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What to Watch in The New Year: April 12

What to Watch in The New Year: April 12

The Last Five Years (Encore) The Last 5 Years, with book, music and lyrics by three-time Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown, stars Nasia Thomas (Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the TemptationsBeautiful: The Carole King Musical) and Nicholas Edwards (Frozen, Berkshire Theatre Group’s Godspell), and is directed and musically directed by Tony Award winner Jason Michael Webb (Choir Boy). 

The production, which was rehearsed remotely and filmed in a New York apartment, following all COVID-19 safety protocols from Actors’ Equity Association, the state of New York and federal guidelines, was produced by Out of the Box Theatrics, Holmdel Theatre Company, and Blair Russell (Slave Play). 

An emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years, The Last 5 Years’ unconventional structure consists of Cathy (Thomas), the woman, telling her story backwards while Jamie (Edwards), the man, tells his story chronologically; the two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show.

7pm: Period Piece Conceived by playwright Susan Cinoman, Period Piece has gathered a line-up of Broadway stars and award-winning writers to create the series aimed at destigmatizing menstrual cycles. The event consists of three unique, one-night-only programs, featuring 12 different monologues performed by 12 different actors. Karen Carpenter (Love, Loss & What I Wore) directs.

Performers, ranging from Tony Award winners and nominees to emerging film and television stars, include Geneva Carr, Carmen Carrera, Maddie Corman, Sara Chase, Nicole Lynn Evans, Quinn Fontaine, Judy Gold, Julie Halston, Jessica Hecht, Cady Huffman, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Mia Katigbak, Carissa Kosta, Beth Leavel, Bianca Marroquin, Isabelle McCalla, AJ Michalka, Mirirai, Mandy Moore, Kellie Overbey, Lauren Patten, Stacey Sargeant, Futaba Shioda, Destry Spielberg, DeLanna Studi, Agneeta Thacker, Julie White, and Kristina Wong.

Participating playwrights include Nayna Agrawal, Christina Anderson, Ngozi Anyanwu, Debra Barsha, Bekah Brunstetter, Diana Burbano, Susan Cinoman, Lisa D’Amour, Cheryl Davis, Nicole Lynn Evans, Quinn Fontaine, Zoila Galeano, Emma Goldman-Sherman, Kirsten Greenidge, Lauren Gunderson, Tina Howe, Jaime Jarrett, Lally Katz, Wendy MacLeod, Cassandra Medley, Eliana Pipes, Carole Real, Theresa Rebeck, Jacquelyn Reingold, Maria Elena Rodriguez, Elaine Romero, Sarah Ruhl, Sharon Soboil, Destry Spielberg, DeLanna Studi, Caridad Svich, Ruth Tang, Else Went, Kit Yan, and Rhiana Yazzie.

A portion of the proceeds from Period Piece will benefit I Support the Girls, an international organization supporting all genders, providing period products and bras to homeless and those in need.

7pm: Live at the Lortel: Douglas Lyons Hosted by Eric Ostrow, along with co-hosts Joy DeMichelle and John-Andrew Morrison, season two of Live at The Lortel is dedicated to amplifying the voices and stories of people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and artists who stand in solidarity with the continued fight against institutional racism and racial injustice.

Theater makers will delve into their thoughts on the future of theater during this period of radical change. They will also discuss their craft, as well as their professional and personal projects that help to make theatre and the world more equitable.

7:30: Arts for Autism Virtual 2021, Starring Kelli O’Hara Arts for Autism is going virtual this year. Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara will be lighting up the Arts for Autism Virtual 2021 show with her soaring voice once again.

This year’s star-studded Broadway lineup includes Tony Nominee Elizabeth Stanley (Jagged Little Pill), Phoenix Best (Dear Evan Hansen), Jackie Burns (Wicked), John Michael Dias (Jersey Boys), Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Libby Servais (Wicked), Stephan Stubbins (Mary Poppins), and an appearance by Kelvin Moon Loh (Beetlejuice). Artistic Director Jacque Carnahan hosts. 

The show joins young performing arts students from around the country with the biggest names on Broadway to increase autism awareness and promote kindness and inclusion. The event benefits Autism Speaks, an organization committed to improving the lives of people with autism. 

This year, Arts for Autism will shine the spotlight on Founder and Director of The Miracle Project, Elaine Hall. The show will also share a piece from their original musical The Influencer.

7:30pm: Paradise Loft With its exquisite language and Shakespearean scale, John Milton’s epic poem explores the fundamental questions of the human experience: What is evil? If God is all-powerful, why did he allow evil to exist? Do humans have free will? Is our life predestined?

