Jujamcyn Celebrates 100 Years

Jujamcyn Org. Celebrates 100th Av. of Theatre Now Known As the Walter Kerr.

By: Ellis Nassour

March 22, 2021 – Jujamcyn Theaters celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the historic theatre now known as the Walter Kerr, with a just-released interactive timeline. It’s a definitive history of the building, featuring a century’s worth of history: from the earliest shows, musicals, and revues, through its years as a radio and TV studio, brief spans as an adult film cinema, a children’s theatre, and now one of the most intimate (945 seats) and stunningly-restored houses on Broadway.

Jujamcyn Org. Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Theatre Now Known As the Walter Kerr.

By: Ellis Nassour

March 22, 2021 – Jujamcyn Theaters celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the historic theatre now known as the Walter Kerr, with a just-released interactive timeline. It’s a definitive history of the building, featuring a century’s worth of history: from the earliest shows, musicals, and revues, through its years as a radio and TV studio, brief spans as an adult film cinema, a children’s theatre, and now one of the most intimate (945 seats) and stunningly-restored houses on Broadway.

Designed by Herbert J. Krapp, and built in 1921, as the Ritz Theatre, it was renamed the Walter Kerr Theatre in 1990 after the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York theater critic (New York Herald-Tribune and New York Times).

Jordan Roth, Jujamcyn Theatres president, said, “It is no coincidence that this 100th  anniversary of the Walter Kerr is also the beginning of Spring. The theater’s current show Hadestown affirms that however deep in our personal, communal, societal darkness we may feel, Spring will, indeed, come again. As much as we have all lost in this past year, we can place ourselves in this long legacy and see we are at a turning point, that we are the turning point.

“To mark this milestone,” he continued, “we offer some moments of reminiscence, solace, and elebration by revisiting the first 100 years of the Kerr – and by extension Broadway as a whole – and recommitting to the next 100 years. We join everyone who has found their own personal Spring in these 100 years of the Walter Kerr in looking forward to the Spring that is to come.”

Visit the interactive timeline at www.jujamcyn.com/walterkerrtimeline

It features an archive of seldom seen nostalgia, including production photos, Playbill covers, sheet music, and press clippings. In addition, those who’ve made the Kerr their home over the last century – actors, directors, designers, writers, house and crew members – have contributed their memories. Contributors include Stephanie J. Block, Crystal Dickinson, Tovah Feldshu, Lewis Finn, John Earl Jelks, Cherry Jones, Kenny Leon, Adriane Lenox, Andrew Lippa, Omar Metwally, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jeremy Shamos, Jason Tam, and, among numerous others, Frederick Weller. 

The Kerr has been home to over 150 Broadway productions including four plays by August Wilson: his Pulitzer Prize winning The Piano Lesson, Two Trains RunningSeven Guitars, and Gem of the Ocean. Seven winners of the Tony for Best Play have played the Kerr: Angels in America: Millennium ApproachesAngels in America: PerestroikaLove! Valour! Compassion!ProofTake Me OutDoubt; and Clybourne Park. In addition, there’ve been two Tony-winning Best Musicals A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and its current show, Hadestown.  In October 2017, Bruce Springsteen made his Broadway debut at the Kerr in a solo show  that was extended three-times and holds the theatre’s box office record.

Audiences are invited to join the centennial celebration by sending memories of the Walter Kerr and the Ritz either as short videos (under three minutes), photos, and/or short written statements to walterkerrtimeline@jujamcyn.com.

Jujamcyn prides itself on being “a theatrical innovator for championing shows that push the boundaries of Broadway and for creating uniquely welcoming experiences for audiences and artists.” The company maintains five Broadway houses: the Al Hirschfeld, Kerr, St. James, Eugene O’Neill, and August Wilson. 

Current Jujamcyn productions include the Tony-winning Best Musicals Hadestown and The Book of Mormon, and the 2020 Tony-nominated Moulin Rouge!  

The organization’s proud legacy includes Angels in America (original and revival), Falsettos, Jersey Boys, The Producers, Clybourne Park, Spring Awakening, Fela!; and the Wilson plays.

 Krapp built the Ritz for the Shubert Organization. It was erected in a mere 60 days, a record for that time. In 1937, it was leased by the Federal Theatre Project. From 1943 to 1965 It was a broadcast studio for radio. Among the programs, critic, actor, playwright (two plays with George S. Kaufman), New Yorker magazine contributor, and member of the famed Algonquin Round Table Alexander Woollcott broadcast his Broadway commentaries live from the stage. Later, after a stint as a TV studio, it remained dark from 1965 to 1969. In 1971 it was bought and underwent a much-needed renovation. In 1981, following Jujamcyn’s  purchase, it underwent its stunning restoration.

Trivia: In John Lahr’s 2014 biography, Tenneesee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, it’s noted that to honor one of theater’s most prodigous and celebrated playwrights, in the late 80s then Jujamcyn head Rocco Landesman contacted the Williams Estate, overseen by one of the most controlling persons in Williams’ life, Maria St. Just about renaming the Ritz the Tennessee Williams. She would agree if Jujamcyn produced a revival of Williams’ Orpheus Descending. That was not in the cards. “I wouldn’t submit to blackmail,” said Landesman. So, Mr. Kerr received the honor. Naming a theatre in honor of Williams has often been discussed; sadly, to no avail.

John Baeder/Master Photorealist

ACA Galleries & MB Abram are presenting rare works by John Baeder in a collaborative online exhibition January 26 – June 1, 2021. 

March 21, 2021:  ACA Galleries, in collaboration with MB Abram, has been chosen to be the sole representative of rare works from the private collection of Master Photorealist John Baeder. The master works by John Baeder include oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, prints, photographs and sculpture. Many are offered for the first time and will be the last available from his private collection. Due to macular degeneration and rapidly diminishing eyesight, the Artist is no longer able to paint. The online exhibition represents a unique opportunity to view and acquire original works of this American master. This is the first presentation of a three-part online exhibition in collaboration with ACA Galleries and MB Abram.

ACA Galleries & MB Abram are presenting rare works by John Baeder in a collaborative online exhibition January 26 – June 1, 2021. 

March 21, 2021:  ACA Galleries, in collaboration with MB Abram, has been chosen to be the sole representative of rare works from the private collection of Master Photorealist John Baeder. The master works by John Baeder include oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, prints, photographs and sculpture. Many are offered for the first time and will be the last available from his private collection. Due to macular degeneration and rapidly diminishing eyesight, the Artist is no longer able to paint. The online exhibition represents a unique opportunity to view and acquire original works of this American master. This is the first presentation of a three-part online exhibition in collaboration with ACA Galleries and MB Abram.

ACA was established in 1932 at a time when there were few American galleries showing contemporary art, ACA has maintained a leadership role in showing important American and international artists in nearly 90 years since. 

John Baeder photographed by Richard J.S. Gutman. Original slide now in the Richard J.S. Gutman Diner Collection at The Henry Ford.

Recently ACA exhibited the work of Faith Ringgold at Frieze London. That exhibition like this current one was presented online due to Covid-19 restrictions. It is natural that Baeder’s work is in the company of other artists historically exhibited by ACA such as Faith Ringgold, Alice Neel, Charles White, and others. Baeder’s work also shares the passion of June Wayne and Jan Haag, with whom MB Abram has long been associated.

For the last three years Baeder has been struggling with failing eyesight due to advanced macular degeneration. He is now unable to paint. Works presented here, from his personal collection, are the last that will be available from the collection and represent a special opportunity for the serious collector. A number of these works are being made available for the first time.

