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Theatre News: New Jersey Rep Seeks Plays, The 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards, Desperate Measures, The Sound Inside, Broadway HD in June and Carnegie Hall Delights

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Drama Desk

New Jersey Repertory Company, a professional theater that produces new plays seeks submissions for 2020-2022.

Criteria: 

  • 30-45 minute plays or musicals 
  • Previously unproduced
  • Written to be played on a multilevel fire escape 
  • 1 to 3 actors. 

Performers will be on separate levels with separate entrances onto the fire escape and no physical contact. 

For submission of scripts or for additional information please contact njrep@njrep.org.

Given the expected volume of submissions we can only contact playwrights whose work we are interested in.

The 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards will feature appearances from Drama Desk Award winner James Corden, two-time Drama Desk Award winner Kristin Chenoweth, Drama Desk Award winner Alan Cumming, two-time Drama Desk Award winner Santino Fontana, Drama Desk Award winner Renée Elise Goldsberry, two-time Drama Desk Award winner Jesse Tyler Ferguson, two-time Drama Desk Award winner Jane Krakowski, three-time Drama Desk Award winner Patti LuPone, five-time Drama Desk Award winner Audra McDonald, Drama Desk Award winner Cynthia Nixon, two-time Drama Desk Award nominee Ashley Park, Drama Desk Award nominee Andrew Rannells, Drama Desk Award winner Ali Stroker, five-time Drama Desk Award winner Susan Stroman, and others.

The event, hosted by Frank DiLella, will also feature a first look at the brand-new Drama Desk Awards statuette.

Tune in this Sunday, May 31, at 7:30 PM ET on Spectrum News NY1. The awards special also will stream on NY1.com, and DramaDeskAwards.com.

Conor Ryan, Laurin Molina
Conor Ryan, Laurin Molina Photo by Joan Marcus

On Monday June 1st at 7:10 join the York Theatre for a virtual company reunion with The York’s 2017 hit musical Desperate Measures. The York’s James Morgan and theatre historian Charles Wright will moderate a live panel discussion with creators David Friedman and Peter Kellogg, Producer Pat Addiss, director Bill Castellino, along with original cast members Lauren Molina, Conor Ryan, Gary Marachek, Nick Wyman, and more! You need to RSVP here.

Concord Theatricals is thrilled to announce that it has secured exclusive worldwide licensing rights to Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside for its Samuel French imprint. The play will initially be released to professional theatres and a Samuel French acting edition is now available. For more information visit concordsho.ws/PerformTheSoundInside

BroadwayHD‘s, June line-up is set to impress.

  • Gypsy – June 1st –  Gypsy is a musical comedy-drama biopic based on the Broadway hit about the life and times of burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee and her stage mother who shoved her into the spotlight, Mama Rose, starring Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood and Karl Malden.  Featuring songs by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim (“Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Let Me Entertain You”). 
  • The Goes Wrong Show Harper’s Locket (Episode 5)– June 2nd –  The gang turn their attentions to a period romance, a classic tale of family, duty and love across the class divide. A beautiful set has been built to replicate a grand country home, soon to be rocked by a literal and metaphorical storm. Sadly, the literal storm involves a water effect that threatens to flood the set.
  • Nine- June 9th – Nine is a provocative musical film that follows the life of world famous film director Guido Contini as he reaches a creative and personal crisis of epic proportion, while balancing the numerous women in his life including his wife, his mistress, his film star muse, his confidant and costume designer, an American fashion journalist, the woman from his youth and his mother. This film was directed by Rob Marshall and has an all star Academy Award Winning and Nominated cast  including Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Kate Hudsdon, Judi Dench, Fergie and Sophia Loren. 
  • Hello Again– June 11th- Hello Again, directed by Tom Gustafson, centers around ten lost souls that slip in and out of one another’s arms in a daisy-chained exploration of love’s bittersweet embrace. The film is based on the Off-Broadway hit of the same name by Michael John LaChiusaa and stars Martha Plimpton, Audra McDonald, Cheyenne Jackson, Rumer Willis, Sam Underwood, Nolan Gerard Funk, Jenna Ushkowitz, Tyler Blackburn and more. 
  • Romeo and Juliet – June 16th – The Stratford Festival’s digital capture of Romeo and Juliet follows two families of Verona, the Montagues and the Capulets, who have long been embroiled in a bitter feud – but despite their parents’ enmity, Romeo (a Montague) and Juliet (a Capulet) fall in love at first sight. The sympathetic Friar Laurence marries them in secret – then, when Romeo is banished for his part in a fatal street brawl, conceives a daring scheme to reunite them. But for these two “star-crossed lovers,” love and death seem fated to entwine in a tragic embrace.
  • Madame Butterfly– June 18th-  The digital capture of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, at the Royal Opera House, tells the story of Cio-Cio-San, the young Japanese bride of dashing American officer Lieutenant Pinkerton, who finds her romantic idyll shattered when he deserts her shortly after their marriage. She lives in hope that one day he will return.
  • Timon of Athens- June 23rd – The Stratford Festival production centers around the wealthy nobleman, Timon, who ignores all warnings that his reckless generosity can lead only to ruin and disillusionment. Finding himself bankrupt at last, Timon seeks financial assistance from the flattering “friends” on whom he has bestowed so many extravagant gifts and such lavish hospitality. When all refuse him, he throws one last party – one that heralds a dramatic change in his attitude to the world.
  • Tap World – June 25- Tap World is an uplifting documentary showing how this uniquely American art form has been given an exciting resurgence through the global embrace of dancers and audiences around the world.

