What To Watch September 20th To Take Away The Blues
The Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction By Broadway Cares. There are 84 silent auction items up for bid until 5 pm Eastern on Sunday, September 20. Among the theatrical treasures up for bid are handwritten and signed musical phrases from Hadestown, Once on This Island, Rocky and Waitress, and items signed by Kristin Chenoweth, Charlie Cox, Bryan Cranston, Andrew Garfield, Cynthia Erivo, Harvey Fierstein, Andrew Garfield, Tom Hiddleston, Larry Kramer, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Liza Minnelli, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Sondheim and many more.
Early bidding on live auction lots has ended. This auction will culminate in a live Zoom-room bidding battle at 5 pm Eastern on Sunday, September 20. The Live Zoom Auction is at capacity and is no longer accepting attendees.
The fan-favorite Autograph Table and Photo Booth shifts online as one-on-one video meet-and-greets with Broadway stars. Reserve yours now.
The special guests signed up for the private chats are Alex Brightman, Lilli Cooper, Gavin Creel, Colin Donnell, Andrew Barth Feldman, Celia Rose Gooding, Adrianna Hicks, Taylor Louderman, Lesli Margherita, Isabelle McCalla, Ryan McCartan, Rob McClure, Abby Mueller, Patti Murin, Eva Noblezada, Samantha Pauly, Andrew Rannells, Jelani Remy, Krysta Rodriguez, Kyle Selig, Jenna Ushkowitz, Marisha Wallace, Adrienne Warren and Patrick Wilson. Special guests are subject to change.
Celebrating the beloved tables that in other years would have lined the streets of the theater district, “Flea Market finds” will feature unique bundles from celebrated Broadway shows and theatrical organizations. Among the shows and organizations represented in these special finds are the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, Beetlejuice, Broadway Green Alliance, Broadway Makers Alliance, Broadway Pins, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hadestown, Hamilton, Moulin Rouge!, Six, United Scenic Artists and Wicked. There will also be a special package of opening night gifts from Freestyle Love Supreme, Fun Home and Mary Poppins.
Fans can buy special eBay “buy it now” bundles leading up to the event as a way to be part of the day.
Every dollar donated during the virtual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction will help those across the country affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other critical illnesses receive healthy meals, lifesaving medication, emergency financial assistance, housing, counseling and more. The donations also support and champion organizations focused on social justice and anti-racism.
Last year’s Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction raised $870,167. Since 1987, the 33 editions of this highly anticipated annual event have raised $15.4 million.
2pm: A Marvelous Party Noel Coward Foundation A starry British cast (Judi Dench, Stephen Fry, Cush Jumbo, Emma Thompson et al) read from the works of Noel Coward
2pm: Macbeth Gorilla Rep “Double, double toil and trouble.” Gorilla Rep’s Macbeth mixes witchcraft, prophecy, and murder. Shot shot entirely in close-up on actors’ iPhones, this film is truly unique. Alexis Solosky of the Village Voice writes, “Director Christopher Sanderson has crafted a vigorous, vivacious production… an appropriate balance between telling the story and conveying subtleties… Magical…”. The director and select actors will be available for Q & A after the film.
3pm: Music From Broadway Afar Watch a concert featuring some of your favorite Broadway stars including Ciara Renée, Matt Doyle, Ali Ewoldt, and Syndee Winters. The concert supports Citizens of Song.
4pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar scheduled pianists are Adam Michael Tilford (@Adam-Tilford-1) and Dan Daly (@DanDalyMusic).
6pm: Company of Angels: The Art of Facing Fear Join the United States cast of the international digital play, The Art of Facing Fear!
Produced by Company of Angels and Rob Lecrone, in co-production with Os Satyros (Brazil) and Darling Desperados (Sweden)
The Art of Facing Fear, a one-hour virtual play, is a wildly surreal and cathartic experience inspired by our current world situation. It is unlike anything you may have seen on digital theatre, a truly wild and immersive encounter.