Photograph from Baeder’s first art exhibit, Judith Alexander Gallery, Atlanta, GA 1964

The Beginning

Baeder was born in South Bend, Indiana on December 24, 1938. His family moved to Atlanta, GA when he was a year and a half. While quick to make friends in Atlanta, Baeder had interests quite different than his classmates, and often at odds with his practical parents. At age twelve, he became fascinated with collecting. But instead of the baseball and sports cards that intrigued some of his peers, Baeder was drawn to aircraft. He spent hours scouring magazines devoted to airplanes, absorbed in the mechanical and sculptural details of these flying machines.

Traveling by train as a young boy to visit his mother’s family in South Bend, Indiana, Baeder would stare out of the windows at the passing landscapes. Later he would remember these views as pictures, framed by the window’s edges. He loved the trains’ diner cars, a center of activity and hospitality, exotic to his child’s eyes. These memories, and others, would later be reflected in his works as an artist.

At a time and a place when his contemporaries were aspiring to more traditional careers, Baeder had recognized a different path for himself. By age fifteen, he was attending live drawing classes at the then small High Museum in Atlanta. At sixteen, Baeder expressed a desire to his parents to attend the Royal College of Art in London. This destination was outside the family means or understanding, but at seventeen Baeder found a local alternative: the art department at Auburn University which had acquired a reputation for its progressive approach.

Traveling between Georgia and Alabama had a profound effect on Baeder. There was no interstate at the time, and driving along Highway 29 and the rural backroads, Baeder was exposed to roadside culture, which he saw as embodying something uniquely American, and for which he developed a lifelong passion.

John Baeder in his walk-up NY studio 1972, where gallerist Ivan Karp visited the then unknown artist.

Flight

Returning at age twenty-one to Atlanta after four intense years honing his artistic talents at Auburn, Baeder was hired as an art director on the first showing of his portfolio by The Marschalk Company, parent company of advertising powerhouse McCann-Erickson. He worked on large campaigns, including Fanta, Sprite, and Tab, these brands of Atlanta based Coca-Cola Company and Baeder’s talents in the Atlanta advertising market were quickly recognized. He was soon offered a transfer to the New York offices of The Marschalk Company. There he became a superstar art director, this at a time when the industry was at the apex of the fast-paced life, depicted in such popular television series as Mad Men.  Despite his success an art director, Baeder’s heart was elsewhere, in a personal artistry.

Baeder’s travels on Route 29 between Auburn and Atlanta had caused Baeder to view the landscape and its gas stations, motels, and eateries in a new way, sensing they were imbued with an anima reflecting the people and ethos of America. He was haunted by the quickly changing, and soon disappearing roadside views.

Working from a small walk up studio on New York’s Third Avenue, Baeder pursued his passion for painting late into the nights, even while continuing to excel at his day job. Always the collector, he began studying vintage postcards of roadside attractions, these augmenting photographs he had himself taken. He frequented postcard dealers, and amassed a large collection of views. The work of itinerant photographers, the postcards were tourist souvenirs. But for Baeder they had a directness, lack of pretension, and unintended artistry.

New York

In 1972, John Kacere an artist friend of Baeder’s told gallerist Ivan Karp, owner of the OK Harris Gallery about an artist who had created four large “postcard paintings”.  Karp, who had been co-director at Leo Castelli Gallery, and had discovered and promoted Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Tom Wesselman, John Chamberlain and others, was curious. He had gone out on his own in 1969, establishing OK Harris Gallery, the second gallery in NY’s Soho district. (It remained influential until Karp’s death in 2012 and the gallery’s subsequent closing in 2014). 

Karp had reviewed the works of thousands of aspiring artists, and was looking for what he called “works of cultural consequence” that possessed “visual power”.  (Jay Williams)

John Baeder, Embassy , 2011 Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in.

On February 13, 1972 Karp visited Baeder’s studio. Karp was immediately taken by the four canvases depicting post card scenes of a diner, a gas station, a motel, and a tourist camp, and proposed on the spot a September solo show to open the important fall season. This was an unheard-of-offer by Karp for an artist whose work he was viewing for the first time. 

Encouraged by Karp’s invitation, and fueled by his artistic passion, Baeder quit his lucrative position at McCann- Erickson, at the time New York’s largest advertising agency, and devoted himself full time to painting. This decision was not without personal consequence, it causing the breakup of his marriage, his then wife unsettled by the financial risks and sacrifices inherent in the pursuit of a full-time career in the arts.

John Baeder, Market Tower , 2007 Oil on canvas, 30 x 48 in.

Ivan Karp was the first New York dealer to show the work of photorealists, sometimes described as a natural outgrowth of Pop Art. 

Baeder accepts Photorealism as a convenient description of his work. Indeed, one of his works “John’s Diner with John’s Chevelle” has been widely used to represent the entire first- and second-generation schools of photorealist artists.

But the description of Baeder as a photorealist only superficially encompasses the breadth of the artist and his accomplishment. 

To view the exhibition.

John Baeder, New Jersey Restaurant , 2011 Oil on canvas, 30 x 48 in.

BroadwayHD

Exciting Spring titles form BroadwayHD begin streaming March

March 5, 2021:  Exciting new Spring productions from BroadwayHD this month. The premiere streaming service for theater fans, brings a fresh new lineup to its platform.  On March 1, madness ensues when fan favorite The Goes Wrong Show season 1, based on the BBC The Play That Goes Wrong specials and the popular Broadway and West End production that started it all expands into Canada and Australia.

Exciting Spring titles form BroadwayHD begin streaming March

March 5, 2021:  Exciting new Spring productions from BroadwayHD this month. The premiere streaming service for theater fans, brings a fresh new lineup to its platform.  On March 1, madness ensues when fan favorite The Goes Wrong Show season 1, based on the BBC The Play That Goes Wrong specials and the popular Broadway and West End production that started it all expands into Canada and Australia. 

The 1954 classic Brigadoon, starring the legendary Gene Kelly and Van Johnson, along with Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring Angela Lansbury and George Hearn return to the platform on March 1 as well.  Far From the Madding Crowd, based on Thomas Hardy’s romantic drama novel, and adapted for the English Touring Theatre, will be made available to streamers on March 4.   Then on March 11, comedy fans can get ready for a spectacular reunion for the ages as Monty Python’s Not The Messiah filmed at The Royal Albert Hall brings together Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam as they commemorate the 40th anniversary of Monty Python.  Behind the Tightrope: Peter Brooke, a documentary film that provides viewers with a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the genius of one of theatre’s most renowned directors debuts on the service on March 25. 

Later in the month, additional works from the highly acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company will arrive on the platform, including Henry V, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Julius Caesar, The Tempest, Titus Andronicus, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Troilus and Cressida, and Cymbeline.  Lastly, the beautiful story and performance of Enter the Faun will be available starting March 27.  

“From comedies like The Goes Wrong Show and Monty Python’s Not The Messiah to iconic works like Othello and Far From the Madding Crowd to intriguing documentaries, we have a full spectrum of memorable performances joining our roster this month.  Theater lovers will be able to enjoy a diverse new line-up of popular works that will make them laugh and cry, and leave them spellbound !” Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley, co-founders of BroadwayHD.

The new productions coming to BroadwayHD in March include:

The Goes Wrong Show,  Season 1 – March 1- The Goes Wrong Show follows the fictitious Cornley Drama Society undertaking yet another overly-ambitious endeavor that is destined to be undermined by several prolific over-acting screen-hogging actors.

