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Kathy D. Harrison, The Movement and The Mist Upon The Window Win The Best of The Fest at The New York Theater Festival

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Last night the awards ceremony for the NY WinterFest took place at The Hudson Guild Theatre, 441 West 26th Street and I have never been more impressed.

I watched the nominees from every category perform and was beyond impressed at the quality of their work. These are playwrights who are starting out or decided that this was their life’s passion and went for it. The actors, many whom were non union were remarkable.

This year at the Winterfest, Robert Williams gave 56 plays, 8 musicals, 37 shorts, 300 actors, 305 actresses and 111 directors, a chance to perform, be seen and reviewed. The festival ran from January to March with 112 productions making it to the stage. Each brought their own unique story, perspective, designs that inspired and captivated their audiences. Each was required to enlist the bravery and inventiveness of live theatre that didn’t rely on special effects, Hollywood stars or huge budgets.

Normally I only show the winner, but I am bolding the winner and leaving the rest of the nominees, because you should know these names and the shows.

The big winner of the night was The Movement by Kathy D. Harrison a cappella musical that chronicles the Children’s March of 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama. Through narrative monologues, original a cappella music that is reflective of the protest songs of the movement; this theatrical piece shows the courage that young people exhibited in an effort to combat racial injustices and inequalities.

A Mist Upon The Window by Nick Rafello, found Charlie struggling with his outlandish mother, Virginia, as he learns she was a pot-smoking hippie that lived in the back of a VW Van with her first husband. All this while he deals with her early onset dementia.

And the winners are:

Best Musical The Movement by Kathy D. Harrison took home $3000

B.F.F by Zoe Nelm

Reflections Off The Water By Jordan Louis Fisher 

The Silencer by Howard Zuckerman

Aftershocks by Rori Nogee

Alien VS. Musical Book, Music and Lyrics by Erik Przytulskuy

Best Short Play A Mist Upon The Window by Nick Rafellotook home $300

Fast Ugly and Fucked Up by Daniel Rylee Bush

Recipe For A Witch Hunt by Covi Loveridge Brannan

Best Director Kathy D. Harrison from The Movement  took home $500

Mary Linehan From the Play -30-

John Lant From the Play B.F.F

Sarah Macdonnell From the Play Silencer 

Tyler Spicer From the Musical Alien VS. Musical

Best Actress’s Brianna Gagne From the play – Sis Amiss  and Katherine Argo From the play – A Mist Upon The Window split $500. This was a tie!

Maxine Muster From the play – An Evening With Eva -Waiting for Adolf

Nadine Reumer From the play – Recipe For A Witch Hunt

Lily Lewinter From the play – Recipe For A Witch Hunt

Covi Loveridge From the play – Recipe For A Witch Hunt

Best Actor John Carhart From the play – A Mist Upon The Windowr took home $500

Michael Donovan From the Play – Ice Water

Benjamin David Knight From the Play – Archive 

Jackson Stewart From the play – Milkweed

Patrick Hamilton From the play – Nursery Rhymes

Roderick Garr From the play – The Withering Rose

Best Singers Jermaine Sellers From the Musical – The Movement and Lauren Hendon From the Play – I am  split $500. Another tie!

Marcus Beckett From the Musical- The Movement

Deanne Giulietti From the Musical – Reflections Off The Water 

Victoria Britt From the Musical – Alien VS. Musical

Rhys Gilyeat From the Musical – Alien VS. Musical

Jocelyn Duford From the Musical – O’Keeffe Paint Paradise

Best Musical Score: William Oxmundon O’Keeffe Paint Paradise took home $300.

Best Creative Play or Musical: Anima Mundii – by Oliver Deamers took home $200.

Best Lighting Design: Joe D’Emilio From the play Aftershocks took home $200.

Best Set Design: Brice Corder From the play Treehouse Of Dreams took home $200.

Best Choreographer: Kathy D. Harrison From the Musical The Movement  took home $200.

Best Stage Manager: Aaron A. Watson From the Musical Alien VS. Musical took home $200.


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

Broadway

Drama Desk Awards Backstage In The Press Room

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T2C was backstage at the Drama Desk Awards last night. Here is a look at the action.

