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Theatre News: Into The Woods, Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, Be More Chill, Jasper, The Near Disaster of Jasper & Casper and Floyd Collins

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Well we already know it, when The Piano Lesson was kicked out of the St. James Theatre, but now it’s official. Jordan Roth, President of Jujamcyn Theaters, announced that the hugely acclaimed and much beloved New York City Center Encores! production of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s revival of Into the Woods at the St. James Theatre will be extended for an additional eight weeks. Tickets are now on sale through October 16.

Into the Woods, the first Broadway show of the 2022/2023 season, is directed by Lear deBessonet, music direction by Rob Berman with The Encores! Orchestra, and choreographed by Lorin Latarro. This production is dedicated to the memory of Stephen Sondheim.

Additional casting announcements will be made soon.

Tickets for the extension will be available beginning at 9:00AM EST via SeatGeek.com/into-the-woods.

Into the Woods first premiered on Broadway in 1987, winning three Tony Awards including Best Score and Best Book. It has since been produced throughout the world and was adapted into a major motion picture in 2014. This production marks its first time on Broadway in 20 years.

The National Yiddish Theatre will return for a seven-week return engagement of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (www.nytf.org/fiddler). It will play from November 13, 2022 – January 1, 2023 at New World Stages. The musical will be presented in Yiddish with English and Russian Supertitles.
The acclaimed production is directed once again by the legendary Oscar and Tony Award winner Joel Grey. Also returning to recreate his award-winning performance is Steven Skybell who stars as Tevye, a milkman navigating family, faith and changing traditions in the little Russian shtetl of Anatevka.
Be More Chill made its Asian premiere this summer at the New National Theatre Playhouse, in Tokyo, and will follow with performances in Fukuoka and Osaka. Be More Chill is directed by Tony Award-nominated Stephen Brackett.
Be More Chill, a musical adaptation of the 2004 novel of the same title by American author Ned Vizzini, has a book by Joe Tracz and music and lyrics by Tony Award-nominated Joe Iconis. It originally premiered at New Jersey’s Two River Theatre in 2015.
The cast of Be More Chill includes: Kota Yabu from Hey! Say! JUMP, Seishiro Kato, Sayuri Inoue, Yuya Kido, Akiyoshi Utsumi, Ruki Saito, Marika Dandoy, Ayaka Larrison, Bro.Tom and Daisuke Yokoyama.

Wonder Window Theatre Company and  Executive Producer Lisa Dozier are proud to announce the World premiere of Grant MacDermott’s play Jasper off-Broadway, directed by Katie McHugh. Performances will begin on September 8 in advance of its opening night on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 W 42nd St). Tickets are $25- $75 and can be purchased by visiting YonderWindow.co.

Dominic Fumusa

Trapped by the reality of their son’s illness, a couple struggles to keep their child and their marriage alive.  A chance encounter changes everything and forces them to re-evaluate their circumstances and strive towards what is missing in their lives.

Abigail Hawk

The cast includes Dominic Fumusa (Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie”; Film: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Broadway: Wait Until Dark), Abigail Hawk (TV’s “Blue Bloods”), and Jessica Pimentel (Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black”), the understudies are Justin Adams (TV: “The Affair”) is Jessica DiGiovanni (MCC’s Seared, MTC’s Close Up Space).

Jessica Pimentel

The creative team includes set and costume design by Michael Gianfrancesco; lighting design by Robin A. Paterson; sound design by John Gromada, the intimacy director is Judi Lewis-Ockler and casting is by JZ Casting. The production stage manager is Merrick Williams, production management is FIVE OHM, and LDK Productions is the general manager.

Jasper won the TRU New Voices Award in 2018. In the summer of 2019, Yonder Window Theatre Company produced an AEA industry staged reading in collaboration with Adelaide Raleigh Productions and Boz and the Bard Productions.

The Near Disaster of Jasper & Casper, a fantastical new solo show and magical adult fairy tale bursting with imagination and adventure. The production will light up the New York stage this Summer in a limited engagement, Off-Broadway run at Theater Row’s Theater Five. Written and performed by Jason Woods and directed by Michelle Svenson, previews on Wednesday, August 24th and  the run will continue through Sunday, September 18th. The official opening night is on Thursday, September 1st at 7:30PM. There are 26 performances in total.

