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Theatre News: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Sturridge Michael Urie, The Tony Awards, Oklahoma, Kathleen Chalfant and Betty Buckley



Jake Gyllenhaal,Tom Sturridge

Jake Gyllenhaal & Tom Sturridge To Record Broadway’s ‘Sea Wall/A Life’ as an Audible Original Production. Audible will record the two actors performing the solo one-act plays in a sound studio.

Michael Urie, Grace Gummer

Michael Urie and “Mr. Robot’s” Grace Gummer join the Off Broadway revival of Tony Kushner’s “A Bright Room Called Day” at the Public.

The 74th Annual Tony Awards will be held at Radio City Music Hall on June 7, 2020. Nominations will be announced on Tues., April 28, 2020. The official eligibility cut-off date for the 2019-2020 Broadway season is Thurs., April 23, 2020

Broadway Green Alliance to Host E-Waste Drive September 25 from 11 AM to 2 PM in Times Square’s Duffy Square.

Ali Stroker

The Actors Fund announced that the groundbreaking, Tony Award®-winning Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma is holding a special ninth performance this Sunday, September 22, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. to benefit The Actors Fund at the Circle in the Square Theatre (1633 Broadway). Tickets ($99.50-$169.50) are now on sale at or by visiting the Circle in the Square box office.

Oklahoma! is the winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.  The show also received a Tony Award® in the Best Featured Actress of a Musical category for Ali Stroker’s performance as Ado Annie.

Kathleen Chalfant

Pulitzer-prize finalist Rebecca Gilman’s world premiere play A Woman Of The World is brought to the stage in an insightful and impassioned tour-de-force performance by Kathleen Chalfant. 59E59 Theaters is thrilled to welcome the world premiere produced by The Acting Company in association with Miranda Theatre Company from October 24 f through November 17th.

New York Festival of Song presents Lyrics By Shakespeare, a revival of NYFOS’ very first program in 1988. This show explores the Bard’s influence on classical composers from Quilter to Kabalevsky, and jazzmen from Dankworth to Dick Hyman with Kathleen Chalfant Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 8:00 p.m. at Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, 129 West 67th Street.

Betty Buckley

On the one-year anniversary of their very first episode, the Broadway podcast The Fabulous Invalid launches Season Two with Tony Award winner, two-time Emmy and Grammy Award nominee, and 2012 American Theater Hall of Fame inductee, Betty Buckley.

Additional upcoming guests for Season Two of The Fabulous Invalid include the Tony Award-winning triple threat Donna McKechnie, six-time Tony Award and five-time Drama Desk Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long, and more.

Officially launched on September 19, 2018, The Fabulous Invalid completed its first full season with a finale featuring an exclusive Broadway interview with former First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, presidential candidate, and Broadway’s biggest fan Hillary Rodham Clinton. Select episodes are recorded from the group’s usual table at the famed theatre-district restaurant Orso.

Season Two will feature a series of package episodes with multiple voices, taking an in-depth look at the people and events that have shaped the theatre. First up in October will be a spotlight on the life and work of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon.

Additionally, The Fabulous Invalid is excited to announce that it has partnered with The Broadway Podcast Network, a brand-new way to find theatre and Broadway-focused podcasts and other online content. The Broadway Podcast Network will formally launch soon. Visit to sign up and be notified when it goes live. 

New episodes, and the complete Season One catalogue, are available on iTunes and Spotify, and everywhere one downloads podcasts

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:

Off Broadway

Meet The Playwrights of The NY Summer Theater Festival: Dan Brown Brings His Profound Sense of Writing of The Human Condition To Life



Dan Brown is a writer/director from NYC. In 2013 he released the documentary film- John Cori Warned You. In 2020, Dan published a collection of fiction writing- The Sometimes Why. In ’21 he directed the theatre production-Tales From the Sometimes Why. In January ’23 he debuted the stage show; The Eleven Story Drop. His play- The Mollies was selected to the Queens Short Play Festival.

In Sunshine Unlimited a 14 minute play at The New York Festival we meet Martin who was promoted to management. He is the first African American to be elevated to an executive position, but it seems not just , fanfare within the company is linked to the promotion. Months later when his hiring is still being celebrated, Martin experiences doubts about his boss, and himself. Is racism still wrong when the perpetrators have good intentions. Is one truly a victim when racism come with a raise and window view?

