The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family: Hungry. Amy Warren, Lynnn Headly, Jay O. Sanders (Photo: Joan Marcus)
By: Samuel L. Leiter
January 20, 2021: Ever since the presidential election of 2016, the media have been unable to resist the temptation to satirically eviscerate the winner, Donald J. Trump. TV, of course, has been relentless in its barrage of comical treatments, including shows like “The President Show” and “Our Cartoon President.” And who can forget the frequent appearances of Alec Baldwin pursing his lips beneath a teased blond wig on SNL. Nor can we ignore the many Trumpian imitators and lip-synchers amusing us on TikTok and Instagram, among other platforms. Sarah Cooper’s huge success mouthing Trump’s words catapulted her to stardom. And, of course, any stable genius can predict that Trump’s visage, voice, and mannerisms (as well as those of his family and enablers) will prove a perpetual source of material for writers and performers in the years to come. Love him or hate him, he’ll be circulating like the coronavirus in the media bloodstream forever. Just think: has the Fuhrer ever gone away?
January 20, 2020: We are living in tragic times. But singer/songwriter Audrey Appleby is adding an optimistic note, or rather many notes, to this troubled moment with her new song “Dancing with Tragedy.” Set to be released on Spotify on January 29, the song laments the time when “life was juicy, wrapped up in a bow,” but insists “I know I’ll be alright.”
January 16, 2021: Today is the 57th birthday of my daughter, Bambi, which I’d like to celebrate by choosing January 16 for this installment of “On This Day in New York Theatre.” A number of important shows have opened on January 16 over the years—including Hello, Dolly!, which opened in 1964 on the day Bambi was born—but this series focuses on the twenties, thirties, and forties of the last century. And since, like all births, Bambi’s was a miracle, what more appropriate work to write about than one actually called The Miracle. The Miracle had much about it that was, indeed, miraculous, so, unlike my other postings in this series, which cover multiple shows opening on a particular day across one or more decades, what follows is devoted to The Miracle alone.
Virtual tribute fromThe Museum of Jewish Heritage commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
January 15, 2020: The Museum of Jewish Heritage, A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will present on Wednesday, January 27 at 8:00 PM “18 Voices: A Liberation Day Reading of Young Writers’ Diaries From The Holocaust”. The virtual event commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which is the subject of the Museum’s award-winning exhibition Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away., currently on display through May 2, 2021.
Dazzling and diverse new titles debuting in January include the comedy hit, Peter Pan Goes Wrong from Mischief Theater, Sam Harris’ Ham and Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
January 6, 2021: BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for theater fans is kicking off 2021 with a dazzling lineup, including the comedy hit Peter Pan Goes Wrong from Mischief, Sam Harris’ HAM: A Musical Memoir, and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella starring Lesley Ann Warren, Ginger Rogers, and Celeste Holm.
BROADWAY REMEMBERS, an in memoriam video, honors the memories of those the Broadway community has lostsince June 2019.
January 1, 2020: “Broadway Remembers,” a just released in memoriam video tribute, honors the memories of some of those the Broadway community lost between June 2019 and December 2020. Directed by Raúl Esparza, music direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, and produced and conceived by Mike Karns and Steven Tartick, the approximately 8-minute video features original vocal performances by Sierra Boggess and Esparza and celebrates the lives of more than 100 people from all areas and disciplines within the theatrical community.
December 31, 2020: For this column’s last entry in the horrific year of the pandemic, I thought it might be interesting to see what opened on New York’s stages on New Year’s Eve, December 31, during the three decades covered in this series. What with all the tumult normally associated with that date in the theatre district, it would seem an unlikely time to venture forth to see a show, much less to open one. For the record, the celebration of New Year’s Eve in Times Square began in 1904, although it wasn’t until three years later that the first version of the ball drop was inaugurated. You can read the fascinating story here.
Broadway HD celebrates the 50th anniversary or Godspell with the return of a special award winning concert that will debut on their platform December 22.
December 21, 2020: Following a successful online run in the summer, the award-winning digital concert rendition of Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak’s Godspell will be returning due to popular demand when it launches on BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for live theater, on December 22nd. The Godspell 50th Anniversary Concert features unmissable performances from theatrical legends Ruthie Henshall (Chicago; Billy Elliot) and Darren Day (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat; Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) – reprising their roles from the 1993 cast recording – alongside Sam Tutty (Dear Evan Hansen), Ria Jones (Sunset Boulevard; High Society), Jenna Russell (The Bridges of Madison County; Fun Home), and other popular West End performers.
BroadwayHD continues the Holiday Celebration with debut of the incredibly popular British hit A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong, as well as exciting , exclusive events including Forever Plaid 20th Anniversary Special and Christmas Concert in Strasbourg. Revelers are Invited to fete the New Year Garden State-Style with the “Jersey Boys” movie directed by Clint Eastwood Arriving on the Platform January 1st
December 14, 2020: Theater lovers are in for a treat as BroadwayHD gifts viewers with an extra helping of new holiday-themed titles leading into the Yuletide season. Fans of the “Goes Wrong Show” British comedy series developed by Mischief Theatre will be excited to see A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong arrive on the service on December 14th. Christmas Eve has everyone feeling nostalgic so why not spend the evening paying musical homage to the close-harmony ‘guy groups’ of the 1950s with the Forever Plaid Anniversary Special. In the mood for a beautiful choral performance? Then you’ll want to check out the Christmas Concert in Strasbourg on December 22nd.
December 13, 2020: December 13 may have provided only four openings in the 1940s, but all of them are worth revisiting. Two were revivals, one of recent vintage, the other a classic. The first was Rachel Crothers’s 1937 hit, Susan and God. The classic was Maurice Evans’s newest rendering of Hamlet. The remaining shows were Norman Krasna’s Dear Ruth, one of biggest hits of the war years, and Wandering Stars,a Yiddish show borrowed from Sholem Aleichem (the source of Fiddler on the Roof).
Ryan Murphy’s Adaptation of The Prom Premieres with Starry Cast on Netflix
By: Ellis Nassour
December 10, 2020: Ryan Murphy brings Chad Beguelin, Matthew Sklar and Bob Martin’s big-hearted, quick-witted, and boisterous 2018 Tony-nominated Broadway musical The Prom to Netflix beginning Friday, December 11.
BroadwayHD presents a dazzling line up of holiday classics and the premier of Peter Rothstein’s All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 plus Forever Plaid 20th Anniversary Special.
November 30, 2020 – ‘Tis the season to be jolly! BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for theater fans, is spreading holiday cheer in December with a dazzling line up of holiday classics, anniversary specials and more. Kicking off on December 1st is Mame starring Lucille Ball, a musical revolving around the antics of Mame Dennis, a fun-loving, wealthy eccentric with a flair for life and a razor-sharp wit. The film also stars Bea Arthur reprising her Tony Award Winning role of Vera. Shakespeare’s famous pastoral comedy of love and disguise, As You Like It, is reimagined with darker, more somber undertones in this production out on December 3rd. Next, on December 15th is the streaming premiere of Peter Rothstein’s All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, followed by a video capture of Private Lives on December 16th, which will celebrate Noël Coward’s birthday.
November 29, 2020: For the time being, this column will be settling into the groove of covering only one decade at a time in its description of shows that opened on a particular date during the 1920’s, 1930’s, and 1940’s. Those decades, even as their overall numbers slid following the Depression, were unusually active, and only the sparse summer months slowed down enough to allow for coverage here of more than one decade at a time.