Theatre News: The Official Return of New York City Theater, Obie Winner Renata Hinrichs, Rosie’s Theater Kids and The Blues Brothers
The long running Off-Broadway play Perfect Crime, reopened and made history as it did so. On the heels of a year-long shutdown of every theatre in New York, the production was the first show to receive Actors’ Equity approval to officially re-open on Sunday, April 18th at 7:30PM – its 34th anniversary performance – making it the first Actors’ Equity production (on or Off-Broadway) to return with live actors. The show reopened with a newly updated ventilation system, a fully vaccinated cast and staff, and numerous safety precautions and policies in place.
The Mayor declared the performance a groundbreaking moment, saying “The show must go on, and that saying has never been more powerful than in this exact moment, because here in this theater, in this moment, we are making history as we come back from Covid, and the show is going on tonight.”
“It’s so important that this play is coming back,” he said. He also thanked Actors Equity and explained that the show’s reopening was important because it meant that more productions and audiences would return to the city – ultimately paving the way for Broadway’s return. “This truly is the beginning of something very, very big.”
The Mayor described the resilience of Perfect Crime, citing that it went on despite whatever was thrown at it over the years. “After 9/11, the play kept going. After the great recession, the play kept going. But nothing has been quite like covid in terms of throwing us all off and causing us all to have to find a new way back. But what unites all of that is the incredible resiliency of New York City and the people of New York City – but also the incredible resiliency and meaning of our cultural community. No matter what we experience we look to our actors, musicians and dancers and everyone who brings us that light and creativity, to give us hope again. So tonight, the regeneration of that hope happens right here, right before you on this stage – and to me, that is worth so much. So, I have the official joy of announcing that as of this very moment, the theater is back in New York City.
Perfect Crime’s permanent schedule will be as follows: Monday-Tuesday and Friday 8 PM, Saturday 2 & 8 PM and Sunday 3 & 7:30 PM. www.perfect-crime.com.
Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre hosts Random Acts, a solo play written and performed by Obie Award winner Renata Hinrichs. Directed by Jessi D. Hill, performances begin May 9 at the cell. Performances will be presented open air for a strictly limited audience of 18 with masks and social distancing required. Opening is set for May 23.
Random Acts opens in the 1960’s at the height of the Civil Rights movement. It is here, on the south side of Chicago outside a church that straddles the black and white neighborhoods, that a scared five-year-old white girl finds kindness in chaos. How far can the ripple of one act of goodwill go? Now grown, one girl’s story proves that the effect of even a small good deed can reach further than ever imagined.
Random Acts is written and performed by Renata Hinrichs. It received the Best Storytelling Script Award from the United Solo Festival in 2014 and was published by Indie Theater Now. It premiered Off-Broadway in February 2019 at TBG Mainstage Theatre. Hinrichs has performed the play at both the Hewitt School and Packer Collegiate Institute as part of their diversity programs. It has also been performed at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation for an interfaith gathering and in Waterbury Center, Vermont. In the fall of 2020 Hinrichs performed pop up performances in parks and gardens in NYC for socially-distanced audiences.
Rosie’s Theater Kids is proud to present Passing It On, an evening of performances celebrating mentorship. 2021’s show will be a testament to the resilience of our global community as it forges ahead to ensure a bright future for young people, nurtured by the generous talents of professional artists and teachers across disciplines. Special appearances will be made by Tony Award winner and Disney Legend Lea Salonga and singer Jerusha Cavazos.
The virtual event is scheduled for June 2 at 7 pm ET, Passing It On 2021 will also commemorate global citizenry with a song that includes young people from across the globe. To join the growing chorus of voices that are working towards a better future filled with music, theater and dance, RSVP to Passing It On by going to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/passing-it-on-registration-144026074867
This year’s mentors include:
Singer Melinda Doolittle
Performer and Activist Nicole Javanna Johnson
Performer/Choreographer Lisa La Touche
Gospel Legend Donald Lawrence
Actor/Beatboxer Chesney Snow
Performer Kyle Scatliffe
Radial Park Founder and CEO Jeremy Shepard (Stark Production Group), along with producing partner Marco Shalma(Round Seven Media), today announced the cast for this Spring’s iconic, blockbuster, fan-favorite film, The Blues Brothers, the latest “Broadway at the Drive-In” cinemersive experience at Radial Park as it continues its residency at Halletts Point Play, graciously provided by the Durst Organization.
