Around The Town

Drama Critics Circle Awards

Michele Pawk, John Zdrojeski, Zoe Winters in “Heroes of the Fourth Turning” Photo: Mathew Murphy

NEW YORK DRAMA CRITICS’ CIRCLE NAMES  HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING BEST PLAY 2019-20, A STRANGE LOOP NAMED BEST MUSICAL

April 16, 2020: The New York Drama Critics’ Circle today named Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning best play of the 2019-20 season. The award for best musical went to Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop. The selections were made at the organization’s 85th annual voting meeting on April 15.

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Around The Town

Lucille Lortel Nominations 2020

35th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards will be presented in a virtual ceremony on Sunday, May 3, at 7PM.

April 14, 2020: Nominations for the 35th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were announced today by theatre veterans Jeremy Jordan and Ashley Spencer. The Awards will be presented during a special online event on Sunday, May 3, broadcast on the official website – www.LortelAwards.org – beginning at 7:00pm ET. A virtual “host” and presenters will be announced at a later date. As always, the Lortel Awards will be a benefit for The Actors Fund and fans are encouraged to make donations at actorsfund.org/Lortel. The Lucille Lortel Awards are produced by the Off-Broadway League and the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation. Additional support is provided by TDF. 

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Features

Bob Avian Part 3

Bob Avian: Dancing Man, A Life in Theater as Choreographer/Director;  Tales of Collaborating with Michael Bennett in New Autobiography

By: Ellis Nassour

Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey (University Press of Mississippi; Hardcover; 240 pages, including16-page B&W photo album and Index; $28; E-book available) by Tony and Olivier winner Bob Avian, expertly-guided by co-writer Tom Santopietro, takes the reader beyond behind the scenes of the creation of such musicals as Company, Follies, Dreamgirls, A Chorus Line, Ballroom, and Miss Saigon and into the imagination and genius of Michael Bennett; and later, Miss Saigon.

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Around The Town

Drama Desk

Announcement

April 8, 2020: New York theater is caught in a moment of exceptional uncertainty. In the face of this, the mission of the Drama Desk Awards – recognizing the thousands of artists and craftspeople who make up our community – has never been more urgent. Our organization is committed to honoring the outstanding work of this season as best we can, with safety the highest priority. The Drama Desk Awards nominating committee will regard Wednesday, March 11, 2020, as the conclusion of the 2019-20 theater season, and move forward with determination of award nominees. The nominations will be announced on April 21.

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Around The Town

Broadway Shutdown Extended

BROADWAY THEATRES EXTEND SUSPENSION THROUGH JUNE 7, 2020

April 8, 2020: In accordance with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and under the continued direction of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Broadway shows in New York City will extend the current suspension of all performances through June 7, 2020.

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Features

Bob Avian: Part 2

Bob Avian: Dancing Man, A Life in Theater as Choreographer/Director; Tales of Collaborating with Michael Bennett in New Autobiography

By: Ellis Nassour

April 8, 2020: Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey (University Press of Mississippi; Hardcover; 240 pages, including16-page B&W photo album and Index; $28; E-book available) by Tony and Olivier winner Bob Avian, expertly-guided by co-writer Tom Santopietro (Broadway general manager; author of The Sound of Music Story, Considering Doris Day) takes the reader beyond behind the scenes of the creation of such musicals as Company, A Chorus Line, Ballroom, Dreamgirls, and Miss Saigon and into the imagination of Michael Bennett, Steven Sondheim, Gower Champion, Avian himself, and numerous others – many of whom are undeservedly forgotten today. 

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Features

Bob Avian Part 1

Bob Avian: Dancing Man, A Life in Theater as Choreographer/Director; Tales of Collaborating with Michael Bennett in New Autobiography
Part One

By: Ellis Nassour

April 6, 2020: Tony-winning scenic designer Robin Wagner, credited with over 50 Broadway shows, says, “Bobby, in addition to being an extraordinarily nice guy, is an absolutely brilliant director/choreographer. He and Michael Bennett was a pair. They knew each other inside out. Everything Michael did, Bobby contributed at least half. Michael trusted his instincts. Bobby was more collaborator than assistant.”

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Features

NYC Theater’s Future Unknown

Sharon D. Clarke and cast in “Caroline or Change” which has been postponed to the fall Credit: Helen Maybanks

NYC Theater’s Future Unknown: Coronavirus Pandemic Continues to Ravage Broadway

By: David Sheward

April 4, 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the New York theater world as well as all aspects of American and world society. On March 12, all Broadway theaters were ordered closed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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Around The Town

Nick Cordero

Tony Award Nominee Nick Cordero Unconscious in ICU

By: Ellis Nassour

April 4 2020: Tony Award and two-time Drama Desk nominee and all-round nice guy Nick Cordero is unconscious in an unnamed hospital, according to reports from his wife via Entertainment Tonight and a post on Instagram. “My husband needs your prayers,” notes wife, Amanda Kloots, on Instagram. “He’s fighting like a champ.” 

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Around The Town

Paulanne Simmons Unscripted

Theater: “As If We Never Said Goodbye”

April 1, 2020: We who love theater feel ourselves besieged from all sides. Not only has Broadway, off-Broadway and off off-Broadway shut down, but the coronavirus has taken the lives of many prominent theater professionals: the great playwright Terrance McNally and the beloved former Drama Desk president, William Wolf, to name just two.

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Around The Town

William Wolf (1925-2020)

William Wolf Photo: Barry Gordin

Former President of the Drama Desk dies from complications of COVID-19

April 1, 2020: William Wolf, author, critic and educator, who was part of a golden age in magazine journalism, died on Saturday, March 18 in New York.  He was the 22nd president of the Drama Desk and, also served two terms as chair of the New York Film Critics Circle. He began his career in 1964 as a film critic for Cue Magazine. When Cue was absorbed into New York Magazine, he became an editor and critic there. In the 1980s, his film criticism and features were syndicated by Gannett.

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Reviews

72 Miles To Go ****

Jacqueline Guillen, Triney Sandoval, Bobby Moreno, Tyler Alvarez

By: David Sheward

April 1, 2020: Note: This production’s run ended abruptly on March 12 due to Broadway and Off-Broadway’s theaters closing because of the coronavirus crisis. Roundabout Theater Company has announced they will be making the show available digitally to ticket holders. 

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Around The Town

Tony Awards Postponed

THE 74th ANNUAL TONY AWARDS® TO BE POSTPONED

March 25, 2020: The 74th Annual Tony Awards, scheduled to air live on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 7th from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date, in coordination with our broadcast partner. The health and safety of the Broadway community, artists and fans is of the utmost importance to us.   

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Features

Terrence McNally

Terrence McNally Photo: Barry Gordin

Theater Community Mourns the Death of Celebrated  Playwright Terrence McNally

By: Ellis Nassour

March 25, 2020: Beloved playwright Terrence McNally, a four-time Tony Award-winner, who wrote Master Class; books of musicals The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Full MontyRagtime; and numerous opera librettos, died Tuesday in Sarasota, FL. He was 81. A lung cancer survivor, the reported cause of his death was the result of “complications from the coronavirus.” 

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Features

Lips Together, Teeth Apart

Terrence McNally Photo: Barry Gordin

Free online access to L.A. Theatre Works recording of Lips Together,Teeth Apartin remembrance of playwright Terrence McNally.

March 30, 2020: L.A. Theatre Works will offer free streaming access to its recording of Lips Together, Teeth Apart from now through the end of April as a posthumous tribute to playwright Terrence McNally, who died on March 24.

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