First in the room:

Kara Young

Celia Keenan-Bolger

Celia Keenan-Bolger and Jessica Lange

Jessica Lange

Sarah Paulson

The Cast of Stereophonic-Will Brill, Sarah Pidgeon, Juliana Canfield, Andrew R. Butler, Tom Pecinka, Chris Stack and Eli Gelb

Nikiya Mathis

JR Goodman, Ray Wetmore and Camille Labarre

Nikki M. James

Patrick Page

Enver Chakartash

Paul Tazewell

Cole Escola

How to Dance in Ohio cast members that includes-Liz Weber, Jeremy Wein, Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Nicole D’Angelo and Becky Leifman

Paul Tate dePoo

Avran Mlotek, Motl Didner, Dominick Balletta and Zalem Miotek

Jane Cox

Brian MacDevitt

Brian MacDevitt and Jane Cox

Isabella Byrd

Ryan Rumery

Walter Trarbach, Cody Spencer and Kai Harada

David Yazbek

Itamar Moses

Lady Irene Gandy

Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick

Matthew Broderick

Nathan Lane

Will Butler

Marco Paguia

Shaina Taub

Justin Peck

Daniel Aukin

Jessica Stone

Corbin Bleu and Sarah Hyland

Andre Bishop and James Lapine

Keisha Lewis

Maleah Joi Moon, Brian d’Arcy James and Kelli O’Hara

Maleah Joi Moon

Keisha Lewis and Maleah Joi Moon

Kelli O’Hara

Brian d’Arcy James

Peter Nigrini

Carole Rothman and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Amy Herzog

David Adjmi

Adam Greenfield, David Adjmi

Sarah Hyland and Debra Messing

 

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Broadway

The 2024 Winner’s Of The Drama Desk Awards The Red Carpet

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The 2024 Annual Drama Desk Awards were announced last night at NYU Skirball Center. Tony Award Winners Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit hosted the ceremony.

Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit

Aaron Tveit

Sutton Foster

T2C was on the red carpet.

Andrew Durand

Jeff Kuperman and Rick Kuperman

William Jackson Harper

Shaina Taub

Peter Nigrini

Kecia Lewis

Celia Keenan-Bolger

Jocelyn Bioh

Laura Benanti

Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll

Jessica Lange

Camille Labarre, Ray Wetmore and JR Goodman

Michael Starobin, Andrea Grody and Shaina Taub

Will Brill

Sarah Paulson

Richard Ridge

Sarah Hyland

Maleah Joi Moon

Patrick Paige

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields, Maleah Joi Moon

Brian D’Arcy James

Will Keen

Michael Stuhlbarg, Will Keen

Mary Louise Burke

Isabella Byrd

Justin Peck

Kara Young

Marco Paguia

Miss New York Rachelle diStasio

Josh Breckenridge

Lorin Latarro

Ricky Ubeda

Glauco Araujo

Dorian Harewood and Nancy Harewood

Mark Williams

Brody Grant

The Cast of Stereophonic-Andrew R. Butler, Will Brill, Tom Pecinka, Juliana Canfield, Eli Gelb, Chris Stack and Sarah Pidgeon

Paige Davis and Patrick Page

James Monroe Iglehart

Sarah Pidgeon

Nikiya Mathis

Montego Glover

Cole Escola

Tom Pecinka

Chris Stack

Leslie Kritzer

Miriam Silverman

Andrew R. Butler

Pat Swinney Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment with Juliana Canfield

Juliana Canfield

Enver Chakartash

Robert Pickens and Katie Geil

Will Butler

David Adjmi

Daisy Prince

Debra Messing

Lena Hall

Debra Messing

Nikki M. James

Michael Stuhlbarg

Paul Tazewell

Camille A. Brown

Marin Ireland

How To Dance in Ohio-Liz Weber, Jeremy Wein, Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Nicole D’Angelo and Becky Leifman

Jacob Karr

Dylis Croman and Robert Montano

Eli Gelb

Walter Trarbach

Steven Valentine

Peter Charney and Brendan George

Rebecca Frecknall

Lady Irene Gandy

Timo Andres

 

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Broadway

The 2024 Winner’s Of The Drama Desk Awards With Interviews

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Photo Aaron Tveit and Sutton Foster Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The 2024 Drama Desk Awards were a star-studded ceremony at NYU Skirball Center co-hosted by Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit. This is the only major NYC theater awards for which Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway productions are considered in the same categories. Two recipients in each of the gender-free performance categories were announced and in some categories not only were their ties but three winners selected.

The winners are:

Outstanding Play: Stereophonic, by David Adjmi, Playwrights Horizons

Outstanding Musical: Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Revival of a Play: Appropriate, Second Stage Theater

Outstanding Revival of a Musical: I Can Get It for You Wholesale, Classic Stage Company


Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play:
Jessica Lange, Mother Play, Second Stage Theater

and Sarah Paulson, Appropriate, Second Stage Theater

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical: Brian d’Arcy James, Days of Wine and Roses, Atlantic Theater Company, Maleah Joi Moon, Hell’s Kitchen and Kelli O’Hara, Days of Wine and Roses, Atlantic Theater Company


Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play:
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Mother Play, Second Stage Theater and Kara Young, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical: Kecia Lewis, Hell’s Kitchen and Bebe Neuwirth, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club


Outstanding Direction of a Play:
Daniel Aukin, Stereophonic, Playwrights Horizons