InThe Near Disaster of Jasper & Casper, Jasper feels quite different from the people around him and sets out on a quest for his true family. Along the way, he discovers a blunt witch, a mysterious, articulate dragon, and a purpose he never expected. As Jasper gets closer to the truth, he confronts his own fears, his brother Casper’s self-obsession, and a heartbreaking path to his own destiny. Award-winning actor Jason Woods morphs into each character with rapid-fire dexterity and heartfelt authenticity on a fantastical adventure for the child in everyone. Ghosts, magic, and Deadly Cows abound in The Near-Disaster of Jasper & Casper.

Christina Sajous 

Out of the Box Theatrics (Elizabeth Flemming, Founder and Producing Artistic Director; Ethan Paulini, Associate Artistic Director) is thrilled to announce that the company will produce the first Off-Broadway revival of the critically acclaimed musical, Floyd Collins. The production, to be directed by Christina Sajous (Broadway’s SpongeBob SquarePantsSpider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, American Idiot; Out of the Box Theatrics’ 2019 production of Baby), will play from November 11 through December 18, 2022 at Theatre 71 at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament (152 West 71st Street). Opening night is Monday, November 28.

Floyd Collins features music and lyrics by two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award winner Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza), with a book by Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner Tina Landau(member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Broadway’s SpongeBob SquarePantsSuperior Donuts). The musical was originally commissioned by The American Musical Theatre Festival in Philadelphia, which produced its world premiere in 1994. The Off-Broadway premiere, directed by Landau, was produced in 1996 by Playwrights Horizons. It won the 1996 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical and Guettel won a 1996 Obie Award for Music for the score’s unique mix of bluegrass and folk music with other contemporary musical forms and influences. The show has been viewed by many critics as a modern classic of musical theatre, with John Simon, New York Magazine, hailing it as “the original and daring musical of our day.” After its brief original New York run, it has since been produced throughout the United States, in London and elsewhere.  Floyd Collins is based on the true-life incident of the “Cave Wars” that took place in Central Kentucky in the early 20th century, where explorers and landowners fought each other to exploit the system of interconnected caves for commercial profit. In 1925, while chasing a dream of fame and fortune by turning a Kentucky cave into a tourist attraction, Floyd Collins himself becomes the attraction when he gets trapped 200 feet underground. Alone but for sporadic contact with the outside world, Floyd fights for his sanity – and, ultimately, his life – as the rescue effort above explodes into the first genuine media circus. Reporters and gawkers from across the country descend on the property, fueling the hysteria and manipulating the nation into holding its collective breath. Out of the Box Theatrics, an Off-Broadway company founded in 2015, stages inventive and site-specific productions of new and classic plays and musicals, while challenging audiences to experience work outside of their expectations. The company has earned recent attention for its critically acclaimed streaming co-production of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last 5 Years (New York Times’ Critic’s Pick, 2021 Drama League Nominee for Outstanding Digital Theater, 2022 Antonyo Award nominee for Best Digital Theater Production), and its new production of the 1983 Broadway musical Baby, originally staged in 2019 and revived in 2021 (2022 Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Revival of a Musical).  Out of the Box Theatrics’ production will explore the sensationalist news reporting in the show’s world, which almost 100 years later reflects our own era of ‘fake news’ and ‘click bait.’ The production will also examine the racial elements at play in the segregated Kentucky of the 1920s.  Known for staging site-specific productions, Out of the Box Theatrics selected Theatre 71 in the basement of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament for the underground feeling the intimate space generates. The church was in danger of closing during the pandemic, and Out of the Box Theatrics is thrilled to perform at this hidden gem of the Upper West Side.  Casting and additional production details will be announced in coming weeks. 

