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What to Watch in The New Year: March 2

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Idina Menzel

For The Record Berkeley Rep. One of the ten weekly audio plays in Place/Settings: Berkeley about specific places in Berkeley, California. This one is by Sean San Jose: “ometimes music becomes indelibly linked to specific memories, invoking the people with whom we shared them. Songs by Isaac Hayes, Peter Tosh, Stevie Wonder, the Doors, the Knight Brothers, and Patti LaBelle conjure a deep friendship, one that began on a hot night in 1986 outside Leopold’s Records.”

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.

4pm: CyberTank Variety Show By The Tank A weekly, remote, multidisciplinary, variety arts gathering open to all where we explore theatricality + themes by you.

The CyberTank Weekly Variety Show is a remote, multidisciplinary variety arts gathering open to everyone. The arts community has been presented with a challenge to re-examine theatricality, and The Tank has reframed this as the gift of an opportunity to grow and choose community over despair. Each weekly installment is centered around a specific question and features guest artists who will perform and facilitate conversation.

7pm: Molly Sweeney By Irish Repertory Theatre Molly Sweeney has lived in happy, capable and independent darkness since she was ten months old. When Frank, her restless, unemployed and enthusiastic husband, makes her blindness his latest cause, he recruits Mr. Rice, a once famous surgeon who, despite being half-drowned in Irish whiskey, agrees to attempt to restore Molly’s sight. When the bandages come off, Molly, Frank and Mr. Rice discover the differences between seeing and understanding as they face the terrible consequences of a medical miracle.

Molly Sweeney, Brian Friel’s brilliant study of psychological isolation exquisitely resonates today as Irish Rep invites our socially distanced audience to take part in our inaugural performance on screen – a new theatre experience for the COVID-19 hiatus.

Reprising their roles from the acclaimed 2011 Irish Rep production are Geraldine Hughes (Rocky Balboa) as Molly Sweeney and Ciarán O’Reilly (Juno and the Paycock) as Frank Sweeney. Joining them will be Paul O’Brien (Six Degrees of Separation) as Mr. Rice.

7pm: Right Now! By The Tank Coming to you live (or perhaps not), from our isolation to yours, it’s…. RIGHT NOW!  What are we supposed to do while we’re stuck inside? What can we create from the insanity of this world? Is anything live anymore? Is time meaningless? Are we all trapped in one big endless Zoom call??? 

The answers to these questions may never become clear, but one thing is certain: It’s as good a time as any for an absurdist virtual variety show! Created by playwright/deviser Max Mondi and director/deviser Emerie Snyder, RIGHT NOW! appears across The Tank’s digital programming in 2021. The show’s segments embrace and play with new digital platforms—poking holes in them, stretching the fabric of their limitations, and exploring the surreal nature of our lives during this time of terrifying change and uncertainty. Each segment debuts as a prelude to one of the Tank’s currently running shows. Then, once a month, these RIGHT NOW! segments turn into a full-length live show, featuring additional sketches, and a wide array of theatre artists—comedians, musicians, dancers, designers, and more. Primary collaborators include: Adrian D. Cameron, media designer & technical director; Daisy Long, lighting consultant; Mx. Brian Lowdermilk, composer; and Celia Krefter, stage manager. 

RIGHT NOW! offers some reprieve. Some recognition. Something deeply silly for our deeply traumatic times. We all may be locked inside, staring at our screens, and not showering as much as we used to. But we’re all experiencing that same thing, on a global scale that we’ve never seen before. This show is an invitation to just be together in our isolation, just for a few minutes, just a bit absurdly, just right now.

It’s not theatre. It’s not TV. It’s RIGHT NOW!

7:30pm: Idina Menzel Explores “The Circle of Becoming” Tony winner Idina Menzel, Tony recipient and playwright V (The Vagina MonologuesO.P.C.In the Body of the World), and Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated songwriter Justin Tranter share music and stories about the development of The Circle of Becoming, directed by A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus.

The new musical fairy tale follows a teenage girl and her posse whose determination to save the planet endows them with powers they never knew they had.

