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Theatre News: Broadway Barks, Ralph Fiennes, National Alliance for Musical Theatre and Death of a Salesman

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Broadway Barks will take place in Shubert Alley (located between 44th and 45th Streets, between Broadway and Eighth Avenues) on Saturday, July 9th. Expect Bernadette Peters, Sutton Foster, Hugh Jackman, Myles Frost, Jane Lynch, Shoshana Bean, Alex Brightman and more.Festivities begin at 3 p.m. with a ‘meet and greet’ featuring all the adoptable pets (adoption event); from 5-6:30 p.m. adoptees make their Broadway debut on stage alongside some of Broadway’s favorite stars (celebrity presentations). 

Over the past 23 years, more than 2,000 cats and dogs have stolen Broadway’s spotlight and the hearts of all who come to the event. Approximately 85% of these furry friends have successfully found forever homes. 

The event is free and open to the public.

The US premiere and strictly limited, nine-week New York engagement of David Hare’s new play, Straight Line Crazy, starring Ralph Fiennes as Robert Moses and directed by Nicholas Hytner and Jamie Armitage, this fall at The Shed. Following an acclaimed run this spring at The Bridge Theatre in London, Straight Line Crazy delves into the questionable legacy of Robert Moses and his enduring impact on New York. The play presents an imagined retelling of the arc of Moses’s controversial career in two decisive moments: his rise to power in the late 1920s and the public outcry against the corrosive effects of that power in the mid-1950s. Preview performances begin October 18, and the production opens on October 26 with performances through December 18, 2022, at The Shed’s intimate Griffin Theater as part of the fall 2022 season.

For 40 uninterrupted years, Robert Moses was considered the most powerful man in New York as he envisioned and built public works whose aftereffects determine how New Yorkers experience the city to this day. Hare’s play exposes Moses’s iron will, which exploited weaknesses in the state and city governments as he worked to remake public space. Though never elected to political office, he manipulated those who were through a mix of guile, charm, and intimidation. Motivated at first by a determination to improve the lives of New York City’s working class, he created new parks, new bridges, and 627 miles of expressway to connect the people to the great outdoors. However, Moses often achieved these public works at the expense of disempowered New Yorkers, particularly people of color, living in the way of and near his projects. In the 1950s, groups of citizens began to organize against his schemes and the prioritization of cars over public transportation, campaigning for a very different idea of what a city should be.“When I first read Straight Line Crazy I was compelled by its provocation, humor, and of course by the portrayal of Robert Moses. It seemed its natural home was NYC and now—thanks to The Shed—the play can be seen there. I’m excited. It’s a New York play—that’s simply what it is,” said Ralph Fiennes.“I am very excited to bring Robert Moses home. We had a great educational run in London at The Bridge Theatre where few of the audience had heard of him. But it will be fascinating to bring this controversial figure back to the city, and to the state, on which he left such a lasting mark,” said David Hare.

“Having premiered David Hare’s new play at The Bridge Theatre in London this spring, I’m so thrilled to now partner with The Shed to bring this New York story to New York with Ralph Fiennes leading the way alongside our brilliant cast and creative team,” said Nicholas Hytner.

The cast of Straight Line Crazy includes: Ralph Fiennes (Robert Moses), David Bromley (Stamford Fergus), Alana Maria (Shirley Hayes), Guy Paul(Henry Vanderbilt), Judith Roddy (Finnuala Connell), Helen Schlesinger(Jane Jacobs), Mary Stillwaggon Stewart (Nicole Savage), and Danny Webb (Governor Al Smith) with additional casting to be announced.
Straight Line Crazy was originally produced by the London Theatre Company at The Bridge Theatre in March 2022.

Joy Woods and Ryan Vazquez (Photos: c/o Boneau/Bryan-Brown and DKC/O&M)

Casting for the world premiere production of the new musical The Notebook will begin performances at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on September 6. Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, The Notebook features music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson and a book by Bekah Brunstetter. Tony winner Michael Greif and Schele Williams will co-direct with Katie Spelman choreographing.

