Connect with us

Entertainment

What to Watch in The New Year: May 1

Published

on

We Have To Hurry Love will get a second chance this spring in a benefit live stream production of We Have To Hurry, airing May 1 and 2 on Broadway on Demand. The play by Dorothy Lyman stars Tony nominee Kathleen Chalfant, Elliott Gould, and Jeanne Lauren Smith.

Dorothy Lyman

Patricia Vanstone directs the play, which follows a pair of mature people forced to commune from across a balcony due to new isolation protocols. When Gil notices the secret love of his life, Margaret, growing increasingly frustrated with the situation, he takes action to make every moment left count.

Sound design and technical support are by Josh Liebert.

Producers Stuffed Olive, Inc. and Davina Belling will donate all proceeds to The Actors Fund Home East and West. Owned and operated by The Actors Fund, the residences offer short-stay rehabilitation, assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care services for individuals who have dedicated a major portion of their professional lives to the performing arts and entertainment.

11:45pm: Tarantula Georgie Henley, of The Chronicles of Narnia film series, stars in the new one-person play by British playwright Philip Ridley (The Fastest Clock in the UniverseRadiant VerminThe Pitchfork Disney).

London’s Southwark Playhouse will stream the production live from The Little for three performances only.

The story centers on Toni’s teenage first kiss in this play about “identity, memory, love, and the lengths it takes someone to free themselves from the web of their past.” Wiebke Green directs.

6pm: John Lloyd Young By Request: Live From Las Vegas @ 9PM ET
Jersey Boys Tony winner John Lloyd Young (above) returns to The Space in Las Vegas for an intimate concert of songs chosen entirely by fans and ticket holders. The performance is followed by a VIP after-party as well as a special bonus post-show.

7pm: An Evening with Sheldon Harnick and Friends is an intimate evening giving audience members some of the celebrated songs Mr. Harnick has created in his astonishing 60+ year career, it includes his collaborations with composers such as Richard Rodgers, Joe Raposo, Michel Legrand, and—of course—Jerry Bock. Sprinkled with some behind-the-scenes anecdotes from such hit shows as Fiorello!, She Loves Me, and Fiddler on the Roof, as well as the lesser-known Tenderloin, The Rothschilds, Rex, and Dragons.  A rare treat for musical theater buffs of all ages, this event was created by Mr. Harnick especially for The York Theatre. This evening is presented under the auspices of the Theater Authority, Inc. 7pm: Three-time Tony Award winner, Pulitzer Prize winner, and Oscar Hammerstein Award recipient Sheldon Harnick is joined on stage by Tony Award nominee Liz Callaway(Miss Saigon), Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba (Contact), and Rebecca Luker(The Sound of Music) in her last stage appearance. The music director is Jeffrey Saver, with Special Guest Margery Grey Harnick.

Leading into the evening, James Morgan, York Producing Artistic Director, shares a special birthday conversation with Sheldon and Margery.

Available on demand through Friday, May 14, 2021. Reservations are required.

7:30pm: Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur Grand opera at its most deliciously over the top, Cilea’s diva showcase concerns an 18th-century Parisian stage actress who falls headlong for the impecunious Count of Saxony and is consequently poisoned by a bouquet of faded violets sent by her romantic rival, the scheming Princess of Bouillon. The melodrama unfolds against the composer’s most beguiling and passionate score, which fits into the heightened, emotionally turbocharged tradition of verismo.

8pm: Jane Austen’s PERSUASION Song Cycle What did we do on our CoVid quarantine vacation? With a baseline of Beethoven’s glorious chamber music, director/lyricist Emily King created a series of 9 songs which capture, each in their unique way, the flavor, plot and characters of PERSUASION, Jane Austen’s last completed, least read and most fiercely defended novel.

Twelve remarkable singer actors and eleven musicians are creating a wholly original, completely Pastiche way of bringing you back in time with our latest technology.

Diverse and distanced, gorgeous and witty, liberating talent from Canada to Israel and all over the US, for Austen, Beethoven and musical theater fans all over the world. Ludwig calls the tune as we celebrate Jane Austen, and her ability to create happy endings in her stories, when real life so often sadly disappoints.

8pm: The Lost Garden It’s been over a year since NYC theaters closed and immersive theater workers lost their livelihoods due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The very nature of what makes immersive theater poignant—intimate performances in shared spaces—makes it particularly difficult to reopen immersive shows even as other art spaces slowly return.

In order to directly benefit immersive theater workers who are still struggling financially and to bring together the immersive theater community, The Lost Garden is both an ambitious fundraiser and a dynamic free virtual show that includes performances by over 50 immersive artists. 

100% of the funds raised will be distributed directly to immersive artists and workers who are in need because of the pandemic. 

8pm: Beyond the Veil at Radial Park (and from home) Resounding’s outdoor festival of in-person immersive audio continues at NYC’s Radial Park—and you’re invited to enjoy in-person or from home.

Tony nominee Montego Glover and Broadway alum Quentin Earl Darrington star in Beyond the Veil, a ghost thriller by Steve Wargo.

A thrilling, chilling, spine-tingling ghost play for your ears about a small town doctor, wracked with grief, who recounts the strange tale of another grieving family in his care, and their joint decision to seek the aid of a Spiritualist medium to help them “lift the veil” between the worlds of the living and the dead to bring them closure. What they find “beyond the veil” will haunt you long after the séance has ended.