7:30pm: Verdi’s Falstaff Verdi finished his sublime final opera when he was almost 80 years old, capping a fruitful career with a bawdy adaptation of scenes from Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV. His raucous operatic farce charts a knight’s gold-digging efforts to seduce two married women, leading to belly-flopping failure on both counts. The score, meanwhile, is a complete tour de force, demonstrating the old master’s still-youthful panache, as well as his profound insight into human nature. In this delightful 1992 telecast, American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne—a leader in the bel canto revival of the 1960s and 70s, and one of today’s leading mentors of young singers—stars as Mistress Quickly.

8pm: NYTW Virtual Gala – Rent 25th Anniversary Celebration By New York Theatre Workshop. Cast members from the original production of Rent—including Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Wilson Jermaine Heredia—will reunite for New York Theatre Workshop’s upcoming virtual gala, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the late Jonathan Larson’s Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical.

The event will remain available to streaming through March 6. Orignal cast members Gilles Chiasson, Rodney Hicks, Aiko Nakasone, and Byron Utley will also take part, as well as an all-star lineup that includes Sebastian Arcelus, Annaleigh Ashford, Martha Banta, The Bengsons, Adam Chanler-Berat, Linda Chapman, Nicholas Christopher, Paul Clay, Wilson Cruz, Brandon Victor Dixon, Wendy Ettinger, Stephen Graham, Michael Greif, Janet Harckham, Jeremy O. Harris, Neil Patrick Harris, Victoria Hoffman, Joe Iconis, Christopher Jackson, Julie Larson, Tamika Lawrence, The Lazours, Telly Leung, Kamilah Marshall, Kevin McCollum, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anaïs Mitchell, Shakina Nayfack, James C. Nicola, Eva Noblezada, Dael Orlandersmith, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Will Power, Councilmember Carlina Rivera, Jai Rodriguez, Jeffrey Seller, Rona Siddiqui, Leigh Silverman, Ali Stroker, Ephraim Sykes, Bernie Telsey, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Tracie Thoms, Ivo van Hove, Tom Viola, Tim Weil, Angela Wendt, and Marlies Yearby.

Rent alum Andy Señor Jr. will direct the proceedings, with Stephen Oremus and Will Van Dyke on the team as music supervisor and music director.

8:30pm: Fast & Furious 47 By The Tank An evening of the boldest, most contemporary, fastest and sometimes furious performances created in response to the news and world events that is happening right now! F&F #47 will feature: Kev Berry; Neon Calypso; Gabriel Coleman; Shashwat Gupta; David Lawson; Andie Lerner; Amanda Miller, Rachel Evans, and Melissa Shaw; Cosimo Pori; Eli Schleicher; Joey Sims; and Jake Smerechniak.

Tickets are pay-what-you-feel, and the livestream will have open captions. Tune in to participate in the live chat, or watch the recording afterwards!

Smithtown The Studios of Key West $20 In this play by Drew Larimore starring Michael Urie, Ann Harada, Colby Lewis and Constance Shulman, a single text message overturns life in a small Midwestern university town, a riff on the effects of social media.

 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. 

 Upon These Shoulders By PlaybillBlack Theatre Coalition  Current Tony nominee Daniel J. Watts (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Tony and Emmy nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton), Amber Iman (Shuffle Along…), Carly Hughes (Pippin), gospel star Bebe Winans, and more will take part in the upcoming Black History Month concert special Upon These Shoulders. The digital concert, co-presented by Black Theatre United and Playbill, honors Black creative artists past, present, and future.

Using performances, interviews, and video messages from Broadway stars and arts workers, the show will highlight the history of Black artistry, magnify the work of today’s Black creatives, and shed a light on the future of Broadway and theatres across America. The concert will also highlight the work of the Black Theatre Coalition, emphasizing its leadership as the community moves the needle towards equity.

The event will be ticketed, with all proceeds going to support BTC. Additional information, including purchasing instructions and further casting, will be announced in the coming days. To make a donation to Black Theatre Coalition now, click here.

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. 

Annette O’Toole

The Typists By Play-PerView Stage and screen actors (and real life spouses) Annette O’Toole (A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur) and Michael McKean (The Little Foxes) will star in a reading of the 1963 Off-Broadway play by Murray Schisgal, The Typists.

The one-act chronicles the developing romance between new co-workers—a married man and his unmarried supervisor.

The reading streams through March 2, and follows with a live talk back with O’Toole and McKean, and the production’s director, Austin Pendleton. Proceeds will benefit Williamstown Theatre Festival.

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. 