Portraying leads Allie and Noah across their lifetimes are Jordan Tyson as Young Allie, current Six star Joy Woods as Middle Allie and Tony winner Maryann Plunkett as Older Allie with John Cardoza as Young Noah, Ryan Vasquez as Middle Noah and John Beasley as Older Noah.

The cast also features Yassmin Alers, Andréa Burns, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, Dorcas Leung, Omar Lopez-Cepero, Sophie Madorsky and Liam Oh. Understudies include Alex Benoit, Mary Ernster, Jerica Exum, Jerome Harmann-Hardeman, RhonniRose Mantilla and Carson Stewart.

The Notebook is set in 1940s South Carolina, where a mill worker named Noah Calhoun and a rich girl named Allie are desperately in love, despite their parents’ disapproval. When Noah leaves to serve in World War II, Allie meets another man. When Noah returns years later as Allie is about to get married, their romance reignites.

National Alliance for Musical Theatre has announced the lineup of new musicals for their 34th Annual Festival of New Musicals, taking place October 20-21 at New World Stages. The festival will include Baked! The Musical (Book, Music & Lyrics by Jord Liu & Deepak Kumar), Blackout (Book by Steven Gallagher, Music and Lyrics by Anton Lipovetsky), Get Out Alive (Book & Lyrics by Nikki Lynette, Music by Nikki Lynette, Matt Hennessy, Clay Bail, Malcom Fong, Slavic Livins and Zeke Macumber), King of Pangaea (Book, Music & Lyrics by Martin Storrow), Perpetual Sunshine & the Ghost Girls (Book & Lyrics by Sara Cooper, Music by Lynne Shankel), Pup! A Chew Story (Book & Lyrics by Marcus Terrell Smith, Music by Robin Schäfer), The Female Pope (Music by Heather Christian, Lyrics & Libretto by Shannon Burkett), and The Pelican (Book & Lyrics by Will Lacker, Music & Lyrics by Dylan Glatthorn).

McKinley Belcher III

Broadway’s upcoming production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman announced that McKinley Belcher III will join the cast as Willy and Linda Loman’s son, “Happy.” Producers also revealed key members of the creative team, who will help bring the show to life at the Hudson Theatre (141 West 44th Street) for strictly limited 17-week engagement starting September 19.

McKinley Belcher III said, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to step into the continuum to tell the story of this great American play, and through the eyes and hearts of a Loman family that looks like me. We’ll be standing on the shoulders of such a beautiful and lauded West End production, and the many iconic storytellers who’ve lived Arthur Miller’s words before us. I’m in awe of the talent in the room, from Wendell, Sharon, André and my brother Khris. It’s an honor to be back on Broadway unpacking the meaning of family and our ever-elusive American Dream.”

Following its critically acclaimed run at London’s Young Vic Theatre and on the West End, this vibrant and timely production will feature Olivier Award nominee Wendell Pierce and Olivier Award winner and 2022 Tony Award® nominee Sharon D Clarke, reprising their roles as Willy and Linda Loman. Belcher joins a new cast of supporting actors in New York, featuring Khris Davisas Biff and Tony Award® winner André De Shields as Willy’s brother Ben. This reimagining is told – for the first time on Broadway – from the perspective of an African American family, living and working in a White, Capitalist world.

Complete casting will be announced soon. For all information – including links to purchase tickets – can be found atwww.salesmanonbroadway.com.

 

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

Drama Desk Awards Backstage In The Press Room

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T2C was backstage at the Drama Desk Awards last night. Here is a look at the action.

First in the room:

Kara Young

Celia Keenan-Bolger

Celia Keenan-Bolger and Jessica Lange

Jessica Lange

Sarah Paulson

The Cast of Stereophonic-Will Brill, Sarah Pidgeon, Juliana Canfield, Andrew R. Butler, Tom Pecinka, Chris Stack and Eli Gelb

Nikiya Mathis

JR Goodman, Ray Wetmore and Camille Labarre

Nikki M. James

Patrick Page

Enver Chakartash

Paul Tazewell

Cole Escola

How to Dance in Ohio cast members that includes-Liz Weber, Jeremy Wein, Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Nicole D’Angelo and Becky Leifman

