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Theatre News: The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Little Shop of Horrors, Whitley Theatrical



Producers Seaview, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, with Jeremy O. Harris and BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), are thrilled to announce that the sold-out and highly acclaimed BAM production of Lorraine Hansberry’s The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, starring Oscar Isaac (making his Broadway debut)and Rachel Brosnahan, will transfer to Broadway this season. Directed by Anne Kauffman, this strictly limited engagement will begin performances on Tuesday, April 25 for 80 performances only. Opening night – the final opening of this Broadway season – is set for Thursday, April 27, at the James Earl Jones Theatre.

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Welcome to 1960s Greenwich Village, where loudly proclaimed progressive dreams wage war with reality. This razor-sharp tragicomical satire of “astonishing force” (The Chicago Tribune) invites us into the apartment of Sidney and Iris Brustein and the diverse and passionate social circle that inhabits it. As a rapidly changing world brings uninvited cynicism to their door, the Brusteins fight to keep their marriage – with all its crackling wit, passion, and casual cruelty – from being the final sacrifice to Sidney’s ideals.

The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window debuted on Broadway in 1964, on the heels of Hansberry’s meteoric debut with A Raisin in the Sun (1959) and shortly before her death at the age of 34. This will be its first time on Broadway in more than 50 years. Its run at BAM welcomed new audiences and broke every house record at the Harvey Theater. This is the first BAM-produced production to transfer to Broadway since The Gospel at Colonus, 35 years ago.

“This production, directed by Anne Kauffman and originally produced and nurtured by David Binder and BAM, is a celebration of the radical artistic vision of Lorraine Hansberry at the zenith of her art making.”  — Joi Gresham, Literary Trustee, Estate of Lorraine Hansberry

Joining Isaac (Sidney Brustein) and Brosnahan (Iris Brustein) is the complete cast from the BAM production, including Gus Birney(Gloria Parodus), Julian De Niro (Alton Scales), Glenn Fitzgerald (David Ragin), Andy Grotelueschen (Wally O’Hara), Miriam Silverman (Mavis Parodus Bryson), Raphael Nash Thompson (Max). The understudy company features Joey Auzenne, Katya Campbell, Gregory Connors, and Brontë England Nelson.

Neil Patrick Harris has taken on the role of  special guest star in Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Harris will appear in Tuesday, April 11 through Sunday, April 30, as Francis, a member of the ‘Cornley Drama Society’ who portrays The Narrator and others in play-within-the-play Peter Pan.

“I’m a massive fan of Team Mischief and physical comedy in general, so I jumped (fell?) at the chance to join their genius onstage. That said, the role of the Narrator mostly sits in a chair and reads a book, so apparently no rehearsals are required. I guess that’s fine… what could possibly go wrong?” ” Harris said in a statement. “

Harris will not perform on Friday, April 21 and the Saturday, April 22 matinee performance.

Harris is the first special guest star, other guest stars will appear occasionally. Future guests will be announced at a later date.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong, is from the international theater company Mischief and is now in previews and opens on Wednesday, April 19 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre for a limited 16 ½ week engagement.

Harris is best known for his TV roles in How I Met Your Mother and A Series of Unfortunate Events, and his Tony-winning performance as Hedwig in the Broadway production of Hedwig and The Angry Inch.

The cast of Peter Pan Goes Wrong features Bartley Booz as Dennis (now through April 9), Matthew Cavendish as Max, Bianca Horn as Gill, Harry Kershaw as Francis, Chris Leask as Trevor, Henry Lewis as Robert, Ellie Morris as Lucy, Charlie Russell as Sandra, Jonathan Sayer as Dennis (starting April 11), Henry Shields as Chris, Greg Tannahill as Jonathan, and Nancy Zamit as Annie. The company is completed by Ryan Vincent Anderson, Stephen James Anthony, Fred Gray, and Brenann Stacker.

Producers of the three-time Best Musical Revival Award-winning production of Little Shop of Horrors are thrilled to announce that Joy Woods (Six: The Musical, The Notebook musical) will return to Skid Row to star as Audrey, beginning May 2, 2023. Woods, who originated the role of Chiffon in the hit Off-Broadway revival, will play Audrey opposite Tony Award winner Matt Doyle (Company, The Book of Mormon) as Seymour and Broadway favorite Drew Gehling (Almost Famous, Waitress) as Dr. Orin Scrivello D.D.S. A new block of tickets to the musical and group sales has just been released for performances at the Westside Theatre (407 West 43rd Street).

Woods made her off-Broadway debut as Chiffon in Little Shop in 2019, and went on to star as Catherine Parr in the Broadway production of Six: The Musical, the world premiere of the musical adaptation of The Notebook, Dreamgirls, and Ratatouille: A TikTok Musical.

“We are thrilled to welcome Joy back to the Westside Theatre. She has been such an integral part of our company from the very beginning and having her return to the show in this new and exciting way is bound to be a joyous gift for audiences near and far,” says Producer Tom Kirdahy.

