John Christopher Jones, Jamie Sanders, Stephanie Gould, Gregg Mozgala, Katy Sullivan, Christine Bruno, Front Row – Ali Stroker, Shannon DeVido
Working actors with disabilities enumerate their challenges and successes.
By: Patrick Christiano
November 12, 2018: The Drama Desk hosted an informal discussion with professional actors with disabilities moderated by Katy Sullivan, who was recently seen in the Cost of Living at MTC and just happens to be the record holder in the 100 meters at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Participants on the panel at Ripley-Grier Studios in midtown Manhattan were Christine Bruno, Shannon DeVido, Stephanie Gould, John Christopher Jones, Gregg Mozgala, Jamie Sanders, and Ali Stroker. They presented a stimulating look at the world they function in, which is predominately populated by people without disabilities. They face the same challenges of other minorities, adapting to a society that is different from their learned experience.
Joe Ventricelli, Victoria Rae Sook, Mary-Glen-Fredrick
By: Paulanne Simmons
November 11, 2018: If serving dinner is an art, never was this more true than in Shake & Bake: Love’s Labour’s Lost, in which the actors are both characters in Shakespeare’s comedy and waiters serving an eight course tasting menu (created by executive chef David Goldman). The members of the audience (a.k.a. diners) are seated by low tables, on chairs and sofas on the periphery of the room, while the play is performed in the center space.
Karl Green, Ashley D. Kelley, Kadijah Raquel, De’Adre Aziza
By: Samuel L. Leiter
November 11, 2018: Plays not specifically about significant social or political issues are getting increasingly rare, even when their ultimate aim is entertainment instead of polemics. This past week alone I saw works about Robert F. Kennedy, Gloria Steinem, sexual and racial identity, 1969 radicals, the mentally disabled, and the danger of being a black woman in America.
November 10, 2018: Lured, written by Frank J. Avella and co-directed by Carlotta Brentan, is a drama that outlines the brutalization and dehumanization of gays perpetrated by Russian vigilante groups. Against the backdrop of Russia’s federal law banning distribution of materials promoting LGBTQ relationships among minors (anti-Gay Propaganda Law), hatred and violence carried out against the LGBTQ community is on the rise. Vigilante groups, bolstered by Putin’s position and the beliefs of the Russian Orthodox Church, try to validate the idea that homosexuals corrupt minors thereby equating “homosexuality” and “pedophilia.” And who would not want to punish pedophiles?
November 11, 2018: Show business impresario, Jamie deRoy, an award-winning producer, cabaret, stage, film and TV performer celebrated her birthday withmany of her show business friends at Bonds 45 in the Theater District on 46th Street. The festive gathering for her birthday brought together some of Jamie’s nearest and dearest for great food, great drinks and a great time with great people. In lieu of gifts friends donated to The Actor’s Fund, Jamie deRoy & friends Cabaret Initiative.
Christiani Pitts: She’s Not in King Kong Just to Do a Blood-Curdling Scream
November 9, 2018: The 20-foot, 2,000 pound silverback King Kong is no match for Christiani Pitts, the beautiful young actress making a big leap to stardom playing the coveted female lead, Ann Darrow, in the Broadway megamusical King Kong.Of her first leading role, she says, “It’s been an incredible journey after having been in only one Broadway show. I’m so excited, I can cry, In fact, I’ve pretty much cried every day.”
November 8, 1018: Seeing David Arrow’s Kennedy: Bobby’s Last Crusade on election eve 2018 was a bit discomfiting. The play is an informative but less-than-enthralling one-man biodrama about the last year in the life of politician Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968), played by Arrow himself. It exposes the vast distance between Kennedy’s idealism and eloquence and the current level of political discourse. And it’s not because politics back then was any cleaner than now.
November 8, 2018: Something’s not quite right in the small town of Williston, North Dakota.
That much is obvious just from the fact that oil company deal closers Barb (Kate Grimes) and Larry (Robert LuPone) are expected to share quarters in a trailer camp setting (drably designed Graham Kindred, who also designs the lighting). And how is it that their parent company didn’t let them know that they were sending a new numbers guy, Tom (Drew Ledbetter) to bring in the lease on one of the largest and possibly most productive tracts of land? After all, the killer team of Barb and Larry has been working for years on “Indian Jim,” the Native American holdout who is reluctant to allow drilling on his land.
Benefit Gala Honoring Nathan Lane hosted by Matthew Broderick at The Plaza Hotel.
November 5, 2018: The Drama League presented the 35th Annual Musical Celebration of Broadway honoring film, television, theater icon and three-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane. The event at The Plaza Hotel hosted by Matthew Broderick also honored producer Fran Weissler for Visionary Leadership in the American Theater.
Honoree Nathan Lane, Host Mathew Broderick
Photo: Barry Gordin
A Musical Celebration of Broadway honoring Nathan Lane
By: Patrick Christiano
November 5, 2018:Some of Broadway and Hollywood’s brightest stars turned out to honor the incomparable Nathan Lane, a three-time Tony Award winning star of film, television and theater. The event at The Plaza Hotel, a festive musical celebration hosted by Matthew Broderick, was the Drama League’s 35th annual benefit gala, and-also honored producer Fran Weissler for Visionary Leadership in the American Theater.
Francesca Fenandez McKenzie, Joanna Glushak,
Christiane Amanpour, Christine Lahti, Fedna Jacquet, Delanna Studi, Liz Wisan, Patrena Murray, Brittany K. Allen
Powerful and uplifting, Gloria: A Life by Emily Mann with Christine Lahti, is a ‘must see’ play for the moment.
November 4, 2018: Christiane Amanpour, the Chief International Anchor of CNN, was the special guest for the Act II of the “must see” play for the moment, Gloria: A Life by Emily Mann, now playing at the DR2 on East 15th Street in Union Square. Christine Lahti stars as Gloria Steinem in a factual and detailed account of her life directed in the round by Diane Paulus. Steinem’s story just happens to crystalize our political moment today through the lens of one of the most inspiring voices of The Women’s Movement.
Lucas Hedges and Elaine May in “The Waverly Gallery”
By: Paulanne Simmons
November 2, 2018: At one point in Kenneth Lonergan’s “The Waverly Gallery,” Howard Fine tells his mother-in-law, Gladys, “It’s no fun growing old,” to which she replies, “Why do you always say that to me? Nobody wants to hear that! That’s not a helpful thing to say.”
Austin Pendleton (left) as King Henry VI and Matt de Rogatis (right) as Richard III in a scene from Mr. Pendleton’s “Wars of the Roses: Henry VI and Richard III” at Theater for the New City
November 3. 2018: Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Executive Director) announced that due to popular demand they will be presenting Tony nominated theatre luminary Austin Pendleton’s adaptation of Richard III, Shakespeare’s greatest villain, WARS OF THE ROSES: HENRY VI & RICHARD IIIfor three nights only December 3rd, 4th and 5th.