Carnegie Hall continues its new online series—Live with Carnegie Hall—with an episode on Tuesday, June 2 at 2PM EDT curated by singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, focusing on American protest music, past and present, and its ability to bring people together in times of crisis. Cash will be joined by special musical guests including Brandi Carlile, Ry Cooder, Elvis Costello, and Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones with discussion moderated by John Schaefer.

Rosanne Cash

Leading interpreter of the American Songbook Michael Feinstein returns as host to Live with Carnegie Hall on Thursday, June 4 at 2PM EDT, with a program dedicated to the music of Irving Berlin and featuring special guest Broadway stars Cheyenne Jackson, Kelli O’Hara, and Tony Yazbeck. With a catalog of more than 1,000 songs—including such classics as “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)” and “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”—Berlin is one of the most prolific contributors to the Great American Songbook. Michael Feinstein leads this lively episode of music and conversation.

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

Broadway in Bryant Park And You Are There With Hell’s Kitchen, Water For Elephants, The Wiz and More

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July 11, 106.7 LITE FM’s Broadway in Bryant Park kicked off its 2024 program, bringing the best of Broadway back together for free performances, every Thursday in July.

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker, Charity Arianna , Destiny David, Ailadis Hernandez De Leon, Nyjair Wilkerson and Jackson Bateman

This week’s performances included: a preshow featuring students from AMDA

Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte and Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte, Ali Louis Bourzgui and Adam Jacobs

Ali Louis Bourzgui, Bobby Conte,

Lily Kren, Alexandra Matteo, Daniel Quadrino, Jenna Nicole Schoen, Nathan Lucrezio, Reagan Pender, Bobby Conte, Tyler James Eisenreich, Mark Mitrano, Haley Gustafson, Afra Hines, Dee Tomasetta, Adam Jacobs, Ali Louis Bourzgui, David Paul Kidder, Jeremiah Alsop, Andrew Tufano and Ronnie Bowman, Jr.

The Who’s Tommy (Ali Louis Bourzgui, Adam Jacobs, Bobby Conte, Haley Gustafson and more)

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Isabella McCalla

Water for Elephants (Isabelle McCalla, Ken Wulf Clark, Asa Somers, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul)

Avery Wilson

Kyle Ramar Freeman and Nichelle Lewis

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Melody A. Betts

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Nichelle Lewis

Nichelle Lewis, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Polanco Jones Jr., Nichelle Lewis, Melody A. Betts and Avery Wilson

The Wiz (Avery Wilson, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Melody A. Betts, Nichelle Lewis, Polanco Jones Jr.)

Jelani Remy

JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, Katie Laduca, JJ Niemann and Aaron Alcaraz

Hannah Kevitt and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy and The Cast of Back To The Future that includes Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy, Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Back to the Future (Jelani Remy, JJ Niemann, Evan Alexander Smith)

Gianna Harris and Lamont Walker II

Lamont Walker II

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino, Gianna Harris, Lamont Walker II, Jade Milan and Jackie Leon and Jackie Leon

and Hell’s Kitchen (Gianna Harris, Vanessa Ferguson, Jackie Leon, Donna Vivino, Lamont Walker II)

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little is joined by Co Host Kyle Ramar Freeman

with host Helen Little and co-host Kyle Ramar Freeman.