Bad Dates George Street Playhouse through March 14. Andrea Burns stars in Theresa Rebeck’s one-woman comedy about a single mom in search of cute shoes, the perfect dress, and a romantic table for two 

8pm: Chicken and Biscuits through March 3. A virtual reading of Douglas Lyons’s family comedy, Chicken and Biscuits. Janet Hubert, best known to television audiences as Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, will star as Baneatta Mabry. Michael Urie and Carly Hughes also star.

All proceeds from the reading will directly benefit Lyons’s Next Wave Initiative, a new developmental branch of The Directors Company committed to amplifying future Black voices in The American Theatre through scholarships and community engagement. 

Produced in partnership with 59E9 Theaters  and The Directors Company, the evening will be directed Zhailon Levingston (Tina).

In Chicken and Biscuits, Baneatta and Beverly attempt to put their sisterly differences aside to bury their father, Bernard. All is well at the funeral until it’s revealed that Bernard had not just two daughters, but three. Wig pins loosen, as truths emerge, leaving this African-American family to confront their skeletons head on; naturally with lots of love, shade, and prayer along the way. The world premiere of Chicken and Biscuits opened at Queens Theatre on March 6, 2020, closing early due to the COVID-19.

7pm: Franz Kafka’s Letter to My Father M-34 through March 28
In 1919, the ailing writer wrote a letter to his father full of intense mixed emotions.

Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer E. Faye Butler stars in the rolling world premiere of Cheryl L. West’s Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer.

The solo show, presented through March 3, is produced by Asolo Rep in association with Goodman Theatre and Seattle Rep.

The Henry Godinez-helmed drama tells the impassioned story of the American Civil Rights activist and hero.

Far Away Quantum Theater through March 7 $10 to $50 Caryl Churchill’s surreal portrait of a descent into a hyper-partisan future 

Expirer Wilma Theater Dive into a cyberspace underworld through this interactive website. Demons, both classical and contemporary, lurk among the virtual artifacts, waiting to be purged. Part of this Philadelphia theater’s weekly Hothouse Shorts.

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.

Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue Center Theater Group
through April 4. $10 Kemp Powers’ play tells the story of twins, one who dreamt of space, the other who became a successful attorney, who have lived starkly different lives, because one has dark skin and the other passes as white. The action plays out in 1980s New York and a Minnesota courthouse in 2006.

Simply Sondheim Signature Theater of Arlington. Available through March 26. 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.

Clay Wilma Theater The Philadelphia theater continues its weekly Hothouse Shorts until March 7, with these intertwining audio tales of one everyday object.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice By Southwark Playhouse The Sorcerer’s Apprentice will now be streamed due to the pandemic and continued lockdown. The pay-per-view stream will be available February 26–March 14.

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: Sarah Paulson in Appropriate

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Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate not only got a second extension, but transferred  theatre. Slated to close March 3 at the Hayes Theater, Appropriate will now play a 13-week engagement at the Belasco Theatre, with performances beginning March 25. The strictly limited run will continue through June 23. The reason for the transfer was Paula Vogel’s Mother Play, was already slated to perform.

To read T2C’s review of Appropriate  click here and here.

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Broadway To Honor Hinton Battle

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Broadway will honor the memory of Hinton Battle, the three-time Tony Award-winning singer/ actor/ phenomenal dancer who was trailblazing. Mr. Battle passed away on January 30, 2024, at the age of 67. On March 12, 2024, the Committee of Theatre Owners will dim all the lights of all the Broadway theatres in New York for one minute at exactly 6:45pm, in his honor.Hinton Battle won three Tony’s and made his Broadway debut at 18,  playing the original Scarecrow in The Wiz.

You can see our tribute here. He was one of the great ones.

 

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Theatre News: Here We Are, Water For Elephants, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Tempest: A Surround Sound Odyssey, FIVE: The Parody Musical, Forbidden Broadway

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Producers Tom Kirdahy, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, and The Stephen Sondheim Trust announced today that the critically acclaimed world premiere production of Here We Are, the new musical from David Ives and Stephen Sondheim that debuted at The Shed’s Griffin Theater in 2023, was filmed by the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT) at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and added to its collection. The complete show was filmed by TOFT in December of 2023 and is now available and free to view by anyone with a library card.

 Here We Are is directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, and features Francois Battiste, Tracie Bennett, Bobby Cannavale, Micaela Diamond, Amber Gray, Jin Ha, Rachel Bay Jones, Denis O’Hare, Steven Pasquale, David Hyde Pierce, and Jeremy Shamos.

