The Drama League Announces First Directors Council

THE NEW INITIATIVE IS COMPRISED OF 20 NATIONALLY-RENOWNED DIRECTORS AND ALUMNI TO ADVISE ON THE ORGANIZATION’S DIRECTOR-FOCUSED PROGRAMMING AND THE FUTURE OF THEATER AS THE INDUSTRY PREPARES FOR REOPENING

November 14, 2020: The Drama League (Artistic Director, Gabriel Stelian-Shanks; Executive Director, Bevin Ross) announces the formation of its first Directors Council, featuring nationally-renowned directors Daniel Banks, Melia Bensussen, Christopher Burris, Jillian Carucci, Jennifer Chang, Desdemona Chiang, R.J. Cutler, Estefanía Fadul, Raz Golden, Brian Eugenio Herrera, Adam Immerwahr, Gwynn MacDonald, Tony Phelan, Lisa Portes, Lisa Rothe, Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Rob Urbinati, Nicole A. Watson, Sharifa Yasmin, and Pirronne Yousefzadeh.

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On This Day in New York Theater: November 13 in the 1930’s

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 17 in the series)

November 13, 2020: As per the last entry in this series, I again confine myself to a single decade—in today’s case, the 1930s—in describing what shows opened on a particular day. The one I’ve chosen, November 13, was not especially prolific or even productive of more than a single memorable work. What most attracted it to me was a play that opened at the very start of the decade, Grand Hotel, which would become the inspiration for one of my all-time favorite movies (Garbo! Barrymore! Crawford!), produced in 1932, and the source for a modestly successful 1989 Broadway musical, each known by the original play’s name.

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The Space Presents John Lloyd Young’s Vegas Holiday

THIS INTIMATE AND PERSONAL CONCERT WILL BE STREAMED LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS WITH JOLLY SUPRISES AND HOLIDAY MEMORIES ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4

November 7, 2020: Following the success of two previous live stream concerts from The Space in Las Vegas, Tony and Grammy Award-winner John Lloyd Young returns on Friday, December 4 with John Lloyd Young’s Vegas Holiday, an intimate and unforgettable evening of holiday classics and beloved favorites that will offer an up-close and personal experience to be enjoyed with family and friends safely from home with eggnog, popcorn, Christmas cookies and more. The 75 minute live streamed pay-per- view concert will begin at 6:00 PM PT and then be available OnDemand for one week following the live holiday event. The virtual VIP after-party will begin at 7:45 PM PT and include a talk-back, holiday surprises and an encore performance.

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Special 3K – Triple Threat

Special 3K – Don’t Stop Believing

Kea Chan, Denise Kara, Kayla Merrow are SPECIAL 3K – the Triple Threat appearing in a LIVE Virtual Concert on Dec. 11th / DON’T STOP BELIEVING! A Musical Entertainment to Escape from the Madness

October 30, 2020: A new concert created and produced by Robert R Blume of Step Forward Entertainment with Pat Labez and Cambridge Productions will feature a return engagement of the SPECIAL 3K triple threat of the trio of rising young stars – Kea Chan, Denise Kara, Kayla Merrow – returning with their new concert DON’T STOP BELIEVING on Friday, December 11th at 10pm EST seen exclusively on Metropolitan Zoom!

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Moby-Dick on BroadwayHD

BroadwayHD expands partnership with San Francisco Opera bringing award winning production of Moby-Dick to their streaming site.

November 1, 2020:  BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for theater fans, will be expanding their partnership with the San Francisco Opera. On November 17 debut of the Moby-Dick by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer will debut on BroadwayHD. Moby-Dick is only the latest work from the opera company. Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Hammerstein II/Kern’s Show Boat debuted earlier this fall. The expansion of BroadwayHD’s slate with San Francisco Opera is part of their effort to showcase the best of live theater and other live performances, not only on Broadway, but from venues across the U.S. and the globe.

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It Can’t Happen Here

By: Paulanne Simmons

October 30,2020: In 1935, Sinclair Lewis published a novel called It Can’t Happen Here. Written at the time fascism was on the rise in Europe, the novel was Lewis’s attempt to alert Americans to the danger they faced in their own country. In it, he chronicles the ascent of Berzelius “Buzz” Winthrop, a populist demagogue who is elected president by promising a return to traditional values but ends up imposing a totalitarian dictatorship. One year after publication, the Federal Theatre Project (part of the Works Progress Administration established by FDR’s New Deal) commissioned Lewis and John C. Moffit to write a stage play based on the novel.

