The 68 Cent Crew Theatre

“Fear and Loathing in The Creative Process” Marty Grabstein and Isa Goldberg

By: Isa Goldberg

September 10,2020: While I’m a veteran contributor to theaterlife.com, many moons have passed since I’ve covered live theater or experienced it. Pandemic-wise, it’s been quite a change of life for all of us. 

Fortunately, I had the fun of joining a theater troupe, The 68 Cent Crew Theatre, that I discovered a couple of years ago. Currently we’re performing our 9th Annual One-Acts Festival (www.youtube.com/68centcrewtheatre) with a wham bam burst of boldness and creativity. 

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Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer, Tony-winning Playwright, Oscar-nominee, and Outspoken AIDS Activist, Dies at 84

By: Ellis Nassour

April 28, 2020 — The death of Tony-winning playwright, Oscar-nominee, Pulitzer Prize finalist, author, and outspoken AIDS activist Larry Kramer brought to an end a tumultuous life. He was more often than not outraged, and outrageous. In his case, however, his yelling, screaming, protesting saved no telling how many lives. As the scourge of HIV AIDS swept the world, he brought attention to the lack of government commitment to finding a cure. Kramer also co-founded two quite historic organizations: Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), which operated clinics for discrete testing, counseling, and medical advice; and his controversial protest group ACT-UP [AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power].

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Things to Enjoy in the Comfort of Home

By: Ellis Nassour

April 30, 2020: You’re isolating, often getting stir crazy, and stepping outside for some sun, when available, isn’t enough. There is programming and things to enjoy, sans mask and latex gloves, though some require a donation, in the comfort of your home that will make you feel less like a prisoner of COVID 19. 

Awaiting Hugh Jackman? Wait no longer. He’s here!

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Simon Callow, Part 5

By Samuel L. Leiter

April 24, 2020: This is Part 5, the last installment of my long-lost interview with the British stage, film, and TV star, Simon Callow, also renowned as a writer and director. It was conducted in his London home in 1993, twenty-seven years ago, but has never before been published. For background on the circumstances of the interview and why it’s first being published now, please check the introduction to Part 1. 

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Simon Callow, Part 4

SIMON CALLOW: MY LOST INTERVIEW WITH A RENAISSANCE MAN: Part 4

By: Samuel L. Leiter

April 22, 2020: This is Part 4 (of five) of my long-lost interview with the British stage, film, and TV star, Simon Callow, also renowned as a writer and director. It was conducted in his London home in 1993, twenty-seven years ago, but has never before been published. For background on the circumstances of the interview and why it’s first being published now, please check the introduction to Part 1. 

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Simon Callow, Part 3

SIMON CALLOW: MY LOST INTERVIEW WITH A RENAISSANCE MAN: Part 3

By: Samuel L. Leiter

April 20, 2020: This continues my interview with the British stage, film, and TV star, Simon Callow, also renowned as a writer and director. It was conducted in his London home in 1993, twenty-seven years ago, but has never before been published. For background on the circumstances of the interview and why it’s first being published now, please check the introduction to Part 1. 

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Simon Callow, Part 2

By: Samuel L. Leiter

April 18, 2020: This continues my interview with the British stage, film, and TV star, Simon Callow, also renowned as a writer and director. It was conducted in his London home in 1993, twenty-seven years ago, but has never before been published. For background on the circumstances of the interview and why it’s first being published now, please check the introduction to Part 1. 

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Simon Callow, Part 1

SIMON CALLOW: MY LOST INTERVIEW WITH A RENAISSANCE MAN

By: Samuel L. Leiter
Introduction

April 16, 2020: In the early 1990s, I was surprised to receive a query from the increasingly prominent British actor/director/writer Simon Callow. He was writing with regard to something I’d published about Orson Welles in the 1930-1940 volume of my Encyclopedia of the New York Stage. Simon was engaged at the time in writing the first volume of what would be his massive, authoritative, in short, definitive Welles biography, whose fourth and final volume is only now nearing publication. 