Dubbed “an Immorality play” by adaptor and director Michael Barakiva, this Red Bull Theater presentation will be presented in two parts: “The Fall of Lucifer” (April 12) and “Adam and Eve” (April 26).

7:30pm: Underneath the Freeways of Los AngelesClue meets Chinatown in Underneath the Freeways of Los Angeles, a live-streamed, interactive murder mystery experience inspired by historical events. It’s 1960, and two bodies have been discovered in the lake at East L.A.’s Hollenbeck Park, right below the newly-built section of the Golden State Freeway that runs directly overhead. You, the audience, will question the witnesses and persons of interest. Who is the guilty party? Each virtual performance is live. Every performance is different. 

7:30pm: Massenet’s Cendrillon A beloved fairy tale retold with wit and whimsy and encased in a highly polished veneer of French elegance, this operatic fable has everything you’d expect—heartache, humor, hijinks, and a happy ending, all delivered on the wings of Massenet’s gorgeous music. In a magical staging by Laurent Pelly, Charles Perrault’s words literally come to life before your eyes, with the action unfolding on the pages of a book.

8pm: Pajama Cast Party will feature live musical performances by one of Broadway’s longest-running Elphabas from Wicked, Jackie Burns, two of Nashville’s best voices Emily West and Chase McDaniel, singer/actor/teacher Jacob Daniel Cummings, and up-and-coming musical theater star D’Marreon Alexander.

Islands of Contentment Co-produced by Hypokrit Productions and The Tank in association with Autonomous Works, Dipti Bramhandkar’s Islands of Contentment is a moving meditation comprised of thirteen monologues.

An elegy to the (dis)harmony of romantic relationships, each piece invites us into the intimate, poignant, and hilarious interactions with significant others in the form of modern-day confessionals.

Thirteen characters reflect on moments that feel strangely familiar: the break-up dream, the plight of the nice guy, the ex who unexpectedly shows up, and even a baking fetish. No one writes love songs about this stuff. 

Hindsight 2020 Those Women Productions and Rebecca Haley Clark are proud to present Hindsight 2020, a collaboration with diverse artists in various disciplines from around the world to create a devised, virtual time capsule of a year that defies all categorization. Hindsight 2020 will be presented online April 9 – 17, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mv1kz47HqFs?feature=oembed

Disenchanted! which played Off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre in 2015 after a run the previous year at Theatre at St. Clement’s, will be revived in London digitally beginning April 9 via Stream.Theatre. The stream will be available through April 11.

Heading the cast will be several Six stars, including Jodie Steele as Snow White, Sophie Isaacs as Cinderella, Grace Mouat as Pocahontas, and Millie O’Connell as The Little Mermaid plus Rent’s Shanay Holmes as The Princess Who Kissed The Frog. Tom Jackson Greaves directs.

The company also includes fellow Six star Courtney Bowman (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Natalie Chua (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Allie Daniel (Rent), Aisha Jawando (Tina—The Tina Turner Musical), and Jenny O’Leary (Heathers).

Disenchanted!, which brings together a band of not-so-merry princesses, keen to rewrite their tales, has a book, music, and lyrics by Dennis T. Giacino. 

Reverb Theatre Arts Festival through May 20th. Reverb Theatre Arts Festival presents the voices of artists with disabilities on the virtual stage. Artists from around the country submitted their works of original theatre—monologue, spoken word, dance, or music—based on creative prompts on the theme of Connection. The work is the result of twenty-four collaborations between Participating Artists and Collaborating Artists. 

Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene Cabaret superstar Ute Lemper revives her acclaimed show Rendezvous with Marlene virtually after its debut in London in 2019. Based on the true story of a phone call Ute received by the film legend 35 years ago in France.

Directed by Daniel Nardicio, Rendezvous with Marlene includes some of Marlene’s most beautiful songs and telling some captivating secrets of her life shared during the three hour-plus call. 

John Cullum: An Accidental Star Two-time Tony winner stars in a streaming production of his new solo show that features songs and stories from his six-decade career. Audiences can watch the production through April 22.

Row Grace McLean, John Ellison Conlee, Tamika Lawrence, John McGinty and more star in the world premiere of this musical. With a book by Daniel Goldstein and music and lyrics by Dawn Landes, Row is inspired by A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure and is part of the partnership between Williamstown Theatre Festival and Audible Theater.