Brigadoon – March 1- In this 1954 classic, Tommy Albright (Gene Kelly) and Jeff Douglas (Van Johnson), two American pals on a hunting trip in the Scottish Highlands, get lost in the woods and happen upon the innocent and magical village of Brigadoon. Rising out of the Scottish mist only once every 100 years, and only for one day, Brigadoon never appears long enough to be corrupted by the outside world. When Tommy falls for beautiful villager Fiona Campbell (Cyd Charisse), he must decide whether to stay or to return to his life.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – March 1- One of the darkest musicals ever written, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is the unsettling tale of a Victorian-era barber who returns home to London after fifteen years of exile, in order to take revenge on the corrupt judge who ruined his life.  When revenge eludes him, Sweeney (George Hearn) swears vengeance on the entire human race, murdering as many people as he can, while his business associate, Mrs. Lovett (Angela Lansbury), bakes the bodies into meat pies and sells them to the unsuspecting public. Based on the 1973 play of the same title, this version from 1982 stars Tony Award® winners Angela Lansbury (Mame, Gypsy) and George Hearn (La Cage aux FollesSunset Boulevard).  It features a lush score by the legendary Stephen Sondheim and is directed by Hal Prince, who died this past year, leaving behind a stunning legacy of work on Broadway–from Cabaret to The Phantom of the Opera.

Far From The Madding Crowd – March 5-  Based on Thomas Hardy’s novel, Far From the Madding Crowd is the story of Bathsheba Everdene who, after inheriting her uncle’s farm, finds herself a mistress in a man’s world. This production, adapted for the English Touring Theatre, tells the story vividly using an ensemble staging and live folk music.

Monty Python’s Not The Messiah – March 11- A comic oratorio inspired by Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Eric Idle, Michael PalinTerry Jones and Terry Gilliam are back to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Monty Python.  Filmed at its only European performance at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2009, the hilarious cast appeared in a remount of the full, 90-minute version of Not the Messiah, produced by Geoff Foulkes and directed by Aubrey Powell. The cast was backed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by John du Prez for memorable tunes like “You’re the One” and “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Idle reprised his role, along with special appearances by Shannon Mercer, Carol Cleveland, Neil Innes, and more.  

Behind the Tightrope: Peter Brooke – March 25- Peter Brook is one of the world’s most respected and revolutionary directors of contemporary theatre. To help his actors achieve extraordinary performances, he has a special exercise, called “the Tightrope,” which evolved over decades of experimentation and practice into a process of transformation that makes theatre real and new for actors and audiences alike.  In this quietly eloquent and unique film, director Simon Brook, Peter’s son, reveals how the Tightrope works its dramatic alchemy.  Filmed in total immersion with five hidden cameras, The Tightrope plunges us into the intimate aspects of Brook working with his troupe of actors and musicians. Without disturbing the truth of the moment, the film reveals the magic inherent to the creative process, taking us beyond the intimacy of a workshop and into a philosophical and soulful experience.

Enter the Faun  – March 27- The unlikely collaboration between a veteran choreographer and a young actor with cerebral palsy delivers astonishing proof that each and every body is capable of miraculous transformation. As Tamar Rogoff trains Gregg Mozgala to become a dancer, they discover that her lack of formal medical training and his fears and physical limitations are not obstacles, but the impetus for their unprecedented discoveries. Enter The Faun is the story of a joyous, obsessive journey towards opening night. It challenges the boundaries of medicine and art, as well as the limitations associated with disability. 

Royal Shakespeare Company’s Henry V – March 30 – Henry IV is dead and Hal is King. With England in a state of unrest, he must leave his rebellious youth behind, striving to gain the respect of his nobility and people.  Laying claim to parts of France and following an insult from the French Dauphin, Henry gathers his troops and prepares for a war that he hopes will unite his country.

Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Merchant of Venice – March 30 – When a merchant defaults on a loan from a moneylender, it is more than money that will be demanded from him.  Considered one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, The Merchant of Venice remains a searing exploration of prejudice and the power of mercy.

Royal Shakespeare Company’s Othello – March 30 –  Othello the Moor, a general employed by the Venetian state, has secretly married Desdemona, a daughter of senator Brabantio. Written around 1604, the story follows the Moor through love, jealousy and deceit.

Royal Shakespeare Company’s Julius Caesar – March 30 – Shakespeare’s political thriller tells the story of the conspiracy against Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of his conspirators.

Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Tempest – March 30 – On a distant island a man waits. Robbed of his position, power and wealth, his enemies have left him in isolation. But this is no ordinary man, and this no ordinary island. Prospero is a magician, able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will. When a sail appears on the horizon, he reaches out across the ocean to the ship that carries the men who wronged him. Creating a vast magical storm he wrecks the ship and washes his enemies up on the shore. When they wake they find themselves lost on a fantastical island where nothing is as it seems.

Royal Shakespeare Company’s Titus Andronicus – March 30 – Titus has returned from a brutal 10-year war having lost 21 sons in battle. Betrayed by his nation, and with his family in pieces, a series of bloody events follows as he and Tamora, Queen of the Goths begin a violent cycle of revenge. Rape, cannibalism, mutilation and murder are the gruesome tools in Shakespeare’s bloodiest play.

Royal Shakespeare Company’s Twelfth Night – March 30 – Twelfth Night is a tale of unrequited love – hilarious and heartbreaking. Twins are separated in a shipwreck, and forced to fend for themselves in a strange land. The first twin, Viola, falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on OIivia, who falls for Viola but is idolised by Malvolio. Enter Sebastian, who is the spitting image of his twin sister…

Royal Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare: As You Like It – March 30 – Rosalind is banished and with her best friend, Celia, by her side, she journeys to a world of exile. But not before catching the eye of love-struck Orlando who is also forced from the Court into the Forest… What ensues is a riotous combination of a feisty cross-dressing heroine, a tartan-clad fool, melodic songs, questionable poetry and laughs aplenty. Will love conquer all, or is it merely a madness?

Royal Shakespeare Company’s Troilus and Cressida – March 30 – Troilus and Cressida swear they will always be true to one another. But in the seventh year of the siege of Troy their innocence is tested and exposed to the savage corrupting influence of war, with tragic consequences. 

Royal Shakespeare Company’s Cymbeline – March 30 – Britain is in crisis. Alienated, insular and on the brink of disaster. Can it be saved?  An ineffectual Queen Cymbeline rules over a divided dystopian Britain. Consumed with grief at the death of two of her children, Cymbeline’s judgement is clouded. When Innogen, the only living heir, marries her sweetheart Posthumus in secret, an enraged Cymbeline banishes him.  Behind the throne, a power-hungry figure plots to seize power by murdering them both.  In exile Innogen’s husband is tricked into believing she has been unfaithful to him and in an act of impulsive jealousy begins a scheme to have her murdered. Warned of the danger, Innogen runs away from court in disguise and begins a journey fraught with danger that will eventually reunite Cymbeline with a long-lost heir and reconcile the young lovers.

BroadwayHD introduces award-winning theater from all across the globe with both classic and modern productions.  Fans can expect to see the full works of Shakespeare from the Royal Shakespeare Company, awe-inspiring performances from Cirque du Soleil and a selection of the world’s greatest musicals including Kinky Boots, Cats, 42ndStreet, She Loves Me, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I, Sound of Music, and An American in Paris. All performances are adapted specifically for streaming audiences to maximize the entertainment experience. In addition to exclusive live-streamed content of the world’s best productions, BroadwayHD offers subscribers unlimited on-demand access to a library of more than 300 theatre productions from Broadway, The West End and beyond.  If You Can’t Get to Broadway, Get to BroadwayHD. To learn more about BroadwayHD, visit www.broadwayhd.com.

