October 16, 2018: Emma and Max is the playwriting debut of controversial, independent filmmaker Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness), who also directed. Part of the Flea Theater’s “Color Brave” season, it’s a well-acted, intermittently interesting, but overly garrulous, tortoise-slow, oddly shaped play satirizing (with too-few laughs) the racial attitudes of white so-called liberals, as well as the nasty effects—including on raising kids and wedlock—of white privilege.
Nancy Ford, Gretchen Cryer, Ron Abel, Jamie deRoy, Donny Kehr, Joan Ryan, Allison Blackwell, Richie Goods
Show at Birdland Theater benefits The Actor’s Fund
October 14, 2018: Show business ace, Jamie deRoy, an award-winning producer, cabaret, stage, film and TV performer, brought some of Broadway’s favorite stars to the brand-new Birdland Theater for a one night only cabaret show benefitting The Actors Fund: Jamie deRoy & friends Cabaret Initiative, which assists those in the cabaret industry who have medical needs and concerns.
October 12, 2018: Even in his minor works, Tennessee Williams tenderly exposed the desperate longings of life’s dreamers and poets. In the age of Trump, they might be called losers because they fall between the cracks and do not possess the steely aggression to pull themselves out of their tiny tenements or expand their narrowly-defined lives. But this greatest of all American playwrights had compassion for these lost people and gave voice to their need for fulfillment and companionship. La Femme Theater Productions offers a glimpse of the dramatists’ fading but still moving storytelling power with a sturdy production of the delicate, rarely-seen A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, presented Off-Broadway in 1979 and one of the last of Williams’ works to premiere in New York before his death in 1983.
October 9, 2018: For anyone in Nazi Germany during World War II, when food supplies were short and rationing in place, getting a job where you were guaranteed three delicious meals a day, even if they were vegetarian, must have seemed highly desirable. Especially if your only job responsibility was to eat those meals. On the other hand, since the purpose of the job was to ensure that the food, intended for Adolph Hitler, wasn’t poisoned, one could be forgiven for having reservations about gobbling it up.
October 13, 2018: One should not be fooled by the title of the Roundabout Theatre’s current production, Bernhardt/Hamlet, by Theresa Rebeck. Regardless of the title, the soul gripping center of this show is Janet McTeer, and what a whirlwind she is.
Frank Provenzano, Maggie Bera, Makayla Wilkerson, Michael Basile, Benji Sills
An Equity Stage Reading of Hel’s Kitchen, a new play by Sam Affoumado will be presented at Playroom Theater, 151 West 46th Street (8th Floor) NY, NY 10036 on October 17th @7pm, October 19th and 20th @7:30pm.
October 9, 2018: Hel’s Kitchen, a comedy/drama set in The Bronx, New York of 1961, is a realistic account of a watershed weekend in the life of a young woman. Helen, the eighteen-year-old, sewer-mouthed fat girl, has always used her clique to insulate herself from life. Though she is not prepared to leave her teenage years behind, Helen discovers that her relationships with her friends Vinny (the stud), Stanley (the brain) and Fern, a student of “beauty culture,” must be re-defined in order for them to survive as a group and emerge as individuals.
The 26th Hamptons International Film Festival announces their award winners at a ceremony in East Hampton.
October 8, 2018: ALL GOOD “ALLES IST GUT”, directed by Eva Trobisch, won the Award for Best Narrative Feature, sponsored by Netflix. DIVIDE AND CONQUER: THE STORY OF ROGER AILES, directed by Alexis Bloom, received the Award for Best Documentary Feature, also sponsored by Netflix. FENCE “GARDHI”, directed by Lendita Zeqiraj, and GUAXUMA, directed by Nara Normande, received the Award for Best Narrative Short Film and for Best Documentary Short Film, respectively. Both Short Films will qualify for Academy® consideration. All four films were directed by female filmmakers.
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga Light the Sky in A Star Is Born
By: Ellis Nassour
October 8, 2018: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gage are no strangers to having their names in lights, but in A Star Is Born, [Warner Bros./M-G-M; 135 minutes] their names explode in such magnitude that they light up the sky. Except for a few moments of homage, it would be theatrically incorrect to call the just released A Star Is Born an updated remake of its three predecessors with the same title. Four-time Oscar nominee Cooper, as director, co-writer, and co-producer, has created a Star that won’t eclipse the powerful 1937 dramatic original or 1954 musical remake but which becomes a cinema legend of its own. In fact, it’s poised to become an instant classic. As far as the edgy 1976 box office blockbuster musical remake with the same title – the verdict is still out.
October 6, 2018: The fall Broadway season opens with two new plays centered on an incomparable artist pitted against the forces of compromise. One has loftier ambitions and only partially succeeds, the other just wants to show us a good time and lands on the money. The former is Bernhardt/Hamlet from Roundabout Theatre Company at the American Airlines, Theresa Rebeck’s examination of the legendary stage actress in her revolutionary attempt to play Shakespeare’s most challenging role. The latter is The Nap, Richard Bean’s raucously dark comedy on the plot to rig a snooker championship presented by Manhattan Theatre Club after a hit run in London.
October 4, 2018: Musicals about New York singles looking for love in all the right places are not quite as common as plays about aging folks with Alzheimer’s but there are enough of them to qualify as a mini-genre of their own. The newest addition to the club, which includes titles like Company, Significant Other, First Date, and Marry Me a Little,is Douglas J. Cohen (music and lyrics) and Dan Elish’s (book and lyrics) The Evolution of Mann, a moderately well performed but ultimately tired rehash of familiar tropes, with too few original bones to qualify it as a member in good standing.
The great French actress Sarah Bernhardt enjoyed a life that was as dramatic onstage as it was off. The daughter of a high-class Jewish prostitute and (probably) the son of a wealthy merchant from Le Havre, Bernhardt possessed theatrical talents that were discovered at a convent school.
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga Approached Working Together As Equal Partners
By: Ellis Nassour
October 8, 2018: Lady Gaga is as mega as you can get as a rock star and Bradley Cooper knows the best and worst about the movie business. She’s got the vocal chops; he’s got the acting chops. You might wonder in making A Star Is Born if she was putty in his hands or if he just let her loose to run wild.