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Marisa Tomei is a Force of Nature In The Rose Tattoo



Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1951. This play however is best known for its 1955 film adaptation starring Anna Magnani who won the Oscar for her portrayal of the earthy Serafina Delle Rose. Williams created Serafina with Magnani in mind. Now the role, has been brought back to life by the Oscar winning and nominated the fabulous Marisa Tomei.  

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Under Trip Cullman’s direction The Rose Tattoo is being played for laughs. If I hadn’t known this was a Tennessee Williams piece, I would have never guessed its playwright. I also would have never guessed where it was set had it not been for the playbill. The set by Mark Wendland has an absurd amount of plastic pink flamingoes filling 1/3 of the stage. Serafina’s house is part outside and part inside, so when children run in disarray, or people come in and out, it is hard to figure out the configuration. What does work is the candles and alter to the Virgin Mary, which show how Serafina defines herself. The costumes by Clint Ramos keep us in the era and Ben Stanton’s lighting is rapturous, but it is Lucy Mackinnon’s projections that tell us the passage of time, the tides and the day and the night of this seaside locale.

Marisa Tomei Photo by Joan Marcus

New to the piece is the women of the town who act like a Greek Chorus. Their melodic and haunting voices drift in and out with Fitz Patton’s original music accompanied by Jonathan Linden on acoustic guitar. It is a magical part of this revival.

Marisa Tomei, Burke Swanson Photo by Joan Marcus

The play tells the story of a Sicilian immigrant Serafina Delle Rose (Tomei), who is madly and passionately in love with her husband. She brags about their sexual prowess and how she has just conceived. On that same day Estelle Hohengarten (a fabulously condescending Tina Benko) arrives at Serafina’s to have a shirt made for her lover. She is full of entitlement and contempt. Serafina also learns of her husbands demise through Assunta (a stable force given by Carolyn Mignini). As Serafina sinks into a massive depression, the women of the town taunt her with the fact her husband had a mistress. With her passion for life and love lost Serafina becomes unhinged locking up her lustful fifteen-year-old daughter Rosa (Ella Rubin). When Rosa develops a crush on the brother of her friend a sailor named Jack (Burke Swanson) Rosa wants him to swear Rosa will not lose her virginity to him. This does not sit well with Rosa.

Emun Elliott and Marisa Tomei. Photo by Joan Marcus

When two man hungry locals, Bessie (Paige Gilbert) and Flora (Portia) are judged by Serafina, they blurt out the news of Serafina’s husbands long time affair, which sends her spiraling until truck driver Alvaro Mangiacavallo (Emun Elliott) rekindles Serafina’s zest for life. As he does Serafina comes back to life, but not before some comedic, romantic foreplay.

Emun Elliott and Marisa Tomei. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Tomei is delightful as the innocent Serafina, boastful, sexual and blazing with life. As she descends into madness she starts to talk more with her hands, going into bouts of rage. Tomei sensually dances caressing her body as if in a fever of a women who needs to be touched and is starving for affection. She nails the accent so much, it took me some time to understand her completely. In her scenes with the Virgin Mary, we see her struggle with losing her faith, not just in her man but her God. When she gets to spar with Emun Elliott she has met her match. These two have chemistry and the sparks and slapstick, make for a madcap ride.

Cullman has used this piece to show the divide using ethnic stereotypes, bigotry and how in the 50’s a woman life revolved around a man. Serafina and the other women are in black or slips. As Serafina’s life is falling apart so do her clothes. It is a metaphor for wanting to move on and rediscover who she has buried within.

This production could have used some editing and less laughs. On the big screen they compared The Rose Tattoo with Come Back Little Sheba

Having never seen a production of The Rose Tattoo, I was left with mixed feelings. Marisa Tomei, will most certainly be nominated for a Tony, but the production seemed to go more for laughs, instead of heart.

The Rose Tattoo: American Airlines Theatre – 227 West 42nd St. until December 8th.

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:


League of Professional Theatre Women’s 10th Annual Women Stage The World March



 The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) will hold its 10th Annual “Women Stage the World March”  — a Suffragette-inspired project to educate the public about the role of women in the theatre industry — on Saturday, June 17.   The march will begin at noon, at Shubert Alley and weave through Times Square and the Broadway Theatre District, wrapping up at about 2 p.m.

“The event is FREE and LPTW invites all theatre women and allies to join us as we increase awareness, lift our voices, and advocate for more opportunities for women in theatre,” said Ludovica Villar-Hauser, Co-President of LPTW.

“The Women Stage the World March is designed to educate the public about the role women play in creating theatre and the barriers they face as men continue to outnumber women by 4 to 1 in key roles such as playwright, director and designers.  Women buy 67% of the tickets and represent 65% of the audience, yet 80% of the storytelling on stage is shaped by men’s voices,” said Katrin Hilbe, Co-President of LPTW.

Handouts during the March will prompt ticket-buyers to ask three questions as they make buying decisions: (1) Who wrote, directed and designed this play? (2) What is this theatre’s track record in giving opportunities to women? (3) How can you spread the word and promote women’s voices?

