Who decides if a child lives? A terrible crime took place in a German clinic for disabled children. The persecution, sterilization and murder of hundreds of thousands of disabled people is one of the most overlooked chapters in the history of Nazi Germany. Between 1939 and 1945, it is estimated that well over 200,000 people with a wide range of disabilities were dismissed as Lebensunwertes Leben (‘lives unworthy of life’) and systematically killed in six converted psychiatric hospitals across Austria and Germany. Public opposition to the program was limited. The most striking intervention came from the Bishop of Münster, Clemens von Galen. Stephen Unwin’s riveting new play All Our Children is set against a forgotten chapter of the Holocaust, the murder of disabled children and young people, remembering those who died and those who fought against this injustice. Playing at The Sheen Center All Our Children,started previews April 6th and plays until May 9th.
T2C had a chance to talk to this author, to learn just a little bit more.
T2C: You have directed in Scotland and England and now your play is in New York.
Stephen Unwin: Briton is a small country, in my 20’s I worked in Edinburgh at the Traverse Theatre. A lot of actors that I worked with made it big like Alan Cummnings and Tilda Swinton. I am really a play and opera director. I have directed over 50 or 60 productions. Doing this play is terrifying.
T2C: You have written several books.What is the difference between writing books and a play?
Stephen Unwin: The books are are factual, the play took historical research. It is also imaginative. The translation is informative in writing the play. You are creating dialogue that trips on the tongue.
T2C:What aren’t you directing All Our Children ?
Stephen Unwin: I directed All Our Children in London, but its right to do it here with an America cast and director for an American audience. I could have done it, but it was great to have an experienced director for here.
T2C:What made you write All Our Children?
Stephen Unwin: It comes from the experience of a father who has a severally disable child. My son Joey has no speech, epilepsy and will always need to be taken care of. My mom was also a German Jew and there is something in that inheritance. I was also brought up on Catholicism. This play weaves all that together.
In this play, the bishop has a line “all God’s children need”. The play was my question and answer as to what is the onset of that? The Nazi killed over 200,000 disable children because it is too expensive to keep them. I think that the tax payer and the state needs to support the most vulnerable. We have a responsibility through our tax dollars and commitment. I admire that religious commitment and now the rest of the world needs to find a political answered to helping our seniors and disabled. The Nazi’s wanted to spend money on the military instead of their people’s needs. This play has a series of arguments. Society has a contribution to make.
T2C:What made you write about the holocaust?
Stephen Unwin: This story is before the Jewish holocaust, it is the attack on the disabled people. This is a story that is completely forgotten about. Bishop Galen was very grand and aristocratic, the Nazi’s thought he was one of them. However he stood up against the murders and stood up for the disabled. Hitler stopped the program, because of his speeches and bravery.
T2C:How did you get the play to New York?
Stephen Unwin: I directed it in London and it was a big success, then somebody form the Sheen Center contacted me. This play sparks an ethical debate. When the forces of the state go against the most vulnerable, we need to band together and state this must never happen again!
T2C:I know the US had commercials wanting to sterilize disabled children and in Germany they were being experimented on. What is it we don’t know?
Stephen Unwin: There was an absurd amount of eugenics going on in America and London. It was a misunderstanding of Darwin theory. The thought was that if we sterilized, we could stop the diversity of people, that this is good for everybody. We forget that perfect is not good for anyone. When I was younger I used to be so scared of people with disabilities and now I’m not. Fear creates hate.
T2C: You are an advocate for disabled children. What do we not know that could help?
Stephen Unwin: What we forget is that disabled children should have every right that every other child should have. I took my daughter Bea, to the playground here and there was not one disabled child. Children need to play. They need access to education, to grow and be the best they can be. The psychological stress to fight for a disabled child’s right shouldn’t be taken for granted. This is not something a family should fight for. A child should be kept safe. The casual language of moron, stupid and dumb are all abusive. Virginia Wolfe when seeing disabled children on a bridge stated; “They should all be killed.”
T2C:How does theatre help disabled children?
Stephen Unwin: This little play has helped some people have more empathic and has helped create a political change towards disabled people.
T2C:What are the challenges you face as a father of a disabled child?
Stephen Unwin: My boy Joey is now 22, so he is nearly an adult. The challenges are you have to fight and fight and fight. Joey gets what he needs, because I am a privileged person. I try in what ever way I can to help people do not have the advantages that I have. Joey is a lucky swine, because he has family around loving him.
T2C: Is this play spiritual?
Stephen Unwin: This play is the most personal thing I have done incorporating my Jewish inheritance and Catholic upbringing. This terrible crime was committed, yet a voice when brave enough is clearly and forcibly enough, people will follow you.