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Off Broadway

Step Inside The New Musical The Gospel According to Heather



Tony nominee Paul Gordon’s new musical The Gospel According to Heather will premiere Off-Broadway this summer at Theatre 555, with performances beginning June 14 ahead of a June 22 opening night. The limited run will continue through July 9.

On Monday the cast premiered a few of the numbers and talked to the press. In this video meet Brittany Nicole Williams (The Prom), Maria Habeeb, Carlos Alcala, Lauren Elder (Hair), Carson Stewart, Donna Trikoff the artistic producer of Amas Musical Theatre, Katey Sagal  (The Connors, Sons of Anarchy, Married with Children) as “Agatha,” Jeremy Kushnier (Atomic, Footloose) and composer, lyricist and book writer Paul Gordon.

In The Gospel According to Heather, Heather Krebs wants a boyfriend, but how can she navigate her way through high school if she might be the new Messiah? A small town in Ohio grapples with politics, religion, and teenage romance in the pop musical featuring a book, music, and lyrics by Tony nominee Gordon (Jane Eyre).

The Gospel According to Heather is being presented by Amas Musical Theatre in association with Jim Kierstead, Broadway Factor, Linda Karn and David Bryant.

All video’s by Magda Katz

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Off Broadway

Sunshine Unlimited Soars With Truth at The New York Theatre Festival



Dan Brown’s Sunshine Unlimited was part of The New York Theatre Festival shorts. Sitting through four other shorts Brown’s powerful words, superb direction also by Brown and the strong acting choices by Sean Philips were refreshingly riveting. These were not the words from a first time playwright, but of someone who understands language and how people feel.

Sean Philips and Alonda Jones

Sunshine Unlimited is about how the African American, Black male resents being a quota, paraded around, being classified by his skin color and having to act as if it is ok. Martin (Philips) has been the executive director for his company for years, yet the poster saying he is the First African American Executive Director still stands in the lobby. The fact that there have been no other African American’s promoted is part of the problem. His girlfriend (Alonda Jones), is proud of him for opening doors for their people and doesn’t want him to rock the boat.

Jaymz Nylon, Linda Nesbit Floria

His father Matin Sr. (Jaymz Nylon) worked for the railroad and on the day he started, so did another man with his same name, so throughout his entire time with the company he was known as “Black” Martin, even when the “White” Martin was promoted. When he complained, he was told the “White” Martin was ok with this so why wasn’t he. His wife (Linda Nesbit Floria) silently supported him, though in fear.

Alexander D. Carney, Sean Philips

One day the younger Martin gets feed up and destroys the poster and his boss (Alexander D. Carney) asks him why. Martin tells him his truth and asks for more African American’s to be hired. Instead of being fired, Martin does open the doors.

This play is more of a 14 minute monologue, where you see the other people, but they do not talk. I would love to see Sunshine Unlimited expanded, so that each of the characters explains their thoughts as succinctly as Martin does. With the generational gaps and gender versions of how we see life, this could prove to be Pulitzer Prize winning. I know I sat on the edge of my seat the entire time and saw this problem with new eyes.

Sean Philips gives an award winning performance as he draws you into Martin’s plight. I would love to see more of his work, as well as more content from Mr. Brown.

This is a playwright to keep on your radar, as he is so prolific and I think has much to say that is worth listening to.

Sunshine Unlimited: The New York Theatre Festival, closed.

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Out of Town

Stratford’s Rent Soars with Scrappy Energy and Talent




It’s all heart-wrenching “glory, from the pretty boy frontman“, as Stratford Festivalmagnetically brings to life the epic Rent, the rock musical that slices together Puccini’s 1896 opera La Bohème with the deep emotional saga of a group of young starving artists struggling against all odds to survive and create in NYC’s East Village. It’s the thrilling dark and stormy days of bohemia in Alphabet City, heaving breathlessly under the shadow of HIV/AIDS, with awe-inspiring music, lyrics, and book by the magnetic and too-soon departed Jonathan Larson. The tale is tight and strong with a captivating emotionality, digging deep into love and loss in the most energetic of ways possible under the watchful eyes of illuminated apartment windows thirsty for more. It is filled with emotion, this production, taking me back to that thrilling moment in my theatrical history when I first saw the musical in previews on Broadway back in 1996 after it transferred from the New York Theatre Workshop to great acclaim.

