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Theatre News: Annette Bening, Dancin’, The Lion King, Ohio State Murders and Theater Breaking Through Barriers

Theatre News: Annette Bening, Dancin’, The Lion King, Ohio State Murders and Theater Breaking Through Barriers

Academy Award nominee Annette Bening took to the stage at The Cooper Union (7 E 7th St) at  for a benefit reading of the new play Griswald.

Sean Carvajal (American Buffalo, King Lear) and Emma Ramos (“New Amsterdam,” Scenes from a Marriage) join Ms. Bening for the benefit performance.  Emily Mann (Gloria: A LifeHaving Our Say) will host the evening and introduce the play; Jacqueline Guillen (“Search Party,” 72 Miles to Go…) will read stage directions.

Supporting the Off-Broadway powerhouse Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company (Joseph W. Rodriguez, Producing Artistic Director) and Broadway’s A Is For, GRISWOLD explores the legacy of a woman who fought relentlessly for the 1965 law establishing the constitutional right to privacy – a core concept protecting Americans against government interference in matters of gender, sexuality, and reproductive freedom.

Ticket sales will support the ongoing mission of A Is For to de-stigmatize abortion and enhance access to reproductive services. Proceeds will also benefit The Pink House Fund, formerly the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, which was forced to close when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year. The clinic is now reopening in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with the aim of providing abortion care to women from all over the United States.

The reading is directed by Tatiana Pandiani, executive produced by Allison Bressi, with associate producer Amy Sapp, and production coordinator B. Rafidi. Artwork is by Kelly Schmidt, Digital Producer, Content & Media for PCTC.

Along with the reading of Griswold, A Is For and PCTC will provide musical entertainment, surprise guests, door prizes, a post-play discussion, and the opportunity to join a host of participants from the world of entertainment, law, politics, and community activism to support reproductive rights and celebrate the power of the arts to promote social change. The post-show talkback will be moderated by Erica Stevens Abbitt, PCTC’s Associate Artistic Director.

Bob Fosse’s Dancin‘ returns to Broadway next spring in a reimagined production. Previews begin on March 2 at the Music Box Theatre, ahead of an official opening night on March 19.

Direction and musical staging are by Wayne Cilento, who starred in the original Broadway production and earned a Tony nomination for his performance. Cilento will keep Fosse’s original choreography intact for the upcoming Broadway run.

The cast features Yeman Brown, Peter John Chursin, Dylis Croman, Jōvan Dansberry, Karli Dinardo, Tony d’Alelio, Aydin Eyikan, Manuel Herrera, Gabriel Hyman, Kolton Krouse, Mattie Love, Krystal Mackie, Yani Marin, Nando Morland, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Ida Saki, Ron Todorowski, and Neka Zang. Additional casting to be announced.

Today The Lion King’s creative team will be in attendance for a celebration that includes Julie Taymor (Director & Designer), Garth Fagan (Choreographer), Lebo M (Music and Lyrics), Tim Rice (Lyrics), Roger Allers & Irene Mecchi (Book), Michael Curry (Mask and Puppet Design), Richard Hudson (Scenic Design), Donald Holder (Lighting Design), and Michael Ward (Hair & Makeup Design).

The Lion King’s alumni in attendance include original cast member Christopher Jackson, and Young Simbas and Nalas since 1997, including Caleb McLaughlin (“Stranger Things”), Shahadi Wright Joseph (Young Nala The Lion King live-action, Us), Kyleigh Curran (Disney’s “Secrets of Sulphur Springs”), and Nathaniel McIntyr (Disney+’s Magic Camp, “Blackish,” Barry).

Preview performances for playwright Adrienne Kennedy’s Ohio State Murders begin performances last night, Friday, November 11 on Broadway at the James Earl Jones Theatre (138 West 48th Street).

A limited number of tickets will be available via digital lottery through Telecharge at rush.telecharge.com. Entries for the Ohio State Murders digital lottery start at 12 AM, the day before the performance, and winners are drawn the same day at 9 AM and 3 PM. Winners may buy up to 2 tickets at $54 each. The number of tickets offered for each performance is subject to change.

In-person rush tickets will be available at each performance of Ohio State Murders when the box office opens the day of the performance. Ten (10) tickets will be available each day for $39 per ticket. The James Earl Jones Theatre box office is open Monday through Saturday 10am-6pm.

The Broadway premiere of Ohio State Murders by Adrienne Kennedy stars Emmy, Grammy, and Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, Tony Award nominee Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Drama Desk nominee Lizan Mitchell (On Sugarland, Trojan Women), Mister Fitzgerald, Abigail Stephenson, with understudies Brett Diggs, Brooke Gardner, Christian Pedersen and Gayle Samuels.  Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, A Soldier’s Play) directs.  Ohio State Murders will be the first show to play at the newly renamed James Earl Jones Theatre and will officially open on Thursday, December 8, 2022 for a strictly limited engagement.

When writer Suzanne Alexander (Audra McDonald) returns to her alma mater as a guest speaker, in which she explores the violence in her works, a dark mystery unravels. Adrienne Kennedy’s Ohio State Murders is an intriguing and unusual suspense play, as well as a social pertinent look at the destructiveness of racism in our society.