In a possible not-too-distant dystopian future, with the quarantine at 5,555 days, a diverse ensemble of individuals deal with the stress and fear of being confined to home during this time of pandemic. The main themes of the performance are the effects of the Corona virus on everyday lives, as well as an encroaching authoritarianism and intolerance which threatens our life, liberty, and identity as free people of the world. Amidst all this is hope.
Opening in São Paulo, Brazil to audiences of as many as 600 viewing devices per night, and followed by an African/European run featuring a cast from three different continents, The Art of Facing Fear arrives in the United States Saturday, September 5th and runs through Sunday, September 27th. This U.S. production features a cast of actors performing from across the U.S., including California, New York, Oregon, Nevada, Georgia, and Alaska.
7pm: The Incels available for 96 hours afterwards at urbanstafges.org. IN DEVELOPMENT. Tom and Derrick are incels, or “involuntary celibates:” depressed, bitter men who can’t get girlfriends. Tom records his manifesto on his vlog, telling tales of fruitless encounters with women, as well as his plan to rid the world of sexuality. Derrick has a YouTube channel in which he teaches other men how to survive in the backwoods and obsesses about the young woman he’s stalking. Pat is a MGTOW (“Men Going Their Own Way”) who teaches incels how to find happiness in a solitary lifestyle. When Tom and Derrick turn violent, can Pat convince them to put down their guns?
7pm: 20 & Under Sing 20 & Over Antoine L. Smith (Carousel, The Color Purple), Emily Bautista (Miss Saigon, Les Misérables Tour), and Tally Sessions (Company, Anastasia) will be making appearances in 20 & UNDER SING 20 & OVER, a virtual cabaret celebrating Broadway musicals written at least 20 years ago, by having rising stars (under the age of 20) pair up with actors from the Broadway or touring company of each show! All donations from the event will benefit The Actors Fund.
The concert will feature the talents of Will Burton (Hello, Dolly!, An American in Paris), Julian DeGuzman (Newsies, Miss Saigon), Hannah Florence (Anastasia, Gigi), Paul HeeSang Miller (The King and I, Miss Saigon), Christine Cornish Smith (My Fair Lady, Cats), Sam Strasfeld (Mary Poppins, An American in Paris), and Adrienne Walker (The Lion King, Kiss Me, Kate), partnered with rising stars Renée Agben, Giulia Arlia, Michela Arlia, Joshua Boyce, Molly Greenwold, Will Gurley, Raphael Kummer-Landau, Sophia Levit, Diana Marie Paunetto, Jamir Reef, Kira Safier, Ezra Tock, and more to be announced soon. Casting is subject to change.
7:30: Bellini’s Norma Bellini’s fiery masterpiece about a strong-willed priestess in love with a Roman soldier is a supreme vehicle for singers with a flair for high drama and seemingly limitless technique. The opera’s standout arias, full of filigreed passagework and florid runs, have put many daring singers to the test, but also perfectly capture the turbulent psychological states of the main characters as they endeavor to make sense of their conflicted emotions.
Pig Iron Theatre Company: Zero Cost House Reimagined Toshiki Okada’s Zero Cost House Zero Cost House charts Toshiki’s physical and ethical journey through that time. And Toshiki’s writing–as deeply interior as Samuel Beckett’s, and with a flair for the super-casual that reminds you of Annie Baker–seems ideally suited to Zoom. Toshiki’s company in Japan is called “chelfitsch”–a play on the English word “selfish.” His characters always have one eye on themselves–which, when you think about it, is what we all are doing on Zoom these days.
The piece is 2 hours long with one 5 minute intermission. The 7 performers will be beaming in LIVE from their homes in Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angles. We can guarantee there will be no line at the bathroom. We can’t guarantee the internet won’t be glitchy, on your end or ours–but, well, that’s life in 2020.