I was a young 32-year-old gay man, living and struggling with life in the East Village of New York City. And I knew the distress and exhilaration well. The creation of Rent has a well-known story now, thanks to the numerous documentaries mapping out its birth, as well as the majestic filming of Larson’s “tick, tick…BOOM!” that gives us a strong sense of all that had to happen in order to get this rock opera to the stage. Rent is somewhat of an autobiographical piece of work, as Larson lived and breathed so many of the elements that became part of the details of his show. He lived in New York pushing hard and deliberate as a starving artist with a goal and a dream. He shared many of the same hopes and fears as the epic characters that endeared in Rent, struggling day to day with some of the same poor living conditions, like the illegal wood-burning stove in the middle of their apartment, a bathtub sitting center in his kitchen, a broken door buzzer that made it imperative that his guests call up from the pay phone across the street. These slices of authenticity made their way into the musical creating a piece that breathes with an air of honesty, and Stratford, in ways that I can’t quite put my finger on, has unearthed that same quality, energy, and connection. It feels scrappy yet so solidly produced and performed by a strong cast of singers and actors that give you the right combination of youthful edge and strong fiery devotion to the tale at hand. As directed by Thom Allison (Stratford’s Into the Woods; Broadway’s Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), Rent shockingly does the impossible. It finds its way through, giving you the desperate energy of a young artist, mixed with vocals that soar with the material and the emotional heart of a caring complicated community that fight and love equally. Just like that first batch of actors/singers that I saw when Rent first opened on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre back in 1996.

Nestor Lozano Jr. (centre) as Angel Dumott Schunard with members of the company in Rent. Stratford Festival 2023. Photo by David Hou.

The cast is a unit to be reckoned with, drawing you into each of their personal battles, some more successfully than others, yet none fail to engage, especially when they start singing any and all of Larson’s diabolically good songs. On Broadway, Rent was celebrated, gaining popularity fueled by enthusiastic reviews, and winning several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Musical. Stratford has miraculously tackled this well-loved piece, making it their own on that thrust stage of the Festival Theatre. Designed with an impeccable eye for energy and edge by Brandon Kleiman (Musical Stage/Canadian Stage’s Blackout), with superb lighting by Michael Walton (Stratford’s Chicago), projections by Corwin Ferguson (Shaw’s Brigadoon), and sound by Joshua D. Reid (Broadway’s A Christmas Carol), fear doesn’t grab hold here, as they, assisted strongly by the musical director, Franklin Brasz (Mirvish’s Billy Elliot), dig in deep, fleshing out the drama without ever losing track of their human soul.

Usher us through, Robert Markus (Stratford’s Tommy; Mirvish’s Dear Evan Hansen) magnificently delivers us into bohemia as the solitary stand-in for Larson, Mark Cohen, the videographer who is trying desperately to create a sense of community with his fellow artists and friends. His energy is exacting and dynamic, as is the captivating Kolton Stewart (Stratford’s Macbeth; Disney’s “Disenchanted“) as the sexy tortured musician, Roger Davis, struggling with a heap of personal trauma all of his own. Stewart’s voice soars, filling in the spaces with utter grief and despair quite beautifully, finding as much pain and sadness within his songs as Andrea Macasaet (Broadway’s Six) does in her powerfully raw portrayal of the exciting marvelous mess that is Mimi Marquez. The danger and fragility she brings to the part are as electric and thrilling as Erica Peck (Stratford’s The Rocky Horror Show) and Olivia Sinclair-Brisband (Shaw’s Damn Yankees) portrayals of the quarreling firebrand lovers, Maureen Johnson and Joanne Jefferson. It’s explosive powder, just waiting to be lit, filled with love, fear, and fire. Both, and all really, are ready to fly over the moon or ignite and blow everyone away with their power and passion. Take me or leave me (and trust me, you’ll be taking with pleasure; every ounce offered).