8pm: Missed Connections Jon Tai and Alex Gruhin’s live, interactive play with magic begins its run of livestreamed performances as part of 59e59 Theaters’ Plays in Place series. Inspired by the work of writer Haruki Murakami, philosopher Marshall McLuhan, and magician Derek DelGaudio, Missed Connections is a magician’s cosmic love story—one that explores the fleeting bonds that can emerge between total strangers. Audiences can experience the magic for themselves through May 20.

8pm: Take Me Back to Manhattan Alysha Umphress, Kyle Taylor Parker, Isaac Mizrahi, Catherine Russell, and more perform in this virtual concert filmed at the famed Caryle Hotel. The night highlights the special affinity the American Songbook has had with New York City and features over 20 musicians performing classics from the American Songbook.

Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana

8pm: Stars in the House Cinderella Reunion with Peter Bartlett, Victoria Clark, Santino Fontana, Ann Harada, Harriet Harris, Laura Osnes and Phumzile Sojola.  Donations tonight will be matched up to$7,500 by The Paula Kaminsky Davis Charitable Foundation!

GrahamFest95 Martha Graham Dance Company’s 95th season culminates in a three-day virtual festival featuring livestreams of Martha Graham classics, the Company premiere of Elisa Monte’s signature work, Treading (1979); four solos by Sir Robert Cohan; Lamentation Variations by Kyle Abraham, Richard Move, and Nicolas Paul; and the duet from Troy Schumacher’s The Auditions, created for the Company in 2019.

The festival also features a collaborative project with international art gallery Hauser & Wirth. This collaboration involves the creation and premiere of four films that place three Graham dances and one Cohan work in conversation with the works of four acclaimed visual artists—Rita Ackermann, Mary Heilmann, Luchita Hurtado, and Rashid Johnson.

The festival wraps up with a closing-night Zoom cocktail event with the dancers. GrahamFest95 runs Friday, April 30–Sunday, May 2.

The Waves in Quarantine: A Theatrical Experiment Begins Raúl Esparza leads a star-studded cast, including Alice Ripley, Carmen Cusack, Nikki Renée Daniels, Darius de Haas and Manu Narayan, in this musical adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves for Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Watch through May 28.

Brutal Imagination  Joe Morton and Sally Murphy reprise their roles for this audio production of Cornelius Eady’s play, which premiered at the Vineyard Theater in 2002.

Slow Food A vacationing couple heads to a Greek restaurant in Palm Springs for their anniversary dinner — but will the marriage survive the service?

International City Theatre presents a virtual presentation of Slow Food, a tender, uproarious comedy by Wendy MacLeod, directed by Marya Mazor.

The Destruction of Jane Edgar Rice Burroughs will be spinning in his grave this spring. A new seven-part miniseries, inspired by the infamous film Tarzan the Ape Man, debuts this month.

The Destruction of Jane is an unauthorized parody of the King of the Jungle is told from the point of view of Miss Jane Parker. 

Weekly installments premiere on Thursdays.  

The miniseries stars stars Paul Pecorino and Rob Eco as Jane and Tarzan, respectively, and features special cameo appearances by Mario Cantone and Randy Rainbow. The show is written by Paul Pecorino and directed by Drue Pennella.

Set in the current COVID-19 pandemic, this comedy follows Jane to the African jungle where she meets and falls in love with the spectacular specimen we all know as the legendary Tarzan. The 1981 Tarzan film became a massive financial hit due to its dizzyingly unintentional bad taste, and screenwriter Paul Pecorino has set out to push these offensively vulgar boundaries even further.

The creative team includes director of photography Erik Paulsen, composers Drew Fornarola and David Nehls, musical arranger Paul Doust; costumes & wigs designer David Mitsch; makeup & wig styling designer Vera Stromsted and Donanyely Mejia and Marty Thomas; and specialty costumes designer Gail Baldoni. The Destruction of Jane is presented by Pure Motion Pictures.

Back to the Future: From Screen to Stage Ahead of the Back to the Future musical opening in the Adelphi Theatre on August 20, BFI at Home presents an online discussion with members of the cast and crew about how the hit film became a full-fledged stage musical.

The Baltimore Waltz Mary-Louise Parker, Eric McCormack and Brandon Burtom star in this livestreamed production of Paula Vogel’s play. Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, The Baltimore Waltz is based on the love and adventures of a brother and sister, one of whom has a fatal disease and was the winner of the 1992 Obie Award for Best New American Play.

Black Feminist Video Game Enter Jonas: a biracial teenager with autism. Jonas broadcasts all aspects of his life online, including a disastrous first date with his crush, Nicole. Desperate to regain her affections, he dusts off a long-ignored gift from his mother—a classic 2D “Black feminist video game”— hopeful that the game will grant him the key to winning Nicole back. But Jonas soon discovers that, with only the Game Master and his friend Sabine to guide him, he must confront his own misperceptions of the women in his (real) life, or risk losing not only the game but also his first chance at love. In this mashup of live performance, video game design, and online interaction, Jonas and Sabine stream their play on Twitch and find their path through the game together. Along the way, you’ll help (or hinder!) their progress by responding in real time to the choices they make.

This production is a national collaboration with presenters 59E59 Theaters’ Plays in Place Program, Center Theatre Group, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and co-commissioner Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College.