Outstanding Direction of a Musical:
Jessica Stone, Water for Elephants

Outstanding Choreography: Justin Peck, Illinoise, Park Avenue Armory


Outstanding Music:
Shaina Taub, Suffs

Outstanding Lyrics: David Yazbek and Erik Della Penna, Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Book of a Musical: Itamar Moses, Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Orchestrations: Marco Paguia, Buena Vista Social Club, Atlantic Theater Company


Outstanding Music in a Play:
Will Butler, Stereophonic, Playwrights Horizons

Outstanding Revue: Amid Falling Walls, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play: David Zinn, Stereophonic, Playwrights Horizons

Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical: Paul Tate DePoo III, The Great Gatsby (includes projections)


Outstanding Costume Design of a Play:
Enver Chakartash, Stereophonic, Playwrights Horizons


Outstanding Costume Design of a Musical:
Paul Tazewell, Suffs

Outstanding Lighting Design of a Play: Jane Cox, Appropriate, Second Stage Theater


Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical:
Brian MacDevitt and Hana S. Kim (projections), The Outsiders

Outstanding Projection and Video Design: Peter Nigrini,Hell’s Kitc

Outstanding Sound Design of a Play: Ryan Rumery, Stereophonic, Playwrights Horizons


Outstanding Sound Design of a Musical:
Nick Lidster for Autograph, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, Cody Spencer, The Outsiders and Walter Trarbach, Water for Elephants


Outstanding Wig and Hair:
Nikiya Mathis, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding, Manhattan Theatre Club


Outstanding Solo Performance:
Patrick Page, All the Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villain

Unique Theatrical Experience: Grenfell: in the words of survivors, St. Ann’s Warehouse, National Theatre, and KPPL Productions

Outstanding Fight Choreography: Cha Ramos, Water for Elephants

Outstanding Adaptation: An Enemy of the People, by Amy Herzog


Outstanding Puppetry:
Ray Wetmore, JR Goodman, and Camille Labarre, Water for Elephants

SPECIAL AWARDS

Ensemble Award

The cast of Stereophonic – Will Brill, Andrew R. Butler, Juliana Canfield, Eli Gelb, Tom Pecinka, Sarah Pidgeon, and Chris Stack – who execute David Adjmi’s hypernaturalistic text with extraordinary care and precision, while also performing Will Butler’s music with the freshness and life that makes us believe we are witnessing, first-hand, the creation of a new American classic.


‘Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award

Cole Escola, who both wrote and stars in one of this season’s biggest hits Off Broadway, Oh, Mary! Following in the long legacy of queer artists who write themselves into American history, Escola’s new “gay fantasia on national themes” is a hilarious reminder of why we must continue to interrogate our past.

ADDITIONAL SPECIAL AWARDS

How to Dance in Ohio Authentic Autistic Representation Team – Sammi Cannold, Nicole D’Angelo, Becky Leifman, Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Liz Weber, and Jeremy Wein  – for their steadfast support of autistic theatermakers, and their strides toward true accessibility for neurodiverse individuals both on and offstage.


Lighting designer Isabella Byrd, whose self-described technique as a “darkness designer” has earned her a cache of nominations and awards in the United States and abroad. During this season, Byrd illuminated two Broadway shows done in the round, An Enemy of the People and Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club. Off Broadway, her spotlight on quiet, small-scale stories both enchanted us in Primary Trust and mesmerized us in Infinite Life, with a parking-lot sky that marked the passage of time.


Lady Irene Gandy, for career achievement. A press agent extraordinaire for over five decades, Lady Irene has always demonstrated her passion, dedication, and love for theater. A Broadway producer and Sardi’s honoree, she is a zealous advocate for inclusion, diversity, and equity in the arts.

 

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Events

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents David Zayas Jr.

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We are so pleased to announce our guest this week is David Zayas Jr.

David Zayas Jr. is making his Off-Broadway directorial debut with Simpatico at The Chain Theatre, 312 West 36th Street 3rd Fl. Simpatico plays until June 29th. David most recently directed the Jesus Hopped the A Train staged reading starring Common, John Ortiz, and David Zayas. David also directed LABs 30th Anniversary and the Barn Series, which included three New Works in progress by Stephen Adly Gurgis. A Bronx Native, theater and film Director, Actor, and Photographer, David is a member of The Actors Studio’s Playwright/Directors Unit and LAByrinth Theater Company. He has directed with Planet Connections, Actors Theatre of NY, NY Theater Festival, Samuel French OOB Festival, and Chain Theatre along with award winning films in over 20 festivals.

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a show filmed at the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our past episodes; First episode click here second episode click here,  third episode click here, fourth episode click here, fifth episode click here, sixth episode here, seventh episode here, eighth episode here, ninth episode here, tenth episode here, eleventh episode here, our twelfth episode here, thirteenth episode here, fourteenth here, fifteenth here , 16th here, 17th here and 18th here.