Paul Tate dePoo

Avran Mlotek, Motl Didner, Dominick Balletta and Zalem Miotek

Jane Cox

Brian MacDevitt

Brian MacDevitt and Jane Cox

Isabella Byrd

Ryan Rumery

Walter Trarbach, Cody Spencer and Kai Harada

David Yazbek

Itamar Moses

Lady Irene Gandy

Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick

Matthew Broderick

Nathan Lane

Will Butler

Marco Paguia

Shaina Taub

Justin Peck

Daniel Aukin

Jessica Stone

Corbin Bleu and Sarah Hyland

Andre Bishop and James Lapine

Keisha Lewis

Maleah Joi Moon, Brian d’Arcy James and Kelli O’Hara

Maleah Joi Moon

Keisha Lewis and Maleah Joi Moon

Kelli O’Hara

Brian d’Arcy James

Peter Nigrini

Carole Rothman and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Amy Herzog

David Adjmi

Adam Greenfield, David Adjmi

Sarah Hyland and Debra Messing

 

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The 2024 Winner’s Of The Drama Desk Awards The Red Carpet

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The 2024 Annual Drama Desk Awards were announced last night at NYU Skirball Center. Tony Award Winners Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit hosted the ceremony.

Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit

Aaron Tveit

Sutton Foster

T2C was on the red carpet.

Andrew Durand

Jeff Kuperman and Rick Kuperman

William Jackson Harper

Shaina Taub

Peter Nigrini

Kecia Lewis

Celia Keenan-Bolger

Jocelyn Bioh

Laura Benanti

Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll

Jessica Lange

Camille Labarre, Ray Wetmore and JR Goodman

Michael Starobin, Andrea Grody and Shaina Taub

Will Brill

Sarah Paulson

Richard Ridge

Sarah Hyland

Maleah Joi Moon

Patrick Paige

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields, Maleah Joi Moon

Brian D’Arcy James

Will Keen

Michael Stuhlbarg, Will Keen

Mary Louise Burke

Isabella Byrd

Justin Peck

Kara Young

Marco Paguia

Miss New York Rachelle diStasio

Josh Breckenridge

Lorin Latarro

Ricky Ubeda

Glauco Araujo

Dorian Harewood and Nancy Harewood

Mark Williams

Brody Grant

The Cast of Stereophonic-Andrew R. Butler, Will Brill, Tom Pecinka, Juliana Canfield, Eli Gelb, Chris Stack and Sarah Pidgeon

Paige Davis and Patrick Page

James Monroe Iglehart

Sarah Pidgeon

Nikiya Mathis

Montego Glover

Cole Escola

Tom Pecinka

Chris Stack

Leslie Kritzer

Miriam Silverman

Andrew R. Butler

Pat Swinney Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment with Juliana Canfield

Juliana Canfield

Enver Chakartash

Robert Pickens and Katie Geil

Will Butler

David Adjmi

Daisy Prince

Debra Messing

Lena Hall

Debra Messing

Nikki M. James

Michael Stuhlbarg

Paul Tazewell

Camille A. Brown

Marin Ireland

How To Dance in Ohio-Liz Weber, Jeremy Wein, Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Nicole D’Angelo and Becky Leifman

Jacob Karr

Dylis Croman and Robert Montano

Eli Gelb

Walter Trarbach

Steven Valentine

Peter Charney and Brendan George

Rebecca Frecknall

Lady Irene Gandy

Timo Andres

 

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Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth

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The Broadway League’s Black to Broadway initiative announces the performers for this year’s Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth concert taking place in Times Square on Wednesday, June 19th from 11:00am – 12:30pm (rain or shine).

Michael James Scott

Michael James Scott will host. Flagstar Bank will be this year’s presenting sponsor.

Phylicia Rashad

The 2024 Juneteenth Legacy Award will be presented to two-time Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad, a versatile performer, director, educator, and humanitarian who has delighted generations of audiences through her work in beloved roles both in theatre and on screen. As an actress, Ms. Rashad has won two Tony Awards, for A Raisin in the Sun (2004 Best Actress in a Play) and Skeleton Crew (2022 Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play). She was also a 2005 Best Actress in a Play nominee for Gem of the Ocean. As a producer, Ms. Rashad recently received a Best Revival of a Play nomination for Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch.

