choreography will be by four-time Tony Award nominated Camille A. Brown.  Additional casting and creative team members will be announced at a later date.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles

Times Square Chronicles