Theatre and Cabaret News: Lucie Arnez, National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill, Aladdin, Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation, Fear, Bewilderness, Victor, Big Apple Circus and Molly Sweeney

Theatre and Cabaret News: Lucie Arnez, National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill, Aladdin, Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation, Fear, Bewilderness, Victor, Big Apple Circus and Molly Sweeney

Founded in 1964, the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center is the country’s premiere institution for new play development. Every summer, six to eight unproduced works are selected from a pool of 1,000+ submissions for a playwright-driven workshop on the O’Neill’s campus in beautiful Waterford, CT. At every step in the process, the O’Neill strives to foster an inclusive, collaborative environment in which artistic exploration and experimentation is encouraged.

Applications for the 2020 National Playwrights Conference will open September 12 – October 11, 2019. 

Adam Jacobs from the original production

Disney’s hit stage musical version of Aladdin has been filmed in London at the Prince Edward Theatre for a future broadcast release.

Forbidden Broadway, Gerard Alessandrini’s award-winning musical spoof of theater is back in Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation. It is set for a 10-week limited engagement at the Triad Theatre from September 18 through November 30, with an official opening night set for October 16. Alessandrini will direct the production, with Gerry McIntyre as choreographer.

The full company will include Jenny Lee Stern (Jersey Boys), Aline Mayagoitia (Kinky Boots), Chris Collins-Pisano (Elf), Joshua Turchin (A Christmas Story: The Musical) and newcomer Immanuel Houston, with Fred Barton on piano.

Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation will feature up-to-the-moment spoofs of Hadestown, Moulin Rouge!, this season’s Oklahoma! revival, The Ferryman, Tootsie, Beetlejuice, Frozen, the Yiddish-language Fiddler on the RoofDear Evan Hansen, What the Constitution Means to Me and the new generation of Broadway stars including Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Santino Fontana, Karen Olivo, Alex Brightman and exciting turns by Bette Midler, André De Shields, Bernadette Peters and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Obi Abili

Matt Williams’ play Fear will receive its World Premiere beginning Tuesday, October 15 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street), directed by Tea Alagić. A limited run, Fear will celebrate its opening night on Thursday, October 24 and run through December 8, 2019. 

Fear follows a little girl’s disappearance as it prompts a tense confrontation among a plumber, college professor, and teenage boy. In this psychological drama, three neighbors discover how far they are willing to go to defend the values that define them.

The cast will feature Obi Abili (TV’s “Billions,” “ Delicious.” Irish Rep’s  The Emperor Jones), Enrico Colantoni (Film: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood;   TV’s “Veronica Mars”),  and  Alexander Garfin (Film:  Peanuts). 

The Circle Series has proven itself to be an apt home for comedy, in its sixth installment, Circle in the Square Theatre School will present Bewilderness by Zack Fine, an unconventional and absurdist comedy following the life (and failures!) of Henry David Thoreau on his journey to writing his masterpiece, Walden.

The staged reading is held at Broadway’s Circle in the Square on Monday, September 16 at 7pm and is open to the public. Admission is a suggested donation of $20 for adults and $10 for seniors and students, with all proceeds benefiting Circle in the Square Theatre School.

Edger Oliver Photo by Pavel Antonov

Axis Theatre Company (1 Sheridan Square) presents Victor (world premiere), written and performed by Edgar Oliver, directed by Randy Sharp, with live musical accompaniment arranged and composed by Paul Carbonara

Previews: October 2–5 at 8pm, press opening: Sunday, October 6 and performances through October 26: Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm

For over a decade, Axis Theatre Company has served as an incubator and theatrical home for the beloved performer, poet, and storyteller Edgar Oliver, a fixture of the New York downtown scene for over three decades. In deep collaboration with Axis Theatre Company founder Randy Sharp, Oliver has created a body of work that Hilton Als of The New Yorker has described as “so beautiful—so enthralling in its undisguised but never tedious self-absorption, in its command of the spoken word, and in its demand for love.”

