We Are Here

We Are Here: A Celebration of Resilience, Resistance, and Hope

By: Paulanne Simmons

June 11, 2020: At this time of protest and pandemic, not much attention has been paid to the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 77th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Nevertheless, there can be little doubt both anniversaries speak to the challenges of the current moment. And several organizations are attempting to remind us of this.

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Pipeline Free on BroadwayHD

Piercing drama, Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau, free on BroadwayHD beginning today.

June 9, 2020:  Live From Lincoln Center, in partnership with BroadwayHD, starting today is bringing Dominique Morisseau’s strikingly powerful work Pipeline, originally staged at Lincoln Center Theater in 2017, to audiences at home. This intimate play depicts a mother’s hopes for her son and their clash with an educational system rigged against him. To view for free (87 minutes) Click Here: http://ow.ly/cE7b50A1Nfl

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Drama Desk Awards

June 8, 2020: The 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards will air Saturday, June 13th, at 7:30pm ET. The special presentation will air on Spectrum News NY1’s and stream on NY1.com, and DramaDeskAwards.com. (If for any reason the telecast is unable to air in that time slot on Spectrum News NY1, it will still be made available at that time on DramaDeskAwards.com.)

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The David Desk Awards

By: David Sheward

June 7, 2020: Today normally would have been one of the best days of the year, Tony Award Day! But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Broadway theaters have been shut down since March 12 and are not likely to reopen until January 2021 at the earliest. In a May 25 interview with Tim Teeman of the Daily Beast, Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin was cautiously optimistic about the Main Stem lights being relit. But she stressed social distancing and playing to half-empty housing would not fit with the Broadway economic model which requires packing in as many bodies as possible for maximum profit. A few shows such as Plaza Suite, MJ: The Michael Jackson Musical and 1776 have announced opening dates for the spring of 2021, but those may be aspirational like Trump saying he wanted packed churches on Easter.

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On This Day in New York Theater: June 3 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 5 in the series)

June 3, 2020: A survey of shows that opened in New York on either June 3, 4, or 5 in the twenties, thirties, and forties reveals that, over the three decades, the first decade saw 14 openings, the second 12, while only five arrived on June 5. Not only did June 3 have the most shows, it also offered two historically important ones, since it was on that date in 1931 that The Band Wagon, starring Fred and Adele Astaire, opened, while the same date 11 years later presented Rodgers and Hart’s musical, By Jupiter, headed by Ray Bolger. Space—and your time—is limited, however, so the meal that follows focuses only on the twenties and thirties, with a few details on the forties added for a light desert. 

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Drama Desk Awards Postponed

Breaking News

May 31, 2020: Due to breaking news in New York City and across the country, Spectrum News NY1 and Broadway Brands/Broadway Briefing have just postponed tonight’s Drama Desk Awards celebration. The Awards were to have aired as a special edition of Spectrum News NY1’s “On Stage” at 7:30 pm.

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2020 Drama Desk Award Predictions

By: David Sheward

May 29, 2020: Normally at this time of year, I would be making Tony and Drama Desk Award predictions. But the Tonys have been indefinitely postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent shuttering of all 41 Broadway theaters. In all likelihood, Broadway’s top honor will not return until 2021 since the Main Stem will probably not be open again until next year at the earliest. If so, they might expand the eligibility window to combine the truncated 2019-20 season with whatever opens next spring. Voters will no doubt be invited back to returning shows such as West Side Story, Girl from the North Country, Moulin Rouge and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. Shows that have closed such as The Inheritance and Grand Horizons will be out of luck, because they will have to rely on the memories of the voters who saw them. Closed productions are usually shut out of the Tonys even in “normal” times.

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On This Day in New York Theater: May 29 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 4 in the series)

May 29,2020: The last two days in May were decidedly fallow for New York theatre production during the twenties, thirties, and forties. Over those three decades, only seven shows opened on May 29; even worse was May 30, with a mere three. And of them all, regardless of the day, only one had even a smidgen of importance. Here’s what opened during those years on May 29.

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Drama Desk Honors Harold Prince

Harold Prince

The late great Harold Prince will be celebrated on Sunday at the 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards.

May 22, 2020: The 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards will celebrate the life and legacy of American theater producer and director Harold “Hal” Prince with the Drama Desk’s newly established lifetime achievement honor. The Harold Prince Award will be bestowed annually for outstanding contributions to theater, and the posthumous award will be given in his honor this year. Prince passed away on July 31, 2019, at the age of 91.

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ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: MAY 24 IN THE 1920’S AND 1930’S

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 3 in the series)

May 24, 2020: This series aims to offer a new column every four or five days, describing shows that opened in New York on a particular calendar day between June 1920 and the end of May 1950. As a result, the days selected are more or less random and may not always have been the most theatrically productive. Late spring was not a particularly active time, as witness the opening of only around 19 shows on either May 24 or May 25, combined, during all of those 30 years. Today, we’ll go with May 24. Since the overall total is small, what follows ignores my original intention to cover only a single decade in an entry and will instead cover two, with some notes on the third.

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On This Day In New York Theater: May 19 in the 1930’S

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 2 in the series)

May 19, 2020: During the 1930s, six Broadway shows opened on May 19, the years being 1931, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1939. These were, in order, a revue called Crazy Quilt; a revival of the great musical Show Boat; a politically-slanted revue titled Parade, which introduced Eve Arden; The Dance of Death, a poetic, W.H Auden-written satire with music on the middle class; a hit farce, Room Service; and Life and Death of an American,a propagandistic, labor-themed drama with music. Two were products of the Federal Theatre Project.

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Free on BroadwayHD

Heather Velazquez, Namir Smallwood in “Pipeline”

Pipeline, Lincoln Center’s acclaimed 2017 production, will be steamed free on BroadwayHD from May 15-22.

May 13, 2020: BroadwayHD, the premiere streaming service for theater fans, is bringing special viewings of fan favorite productions from New York’s Live from Lincoln Center and Roundabout Theatre to viewers at home, an addition to their already sumptuous selections.

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On This Day in New York Theater: May 14 in the 1920’s

John Barrymore as “Hamlet”

By: Samuel L. Leiter

May 14, 2020: It’s hard to believe that, for the moment, almost all theatre in the world has come to a screeching halt. Some of us whose lives are inextricably entwined with writing about the theatre (I even have a polo shirt that says: EAT, SLEEP, THEATRE, REPEAT) can’t keep our rubber-gloved hands off the Fabulous Invalid, and hope to share news of it, even if the news is decades old. That’s become my own beat during the pandemic. 

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Outer Critics Circle Awards

Special honors recipients for the 70th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, commemorating the 2019-20 Broadway and Off-Broadway Season, were announced today.

May 11, 2020: The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications, presented the recipients of this year’s special honors for the 2019-2020 Broadway and Off-Broadway season. Past OCC Award honorees Kristin Chenoweth, Bryan Cranston, Patti LuPone, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Patrick Stewart, announced this season’s honorees by video feed today.
Watch The Announcements Here:

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Remembering Those Lost to Corona Covid-19

Remembering Those Lost to Corona COVID-19 with Tributes and The Rise Up NY! Fundraiser.

By: Ellis Nassour

May 8, 2020: Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and direct from Broadway and 98th Street and select appearances to entertain the masses, Tony-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, also chairman of the Actors Fund, will, respectively, lead the second and third interfaith collaboration Memorial for Us All broadcasts Sunday, May 10 and Sunday, May 17 at 6 P:M. E. These weekly broadcasts honor those lost during this COVID-19 pandemic.

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