2021 Oscar Nominations

Nominations for the 93rd Oscars Announced

By: Ellis Nassour

March 15, 2021: The 2021 Academy Awards for the best in 2020 cinema were announced early this morning (March 15) on ABC by actor/producer Privanka Chopra Jonas and singer/writer/actor Nick Jonas. Emerging as leader of the pack was Netflix’s Mank with 10 nominations, including Best Picture, Actor, and Director. Other films receiving multiple nods are The Father,  Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Nomadland, Sound of Metal, and The Trial of the Chicago 7. A bit of Oscar history was made with two women nominated for director for the first time: Chloè Zhao (Nomadland) and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman); in addition, both received nods in the writing categories.

Nominations for the 93rd Oscars Announced

By: Ellis Nassour

March 15, 2021: The 2021 Academy Awards for the best in 2020 cinema were announced early this morning (March 15) on ABC by actor/producer Privanka Chopra Jonas and singer/writer/actor Nick Jonas. Emerging as leader of the pack was Netflix’s Mank with 10 nominations, including Best Picture, Actor, and Director. Other films receiving multiple nods are The Father,  Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Nomadland, Sound of Metal, and The Trial of the Chicago 7. A bit of Oscar history was made with two women nominated for director for the first time: Chloè Zhao (Nomadland) and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman); in addition, both received nods in the writing categories.

The 92nd Oscars air on ABC on Sunday, April 25 at 8 P.M. (E). It will telecast live from Los Angeles to more than 25 countries.   

2021 Oscar Nomination Highlights:

Picture
The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
Minari
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7


Lead Actor
Chadwich Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom;
Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal;
Anthony Hopkins, The Father;
Gary Oldman, Mank;
Steven Yeun, Minari


Lead Actress
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman;
Frances McDormand, Nomadland;
Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom;
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman;
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Supporting Actor
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7;
Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami;
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah;
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal;
LaKeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm;
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy;
Olivia Colman, The Father;
Amanda Seyfried, Mank;
Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

Director
Chloé Zhaeo, Nomadland;
Lee Isaac Chung, Minari;
David Fincher, Mank;
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman;
Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

Animated Feature
Onward;
Over the Moon
;
A Shaun the Sheep Movie
Farmageddon;
Soul
;
Wolfwalkers

International Feature Film
Another Round, Denmark;
Better Days, Hong Kong;
Collective, Romania;
The Man Who Sold His Skin, Tunisa;
Quo Vadis, Aida?, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Original Screenplay
Judas and the Black Messiah, Will Berson, Shaka King (screenplay);
Berson, King, Kenny and KeithLucas (story);
Minari, Lee Isaac Chung;
Promising Young Woman, Emerald Fennell;
Sound of Metal, Darius and Abraham Marder (screenplay); Darius
Marder, Derek Cianfrance (story);
Trial of the Chicago 7, Aaron Sorkin 

Adapted Screenplay
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, 
Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena 
Friedman, Lee Kern;
The Father, Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton;
Nomadland, Chloé Zhao;
One Night in Miami, Kemp Powers;
The White Tigers, Ramin Bahrani

Original Score
Da 5 BloodsTerrence Blanchard;
Mank, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross;
Minari, Emile Mosseri;
News of the World, James Newton Howard;
Soul, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batist

Cinematography
Judas and the Black Messiah, Sean Bobbitt;
Mank, Erik Messerschmidt;
News of the World, Dariusz Wolski;
Nomadland, Joshua James Richards; 
The Trial of the Chicago 7, Phedon Papamichael


At www.oscars.org, check out the numerous special features, which include video clips and photos, a full list of nominees, and a ballot where you can second guess Academy voters.

A Black Perspective

ACA Galleries group exhibition of prominent African American artists extended through May 1, 2021

February 16, 2021:  ACA Galleries, located at 529 West 20th Street in the gallery district, is pleased to announce their current exhibition, A BLACK PERSPECTIVE, will be extended through May 1. The show is a group exhibition of artworks by prominent African American artists created between 1945 and 2015. Since its inception, ACA Galleries has been committed to showing work by black artists, giving Aaron Douglas, Ernie Crichlow, Barkley Hendricks and Charles White some of their first shows and later representing Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden estate, Richard Mayhew, Faith Ringgold, Aminah Robinson and others.

ACA Galleries group exhibition of prominent African American artists extended through May 1, 2021

February 16, 2021:  ACA Galleries, located at 529 West 20th Street in the gallery district, is pleased to announce their current exhibition, A BLACK PERSPECTIVE, will be extended through May 1. The show is a group exhibition of artworks by prominent African American artists created between 1945 and 2015. Since its inception, ACA Galleries has been committed to showing work by black artists, giving Aaron Douglas, Ernie Crichlow, Barkley Hendricks and Charles White some of their first shows and later representing Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden estate, Richard Mayhew, Faith Ringgold, Aminah Robinson and others.

Drawn from the gallery’s extensive inventory, the show includes Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Joseph Delaney, Jacob Lawrence, Richard Mayhew, Faith Ringgold, Aminah Robinson, and Charles White, among others. 

This exhibition will travel to the Houston African American Museum of Art and Culture and will be on view May through August, 2021. 

Benny Andrews (Untitled) Woman in a Yellow Dress
Romare Bearden (Grande Case, 1983)
Joseph Delaney ( Lower Manhattan, 11958)
Richard Mahew (Fog, 2004, Oil On Canvas 36X48 in )
Faith Ringgold (No More War Story Quilt Part 11, 1985)
Intaglio, Dyed and Pieced Fabric, 71 X 101 in.
Aminah Robinson , Edmonia Lewis / Sculpture – A Clutch of Blossum Series, 1990, Mixed Media on Pellon , 59 3/4 X 21 1/2in.
Charles White, (Young Woman Unfinished Painting #6) 1965/66 , Oil On Canvas 50X24 in.

ACA Galleries | 212-206-8080 | 529 West 20th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10011 www.acagalleries.com

Grammy Winning Songs

Jamie deRoy & friends presents Grammy Award Winning Songs with Winners Julie Gold and Larry Gatlin  3/14 at 7:30

March 12, 2021: A segment of Jamie deRoy & friends, airing this Sunday, presents Grammy Award Winning Songs with Winners Julie Gold and Larry Gatlin. The segment airs Sunday, March 14, 2021 at &:30pm on Spectrum Channel 56, RCN Channel 83, and Verizon FIOS Channel 34, as well as on East Hampton LTV Channel 20 at later dates. The Grammy Awards follow at 8 PM on CBS.

Jamie deRoy & friends presents Grammy Award Winning Songs with Winners Julie Gold and Larry Gatlin  3/14 at 7:30

March 12, 2021: A segment of Jamie deRoy & friends, airing this Sunday, presents Grammy Award Winning Songs with Winners Julie Gold and Larry Gatlin. The segment airs Sunday, March 14, 2021 at &:30pm on Spectrum Channel 56, RCN Channel 83, and Verizon FIOS Channel 34, as well as on East Hampton LTV Channel 20 at later dates. The Grammy Awards follow at 8 PM on CBS.

Jamie deRoy, Larry Gatlin

On the segment Julie Gold shares about winning a Grammy for From a Distance which was Song of the Year in 1990. The song was recorded first by Nanci Griffith then by Bette Midler, who made it an international hit.