Amour, Starring Derrick Baskin, Adam Pascal, Christiani Pitts, More Be a part of our Playbill Opening Night Celebration for the virtual revival of Amour. Join host Felicia Fitzpatrick who will take us to the “red carpet” to talk to the stars of the show and hear from behind the scenes how this special event was inspired and came together. Beyond the show, enjoy the party with tips on cooking your own French meal and learn a bit about wine.

Ailey All Access: Blues Suite Ailey All Access releases a recorded performance of Blues Suite from 1985 PBS Great Performances. 

“Blood memories” of rural, Depression-era southern Texas, come to life in Blues Suite, which launched Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958 and defined Alvin Ailey’s choreographic genius of presenting real people on the concert dance stage. With the rumble of a train and the toll of distant bells, a cast of vividly-drawn characters from the barrelhouses and fields of his Texas childhood are summoned to dance and revel through one long, sultry night. 

Ailey’s classic is set to songs of lost love, despair, and protest, expressing the sorrow, humor, and humanity of the blues, the heartfelt music that he called “hymns to the secular regions of the soul.” 

Home Sweet Homeland, a one-act play by presents Joanna Rush Amas Musical Theatre  

Trapped in a building across the street from the World Trade Center on 9/11, Home Sweet Homeland is the story of a family and the Angel of Stand-Up Comedy who watches over them. Based on Joanna Rush’s own experience, they work to take control of their lives and find a way back to the new normal.

Directed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, the cast features Jonathan Brody (A Bronx Tale, Amazing Grace), Robert Cuccioli (Jekylll & Hyde, Les Miserables), James Rana (The Band’s Visit, The Government Inspector), Laila Robins (The Herbal Bed, The Apple Family Plays), Joanna Rush (KICK!, Accidental Mummies), Chuja Seo, Sophia Stzougros and Mia Mei Williamson (Once on This Island). The stage manager is Brian Lawton. The assistant stage manager Benjamin A. Vigil. Casting by Carol Hanzel.

Registration is free, but required. 

Manahatta This 2018 world premiere by playwright, activist, and attorney Mary Kathryn Nagle illuminates the consequences of commercial exploits, including the removal of the Lenape people and the attempted eradication of their culture that gave rise to the America we know today.

This Oregon Shakespeare Festival production is directed by Laurie Woolery.

Lilies, or The Revival of a Romantic Drama The Drama Company NYC presents a revival of Lilies, or The Revival of a Romantic Drama by Michel Marc Bouchrd with English translation by Linda Gaboriau, and direction by Andrew Benvenuti.

Lilies will be seen in New York City for the first time in nearly twenty years—staged outdoors and recorded live to be streamed on demand.

Set against a backdrop of revenge, obsession, and love, Lilies tells the story of Simon Doucet, recently released from prison after serving a 30-year sentence for a crime he did not commit. He arranges a private meeting with his former school friend, Jean Bilodeau, now a powerful Bishop. Simon and his friends, all former prison inmates, revisit the harrowing events that occurred during their final year at St. Sebastian’s school for boys.

The cast of Lilies features an all-male ensemble with Michael Walls as Simon 1952/Timothee Ducet; Andreas Pilitsakis as Bishop Bilodeau; Jason Schlaman as Simon Ducet 1912; Florimond Le Goupil-Maier as Count Vallier De Tilly; Dylan C. Wack as Jean Bilodeau; Bill Morton as Countess Marie-Laure de Tilly; J.P. Ross as Lydie Anne De Rozier; Drew Paton as Father St. Michael and Baron De Hue; and Grant Hale as Baroness De Hue.

The Thanksgiving Play Spotlight on Plays returns with Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play, directed by Leigh Silverman. The cast features Tony nominees Heidi Schreck and Bobby Cannavale, along with Keanu Reeves and Alia Shawkat.

Whiterock Cliff Goode Productions presents a streaming production of Ryan McCurdy’s one-man Off-Broadway musical Whiterock Cliff will be performed live at New York’s Funkadelic Studios for a five-week virtual run.

The show features a book by Ryan McCurdy and Ellie Pyle, music and lyrics by McCurdy, and directed by Mary Chieffo.

Whiterock Cliff weaves together memory, music, mental health, the creative process, the stories we tell ourselves, and the ones we tell to each other.

This act is performed live each night with the permission of Actors’ Equity from a Times Square studio with one performer, three cameras, and eight musical instruments.

Wish You Were Here: The world premiere of Sanaz Toossi’s new work releases as part of the partnership between Williamstown Theatre Festival and Audible Theater. Nikki Massoud, Marjan Neshat, Nazanin Nour, Artemis Pebdani, and Roxanna Hope Radja star in the podcast production directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch.