Big Apple Circus is thrilled to announce their 42nd season, celebrating the heartbeat, everyday delights, and spirit of New York City with astounding talent from around the world, led by Brooklyn-born singer and Ringmaster Storm Marrero. This year’s brand-new show begins performances October 12, 2019 at Lincoln Center and will run through February 2, 2020. Tickets are now on sale at

Featuring a magical set design touching every corner of the tent, Season 42 is ready to transport audience members upon entering. A thrilling addition to this year’s show will be original compositions by Drama Desk nominated composer, writer, performer, and multi-instrumentalist Ada Westfall (Death of a Salesman at BAM). Also on board to create the eclectic and vibrant environment to highlight the extraordinary performances are music director Wages Argott, composer Janine Delwarte, lighting designer Jesse Alford, and Tony Award nominated costume designer Emilio Sosa (“Project Runway” finalist, Porgy & Bess, Motown).

  • Circus of the Senses (December 5th and 6th) offers special enhanced inclusive experiences for audiences who are deaf, blind, low vision and more. The performances feature ASL interpretation, Live Audio description through infrared headsets, pre and post show tactile experiences and both braille and large print programs.
  • For one night only (December 5 at 5:30PM) there will be a completely empathetic and immersive experience where audiences will enjoy a 3-course dinner and the show – all while wearing a blindfold. The performance is full guided, audio described, and will provide the audience with the incredible perspectives afforded only to the blind. 
  • Sensory-friendly Autism performances (October 26 and November 1st at 11 am ) feature lowered light and sound levels, a complete social story available for download with a descriptive picture book showing the different areas and acts involved with the circus, a professionally staffed “calming center” and additional support that can be accessed at any point during the show.
  • As part of the Circus for All initiative, eighteen performances throughout the fifteen-week run will offer $10 tickets for every seat in the house to underserved schools and community groups.  In addition to the tickets, Big Apple Circus offers a complete study guide highlighting both CORE and STEAM curriculums for the students to learn about science, history, geography, and more first-hand as they experience the Big Apple Circus

Tickets are now on-sale at 

Keen Company Artistic Director Jonathan Silverstein today announced the cast for the first play of the new season, Keen’s 20th: Paul O’Brien, Pamela Sabaugh andTommy Schrider will star in Brian Friel’s Molly Sweeney directed by Mr. Silverstein. 

Molly Sweeney’s resonate meditation on sight and dreams has captivated me since I first read it over twenty years ago and I am thrilled to begin rehearsals with this terrific cast and creative team. Pamela is a wonderful actor, and her experience as a person with low vision has already illuminated the text for me in new ways. Paul and Tommy are both inspired actors who I have wanted to work with for quite some time. Keen is working with consultant George Ashiotis (former co-Artistic Director, Theatre by the Blind) and partnering with blind and low vision schools and organizations to make Molly Sweeney accessible to the blind and low vision audience, including offering touch tours and audio described performances. We hope to create a welcoming space for conversation about choice, representation, and connection,” said Silverstein.

Performances for the limited Off-Broadway engagement of Molly Sweeney will begin Tuesday, October 8th, and continue through November 16th only, with opening night set for Wednesday October 23rd.

Having lost her sight at infancy, Molly Sweeney (played by Pamela Sabaugh) knows the world through touch, sound, taste, and smell. When her hopeful husband (Tommy Schrider) and ambitious doctor (Paul O’Brien) propose an operation to restore her sight, Molly and those around her begin to understand that things may not all be as they appear. Brian Friel, Ireland’s master storyteller (Dancing at Lughnasa, Faith Healer, Translations) creates a riveting contemporary drama about the unexpected consequences of a medical miracle.

From one of Ireland’s best living playwrights, this striking piece of dramatic writing is a daring piece of theater. Keeping the play’s three characters on stage at all times to speak directly to the audience, Brian Friel presents three points of view to the same intriguing tale. Each of their voices interweaves, threading in and out with details, spinning a lush and sensate narrative, and carrying us effortlessly to an unexpected and poignant conclusion. Deceptively simple, yet richly multilayered—combining both an insightful story about the way we perceive our existence with an allegory for our times — Molly Sweeney is an Irish storyteller’s art to create an unforgettable theater piece, painting scenery and rousing emotions with nothing more than the simple purity of beautifully rendered words.


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:

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