Around The Town

BroadwayHD Rings in 2020

Alfred Molina and Alfred Enoch Johan Persson in “Red”

Outstanding slate of shows features the Tony nominated Red, the Donmar Warehouse’s all-female Henry IV, the beloved Gene Kelly film Brigadoon, and the National Ballet of Norway’s Hedda Gabler.,

January 9, 2020:  BroadwayHD, the premiere streaming service for theater fans, dives into the new decade with a collection of awe-inspiring and bold productions this month.  Leading the roster is the 1954 classic film Brigadoon, starring Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly, which comes to the platform on January 1.  Six-time Tony Award-nominated production of Red, starring Tony Nominee Alfred Molina and Harry Potter film star Alfred Enoch, will be available starting January 9.   Donmar Warehouse’s contemporary and innovative all-female production of Shakespeare’s Henry IV makes its way to the platform on January 16, while Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny joins on January 23Finally,one of the greatest successes of the National Ballet of Norway, the stunning ballet Hedda Gabler, will be available on January 30 

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Reviews

Harry Townsend’s Last Stand ****

Len Cariou, Craig Bierko

By: Isa Goldberg

January 9, 2020: The darkness inhabiting the season Off Broadway is ominous with forebodings of cataclysmic events such as we are informed of daily. Actually, it’s more than just darkness. Communing with and about death feels all pervasive in so many productions, A Thin Place (Playwrights Horizons), and The Greater Clements (Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater) among them.

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Reviews

The Inheritance **1/2

John Benjamin Hickey, Kyle Soller, Arturo Luis Soria, Darryl Gene Daughtry Jr., Dylan Frederick and Kyle Harris

By: Paulanne Simmons

January 6, 2020: Somewhere in Matthew Lopez’s 7-hour epic, The Inheritance, there’s a fairly good two or two-and-a-half-hour play. Not a great play, or a terribly innovative play. But a play that has a plot and a few interesting characters. A play that doesn’t need a rest time between Part I and Part II.

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Hamptons Life

Gurney’s Montauk New Year’s Eve 2020

“The Roaring 20’s” was the theme for New Year’s Eve at Gurney’s in Montauk.

January 1, 2020: Guests at Gurney’s, on the brink of the Atlantic Ocean in Montauk, stepped back in time to ring in the New Year “Roaring 20’s” style and danced to live 20’s inspired jazz and a DJ Vikas. The weekend was full of programming from champagne sabering classes to fitness pop-ups, and Gurney’s annual New Year’s Day Polar Plunge. Also available was a delectable five course dinner at Scarpetta Beach, Gurney’s amazing 5-star restaurant overlooking the ocean. There were two separate dinner seatings before the ball dropped in Times Square at midnight.
Photography: Barry Gordin

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Around The Town

Denise Marsa’s The Pass

Denise Marsa

A personal musical journey, through the decades, of a talented singer/songwriter. 

December 31, 2019: A few weeks ago, on November 26, I saw Denise Marsa perform her solo new musical, The Pass, at the Revelation Gallery in the West Village. The evening was “one night only,” and I knew practically nothing about this talented artist, who has been performing with various bands since the 1970s, and sang on Dean Friedman’s duet, “Lucky Stars,” a big hit in London. The evening is a mixture of vignettes from her life with 18 songs, a blend of pop/rock with a hint of classical, that resonate with different themes. Her performance is a decidedly soulful journey that begins in the 1970s and follows her through the decades to the present time. There is no shortness of talent here. Denise has been writing music since her beginnings and the title of her tale refers to a turning point in her writing career that propelled her to further success. The Pass is a work in development that Denise performed at The Playground Theatre in London for 3 nights in 2018. Her pianist, Tracy Stark, is also the musical director and sings back-up vocals. PC

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Reviews

The Thin Place ****

Kelly McAndrew, Randy Danson, Triney Sandoval, Emily Cass McDonnell

By: David Sheward

December 30, 2019: Hot new playwright Lucas Hnath takes a great risk by naming his latest play The Thin Place. Its plot and premise could be taken as gossamer light and critics could easily take cheap shots employing the skinny title as emblematic of the work itself. But this haunting ghost story—pardon the pun—contains an unsettling power, enhanced by the subtle work of director Les Waters and an expert cast.