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

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Richard M. Sherman Songwriter for Mary Poppins and Jungle Book Passes On

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Richard M. Sherman, was a nine-time Academy Award nominee along with his brother Robert. The Sherman Brothers wrote more than 200 songs for some 27 films and 24 television productions. Their film credits include Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Parent Trap, Summer Magic tv, The Sword in the Stone, That Darn Cat!, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, The Happiest Millionaire, The Aristocats, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

The won two Academy Awards for Mary Poppins, taking home the trophies for Best Score – Substantially Original and Best Original Song (for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”). They won three Grammy awards and received 24 gold and platinum albums and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and received the US National Medal of the Arts in 2008.

They also wrote the score on Broadway for Over Here.

The brothers were portrayed in the 2013 film Saving Mr. Banks, which told the story behind the making of Mary Poppins.

Sherman died of age-related illness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills. His brother Robert died in 2012.

 

 

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The Outer Critics Circle (OCC) Awards And You Are There Part 2

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Yesterday we gave you part 1 of The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), awards ceremony held at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for The Performing Arts 111 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC).

In this part Steve Guttenberg gives the award to Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Play: Jay O. Sanders – Primary Trust


Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical:
 Andrew Durand  Dead Outlaw

Current President David Gordon introduced Andrea Martin who gave away the awards for Outstanding Direction of a Musical: Jessica Stone – Water for Elephants

A special award was given to Harry Haun longtime OCC member who served on the board as well.

Outstanding Choreography (Broadway or Off-Broadway):Justin Peck —Illinoise

And the tie for Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Play: William Jackson Harper, Primary Trust

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play: Primary Trust

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical: Dead Outlaw

Kelechi Watson presented the awards for Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Musical: Kecia Lewis  Hell’s Kitchen

Outstanding Direction of a Play: Daniel Aukin – Stereophonic

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Musical: Kelli O’Hara  Days of Wine and Roses


Outstanding New Broadway Play:
 Stereophonic

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Outstanding New Broadway Musical: Suffs

Founded during the 1949-50 Broadway season by respected theater journalist John Gassner, The Outer Critics Circle is an esteemed association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and online news organizations, in America and abroad. Led by its current President David Gordon, the OCC Board of Directors also includes Vice President Richard Ridge, Recording Secretary Joseph Cervelli, Corresponding Secretary Patrick Hoffman, Treasurer David Roberts, Cynthia Allen, Harry Haun, Dan Rubins, Janice Simpson and Doug Strassler. Simon Saltzman is President Emeritus & Board Member (Non-nominating) and Stanley L. Cohen serves as Financial Consultant & Board Member (Non-nominating). Lauren Yarger serves as the Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony executive producer.

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The Stars Showed Up Michael Greif at The New Dramatists Luncheon

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The New Dramatists Annual Spring Luncheon at the New York Marriott Marquis honored Michael Greif, the acclaimed director of not one but three shows playing on Broadway, Days of Wine and Roses, The Notebook and Hell’s Kitchen. Tony Award-winning producers Kevin McCollum and Stacey Mindich served as honorary co-chairs.

Michael Greif

Michael Greif

Christie Brown, Michael Greif, Brian d’Arcy James and Emily Morse

Michael Greif, Brian d’Arcy James

Michael Greif, Brian d’Arcy James

New Dramatists also presented the inagural Konecky Award, named for New Dramatists’ beloved Board President Isobel Konecky and her husband, renowned entertainment attorney Ron Konecky, recognizes those in the theatre and entertainment industry, who serve the field with passion, dedication, excellence, and leadership. The inaugural Konecky Award will be presented to Concord Theatricals.

Attending were:

Ali Louis Bourzgui

Joy Woods

Jordan Tyson

John Cardoza

Betsy Aidem

Will Brill

Rick Elice

Brian d’Arcy James

Michael Greif, Hannah Greif and David Greif

Adam Pascal, Michael Greif and Daphne Rubin-Vega

Members and Creatives of Hell’s Kitchen that includes-Susan Oliveras, Lily Ling, Tom Kitt, Camille A. Brown, Michael Greif, Kecia Lewis, Desmond Sean Ellington, Badia Farha, Kristoffer Diaz, Aaron Nicholas Patterson and Oscar Whitney Jr.

