Passion Nation Left Me Starving For More
I saw Passion Nation a few weeks ago, but hadn’t the heart to review it right away. Billing itself “as the first of its kind, immersive dining experience, exciting & enjoyable as a standalone happening but especially developed to get you ready for your Broadway experience. This ‘5 dimension’ event harnesses the combination of live actors, breathtaking light projection technology and sound design, and unique integrated food and drink, to tell an inspiring tale of American optimism and accomplishments.”
Created and produced by Jerry Stone and David Palmer, the event space at Lightbox Event Space, 248 West 37 Street, is well done. As we entered we were served refreshing cocktails. Loved the virgin Margarita. Yes, there was alcoholic ones as well. We were shown to our table were crudités of fresh vegetables and a dressing, artisan rolls and butter, bottles of res, white, flat and sparkling water awaited us. As the show proceeded we began in 1969 with the landing on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldridge. The skit was short and rather fast. To celebrate we were served an savory macaron atop an illuminated “ice cube,” two slices of dehydrated apple rings and a vile a Tang. Now for presentation A+, for the feeling of nostalgia with the Tang A+, as for taste C.
We then jumped back in time via video projections in 360 degree motion to 1945 as we celebrated the end of the war with the infamous kiss in Times Square. The nurse turns into Rosie the Riveter, who sings and dances. The next course served on a round TV type dinner tray; a forth of a grilled cheese sandwich, a condiment size of smoky tomato soup, two miniature pigs in blankets with an odd ketchup mustard combo, all of which were served cold, minus the soup.
We hear about the 1835, conflicts between Thom Paine and Abe Lincoln but then jump to 1920 and prohibition as we raise a glass of wine, we are served a cheese platter because Lincoln loved cheese, with some olives for the table to pass. As we do the cast gives information and jazz age dance routines. More on the information later.
the 1858 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas which was done with some rather cool live projections. The meal Vegetarian Pot Pie with some wilted salad with hardly any dressing. Now the Vegetarian version was horrid, the person next to me had a Chicken version, which gratefully they switched. The Pot Pie was served in what they normally serve flan or Creme Brûlée’s in so about 4 tiny spoon fulls. By now I am seriously hungry as it was like having four courses of appetizers. The wine was poured freely, which is great if you drink. Though the The “four-course meal” is intended to align with different eras, I just did not get the menu choices.
The last vignette was Alexander Hamilton’s mother (Annie-Sage Whitehurst) who has been our guide and her son (Terrell Foster) who leads us in a kumbaya type song.
Also in the cast were: Jenna Robino, Jordan Gwiazdowski and Omar Perez. The performers were talented, there just isn’t enough for them to do. The show by writer-director-choreographer Bill Castellino (Desperate Measures and Cagney) whose work I normally love, has created a historical storyline that feels disjointed and misses some really fabulous points.
Ok so if you are going to enlighten me here, are some historical facts we missed.
In 1870 the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution men of all black or white could vote. Granted there were issues but legally this was the case. it took until 1920 for women to be guaranteed the right to vote by the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. More importantly 1943 until the Chinese immigrants were given the right to citizenship and the right to vote by the Magnuson Act.
The most shocking thing is that on March 22, 1972 the equal rights amendment was passed by the Senate, however 38 states had to approve it. As of May of this year we have 37. Now we would have had 41, but in 1972 Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota receded their yes vote. In order to be a passionate nation, doesn’t this have to happen?
In 1984, a show called Tamara opened in Los Angeles, where they feed you a wonderful Intermezzo dinner. The play opened in New York in 1987 at the Park Avenue Armory and ran for five-years. This was one of the most amazing interactive theatre productions I have ever seen. I saw it multiple times. When you say interactive, this is what I compare it to. As for the 5 dimensions and the whole concept, I just didn’t see it.
Passion Nation runs through December 9th and then resumes January 3 through 27th, 2019 at the Lightbox Event Space, 248 West 37th Street. Drinks are included with dinner, but no dietary restrictions are accommodated since it is a set menu.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Theatre News: Smash, I Need That, Good Night, Oscar, Funny Girl, This Beautiful Lady and In The Trenches: A Parenting Musical
The NBC television series Smash is coming to Broadway for the 2024-2025 season. Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron and Steven Spielberg will produce. The musical will feature a book co-written by three-time Tony Award nominee Rick Elice and Tony winner Bob Martin. Tony and Grammy winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Some Like It Hot). The team earned three Emmy nominations for their songs from the “Smash” series will pen the score, which will feature numbers from the TV show.
Five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman (New York, New York) will direct and Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner Joshua Bergasse will choreograph.
The series was created by Theresa Rebeck and Spielberg, launch the series. Spielberg is also one of the co-producers of Good Night, Oscar, which begins performances at the Belasco Theatre on April 7.
Official dates, theater, creative team and casting for the “Smash” stage musical will be announced at a later date.
Speaking of the Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright Theresa Rebeck, Danny DeVito and Lucy DeVito are set to star in her new play I Need That at the Roundabout. The new comedy will be directed by Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel which will open at the American Airlines Theatre in October. The cast will also include Ray Anthony Thomas. … Also newly announced for Roundabout’s new Broadway season is a spring 2024 revival of Samm-Art Williams’ 1980 Tony-nominated play “Home.” Tony winner Kenny Leon will direct
Speaking of Good Night, Oscar, Doug Wright’s play was named finalist for 2023 new play award by The American Theatre Critics Association. The other six finalists for the 2023 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award include: Born With Teeth by Liz Duffy Adams, the ripple, the wave that carried me home by Christina Anderson, Sally & Tom by Suzan-Lori Parks, Spay by Madison Fiedler and
Swing State by Rebecca Gilman.