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Bob Avian Part 3

Bob Avian: Dancing Man, A Life in Theater as Choreographer/Director;  Tales of Collaborating with Michael Bennett in New Autobiography

By: Ellis Nassour

Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey (University Press of Mississippi; Hardcover; 240 pages, including16-page B&W photo album and Index; $28; E-book available) by Tony and Olivier winner Bob Avian, expertly-guided by co-writer Tom Santopietro, takes the reader beyond behind the scenes of the creation of such musicals as Company, Follies, Dreamgirls, A Chorus Line, Ballroom, and Miss Saigon and into the imagination and genius of Michael Bennett; and later, Miss Saigon.

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Bob Avian: Part 2

Bob Avian: Dancing Man, A Life in Theater as Choreographer/Director; Tales of Collaborating with Michael Bennett in New Autobiography

By: Ellis Nassour

April 8, 2020: Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey (University Press of Mississippi; Hardcover; 240 pages, including16-page B&W photo album and Index; $28; E-book available) by Tony and Olivier winner Bob Avian, expertly-guided by co-writer Tom Santopietro (Broadway general manager; author of The Sound of Music Story, Considering Doris Day) takes the reader beyond behind the scenes of the creation of such musicals as Company, A Chorus Line, Ballroom, Dreamgirls, and Miss Saigon and into the imagination of Michael Bennett, Steven Sondheim, Gower Champion, Avian himself, and numerous others – many of whom are undeservedly forgotten today. 

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Bob Avian Part 1

Bob Avian: Dancing Man, A Life in Theater as Choreographer/Director; Tales of Collaborating with Michael Bennett in New Autobiography
Part One

By: Ellis Nassour

April 6, 2020: Tony-winning scenic designer Robin Wagner, credited with over 50 Broadway shows, says, “Bobby, in addition to being an extraordinarily nice guy, is an absolutely brilliant director/choreographer. He and Michael Bennett was a pair. They knew each other inside out. Everything Michael did, Bobby contributed at least half. Michael trusted his instincts. Bobby was more collaborator than assistant.”

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NYC Theater’s Future Unknown

Sharon D. Clarke and cast in “Caroline or Change” which has been postponed to the fall Credit: Helen Maybanks

NYC Theater’s Future Unknown: Coronavirus Pandemic Continues to Ravage Broadway

By: David Sheward

April 4, 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the New York theater world as well as all aspects of American and world society. On March 12, all Broadway theaters were ordered closed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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Terrence McNally

Terrence McNally Photo: Barry Gordin

Theater Community Mourns the Death of Celebrated  Playwright Terrence McNally

By: Ellis Nassour

March 25, 2020: Beloved playwright Terrence McNally, a four-time Tony Award-winner, who wrote Master Class; books of musicals The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Full MontyRagtime; and numerous opera librettos, died Tuesday in Sarasota, FL. He was 81. A lung cancer survivor, the reported cause of his death was the result of “complications from the coronavirus.” 

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Lips Together, Teeth Apart

Terrence McNally Photo: Barry Gordin

Free online access to L.A. Theatre Works recording of Lips Together,Teeth Apartin remembrance of playwright Terrence McNally.

March 30, 2020: L.A. Theatre Works will offer free streaming access to its recording of Lips Together, Teeth Apart from now through the end of April as a posthumous tribute to playwright Terrence McNally, who died on March 24.

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Coronavirus Crisis Devastates Broadway

The cast of “Hangmen”

By: David Sheward

March 22, 2020: The COVID-19 or coronavirus outbreak has silenced Broadway and will likely have a devastating impact long after it has passed. To prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease, all theaters in New York City, and many across the country, are closed and two new productions have announced they will not be playing when the stages re-open. Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen and the revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? have officially been cancelled. Producers cited lack of funds and scheduling conflicts respectively as reasons for the shutterings. These will likely not be the only shows to face elimination. All 41 Broadway theaters were shut down on March 12 in response to an order from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to curtail all gatherings of 500 or more people. 

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