Caesar: A Surround Sound Experiment This immersive listening experience based on William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar airs at 8PM ET through April 29. Designed for headphones and lunar light, the production is a benefit for The Actors Fund.

Little Gem Amber, Lorraine, and Kay, three generations of North Dublin women, find themselves suddenly facing the unexpected. Young Amber’s case of indigestion grows into something more, while her mother Lorraine reluctantly attempts therapist-suggested self-care, and Grandmother Kay struggles with a personal itch while adjusting to life as a caretaker for her beloved Gem. In this hilarious and poignant award-winning work, three women find strength in one another and discover the beauty and complexity of family.

Irish playwright Elaine Murphy’s debut play, Little Gem, premiered at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2008 where it won the Fishamble New Writing Award. It then transferred to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, the festival’s top prize. 

This new digital production was filmed remotely at the actors’ homes in Connecticut, London, and New York. It is an adaptation of Irish Rep’s acclaimed 2019 production. Until May 9th.

Romeo & Juliet Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor star in a film of London’s National Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet. It premieres on PBS as part of the Great Performances series. 

I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical West End regulars Luke Bayer, Charlotte O’Rourke, Lucas Rush and Charlotte Anne Steen star in this streaming production of Alexander S. Bermange’s musical revue. Audiences can watch the journey a wide-eyed drama school graduate takes to become a difficult diva through May 12.

The Gett, Starring Tovah Feldshuh will be available to stream on-demand through April 30. Proceeds benefit Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Congregation Beth Elohim.

The Gett is a Jewish myth about divorce and how we salvage and recover meaning through profound loss and ancient ritual. ​​

Written by Liba Vaynberg and directed by Daniella Topol 

Featuring Tony and Emmy nominee Tovah Feldshuh, Peter Mark Kendell, Alfredo Narciso, and Vaynberg. 

The Woman’s Party Clubbed Thumb presents the world premiere of The Woman’s Party. Originally slated to premiere as part of the 2020 Summerworks Festival, the piece will now premiere virtually.

Written by Rinne B. Groff and directed by Tara Ahmadinejad, The Woman’s Party has been divided into three 30-minute episodes.

1947 is the year that the savvy politicos of the National Woman’s Party will finally get the ERA passed once they quash that insurgency—or oust the old guard. The Woman’s Party takes place 27 years after the ratification of women’s suffrage, when the Equal Rights Amendment was poised for passage. 

The cast includes Rosalyn Coleman, Alma Cuervo, Laura Esterman, Marga Gomez, Marceline Hugot, Emily Kuroda, Lizan Mitchell, Socorro Santiago, Rebecca Schull, and Connie Winston.

Sitting and Talking, Starring Dan Lauria and Wendie MalickLaguna Playhouse presents Dan Lauria and Wendie Malick in the Southern California premiere of Sitting and Talking.

Created and written specifically for the zoom platform, Lia Romeo’s charming, deeply heartfelt play follows a man and woman in their 60s as they navigate the vulnerable, awkward, and sometimes hilarious path to companionship via online dating during quarantine. 

Two Sisters and a Piano Emmy winner Jimmy Smits and Daphne Rubin-Vega star in a streaming production of Nilo Cruz’s 1999 play presented by the new streaming theater company New Normal Rep. Cruz also serves as director for the work that follows follows two sisters serving time under house arrest in Cuba, and the lieutenant assigned to their case who falls in love with one of them.

Cheyenne Jackson, Ted Sperling, More Sing Adam Guettel’s Myths & Hymns (Episode 3) 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. 

The Wandering an immersive theatrical experience inspired by the music of Franz Schubert, is set to premiere online and in real life on April 15–May 15.

Part visual album, part queer drama, and part communal live experience, The Wandering transports participants into a wonderous environment that unfolds both online and via physical tasks and ephemera shipped directly to audiences.

At its heart, The Wandering uses a queer lens to examine the love and pain that divided Schubert while taking guests on a journey that radically reshapes how classical music can be presented.

The Wandering is created by newcomers Calista Small and Jeremy Weiss in collaboration with filmmaker Lara Panah-Izadi, designer Charlotte McCurdy, animator Zach Bell, theater artist Christine Shaw, graphic and print designer Irina Wang, web designer TanTan Wang, and executive producer Max Sauberman.

Neat: Manhattan Theatre Club presents a virtual performance of Charlayne Woodard’s play that originally premiered in 1997. Neat is an inspiring portrait of a young woman’s coming of age, and her realization that some of life’s most difficult times can also be the most fulfilling.

Zoo Motel Step into this virtual odyssey that combines interactive live theater, gripping storytelling, cinematic illusions, and magic all in one creative hour of surprises.

Theatre Exile invites you to check into Zoo Motel, devised by director, designer, and performer Thaddeus Phillips in 2020 as a quarantined experiment that offers a window into what’s possible for live performance — a world where audiences from around the globe can share a mind-bending adventure in the comfort of their own home.

Broadcast live and online from one room in a South American village, Zoo Motel takes you on a journey to Spain, Japan, the Mojave Desert, and other parts of the world alongside fellow motel guests.

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. 

Fat Ham: world premiere of the digital production of Fat Ham by James Ijames from Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater will now stream April 29-May 23.

The play, a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is being filmed on location in Virginia, and shot as a one-take film to retain the real-time storytelling of a play.

It is directed by Morgan Green and stars Brennen S. Malone, Taysha Marie Canales, Kimberly S. Fairbanks, Jennifer Kidwell, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, Brandon J. Pierce, and Lindsay Smiling. 

