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What to Watch in The New Year: May 21

What to Watch in The New Year: May 21

Still Ready: Originals Created and performed by Christina Acosta Robinson and Ken Robinson. Directed by Robert Barry Fleming. Commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville

They met at the Yale School of Drama, got married, and became parents. He writes songs, she’s a poet and visual artist, and both have navigated careers as Black performers on the Great White Way. Presented as three unique offerings, this music-filled docuseries shares the creative partnership between the Robinsons, in love for more than a decade and still surprising each other all the time.

Camille A. Brown – A Glimpse Behind The Curtain MTC’s Snapshot Series presents Camille A. Brown – A Glimpse Behind The Curtain. Conceived and created by Tony Award nominee Brown, featuring Juel D. Lane, with a prologue and original music by Daryl Waters.

Camille A. Brown 

Visit the virtual stage for a rare and intimate look inside the mind and creative process of this superstar director and choreographer as she prepares for her re-envisioned production of the landmark musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, an upcoming co-production between Westport Country Playhouse and Barrington Stage Company.

Wine in the Wilderness Virtual Play Reading As part of Roundabout Theatre Company and Black Theatre United’s Refocus Project, Dominique Rider directs this reading of Alice Childress’ play, which centers on struggling artist Bill Jameson, who is working on his masterpiece: a triptych representing the different aspects of Black womanhood.

The Zip Code Plays: Los Angeles Antaeus Theatre Company highlights the culture and history of six additional Los Angeles neighborhoods with Season 2 of its popular The Zip Code Plays: Los Angeles podcast series.

The latest installments will introduce audiences to the geographically, historically and culturally diverse locales of Echo Park (90026), West Hollywood (90069), Inglewood (90303), Pacoima (91331), North Hollywood (91601) and Monterey Park (91754). 

Brutal Imagination: Vineyard Theatre Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern announce the company’s second original cast benefit reading, reuniting renowned actors Joe Morton (“Scandal”) and Sally Murphy (August: Osage County) for Oppenheimer Award-winning playwright and poet Cornelius Eady’s (Vineyard’s You Don’t Miss The Water) play, Brutal Imagination. Directed by Joe Morton, this digitally-staged reading includes video design by Jared Mezzocchi and is available for on demand streaming through June 3.

Twenty years after first premiering at The Vineyard in 2001, Brutal Imagination remains a potent examination of racial attitudes in America. The play is based on Eady’s poem cycle which explores the notorious 1994 incident in which Susan Smith, a white woman from South Carolina, claimed that a Black man had kidnapped her children. The FBI searched for the man until Smith confessed that she had invented him and had in fact drowned her children. Brutal Imagination, two voices inside one consciousness, brings this invented man to life.

Joe Morton shares, “One of the things that sparked coming back to Brutal Imagination was the Amy Cooper incident when she was using race and the police department as a weapon against a man who was actually doing her no harm. It reminded Cornelius and me about what this play is about.”

5pm: Sip & Sing, Kyle Barisich hosts this virtual weekly sing-a-long event that welcomes new Broadway stars each episode. Sip & Sing is presented by iHeart Broadway and Bay Street Theater, Sag Harbor Center and Milojo (Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ production company).

7pm: Adventurephile by Melissa Li and Kit Yan Keen Company Hear/Now presents the world premiere of a newly commissioned audio play by Melissa Li and Kit Yan.

Welcome to Adventurephile, the only podcast that takes listeners on unforgettable journeys to unexplored destinations. On this episode, we travel to an uninhabited island off the southern coast of China. This trip is going to be so good, it’s scary.

Directed by Morgan Green, Adventurephile will feature Stephanie Mieko Cohen, Emiko Dunn, Kennedy Kanagawa and Zachary Noah Piser. Adventurephile will have sound design by Fan Zhang and musical direction by Mona Seyed-Bolorforosh. The audio play will be stage managed by Norman Anthony Small and audio engineered by Garrett Schultz.