Leading the company of The Blues Brothers are Broadway’s Charity Angel Dawson (Mrs. Doubtfire, Waitress) as Mrs. Murphy, Nick Rashad Burroughs(Radial Park’s Purple Rain, Kinky Boots) as Reverend Cleophus James, F. Michael Haynie (Wicked, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Elwood Blues, Brian Charles Johnson (Spring Awakening, American Idiot) as “Joliet” Jake Blues, and Antoine L. Smith (Carousel, The Color Purple) as Ray. Additionally, The Blues Brothers will feature Ladonna Burns and Anne Fraser Thomas as the Blues Sistas.
The Blues Brothers, directed by Kristine Bendul and Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva, featuring a live band and theatrical performances seamless timed in-sync with the movie in a one-of-a-kind hybrid mashup, will officially open Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET and continue every Friday and Saturday evening at 8:00 PM ET through Saturday, June 26.
Tickets for The Blues Brothers are now on sale at radialpark.com
The Glorious Corner
WOODSTOCK COVER STARS — (Via Best Classic Bands) — Bobbi Ercoline’s name may not be familiar to most, but millions own her photograph: Bobbi, whose last name at the time was Kelly, and her then-boyfriend, Nick Ercoline, were huddled together under a quilt at the 1969 Woodstock festival when photographer Burk Uzzle snapped their picture. The couple, both then 20, were unaware that their photo had even been taken until several months later, when the three-LP Woodstock soundtrack album was released. They were among friends when they first realized the couple on the album cover was them.
“We were passing the jacket around when someone pointed out the staff with the orange and yellow butterfly,” Nick told AARP in 2019 for the organization’s magazine. “That belonged to Herbie, a guy from Huntington Beach, Calif. He was lost and having a bad trip, and we hooked arms with him until he was clear-headed. Then we saw the blanket. Oh my lord, that’s us!”
Bobbi and Nick only lasted one night at Woodstock, and never even got near the stage. They had given it their all trying to get to the festival, ditching their car when traffic became snarled and walking the final two miles. They spent most of their single day there on the hillside where the famous photo was taken.
Two years later, in 1971, they married. They remained together until Bobbi Ercoline’s death Saturday (March 18, 2023).
Nick posted the news on Facebook: “It’s with beyond great sadness that I tell my FB family and friends, that after 54 years of life together, of the death of my beautiful wife, Bobbi, last night surrounded by her family. She lived her life well, and left this world in a much better place. If you knew her, you loved her. She lived by her saying, ‘Be kind.’ As a School Nurse she always championed the kids … ALWAYS! As a person, she always gave. ‘How much do you really need if you have all you need or want?’ So she gave and gave and gave. She didn’t deserve this past year’s nightmare, but she isn’t suffering from the physical pain anymore and that brings some comfort to us.”
We’ve spoken much over the years about how that Woodstock event was so cataclysmic – culturally; musically; and certainly philosophically. Elliot Tiber wrote beautifully about it in his first book Taking Woodstock – a classic if you’ve never read it.
They tried to re-create it in 1994 and though it was good, it just didn’t have that magical flavor of the first one. I wasn’t at either, but as you can imagine, music from that 1969 concert still lives passionately today. I was, however, at Live Aid and that was my Woodstock for sure.
Not to get too poetic, but I came across a great quote yesterday: It’s worth being older now, to have been young then.
SHORT TAKES — Derek & The Dominoes Bobby Whitlock on Jim Gordon: “Carl Radle and Jim Gordon … Didn’t get any better than that. The only other alternative [for Derek and the Dominoes] was Jim Keltner. And that’s who should have been the guy and who was supposed to be the guy. But it didn’t turn out that way. He was busy. The rhythm section of Carl and Jim propelled the songs we put together. Jim Gordon is the most musical drummer I ever heard. All of the drums were in tune. literally tuned to a key on the piano. Big kit. But Jim had this wonderful ability to interpret the nuances you could feel but not hear. Carl was solid as a rock. A downbeat player and right on it. So, we have Carl who is solid and down and Jim who is up and on it. So, it was perpetual motion” …
Do you remember “Vehicle” by The Idea of March back in 1970? It became the fastest-selling single in Warner Brothers history. A little-known fact is that 14 seconds of the completed master of “Vehicle” was accidentally erased in the recording studio, (primarily the guitar solo), and the missing section was spliced in from a previously discarded take. The song reached #2 in Billboard, and #1 in Cashbox. The album “Vehicle” reached #55 nationally … Dolly Parton sings with Elton John on “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” on her forthcoming rock ‘n roll album. I bet it’ll sound great, but how many covers of that song has there been? Maybe they should have picked a John/Taupin deep-cut like “Come Down In Time” or “Amoreena.” Just saying … Does the phrase DLYZECOMKIN mean anything to you?