The musical features a book by Tony Award nominee David Ives, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and is inspired by two films, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel, by Luis Buñuel.

Here We Are opened on October 22, 2023 at The Shed and performed its final show on January 21, 2024.

Water For Elephants is announcing their Tent Talkback Series with members of the creative team following selected Saturday matinees between March 2 through April 6, at the Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street).  Creative team members will include book writer Rick Elice and composers and lyricists PigPen Theatre Co.  The Water For Elephants Tent Talkback Series will be a moderated 15-minute discussion about the creative process and development of the show and commence at the conclusion of selected Saturday matinee performances.

Tent Talkback Series Schedule

Saturday, March 2, matinee performance

Saturday, March 9, matinee performance

Saturday, March 30, matinee performance

Saturday, April 6, matinee performance

Water For Elephants is based on the critically acclaimed and New York Times Bestselling novel by Sara Gruen. The new musical has a book by three-time Tony Award nominee Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher), a soaring score by the acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co. (The Tale of Despereaux) and is directed by Tony Award nominee Jessica Stone (Kimberly Akimbo).

The cast stars Grant Gustin (“The Flash”, “Glee”) in his Broadway debut, Isabelle McCalla (The Prom, Shucked), four-time Tony Award nominee Gregg Edelman (City of Angels), Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Award nominee Paul Alexander Nolan (Slave Play), Stan Brown (“Homicide: Life in the Streets”), Joe De Paul (Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion), Sara Gettelfinger (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and Wade McCollum(Wicked) and features Brandon Block, Antoine Boissereau, Rachael Boyd, Paul Castree, Ken Wulf Clark, Taylor Colleton, Gabriel Olivera de Paula Costa, Isabella Luisa Diaz, Samantha Gershman, Keaton Hentoff-Killian, Nicolas Jelmoni, Caroline Kane, Harley Ross Beckwith McLeish, Michael Mendez, Samuel Renaud, Marissa Rosen, Alexandra Gaelle Royer, Asa Somers, Charles South, Sean Stack, Matthew Varvar and Michelle West.

After losing what matters most, a young man jumps a moving train unsure of where the road will take him and finds a new home with the remarkable crew of a traveling circus, and a life—and love—beyond his wildest dreams. Seen through the eyes of his older self, his adventure becomes a poignant reminder that if you choose the ride, life can begin again at any age.

The award-winning Sea Dog Theater’s production of Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie, by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, based on the book by Albom, directed by Erwin Maas (NY Times Critic’s Pick for Poison and A Kid Like Rishi), starring Tony Award winner and Emmy nominee Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd original cast, CBS’s “Blue Bloods”) and three-time NYIT “Best Actor” nominee Chris Domig.Tuesdays with Morrie runs March 1 – 23 in a limited engagement at St. George’s Episcopal Church (209 East 16 St.) Opening night is March 7.Two post-show talkbacks are scheduled during the run. On Monday, March 4, Len Cariou and Judy Kaye will discuss working with Stephen Sondheim. On Monday, March 18, Len and Abigail Hawk will discuss working on CBS’s “Blue Bloods.”Tuesdays with Morrie is the humorous and poignant story of career-obsessed journalist Mitch Albom, who sixteen years after graduation serendipitously learns that his former sociology professor Morrie is battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease. What starts as a simple visit, turns into a weekly pilgrimage and the last class in the meaning of life.Featuring vocalist Sally Shaw. Original music written and performed on piano by Chris Domig.

The Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC, Executive Director Khady Kamara Nunez and Artistic Director Bill Rauch) announces complete casting and creative team for An American Soldier at the new performing arts center at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.  An American Soldier will premiere in New York during AANHPI Heritage Month with performances starting May 12 through May 19, 2024.

An American Soldier will feature principal cast members Hannah Cho, Alex DeSocio, Nina Yoshida Nelsen and Brian Vu. Ensemble members include Ben Brady, Cierra Byrd, James C. Harris, Shelén Hughes, Joshua Sanders, Christian Simmons and understudies, Misoon Ghim, Luke Harnish and Angela Yam. Photos of the company are available here.