Also, on this segment, Kevin Meaney (1956 – 2016) performs We Are The World, which won the Grammy for Song of the Year 1985, written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. 

Jamie deRoy performs with The Accidentals signing Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer. 

Rick Jensen plays and sings Billy Joel’s My Life from 52nd Street which won Album of the Year 1979.  

Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers perform Broken Lady which won 1997 The Country Song of the Year written by Larry Gatlin. 

Julie Gold, Ron Abel

Musicians on this episode feature Julie Gold, Lanny Meyers, Rick Jensen, Larry Gatlin, Rudy Gatlin and Steve Gatlin with Steve Smith and Shannon Ford. The Accidentals comprise of Marcia Pelletiere, Emily Bindinger, Rosie Vallese, Margaret Dorn, Jim Vincent, Bill Mitchell and Dennis Deal.

Performances were filmed at 54 Below, The Laurie Beechman Theater at The West Bank Café and Birdland.

Jamie deRoy & friends is directed by Barry Kleinbort and produced and edited by Russell Bouthiller.  Watch Jamie deRoy & friends on Sunday, March 14 at 7:30 PM on Spectrum Channel 56, RCN Channel 83, and Verizon FIOS Channel 34, as well as on East Hampton LTV Channel 20 at later dates. The Grammy Awards follow at 8 PM on CBS.

On This Day in New York Theater: March 13 in the 1920’s

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 24 in the series)

March 13, 2021: March 13 was one of the more productive dates for New York theater in the 1920s. The decade saw a total of nine March 13 productions, one of them a revival of two French one-acts and another a classical revival. Of them, however, the single title likely to be known to most theatrical cognoscenti is George Bernard Shaw’s epic-scaled Back to Methuselah, seen over the course of three performances, one of them falling on March 13, 1922. 

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 24 in the series)

March 13, 2021: March 13 was one of the more productive dates for New York theater in the 1920s. The decade saw a total of nine March 13 productions, one of them a revival of two French one-acts and another a classical revival. Of them, however, the single title likely to be known to most theatrical cognoscenti is George Bernard Shaw’s epic-scaled Back to Methuselah, seen over the course of three performances, one of them falling on March 13, 1922. 

Dennis King, The Three Musketeers

Back to Methuselah, rarely revived, at least in full, is far less well known (or respected) than the great Irish playwright’s other works. Like the other plays seen on this date during the twenties, it will get only short shrift here because of a lack of space and time. I will say a few words about most of these while focusing mainly on a 1928 musical adaptation of Dumas’s classic tale, The Three Musketeers, the most successful of the lot.

Here is the March 13 lineup for the twenties: 1921) a musical called The Hotel Mouse; 1922) The First Fifty Years, a play that opened the same night as Part III of Back to Methuselah; 1923) a translation from the French of a play called The Comedian; 1924) two French one-acts, “La nuit de Mai” and “”Il ne faut jurer de rien”; 1928) Killers and Veils, two plays that opened simultaneously with The Three Musketeers; and, 1930) the spirited old English comedy, The Rivals

Song sheet for The Three Musketeers

Like The Three Musketeers, several of these had French connections. For example, The Hotel Mouse (Shubert Theatre, 88) was based on Paul Armont and Marcel Gerbidon’s French boulevard play La souris d’hôtel as adapted by Guy Bolton. Its chief attraction was tiny, versatile Frances White as pretty burglar Mauricette, responsible for a string of hotel thefts. 

More interesting was Henry Myers’s The First Fifty Years (Princess Theatre, 48), a two-character play when such works were very rare. It covers 50 years, starting in 1872, and follows the ups and downs of married life on the paper, wooden, tin, crystal, silver, and golden anniversaries of Ann (Clare Eames) and Martin Wells (Tom Powers). It’s an idea strikingly like that exploited many years later in Jan de Hartog’s two-character The Fourposter (and its musical version, I Do! I Do!), which covers 35 years from 1890 to 1925 in a married couple’s life.  

 Song sheet for The Three Musketeers

Shaw’s Back to Methuselah (Garrick Theatre, 25) was a succès d’estime for the Theatre Guild. Produced in five parts over three evenings, this garrulous endeavor requires an essay of its own. Let me just say that when Theatre Guild producer Lawrence Langner was arranging with Shaw to do the play in New York, the playwright wrote, “Don’t bother about a contract. . . . [I]t isn’t likely that any other lunatic will want to produce Back to Methuselah!”

Now back to France for The Comedian (Le comédien; Lyceum Theatre, 87) by the popular Parisian playwright-actor Sacha Guitry, which David Belasco staged here in his own bowdlerized translation. Just one night earlier, another Guitry play, Pasteur, had opened. Considered a better play, it nevertheless flopped well before The Comedian. The latter’s subject was the relationship between a vain, middle-aged actor (Lionel Atwill) and the talentless 18-year-old girl (Elsie Mackaye) he seduces into marrying him, but who rebels when he is unwilling to share the stage with her. Which to choose: the girl or his art?

Frances White, Holmes Taylor, The Hotel Mouse

The French-language one-acts mentioned above (Fulton Theatre, 2), “La nuit de Mai” and “Il ne jurer de rien” were old plays offered by a group of visiting actors from the Comédie Française, headed by Maurice de Feraudy, during a season of repertory elsewhere in New York. They require little comment here.

Of the two awful plays that shared their opening night with The Three Musketeers, the biggest loser was Irving Kaye Davis’s Veils (Forrest Theatre, 4), which lasted less than a week. It was a misadventure with music in the service of a melodramatic plot about twin sisters, one a thieving hooker, the other a nun, both played by Elsa Shelley. 

Killers (Forty-ninth Street Theatre, 23) was another melodrama, this one about a woman (Cynthia Blake) who hires thugs to kill her philandering spouse (George Clarkson). He meets his maker in a speakeasy, but the killer turns out to be not the hired hands, who go to prison, but the wife. She confesses just before one of the men (Harold Vermilyea) is about to fry in the electric chair. Thirty-four actors earned less than a month’s wages for this nonsense.

The one March 13 show with legs, The Three Musketeers (Lyric Theatre, 319), was produced by the inimitable Florenz Ziegfeld. It was directed by former Moscow Art Theatre actor Richard Boleslavsky, doing his first major commercial production since choosing to stay behind on one of the MAT’s visits earlier in the decade. 

This was actually the second try of the decade at musicalizing Alexander Dumas’s romantic, swashbuckling story, which has seen numerous film and stage versions. Dumas’s nineteenth-century tale of seventeenth-century adventure made for a potently enjoyable operetta, adorned with stunning sets by Joseph Urban and costumes by John W. Harkrider (one expected no less from a Ziegfeld show). Also appreciated were the vitality of the acting and singing, the charm of Rudolf Friml’s score, the choreographic novelties of Albertina Rasch, and the panoply of sword play, lovemaking, and heroic bravado. Richard Dana Skinner said that so much had been added to the enterprise “in glamour and dramatic interest that the result stands forth as something of a masterpiece” (albeit one never seen on Broadway afterward). 

 George Gaul, Martha-Bryan Allen, Dennis King, Back to Methuselah

Aramis was played by Joseph Macauley, Porthos by Detmer Poppen, Athos by Douglass Dumbrille, Richelieu by Reginald Owen, Louis XIII by Clarence Derwent, Constance by Vivienne Segal, D’Artagnan by Dennis King, Anne of France by Yvonne D’Arle, and Lady De Winter by Vivienne Osborne. Of this mostly star-studded cast, King was extraordinarily fine with his “vocal range and power . . . [and] buoyant personality,” wrote Perriton Maxwell.