8pm: The Seth Concert Series: Judy Kuhn! starred last season as Golde in London in the sold-out production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Menier Chocolate Factory, a role she also played on Broadway in 2016. On Broadway, the four-time Tony Award nominee starred as Helen Bechdel in Fun Home (Tony & Drama League Award nominations) a role she created in the original Public Theater production for which she won the 2014 Lucille Lortell Award. Also on Broadway she starred in the Roundabout’s hit revival of She Loves Me (Tony nomination); and the original Broadway productions of Chess (Tony & Drama Desk nomination); Les Misérables (Tony & Drama Desk nomination); Rags (Drama Desk nomination); Two Shakespearean Actors (Lincoln Center Theatre), Alan Menken & Tim Rice’s King David; and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Other select theater includes: The Visit by John Kander, Fred Ebb & Terrence McNally at The Williamstown Theater Festival; Fosca in the much-lauded production of Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine’s Passion (Drama League Award nomination); the inaugural season of Encores! Off-Center in The Cradle Will Rock; US premiere of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. In the West End she starred in Metropolis (Olivier Award nomination). Judy sang the title role in Disney’s Pocahontas as well as the in the sequel Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World.
Seth Rudetsky’s internationally acclaimed Broadway concert series that first began in Provincetown at The Art House in 2011 will debut as a weekly virtual series entitled The Seth Concert Series. Presented by Mark Cortale the series premiered ten years ago and is currently housed in more than a dozen major venues worldwide. In its new format, the series will continue to offer viewers a seamless mix of behind-the-scenes stories prompted by Rudetsky’s insightful, funny and revealing questions – and the music from the artists’ stellar careers.
The Seth Concert Series is hosted by Sirius XM host and Playbill contributor Seth Rudetsky. While normally held in Provincetown, Massachusetts, under the Broadway @ Art House banner, the performances will be held indoors from the stars’ homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
8pm: Virtual Rule of 7×7: September Edition By The Tank RULE OF is an ongoing series that premieres 7 brand-new 10 minute plays by 7 different writers. For each show, every playwright comes up with one rule, then the 7 playwrights create new plays using all 7 rules. Hosted and produced by Brett Epstein.
8pm: Brian Nash has been a proud member of the Duplex staff since 2003. Brian works extensively on the Broadway and off-Broadway theater scene, and is the Music Director and Orchestrator of the off-Broadway hit, SILENCE! The Musical. He was a producer on Bare: The Musical for its recent revival off-Broadway and is a resident music director and performer for Atlantis Events worldwide. His cabaret work with Natalie Joy Johnson has earned them recognition from the Village Voice and has been named one of the Top 10 Cabaret Acts by TimeOut New York. Brian has also music directed for Andy Bell of Erasure, Tonya Pinkins, Julia Murney, Rob Evan, Mandy Gonzales, Michael McElroy, Jonathan Hellyer, Trevor Ashley, and many others. His piano playing was recently extensively featured on alternative pop band Boys Like Girls 2012 album, Crazy World (Columbia Records). Other recent theater projects include The Last 5 Years (Asolo Rep) , A Night In Seville (Epic Theater Ensemble), Crossing Brooklyn (Transport Group), Writing Arthur and Something’s Wrong With Amandine at TheatreWorks New Works Festival in Palo Alto, CA, Writing Arthur at NAMT with Kelli O’Hara and Ana Gasteyer, The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds I and II and But I’m A Cheerleader for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and A Broadway Diva Christmas, starring Ellen Greene and Kathy Brier. Other NYC and regional credits include Songs for a New World, The Sexless Years, Red, Lend Me a Tenor, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Rocky Horror Show. Brian has produced albums for singer/songwriters Justin Tranter, Shanna Sharp, and Stacy Allyn Baker, recently performed at Town Hall, the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Birdland with Natalie Douglas, and produced and produced Kate Pazakis’ debut album, Unzipped: Live at the Zipper for PS Classics. Brian is in extensive demand as a pianist and singer throughout NYC and has played sold out concerts of the music of Tori Amos; he is also been a featured performer on Rosie and Kelli O’Donnell’s r family vacations cruises. His first songs were written for two recent editions of TheATrainPlays, and were featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. Brian holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree from Boston Conservatory and studied record production at Berklee College of Music. For more info, please visit BrianJNash.com.
