Fulfillment Center ****

Deirdre O’Connell, Frederick Weller

By: David Sheward

Abe Koogler gives the interconnected-lives format a quirky spin in his play Fulfillment Center, now at Manhattan Theatre Club’s studio space at City Center. The title is an ironic reference to the giant New Mexico warehouse where two of the characters are employed by an unnamed Amazon-like service. Neither they nor the two other people in the play are finding fulfillment in their work or relationships in an America where jobs and love are temporary and tenuous.

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Julius Caesar ****

Nikki M. James, Corey Stoll

Free Shakespeare in the Park/Public Theater

By: David Sheward

Last summer, the Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park Series unsuccessfully imposed a modern feminist slant on Taming of the Shrew by employing an all-woman cast. This year, they’ve launched the 2017 season with another contemporary take on one of the Bard’s classics with transgender casting, but this time the updating and non traditional acting assignments largely work out.

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More Critical Shrinking: Rex Reed Out at the Observer

By: David Sheward

Just as Trump has pulled out of the Paris climate change accords, New York-based media is pulling out of theater coverage. As I have noted in previous blogs, print and web outlets are cutting back on stage critics or eliminating them altogether. Someone on Facebook said being a theater critic these days is like being in a long, slow version of Ten Little Indians, the Agatha Christie murder mystery where guests on an isolated island are picked off one by one. Rex Reed, the longtime film critic of the New York Observer,

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Church and State ***

Christa Scott-Reed, Jonathan Louis Dent, Rob Nagle, Nadia Bowers

By: Paulanne Simmons

Like most political plays, Jason Odell Williams’ Church and State is relevant, often riveting and ultimately not particularly good theater. The drama, directed by Markus Potter, focuses on Charles Whitmore (Rob Nagle), a North Carolina politician who is running for senator on a platform of compassionate conservatism. As the play opens, Whitmore is in his campaign office prior to a major speech, suffering from self-inflicted wounds.

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Drama League Honors Bette Midler

Ben Platt

Grammy and Emmy winner, Bette Midler, given award for distinguished achievement in the Theater, and Ben Platt wins Distinguished Performance.

The Drama League announced the winners of the 83rd Annual Drama League Awards on Thursday, May 19, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The winners were Outstanding Production of a Musical, Dear Evan Hansen; Outstanding Production of a Play, Oslo; Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Hello, Dolly!;  Outstanding Revival of a Play, Jitney; and Distinguished Performance Award, Ben Platt,  who became the youngest actor to win the coveted award. The intimate celebration recognized the season’s outstanding productions and performers at a star-studded luncheon and awards ceremony hosted by Broadway’s 6-time Tony® Award winner Audra McDonald and her husband Tony® Award nominee Will Swenson in the Broadway Ballroom of the Marriott.

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Bay Street Curtain Up!

Artistic Director Bay Street Theater Scott Schwartz, Executive Director Bay Street Theater Tracy Mitchell

6th Annual Honors Benefit at Joe’s Pub featured a sneak peek of the Bay Street Theater 2017 Summer Season in Sag Harbor.

Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts held The 6th Annual Honors Benefit: Curtain Up! on Monday, May 15 at Joe’s Pub at The Public. The evening hosted by Scott Schwartz, Bay Street Theater’s Artistic Director, featured a sneak peek of the 2017 Summer Mainstage season in Sag Harbor. Songs and bits of scenes were performed, along with the  honors presented to special guests, Richard Kind and Jules Feiffer.

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Theatre World Awards

73rd  Annual Theatre World Award Honorees Announced
for June 5. Glenn Close to Receive Lifetime Achievement Honor

By: Ellis Nassour

The annual Theatre World Awards (TWA) is one of the most anticipated events of theater season’s end – and one of immense joy as actors – young to older – making their Broadway debuts are honored for their standout performances. In what has become an often touching tradition, 12 previous winners serve as presenters, and often relive moments from past ceremonies and share tales rarely heard at award shows.

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Chita Rivera @ Café Carlyle

Chita Rivera is one Hot Mama!

By: Sandi Durell

There aren’t many entertainers, or in this case icons who, at certain tender ages, can still transport their audiences back into great musical history that remains ever present and alive.  Chita Rivera is one of the few and from her opening, there’s no doubt, she’s got “A Lot of Livin’ To Do.” She’s movin’ and a groovin’ through most of her time on that small stage at Café Carlyle that has seen the best celebrity performers throughout the years.  You can’t stop this train!

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Significant Other ****

Lindsay Mendez, Gideon Glick

By: Lauren Yarger

A strong ensemble cast makes Joshua Harmon’s search for a Significant Other on Broadway engaging and less ho-hum than one might expect.

After all, the premise of a one friend feeling left out while others of a group find significant others and get married isn’t new. This one offers some decent character development, however, and studies the complexities of why friends get pushed aside when romance enters the picture. 

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Hello Dolly ****

David Hyde Pierce, Bette Midler

By: Isa Goldberg

For its graceful legion of dancers, and for the return of Bette Midler to Broadway, let us say, “Hello, Dolly!“ In this revival of the popular show, by Michael Stewart (book) and Jerry Herman (music and lyrics), director Jerry Zaks and choreographer Warren Carlyle recreate the flow of song, story and motion that distinguished Gower Champion’s original choreography and direction. These dancers are literally on their toes, and the pageantry and whimsy they bring to this revival recreates one of the best-staged musicals of all time.

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A Salute to the 2017 Tony Awards

Musicals on TV: Paley Centers, NY/LA Salute the 2017 Tony Awards with Screenings of Musical Film Adaptations

By: Ellis Nassour

Sundays this merry month of May, a month that leads up to the hotly competitive Tony Awards, telecast on CBS on June 11, the Paley Centers [New York and Los Angeles] for Media, with Playbill, are saluting Broadway musicals adapted for TV and screen. There are classic tunes galore, along with the work of notable choreographers and lavish costuming. Along with the adaptations, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which was commissioned for TV [with the stage adaptation to come later], will be shown.

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Grace Hartigan @ ACA Galleries

Dorian Bergen, Rex Stevens, Mikaela LaMarche

Grace Hartigan (1922-2008)
ACA Galleries features paintings and works on paper by Grace Hartigan through June 3, 2017

On Saturday April 29th ACA Galleries at 529 West 20th Street in the gallery district hosted an opening reception of an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Grace Hartigan form the 1940s to 2000s that will be on view until June 3, 2017. She was the recipient of numerous awards during her lifetime.

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James Earl Jones To Receive Special Tony

James Earl Jones


Two-time Tony Award winner and icon of stage and screen James Earl Jones will be this year’s recipient of the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

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The Little Foxes *****

Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon in “The Little Foxes”

By: Paulanne Simmons

It’s an old play. And it could have been written yesterday. Lillian Hellman penned The Little Foxes in 1939. Set in a small town in Alabama in 1900, it chronicles the struggles of the avaricious Hubbards over who will control the family business. They are ruthless, deceitful and conniving. They know they will inherit the earth. And if you look around today, you may be convinced they are right.

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BC/EFA’s Easter Bonnet Competition

BC/EFA’s Easter Bonnet Competition Raises Record-Breaking $6,379,572

By: Ellis Nassour

Broadway audiences and show auctions helped Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS break another fund-raising record with their donations: $6,379,572. Results were announced and awards were presented at Tuesday’s Easter Bonnet Competition finale at Nederlander’s Minskoff Theatre, home to The Lion King. The total far surpassed last year’s record-setter of $5,528,568.

The top overall fundraising award went to Glenn Close and company of Sunset Boulevard, which raised a jaw-dropping $509,246.

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