In a dozen lavish scenes, the action followed the arrival of D’Artagnan in Paris, the Gascon’s new friendship with the king’s musketeers, his romance with Constance, his adventure in London recovering the queen’s jewels, and his triumphant return to France. The score’s principal contributions were “Ma Belle,” “Your Eyes,” “Queen of My Heart,” and “My Sword.” 

Despite its success, the production was fraught with problems. The biggest obstacle was the bibulous behavior of librettist William Anthony McGuire, who had only one-half of the first act finished on the day the show began rehearsals. At one point late in rehearsals, when he still did not have the job completed, he stalled the company from doing him harm by running for them the 1921 silent film version of the story, while he repaired to an empty room to finish the dialogue. As the movie wound to its close, he placed the final pages in Ziegfeld’s hands. The script still needed revisions, though, and even on opening night the actors had to play some scenes with bits of dialogue printed on cards they secretly held in their hands. Nor were things particularly smooth during the run, since King and Segal did not get along and were apt to mar each other’s performances by resorting to underhanded measures.

I now return to the dusty archives to find the next day worthy of commemoration in “On This Day in New York Theater.” 

Click Here for #1 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: MAY 14 IN THE 1920’S

Click Here for #2 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: MAY 19 in the 1930’s

Click Here for #3 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: MAY 24 IN THE 1920’S AND 1930’S

Click Here for #4 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: MAY 29 in the 1920’S, 1930’S and 1940’S

Click Here for #5 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: JUNE 3 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #6 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: June 13 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #7 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: June 20 in the 1920’a, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #8 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: June 26 in the 1920’a, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #9 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: July 6 in the 1920’a, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #10 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: July 15 in the 1920’a, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #11 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: July 27 in the 1920’a, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #12 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: August 14 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #13 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: August 31 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #14 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: September 12 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #15 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: October 11 in the 1920’s and 1930’s

Click Here for #16 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: October 29th in the 1940’s

Click Here for #17 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: November 13th in the 1930’s

Click Here for #18 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: November 29th in the 1920’s

Click Here for #19 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: December 19 in the 1940’s

Click Here for #20 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: New Year’s Eve from the 1920’s through the 1940’s

Click Here for #21 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: January 16, 1924 ( The Miracle) 

Click Here for #22 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: February 12 in the 1940’s

Click Here for #23 in the Series ON THIS DAYIN NEW YORK THEATER: February 24th in the 1930’s

Love Letter To Liza

Ring Them Bells and Celebrate! Liza Minnelli on her 75th Birthday, Friday, March 12 at 8:00 PM

February 22, 2021: In honor of the legendary Liza Minnelli on her 75th Birthday, a star-studded cast will take part in a special virtual celebration, Love Letter to Liza: A 75th Birthday Tribute Celebration, Friday, March 12 at 8:00 PM EST on the streaming platform Stellar.

Ring Them Bells and Celebrate! Liza Minnelli on her 75th Birthday, Friday, March 12 at 8:00 PM

February 22, 2021: In honor of the legendary Liza Minnelli on her 75th Birthday, a star-studded cast will take part in a special virtual celebration, Love Letter to Liza: A 75th Birthday Tribute Celebration, Friday, March 12 at 8:00 PM EST on the streaming platform Stellar.

This once-in-a-lifetime event will include performances, tributes, and birthday wishes from Liza’s co-stars, friends, and admirers from coast to coast—from Hollywood to Broadway—to honor the iconic singer, actress, recording star, and concert performer, including Joel Grey, Lily Tomlin, Catherine Zeta- Jones, Chita Rivera, Joan Collins, Harry Connick, Jr., Ben Vereen and the dancers from the Verdon-Fosse Legacy, Ute Lemper, Billy Stritch, Charles Busch, Kathie Lee Gifford, Lea Delaria, Jim Caruso, Jonathan Groff, Sandra Bernhard, Andrew Rannells, Nathan Lane, Mario Cantone, Tony Hale, Coco Peru, John Cameron Mitchell, Michele Lee, Andrea Martin, Seth Sikes, Neil Meron, and more.

Sandra Bernhard, Rosie O’Donnell & Liza Minelli Photo: Barry Gordin

Tickets, priced at $30.00, are now available at stellartickets.com and clubcummingnyc.com.

“Liza is a total entertainer, a show person the likes of which is hard to find these days. Liza’s talents have known no bounds, and her contribution to Broadway, film and even a hilarious stint on television’s “Arrested Development,” make her so deserving of this, a glorious celebration of her 75 years on Earth, said producer Daniel Nardicio. “I’m thrilled to be able to do this for Liza, and for her friends and fans in a safe, socially distant way to say we all love you Liza—Happy Birthday Darling!”

A portion of ticket sales will be donated to The Actors Fund, the national human services organization for everyone in performing arts and entertainment. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services.

In addition to the March 12 showing, repeat airings will take place on March 13 and 14 on Stellar Video on Demand.

ABOUT STELLAR
Stellar was created by the Goldstar leadership team in response to the global pandemic specifically to enable the live entertainment industry to successfully make the leap to online events. The first-ever Total Show Management system, Stellar offers industry-leading tools and guidance for online shows including ticketing, marketing, streaming support, merchandising, donations and custom interactive features-all making for flawless user experience. Organizations and artists across the US are successfully engaging global audiences and creating significant revenue on the platform.

Broadway Skating Party

Support Bay Street Theater Sunday March 7 at Buckskill Winter Club in East Hampton 6:30-8pm.

March 5, 2021: Bay Street Theater’s Family Skating Party will take place on Sunday at Buckskill Winter Club, 178 Buckskill Road, to benefit Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts. The event billed as a Broadway Skating Party is a fun filled family happening for the young at heart. Calling all parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends! Bring your family or “Social Pod” to Buckskill Winter Club on Sunday, March 7, for a closed ice-skating party from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Support Bay Street Theater Sunday March 7 at Buckskill Winter Club in East Hampton 6:30-8pm.

March 5, 2021: Bay Street Theater’s Family Skating Party will take place on Sunday at Buckskill Winter Club, 178 Buckskill Road, to benefit Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts. The event billed as a Broadway Skating Party is a fun filled family happening for the young at heart. Calling all parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends! Bring your family or “Social Pod” to Buckskill Winter Club on Sunday, March 7, for a closed ice-skating party from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Take to the ice as your inner Olympic skater for 90 minutes of social-distanced fun and skate to your favorite Broadway show tunes … Let it Go from Frozen anyone? Costumers are optional

Admission is $25 per person and includes skate rental, but bringing your own skates is encouraged. Skate sharpening by Buckskill staff is not included.

  • 90-minute, closed skate session
  • Limited to 80 guests
  • All attendees will receive a Bay Street Theater gift bag
  • Hot chocolate and snacks for sale
  • Compliant with COVID-19 safety guidelines
  • No refunds

For more information, please contact Kim Fink, Director of Development, at kim@baystreet.org.

To Purchase Tickets Click Here

*Rain date is March 14.

Nomadland ****, Pieces of a Woman ***, Supernova ***

By: David Sheward

March 7, 2021: The COVID pandemic has not only shut down the American theater but it has also transformed the movie business—perhaps permanently. With movie theaters largely shuttered, viewership has shifted to home couches and is only now beginning to move back to the cineplexes. As a result, large-scale comic-book epics (or “teenage boy” pictures) have been postponed until the cinemas reopen and relationship-based flicks (or “adult women” pictures) have come to the fore through streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Also this year’s bizarre awards season has been skewed towards female-driven vehicles.

