Around The Town

On This Day In New York Theater: April 18, 1946

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 26 in the series)

April 18, 2021: April 18 in the 1940s was not a particularly memorable date in the annals of Broadway history, but it did yield one fascinating, if now barely remembered, long-running artifact. Lesser shows that opened on that date during the decade were To Kill a Cat (1943), Sheppey (1944), and Magnolia Alley (1949), the longest running of which (23 performances) was Sheppey,. 

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Reviews

John Cullum: An Accidental Star ****

John Cullum

By: David Sheward

April 17, 2021: Still spry and charismatic at 91, John Cullum offers an enchanting and charming solo turn  in John Cullum: An Accidental Star, a 80-minute career retrospective with songs. This virtual cabaret piece, available online until April 22, was produced by the Irish Repertory Theater, the Vineyard Theater and Goodspeed Opera House, three theaters Cullum has worked with, and is simplicity itself. Cullum relates stories about his seven-decade career with subtle musical accompaniment by pianist and musical director Julie McBride. From his early days in New York with Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare in the Park to his Broadway debut in Camelot to recent triumphs such as The Scottsboro Boys, the two-time Tony winning star offers amusing anecdotes and backstage insights as well as memorable performances of songs from his shows.

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Around The Town

Jamie deRoy & friends

Stephen Schwartz, Jamie deRoy Photo: Barry Gordin

2021  Academy Award  Winning Songs #1 

April 17, 2021: Jamie deRoy & friends presents Academy Award Winning Songs: Part 1 with Special Guest: Three- Time Oscar Winner Stephen Schwartz airing at it’s new Day, Time and Channel on MONDAY, APRIL 19th at 8PM on MNN5: Spectrum HD Channel 1993, and Verizon FIOS Channel 37, as well as multiple times on East Hampton LTV Channel 20 at later dates.  

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Features

Welcome Back to Theater

A Door Opens to Off Broadway: Blindness

By: Ellis Nassour

April 16, 2021: The acclaimed Donmar Warehouse production of Blindness, adapted from Nobel Prize-winning José Saramago’s dystopian novel by Tony winner Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), has opened at the Daryl Roth Theatre (101 East 15th Street at Union Square East). The production is the first to cut the ribbon of the commercial return of much-missed performing arts. 

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Reviews

Blindness ****

By: David Sheward

April 9, 2021: If a live event has no live actors, stage, sets or costumes, is it really theater? That’s the conundrum posed by Blindness, the unique gathering at the Daryl Roth Theater and the first indoor New York performance presented on or Off-Broadway since all NYC stages were shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic over a year ago. The piece was conceived in response to the pandemic and opened at London’s Donmar Warehouse last year. While it lacks the conventional accoutrements of a night at the theater, it does deliver a devastating emotional wallop—and that’s all any piece of entertainment requires to succeed.

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Around The Town

BroadwayHD

Ted Dykstra, Richard Greenblatt

BroadwayHD premiers 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS, the hilarious award-winning Canadian show on April 13.

April 9, 2021: Now 25 years after it first premiered 2 Pianos 4 Hands, which won a Dora-Award (Toronto’s Theatre Award) for Outstanding Production, is available on BroadwayHD. The hilarious bittersweet tale depicts the challenging process of learning to play the piano, and the sense of loss of eventually learning to let go of a dream. Written and performed by Richard Greenblatt an Ted Dykstra it tells, with equal parts humor and empathy, the story of two boys and their music-infused journey of discovery at the keyboard. Pushy parents, eccentric teachers, endless hours of repetitive practice stage fright, the agony of competitions and the seductive dream of greatness all play their part in this wildly funny play.

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Features

Broadway Starting to Light Up Soon

Things are Lighting Up in Theater with Sneak Peeks at the Soon-to-Be Future

By: Ellis Nassour

April 15, 2021– Following a game-changing but one-night-only event of performances by Tony-winning Broadway Treasure Nathan Lance and faster-than-a-speeding bullet Tony-winning tapper/actor/choreographer Savion Glover for an acceptable roster of guests at the St. James.

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Hamptons Life

Bay Street Theater

New Home for Bay Street Theater to be completed by 2023

April 8, 2021:  At a zoom press conference on Tuesday morning Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor announced their exciting plans for 22 Long Island Avenue, the property the not for profit purchased in October for 13.9 million dollars. The goal was to create a new “state of the art” purpose built home at the entrance to Sag Harbor with two theaters and facilities to accommodate their year- round educational programs. 