The fourth annual Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth concert features more than 35 performers from the following 17 Broadway shows: Aladdin; & Juliet; Back to the Future: The Musical; Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club; Chicago; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; The Heart of Rock and Roll; Hell’s Kitchen; Illinoise; The Lion King; MJ; Moulin Rouge! The Musical;The Notebook; Suffs; Water for Elephants; The Who’s Tommy; The Wiz; and the return of the kids of Young Gifted and Broadway. All performances will be accompanied by live music thanks to The Music Performance Trust Fund and the Film Funds. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided.

The exciting line-up of Broadway stars set to perform includes: Blu Allen, Donovan Louis Bazemore, Jace Bentley, Ronnie S. Bowman Jr., Maya Boyd, Tsilala Brock, Max Chambers, Taylor Colleton, Jay Copeland, Lorna Courtney, Charity Angél Dawson, Mariama Diop, Desmond Sean Ellington, Will Ervin Jr., Jerome Hermann-Hardeman, Dorian Harewood, Jackson Hayes, Najah Hetsberger, Afra Hines, Manny Houston, Jaylen Lyndon Hunter, Bre Jackson, Polanco Jones Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Mehret Marsh, Deja McNair, Alex Newell, Veronica Otim, Cristina Rae, Jelani Remy, William Rhem Jr., Albert Rhodes Jr., Walter Russell III, Antoine L. Smith, Nia Thompson, Lamont Walker II, Rachel Webb, NaTasha Yvette Williams, and Hailee Kaleem Wright.

Joining The Broadway League in partnership for Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth are Black Theatre United (BTU), Black Theatre Coalition (BTC), The New York Times, and the Times Square Alliance. Black Theatre United has curated a selection of Black-owned restaurants to take part in the celebration by selling food and treats to attendees. Kokomo, LaMode BK, and Brooklyn Sweet Spot will be on-site with a selection of delicious options to add to the festivity.

Flagstar Bank is the 2024 presenting sponsor of Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth. Other sponsors include: The Music Performance Trust Fund and Film Funds; the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment; Audience Rewards; Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; Broadway.com; M·A·C Cosmetics; TodayTix; Playbill; The Araca Group; and Open Jar Studios.

The creative and production teams of Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth include Director and Writer Steve H. Broadnax III, Music Director Rashad McPherson, Executive Producers Brian Anthony Moreland and Aaliytha Stevens, Stage Manager Monet Thibou, and General Manager Devon Miller of Foresight Theatrical.

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The 2024 Winner’s Of The Drama Desk Awards With Interviews

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Photo Aaron Tveit and Sutton Foster Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The 2024 Drama Desk Awards were a star-studded ceremony at NYU Skirball Center co-hosted by Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit. This is the only major NYC theater awards for which Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway productions are considered in the same categories. Two recipients in each of the gender-free performance categories were announced and in some categories not only were their ties but three winners selected.

The winners are:

Outstanding Play: Stereophonic, by David Adjmi, Playwrights Horizons

Outstanding Musical: Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Revival of a Play: Appropriate, Second Stage Theater

Outstanding Revival of a Musical: I Can Get It for You Wholesale, Classic Stage Company


Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play:
Jessica Lange, Mother Play, Second Stage Theater

and Sarah Paulson, Appropriate, Second Stage Theater

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical: Brian d’Arcy James, Days of Wine and Roses, Atlantic Theater Company, Maleah Joi Moon, Hell’s Kitchen and Kelli O’Hara, Days of Wine and Roses, Atlantic Theater Company


Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play:
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Mother Play, Second Stage Theater and Kara Young, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical: Kecia Lewis, Hell’s Kitchen and Bebe Neuwirth, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club


Outstanding Direction of a Play:
Daniel Aukin, Stereophonic, Playwrights Horizons


Outstanding Direction of a Musical:
Jessica Stone, Water for Elephants

Outstanding Choreography: Justin Peck, Illinoise, Park Avenue Armory


Outstanding Music:
Shaina Taub, Suffs

Outstanding Lyrics: David Yazbek and Erik Della Penna, Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Book of a Musical: Itamar Moses, Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Orchestrations: Marco Paguia, Buena Vista Social Club, Atlantic Theater Company