Shadow/Land Michelle Wilson, Te’Era Coleman, Lizan Mitchell, Lance E. Nichols, Lori Elizabeth Parquet and Sunni Patterson star in the world premiere of Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s audio play. The drama is set amidst the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and is part of the Public Theater’s digital stage.

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. 

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. Extended through May 6th.

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.

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.

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.

Members Don’t Get Weary In the seventh decade since the Company’s founding, the extraordinary dancers are continuing Alvin Ailey’s legacy by moving viewers around the world with their brilliant artistry.

In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, Ailey All Access will premiere broadcast of Jamar Roberts’ Members Don’t Get Weary.

The work is “a response to the current social landscape in America… an abstract look into the notion of one ‘having the blues.” Roberts’ deep appreciation for jazz comes through in his use of saxophonist and composer John Coltrane’s music, 50 years after the legend’s death.

The work uses the dancing body paired with this distinctive music and lighting to inspire the audience, allowing them to momentarily transcend their own personal blues.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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

Book Reviews

The Glorious Corner

Published

on

G.H. Harding

GORDON OH GORDON — (from The Guardian) In the 1960’s and 70’s, no serious rock fan viewed the drummer Jim Gordon with anything but awe. By the 80’s, none of them viewed him with anything but contempt, a 180-degree turn that led to his virtual erasure from the culture. Even four decades later, when the veteran music journalist Joel Selvin first tried to sell publishers on a book meant to tell Gordon’s story with nuance and depth, they balked. “They would debate it for months and then say, ‘Nope, can’t do it,’” Selvin said. “It was almost impossible for them because of what he had done.”

In 1983, he entered his mother’s house and began to attack her with a hammer, crashing it into her skull four times before grabbing a knife and stabbing her repeatedly, the final time with such force it pinned her to the floor. Soon after her resulting death, Gordon was arrested, charged and convicted of murder, and spent the next four decades in prison, before dying this past March at 77. Over the years, several prominent articles have been published that tried to trace the outlines of Gordon’s story, ascribing his heinous act to an diagnosed case of schizophrenia that forced him to hear voices and experience hallucinations. Yet only in Selvin’s new book, Drums & Demons, does the reader get a feel for the full horror of his disease and the mess it made of his mind. “In one of his hallucinations, he thought he was in a jail cell that was on fire,” Selvin said. “To me, that was a metaphor for Jim’s whole life. For him, life was a jail cell that was always on fire.”

Despite the chaos that created, both for Gordon, and increasingly, for those around him, Selvin aimed to tell his story with empathy. Only after the drummer’s death was, he able to finally convince a publisher to go along. “The guy got so little compassion,” he said. “I wanted readers to know just how impossible Jim’s life was and how brave he was in battling the disease.”

At the same time, the author meant to “restore Jim’s peerless legacy. Who has done more to put his mark on our music than Jim Gordon?” Selvin said. “What a playlist he was on!”

Just tracing the surface of Gordon’s contributions reveals more than 100 classic songs powered by his invention and finesse. In his early studio work, he appeared on an entire chart’s worth of pop hits, by acts like the Beach Boys, Ike & Tina Turner, the Byrds and Glen Campbell. By the 70’s, he became a key member of pivotal rock bands, including Delaney & Bonnie, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Derek and the Dominos and Traffic. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley of California, Gordon became entranced by the power of the beat from childhood. He played in bands by puberty and, by 17, helped flesh out demos for the publishing arm of Liberty Records. That same year, he joined the Everly Brothers on a tour of England and, afterwards, became part of the storied Wrecking Crew, a loose collection of studio musicians who played on a dizzying range of 60’s hits. “Back then, there were loads of great studio drummers,” said Lenny Waronker, a legendary producer and record executive whose career started in the same west coast studio milieu of the 60’s. “Jim was able to plow through that. All the other musicians were amazed by him.”

Gordon’s role on those storied sessions extended way beyond the simple task of keeping time. “He wasn’t just a backbeat guy,” Selvin said. “He was a fully musical drummer who embedded his playing into the core of the composition.”

For instance: in the 70’s hit, Grazing in the Grass, by the Friends of Distinction, Gordon’s drum elaborated the song. “Even though there was a chart in which every note was written out for him, he added a Latin boogaloo feel that exploded the whole record,” Selvin said.

The fills and intonations he added to Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain contoured the melody and directed the listener’s ear to the record’s subtler touches. “Jim orchestrated that entire song from the drum stool,” Selvin said. In Maria Muldaur’s number one smash Midnight at the Oasis, he added a key samba groove, while in Steely Dan’s Rikki Don’t Lose That Number, the tricky beat he devised deepened the song’s debt to jazz. In doing so, “Jim became an important part of the hit-making process,” Selvin said.

Mark Lindsay, frontman of the hit group Paul Revere & the Raiders, immediately noticed Gordon’s gift after he was hired to drum on their song The Great Airplane Strike. “He was doing this polyrhythmic thing with a kick, a snare and a high hat, accented by tom-toms,” Lindsay said. “He changed the song up so much that I wound up rewriting half of my lyrics to fit was he was doing! Jim became the conductor of the track.”

Waronker recognized the same level of creativity on Sundown, a song he produced for Gordon Lightfoot that became a number one hit. “His drum part made the song move in its own way,” he said. “It’s a specific rhythm that Jimmy picked up from Gordon’s guitar. It became one of the most important parts of the song.”