Andrea Macasaet (left) as Mimi Marquez with Kolton Stewart as Roger Davis in Rent. Stratford Festival 2023. Photo by David Hou.

Each and every one of these actors, costumed solidly and Broadway-reminiscent by Ming Wong (Bad Hats’ Alice in Wonderland), find their space and their fury, capturing us in their vocal power while delivering us into that very special place we long for. But the true beating heart of the musical lives and breaths in the desperately well-written character, Angel Dumott Schunard, played nimbly and perfectly by Nestor Lozano Jr. (Globe’s Shrek The Musical), and the love that is shared with captivating Tom Collins, embodied by the man with that voice, Lee Siegel (Broadway’s Paradise Square), giving us goosebumps of delight and despair when that richness of voice and heart align and unleash. It is in their attachment that the essence of this musical draws out the tears and the tremors of love and devotion, and for that, we are truly blessed.

The musical, even when unpacking almost melodramatic operatic tones to abundance, finds a way to transcend all that and engineer a connection that registers, thanks to the combustible choreography of Marc Kimelman (The Rev’s State Fair), who delivers empowerment and anger in the unifying nature of movement. I did miss the heightened dynamics of the Life Cafe’s long table, giving stage to the energy of “La Vie Bohème” and the joy, epic representation, and inclusive love within. The square, somehow, didn’t really do the trick that was needed, but that raised square space did work numerous times as a makeshift boxing ring for the battles delivered between, for example, Peck’s powerful Maureen and Sinclair-Brisbane’s ferocious Joanne.

From left – Robert Markus as Mark Cohen, Nestor Lozano Jr. as Angel Dumott Schunard, and Lee Siegel as Tom Collins in Rent. Stratford Festival 2023. Photo by David Hou.

It also worked its magic when Stewart’s Roger and Markus’ Mark set fire to their frustration during the magnificent “What You Own” and join the others for the emotional hurricane that is “Goodbye Love.” That song forever rips my heart in two, as it also does every time I hear Mimi and Roger’s “Without You” and Angel and Tom’s tear-producing “I’ll Cover You“. The tension and energy are palpable, delivered with a youthful quality that ushers forth desperation and electricity, even if Stewart’s body language tends to exert itself at only a few temperatures and forms. A minor criticism, in a pool of awesome performances.

The musical remains strong and powerfully moving. But it’s the forever magnificent and emotional “Seasons of Love,” with the exceptionally fine work by soloists; Masini McDermott and Matthew Joseph, that, once again, fill me completely, ushering me back to the time when this young theatre junkie found himself overflowing with tears in the balcony of the Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre. It was a moment of connection that I will never forget, and this Stratford revitalization has done the impossible, with love, taking me back to that place and time. Holding my hand and allowing me to cry once again for Rent‘s savage beauty, its utter brilliance, for the loss of its creator, and all the others who died from AIDS who I knew (or didn’t know). Being an older gay man who lived many of his early years in the East Village, who went to maybe more funerals in his twenties and thirties than Sunday brunches at the Life Cafe, Larson created a piece that fostered a strong and scrappy art culture that lived and breathed in its “One Song Glory.” And within those Stratford theatre walls and on that stage lives a space where his musical thrives. Sadly Larson didn’t live to see the opening night at this downtown Off-Broadway theatre. Larson died suddenly at the age of 35 of an aortic aneurysm the night before Rent’s first preview, but the rock musical lives on, fueled by the same passion that created it, shaping a generation with its spectacular (award-winning) glory; a generation that includes me as one of its ardent fans. And I couldn’t be happier to have experienced it all again at the Stratford Festival.

Robert Markus (left) as Mark Cohen and Kolton Stewart as Roger Davis with members of the company in Rent. Stratford Festival 2023. Photo by Jordy Clarke.

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Theatre News: Doubt: A Parable, Here Lies Love, Prayer for the French Republic, Eisenhower and Hell’s Kitchen



Tyne Daily

Tyne Daly and Liev Schreiber will star in a revival of Doubt: A Parable on Broadway. The production is to begin performances next February at the American Airlines Theater.

The new production is produced by the Roundabout Theater Company, and will be directed by Scott Ellis, who has been serving as the nonprofit’s interim artistic director since the death of artistic director Todd Haimes in April.