“All participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite historical theatre woman, or dress all in white.  March participants will gather at Shubert Alley starting at 11:30 AM, in preparation for the start of the march at noon.   Women Stage the World sashes and signs will be provided, as supplies last,” noted Penelope Deen, LPTW member and organizer of the event. Those interested in participating in the event please R.S.V.P. at: or contact Penelope Deen at:

LPTW Co-President Ludovica Villar-Hauser added:  “The League of Professional Theatre Women stands alongside the Writers Guild of America (WGA) as they demand fair wages and take action to ensure more protections for artists. We encourage LPTW members to find a time to join the WGA on the picket lines this month as the strike continues.  Women writers are the future of the film and television industry, just as they lead the way in theatre.  LPTW supports the women on the frontlines of this movement as they call for long overdue change. We are stronger together.”

For the past 10 years LPTW members, affiliated union members, theatre artists and their allies have hit the streets in a March reminiscent of the Suffragette parades of the early 20th Century, with some marchers dressed in traditional suffrage garb and colors. ​ Like the Suffragettes before them, participants in the Women Stage the World March empower women and men to become aware, take action and influence others.

The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) is a membership organization championing women in theatre and advocating for increased equity and access for all theatre women. Our programs and initiatives create community, cultivate leadership, and increase opportunities and recognition for women working in theatre. The organization provides support, networking and collaboration mechanisms for members, and offers professional development and educational opportunities for all theatre women and the general public.  LPTW celebrates the historic contributions and contemporary achievements of women in theatre, both nationally and around the globe, and advocates for parity in employment, compensation and recognition for women theatre practitioners through industry-wide initiatives and public policy proposals.   LPTW is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2023.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Chicago



John Kander & Fred Ebb / Bob Fosse musical Chicago is now the longest running show playing on Broadway. Having played 10,338 performances, Chicago is the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking hit musical playing at the Ambassador Theatre, 219 W. 49th St., NYC.

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Ham4Ham: Some Like It Hot, Parade and Shucked With Special Guests



Lin-Manuel Miranda brought out a. special edition of Ham4Ham outside the Richard Rodgers Theater yesterday and it was a star studded afternoon.

J Harrison Ghee

First up Leopoldstadt stars Josh Molina and Brandon Uranowitz introduced Some Like It Hot‘s J. Harrison Ghee, who performed “You Coulda Knocked Me Over With a Feather” accompanied by the show’s composer, Marc Shaiman. You can watch the beginning of this and the whole performance of that song here.

The crowds

Then Nikki Crawford and playwright James Ijames from Fat Ham, introduced composer Jason Robert Brown and performers Ben Platt and Michaela Diamond who perform the duet “This Is Not Over Yet” from the must see revival of Parade.

The Thanksgiving Play stars D’Arcy Carden and Chris Sullivan introduced book writer Robert Horn and the Tony-nominated cast of Shucked recreated new lyrics for “We Love Jesus” and a parody of Hamilton‘s “The Story of Tonight.”led by Ashley D. Kelley, Grey Henson, Andrew Durand and Kevin Cahoon

This was a spectacular afternoon that can only be had in NYC.

Kevin Cahoon

T2c would love to thank these three ladies who gave us a chair to sit on.


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The Outer Critics Circle Awards and You Are There Part 2



Yesterday the 72nd Annual Awards honoring achievements in the 2022-2023 Broadway and Off-Broadway season were presented at the Bruno Walter Auditorium, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Here are highlights from the show.

Outstanding New Score: Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman – Some Like It Hot

T2c interviewed the fantastic duo.

Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Play: Bill Irwin –Endgame

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Musical: Alex Newell – Shucked

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Musical: J. Harrison Ghee

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Play: Brandon Uranowitz – Leopoldstadt

T2c talked to this amazing performer before the ceremony.

Special Achievement Award:To B.H. Barry, one of the world’s foremost fight directors.

Outstanding New Broadway Play: Leopoldstadt and Outstanding Director of a Play:Patrick Marber – Leopoldstadt

Outstanding New Broadway Musical: Some Like It Hot Robert E. Wankel and Neil Meron

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Broadway’s Samantha Pauly and Reeve Carney Come To Chelsea Table and Stage



On May 29th catch Samantha Pauly for Memorial Day. Best known for originating the role of Katherine Howard in Broadway’s smash hit SIX the Musical, and her captivating performance as Eva Peron in Jamie Lloyd’s critically acclaimed revival of Evita on London’s West End, Samantha Pauly has carefully crafted an evening that reflects the last few years of her life. Join this Grammy nominee and Drama Desk Award winner as she revisits some career highlights, Broadway classics, pop/rock favorites, and all the fun stuff in between.

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and actor Reeve Carneyreturns to Chelsea Table + Stage June 4th  to perform a night of music honoring the artistry of the legendary rock n’ roll supergroup Led Zeppelin. Carney is best known for his portrayal of Dorian Grayin on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, Riff Raff in Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show Reimagining, as well as originating the role of Peter Parker in Julie Taymor/U2’s Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark. He is currently starring in the Broadway blockbuster, Hadestown. Reeve Carney delivers a one-man-show cabaret that feels more like an invitation-only after-party than a traditional concert performance. Don’t miss this special performance from one of Broadway’s leading actors!

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