7pm: The 87th Annual Drama League Awards The winners of the 2021 Drama League Awards are announced during this prerecorded event. This year, the League highlights extraordinary digital theatrical productions released during the COVID-19 pandemic.

7:30pm: Verdi’s Nabucco The breakthrough opera that launched Verdi from all but unknown to one of the most revered composers in history is a four-act biblical epic about an embattled Babylonian king driven mad by his blasphemous belief in his own divinity. The work features a wondrous roster of supporting characters, including a spitfire role for the soprano who portrays his scheming daughter, as well as some of the most stirring choral music ever written for the operatic stage.

8pm: Uncorked with Broadway Laura Dreyfuss, Alfie Boe, Laura Benanti, Megan Hilty, Danny Burstein, Elaine Paige and many more stage stars come together to support Teen Cancer America for this virtual wine tasting and music showcase. The live video event benefits teens and young adults with cancer and features appearances and performances by Broadway stars, along with top sommeliers presenting four wines.

8pm: Broadway Stories & Songs w/ Ted Sperling The first edition of Broadway Stories & Songs will feature Sperling in song and conversation with an exciting group of Broadway talents, including Betsy Wolfe, Jose Llana, Elizabeth Stanley, Jason Danieley, Victoria Clark, and Meghan Picerno + John Riddle.

The weekly, hour-long, live concert events will stream live from the DiMenna Center in New York City.

8pm: Stars in the House Annie Reunion with Andrea McArdle, Danielle Brisbois, Shelley Bruce, Diana Barrows, Robyn Finn, Donna Graham, Sarah Jessica Parker, Janine Ruane and Sasha Charnin Morrison.  Donations tonight will be matched up to $3,000 by Dennis Ballard and Steven O’Neill!

This American Wife on demand May 29. Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley are returning to the world of live internet theatre with their deep dive into the world of reality TV—and America’s obsession with them. This American Wife, first seen at New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door series in 2018.

Presented by FourthWall Theatrical, in association with Fake Friends and Jeremy O. Harris, the latest iteration is a multi-camera, live-streamed, dark comedy investigation into the obsession, idolization, and all-consuming-hunger sparked by the women of The Real Housewives franchise.

In addition to the co-conceivers, the production will also feature Jakeem Dante Powell (Slave Play). This American Wife escapes from the real world to play out scenarios, texts, and choreographies from the massively popular and endlessly memed franchise. As the boys travel deeper into the dark walk-in closets of their minds, they are forced into crises of desire, repulsion, identity, and autobiography.

Once Upon A (korean) Time Daniel K. Isaac’s Once Upon A (korean) Time mixes traditional Korean fables with the horrors of the Korean War, and is an analog for the experiences of the Korean American diaspora.

In addition to Isaac, the reading stars Diana Oh, Jon Norman Schneider, James Seol, David Shih, Shannon Tyo, and Jeena Yi.

Stream on demand through May 23. 

Herding Cats Starring Jassa Ahluwalia, Greg Germann, and Drama Desk nominee Sophie Melville, Herding Cats by Lucinda Coxon is a chillingly funny play about a generation negotiating intimacy and independence in the 21st century.

Meeting the demands of modern life is as impossible as herding cats for Justine, Michael and Saddo. To deal with work, Justine talks—a little too much—to her roommate Michael who earns a living by chatting with strangers like Saddo. But all three will soon find that in a cold, disconnected world, words may not be enough.

Directed by Anthony Banks, this revival of Coxon’s play uses the technical feats that adventurous theatre artists have discovered during the pandemic and combines them with the raw intimacy of in-person performance. This first-of-its-kind, transcontinental event features Ahluwalia and Melville performing for an in-person audience on Soho Theatre’s London stage with Germann performing live via video from the United States.

This production contains distressing themes of sexual abuse. If needed, you may seek help from the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline. (Click here to access their website.)

