February 3, 2019: Black Lives Matter carries its torch in this year’s Oscar nominations with nods to Black Klansman, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Green Book, among them. On the stage, American Son and To Kill A Mockingbird also bring to light the senseless and wrongful incarceration of African-American men.
ALL OVER THE MAP: COLIN QUINN RED STATE BLUE STATE
By: Samuel L. Leiter
January 25, 2019: I have to admit to being a Colin Quinn novice, not having seen this actor-comedian’s previous New York shows, most recently 2015’s well-received Colin Quinn: The New York Story (directed by someone named Jerry Seinfeld). I must have been in a bubble because I don’t believe I caught much of his extensive TV work either, not even his gig on SNL (which I only returned to once Alec Baldwin began doing Donald Trump). I’ve surely seen him on shows like Girls, though, and I know I caught him in the Amy Schumer movie Trainwreck because this YouTube video kickstarted my memory.
January 31, 2019: The more you see it, the more it becomes one of your favorite things! Since making its Broadway debut in 1959, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s perennial classic has been embraced by audiences around the globe. Now, in celebration of its 60th anniversary, THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE, an ambitious, live-broadcast production from BAFTA-nominated director Coky Giedroyc, will be released on BroadwayHD on January 31.
64th Annual DD Awards Show will be presented by Broadway Brands
January 28, 2019: Broadway Brands, publisher of Broadway News and Broadway Briefing, and the Drama Desk jointly announced today that Broadway Brands will present the Drama Desk Awards (www.DramaDeskAwards.com) beginning with the upcoming 2019 ceremony. The 64th annual event will take place on June 2, 2019 at 8:00p.m. at The Town Hall. The cut-off for nominations will be April 24, 2019, and nominations will be announced April 25, 2019.
Kyle Ketelsen as Golaud and Isabel Leonard as Mélisande
By: David Sheward
January 27, 2019: Claude Debussy’s moving Pelleas et Melisande defies operatic convention. Eschewing passionate arias where the divas pour out every thought and motive for their extreme actions, this mysterious love triangle is all recitative with inner feelings largely unexpressed in words. The music does that, exquisitely conducted at the Metropolitan Opera by new music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Those yearning for a splashy solo will be disappointed. The music is delicate and subtle, requiring careful attention. When it opened in Paris in 1902, some critics found it “sickly and practically lifeless.” But there are contemplative joys to be found in its nuances and complex melodies. The Metropolitan Opera’s revival of Jonathan Miller’s 1995 production (restaged by Paula Williams) takes its time to establish an emotional connection between characters, music and audience, but by the third act, a mystical spell has been woven.
January 27, 2019: The problem play is a form of realistic drama that developed during the 19th century. It deals with a contemporary social controversy. Its major proponent was the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen; A Doll’s House and An Enemy of the People quickly come to mind. But there’s also Alexandre Dumas, whose The Lady of the Camellias deals with prostitution, and George Bernard Shaw, who wrote about prostitution too, as well as religion, feminism and poverty.
January 26, 2019: January and February are traditionally slow months in the New York theater with few openings, especially on Broadway–only Choir Boy and True West during these first months. But there are a bunch of shows which have announced openings in March through April, that frantic period before the Tony Award cut-off date, and into May and the summer for the 2019-20 season. Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Man of Steel) will star in a revival of Terrence McNally’s two-character comedy-drama Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune, set to open in May at a Shubert theatre to be announced.
Matthew Hydzik, Emily Skinner, Jarrod Spector, Micaela Diamond, Stephanie J. Block, Teal Wicks, Michael Berresse and Michael Campayno in “The Cher Show”
5 Reasons Why The Cher Show Shines
By: Iris Wiener
January 24, 2019: In an industry that now boasts jukebox musicals on a regular basis, how is The Cher Show different from the rest of the pack? Though it does feature many of the same tired tropes as Summer, On Your Feet! and Beautiful (to name only a few), it does own its place in the current offerings on Broadway. Though its structure is quite predictable while dodging many of the more controversial aspects of her life, The Cher Show still manages to be its own experience. Here are five reasons it’s worth it to check out the musical and turn back time:
January 23, 2019: Full confession, a few decades ago I interviewed, on separate occasion, both Calvin Trillin and his wife, Alice at their Greenwich Village apartment. So I was especially interested in seeing Trillin’s play, About Alice, inspired by his 2007 memoir of the same title.
January 22, 2019: Jack Neary’s Halloween melodrama, Trick or Treat, produced by Northern Stage, opened at 59E59 Theaters for a limited engagement through Sunday, February 24. Gordon Clapp, a Tony nominee for Glengarry Glen Ross, and an Emmy winner for NYPD Blue, plays Johnny Moynihan, a husband coping with his wife Nancy’s early onset Alzheimer disease. The stress from dealing with her illness creates an unusual dilemma for Johnny that will put in motion a series of events that feels more trick than treat.
Jenni Putney, Playwright Jack Neary, Gordon Clapp, Kathy McCafferty, Kathy Manfre, David Mason
Photo: Barry Gordin
NYC premiere of a dark comedy with Tony nominee Gordon Clapp
January 20, 2019: Jack Neary’s Halloween drama, Trick or Treat, produced by Northern Stage, opened at 59E59 Theaters for a limited engagement through Sunday, February 24, 2019. Gordon Clapp, a Tony nominee for Glengarry Glen Ross, plays Johnny, a husband coping with his wife’s Alzheimer disease. His stress from the challenge of dealing with her illness creates an unusual dilemma that sets in motion a zany series of events in the dark comedy directed by Carol Dunne.
January 18, 2019: Few actresses can wring as many variations on self-indulgent despair as Marin Ireland. This Obie winner has created incisive portraits of a party-girl spoiled royal in Marie Antoinette, a narcissistic bisexual activist in In the Wake and a self-destructive immigrant worker in Ironbound. That’s just to name a few. Now she is a disgraced high school teacher, sucking up oxygen and wrecking lives in Abby Rosebrock’s Blue Ridge at Atlantic Theatre Company. Alison is the newest resident at a Christian half-way house in the mountains of North Carolina. When her abortive affair with her married principal goes south, she takes an axe to his car and must submit to a work program and Bible study. Ireland manages to make this dangerous bundle of nerves a charismatic charmer, gathering attention and even love while wrecking havoc.
January 17, 2019: It’s obvious, from the demographic of the audience at The Duke on 42nd Street, that Arturo Toscanini is a name primarily older people recognize. And for those of us who do, Maestro by Eve Wolf, is an embracing evening of live music, and WWII history, told in a way that awakens our senses.