An American Soldier features scenic design by Daniel Ostling, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Jeanette Yew and multi-media design by Nick Hussong, joining the previously announced creative team members Huang Ruo (composer), David Henry Hwang (libretto), Carolyn Kuan (conductor), and Chay Yew (director).

On October 3, 2011, Chinese-American Army Pvt. Danny Chen was found dead in a guard tower at his base in Afghanistan. Based on his story and the ensuing courts-martial of Chen’s fellow soldiers, this New York City premiere opera tells the powerful true story of a young soldier from Manhattan’s Chinatown who sought to serve his country, only to find his biggest threat was the very people who swore to protect him.

Told through the multidimensional music of Huang Ruo (M. Butterfly, Book of Mountains and Seas) with libretto by Tony and Grammy winner David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Soft Power), and directed by Obie Award winner Chay Yew (Cambodian Rock Band, Sweatshop Overlord), An American Soldier is a powerful and unforgettable experience.

Due to popular demand, Knock at the Gate producers Joseph Discher and Sean Hudock announced a two-week extension of their audio immersive streaming production of The Tempest: A Surround Sound Odyssey, now available to stream virtually through Saturday, March 16.

Tickets for the stream are $9.99 and are available for purchase at KnockattheGate.com. The broadcast is available worldwide on all internet connected devices with a dimmable screen and a pair of headphones. Audiences will receive a link and password to access the listening portal prior to the broadcast.

The cast includes Hale Appleman (SyFy’s “The Magicians,” FX’s “American Horror Story”) as ‘Ariel,’ Tony® and Grammy® Award nominee Emily Skeggs (Broadway’s Fun Home) as ‘Miranda,’ Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle) as ‘Prospero,’ and Derek Wilson (Amazon’s “Gen V,” Hulu’s “Future Man”) as ‘Caliban.’ Rounding out the cast are Michael Daly, Sean Hudock, Greg Jackson, Maurice Jones, Raphael Nash Thomspon, Shane Taylor, Patrick Toon.

Due to popular demand, producers of FIVE: The Parody Musical have put a new block of tickets on sale through April 21. The world-premiere production, initially announced as a limited four-week engagement, will now play an additional 6 weeks Off-Broadway at Theater 555 (555 W 42nd St, NYC). For tickets and further information, visit www.FiveTheMusical.com.

Look out SIX, here comes FIVE: The Parody Musical. Henry VIII and his six wives had nothing on Donald, the 45th, and these five ladies. Poised to make America laugh again, FIVE is an 80-minute, irreverent musical comedy revue starring some of the women in the life of America’s past President. Ivana, Marla, and Melania are joined by crowd favorite Stormy and daddy’s girl Ivanka as they each take the spotlight and sing their hearts out for your vote.

Presented by Five Musical LLC, FIVE: The Parody Musical features a book and lyrics by Shimmy Braun & Moshiel Newman Daphna, music and lyrics by Billy Recce (A Musical About Star Wars, Little Black Book), and direction and choreography by Jen Wineman (Dog Man: The Musical, F#%king Up Everything).

FIVE: The Parody Musical features Anyae Anasia as Ivana, Gabriella Joy Rodriguez (The Color Purple Tour) as Marla, Jaime Lyn Beatty (Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical, Starkid Founding Member) as Melania, Gabi Garcia as Stormy, and Hannah Bonnett (Legally Blonde National Tour) as Ivanka, with a special appearance by drag legend Jasmine Rice LaBeija as Hillary Clinton.

Forbidden Broadway will open on Broadway titled Forbidden Broadway on Broadway: Merrily We Stole a Song. It will begin previews on July 29 and open August 15 at the Hayes Theater. Creator Gerard Alessandrini, a Tony honoree for the musical’s Off-Broadway stagings, will direct the Broadway production and it will play a limited run through November 1.The musical revue will feature a five-person cast, who will be joined weekly by guest stars. The production will parody Back to the Future, Company, The Great Gatsby, Hell’s Kitchen, Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along, The Notebook, Sweeney Todd and Water for Elephants. Forbidden Broadway on Broadway is produced by Broadway & Beyond Theatricals (Ryan Bogner, Victoria Lang and Tracey Stroock McFarland) in association with John Freedson and Harriet Yellin.”

 

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Grand Hotel: The 35th Anniversary Original Broadway Cast Reunion Concert at 54 Below

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Grand Hotel original cast members Karen Akers, Timothy Jerome, Bob Stillman, David Jackson, David Andrew White, and Walter Willison, reunited last night at 54 Below. Even original bass player Ray Kilday was there.