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Broadway

Get Ready For Broadway in Bryant Park

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The most popular shows on and off Broadway will perform their biggest hits in the park starting this Thursday the 11th! Head to the the lawn at Bryant Park and enjoy Broadway for lunch. The performances will happen on four summer Thursdays, hosted and presented by LiteFM.

This week from 12:30pm-1:30pm 106.7 LITE FM Host: Helen Little will host. For the pre-show: A special performance by the students of AMDA College of the Performing Arts. Then get ready for performances by Back to the Future, Hell’s Kitchen, The Who’s TOMMY, The Wiz and
Water For Elephants.

In coming weeks look from The Outsiders, SIX: The Musical, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Wicked, Chicago and & Juliet.

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Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway:​ Happy Birthday Audra McDonald

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On July 3rd, Audra McDonald celebrated her 54th birthday. The 1970 American Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning theatrical and operatic singer, and stage and screen actress (Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill; Sweeney Todd; Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny; TV Private Practice, The Good Wife), was born in West Berlin, West Germany (now Berlin, Germany)

As been announced six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will return to Broadway this fall, as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

Performances begin Thursday, November 21st, at Broadway’s newly renovated Majestic Theatre. Happy Thanksgiving! The show will open on Thursday, December 19th. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.

The last show to play the Majestic Theatre was The Phantom of the Opera, which concluded its 35 year-run on April 16, 2023.

This upcoming revival will be directed by the legendary five-time Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe. The choreography will be by four-time Tony Award nominated Camille A. Brown.  Additional casting and creative team members will be announced at a later date.

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Coming In August Broadway Barks Returns to Shubert Alley

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The 26th anniversary of the star-studded dog and cat adoption event, Broadway Barks returns to Shubert Alley on Saturday, August 3, 2024 to benefit New York City animal rescue groups. The event, co-founded by Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, features Broadway celebrities who use their star power to help find loving homes for animals in need from 24 NYC area adoption and rescue groups.

Bernadette Peters and Sutton Foster. Photo courtesy of Broadway Barks.

Bernadette Peters and Sutton Foster will co-host this year’s festivities! Other celebrity participants to be announced soon.

Photo by Daniel Roberts, © Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Barks begins at 3pm with a ‘meet and greet’ of all the adoptable pets; from 5–6:30pm, adoptees make their Broadway debut on stage alongside some of Broadway’s favorite stars for the celebrity presentations.Produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the adoption event takes place in Shubert Alley (located between 44th and 45th Streets, between Broadway and Eighth Avenues).

Photo by Daniel Roberts, © Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

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Shows to Keep Your Eyes On: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Death Becomes Her and The Queen of Versailles

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The new musical Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is based on John Berendt’s 1994 non-fiction book and makes its world premiere this summer at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. The book is by  Taylor Mac and music and lyrics by Tony winner Jason Robert Brown, performances are scheduled for June 25–August 4 in the Albert Theatre. Tony winner Rob Ashford will direct the production with choreography by Tanya Birl.

Tony winner J. Harrison Ghee, is The Lady Chablis; Tony nominee Tom Hewitt as Jim Williams; and Olivier nominee Sierra Boggess as Emma Dawes.

The company also includes Lance Roberts (The Best Man) as Bobby Lewis, Austin Colby (The Great Gatsby) as Danny Hansford, Bailee Endebrock (Parade) as Corrine Strong, Shanel Bailey (The Book of Mormon) as Lavella Cole, Jessica Molaskey (Sunday in the Park with George) as Alma Knox Carter, Brianna Buckley (the ripple, the wave that carried me home) as Minerva, Mary Ernster (War Paint) as Serena Barnes/Dawn Avery, McKinley Carter (Turn of the Century) as Vera Strong, Maya Bowles (The Wiz) as Stacey Brown, DeMarius Copes (Some Like It Hot) as Jeremiah Jones, Sean Donovan as Luther Driggers, Jason Michael Evans (Anastasia tour) as Colonel Atwood/Burt, Christopher Kelley as Bubbles/Gregory, Andre Terrell Malcolm (Hamilton tour) as Josiah Domingo, Aaron James McKenzie (A Beautiful Noise) as Jethro Myles, Wes Olivier as Jack the One-Eyed Jill, Kayla Marie Shipman as Millicent/Mary, and Rory Shirley as Stefanie Davis.