In the 70’s, Gordon expanded his range to work with rock’n’roll’s most cutting-edge bands on the road. “When you listen to his live work with Mad Dogs & Englishmen or Derek and the Dominos, he’s unleashed,” Selvin said. “The ideas just flow from him.”

At the same time, the voices that were roiling inside his head began to find disturbing external expression. In an infamous incident on the Mad Dogs tour, he hauled off and punched his then girlfriend, the singer Rita Coolidge, in the head. “Here was a guy who was noted for being gentle, smiling and laid back,” Selvin said. “But that was just the mask he wore.”

Some people were already beginning to see through it. “[The singer] Claudia Lennear said she always wondered about that smile,” Selvin said. “It was too simple. She felt he was hiding behind it.”

“Jim had such genius,” Lindsay said, “but I sensed there might be something lurking behind the curtain.”

To Selvin, Gordon’s talent can’t be separated from his torment. “The level of intuition that Jim displayed

in his playing requires a certain electro-chemical makeup,” he said. “His highly personal style had to come from the same place in the brain that produced his schizophrenia.”

At the same time, the focus and power involved in playing drums gave Gordon a refuge from the cyclone of thoughts whipping through his head. “The combination of the resonance of the drums and the rhythmic entertainment of the groove produces a hypnotic feeling that can lift you out,” Selvin said. “Nothing calms a schizophrenic faster than a Walkman and a pair of headphones. For Jim, the drums provided a place where the voices couldn’t follow.”

Strangely enough, the herculean amount of recreational drugs Gordon took at the time also had a calming effect. “You would think that the massive amounts of cocaine he did would make things worse,” Selvin said. “But I talked to psychiatrists who said that it would normalize his dopamine levels. He was doing blow to feel normal.”

Similarly, the crazy rock’n’roll lifestyle of the 70’s, which Gordon exemplified, served as a cover for his increasingly aberrant actions. “The rock scene of the time was nearly indistinguishable from psychotic behavior,” Selvin said with a rueful laugh. “Jim just blended into the background.”

It helped that, at the time, he was still soaring creatively. In 1973, Gordon devised a pair of drum patterns that proved crucial to the development of two separate genres. His work on the Hues Corporation’s smash Rock the Boat, with its high-hat syncopations and danceable beat, helped patent the rhythms of disco. Similarly, his extended break on the song Apache, paired with the congas of King Errisson, became a foundational pattern in hip-hop that was later sampled ad infinitum. “When Kool Herc found Jim’s long drum break on Apache, he discovered that he could make it bound from one turntable to another forever,” Selvin said. “He was driving crowds nuts with that sound.”

By late in 1973, however, Gordon’s beat, and sanity, were beginning to seriously waver. He viciously attacked his wife Renee Armand, cracking several ribs in the process, ending their marriage. His work with the would-be country-rock super group Souther-Hilman-Furay Band grew so erratic they had to sack him. While he managed to keep it together in the studio for a few more years, by 1978 Gordon proved too unreliable to be employed.

In a reporting coup, Selvin acquired research that helped fill in Gordon’s inner life during that pivotal time. He found two women who, in the late 80’s, had gained the drummer’s cooperation for a book that never got off the ground. The notes they took gave Selvin access to jail house interviews with Gordon along with his medical records and related court documents. (Selvin sent several written requests to interview Gordon himself but they went answered.) Regardless, the research he acquired from the women allowed him to put the reader deep inside the musician’s roiling mind.

The voices Gordon heard shamed him so deeply, he rarely told anyone about them, which contributed to him never getting a proper diagnosis. His mother, one of his closest witnesses, believed that drinking and drugs were his problem rather than a symptom of something far more corrosive. While Gordon began to imagine that many people were torturing him at the time, the main voice in his head was his mother’s. “Because Jim’s father was a practicing alcoholic, his mother became the sub rosa leader of the household,” Selvin said. “That’s why she became the major figure in this panoply of voices hectoring him.”

As a result, it was her voice that he felt the most urgent need to silence. Once details of the subsequent murder came out, some observers who knew Gordon in his high functioning days were floored. “When I knew him, he was a tremendously nice person,” Waronker said. “He was the all-American boy.”

Selvin’s book describes what led up to the murder in granular detail, but he doesn’t write much about Gordon’s subsequent decades in prison because, he said, he found it undramatic. Often keeping to himself, Gordon became a virtual zombie due to the anti-psychotic drugs the prison pumped him with. Rare as Gordon’s particular case was, one key reason Selvin said he wrote his book was to let readers know how common various forms of schizophrenia are. “To me, the single most astonishing fact of the research I did was that schizophrenia affects one in 100 people,” he said. “Let that sink in: Multiple sclerosis affects one in 10,000! We see these people out in the street, hearing voices all the time. Their world is totally frightening. And I have nothing but compassion for them. Unfortunately, society doesn’t.”

The other key reason Selvin wrote Drums & Demons, he said, was to restore Jim Gordon to the popular music world. “He’s gone,” he said, “and he needs to come back.”

Drums & Demons: The Tragic Journey of Jim Gordon is out on 27 February.