Paolo Montalban and Anne L. Nathan are joining Lea Michele in Funny Girl as Florenz Ziegfield and Mrs. Strakosh. Montalban and Nathan will replace original cast members Peter Francis James and Toni DiBuono, who take their final bows on March 26th.
Elizabeth Swados’ This Beautiful Lady will play at La MaMa this May. Previews will begin May 5 for the Off-Broadway run ahead of the May 8 press opening, with performances set through May 28 in the Ellen Stewart Theatre.
In The Trenches: A Parenting Musical, with book, music, and lyrics by Graham & Kristina Fuller, will receive industry readings on Friday, March 24th at 11am & 3pm at Ripley Grier Studios. The readings will be directed by Jen Wineman (Dog Man: The Musical) and will feature music direction by Rebekah Bruce (Mean Girls) and arrangements by Dan Graeber, Graham & Kristina Fuller.
The cast of In The Trenches features Amanda Jane Cooper (Wicked), Jelani Remy (The Lion King, Ain’t Too Proud), Christine Dwyer (Wicked), Caesar Samayoa (Come From Away), Max Crumm (Grease, Disaster!), and Vidushi Goyal.Join two bleary-eyed young parents as they trudge through the trenches and discover their new post-baby identities. In an evening of new-parent greatest hits, a foul-mouthed toddler zeroes in on “the most dangerous thing in the room”, tap dancing towards bleach, knives, and tide pods; a chronically-overlooked younger sibling sings the “second child blues”; a mom trio celebrates yoga pants in an R&B love song to the “official mom uniform”; dad discovers he’s not the “ice-cream and movie-night cool parent” but rather the “do your homework real parent” amid a kiddo sugar-crash; and mom retrieves a sticky, hair-covered pacifier from the floor of a LaGuardia bathroom while her baby screams bloody murder and her flight boards without her.
Jason Robert Brown, Chuck Cooper, Janet Dacal, Sutton Foster, Lillias White and More To Perform at TheaterWorksUSA Spring Gala
TheaterWorksUSA, currently presenting the hit family show Dog Man The Musical at New World Stages, will host its annual Spring Gala on Monday, April 24 (cocktails begin at 6 PM) at The Current at Chelsea Piers.
100% of the net proceeds from the event will support our mission to create exceptional, transformative theatrical experiences that are accessible to young and family audiences in diverse communities across New York City and North America.
This year TWUSA will honor Lisa Chanel (TWUSA Board Chair 2019-2022), Andréa Burns (Award-winning Broadway actress & educator), Peter Flynn (TWUSA alumnus and award-winning director, writer, and educator), and Holly McGhee (Founder and Creator of Pippin Properties, New York Times best selling author). The event will feature appearances by some of Broadway’s biggest stars, including Jason Robert Brown, Chuck Cooper, Janet Dacal, Kevin Del Aguila, Sutton Foster, Lillias White and more.
On behalf of TheaterWorksUSA’s Board of Directors, we are thrilled to celebrate the people who have generously supported our mission, making it possible for us to bring high-quality theater to young audiences of all backgrounds throughout the country. We look forward to recognizing Lisa, Andréa, Peter, and Holly publicly at this very special event. – Tracy A. Stein, Board Chair
It’s a privilege to honor these individuals for playing such an important role in the work we do. Their vision, creativity, and ongoing commitment to our mission is truly something to celebrate. They are very much a part of our TheaterworksUSA family.- Barbara Pasternack, Artistic Director
TheaterWorksUSA (Barbara Pasternack, Artistic Director; Michael Harrington, Executive Director) has led the Theater for Young and Family Audiences movement in New York City and across North America for over half a century. At TWUSA, we believe that access to art—and theater, in particular—is vital for our youth. Since 1961, the 501(c)3 not-for-profit has captured the imaginations of 100 million new and veteran theatergoers with an award-winning repertoire of over 140 original plays and musicals. Acclaimed alumni include Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Disney’s Frozen), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent), Jerry Zaks (The Music Man), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), Miguel Cervantes (Hamilton), Kathleen Chalfant (Angels in America), and Chuck Cooper (Tony award-winning actor, The Life). WWW.TWUSA.ORG
Tech2 years ago
How to Take Advantage of Virtual Numbers for SMS
Business2 years ago
Entre Institute Review – Is Jeff Lerner’s Program a Scam?
Entertainment2 years ago
A Star is Born – Barvina Takes Entertainment World by Storm
Events3 months ago
New Year’s Eve Traditions In The US and Around The World
Film9 months ago
Elvis and The Mob Connection
Broadway2 years ago
Broadway Reopening: The Theatre Listings
Events2 years ago
The Question On Everyone’s Mind Should Be How Did The Haitians Get To Mexico
Spiritual2 years ago
The History of Numerology
Family2 years ago
Who Is Justine Ang Fonte and Why Are We Letting Her Near Children?
Broadway11 months ago
Funny Girl Makes Julie Benko a Star