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Off Broadway

David A New Musical Opens At The AMT Theater

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David, A New Musical, with music by Al Tapper, book and lyrics by Martha Rosenblatt, Gary Glickstein, and Tapper opened yesterday at the AMT Theater. With the music direction by David Wolfson, direction and choreography by Kyle Pleasant, this show does well, on all these accounts, which is remarkable considering there are 14 in the cast. All sing and move incredibly well.

Timothy Warmen, Kenny Morris, Caleb Mathura
Photo Credit: Russ Rowland.

David is the biblical story of David of David and Goliath fame. Now King, David (Timothy Warmen) feels he is dying and wants to set his affairs in order. His son Solomon (Caleb Mathura) seems a bit too delighted and is chomping at the bit. David wants the prophet Nathan (Kenny Morris) to officiate, but Nathan is not interested. So David goes back down memory lane. Here we meet the younger version of David (Ethan Zeph), who slays the giant, because friends with King Saul’s (Danny Arnold) son Johnathan (Jacob Louchheim) and falls and marries Saul’s daughter Michal (Olivia Vadnais).

Ethan Zeph (center) and cast
Photo Credit: Russ Rowland.

In Act two David makes a deal with Achish (Jay Aubrey Jones) a Philistine, cheats on Michal, even though she gave up everything to be with him and somehow Sodom and Gomorrah gets in the picture. All through this, Nathan claims he was not really chosen by God, but by the end David is not dying …..yet and the two recognize their friendship.

Pictured: L to R: Danny Arnold, Jacob Loucheim, Ethan Zeph, Timothy Warmen and cast
Photo Credit: Russ Rowland.

There are a few things missing here, first David was known for his legendary skills as a poet, harpist, and hymnist. Saul plotted to kill David way before Michal, out of fear he would replace his sons, which he did. A chance for some real fun with Bathsheba, is null and void instead we get a seriously boring plot line and mundane songs with Michal. Also please somebody tell me why young David has brunette hair, when it is mentioned several times in text and song that he has blondish/reddish hair? Change the text or the hair.

Kenny Morris, Ethan Zeph, Timothy Warmen and cast

The reason I mention the later is what is done to perfection is the set design by James F. Fenton and the costume design by Ashley Soliman.  Though I like the  lighting design by Mary Ellen Stebbins at times the show is too dark. Sound designer Elisabeth Weinder needs to listen to the show as the sound is uneven and the drums over power at times.

The direction and choreography are impressive considering the size of the stage and the amount of people on it. I just wished the show had been cut because it is way too long at two and half hours. The audience loses focus as the show is not tight enough and has way to many songs that seem unfocused.

In reading Mr. Tapper’s extremely long bio, the fact that there is an over abundance of songs makes sense. Though catchy, many are generic. The score is inconsistent, but has some wonderful themes that if edited could really be good. A prime example of this is the opening number which is good, but does not tell us really where we are going, as David is not dying and Solomon is not going to be king for awhile, at least not according to the end of the show. A better song would have been based on the fact King David doesn’t want to be remembered as the kid with the slingshot, which he is. Now there is a clear picture of where we are going.

Curtain Call photo Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The cast also excels here especially the scenes with King David and Nathan and ones with Johnathan. All three are terrific actors with wonderful voices.

Curtain Call photo Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Kudos has to be given to he ensemble consisting of Ashley Marie Arnold, Blair Alexis Brown, Bruce Blanchard, Scott Harrison, Garland Ray, and Jodi Snyder. They sing, act and dance well.

Curtain Call photo Genevieve Rafter Keddy

While David, A New Musical, has a lot to work on, it is well done for an Off Broadway show and I wish it well.

David, A New Musical: AMT Theater, 354 W. 45th Street until July 13.

Opening Night Photo’s Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Ethan Zeph, Olivia Vadnais 

Olivia Vadnais

Ethan Zeph

Ethan Zeph, Al Tapper

Al Tapper

Timothy Warmen

Ethan Zeph, Timothy Warmen

Jacob Louchheim

Garland Ray

Garland Ray, Ashley Marie Arnold

Ashley Marie Arnold

Gary Glickstein, Al Tapper

Scott Harrison

The cast

The cast

Jay Aubrey Jones

Kenny Morris

Al Tapper, Kenny Morris

Gary Glickstein, Blair Alexis Brown, Garland Ray

Jay Aubrey Jones, Blair Alexis Brown

Blair Alexis Brown

Caleb Mathura, Jodi Snyder, Danny Arnold

Olivia Vadnais, Ashley Marie Arnold, Blair Alexis Brown

Jacob Louchheim

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