Believe it or not, in one of those crazy-jumble games online, the phrase translates into Micky Dolenz. Crazy, right? See for yourself: https://invasion24.com/2023/03/19/daily-jumble-puzzle-answers-march-19-2023/
… Speaking of Dolenz, he departs Thursday on a Flower Power Cruise; then starts his Headquarters-tour on April 1 in Orlando …
Charles F. Rosenay does the Zach Martin Big Fat American Podcast next week, for his new release, The Book of Top 10 Beatles Lists (KIWI Publishing) … HAPPY BDAY Gia Ramsey!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Carol Geiser; Bob Meyerowitz; eYada; Andy Rosen; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Paul Haig; Terry Jastrow; Anthony Pomes; Mark Bego; Charles F. Rosenay; Bill Graham; Kip Cohen; Heather Moore; Charley Crespo; [Robert Miller; John Luongo; LIME; Carl Strube; Jen Ramos; and CHIP!
Rockefeller Center presents Ice Theatre of New York, Inc
Ice Theatre of New York (ITNY) is proud to hit the ice at The Rink at Rockefeller Center on March 23, 2023 at 12:30pm with ITNY Ensemble members Liz Yoshiko Schmidt and Danil Berdnikov performing Lorna Brown’s Timelessness. For more information, visit icetheatre.org/calendar.html.
Jason Robert Brown, Chuck Cooper, Janet Dacal, Sutton Foster, Lillias White and More To Perform at TheaterWorksUSA Spring Gala
TheaterWorksUSA, currently presenting the hit family show Dog Man The Musical at New World Stages, will host its annual Spring Gala on Monday, April 24 (cocktails begin at 6 PM) at The Current at Chelsea Piers.
100% of the net proceeds from the event will support our mission to create exceptional, transformative theatrical experiences that are accessible to young and family audiences in diverse communities across New York City and North America.
This year TWUSA will honor Lisa Chanel (TWUSA Board Chair 2019-2022), Andréa Burns (Award-winning Broadway actress & educator), Peter Flynn (TWUSA alumnus and award-winning director, writer, and educator), and Holly McGhee (Founder and Creator of Pippin Properties, New York Times best selling author). The event will feature appearances by some of Broadway’s biggest stars, including Jason Robert Brown, Chuck Cooper, Janet Dacal, Kevin Del Aguila, Sutton Foster, Lillias White and more.
On behalf of TheaterWorksUSA’s Board of Directors, we are thrilled to celebrate the people who have generously supported our mission, making it possible for us to bring high-quality theater to young audiences of all backgrounds throughout the country. We look forward to recognizing Lisa, Andréa, Peter, and Holly publicly at this very special event. – Tracy A. Stein, Board Chair
It’s a privilege to honor these individuals for playing such an important role in the work we do. Their vision, creativity, and ongoing commitment to our mission is truly something to celebrate. They are very much a part of our TheaterworksUSA family.- Barbara Pasternack, Artistic Director
TheaterWorksUSA (Barbara Pasternack, Artistic Director; Michael Harrington, Executive Director) has led the Theater for Young and Family Audiences movement in New York City and across North America for over half a century. At TWUSA, we believe that access to art—and theater, in particular—is vital for our youth. Since 1961, the 501(c)3 not-for-profit has captured the imaginations of 100 million new and veteran theatergoers with an award-winning repertoire of over 140 original plays and musicals. Acclaimed alumni include Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Disney’s Frozen), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent), Jerry Zaks (The Music Man), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), Miguel Cervantes (Hamilton), Kathleen Chalfant (Angels in America), and Chuck Cooper (Tony award-winning actor, The Life). WWW.TWUSA.ORG
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