Tim Jerome

The fabulous David Jackson, David White

54 Below was transformed into Berlin’s Grand Hotel for the event. The staging was immersive as Walter Willison, introduced, directed and produced. The choreography (originally done by Broadway legend Tommy Tune, was there celebrating his 85th birthday on Monday night).

Two tango dancers (Michael Choi and Vanda Polakova), circled the room making their way to the stage for “I Waltz Alone.” The concert featured choreography by Michael Notardonato, who also served as associate director.

Bob Stillman Jennifer Bassey Davis

Ken Jennings

Willison, who also played Colonel Doctor Otternschlag) kept Maury Yeston’s entire glorious score. “I Want to Go to Hollywood” for example. That number was skillfully sung by Susan Wood Duncan, who played Flaemmchen in the touring cast.

Bob Stillman

Walter Willison

Ken Jennings stepped in as Otto Kringelein, leading the company in a moving “We’ll Take a Glass Together!” was sung in the bar area.

Diane J. Findlay

A highlight was Diane J. Findlay

Karen Akers

Jennifer Bassey Davis as Elizaveta Grushinskaya, and Akers as Rafaella, were haunting.

Susie McCollum

Harper Lee Andrews and Susie McCollum played the roles their mothers originated.

The cast

On Monday Happy Birthday closed the show to a reprise of “We’ll Take a Glass Together” and thus they did.

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More Theatre News:  James Monroe Iglehart, Bonnie Milligan, J. Harrison Ghee, Santino Fontana, Len Cariou, Peter Filichia and Patricia Birch

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After winning rave reviews in New Orleans and Chicago, Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart (Disney’s AladdinHamiltonSpamalot) will star as jazz legend and American icon Louis Armstrong in A Wonderful World: The Louis Armstrong Musical on Broadway in Fall 2024.

Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart will play
Louis Armstrong in A Wonderful World: The Louis Armstrong Musical,
opening November 11, 2024 at Studio 54. ©Jeremy Daniel

Produced by Thomas E. Rodgers, Jr., Renee Rodgers, Martian Entertainment (Carl D. White and Gregory Rae) and Vanessa Williams and Elizabeth Curtis, A Wonderful World will open on Monday, November 11, 2024 at Studio 54 (254 West 54th Street). Previews will begin on October 16, 2024. Tickets will be available at CriterionTicketing.com, with the on-sale date to be announced in coming weeks.  With a book by Aurin Squire (“This Is Us,” “The Good Fight”) and featuring songs made famous by Louis Armstrong, A Wonderful World is co-conceived by Drama Desk Award winner and Tony Award nominee Christopher Renshaw (The King and ITaboo) andAndrew Delaplaine, and directed by Renshaw.  Cast and full creative team for A Wonderful World: The Louis Armstrong Musical will be announced soon.  Last fall, Iglehart starred in the pre-Broadway production of A Wonderful World in New Orleans and Chicago, where he won raves for his performance. The Chicago Tribune called him “just fabulous! – a knockout Louis Armstrong.” The Chicago Sun-Times, cheered, “James Monroe Iglehart gives a phenomenal, dynamic and vivacious lead performance as the wondrous Louis Armstrong.”  “I am so excited to bring this wonderful brand-new musical to Broadway,” James Monroe Iglehart commented. “American music wouldn’t be what it is today without Louis Armstrong and what is Broadway if not American music? ‘Pops’ doesn’t get enough credit for his contribution to our entertainment industry or our country. I know I have never studied, researched, or prepared for anything as much in my career as I have for this role. I feel such a strong connection and an obligation to bring his voice, his music, and his story to the one place where it can be presented in all its glory – Broadway! I can’t wait for you all to become a part of A Wonderful World.”

Maestra Music, the Obie Award-winning nonprofit organization founded by Georgia Stitt to support the women and nonbinary musicians in the musical theatre industry, is pleased to announce hosts Tony Award-winner Bonnie Milligan and Tony Award-winner J. Harrison Ghee for this year’s Amplify 2024, directed by Jessica Ryan (Between Riverside and Crazy Live Broadcast). This fourth-annual concert and fundraising event features stories, conversations, and musical performances from an impressive array of Broadway stars, composers, music directors, and more. Amplify 2024 will take place on Monday, March 25, 2024, at 8:00 pm at Sony Hall (235 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036). Tickets for the in-person event are on sale now at maestramusic.org/amplify/.