Christiane Noll: Coming Alive Again TheaterWorks Hartford and Goodspeed Musicals announced today present Christiane Noll: Coming Alive Again.

Fourteen months of quarantine, a Broadway shut down, a roller coaster of good news and bad news, but Tony-nominee Christiane Noll is optimistic. With a little caution and a lot of hope, she’s ventured out of her home to share an intimate cabaret. A thoughtful, moving and funny (virtual) concert experience exploring themes of motherhood and complex women, through the lens of a Broadway artist navigating a crazy COVID-paralyzed world.

Broadway, the Maye Way Cabaret legend Marilyn Maye celebrates her 93rd birthday with a new streaming concert at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Filmed live at the venue, audiences can enjoy the show through May 29.

Carry On Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan This event is being streamed online through BroadwayWorld Events. There will be no in-person audience.

Broadway’s Jeremy Jordan, known for his powerful voice and provocative storytelling, returns to the stage with his most ambitious and personal performance to date. Equal parts humor and heartache, Carry On takes us deep into Jeremy’s new life as a father. Unpacking and attempting to reconcile his own complicated childhood, Jeremy soon discovers there is more to being a parent than he could have ever imagined. Featuring an array of musical styles, as well as some never-before-heard songs, Carry On has been thoughtfully reimagined for the virtual stage after winning multiple awards for its premiere at Feinstein’s/54 Below just over a year ago. Featuring musical direction by Benjamin Rauhala.

Black Beans Project Huntington Theatre Company presents Black Beans Project, a world premiere digital work by Huntington artist-in-residence Melinda Lopez and Joel Perez.

In the play, created specifically for a virtual presentation, Lopez and Perez play siblings who reconnect online to share a secret family recipe that forces them to reveal secrets of their own.

Black Beans Project is available for on-demand streaming May through 30. 

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.

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.

Animal Wisdom Heather Christian’s Animal Wisdom will unfold on screen rather than on stage. The writer-performer’s show originally debuted at The Bushwick Starr in 2017 but now gets a film adaptation. 

In Animal Wisdom, singer-songwriter-soothsayer Christian lays to rest the souls that haunt her, shape-shifting between rock star, folklorist, and high priestess, as she conjures a constellation of souls in an effort to confront her family’s mythologies.

Amber McGinnis directs the film, with stage direction by Emilyn Kowaleski. The cast also includes Sasha Brown, Eric Farber, B.E. Farrow, and Maya Sharpe.

The film is presented by Woolly Mammoth Theater Company and American Conservatory Theater. 

Capricorn 29 The Tank and Post Theatrical present Capricorn 29 by Alex Hare and Julia Izumi. The show is directed by Hare and co-produced with Sami Pyne.

On the eve of her 29th birthday, a Very Online millennial stumbles upon a curious conspiracy theory: the powers-that-be have initiated a new capitalist plot to eliminate unsuccessful 30 year olds. What sounds at first like the byproduct of someone watching too many dystopian films from the 1970s quickly proves harder to dismiss. And as the countdown to 30 begins, surviving and saving a generation may be the opportunity one young-ish adult needs to finally fulfill her rapidly fading potential.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Waiting for Godot Directed by Scott Elliott, the classic features Tony nominee Ethan Hawke as Vladimir, Tony recipient John Leguizamo as Estragon, Wallace Shawn as Lucky, rapper Tarik Trotter as Pozzo, and Drake Bradshaw as Boy.

In Waiting for Godot two wanderers wait by a lonely tree, to meet up with Mr. Godot, who they hope will change their lives for the better. Instead, another couple of eccentric travelers arrive, one man on the end of the other’s rope.

The creative team also includes production designer Derek McLane, costume designer Qween Jean, sound designer Justin Ellington, director of photography Kramer Morgenthau, editor Yonatan Weinstein, and associate director Monet.

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.

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.

Events

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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