By: David Sheward

March 7, 2021: The COVID pandemic has not only shut down the American theater but it has also transformed the movie business—perhaps permanently. With movie theaters largely shuttered, viewership has shifted to home couches and is only now beginning to move back to the cineplexes. As a result, large-scale comic-book epics (or “teenage boy” pictures) have been postponed until the cinemas reopen and relationship-based flicks (or “adult women” pictures) have come to the fore through streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Also this year’s bizarre awards season has been skewed towards female-driven vehicles.

Thus, Nomadland (Hulu), an intimate, indie-house-feeling portrait of itinerant workers based on Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction book, is in the running not only for Frances McDormand’s sensitive lead performance, but also for the top Best Picture Oscar—the film won that award at the Golden Globes. Helmer Chloe Zhao, who also wrote the screenplay and edited the film, is poised to become the first Asian-American woman to be Oscar nominated for Best Director, having won the GG.   

McDormand is luminous as Fern, a widow who travels across the Southwest in an RV after her job and entire hometown vanish due to the collapsing economy. She scrapes by in a series of temp jobs and forges brief but deep connections with a community of fellow nomads. Financially unable to retire, Fern finds joy and struggle in a gypsy existence. Zhao’s screenplay offers fragments of Fern’s backstory, but McDormand fills in volumes of subtext with her eloquent features, brought into high relief with sensitive close-ups by Zhao. The opening shots are the most revealing. As Fern goes through the debris of a lifetime while examining the contents of her storage unit, McDormand endows each article of clothing and memento with a personal history. You can tell that a shirt belonged to her late husband from the way she clings to it and how it makes her face crumple. She is in almost every shot of the movie and guides us through Fern’s interior and exterior road trip.  

Zhao gives us gorgeous shots of the desert Fern travels through and achieves an almost documentary quality with subtle non-theatrical supporting performances from David Straithairn as a potential love interest and from real-life figures from the book including RV lifestyle guru Bob Wells, and nomads Swankie and Linda May, non-actors playing versions of themselves.

Pieces of a Woman (Netflix) is another female-prospective project told in bits and pieces. Like McDormand, Vanessa Kirby relies on her actress’s technique to color the voids in the screenplay. She delivers a gut-wrenching, superbly suppressed performance as Martha, a young woman whose life and marriage are shattered when a home birth goes horribly wrong. Kirby is best known as the irrepressible Princess Margaret on the first two seasons of The Crown. Here she goes in the opposite direction, tamping down Martha’s volcano of emotions whereas she overflowed with a lava of libido and rage as the British Queen’s sparkly sister. Through most of the film, Martha is silent and simmering, finally erupting in a somewhat melodramatic courtroom monologue. The screenplay by Kata Weber veers into mawkishness occasionally, banking on corny, feel-good conclusions and detouring into tabloid territory as Martha and her partner Sean (a brutally tender Shia LaBeouf) pursue charges against their midwife (Molly Parker). But the harder, seemingly mundane moments are what make the film a devastating body blow. 

For example, when Martha returns to her office job and finds a replacement at her desk or when she confronts her domineering but loving mother (a magnificent Ellen Burstyn) at a family dinner, director Kornel Mundruczo (husband of screenwriter Weber) subtly captures the small moments with a precise clarity. Mundruczo dazzles with the opening sequence, a nearly 30-minute single shot detailing Martha’s harrowing delivery from first labor pains to tragic conclusion. It’s an amazing half-hour of film with no break, but the real meat of the film is in its intimate moments.

Supernova (Amazon Prime) is another small film, shining in its short bits. Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth star as a gay couple traveling in a trailer, like Nomadland’s Fern, to attend a piano concert headlined by Firth’s late-career musician as novelist Tucci is succumbing to early-onset dementia. Gucci’s character is an astronomy buff—hence the title. His hobby afford numerous excuses for the two lay on their backs and contemplate the cosmos and wax philosophic. Director-screenwriter Harry Macqueen gets a bit treacly in the handling of the couple’s resolution of their conflict over the novelist’s illness, but the majority of the work is a sensitive and affecting portrait of a marriage. Like Pieces of a Woman, the most revealing and affecting vignettes are brief and ordinary. The highlights are the quick shots of the two in bed, snuggling, reading, making love, or just being together. Firth and Tucci inhabit their roles so fully, we don’t need much more. As cinemas begin to open up again, large-scale, explosion fests will no doubt return to the screen, but let’s cherish these finely-wrought, tasteful gems while we can.   

Frances McDormand and David Strathairn in the film “Nomadland”. Photo Searchlight Pictures.

Critics Choice Awards

March 4, 2021: The winners of the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards will be revealed on Sunday, March 7, 2021 from 7-10pm ET/PT, on the CW with acclaimed film, television, and stage star Taye Diggs returning to host for his 3d time, and SeeHer Award Winner Zendaya.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards show will be an in-person/virtual hybrid, with Diggs and some of the evening’s presenters live on stage in Los Angeles, and nominees appearing live remotely from various locations around the world.

March 4, 2021: The winners of the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards will be revealed on Sunday, March 7, 2021 from 7-10pm ET/PT, on the CW with acclaimed film, television, and stage star Taye Diggs returning to host for his 3d time, and SeeHer Award Winner Zendaya.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards show will be an in-person/virtual hybrid, with Diggs and some of the evening’s presenters live on stage in Los Angeles, and nominees appearing live remotely from various locations around the world.

Lin – Manuel Miranda, Photo: Barry Gordin

Presenters Kevin Bacon, Angela Bassett, Mayim Bialik, Orlando Bloom, Phoebe Dynevor, Morgan Freeman, Gal Gadot, Jim Gaffigan, Tony Hale, Chelsea Handler, Justin Hartley, Chris Hemsworth, Tyler Hoechlin, Jameela Jamil, Leslie Jordan, Javicia Leslie, Eva Longoria, Chrissy Metz, Mads Mikkelsen, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jared Padalecki, Ashley Park, Kyra Sedgwick, Yara Shahidi, Elizabeth Tulloch, Courtney B. Vance, John David Washington, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and all of this year’s Critics Choice Awards nominees. www.criticschoice.com

Catherine Zeta – Jones, Photo: Barry Gordin

Gone But Not Forgotten

Jamie deRoy & friends is presenting Gone But Not Forgotten Part 5 this Sunday, February 28th at 7:30pm

February 24, 2021: An episode of Jamie deRoy & friends dips into the archives for some rare performances by several entertainment legends. None of them are living, giving the segment an extra dollop of nostalgia. The peak into the past is presented in loving memory of these glorious talents and features Margaret Whiting (1924 – 2010), Alice Playten (1947 – 2011), Ray Jessel (1929 – 2015), Celeste Holm (1917– 2012), Polly Bergen (1930 – 2014), Eric Hansen (1956 – 2017), Claiborne Cary (1932 – 2010), Kitty Carlilse Hart (1910 – 2007), and Doreen Montalvo (1963- 2020).

Jamie deRoy & friends is presenting Gone But Not Forgotten Part 5 this Sunday, February 28th at 7:30pm

February 24, 2021: An episode of Jamie deRoy & friends dips into the archives for some rare performances by several entertainment legends. None of them are living, giving the segment an extra dollop of nostalgia. The peak into the past is presented in loving memory of these glorious talents and features Margaret Whiting (1924 – 2010), Alice Playten (1947 – 2011), Ray Jessel (1929 – 2015), Celeste Holm (1917– 2012), Polly Bergen (1930 – 2014), Eric Hansen (1956 – 2017), Claiborne Cary (1932 – 2010), Kitty Carlilse Hart (1910 – 2007), and Doreen Montalvo (1963- 2020).