8pm: Tape After 10 years, three self-absorbed people are forced to reckon with the unresolved trauma of a high school love triangle. It’s about friendship and sexual betrayal, rivalry, and retribution. It raises questions about how we face the truth when others’ truths differ from ours.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim birthday was March 22nd and somehow I missed it. His masterpiece Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway originally March 1, 1979, at the Uris Theatre (now the Gershwin). His newest revival opened Sunday, March 26th at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. So here’s to you Steve.
Broadway’s Parade, a Masterpiece and Master Class, Not to be Missed.
With a blast of bright white light, the Broadway revival of Parade marches itself forcibly onto the stage, surging from the sidelines once the love-making center stage comes to an end. It’s a compelling beginning, one that, as it turns out, doesn’t really add a whole lot to the proceedings. But the show finds its strong footing soon after. No doubt about it. I didn’t really understand the full need for the sexual interaction between the young soldier (Charlie Webb) and his pretty young companion (Ashlyn Maddox) that takes place in those first few moments, as well as the consistent reappearing of that same soldier, 50 years later, as an old man (Howard McGillin) throughout, other than to remind us that the old Confederate way of thinking still flies its flag strong and true. Even if the flags they are waving in this production of Parade make us feel uneasy and unsure.
Overall, the compounding effect is captivating and intense, as this musical, with a book by Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy), music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown (Songs for a New World; The Last Five Years), and originally co-conceived by Harold Prince (West Side Story), stands strong, taking on race, antisemitism, and prejudice in “The Old Red Hills of Home” South. It dutifully dramatizes the disturbing but true story of a 1913 trial of a Jewish factory manager who was wrongly accused and convicted of raping and murdering a thirteen-year-old young girl and employee of the factory. The musical revival is as timely as can be, and as surefooted as one could hope for. And as directed carefully and artistically by Michael Arden (Broadway/Deaf West’s Spring Awakening), Parade delivers on all fronts.
After a well-received short run as part of New York City Center’s Encores! series, this tense and sharp musical finally has made its way back. I didn’t really know much about this musical, but I was surprised to hear that it first premiered on Broadway in December 1998 starring Brent Carver and Carolee Carmello in the two lead roles. It won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score (out of nine nominations), not surprisingly, and six Drama Desk Awards. And I’m guessing the accolades will come pouring in once again when the Tony Award nominations are announced.
Portraying that doomed factory manager, Leo Frank, Ben Platt (Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen) once again finds power and passion in abundance, striding back onto the Broadway stage both sheepishly and strongly. He grabs hold of the part, demanding justice and the truth for the man who tried his imperfect best to live a dutiful life. Married to his loving wife, Lucille, played spectacularly by Micaela Diamond (Broadway’s The Cher Show), the pair seems well-matched, both in their characterizations and their vocal expertise. Their singing and emotionality soar, especially in Lucille’s “You Don’t Know This Man” and Leo’s captivating Statement, “It’s Hard to Speak my Heart“, as the piece gets darker and darker, breaking apart our collective hearts as it marches to the end. We all know this is not going to end well for this innocent man, but we are drawn in completely as the two begin, quite quietly, finding a simple and tender, yet complicated connection in their marriage.
We feel their bond as Leo gets ready and makes his way to the office on this odd day of celebration in Atlanta. He sidesteps the parade, which is oddly celebrating the confederacy and a war lost, leaving his wife to picnic alone. We collectively wish he’d stay home, giving in to the gentle pleas of his wife. Things might have turned out so differently if he had. But this is the tale that must be told, to be witness to, as we are simultaneously given a glimpse into the soon-to-be shortened life of Mary Phagan (Erin Rose Doyle), being flirted with by a young boy (Jake Pedersen) about “The Picture Show“, as she rides a trolley car on her way to the factory to collect her wages, at ten cents an hour. The white balloon floats above her head, just like her spirit, simple and buoyant, until it escapes her hand, and floats away from her into the heavens above.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
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