T2C:What would you like our readers to know that I haven’t asked?
Stephen Unwin: It’s not a date night play, this is not as terrifying as people think it is. It is emotional and you will cry. It is humane. Human’s no matter how they are born is worth infinite value.
All Our Children: The Sheen Center, 18 Bleeker St. until May 9th.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Dracula: A Comedy Of Terrors
Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors, is now playing at New World Stage, 340 West 50th Street, until January 7, 2024 or beyond.
In this caricature you will find James Daly’s Dracula and clockwise: Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Arnie Burton, Ellen Harvey and Jordan Boatman who make up this amazingly talented cast.
You can read T2C’s mouth watering review here.
Theatre News: Wicked, The Wiz, Hypnotique, Female Troubles and Love In The Time Of Crazy
Broadway’s blockbuster Wicked, in partnership with National Day Calendar, has announced that October 30 will officially become National Wicked Day, in honor of the hit Broadway musical’s debut at the Gershwin Theatre (245 West 51st Street) on October 30, 2003.
This marks the first time that a Broadway show will have its own official day in the National Day Calendar. With this inclusion, Wicked joins some of the most recognizable National Day celebrations, including National Barbie Day, National Star Trek Day, National Scrabble Day, National Winnie the Pooh Day, and National Teacher Appreciate Day, among others.
Read the official announcement HERE.
Currently Wicked 4th longest-running show in Broadway history, and will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on Broadway this October 30th.
The Broadway production of Wicked currently features Alyssa Fox as Elphaba, McKenzie Kurtz as Glinda, John Dossett as The Wizard, Michele Pawk as Madame Morrible, Jordan Litz as Fiyero, Jake Pedersen as Boq, Kimber Elayne Sprawl as Nessarose, and William Youmans as Doctor Dillamond.
Emmy Award®-winning music director and Grammy Award®-winning writer, Adam Blackstone, joins the creative team as Dance Music Arranger for the revival of The Wiz. The Wiz will launch a national tour on September 23, 2023 in Baltimore, MD before returning to Broadway for a limited engagement in the 2023/24 season.
“Joining The Wiz’s creative team has been a very surreal moment. I remember watching the film on VHS daily for years, wondering how it sounded so incredible, how MJ transformed into the Scarecrow, and the score and orchestrations truly told a story all of its own. Fast forward to today, I get to musically partner with Terence Vaughn and reunite with my brother, super choreographer and creative director JaQuel Knight, and explore our own interpretation for a revival of this masterpiece. I am excited and look forward to this body of work changing lives, just like it did for me in the 80’s!” stated Adam Blackstone.
The cast will include previously announced Wayne Brady to lead the production as the Wiz on Broadway in Spring of 2024, San Francisco (January 16 – February 11, 2024) at the Golden Gate Theatre, and Los Angeles (February 13 – March 3, 2024) at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. Alan Mingo Jr. will star in the role of the Wiz in the following cities of The Wiz National Tour this fall, kicking off with the tour launch in Baltimore, including Cleveland, OH, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, PA, Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, Chicago, IL, Des Moines, IA, Tempe, AZ and San Diego, CA.
The cast will also feature Nichelle Lewis as Dorothy, Deborah Cox as Glinda and Melody A. Betts as Aunt Em and Evillene, Kyle Ramar Freeman as the Lion, Phillip Johnson Richardson as the Tinman, and Avery Wilson as the Scarecrow. The Wiz ensemble includes Maya Bowles, Shayla Alayre Caldwell, Jay Copeland, Allyson Kaye Daniel, Judith Franklin, George, Collin Heyward, Amber Jackson, Jackson, Jones, Jones, Kindle, Mariah Lyttle, Kareem Marsh, Anthony Murphy, Rae, Matthew Sims Jr, Avilon Trust Tate, Keenan D. Washington, and Timothy Wilson.
The production will include ‘Everybody Rejoice’ music and lyrics by Luther Vandross, as well as the ‘Emerald City Ballet’ with music by Timothy Graphenreed.
The McKittrick Hotel (530 West 27th Street, NYC), home of Sleep No More, announced the opening of Hypnotique – A Late Night Sultry Spectacle. Performances have been extended on Friday and Saturday nights through October 14, 2023. The all-new Hypnotique revue offers a unique after-dark experience that envelops you. Audiences are captivated by spontaneous performances and mesmerizing dancers, accompanied by daring sonic soundscapes in a surreal ambiance in The Club Car.
