In watching the Roundabout Theater Company production of Thérèse Raquin, at Studio 54, I was transported into a film by Ingmar Bergman or Lena Wertmuller. It is bleak, haunted, slow and concentrated. It is like watching a film more than a piece of theatre. It is the perfect blending of the two forms.
Adapted by Helen Edmundson from Émile Zola’s 1867 novel, Thérèse Raquin has been made into radio productions, TV adaptations, films, an opera and a musical.
The plot concerns Thérèse (the subtly layered Keira Knightly) who has been abandoned to her aunt, Madame Raquin (Judith Light) and her ill and obnoxious son Camille (Gabriel Ebert). Madame Raquin dotes on her son and thinks Camille the perfect wife. When Thérèse is 21 she is bound into this loveless marriage. Camille decides that the family should move to Paris, so he can pursue a career. Where Thérèse longs for light and beauty, she is shut into a world of darkness. During the day she is confined to a shop she and her mother in law run. At night upstairs to a life that seems never ending. One night a childhood friend of Camille’s comes to visit. Laurent (Matt Ryan) and Thérèse, are drawn together and begin a torrid love affair. At first their meetings are fast, furious and regularly until Laurent’s boss no longer allows him to leave early. Thérèse inspires the idea of killing Camille, but it is Laurent who carries it out. The two become haunted and guilt ridden at the passage of time. Michaud (David Patrick Kelly)—one of the regular visitors of the family—comes up with the idea that Thérèse should marry again and that the ideal husband would be Laurent. They marry, but the guilt of Camille drives them into loathing and hatred. On night Madame Raquin, hears the truth and becomes completely paralyzed (except for her eyes). The two ex-lovers turn more and more on each other, until they plot to kill each other. At the climax they realize at the same time where life has brought them, they embraced one last time and help each other commit suicide as Madame Raquin, watches.
Ms. Knightly is so real and so morose, that if you have ever been stuck in something knowing there is no hope, you will relate to this mesmerizing performance. Her descent, into being haunted by her own guilt is profound and hypnotic. Mr. Ryan’s Laurent takes this character out of the cad category and instills this role a week man who is driven by his desire. When he touches Ms. Knightly you can feel the heat. Mr. Ebert as Camille is the week link. He seemed more like a caricature rather than a sickly man who is more into himself than others. The audience should be on Thérèse’s side so when she is consumed by guilt we feel for her. Ms. Light, as Thérèse’s mother-in-law is less bitter and mean spirited than normally played, which adds an interesting twist. We feel sorry for this woman who in the end is heartbroken. David Patrick Kelly, Mary Wiseman and Jeff Still round out the picture.
Evan Cabnet’s direction is interesting, though I do think he missed some key points. The sex scenes are not long enough that we get the desperation in the beginning. They are crude, violent and wham bam thank-you mam. It is crucial that sexual tension cut like a knife. Also in the end the moment of Mme Raquin’s final victory is more down played and leaves us a little unsatisfied.
The set by Beowulf Boritt and Keith Parham is dismal and perfect, with a body of water making the calls, as if it is an unknown spirit. Jane Greenwood’s costumes are plain but perfect for this complex haunting of a soul.
This is a psychological mind twist with you rooting for these ill fated lovers of mind, body and spirit.
Thérèse Raquin: Studio 54, 254 West 54th St. until Jan. 3rd
Barry Manilow’s and Bruce Sussman’s Harmony Meets The Press
Harmony, has been in rehearsals for 3 weeks and yesterday morning, they meet the press.
Barry Manilow, wrote the original music.
Bruce Sussman, who wrote the book and lyrics
director/choreographer Warren Carlyle
and producer Ken Davenport started the show off to a harmonious roll. Harmony begins previews Wednesday, October 18, ahead of a Monday, November 13 official opening night.
Many of the cast are making their Broadway debuts with Harmony, including 5 of the 6 actors playing the Harmonists.
The Harmonists, along with Chip Zien finished out the morning with a performance of the song “Stars in the Night.”
The production also stars performers Sierra Boggess and Julie Benko.
Tomorrow meet the men of Harmony
Get Ready For The Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction
The biggest day for Broadway fans returns to New York City’s Theater District on Sunday, October 1. The Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction unites all theater fans – whether they’re onstage, behind the scenes or in the audience – in their hunt for Broadway-themed treasures, unique experiences and theater magic.
Theater lovers of every kind will have the opportunity to take home one-of-a-kind mementos and autographed collectibles and bid on exclusive Broadway experiences and items including props, costume pieces, opening night theater packages and more.
The Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction will run from 10 am – 7 pm with tables on West 44th and West 45th Streets, the silent auction in Shubert Alley and the live grand auction wrapping up the day in the Times Square pedestrian plaza between 45th and 46th Streets.
Treasure-filled tables from Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, theater owners and producing organizations, unions, guilds, marketing groups, ticket agencies, concessionaires and fan clubs will line West 44th and West 45th Streets. The shows set to have tables the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction are & Juliet; Aladdin; Back to the Future: The Musical; A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical; Hadestown; Hamilton; Here Lies Love; The Lion King; Kimberly Akimbo; Moulin Rouge! The Musical; Six; Some Like It Hot; Sweeney Todd and Wicked, plus special tables honoring The Phantom of the Opera and the 40th anniversary of the original cast of La Cage aux Folles.