Theater Breaking Through Barriers (Nicholas Viselli, Artistic Director), the only professional Off-Broadway theater company dedicated to advancing artists and developing audiences of people with disabilities, is proud to announce the first Hybrid  Playmakers’ Intensive: Dramatis UbQTous, featuring seven new, short plays created specifically for digital platforms. This year’s presentations will take place online as well as live and in person. For more information, visit  tbtb.org .

Live digital presentations will take place Monday, November 14 – Friday, November 18, 2022, via YouTube at 7:30 PM (with live closed captioning) and on Facebook at 8:30 pm, FREE via ZOOM.

On Saturday, November 19 at 6 PM, Hybrid  Playmakers’ Intensive: Dramatis UbQTous,   will be live on stage at Clinton Cameo Studios (307 W. 43rd St., Studio B) and will feature five original short plays, three of which were featured virtually during the week and will be presented live onstage. This event will also be streamed live on YouTube and Facebook

TBTB’s Hybrid Playmakers’ Intensive groups together a team of creatives (a playwright, a director, and a cast of actors) to create an original work designed for a digital platform. This festival’s prompt is finding connection in a period of disconnect.

“The work created during each intensive mirrors what we’re all going through at the time — and this Intensive is no exception.  Some of this year’s themes include impending death, reconciliation, and flickers of hope.  There is a great mix of humor and pathos in these plays, which will make for a wonderful week of theater!”   Theatre Breaking Through Barriers’ Artistic Director, Nicholas Viselli

This year’s collection of artists includes Playwrights: Cate Allen, Jerrod Bogard, David Adam Gill, Kathryn Grant, Tatiana G. Rivera, Christopher Chan Roberson and Rob Urbanati ; Directors: Ashley Wren Collins, Graydon Gund, Shellen Lubin , Ben Rauch, Richard M. Rose, Christopher Chan Roberson and Ed Setrakian.

Performers – Fareeda Ahmed (TBTB’s  Brecht on Brecht), Scott Barton (TBTB’s Brecht on Brecht), Jennifer E. Bradley (TBTB’s REDUX: Out of the Box), Veronica Cruz (NY: Hamlet – Bryant Park), Samantha Debicki (Film:  A Childless Woman’s Guide), Stephen Drabicki (TBTB’s Brecht on Brecht), Melissa J. Gonzalez (NY:  Carousel), Enrique Huili (NY: Leurana, Is This a Graveyard?), Ayako Ibaraki ( Film: Something’s More Than One Thing),  Khalil LeSaldo (Regional: The Play That Goes Wrong), Dipti Mehta (TV: “Fleishman is in Trouble), Keith Murfee-Deconcini (TBTB’s Virtual Playmaker’s Intensive 6), Jack Sims (Film: A Suburban Fairytale), Dan Teachout (Film: Arnie Johnstone & The Vulva Tree), Patrick Tombs (NY: Matata & Jessie James) and Gaia Visnar (TBTB’s Brech on Brecht, Japan).

Performance Schedule Monday, Nov 14 – Friday, Nov 18  ( YouTube at 7:30 PM/  Facebook at 8:30 pm

Monday, 11/14 – MEETING ON THE STAIRS by Jerrod Bogard.  Directed by Richard M. Rose

Starring:  Stephen Drabicki Khalil LeSaldo and Jack Sims

Tuesday, 11/15 – BLOOD RUNS COLD by Rob Urbanati.  Directed by Graydon Gund

Starring:  Samantha Debicki, Keith Murfee-DeConcini and Gaia Visnar

Wednesday, 11/16 – THAT WE KEEP by Tatiana G. Rivera,  Directed by Ashley Wren Collins.

Starring:  Enrique Huili and Ayako Ibaraki

Thursday, 11/17 – I AM OBLIGATED TO DISCLOSE by Cate Allen  Directed by Ben Rauch.

Starring:  Scott Barton and Dan Teachout

Friday, 11/18 – PUTTING TO REST by David Adam Gill. Directed by Ed Setrakian

Starring Veronica Cruz and Melissa Jennifer Gonzalez

Saturday, 11/19 at 6 PM  LIVE Performance at Clinton Cameo Studios (307 W. 43rd St., Studio B)

I AM OBLIGATED TO DISCLOSE by Cate Allen  Directed by Ben Rauch.

Starring:  Scott Barton and Dan Teachout

PUTTING TO REST by David Adam Gill. Directed by Ed Setrakian

Starring Veronica Cruz and Melissa Jennifer Gonzalez

THAT WE KEEP by Tatiana G. Rivera,  Directed by Ashley Wren Collins.

Starring:  Enrique Huili and Ayako Ibaraki

A PRIVATE SORROW by Kathryn Grant

Directed by Christopher Chan Roberson

Starring:  Fareeda Ahmed and Jennifer E. Bradley

ROSE BEGONIA TANSY SUNFLOWER by Christopher Chan Roberson

Directed by Shellen Lubin

Starring:  Dipti Mehta and Patrick Tombs

Disability intersects with all populations in our world: Every age, race, gender, and sexual orientation. TBTB strives to create a common ground for all voices and serves as an ambassador in the quest for total, systemic equality in our world. The Hybrid Playmakers’ Intensive represents a diverse chorus within American culture. Created for and rehearsed entirely on the Zoom platform, TBTB’s HPI1 will stream live performances of these new short works directly to you, wherever you may be!

Broadway

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

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