Breaking the Waves LA Opera and Opera Philadelphia co-present an online stream ofBreaking the Waves, an opera by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek that was previously scheduled to open on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage this month. Available through April 12.

The opera is a faithful adaption of Lars von Trier’s extraordinary 1996 film, in which a devout young woman deciphers the meaning of fidelity, facing the condemnation of her church as she puts herself through a series of dangerous sexual encounters. With its intense subject matter, violence, language and nudity, the production is recommended for mature audiences only.

Breaking the Waves was filmed during its world premiere production at Opera Philadelphia in 2016. For the 2021 stream, director James Darrah, who staged that production, presents a remastered release of that recording, featuring color correction by cinematographer and colorist Michael Thomas, remastered sound from George Blood Audio, and a new edit from Active Image Media.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Lincoln Center offers a streamed recording of Christopher Durang’s Tony-winning play, which stars Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen, Billy Magnussen and Shalita Grant. The comedy transports characters and themes from Chekhov’s work to present day Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where siblings receive a visit from their sister and her 20-something boy toy Spike.

Gutenberg! The Musical! A newly filmed presentation of Gutenberg! The Musical!, starring Bobby Conte Thornton and Alex Prakken, will stream as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The performance, recorded by Pierre Marais at Open Jar Studios, features piano accompaniment by Andrew Callahan and choreography by Kaitlyn Frank.

The musical follows two aspiring playwrights, Bud and Doug, as they attempt to secure producers for their new musical about printing press inventor Johann Gutenberg. The pair sing all the songs and play all the parts in the hope of a Broadway contract.

The Sound Inside Mary-Louise Parker and Will Hochman reprise their roles in this audio production of Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside, which earned six Tony Award nominations, including Best Play, for its 2019 Broadway run.

Romeo y Julieta Lupita Nyong’o and Juan Castano star in this free bilingual audioplay of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, presented by the Public Theater and WNYC Studios.

Lights on the Radio Tower Originally developed at the Adirondack Theatre Festival and Bloomington Playwrights Project, this thrilling two-hander rock musical tells the story of Molly and Jesse, a brother and sister who, after eighteen years apart, reunite at their decaying childhood home following the death of their father. The estranged rock duo’s competing recollections of their childhood, their last night together, and their final gig force them to face the painful truth of their past.

La Femme Theatre Productions: The Night of the Iguana The show will feature Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Dylan McDermott (Netflix’s “Hollywood”) as Reverend Shannon, Emmy nominee and Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad  (Broadway’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) as Maxine, Roberta Maxwell (Broadway’s Summer and Smoke) as Judith Fellowes, Tony nominee, Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Austin Pendleton (Broadway’s Choir Boy) as Nonno, and Jean Lichty (Off-Broadway’s A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, The Traveling Lady) as Hannah, with Keith Randolph Smith (Broadway’s Jitney, American Psycho) as Jake, Carmen Berkeley (Off-Broadway’s Our Dear Dead Drug Lord) as Charlotte, Eliud Kauffman (Roundabout Theatre’s 72 Miles to Go) as Hank, Julio Macias (Netflix’s “On My Block”) as Pancho, Stephanie Schmiderer (No Exit, The Human Voice) as Frau Fahrenkopf, Bradley James Tejeda (Broadway’s The Inheritance) as Pedro, and John Hans Tester (Amazon’s ”Hunters” ) as Herr Fahrenkopf.

The New York Pops Up Festival a thousand in-person performances throughout the state from now through June. Most events associated with NY PopsUp will be unannounced (and unticketed) and will be designed so that New Yorkers happen upon them in their everyday lives. (Since we can’t have large gatherings right now, we want to bring a lot of small things to the public where they are) NY PopsUp is a surprise that you happen upon, rather than an event or concert you are alerted to via a notification or a schedule.

Julius Caesar, Starring Patrick Page By Shakespeare@ Tony nominee Patrick Page (Hadestown) stars in the title role with Jordan Barbour (The Inheritance) as Brutus and Keith Hamilton Cobb (American Moor) as Cassius. West End Harry Potter and the Cursed Child performers Jamie Ballard and James Howard co-star as Mark Antony and Metellus Cimber, respectively. 

The production is also be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and Stitcher.

Produced by Jersey City’s Shakespeare@, this audio production is the third installment of the season, produced and adapted by Artistic Director Sean Hagerty.

Hagerty has crafted the production into four weekly parts and partnered with the Emmy-winning team at Sonic Designs to capture the lost art and thrill of radio drama all without leaving the confines of quarantine.