The show tracks an antiques dealer through four trials for murdering a male prostitute in Savannah, Georgia. The story is modeled on the real-life shooting of Daniel Lewis  Hansford. The work won the 1995 Boeke Prize and was a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. A film adaptation was released in 1997 starring John Cusack and Kevin Spacey.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was a seminal book for me as a young queer person, coming out in the late 1980s and early ’90s,” added Mac. “The eccentricities of Savannah, and how they were celebrated by such a large readership, seemed to say, the things that made me odd and an outcast in the world were actually things I should cherish. Likewise, musical theatre has always had a similar effect on me. Singing our thoughts is such an eccentric way of expressing ourselves—yet so perfectly aligned with my personal liberation and joy. So turning Midnight into a musical, and with such master craftspeople as Jason, Rob, and Tanya is essentially an extension of celebrating the joy and liberation from exposing what’s hidden.”

“When I am deciding to start a new show, the two most important questions I ask myself are: 1) Does it sing? and 2) Do I get to work with fun people? With Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I knew the answers to both questions immediately,” stated Brown. “The book’s milieu, so rich with mystery and romance and history, sings with every sentence, deeply passionate, slyly comic, emotions threatening to boil over on every page. And to work with Rob Ashford, whose transformative production of Parade at the Donmar Warehouse in 2007 reinvigorated not only the show’s reputation but my creative process, was a no-brainer. But then add to that the brilliant, joyful, radically inclusive mind of Taylor Mac, and there was no way I could resist. Creating this world with these mad geniuses is, in true Savannah tradition, a grand and great party. I can’t wait for the world to join in.”

Madeline Ashton (Tony Award® nominees Megan Hilty (Wicked, “Smash”)) is the most beautiful actress (just ask her) ever to grace the stage and screen. Helen Sharp (Jennifer Simard (Company, Disaster!)) is the long-suffering author (just ask her) who lives in her shadow. They have always been the best of frenemies…until Madeline steals Helen’s fiancé (Christopher Sieber (Spamalot, Company)) away. As Helen plots revenge and Madeline clings to her rapidly fading star, their world is suddenly turned upside down by Viola Van Horn, a mysterious woman with a secret that’s to die for.

After one sip of Viola’s (Grammy® Award winner Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child, Chicago)) magical potion, Madeline and Helen begin a new era of life (and death) with their youth and beauty restored…and a grudge to last eternity.

Death Becomes Her, based on the classic 1992 film, is a drop-dead hilarious new musical comedy about friendship, love, and burying the hatchet…again, and again, and again.

Life’s a bitch and then you die. Or not!

Death Becomes Her is coming to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on October 23, 2024, ahead of an opening night on November 21, 2024.

The Queen of Versailles, the new Stephen Schwartz musical starring Kristin Chenoweth and F. Murray Abraham as billionarie-couple Jackie and David Siegel, begins performances at Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre on July 16 and will now run through August 25.

The cast will feature Stephen DeRosa (Boardwalk Empire) as John, Greg Hildreth (Company) as Gary, Tatum Grace Hopkins as Jonquil, Tony Award nominee Isabel Keating (The Boy from Oz) as Debbie, Melody Butiu as Sofia Flores and Nina White as Victoria Siegel.

The company will also include Anna Bakun, Stacie Bono, Yeman Brown, Amanda Jane Cooper, David Aron Damane, Drew Elhamalawy, Sara Esty, K.J. Hippensteel, Diana Huey, Cassondra James, Andrew Kober, Jesse Kovarsky, Pablo David Laucerica, Travis Murad Leland, Michael Mulheren, Michael McCorry Rose and Grace Slear.

The Queen of Versailles is an adaptation of the 2012 documentary of the same name about socialite Jacqueline “Jackie” Siegel, the book is by Lindsey Ferrentino (Ugly Lies the Bone) and direction by Tony winner Michael Arden (Parade).

From computer engineer to Mrs. Florida to billionairess, Jackie Siegel sees herself as the embodiment of the American Dream. Now, as the wife of David “The Timeshare King” Siegel and mother of their eight children, they invite us to behold their most grandiose venture yet: They’re building the largest private home in America in Orlando, Florida—a $100 million house big enough for her dreams and inspired by the Palace of Versailles. But with the Great Recession of 2008 looming, Jackie and David’s dreams begin to crumble, along with their lavish lifestyle. The Queen of Versailles explores the true cost of fame, fortune and family.

The production will feature choreography by Lauren Yalango-Grant and Christopher Cree Grant, music supervision by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, scenic design by Dane Laffrey, lighting design by Natasha Katz and sound design by Peter Hylenski, as well as costume design by fashion designer Christian Cowan.

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