Amplify 2024 celebrates the rich creativity and ingenuity of Maestras in musical theatre, ranging from legendary to emerging talents.

The performers showcasing the musical brilliance of renowned composers and lyricists in this diverse and dynamic lineup embody the spirit of creativity and inclusivity in musical theatre including Tony Award-winner Santino Fontana (Tootsie), Two-time Tony Award-nominee Amanda Green (Mr. Saturday Nightand Hands on a Hardbody), Brooke Ishibashi (Into the Woods, Broadway), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Parade, Broadway), Mary Kate Morrissey (Wicked, Broadway), Liam Pearce (How to Dance in Ohio, Broadway), Jasmine Amy Rogers (BOOP! The Musical, Chicago), Sushma Saha (Interstate, Off-Broadway), Jordan Tyson (The Notebook, Broadway), Joy Woods (Six, Broadway), and Grammy Award-winning Nicole Zuraitis.

The celebrated composers and lyricists include Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen), Susan Birkenhead (BOOP! The Musical), Amanda Green (Female Troubles), Rebekah Greer Melocik (How to Dance in Ohio), Brandy Hoang Collier, Clare Fuyuko Bierman, and Erika Ji (Yoko’s Husband’s Killer’s Japanese Wife Gloria), Christine Lavin (InunDATED), with newly added Bree Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan (The Mad Ones), Melissa Li and Kit Yan(Interstate) Ingrid Michaelson (The Notebook), and Lynne Shankel.

Music Director Julianne B. Merrill (My Son’s A Queer) leads a band made up entirely of Maestra members: Monica Davis (violin), Ann Klein (guitar), Mary Ann McSweeney (bass),  Merrill (piano), Noelle Rueschman (reeds), Shirazette Tinnin (drums), and Clerida Eltimé (cello). Kristy Norter serves as the Music Coordinator and Lexi Vollero is music assistant.

  • Date & Time: Monday, March 25, 2024, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:30 pm)
  • Venue: Sony Hall, 235 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036
  • Tickets: maestramusic.org/amplify/

Len Cariou

The Theatre World Awards Board of Directors has announced two of the individuals to be honored at 78th Annual Theatre World Awards to be held on Monday evening, June 10, 2024 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at a Theater Venue TBA. Tony Award winner Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Little Night Music, Applause) will receive the 11th Annual John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, while acclaimed theatre journalist Peter Filichia will receive a 2024 TWA Special Awardfor his quarter-century of service to the organization. The recipient of the 15th Annual Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater, and the 2024 Theatre World Award Honorees for Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway Debut Performance will be announced in early May.

Hosted annually by well-known theater journalist, Peter Filichia, the 78th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony will be produced by Theatre World Awards, Inc. Board of Directors/Dale Badway. The Musical Director is Michael Lavine.

Theatre World Award winner (1979) Ken Jennings who played ‘Tobias’ in the original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd will perform in a musical tribute to Len Cariou.

Patricia Birch, Harold Prince, Candide

Patricia Birch, Choreographer, Harold Prince, Director Photo Stephen Sorokoff

Amas Musical Theatre (Donna Trinkoff, Artistic Producer), New York City’s award-winning pioneer in diversity and multi-ethnic casting in the performing arts since 1968, will celebrate its 55th Anniversary at its annual Gala Benefit Concert on Monday, May 13, 2024 at Baruch Performing Arts Center (Engelman Recital Hall) One Bernard Baruch Way (25th Street -between Lexington & 3rd Avenues). For more information, please visit http://www.amasmusical.org/. The evening will benefit Amas Musical Theatre’s education programs.

The gala evening will begin at 6:00pm with a champagne toast. At 7:00pm the evening continues with a concert performance of “A Lotta Night Music,” directed by Jonathan Cerullo. A cast of Broadway luminaries will perform songs from such shows as Grease, They’re Playing Our Song, and A Little Night Music, among others. Teens from The Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy will be part of the evening.

The evening will culminate with the presentation of the 2024 “Rosie” Award to Honorees award-winning choreographer and director Patricia Birch (A Little Night Music, Parade), Tony Award-wining actor Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd, Applause), and Butler Tibbets, a beloved corporate sponsor for Amas programs for many years.

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