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What To Watch July 28th To Take Away The Blues

What To Watch July 28th To Take Away The Blues

Photo credit: Walter McBride

Black Theatre Week By Black Theatre Networks from July 27–31, with a host of stage artists taking part in tributes, readings, and more. 

Following a welcome address from BTN President Andre Harrington and Vice President Chris Berry, Tony Award winner André De Shields (Hadestown) will host a 50th anniversary celebration for New Federal Theatre, honoring Artistic Director Woodie King Jr., July 27.

Later events in the week (all free and open to the public) include a conversation between Tony-nominated playwright Dominique Morisseau (Ain’t Too Proud) and political analyst Dr. Michael Eric Dyson moderated by playwright Michael Dinwiddie (July 28); a presentation of two-person plays focusing on the Black LGBTQAI+ experience (July 29), a panel with The Roots’ Tarik Trotter and Oscar winner John Ridley on their upcoming musical Black No More (July 29); and a showcase of upcoming seasons by culturally Black theatres across the U.S. (July 31).

4pm: CyberTank Variety Show By The Tank, hosted by Hannah Erdheim

4pm: Adaptive Platforms for Artist Resilience By Creative Capital. This conversation will explore ways in which artist-centered organizations are pivoting to accommodate artists’ needs during COVID and evolving in the process. Panelists will share what tactics they’ve used to maintain community and share resources through repurposing, expanding, and innovating their programs. Kyle Dacuyan will moderate the panel featuring Ali Rosas-Salas, Wes Taylor, and Tara Aisha Willis.

Click here to sign up for the session. You can also watch it on YouTube. 

4pm–9:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar Tonight’s scheduled pianists are James Merillat (@James-Merillat-2) and Franca Vercelloni (@Franca-Vercelloni).

4:30: Playbill’s Stream Stealers: O. T. Fagbenle Playbill’s interview series Stream Stealers continues with O. T. Fagbenle. Most recently seen as June’s husband Luke Bankole in The Handmaid’s Tale, Fagbenle has been treading the boards since the early ’00s. Among his stage credits are Porgy and Bess in the West End and the Olivier-winning revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

5pmMusic and Mind Live with Renée Fleming launched in 2016 under Fleming’s leadership with Dr. Francis Collins. The program is a partnership between the Kennedy Center and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

5pm: Watch Me Work: Suzan Lori Parks She’s back. A meditation on the artistic process, and an actual work session, featuring Suzan-Lori Parks working on her newest writing project. Traditionally hosted on the mezzanine of The Public Theater Lobby, this new version will bring the program to your home via Zoom sessions and HowlRound livestreams.

6pm: Dramatists Guild and Lilly Awards By Dramatists Guild. For the first time, the Dramatists Guild of America will join with the Dramatists Guild Foundation and the Lillys to announce their annual awards, which will be streamed across various platforms. Presenters will include Lynn Nottage, Stephen Schwartz, Hallie Foote, Chisa Hutchinson, Sarah Ruhl, Kirsten Childs, Heidi Schreck, and more, to be announced at a later time.

 This year’s Dramatists Guild awards go to Michael R Jackson, recipient of the Hull-Warriner Award and the Frederick Loewe Award for his musical A Strange Loop; Kia Corthron, recipient of the Flora Roberts Award; Lydia Diamond, recipient of the Horton Foote Playwriting Award; and Madhuri Shekar, recipient of the Lanford Wilson Award.

The Dramatists Guild Foundation’s awards go to Khiyon Hursey, recipient of the Stephen Schwartz Award; and Erika Dickerson-Despenza, Julia Meinwald, and Benjamin Velez, co-recipients of the Thom Thomas Award. The DGF is also presenting a new award celebrating comedy writers in the name of the beloved actress Georgia Engel. The inaugural recipient will be announced later.

 The Lilly Awards will be announced on the day of the event. The awards will include the Stacey Mindich Go Write a Play Award, the Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award, the Williamstown Theater Festival Commission, and the Lillys Lifetime Achievement Award.

7pm: Broadway Busker Concerts: Ben Wexler (Washington Square, 2019 Jonathan Larson Grant Winner), is a composer, lyricist, and educator. He is a 2019 Jonathan Larson Grant Winner and 2018 Fred Ebb Award Finalist. His writing includes Washington Square (with Kirsten Childs), Key Change (Rodgers Award Finalist), and BLOCKED (TWUSA Commission). Ben is the Artistic Director of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, and an adjunct lecturer at Columbia Law School.

The Broadway Buskers concert series is curated and hosted by Ben Cameron.

While the concerts are FREE to stream, we encourage audiences to donate to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, which provides resources and emergency financial assistance to those within the entertainment community who have been impacted by the pandemic, and the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, in support of their ongoing efforts to help Broadway heal, listen and become an anti-racist and equitable community.

7pm: Eva Price Tony Award-winning Broadway producer of Oklahoma!, Jagged Little Pill, who was just announced on the inaugural list of Crain’s Notable LGBTQ Leaders & Executives, will launch a new podcast called “My First Show” exclusively on Broadway Podcast Network. The first episode, featuring Emmy nominated TV & Broadway star Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family,”...Spelling Bee, Fully Committed), launches tonight. 

7:15: Piano Bar Live! This week Michael Orland, the Bleam Sisters, Ashley Argota, Dan Bauer, Hadiza Dockeray, Robin Lyon, Julie Sheppard, Nancy Timpanaro-Hogan and Peter Allen Vogt.

7:30pm: Puccini’s Tosca In his classic potboiler, Puccini stirs together some of humanity’s strongest motivating forces—love and loyalty, fear and cruelty—to create an operatic thriller that sinks its teeth into the listener with the opening chords and never lets go. Taking place in Rome in 1800, the story concerns a fiery yet devoted diva, the painter/revolutionary she loves, and a sadistic police chief determined to crush political rebellion and claim Tosca for himself. All three are among opera’s most indelible characters.

8pm: The Producers Prospective with Danny Burstein.

8pm: The Innkeepers Queens Theater. A woman convenes four guests to a rural inn for a reckoning with the fast in Novid Parsi’s murder mystery The Innkeepers, presented as part of the New American Voices Summer 2020 Virtual Reading Series. Kate Bergstrom directs.

8pm: Stars in the House: TBA


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:

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