Doyle and Gehling currently star alongside Maude Apatow, who finishes her acclaimed run as Audrey on Sunday, April 30, 2023, Tony Award nominee Brad Oscar (Something Rotten!, The Producers, Jekyll & Hyde) as Mushnik, Aaron Arnell Harrington (RENT 25 Anniversary Tour) as The Voice of Audrey II, Tiffany Renee Thompson as Crystal, Khadija Sankoh as Chiffon, and D’Kaylah Unique Whitley as Ronnette. Completing the cast are Camryn Hampton, Weston Chandler Long, Chelsea Turbin, Teddy Yudain, Zakiya Baptiste, Jonothon Lyons, Noel MacNeal, Kevin Pariseau, Jeff Sears, Evan Alexander Smith, and Melissa Victor.

With a book and lyrics by Grammy and Academy Award winner Howard Ashman (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), and music by Tony and Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Aladdin, Newsies), the 2020 Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk Award-winning Best Musical Revival of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORSis directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Spring Awakening) and choreographed by Ellenore Scott (Funny Girl, Mr. Saturday Night).

Little Shop of Horrors began previews at Westside Theatre on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, and opened to widespread critical acclaim on Thursday, October 17, 2019. Ben Brantley of The New York Times deemed the show a “Critic’s Pick,” declaring that “a certain carnivorous plant has been re-potted in Hell’s Kitchen, and I am delighted to report that it’s thriving there. Michael Mayer’s delicious revival…summons the shivery elation I felt seeing the musical at the East Village’s Orpheum nearly four decades ago. It restores the show to its original scale and sensibility, reminding us of the special potency of grisly things that come in small, impeccably wrapped packages.” The Hollywood Reporter describes the production as “wildly exuberant and irresistible. This terrific revival will only deepen the devotion for those lucky enough to catch it.” Time Out gives the musical “Four Stars! A deeply satisfying revival… with a marvelous cast. What kind of deal with what kind of devil are you willing to cut to see it?” When the production re-opened its doors following the pandemic-related extended shut-down, Washington Post critic Peter Marks exclaimed, “I’m back at Little Shop of Horrors because, friends, I needed to laugh today. Hearing the glorious Menken/Ashman score sung by this cast fills the prescription. [A return trip] is WORTH IT.”

Seymour is a down-on-his-luck florist with a crush on his co-worker Audrey. When he discovers a mysterious – and voracious – plant, suddenly Seymour and Audrey are thrust into an epic battle that will determine the fate of the entire human race. Little Shop of Horrors  first premiered Off-Broadway in 1982, where it made audiences laugh, scream, and give up gardening for good. The musical has since catapulted into a global phenomenon, with productions across the world from Broadway to London’s West End, to Asia and Australia – plus a hit 1986 film adaptation directed by Frank Oz that starred Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Steve Martin. Now, the musical has made its highly-anticipated return home to Off-Broadway, in an intimate new production directed by Michael Mayer that offers an unprecedented opportunity to get close — maybe too close — to an incredible plant with an insatiable appetite.

This production of Little Shop of Horrors  is the recipient of multiple theater awards and nominations including: four Outer Critics Circle Honors (Outstanding Revival, Outstanding Director: Michael Mayer, Outstanding Actor in a Musical: Jonathan Groff, and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: Christian Borle); The Drama League Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical, as well as, Distinguished Performance Nominations for Jonathan Groff and Christian Borle; two Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Revival of a Musical and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for Christian Borle, in addition to an Outstanding Actress nomination for Tammy Blanchard and Outstanding Scenic Design nomination for Julian Crouch; the Lortel Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical for Christian Borle, as well as, a Best Revival Nomination, an Outstanding Lead Actor nomination for Jonathan Groff and an Outstanding Supporting Actress nomination for Ari Groover; and a 2021 Grammy Award Nomination for Best Musical Theater Album.

Benton Whitley and Johnson-Levy Photo credit: Evan Zimmerman

Today, award winning Broadway Casting Director Benton Whitley announced the creation of Whitley Theatrical, a New York City-based casting and producing office for theater, film, and television.

Joining Whitley in the endeavor is Associate Casting Director Micah Johnson-Levy, with acquisitions and legal counsel fromJordan Manekin, and business management by Karen Morales at Armanino LLP.

Whitley said, “Over the last few years, as much disruption and needed change has happened both in the world at large, and specifically, the theater industry, it became apparent that the critical conversations around casting happen at the very first stage of a show’s development, making it the ideal time for us to transition from strictly casting, to both casting and producing. The stories we tell and the storytellers who tell them, both on and off the stage, matter more than ever. We look forward to continuing to cultivate the stories, talent, and artists needed to make this happen.”

Whitley currently is represented by the Broadway and North American tour of the 2019 Tony and Grammy Award-winning Best Musical Hadestown (dir. by Rachel Chavkin, writer Anaïs Mitchell) for which Whitley won the 2020 Artios Award for Excellence in Casting.

