Around The Town

2019-20 Broadway/Off-Broadway Updates

Mark Murphey, Jack Willis as LBJ and Peter Frechette in The Great Society at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Credit: Jenny Graham

By: David Sheward

July 28, 2019: Since the last update, new on and Off-Broadway productions for 2019-20 have been announced, plus several Off-Broadway theater companies have revealed their seasons. In the past including these theaters’ rosters has been a challenge since they seldom have booked specific opening dates, only the beginning of previews. In order to give as complete a calendar of the New York theater season as possible, starting preview dates are listed when no opening date has been announced.

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Reviews

Mojada **

Alex Hernandez, Sabina Zúñiga Varela, Benjamin Luis McCracken, Socorro Santiago

“The Wetback Medea”

By: Samuel L. Leiter

July 28,2019: Mojada, at the Public, is the third play I’ve seen this week that deals with a serious topical issue with potentially explosive content. It’s also the third one that disappointingly fails to satisfactorily realize the emotional impact of its subject in theatrical terms. The others are the way she spoke and The Rolling Stone, the first dealing with the feminicides of Juárez, Mexico, the latter with homophobia in Uganda. 

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Reviews

Toni Stone ***1/2

The company of “Toni Stone”

By: Isa Goldberg

July 26, 2019: Soccer sheroes, the likes of Megan Rapinoe, are a loudly assertive presence. They’re defiant, and unafraid to make demands. In their pursuit of gender equality, and equal pay they’ve definitely got balls.

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Features

The Secret Comedy of Women

By: Iris Wiener

July 26, 2019: The Secret Comedy of Women is an original comedic revue/sketch show written and performed by Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein, in which the truth, humor and zaniness in being female is not only recognized, but also celebrated. Now playing through August 11th at Port Washington’s Landmark on Main Street, Women features comedy, improvisation, audience participation, songs and videos. Here are five reasons why this show is an uplifting experience worth having:

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Reviews

Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow ****

Greg Hildreth and Sas Goldberg in Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow”

By: Isa Goldberg

July 26, 2019: In Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow at the MCC Theater, playwright Halley Feiffer has found her voice, and it sounds a lot like a cartoon, rife with social commentary. Her new work, an adaptation of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, brings to mind the theatrical sensibility at work in Taylor Mac’s, Gary: A Sequel. His Broadway premiere last season is a takeoff on Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus.

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Features

Moulin Rouge!

Baz Luhrmann’s Film Moulin Rouge! Comes to Broadway in $28-million Musical Spectacle Directed by Alex Timbers

By: Ellis Nassour 

July 25, 2019: Truth! Beauty! Freedom! Love!, the words of a Bohemian revolution in 1899, ring out again on Broadway, in two-time Tony winner Alex Timbers $28-million spectacular musical adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 international blockbuster Moulin Rouge! Conceived brilliantly on film by Luhrmann, it has made numerous lists of iconic movie musicals. Now, it’s getting a new life in a “spectacular spectacular” production onstage, billed as “a feast for the eyes, ears, and soul.” The musical opens Thursday, July 25, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

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Reviews

The Rolling Stone ***, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow ***1/2

Latoya Edwards, Ato Blankson-Wood and Myra Lucretia Taylor in “The Rolling Stone”

By: David Sheward

July 24, 2019: The Rolling Stone does not refer to the iconic American rock music journal, but to a very different publication of the same name. In 2010, the newspaper, based in Kampala, Uganda, began a series of sensational articles printing pictures, names and addresses of individuals known to be or accused of being gay. The African country’s repressive laws against homosexuality and intense public homophobia led to acts of violence and harassment against those depicted. In his new play, now at Lincoln Center’s Off-Broadway Mitzi Newhouse Theater, Chris Urch takes this tragic factual material and fashions a moving, if somewhat melodramatic and conventional drama. 

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Features

Saturday Night Fever

Michael Notardonato (Tony Manero)

5 Reasons Why Saturday Night Fever is Sizzling

By: Iris Wiener

July 23, 2019: It’s a rare treat when a musical is successfully adapted from a film; John W. Engeman Theater’s Saturday Night Fever features enough intoxicating energy and bursting pizzazz that it doesn’t matter if Robert Stigwood’s adaptation is somewhat weak in story. Based on the 1977 blockbuster film, the show transports audiences back to the 1970s with as much glimmer and shine as the disco ball at the forefront of the stage. Featuring music by the Bee Gees, Fever is the story of Tony, a streetwise kid from Brooklyn who attempts to escape his dead-end life through dancing. Here are five reasons why the best treat you can give yourself this summer is a stop at Long Island’s theatrical mainstay:

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Reviews

The Bacchae ****

Jason C.Brown as Dionysus

By: Paulanne Simmons

July 22, 2019: The Bacchae, which Euripides wrote during his final years in Macedonia at the court of Archelaus I, is considered one of his greatest and most innovative tragedies. Not only is the chorus integrated into the plot but all the characters, including the god, Dionysus, are exceedingly human. Their frenzied lust, egocentric behavior and transgressive desires are qualities we can certainly understand thousands of years later.

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Hamptons Life

LongHouse Summer Benefit

Dianne Benson, Julian Schnabel

Julian Schnabel and Donna Karan honored at LongHouse Reserve Annual Summer Benefit with special performance by Laurie Anderson.

July 21, 2019: East Hampton’s LongHouse Reserve hosted their annual Summer Benefit on the grounds of their 16-acre sculpture garden with works by Buckminster Fuller, Yoko Ono and Willem de Kooning.  Acclaimed filmmaker and painter, Julian Schnabel, was given the LongHouse Award, and Ross Bleckner presented Donna Karan with the Leadership Award. The evening is an annual celebration of LongHouse with cocktails, dinner, and auctions. Artist Laurie Anderson created a special performance for the evening.

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Reviews

Two’s a Crowd ****

Kelly Holden Bashar, Rita Rudner

By: Paulanne Simmons

July 21, 2019: There’s a new musical at 59E59 Theaters It’s called Two’s a Crowd, and it’s very, very funny. This should not be surprising, as it was written by comedian Rita Rudner and her husband, British producer Martin Bergman, who also directs. The musical has a country/pop score by Jason Eddy, who is also musical director, lead guitarist and a kind of troubadour occasionally commenting on the action.

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Interviews

Rita Rudner

Comedy Icon Rita Rudner Returns
to the Boards in New Musical, Two’s a Crowd

 

By: Ellis Nassour

July 19, 2019 — Dancer, singer, actress, New York Times best-selling author, Vegas top-draw headliner, TV and film star, playwright, and, above all else, one of our top comedy icon Rita Rudner returns to the New York stage after a much-too-long absence (40 years) in the new musical comedy Two’s a Crowd, which she co-wrote with husband Martin Bergman, who’s directs. 

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Gordin's View

In The Penal Colony

Jamar Brathwaite, Dhari Noel, David Glover Photo: Erica B. Sneider

Miranda Haymon’s conceptual adaptation of Franz Kafka’s short story opened Next Door @NYTW

July 17, 2019: In The Penal Colony, loosely based on Franz Kafka’s short story of the same name, opened Next Door @NYTW where Miranda Haymon’s fragmented and highly conceptual take on the classic tale will run through July 28. In this ambitious new staging, three black men convene in an unnamed penal colony and challenge the presumptions of the worth of a human body, asking what it means for black men to exist in the media.

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