SHORT TAKES —New bio on the Bee Gees by music-wiz Bob Stanley. The group, one of my all-time favorites, were huge, but in many ways never got the respect they deserved. Many people don’t realize that Robert Stigwood, who masterminded them to the top, used to work for Brian Epstein.I’m eagerly waiting for this one. From Pegasus BooksWe watched Anatomy of a Fall and loved it. Its long, but fascinating and intense. A French legal drama, directed by Justine Triet from a screenplay she co-wrote with Arthur Harari. A great cast, especially Milo Machado-Graner, as the boy Daniel …

I watched the opening SNL monologue, with host Shane Gillis -who was fired from the cast for some racial slurs-. A sort of Adam Sandler-wanna be, I didn’t find him funny in the least. He actually reminded me of a low-rent Louis C.K. -remember him?

Lorne Michaels

I don’t know why Lorne Michaels would even want him back, except for some splashy ink – which wasn’t terribly kind. This appears to be Michael’s next-to-last year on the show and he’s clearly choosing to go out quietly. No more gas in the engine I fear …

AppleTV+ has a new show Constellation with Noomi Rapace. Stunningly done; reminds me of Gravity from a few years back … And, Happy Bday Paul Undersinger and George Harrison!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — William Schill; Anthony Noto; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Derek Taylor; Charles Comer; Howard Bloom; Mark Bego; Phil Goldstein; Tropique Records; Marsha Stern; Beth Wernick; Marion Perkins; Les Schwartz; Liz Rosenberg; Bob Merlis; Obi Steinman; Andrew Sandoval; Warren Lawrence; Jodi Ritzen; Jeremy Long; and CHIP!

Continue Reading

Art

Bonnie Comley Nothing To Wear

Published

on

Bonnie Comley stepped into the art world last night. She and ChaShaMa presented a piece called “Nothing To Wear”, at 340 East 64th Street, which is an interactive installation, a thought provoking look at fast fashion and body image. This provocative look at our relationship with our clothing choices as it pertains to our self image, fast fashion and textile waste, challenges the fashion industry to create an alternative to current business models and the global appetite for consumption. “Nothing to Wear”, asks viewers to question dress codes like the current policing of women in political office, facilitates self-reflection on biases regarding our own clothing and the community around us as uniform, self-expression, or just protection from the elements of weather.

Also involved were Sarah DeMarino – Co-Producer/Director, Leah Lane – Soundscape Monologue Writer and Jasper Isaac Johns the Exhibit Designer.

Sarah DeMarino and Dallas Bernstein

At the opening and on certain dates Hannah Durant Joe Guccione and Dallas Bernstein perform monologues that coincide with the project. These mini playlets were insightful and thought provoking.

Hannah Durant Joe Guccione and Dallas Bernstein

In attendance were:

Anita Durst and fashion designer Shani Grosz

Cooper Lawrence, Dr. Robi Ludwig, Errol Rappaport, Bonnie Comley, Quinn Lemley, Suzanna Bowling, Shani Grosz and Merrie Davis

Anita Durst and Bonnie Comley

Danielle Price, Bonnie Comley and Andrina Wekontash Smith

Guest and Bonnie Comley

Guest and Bonnie Comley

Alyssa Ritch Frel and Bonnie Comley

Guests

Bonnie Comley and guests

Riki Kane Larmire

Bonnie is a three-time Tony Award-winning producer. She has, also, won an Olivier Award and two Drama Desk Awards for her stage productions. She was recently re-elected as the Board President of The Drama League. She is a full member of The Broadway League and the Audience Engagement and Education Committee. Comley has produced over 40 films, winning five Telly Awards and one W3 Award. She is also the founder and CEO of BroadwayHD, the world’s premier online streaming platform delivering over 300 premium live productions to theatre fans globally. The theatre community has honored Comley for her philanthropic work; she is the recipient of The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, The Drama League Special Contribution to the Theater Award, The Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons and The Theater Museum Distinguished Service Award.

Stewart F Lane and Bonnie Comley

ChaShaMa helps create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world by partnering with property owners to transform unused real estate. Currently, they present 150 events a year, have workspace for 120 artists, and have developed 80 workshops in under served communities. They have awarded 11 million dollars worth of real estate to artists and have subsidizes another 300 with work spaces. They provide over 215 free art classes and have supported over 75 businesses with free space

To see Nothing to Wear click here

Continue Reading

Art

New-York Historical Society Celebrates Women’s History Month

Published

on

Throughout Women’s History Month, the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street), will showcase women’s stories through exhibitions, installations, and public programming.

On International Women’s Day, renowned Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick and New-York Historical’s Chief Curator Wendy Nālani E. Ikemoto will be in conversation over a live, free Zoom discussing WalkingStick’s exhibition Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School, on view at New-York Historical through April 14. Other exhibitions and displays on view throughout March include Women’s Work, an exhibition that demonstrates how “women’s work” defies categorization; Women Who Preserved New York City which explores how Shirley Hayes, Margot Gayle, and Joan Maynard galvanized communities to save historic buildings and places; and Serving Style: Ted Tinling, Designer for the Tennis Stars, which turns a spotlight on the designer who made many of Billie Jean King’s iconic looks. On March 3, the ninth annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History will center on exploring how we understand “care.”