The play, by John Patrick Shanley, is about a nun who suspects a priest has sexually abused a student at a Catholic school. In 2005, the year it first opened on Broadway, it won both the Pulitzer Prize for drama and the Tony Award for best play; it was later adapted into a film and an opera.

Daly, who will play the nun who serves as the school principal, and Schreiber, who will play the parish priest, are both Tony winners. Daly, is known for her role in  “Cagney & Lacey”. She won the 1990 Tony Award for her portrayal as Mama Rose in the revival of Gypsy. Schreiber, is the star of Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.” He won a Tony Award in 2005 for a revival of Glengarry Glen Ross.

Doubt is one of three plays to be staged by Roundabout this coming season. The others are I Need That, a new play  by Theresa Rebek starring Danny DeVito alongside his daughter, Lucy, and Home, a 1979 revival, directed by Kenny Leon, by Samm-Art Williams.

David Byrne, Fatboy Slim and Here Lies Love are causing controversy with their July Broadway debut. The show’s extensive use of prerecorded music has the American Federation of Musicians’ Local 802, up in arms. The Local’s Broadway musical contract stipulate that productions employ 19 live musicians.

In response to the union’s concerns, Byrne and the show’s PR team released a statement on Instagram to lay out the production’s revolutionary format and genre-bending originality. Here Lies Love is not a traditional Broadway musical. The music is drawn outside of the traditional music genre. The performance of the live vocals to pre-recorded, artificial tracks is paramount to its artistic concept. Production has ripped out the seats in the theater and built a dance floor. There is no longer a proscenium stage. The Broadway Theater has been transformed into a nightclub, with every theatergoer immersed in the experience.

Here Lies Love is on Broadway because Broadway must support boundary-pushing creative work. Broadway is also the venue for a well conceived, high-quality show that highlights the valued traditions of specific cultures whose stories have never been on its stages. Here Lies Love does not believe in artistic gatekeepers. Here Lies Love believes in a Broadway for everyone, where new creative forms push the medium and create new traditions and audiences.

I saw Here Lies Love at The Public and not sure what kind of fast talking this is, but this statement rings false and full of how can we cut the costs while sticking it to the audience.

Photo by Murphymade

Prayer for the French Republic, by Joshua Harmon is coming to Broadway this season.This award-winning Off Broadway production played to rave reviews at The Manhattan Theatre Club. The production was the winner of the 2022 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play and Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play. Broadway performances will begin previews on Tuesday, December 19, at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with an official opening night on Tuesday, January 9, 2024. David Cromer directs.

Off Broadway: Tony winner John Rubinstein starts previews June 13 at St. Clement’s in one-man show Eisenhower.

Alicia Keys’ musical Hell’s Kitchen will run at The Public Theater from October 24 – December 10, starring Shoshana Bean. Inspired by Keys’ own life, the new musical features an original score by the 15-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, with a book by Kristoffer Diaz. Hell’s Kitchen will be directed by Michael Greif and choreographed by Camille A. Brown.

Leading the cast will be Maleah Joi Moon as Ali, opposite Bean as Ali’s mother Jersey, with Brandon Victor Dixon as Ali’s father Davis, Chad Carstarphen as Ray, Vanessa Ferguson as Tiny, Crystal Monee Hall as Crystal, Chris Lee as Knuck, Jackie Leon as Jessica, Kecia Lewis as Ali’s piano teacher Miss Liza Jane, Mariand Torres as Maria, and Lamont Walker II as Riq.

Completing the cast are Reid Clarke, Chloe Davis, Nico DeJesus, Timothy L. Edwards, Raechelle Manalo, Sarah Parker, and Niki Saludez, with understudies Badia Farha, Gianna Harris, Onyxx Noel, William Roberson, and Donna Vivino.

The musical is described as a coming-of-age story set in a cramped apartment in the neighborhood of the title near Times Square, where 17-year-old Ali is desperate to get her piece of the New York dream. Ali’s mother is just as determined to protect her daughter from the same mistakes she made. When Ali falls for a talented young drummer, both mother and daughter must face hard truths about race, defiance, and growing up.

The production has set design by Robert Brill, costumes by Dede Ayite, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Gareth Owens, and projection design by Peter Nigrini.


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