Ryan Vasquez

Kecia Lewis

Camille A. Brown

Kristoffer Diaz

Schele Williams, John Cardoza, Victoria Navarro, Geoffrey Ko, Dorian Harewood, Michael Greif, Maryann Plunkett, Jordan Tyson, Bekah Brunstetter, Katie Spelman and Kurt Deutsch

Schele Williams and Michael Greif

Priscilla Lopez

Jennifer Whyte, Steven Skybell, Tom Scutt, Rebecca Frecknall, Julia Cheng and Henry Gottfried

Priscilla Lopez and Michael Greif

Henry Gottfried

Tom Scuttt

Christine Ebersole and Michael Greif

Francis Benhamou

Steven Skybell

Jennifer Whyte

Julia Cheng

Michael Greif, Christine Ebersole, Priscilla Lopez and Doug Wright

Rebecca Frecknall

Eli Gelb

David Adjmi

Corey Stoll

Alison Luff

Isabelle McCalla

Amy Ryan

Amanda Green

Eden Espinosa

Sarah Pidgeon

Shoshana Bean

Quincy Tyler Bernstine

Michael Greif and Shoshana Bean

Justin Peck

Paula Vogel and Celia Keenan-Bolger

Juliana Margulies

Daryl Roth and Juliana Margulies

Jim Dale and Daryl Roth

Jim Dale, Daryl Roth and Juliana Margulies

Brody Grant

Lea Salonga

Lea Salonga

Sarah Paulson

Leslie Kritzer

Shaina Taub and Leigh Silverman

Amber Iman

Nikki M. James

John Weidner

Jessica Hecht

Andrew R. Butler

Casey Likes

Grant Gustin

Sean Patrick Flahaven

Doug Wright

Bradley King

Jamie deRoy

New Dramatists

 

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The Outer Critics Circle (OCC) Awards And You Are There Part 1

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The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), awards ceremony for the winners was held on Thursday, May 23, 2024, in the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for The Performing Arts (111 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC).

Current President David Gordon and  Vice President Richard Ridge welcomed everyone. There were celebrity presenters and Tony Danza proved why he is a comedy star. The first award given out was to Outstanding Video/Projections: Peter Nigrini – The Who’s Tommy.

Danza also gave out the awards to Outstanding Orchestrations Marco Paguia – Buena Vista Social Club.

Outstanding Costume Design: Linda Cho – The Great Gatsby

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Play: Jessica Lange – Mother Play

Receiving the John Gassner Award for New American Play (preferably by a new playwright): Oh, Mary! and a tie for Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Play (tie): Cole Escola left a video message.


Next to present was Montego Glover who gave Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical (tie) Judy Kuhn – I Can Get It For You Wholesale

and to Thom Sesma – Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Book of a Musical and Outstanding Score Shaina Taub – Suffs

Outstanding Scenic Design (tie): Paul Tate dePoo III – The Great Gatsby

Outstanding Lighting Design: Brian MacDevitt  The Outsiders

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Play: Kara Young – Purlie Victorious

Next up Steve Gutenberg gave awards to Outstanding Revival of a Play: Appropriate

Outstanding Sound DesignRyan Rumery – Stereophonic

Outstanding Solo Performance: Patrick Page – All the Devils are Here

Founded during the 1949-50 Broadway season by respected theater journalist John Gassner, The Outer Critics Circle is an esteemed association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and online news organizations, in America and abroad. Led by its current President David Gordon, the OCC Board of Directors also includes Vice President Richard Ridge, Recording Secretary Joseph Cervelli, Corresponding Secretary Patrick Hoffman, Treasurer David Roberts, Cynthia Allen, Harry Haun, Dan Rubins, Janice Simpson and Doug Strassler. Simon Saltzman is President Emeritus & Board Member (Non-nominating) and Stanley L. Cohen serves as Financial Consultant & Board Member (Non-nominating). Lauren Yarger serves as the Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony executive producer.

Tomorrow Part 2.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: On The Town For Fleet Week

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Fleet Week is upon us, so, attached is a drawing I did of Channing Tatum a few years ago for The Los Angeles Times. This was done for Hail Caesar! choreographed by Christopher Gattelli.

Hail Caesar!  is by Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, Fargo), starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.

Here is a video with Channing and the rest of the cast. Talk about a great Happy Memorial Day!

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