The cast features Chloé Lexia Worthington, Courtney Sauls, Fabricio Seraphin, Haley Bjorn, Jacob Nahor, Jesseca Scott, Maurice Ivy, Maya Kitayama, Samantha Greenlund, Victoria Edwards, and swings Alex Sturtevant, Cameron Arnold, Kennedy Adams, and Stacey Badgett Jr..
Cocktails inspired by the experience, including the signature Hypnotonique (an electrifying punch made with cucumber-infused vodka, elderflower liqueur, and grapefruit juice), are available from The Club Car’s bar.
Performances are offered on Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30PM. General Admission tickets with standing room are currently priced from $65 per person.
Two industry readings for Female Troubles, an original musical comedy, will happen next week at Open Jar Studios. Female Troubles is a completely original musical comedy featuring lyrics by two-time Tony Award nominated and Grammy Award nominated songwriter Amanda Green (Mr. Saturday Night, Hands On A Hardbody, Bring It On), music by three-time Emmy Award nominee Curtis Moore (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), book by Emmy Award-winning writers Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden (“Veep,” “Arrested Development,” “Seinfeld,” “The Simpsons,” “HouseBroken”) and directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli (Disney’s Newsies, My Fair Lady, “Schmigadoon,” “Schmicago”).
The cast for the readings will includeKrystina Alabado, Kevin Del Aguila, Amanda Green, Lilli Cooper, Lillias White, Lesli Margherita, Ryann Redmond, Kate Rockwell, Matt Saldivar, Alanna Saunders, Trent Saunders, Jake Swain, Sav Souza, Rachel Stern and Frank Viveros.In Female Troubles, Elinor Benton finds herself surprisingly and undeniably “knocked up” — and, since she’s unmarried and this is 19th century England, she has a very big dilemma. Facing ruin, she and her girlfriends embark on a raucous journey to find the one notorious woman who can help them with their “female troubles.” Their misadventures change the course of each of their lives. This uproarious musical comedy asks the trenchant question “Can you believe this sh*t is still happening in 1810?”
I attended the reading of Love In The Time Of Crazy withbook and lyrics by Peter Kellogg (Outer Critics Winner for Desperate Measures), music by Stephen Weiner (two-time Richard Rodgers Award winner) and David Hancock Turner (orchestrator for Desperate Measures and Penelope), directed by Lauren Molina (Desperate Measures ). The cast stared Philippe Arroyo, Stephen DeRosa, Robin Dunavant, David Merino, Josh Lamon, Roe Hartrampf and Alexis Cofield .
Love in the Time of Crazy is a riot, but, you know, in a good way.
Arms and the Man Meet The Press
Gingold Theatrical Group next show is a new production of George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man.
The cast of Arms and the Man will feature Shanel Bailey (“Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies”)
Delphi Borich (Camelot)
Ben Davis (New York New York)
Keshav Moodliar (Queen)
Evan Zes (The Kite Runner),
Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba (Prince of Broadway).
Understudies for this production are Mazvita Chanakira (Gap Year)
René Thornton Jr (The Tempest)
and Matthew Zimmerman (A Midsummer Night’s Dream).
Arms and the Man will be directed by David Staller.
The production will feature set design by Lindsay Genevieve Fuori
lighting design by Jamie Roderick
costume design by Tracy Christensen
and sound design by Julian Evans. Prop design is by Emmarose Campbell.
Production management is by Allie Posner. Hair design is by Cassie Williams, and Stephanie Yankwitt of tbd Casting Co. is the Casting Director.
Logan Gabrielle Schulman is the Assistant to the Director and Ariel Kregard is the Assistant to the Costume Designer.
The production stage manager is April Ann Kline and Jade Doina will serve as assistant stage manager.
Arms and the Man is one of Shaw’s most popular comedies. The plot follows a hunted soldier who, seeking refuge in a young lady’s boudoir, starts in motion a series of highly engaging and unlikely comedic events. His unusual philosophies about love, war and life in general open up a world of thought she’d never previously entertained–certainly not with her dashing war-hero fiancée who also arrives unexpectedly. This early work of Shaw’s is remarkably pithy.
The play’s title, Arms and the Man, references the first line of the epic Virgil poem, The Aeneid, in which we’re reminded of how foolish humans can be by fighting each other and struggling against the best of human nature: “Arms and the man I sing, who, forced by fate / And haughty Juno’s unrelenting hate, / Expelled and exiled, left the Trojan shore.”
Arms and the Man will play Theater Two at Theatre Row (410 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036) from October 17 through November 18, 2023. Opening night is set for October 26. The performance schedule is Tuesday–Thursday at 7pm; Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm & 8pm; Sunday at 3pm. Cast and guest-moderated talkbacks will take place after each Sunday performance.