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Around The Town

John Cullum Tribute

John Cullum: An Accidental Star, April 8-22, a Streaming Tribute to One of Theater’s Hardest Working Leading Men

By: Ellis Nassour

April 5, 2021 — Three of veteran actor John Cullum’s long-time theatre homes – the Vineyard, Goodspeed Musicals, and Irish Repertory – came together to present in association with manager/producer Jeff Berger John Cullum: An Accidental Star on April 8 at 7 P.M. E. The tribute to the still spry 91-year-old actor will stream on demand through April 22. There’ll be two live watch parties on April 8 and at 2 P.M. E April 17.

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Around The Town

New Date & Time

Jamie deRoy & friends Moves to New Date & Time Starting April 5

April 3, 2021:  The long running cable show, Jamie deRoy & friends, will air at a new day, time and channel. Starting with the next episode, Celebrating Songwriters Part II, Jamie will now be broadcast on MNN5 Spectrum HD Channel 1993 and Verizon FIOS Channel 37, every other Monday (with multiple times on East Hampton LTV Channel 20 at later dates). “Celebrating Songwriters Part 2” airs on Monday, April 5 at 8 PM EDT.

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Around The Town

Broadway Update: Diana, Game of Thrones, Piano Lesson, Natural Death

By: David Sheward

April 2, 2021: The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be waning with vaccinations increasing, but we’re still not out of the woods. Variant strains of the virus are on the rise and Republican governors are dropping mask mandates and restrictions too quickly. This could mean more infections and deaths. In any case, the re-opening of Broadway is still a long way off with fall 2021 as the earliest possible date.

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Reviews

Voyeur: The Windows of Toulouse-Lautrec ****

By: David Sheward

April 1, 2020: COVID vaccinations are ramping up and restrictions are beginning to loosen, but variant strains threaten another pandemic surge. Thus the reopening of Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters is still months away, probably the fall of 2021 at the earliest. However, a group of New York theater artists have cleverly circumvented the virus with an innovative event to feed your hunger for live performance while maintaining safety protocols. Voyeur: The Windows of Toulouse-Lautrec has been running since October and touts itself as the longest-running live pandemic performance piece in New York City. 

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Around The Town

Broadway Dark For Now, But …

There’s No Broadway for the Moment But There’s Parody, (More) Untold Stories, No Shortage of Vinyl, and More…

By: Ellis Nassour

A Titanic Event! Or Close To It

March 29, 2021 — Tony-winning producer Eva Price (Jagged Little Pill, Oklahoma! revival) and premium streaming platform Stellar announced tickets are on sale for the irreverent parody concert, Titanique: The Maiden Voyage, to telecast Sunday, May 2, at 7:30 P.M. E. It will be “ the irresistibly funny and irreverent new musical send-up of the blockbuster film Titanic via the song catalog of pop icon Celine Dion.”

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Around The Town

On This Day In New York Theater: March 28, 1939

(No. 25 in the series)

By: Samuel L. Leiter

March 28, 2021: After struggling to regain his form as Broadway’s foremost writer of drawing-room comedy, Philip Barry—who hadn’t had a hit since 1932—accomplished that aim with éclat in The Philadelphia Story, which opened as a Theatre Guild production at the Shubert Theatre on March 28, 1939, where it racked up 417 performances. Brooks Atkinson dubbed it a “gay and sagacious comedy,” and Burns Mantle picked as one of the year’s Ten Best. It brought Katharine Hepburn, in a role written for her, back to the stage in triumph after several years in Hollywood, where she recently had been declared “box office poison.” Together with Barry and industrialist Howard Hughes, she had a 75 percent interest in the play, which still left enough to rescue the Theatre Guild from impending financial disaster. 

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Around The Town

Celebrating Songwriters

Jamie deRoy Photo: Barry Gordin

Jamie deRoy & friends presents “Celebrating Songwriters Part I” with Andrew Lippa and Charles Strouse. 

March 27, 2021:  Tonight’s segment of Jamie deRoy & friends, which airs at 7:30 on multiple channels (see channels below), showcases songwriters. The segment, directed by Barry Klienbort, features Andrew Lippa, Charles Strouse, Christiane Noll, and Victoria Shaw.

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