Projects Whitley Theatrical is casting for the stage that are currently in development include: Goddess (dir. by Saheem Ali, writers Jocelyn Bioh & Michael Thurber), How To Dance In Ohio (dir. Sammi Cannold, writers Rebekah Greer Melocik & Jacob Yandura), Wild (dir. Diane Paulus, writers V & Justin Tranter), Cowboy Bob (dir. Annie Tippe, writers Molly Beach Murphy & Jeanna Phillips), and reimagined revivals of Inherit The Wind (dir. Neil Pepe) and Same Time Next Year (dir. Rachel Chavkin).

Additionally, Whitley Theatrical has completed principal casting for the new revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita (dir. Sammi Cannold) playing this summer at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge and the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC with cast news to be announced shortly.

Before Whitley Theatrical, Whitley and business partner Duncan Stewart helmed the Gotham-based casting office Stewart/Whitley for over 12 years, where they were responsible for casting the main stem productions of Chicago The Musical; La Cage Aux Folles; Pippin; On The Town; Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812; The Lightning Thief; Paradise Square; and this season’s Life of Pi.

Just this past month the casting of drag superstar Jinkx Monsoon in the Tony Award-winning production of Chicago The Musical made history and broke box office records with its highest grossing non-holiday week to date in its 27-year run. Queer representation on stage is something that Whitley and his colleagues have been passionate about and will cultivate further in the years ahead.

In addition to the work Whitley Theatrical will be doing in creative and inclusive casting, the office will also take on the role of producing and developing new works for the stage. Producing projects and collaborations will be developed and announced in the seasons ahead.

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:


Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Sarah Paulson



Broadway’s newest show Appropriate starring Sarah Paulson, at Second Stage’s Hayes Theatre nearly sold out their first week. The play, written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and co-starring Elle Fanning and Corey Stoll, opens December 18th.

Paulson has received an Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Awards in her three-decade career. She made her Broadway debut in 1994 as an understudy in Wendy Wasserstein’s The Sisters Rosensweig. She later took on the role of Tess Goode in the production. She returned to the stage in two other Broadway productions: 2005’s The Glass Menagerie (as Amanda Wingfield) and 2010’s Collected Stories (originating the role of Lisa Morrison). She also appeared in six Off-Broadway productions between 1994 and 2013, including Crimes of the Heart, Still Life,Colder Than Hereat the Lucille Lortel Theatre, Killer Joeat SoHo Playhouse, Talking Picturesat Signature Theatre andthe Pulitzer-nominated Talley’s Folly with Roundabout Theatre Company.

Paulson is perhaps best known for starring in nine seasons of Murphy’s American Horror Story, first appearing on the show in 2011. Her performances collectively earned nine Emmy Award nominations.

In 2023, after 10 years away from the New York stage, Paulson returns to Broadway as Toni in Appropriate, the Broadway-debut play of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

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Head To The The Algonquin Hotel For Some Holiday Cheer



As we head into the holiday season, The Algonquin Hotel’s December event lineup is open to both hotel guests and New York City locals. The hotel will spread holiday cheer with a variety of festive performances, cocktails, and experiences including:

  • Cocoa and Carols Happy Hour: Daily, 5-8PM, Every evening this December, all are invited to enjoy Specialty Cocoa while Christmas carols chime at the Blue Bar. Drinks will include Mexican Hot Chocolate spiked with mezcal
  • KT Sullivan Cabaret:  December 5th, 12th and 19th, Sullivan will perform her iconic Christmas Cabaret. As noted by The New York Times, Sullivan is a thrilling Off-Broadway performer with over eight published albums
  • Rocco Dellaneve’s Rat Pack Christmas: December 7th, 14th and 21st, Rocco Dellaneve will perform iconic songs from the Rat Pack Christmas album with special inclusions of Santa with Sinatra, Rocco of the Snow, Rudolph and the Rat pack
  • The Serafina’s and Broadway Vocalists: December 8th, 15th and 22nd, enjoy the high kicking – precision line dancing Christmas tradition around The Algonquin tree. The Serafina’s will be available for pictures and autographs from 6pm to 7pm, followed by special Broadway vocalists

A portion of proceeds from all events will be donated to Toys for Tots.

Beyond the December events, The Algonquin Hotel is located in a prime position nestled in the heart of Times Square and Fifth Avenue, making it the perfect launchpad for a New York City holiday experience. The hotel is a historical jewel that emphasizes the importance of making unique, storied experiences. Since its opening in 1902, The Algonquin Hotel is famous for its timeless style and desire to honor the literary and cultural elite. The distinguished Round Table Restaurant and Blue Bar offer tasteful dining inclusions and curated cocktails that are sure to excite everyone.

Photo credit: The Algonquin Hotel, Autograph Collection


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Book Reviews

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to buy your copy.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Spamalot



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

I was so inspired I drew the whole cast.

To read T2C’s review click here.

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



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

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

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

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

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