Outstanding Music in a Play:
Will Butler, Stereophonic, Playwrights Horizons

Outstanding Revue: Amid Falling Walls, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play: David Zinn, Stereophonic, Playwrights Horizons

Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical: Paul Tate DePoo III, The Great Gatsby (includes projections)


Outstanding Costume Design of a Play:
Enver Chakartash, Stereophonic, Playwrights Horizons


Outstanding Costume Design of a Musical:
Paul Tazewell, Suffs

Outstanding Lighting Design of a Play: Jane Cox, Appropriate, Second Stage Theater


Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical:
Brian MacDevitt and Hana S. Kim (projections), The Outsiders

Outstanding Projection and Video Design: Peter Nigrini,Hell’s Kitc

Outstanding Sound Design of a Play: Ryan Rumery, Stereophonic, Playwrights Horizons


Outstanding Sound Design of a Musical:
Nick Lidster for Autograph, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, Cody Spencer, The Outsiders and Walter Trarbach, Water for Elephants


Outstanding Wig and Hair:
Nikiya Mathis, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding, Manhattan Theatre Club


Outstanding Solo Performance:
Patrick Page, All the Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villain

Unique Theatrical Experience: Grenfell: in the words of survivors, St. Ann’s Warehouse, National Theatre, and KPPL Productions

Outstanding Fight Choreography: Cha Ramos, Water for Elephants

Outstanding Adaptation: An Enemy of the People, by Amy Herzog


Outstanding Puppetry:
Ray Wetmore, JR Goodman, and Camille Labarre, Water for Elephants

SPECIAL AWARDS

Ensemble Award

The cast of Stereophonic – Will Brill, Andrew R. Butler, Juliana Canfield, Eli Gelb, Tom Pecinka, Sarah Pidgeon, and Chris Stack – who execute David Adjmi’s hypernaturalistic text with extraordinary care and precision, while also performing Will Butler’s music with the freshness and life that makes us believe we are witnessing, first-hand, the creation of a new American classic.


‘Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award

Cole Escola, who both wrote and stars in one of this season’s biggest hits Off Broadway, Oh, Mary! Following in the long legacy of queer artists who write themselves into American history, Escola’s new “gay fantasia on national themes” is a hilarious reminder of why we must continue to interrogate our past.

ADDITIONAL SPECIAL AWARDS

How to Dance in Ohio Authentic Autistic Representation Team – Sammi Cannold, Nicole D’Angelo, Becky Leifman, Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Liz Weber, and Jeremy Wein  – for their steadfast support of autistic theatermakers, and their strides toward true accessibility for neurodiverse individuals both on and offstage.


Lighting designer Isabella Byrd, whose self-described technique as a “darkness designer” has earned her a cache of nominations and awards in the United States and abroad. During this season, Byrd illuminated two Broadway shows done in the round, An Enemy of the People and Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club. Off Broadway, her spotlight on quiet, small-scale stories both enchanted us in Primary Trust and mesmerized us in Infinite Life, with a parking-lot sky that marked the passage of time.


Lady Irene Gandy, for career achievement. A press agent extraordinaire for over five decades, Lady Irene has always demonstrated her passion, dedication, and love for theater. A Broadway producer and Sardi’s honoree, she is a zealous advocate for inclusion, diversity, and equity in the arts.

 

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Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Bernadette, Angela, Ethel and Patti

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Gypsy turned 65 on May 21, and soon Audra mcDonald will take over the role. Let’s look at the other Mama Rose’s. Ethel Merman originated the character at the Broadway Theatre in 1959, and received a Tony nomination for her performance.

Patti LuPone last Rose, took home the 2008 Tony for her turn.

Angela Lansbury took on Rose in the 1973 London revival of Gypsy, which later transferred to Broadway in 1974. She was the first Rose to win a Tony Award for her performance.

Bernadette Peters took on Rose in the 2003 Broadway revival and received a Tony nomination for her perofrmance. At the 57th annual Tony Awards, she sang “Rose’s Turn.”

Bette Midler played Mama in the 1993 television adaptation of Gypsy and Barbra Streisand played the role on the big screen.

Looking forward to the next incarnation.

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