Additional details follow:A Conversation with Kay WalkingStickFeaturing: Kay WalkingStick, Wendy Nālani E. IkemotoFriday, March 8, 6 – 7 pm ETFree | Presented live on ZoomCelebrate International Women’s Day with this online event featuring renowned Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with New-York Historical’s Wendy Nālani E. Ikemoto. WalkingStick is the focus of our acclaimed exhibition Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School, which places her work in a fascinating dialogue with 19th-century Hudson River School paintings and explores the relationship between Indigenous art and American art history. They’ll discuss WalkingStick’s remarkable career, her recent invitation to the Venice Biennale, and her decades of work reimagining and reframing the American landscape.Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River SchoolOn view through April 14Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School places landscape paintings by the renowned, contemporary Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with highlights from New-York Historical’s collection of 19th-century Hudson River School paintings. This artistic dialogue showcases the ways in which WalkingStick’s work both connects to and diverges from the Hudson River School tradition and explores the agency of art in shaping humankind’s relationship to the land. The exhibition celebrates a shared reverence for nature while engaging crucial questions about land dispossession and its reclamation by Indigenous peoples and nations and exploring the relationship between Indigenous art and American art history.Women’s WorkOn view through July 7Presented by the Center for Women’s History, Women’s Workshowcases approximately 45 objects from New-York Historical’s own Museum and Library collections to demonstrate how “women’s work” defies categorization. The items range from a 19th-century mahogany cradle to a 20th-century doctor’s dissection kit to a pinback button with the message “Shirley Chisholm for President.” The exhibition seeks to demonstrate that women’s work has been essential to American society and is inherently political: Women’s work is everywhere.

Women Who Preserved New York CityOn view through June 9This installation explores how three women—Shirley Hayes, Margot Gayle, and Joan Maynard—galvanized communities to save historic buildings and places. Each subverted gendered expectations that limited them to the domestic realm and instead led campaigns to protect the historic cityscape.Serving Style: Ted Tinling, Designer for the Tennis StarsOn view through June 23Our installation turns a spotlight on the designer who made many of Billie Jean King’s iconic looks. King and Tinling had a tremendous influence on the visibility of women on the tennis court. King’s tenacity and commitment for equal rights, together with Tinling’s bold designs, challenged conventions about what women can do, emphasizing that women can be simultaneously powerful, strong, and feminine.

On and Off the Clock: Reconsidering Women’s WorkSunday, March 3, 12—5 pm ET$4; Free for Women’s History Council MembersThe ninth annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History will center on exploring how we understand “care.” Across three linked panels, we probe what “care” means, who does the work of caring, and what services get pushed to the margins by our current social policy framework. The conference will culminate with a keynote conversation on reproductive care. Reception to follow.

Continue Reading

Broadway

Days of Wine and Roses” the Musical Ages Like Cut Flowers, Rather Than Wine in its Transfer Uptown to Broadway

Published

on

By

This is my second shot of The Days of Wine and Roses, after seeing it at the smaller Atlantic Theatre off-Broadway stage, and unlike the wine mentioned in the title, time played with it like the roses. The musical, about a doomed couple destroyed by alcoholism, did not thrive, like fine wine, but wilted like cut flowers in a bigger vase. The larger stage of Studio 54, as hoped, did not make this drink taste any better for me, but it did make me notice some of the sharper tones that I must have overlooked before, leaving a slightly bad taste that still lingers in the back of my throat after swallowing.

With a book by Craig Lucas (I Was Most Alive with You) and distancingly complex music, lyrics, and orchestrations by Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza), Days of Wine and Roses does continue to deliver musical “magic time” in an effort to give us some abundance. It flows forward, trying to make us drunk with its intricate chocolate flavors of a Brandy Alexander, but left me cold outside in the murky waters that it tries to overlook. “What’s your tragic story?” he asks, as the two soon-to-be lovers drift forward, far too abruptly, into the choppy suburban sea of coupledom, isolation, and cocktail hours, shaken and stirred with complicated textured notes of sadness and need.

The music is soaring, in an operatic repetitive way, melodramatically hitting high, without giving much depth, much like what lives at the core of the 1958 teleplay and 1963 movie “Days of Wine and Roses” on which this new musical is based. Although the film, starring the magnificent Lee Remick and Jack Lemmon, never gives these two characters a moment to sing, even as the two fall madly in love, the premise is ripe for some introspection and investigation. These are their days of wine and roses, we are told, but here, in this sometimes compelling, but surprisingly distancing musical, the songs fling themselves out like a distress call for help from an isolated island, heaving with the intense feelings of being stranded, desperate, and seemingly on their own, but flailing in the choppy waters trying to connect. Even during the more enjoyable drunk song numbers, which are more fun and entertaining than some of the other more ‘meaningful’ songs.

Brian d’Arcy James and Kelli O’Hara in Broadway’s Days of Wine and Roses. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The musical’s ideas have depth and courage, and are delivered pitch perfectly by the two magnificent leads who carry most of the vocal weight and baggage. Brian D’Arcy James (Broadway’s ShrekInto the Woods) vocally ushers forth a Joe Clay that swings wide and true, sounding, quite possibly almost as brilliant as Kelli O’Hara (Broadway’s Kiss Me, Kate) in her role as the beautifully kind Kirsten Arnesen, the young secretary (that’s what they called them back then) who had not found the flavor of alcohol appealing until that fateful night. We watch with nervous anticipation as the drink is lifted to her lips, knowing what is in store. We hope that she doesn’t drink the Kool-Aid that Joe keeps pushing. And then they are off to the races, finding melancholy melodies in both the drunken pleasures and pain of addiction.