“Relapse” Musically Releases Some Compelling Voices in Our Heads
By Dennis W
Vinny Celerio (as Intrusive), Nicole Lamb (as Intrusive), Mia Cherise Hall (as Melinda), Zummy Mohammed (as Intrusive), and Audree Hedequist (as Intrusive) Photos by Thomas Mundell.
Relapse: A New Musical is filling Theatre Row with the sound of music from voices patients in a psychiatric hospital hear only in their heads. The 100-minute production captures the audience and brings them into the foggy, erratic, self-destructive world of this group who have lost their grasp on reality. It’s a difficult feat to write a musical about mental illness and get it right. The approach J. Giachetti takes in the book and lyrics, with music supplied by Louis Josephson, is quite inventive and works. The play takes place in group therapy sessions for four patients. But the music is about what’s going on in the minds of these people as they struggle with their sanity. And there are four more players called, ‘The Intrusive’ (the voices in the patients’ heads) doing whatever they can to keep the people in the group from breaking through to reality.
Bryan is played by Randall Scott Carpenter and this is his Off-Broadway debut. Bryan has an eating disorder and Carpenter captures a man searching for control right down to the nervous tick of shaking his leg. The schizophrenic in the group is Melinda played by Mia Cherise Hall. She has just the right spin on the character’s detachment from reality while still being part of the group.
Kendra is played by Becca Suskauer (Pretty Woman, National Tour) making her Off-Broadway debut. Kendra is a sociopath who torched her home and killed her father. Rounding out the cast is Adam played by Jacob Ryan Smith (Lizard Boy, Off-Broadway) who is new to the group. He’s an alcoholic and this is his fourth relapse. All the characters have a singular goal: to get out. They are joined by ‘The Intrusive’ played by Vinny Clear, Audree Hedequist, Nicole Lamb, and Yummy Mohammed. They swarm around the patients blocking their way to progress, as well as, filling the void as a well-voiced chorus.
The lyrics by J Giachetti do the job of filling out the characters with titles like Psych 101, Outta Here, Shattered Brain, and What Would You Do. The rock edge to the music by Josephson (Composer, Additional Lyrics, Orchestrations, Julliard) adds to the chaos nicely.
Dr. Carlisle and Margot, the nurse, are played respectively by Troy Valjean Rucker (Romeo and Bernadette, Off-Broadway) and Ashley Alexandra (Tootsie – National Tour) who have a kind of antagonistic relationship. Margot is not completely happy with the doctor’s handling of the group and is not shy about speaking out. They also talk about how funding for the group session may be cut off. This is where the plot begins to wander somewhat unnecessarily.
Director and Choreographer Joey McKneely (West Side Story, Broadway) keeps all the characters moving to highlight their stories in the ensemble musical using all of the stage space. The eerie swarming of ‘The Intrusive’ works but as the show progresses their movements become somewhat repetitive.
The scenic design by Sheryl Liu (The Memorial, A.R.T.) is adequate, with six blue chairs in a semi-circle as you would expect. It’s easily moved around as needed. Liu, as costume designer, dresses the patients in simple scubs-like tops and pants. Except for Bryan who has a slouching muddy brown cardigan that he uses to his advantage as he nervously rubs it between his fingers hinting at his lack of control and obsessive-compulsive behavior.
This ensemble production of Relapse: A New Musical takes us inside mental illness. The problem comes within the optimistic ending. We really have mostly seen how the characters deal with their specific problems and how the voices in their heads keep holding them back. The doctor says he is moving a patient to the next level facility even though he isn’t ready just to show some progress on paper. Relapse isn’t perfect but it is definitely an evening of entertainment that will give you a lot to talk about when you leave the theater.
For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com
The Glorious Corner
Recognizing Yom Kippur
Metropolitan Opera’s Opening Night Live In Times Square
Romantic and Meaningful Love Quotes For Her To Help Win Her Heart
How to Take Advantage of Virtual Numbers for SMS
Entre Institute Review – Is Jeff Lerner’s Program a Scam?
Ken Fallin's Broadway1 day ago
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Dracula: A Comedy Of Terrors
Out of Town1 day ago
The Innocence of Seduction Will Seduce You
Out of Town1 day ago
“speaking of sneaking” Spins It’s Queer Folktale Web Fascinatingly at Buddies In Bad Times Toronto
Events1 day ago
The Argyle Theatre Encore! Gala and You Are There
Events1 day ago
The Pepsi 125 Diner
Broadway4 days ago
Theatre News: Wicked, The Wiz, Hypnotique, Female Troubles and Love In The Time Of Crazy
Events12 hours ago
Recognizing Yom Kippur
Food and Drink3 days ago
White Wine for Summer Send Off