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One of Broadway’s brightest lights has dimmed. Obie-winning composer-lyricist Michael Friedman, has died from complications with HIV/AIDS. In an age where people are living with this disease, it is a painful reminder, that there is so much more to go.

A graduate from Harvard, Friedman is best known for his work on Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which opened on Broadway in 2010 following a run at the Public Theater. Friedman’s also supplied the music and worked with Itamar Moses on the musical The Fortress of Solitude, which played the Public in 2014, as well as the Shakespeare in the Park presentation of The Tempest in 2013. Friedman served as the director of Public Forum and artist in residence.

Friedman was also the composer of The Civilians’ inaugural musical, Canard, Canard, Goose? Friedman was a founding associate artist for the company. He also wrote the music and lyrics to their critically acclaimed musical Pretty Filthy. It was during that run, I had a chance to meet and talk with this prolific writer of theatre, thanks to Luba Mason, who introduced me.

Earlier this year, Friedman succeeded Jeanine Tesori as artistic director of New York City Center’s Encores! Off-Center series. Under his leadership: Assassins, The Bubble Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, and Really Rosie happened.

Friedman also wrote music and lyrics for Saved, In the Bubble, The Drunken City, The Brand New Kid, God’s Ear, The Blue Demon, the music for the 2010 Signature Theatre revival of Angels in America and the Broadway adaptation of Misery.

He was the dramaturg for the 2004 Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Kenny Leon.

We leave you with this video from youtube and the TEDXEast where Michael leads us through the process of writing a song for theater.

Death is never easy, but this is a loss for musical theatre.

Our wishes are with his loved ones and family.

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

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Remembering Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd

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On Sunday look for a brand new charcuterie of Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford in Sweeney Todd..  I loved the new production, and it’s two leads.

I saw the original with Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou, which was also a favorite. I think it’s Sondheim’s greatest work.
Here is my drawing of Angela as Mrs. Lovett, to salute the original.
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Broadway

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

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 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: https://www.theatrewomen.org/women-stage-the-world or contact Penelope Deen at:  Womenstagetheworld@Theatrewomen.org

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

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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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Broadway

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

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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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Broadway

The Outer Critics Circle Awards and You Are There Part 2

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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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