Broadway Stars Celebrated Sutton Foster at the Drama League Annual Benefit Gala
October 28, 2019: The Drama League honored Sutton Foster, a two-time Tony Award, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Fred Astaire, and Gracie Award winner and star of TV Land’s hit television series “Younger,” and Arts Ally honoree Herb Engert with “A Musical Celebration of Broadway at The Plaza.
Before Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside begins at Studio 54, the ushers are more than usually diligent about insisting all I-phones be turned completely off, since the play begins in total darkness. With all potential distractions silenced and screens blanked, we are emerged in a inky void and lighting designer Heather Gilbert slowly begins to reveal a lone figure reading from a manuscript. It is the remarkable Mary-Louise Parker as Bella Baird, a writing professor, who begins recounting her life-altering encounter with a mysterious student and we are taken into another world, sometimes as mundane as this one and sometimes as profoundly disturbing as a nightmare.
Klea Blackhurst, Garen McRoberts, Jay Aubrey Jones, Joe Veale
By: Paulanne Simmons
October 28, 2019: These days when musicals routinely explore questions of race, gender and politics, a highly entertaining but completely frivolous one like Cole Porter’s Panama Hattie may come as a welcome relief. Originally produced in 1940, with a book by Herbert Fields and B.G. DeSylva, the show was conceived as a vehicle for Ethel Merman, who played the eponymous American singer working in a Panama City nightclub.
Jonathan Groff, Christian Borle “Little Shop of Horrors”
By: David Sheward
October 23, 2019: A trio of quirky tuners have just opened Off-Broadway while a small family show transfers from Off to on. Both Scotland, PA at Roundabout’s Laura Pels and Little Shop of Horrors in a commercial run at the Westside Theater, translate weird, dark little movies into weird dark little musicals. The former is derived from William Morrisette’s 2001 macabre comedy setting Shakespeare’s Macbeth in a fast-food joint in 1975 dead-end Central Pennsylvania. Little Shop (1982) took Roger Corman’s 1960 Grade-Z horror schlocker about a monstrous plant for its inspiration, went on to run five years Off-Broadway, launched a 1986 film remake, a 2003 Broadway revival, and numerous tours and amateur productions. Both shows feature frighteningly fun, gruesome murders and spoofy scores, ribbing the music of their respective eras. Little Shop is still a rollicking, guilty-pleasure good time, while the sometimes witty and fiendishy funny Scotland has its slow spots.
October 23, 2019: Brian Friel’s 1994 drama, Molly Sweeney, is so thoughtful, inspired and profound one wonders why it is not revived more often. Fortunately, Keen Company has revived it this season, in a production directied by Jonathan Silverstein, with Pamela Sabaugh as the sightless, middle-aged Molly; Tommy Schrider as Frank, her new husband, a man who is convinced her sight can be restored; and Paul O’Brien as Mr. Rice, the alcoholic doctor who is supposed to make it happen.
Lindsay Ryan, Director Darren Lee Cole, Renita Lewis
American Premiere of Henry Naylor’s potent and cautionary tale, based on the true story of two Jewish/female athletes in Hitler’s Germany, is a mesmerizing account by two immensely skilled actors.
October 21, 2019: Games, directed by SoHo Playhouse Artistic Director Darren Lee Cole, is having its American premiere downtown at the SoHo Playhouse on Vandam Street. The play was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland last year where Cole attended the first performance. The Fringe is the largest arts festival in the World and the play is a powerful cautionary tale for our present times.
Halloween Treats Abound with October releases on BroadwayHD
October 20, 2019: BroadwayHD kicked off the month of October with a binge-worthy lineup of performances that are sure to excite audiences everywhere. Leading the charge, just in time for Halloween, is the eerie classic Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring Tony Award® winners Angela Lansbury and George Hearn as Mrs. Lovett and the vengeful Sweeney Todd. On October 17th, Jekyll and Hyde, starring David Hasselhoff in his Broadway debut, made its way to the platform. As part of BroadwayHD’s partnership with Stratford Festival, subscribers will have access to the critically-acclaimed Stratford Stage’s 2017 production of Macbeth on October 24th, starring Ian Lake and Krystin Pellerin. Finally, on October 31st, Hugh Grant and Elizabeth McGovern star in a dramatic tale of love and loss in The Changeling.
Charlie Cox as Jerry, Zawe Ashton as Emma and Tom Hiddleston as Robert
By: Isa Goldberg
October 18, 2019: Director James Lloyd’s revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal embraces a chilly minimalism. As the pinnacle of this complex love triangle, Robert (Tom Hiddleston) is an opaque, fully restrained husband; one who’s certainly not into drama.
October 17, 2019: “My life is unhappy. I want to change it and I don’t know how.” That’s the subtext of a lot of American drama and four productions currently on and Off-Broadway explore this trope of angst with insight and compassion. One is a neglected classic from Tennessee Williams, the poet of the frustrated and lonely, while the other three offer new perspectives on the search for self-fulfillment from established and rising playwrights. Surprisingly, the Williams play is the most optimistic and life-affirming of this sad quartet.
October 17, 2019: The raves and buzz surrounding playwright Jeremy O. Harris are well deserved. A surprising young writer, his grasp of dramatic form, from medieval miracle plays to silent movies, is on par with his sociological observations, and psychological insights. His Broadway premiere, Slave Play is equally all over the place, and delightfully so.
“On Broadway” directed by Oren Jacoby makes World Premiere at Hamptons International Film Festival
October 13, 2019: An all-star cast tells the inside story of Broadway theatre, and how it came back from the brink thanks to innovative work, a new attention to inclusion, and is, an often uneasy, balance between art and commerce.