It’s a quick dive into the dark and dirty waters of this quicksand river. It jumps forward with wild drunken abandonment, never really feeling authentic this time around, but somehow forced and perplexing. Each song, particularly the more dramatic ones, seems to stop the story in its tracks, like a drunk trying to regain its balance as it walks down the street. The moments feel somehow true and isolated from us all at the same time, keeping us at a distance and never really engaging with us enough to want to join in with the emotional story. When the Kirsten character asks Joe if they can go somewhere other than that first scene party, it struck me as odd, as the book up to that moment has painted Joe in pretty negative annoying tones. Why she was the one who suggested that an intimate outing would be something she wanted at that exact moment didn’t really make sense. But if he had been the one asking, I could have believed, that after a little thought, she might have agreed to it, but this way around? It didn’t sit authentically true for me.

The music hangs big and bold between them, delivering the depth of their destructive ways, while keeping them isolated from the outside world (including us) that keeps shining a light on the problems that are approaching. The voices of the two leads are really the best part of this construction, with the other characters, under the direction of Michael Greif (2ST’s A Parallelogram), doing their best to step into that light, especially David Jennings (Broadway’s Tina) as Joe’s AA sponsor, Jim Hungerford, who wisely underplays this pivotal role rather than presenting a sermon. There is also the troubled father of Kirsten, played intently by Byron Jennings (Broadway’s Harry Potter…), who flounders a bit in the foreground, worried and angry about the road his daughter is taking, yet seeing clear that he has little power to challenge her path.

Brian d’Arcy James and Kelli O’Hara in Broadway’s Days of Wine and Roses. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Guettel pours out song after jagged song, exposing the twisted engagements that are taking over their lives. It’s troubling and upsetting to watch, and sometimes very difficult to follow along with the lyrics, even when so beautifully sung. The songs teeter on melodrama and mayhem, and the two leads strive forward, wobbly, leading us through the tangled path they are taking. The ideas and formulations don’t exactly mesh and blend in with each other, separating songs from the action, and the heart from the formula, all on an awkwardly complicated set designed by Lizzie Clachan (National Theatre’s The Witches). The piece somewhat stays far too close to the expanse of the film version, struggling to keep up, and crowding the stage more and more as it gets closer to the final blackout. I went in hoping that with the larger Broadway stage, a sharpening of its visual could have settled the piece, simplifying the locations and finding other ways to tell this tale without bringing a room full of plants, coffeeshop counters, and a motel room into the already crowded picture.

With determined costumes by Dede Ayite (Broadway’s Topdog/Underdog), simple lighting by Ben Stanton (Broadway’s Good Night, Oscar), and a solid sound design by Kai Harada (Broadway’s Kimberly Akimbo), the piece never shuffles with ease. This isn’t a hummable show, more akin to an opera led by two, at least in the beginning, before their daughter, Lila, dutifully portrayed by Tabitha Lawing (Atlanta Opera/Alliance’s The Shining), begins to join them in their vocal union, expanding what is at stake, from a pair to something more. Lila and her mother’s correspondence is one of the few moments that actually registered on the emotional spectrum inside, while the rest blurred together like a movie viewing after one too many martinis.

Under the watchful eye of choreographers Sergio Trujillo (Broadway’s Next to Normal) and Karla Puno Garcia (Netflix’s tick, tick…BOOM!), and backed most gorgeously by the score courtesy of music director Kimberly Grigsby (Broadway’s Camelot), The Days of Wine and Roses rolls forward drunkenly playing a tender but blurry game of hide and seek, teasing us with highend music and magnificent performances, but leaving us, somewhat unsettled and distant from this fragmented and choppy musical melodrama.

Kelli O’Hara and Brian d’Arcy James in Broadway’s Days of Wine and Roses. Photo by Joan Marcus.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Continue Reading

Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Sweeney Todd’s New Cast

Published

on

Aaron Tveit and Sutton Foster joined the Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd February 9th, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. They replaced Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford, who both earned 2023 Tony nominations for their leading performances in the production.

The Tony Award winning Tveit stepped into the role of Sweeney Todd, which is his first Broadway role since he originated the lead, Christian, in Moulin Rouge! The Musical. He is also known for his performances in Wicked, Catch Me If You Can, Hairspray, and Rent. Tveit has also portrayed several musical theatre roles on screen, such as Enjolras in the film adaptation of Les Misérables (2012), as well as Danny Zuko in Fox’s Grease: Live (2016). In television, he was Gareth Ritter on BrainDead, Tripp van der Bilt on Gossip Girl, Mike Warren on Graceland, and Danny Bailey/Topher in Schmigadoon!.

Foster’s last Broadway role was Marian Paroo in the 2021 revival of The Music Man, which earned her a Tony nomination the following year. She has earned six additional nominations and she is a two-time Tony winner for Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes. Her other credits include Violet and Little Women. In 2016, she starred opposite Aaron Tveit and Betty Buckley in the Stephen Schwartz revue Defying Gravity in Australia. She appeared in the Off-Broadway revival of Sweet Charity and was in the miniseries Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life opposite her ex-husband, Christian Borle. She made guest appearances on The Good Wife and Mad Dogs, she is known for her role as Liza Miller in Younger. A month earlier she wow’d audiences as Winfred in the Encore production of Once Upon A Mattress.

Now the two are winning raves in this macabre masterpiece of musical theatre,

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles

Times Square Chronicles