Sunday’s Broadway Forever Concert Postponed Until October 15
Today, Broadway Forever announced that the Sunday, September 24th concert will be postponed to Sunday, October 15th at 11:00AM due to expected severe weather in New York City. The Sunday, October 15th concert will take place at Lou Gehrig Plaza in the Bronx (East 161st Street, Grandview Place).
A complete line up of appearances and performances will be announced soon.
For the second consecutive year, NY Forever, in partnership with City National Bank, the New York City Department of Transportation and 161st Street Business Improvement District presents Broadway Forever,empowering New Yorkers across the city to build a better city for all.
Fans will have the opportunity to sign up for future community service opportunities in all five boroughs, which will be coordinated by New York Cares and their partner organizations.
Broadway stars performing throughout New York City celebrate the creativity and resilience that is intrinsic to the city – and provide an opportunity to recognize the volunteers and community organizers who work hard to make New York a better place. The concerts will bring Broadway entertainment to DOT’s Public Space Programming, a city initiative that brings free activities to public spaces.
The events are produced and staged by 6W Entertainment, with additional support from New York Cares and the Times Square Alliance.
For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at cnb.com.
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.
The Glorious Corner
WENNER TAKES A DOWN —Jann Wenner always speaks his mind and this week he may have overstepped just a bit. In an interview that ran in the New York Times about his new book called Masters, he quite openly said that there were no black or R&B artists in it, because they were not able to articulate properly. I know, I felt the same way reading that. Minutes later, he was let go by the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which he helped start with Ahmet Ertegun way back in 1983.
His Like A Rolling Stone autobiography book was quite an indulgent read last year, but Wenner has in the last several years suffered several health set backs and it was pointed out that he may not be in his right mind. Still, he should have spoken way more carefully. I’ve known Wenner for decades and trust me, he feels he’s way entitled, and that said, you can rest assured that there were dozens and dozens of people (and former employees) waiting to take him down.
The sad fact is that most of the accusations are true. That said, let’s face it Rolling Stone magazine in it’s heyday was a miraculous outlet for so much music and terrific journalism – from Ben Fong-Torres to Hunter Thompson and Jann himself .. it was distinguished. Now, he may have killed it all.
Rolling Stine magazine Monday posted this – essentially disowning his from the magazine: “Jann Wenner’s recent statements to the New York Times do not represent the values and practices of today’s Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner has not been directly involved in our operations since 2019. Our purpose, especially since his departure, has been to tell stories that reflect the diversity of voices and experiences that shape our world. At Rolling Stone’s core is the understanding that music above all can bring us together, not divide us.”
Here’s the report from Deadline: https://deadline.com/2023/09/jann-wenner-removed-rock-and-roll-hall-fame-foundation-board-1235548690/comment-page-1/#comment-3858649
DREW’S BLUES — Boy, what did Drew Barrymore ever do to deserve the treatment she’s been through with the media. Sure, her ideas to bring back her daily-chat fest was a good one, for the right reasons, but everyone from Rosie O;’Donnell to the trade papers have bounced on her like madmen. I never met her, don’t hate her, but really … let’s get back to something real, like these Russell Brand-accusations!
SHORT TAKES — We finally caught David Bryne and Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love and absolutely loved it. I remember it well when it premiered at the Public Theater way back when and knew they were trying to get it to Broadway. Honestly, I never thought twice about the Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos story, but the play was riveting then and it remains now. They’ve outfitted NYC’s magnificent Broadway Theater with disco-balls galore and club-lighting and the immersive experience is terrific. Here’s a great re-cap of the play’s evolution from Theatre Guide: https://www.newyorktheatreguide.com/theatre-news/news/how-the-music-of-here-lies-love-evolved-on-the-way-to-broadway …
Micky Dolenz appeared on Sunday’s Breakfast With The Beatles with Chris Carter (on KLOS) and talked about his new Dolenz Sings R.E.M. on Glenn Gretlund’s 7a Records. He also talked about his time with The Beatles and John Lennon. Carter also played a mash-up of Monkees and Beatle-songs which was done in England and it was superb. Here’s a shot from the event at LA’s Hard Rock Cafe on Highland and Hollywood Blvd. … SIGHTING: PR-pasha David Salidor and Benny Harrison at Monday’s Cutting Room tribute to Burt Bacharach … RIP Sammy Ash …
I’ve been thinking the best way to describe Jimmy Buffet and I saw this headline in LA Magazine: leisure evangelist– and it fits perfectly …
Happy Bday Donnie Kehr and Richard Branciforte.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Dan Mapp; Brad Auerbach; James Clash: Robbie Robertson; Carol Ruth Weber; Randy Alexander; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Andrew Gans; Kathy Brown; Roger Clark; Chris Boneau; Tricia Daniels; Dan Zelinski; Benny Harrison; Steve Walter; Gil Friesen; Donna Dolenz; Dan Mapp; Brad Auerbach; James Clash; and ZIGGY!
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