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On This Day in New York Theater: October 29 in the 1940’s

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 16 in the series)

October 29, 2020: Readers of this series, which began in the spring of this anxious year, know that in surveying the theatrical activity on a particular day over the course of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, I generally try to find one that is both prolific and on which at least one title is more or less a household name. Occasionally, so many shows opened on such days that I’ve had to confine myself to only two decades, as in my last report, which had no room, other than in passing, for the forties. The number of shows typically produced in the late spring through summer was relatively small enough to contain in a single essay, but as the most active months of each season heated up, the numbers became too great to allow comprehensive coverage within the limited space available. 

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On This Day in New York Theater: October 28, 2020

By: Samuel L. Leiter

 (Bonus Posting) 

October 28, 2020: If you’re a follower of this series, you know that I always provide descriptions of multiple productions that opened over the years (between 1920 and 1950) on a particular day. Tomorrow, for instance, TheaterLife will post my essay on productions that opened on October 29 in the 1940s. However, one play intended for that essay, The Land is Bright, and fully written up, actually opened on October 28, so I had no option but to remove it. But after seeing it sitting there, so lonely, on my laptop, I decided to give it its own posting, as a sort of bonus to those readers who enjoy these pieces. Given its provenance, and how few people—even theatre folk—are likely to be familiar with it, I think it’s worth the trouble. Without further ado, as they say, here it is. 

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Halloween Fun from BroadwayHD

Night of the Living Dead in its London debut is available on BroadwayHD beginning October 29 just in time for Halloween.

October 27, 2020: BroadwayHD is celebrating Halloween with a collection of horror titles that will be sure to keep you on the edge of your seat! The include Night of the Living Dead™Live!, Toxic Avenger, Ibsen’s Ghosts, Ruthless, and Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet.   

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Shakespeare@Home

Presents the Fourth and Final Episode of their all Free Radio Plays William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

October 21, 2020: West End vets have teamed up with Broadway and Hollywood stalwarts for the fourth and final episode of the all-free radio play production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest which airs Thursday, October 22nd at 7PM EST. Transcribed from Shakespeare’s original first folio of works having just sold at Christie’s for nearly $10 million dollars, this production of Jersey City’s Shakespeare@,  is adapted and directed by Artistic Director Sean Hagerty.

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Show Boat on BroadwayHD

San Francisco Opera, Showboat, Francesca Zambello

San Francisco Opera’s stunning production of Oscar Hammerstein & Jerome Kern’s renowned musical, Show Boat, debuts October 15th on BrodwayHD.

October 14, 2020— BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for theater fans, announced that it will bring. the San Francisco Opera’s critically acclaimed 2014 performance of Show Boat exclusively to their platform.  This dynamic production of the iconic hit, directed by Francesca Zambello, will be available on the service beginning October 16.  Show Boat is only the latest addition to BroadwayHD’s expanding library of hit Richard Rodgers titles, many created with Oscar Hammerstein, including Oklahoma! Starring Hugh Jackman, The King and I and Carousel starring Kelli O’Hara.  This is also part of BroadwayHD’s ongoing effort to build a comprehensive library that includes beloved, well known titles in addition to new discoveries.

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The 2020 Tony Award Nominations

By: Ellis Nassour

October 15, 2020: For the first time in years, the Tony Awards Nominating Committee has expanded several of the acting categories. In another rare occurance, the Committee chose to only nominate one actor in the Leading Actor, Musical category. This might have taken Sean Allan Krill, who plays the father in Jagged Little Pill, a bit by surprise as it sure seems he’s in a Lead Actor Role and not a Featured Role.

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Tony Awards Announcement

James Monroe Iglehart Photo: Barry Gordin

October 15, 2020: Click Here for the Nominees

October 9, 2020: Tony Award Productions will announce the nominations for American Theatre Wing’s 74th Annual Tony Awards® on Thursday, October 15th. The Tony Awards Nominating Committee will meet to vote on this year’s nominations on Tuesday, October 13th. The nominations announcement will be hosted by Tony Award-winning actor James Monroe Iglehart on the official Tony Awards YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/tonyawards at 12:00 noon ET. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

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The Panic Defense

October 13,2020: The Panic Defense, written and directed by Sam Affoumado, is a docudrama spotlighting the inequalities of the criminal justice system as it pertains to the staggering rise in hate crimes perpetrated against members of the LGBTQ+ community. The play was inspired by and loosely based on four characters who were victims of actual, hate-filled, murders.

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On This Day in New York Theater: October 11 in the 1920’s and 1930’s

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 15 in the series)

October 11, 2020 After a several week hiatus, I’m finally digging my way out of a huge pile of suddenly accumulated personal responsibilities that have taken up more time than I would have liked. These forced me to postpone the next in my series of reports of what shows opened on specific dates over the course of the twenties, thirties, and forties, but I’m happy to be back with this survey in which I touch on close to 20 shows that opened on October 11. 

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