Sam Shepard in Terrence Malick’s ‘Days of Heaven’ (1978)
BROADWAY TO DIM ITS LIGHTS ON WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2017 AT 7:45 PM IN MEMORY OF AWARD WINNING PLAYWRIGHT SAM SHEPARD
The Broadway community mourns the loss of celebrated playwright, actor and novelist Sam Shepard, who passed away on Thursday, July 27th at age 73. The marquees of Broadway theaters in New York will be dimmed in his memory on Wednesday, August 2nd, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.
Phylicia Rashad and Danny Burstein in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
By: David Sheward
An elderly woman in a nightgown slowly walks across the back of the stage like a ghost in a vision or a lonely soul wandering the halls of a nursing home. This is the haunting final image of Lear deBessonet’s unexpectedly fresh production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. Shakespeare’s comedy of mismatched lovers, fairies, and a donkey-headed weaver is such a popular choice that it’s hard to imagine a new approach—in addition to acting in it as a rude mechanical and a sprite, I’ve seen at least seven stage productions. But deBessonet has managed to find an original concept: she makes the tale one of the aged wisdom informing rash, impetuous youth in the ways of love and art.
Theatergoers may feel as if they are back in high school when they enter Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse venue for Pipeline, Dominique Morisseau’s searing close-up of the public school system and its failure to serve minority youth. Set designer Matt Saunders has transformed the back wall of the intimate space into a blank white cement canvas not unlike the drab interior of an urban hall of learning. As the play begins, Justin Ellington’s jarring soundscape and Hannah Wasileski’s video projections take us inside a bleak secondary institution where the main character Nya, an African-American English Language Arts teacher, is slowly unravelling as her son Omari struggles to stay afloat at a private school upstate. Though there are moments of melodrama, Morisseau delivers a piercing and powerful indictment of educational breakdown.
A celebration of women at Guild Hall in East Hampton.
July 30, 2017: The Neo-Political Cowgirls’ (NPC) hosted Andromedas’ Sisters at Guild Hall in East Hampton to celebrate women’s capacity to support each other and change the world. Inspired by the moment in NPC’s production Andromeda in which Poseidon’s daughters swim to Andromedas’ aid. The event raised funds for The Neo-Political Cowgirls’ theatrical and educational programming, while highlighting the work of women’s causes and the words of female playwrights.
Singer had her loving audience cheering for more in Sag Harbor
July 24, 2017: Music Mondays at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor continued with An Evening with Lorna Luft performing classics from the American Songbook. The singer is best known for Promises Promises, Songs My Mother Taught Me, and Extremities. Lorna is not only a singer, she is a television, stage, and film actress and she just happens to be the daughter of Judy Garland and producer Sidney Luft. She launched her career at the age of 11 years old singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town in 1963 on the Christmas episode of her mother’s CBS television show The Judy Garland Show. Photography: Barry Gordin
Vassar & New York Stage and Film Present Powerhouse Theater
By: Iris Wiener
It’s the 33rd anniversary of Powerhouse Theater, the collaboration between Vassar and New York Stage and Film that is known for birthing new stories that go on to theaters across the country and around the world. Remember Broadway’s Bright Star, written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell? What about John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt? Both projects were developed with Powerhouse Theater. In fact, the 2016 Tony Award winners for Best Play and Best Musical, Stephen Karam’s The Humans and Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, both have histories with Powerhouse.
Most plays get broader when they move to Broadway, but Marvin’s Room, the 1990 comedy-drama about a family coping with death and disease, has grown more intimate in its first production on the Main Stem. The late Scott McPherson’s touchingly dark piece premiered in regional productions at the Goodman and Hartford Stage and then at Playwrights Horizons in 1991 before a commercial Off-Broadway run (a financial impossibility these days.) Tragically, McPherson died of AIDS at the age of 33 not long after the play opened. That NYC production won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play (a rarity for an Off-Broadway production) and I recall David Petrarca’s polished staging as hitting the comic notes with a professional sharpness.
Paris – City of Lights: it’s called this because Paris was one of the first cities to become fully electrified. It’s called City of Amour because, well, simply put, the French know something about amour. Any visitor leaves forever remembering the sites – and the sites in the night lights.
By: Iris Wiener In an era of watered down jokes and impressions a la The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live, it’s a gift to find a show that is as funny as it is unapologetic for its painful impressions and humor. Me the People: The Trump America Musical manages to be entertaining and cringe worthy at its best moments, and only the slightest bit schlocky at its worst. Me the People is not simply a jab at America’s current president; this cabaret is an important call to arms, insisting that we all need to point our … Continue reading “Me the People: The Trump America Musical ***1/2”
IMAGINE, the 26th Annual Bay Street Theater Summer Gala in Sag Harbor.
July 14, 2017: The Bay Street Theater summer gala featured a live show in the theater with Elizabeth Ashley, Betty Buckley, Penny Fuller, and Lois Smith where Arts Visionaries, director Michael Wilson, Christine Wachter-Campbell & William Campbell and J.C. Compton & Nicholas Wentworth were honored. The celebration continued with dinner and dancing under a tent on The Long Wharf. There was more entertainment and a live auction hosted by Richard Kind, along with a spectacular silent auction. Photography: Barry Gordin
Edward O’Blenis, Kelly McCreary, Blake DeLong, Shaynna Small, Julia Motyka, Portia
INTIMATE APPAREL at Bay Street
Moving production helmed by Scott Schwartz opens in Sag Harbor starring Kelly McCreary.
July 8,2017: Intimate Apparel by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Lynn Nottage, is a terrific play about Esther, an African American seamstress played by Kelly McCreary, best known for her TV role on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Esther has her own successful business in 1905 catering to both society ladies and “ladies of the night,” but she is lonely. When she searches for something more from her life she discovers hidden feelings she didn’t know existed.