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Reviews

Jagged Little Pill ***

Antonio Cipriano, Lauren Patten, Elizabeth Stanley, Celia Rose Gooding, Sean Allan Krill, Derek Klena and Kathryn Gallagher

By: Isa Goldberg

December 27, 2019: Take the incomprehensibility of everyday life and swallow it whole. That is the confection behind Jagged Little Pill, the new musical based on Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard’s 1995 concept album of the same title. No spoiler alert there, it’s one of the all-time record-breaking albums. 

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Reviews

Greater Clements ****, Sing Street **1/2

Nina Hellman, Judith Ivey, Ken Narasaki, Edmund Donovan and Andrew Garman in “Greater Clements”

By: David Sheward

December 25, 2019: Crushing economic forces devastate two communities in a pair of Off-Broadway productions. How the characters deal with these financial blows vary as does the level of credibility and connection. Samuel D. Hunter continues to document the disenfranchised of his home state Idaho in Greater Clements at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, while some of the creative team behind the hit Once revisit the same locale (depressing Dublin) for another screen-to-stage examination of music transforming blighted lives with Sing Street at New York Theater Workshop.

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Reviews

Judgment Day *** 1/2

Everything is Connected

By: Samuel L. Leiter

December 24, 2019: If you saw the recent movie, Marriage Story, you probably heard Adam Driver’s character, an Off-Broadway director, say he was doing a play by Ödön von Horváth. Ödön von who, you ask? If you’d like a more practical introduction to this Austrian playwright than a trip to the Internet, I suggest you visit the Park Avenue Armory for British director Richard Jones’s (The Hairy Ape)eye-boggling, more-is-more staging of Horváth’s 1937 play, Judgment Day, in a world-premiere adaptation by Christopher Shinn. 

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Features

Cole Porter with Harry Connick Jr.

Harry Connick Jr.

5 Reasons Why You Should Celebrate Cole Porter with Harry Connick Jr.

By: Iris Wiener

1.      Harry Connick Jr. has an appreciation for Cole Porter that is unmatched by other artists. He recently released an album of Porter songs called “True Love,” but his new Broadway show surpasses the content on the album. The show, Harry Connick Jr.: A Celebration of Cole Porter, is a love letter to the late pianist and songwriter, both written and directed by Connick, who wears his heart on his sleeve at all turns.

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Reviews

Greater Clements ***, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven ***1/2

Judith Ivey and Ken Narasaki in “Greater Clements”

By: Paulanne Simmons

December 18, 2019: Greater Clements, by Samuel D. Hunter, directed by Davis McCallum; and Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by John Ortiz have both opened this season, the first at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater, the second at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Both are about three hours long But the shows have much more in common.

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Around The Town

BroadwayHD for the Holidays

The perfect gift for everyone on your list or a dynamite stocking stuffer!

December 15, 2019: Holiday frenzy is upon us and it’s just 10 days till Christmas. Don’t fret, a smart choice for everyone on your holiday list is BroadwayHD. Highly recommended by out staff as the ultimate streaming service for theater lovers of all ages. Your gift will bring full works of Shakespeare, awe-inspiring performances from Cirque du Soleil and a selection of the world’s greatest musicals including Kinky Boots, Cats, 42nd Street, A Night With Janis Joplin, The Phantom of The Opera, The King and I, Sound of Music, and An American in Paris.

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Features

Love Actually

Eric Peters, Kayla Catan

Five Reasons Why the Unauthorized Parody Love Actually is Actually Quite Lovely

By: Iris Wiener

December 16, 2019: Taking in a sickeningly sweet romantic comedy is so last year. Unsurprisingly, Tobly and Bob McSmith, the brilliant, quick-thinking minds behind Bayside! The Musical!, Showgirls! The Musical! and The Office! A Musical Parody, have concocted an epically funny gift to New York with Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody. Now running at the Jerry Orbach Theater at the Theater Center, the musical is a send-up of the 2003 film in which a panoply of loosely written relationships are explored with gooey, Christmas delight. The zany musical cleverly takes aim at the film’s most clichéd, cheesy tropes. Though there are many reasons to treat oneself to this gem, here are five:

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Gordin's View

Jonathan Groff

Michael Portantiere, Jonathan Groff

Award winning actor, Jonathan Groff, chats with Michael Portantiere for the Drama Desk.

Jonathan Groff, currently starring in the hit Off-Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors, was the focus of an exclusive Drama Desk interview/audience Q&A program on Thursday, December 12 from 4:45 to 6pm.The event took place at Ripley-Grier Studios, 520 8th Avenue, and moderated by longtime Drama Desk member Michael Portantiere.

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