Julius Caesar features original music composed by Joan Melton with sound design by the Emmy-winning team of Dan Gerhard and Ellen Fitton of Sonic Designs. Justin Goldner is the music producer and supervisor, and casting is by Robin Carus. Sydney Steele serves as the associate producer. 

Riders of the Purple Sage: The Making of a Western Opera In the award-winning documentary, Riders of the Purple Sage: The Making of a Western Opera, opera’s hallowed traditions and America’s cowboy culture converge to celebrate the collaborative power of art. The documentary details the creative process of all artists involved in live theatre onstage and backstage.

Zane Grey is read by Peter Coyote, with performances by shining young opera stars, Karin Wolverton, Morgan Smith, Laura Wilde, Joshua Dennis, Joshua Jeremiah, Keith Phares, and Kristopher Irmiter. 

Paradise Blue Dominique Morisseau’s play premieres as part of the partnership between Williamstown Theatre Festival and Audible Theater. Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Paradise Bluestars André Holland (above), Kristolyn Lloyd, Simone Missick, Keith Randolph Smith and 2020 Tony nominee Blair Underwood.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice By Southwark Playhouse The Sorcerer’s Apprentice gets an encore on-demand run. The pay-per-view stream will be available until April 11.

Assassins Reunion: Original Off-Broadway Cast The original cast and creative team of the 1991 Off-Broadway debut of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Tony-winning Assassins will reunite virtually to celebrate the musical’s 30th anniversary.

The free online event is part of the Studio Tenn Talks: Conversations with Patrick Cassidy series and will feature Studio Tenn Artistic Director Cassidy as well as other original cast members Victor Garber, Greg Germann, Annie Golden, Lyn Greene, Jonathan Hadary, Eddie Korbich, Terrence Mann, Debra Monk, William Parry, and Lee Wilkof plus Sondheim and Weidman, director Jerry Zaks, musical director Paul Gemignani, and orchestrator Michael Starobin.

SuperYou Musical the new musical that last year pivoted from its traditional opening to a drive-in concert in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, is now heading online. A filmed version of the drive-in presentation will stream on Broadway On Demand 

The musical, penned by Lourds Lane, tells the story of a woman and her superheroine creations that suddenly come to life, reminding her of the power of her own voice.

Prior to the 8 PM stream, Playbill will host a virtual red carpet event, with interviews with the cast and creative team. A digital afterparty will also take place at 9 PM.

An Iliad (Streaming) Court Theater. A film of the site-specific production at Chicago’s Oriental Institute by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare.

The Things Are Against Us Susan Soon He Stanton’s The Things Are Against Us will be the next production in MCC’s LiveLab one-act digital reading series. Ellie Heyman directs the cast, which includes Juan Castano, Emily Davis, Susannah Flood, Babak Tafti, and Danny Wolohan, in tthe play set in a mysterious house with a mind of its own. 

John Lithgow, Daniel Breaker, More Sing Adam Guettel’s Myths & Hymns (Episode 2) By MasterVoices The central project of MasterVoices’ 2020-2021 season will be a virtual rollout of award-winning composer Adam Guettel’s theatrical song cycle, Myths and Hymns, in an online staging conceived by Ted Sperling. 

SoHo Playhouse Presents Typical Soho Theatre and Nouveau Riche present the world premiere of Typical, the film version of the stage play, released exclusively on Soho Theatre On Demand 

Written by Ryan Calais Cameron and directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, Typical uncovers the man and the humanity behind the tragic true-life events of Black British ex-serviceman Christopher Alder and the injustice that still remains twenty years since his story emerged. 

The Manic Monologues Current Slave Play Tony nominee Ato Blankson-Wood, Rent Tony winner Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Accidentally Brave playwright Maddie Corman, and more stage favorites will explore mental health this winter in a new digital production from the McCarter Theatre Center.

The Manic Monologues debuts February 18 with 21 true-life monologues that users can explore at their own pace and through an interactive element virtually respond to.

Simply Sondheim Signature Theater of Arlington. Available through April 16. Thirty Sondheim songs performed by a 16-piece orchestra and a dozen singers, including Norm Lewis, Emily Skinner, Solea Pfeiffer and Conrad Ricamora

Directed by Golden Globe winner Marsha Mason, Napoleon in Exile stars Emmy nominee Jane Kaczmarek and Will Dagger as mother and son. After the performance, the artists join host Claudia Catania to discuss writing for actors and bringing theater chops to the world of sitcom TV.

Events

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

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