The musicians on the episode include: Tex Arnold, Lanny Meyers, Ray Jessel, Larry Woodard, Rod Hausen, Eric Hansen, Frank Perowsky, David Lewis, Ron Abel and Tom Hubbard.

The performances were filmed from 1992-2017 at Caroline’s on Broadway, Metropolitan Room, Dillon’s, Laurie Beechman Theater at West Bank Café, Don’t Tell Mama and Birdland.

Jamie deRoy & friends is directed by Barry Kleinbort and produced and edited by Russell Bouthiller. 

Gone But Not Forgotten Part 5 will air on Sunday, February 28 at 7:30 PM on Spectrum Channel 56, RCN Channel 83, and Verizon FIOS Channel 34, as well as on East Hampton LTV Channel 20 at later date.

On This Day In New York Theater: February 24 in the 1930’s

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 23 in the series)

February 24, 2021: Three Broadway plays opened on February 24 in the 1930s, two of them significant, the other quickly over and done with. All three became movies that can still be seen. Their titles are Hangman’s Whip, Dodsworth, and Love on the Dole. The first, Hangman’s Whip, was one of the frequent plays of those days set in tropical climes where sexual desire among white expats kindled melodramatic heat, while restless natives kept raising the temperature in the background. This one, by Norman Reilly Raine and Frank Butler, is set on the deck and saloon of the “Dei Gratia,” a jungle riverboat in the Congo. It sweated through eleven performances at the St. James Theatre in 1933.

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 23 in the series)

February 24, 2021: Three Broadway plays opened on February 24 in the 1930s, two of them significant, the other quickly over and done with. All three became movies that can still be seen. Their titles are Hangman’s Whip, Dodsworth, and Love on the Dole. The first, Hangman’s Whip, was one of the frequent plays of those days set in tropical climes where sexual desire among white expats kindled melodramatic heat, while restless natives kept raising the temperature in the background. This one, by Norman Reilly Raine and Frank Butler, is set on the deck and saloon of the “Dei Gratia,” a jungle riverboat in the Congo. It sweated through eleven performances at the St. James Theatre in 1933.

Poster for White Woman, the movie version of Hangman’s Whip

Hangman’s Whip pictured an obese, heartless, corrupt, white trader, Prin (Montagu Love), who has been exploiting and forcibly mistreating the locals for thirty years; his sensual wife, Judith (Helen Flint); a fugitive ex-German officer named Kurt Von Eltz (Ian Keith), in love with Judith, who loves him back; a fearless young American named Ballister (Barton MacLane), the only man brave enough to stand up to Prin. Ballister overcomes his own passion for Judith so she can run off with Von Eltz, but to journalistic disapproval, is slain by the natives. 

Barton MacLane

These ingredients mingled with the threat of the restless locals to create a tom-tom melodrama that Gilbert Gabriel swatted away as “pretty awful.” Brooks Atkinson declared that Barton MacLane played Ballister “in the flamboyant style of sneers, swaggers and leather puttees. Surely he would make a stirring spectacle if the play permitted him to finger a neat trigger when the curtain comes down.” MacLane, of course, went on to a substantial movie and TV career, usually as a heavy. 

The play was transformed considerably into a steamy pre-code 1933 movie called White Woman, starring Charles Laughton, Carole Lombard, Charles Bickford, and Kent Taylor, with the the action moved from Africa to a rubber plantation in Malaya.

Al Hirschfeld drawing of Dodsworth: Fay Bainter, Walter Huston, Nan Sunderland, Harlan Briggs, Maria Ouspenskaya.

The 1936 film made from 1934’s Dodsworth (Shubert Theatre, 147) was far superior to White Woman, chiefly because of Walter Huston’s performance in the title role, which he’d played on Broadway. Here’s a clip from the movie. This Best Play of the Year selection adapted by Sidney Howard from Sinclair Lewis’s bestseller, brought Huston back to the stage after a five-year hiatus in Hollywood—to play Samuel Dodsworth, a recently retired Midwestern automobile manufacturer, married to the younger, self-absorbed Fran Dodsworth (Fay Bainter). 

Fay Bainter, Walter Huston in Dodsworth

The wealthy Dodsworth departs for a European jaunt with his vain wife, who fears the thought of growing old. Instead of searching out Continental culture with her patient spouse, Fran allows herself to be wooed by various romantically inclined Europeans. The simple Dodsworth is frustrated by his wife’s affairs, but is helpless to prevent them until he meets Edith Cortright (Nan Sunderland, Huston’s actual wife). Edith is an American widow living in Naples, an understanding and worthy woman with whom he falls in love and who gives new meaning and direction to his life.

“It seems incredible that Mr. Howard could have condensed the many pages of the story into such a compact and tersely written play,” approved Euphemia Van Rensselaer Wyatt. Cy Caldwell contributed that “Dodsworth is a deeply interesting, thoroughly human, entirely believable, and utterly entrancing character study.” Brooks Atkinson, however, considered the play “an aimless chronicle,” and suggested that Howard had “not succeeded in fusing the story or in keeping the drama from running downhill.”

Huston’s acting gained kudos. Most conspicuous of the supporting cast was Russian actress and beloved acting teacher Maria Ouspenskaya who had come here in 1922 with the Moscow Art Theatre, and stayed. She played a small role as the aristocratic German mother of one of Fran’s lovers (Kent Smith).  

Playbill for Love on the Dole

Our final entry for February 24 in the 1930s has the perfect title for a show born during the Depression, Love on the Dole (Shubert Theatre, 145). It was a British play by Ronald Gow and Walter Greenwood based on the latter’s popular (and still read) novel of the same name. Yet another picture of the doleful effects of the vast economic downturn, it was first seen in London with Wendy Hiller, whose performance (seen even earlier at the Manchester Rep) made her a star that would remain undimmed for many years. The twenty-four-year old Hiller headed the cast of the Broadway version, too, in her American debut. 

Love on the Dole movie poster

The Depression is treated here from the English angle, with action occurring near Manchester in a place called Hanky Park, where the Hardcastle family lives in squalor induced by lack of employment. Nevertheless, they maintain their sense of respectability. Although they technically meet the requirements of the welfare system, their dole is seriously insufficient to their needs. Son Harry (Alexander Grandison) supports the ménage and loves a local girl (Rita Davies). Pretty daughter Sally (Hiller) loves Larry Heath (Brandon Peters), a tuberculosis victim who loses his job because of the machinations of gambler Sam Grundy (Ross Chetwynd), who has a thing for Sally. 

Harry also loses his job and has to marry his pregnant girlfriend. Larry dies during a labor demonstration. Things go from bad to worse, and Sally, seeing the futility of adhering to worn-out beliefs, decides to take Sam Grundy’s money in return for living with him as his “housekeeper,” which makes her a prostitute in her parents’ eyes. Sam also finds work for her father (Reginald Bach) and brother, who must swallow their pride and accept the work.

Love on the Dole, Wendy Hiller in London production

Hiller’s acting as the self-sacrificing daughter was one of the finest things about this grim but excellently written work about how poor English folk must cope with the pressures of poverty and an indifferent system. Some may see a reflection here in English terms of Clifford Odets’s Awake and Sing! about a Bronx Jewish family undergoing similar hardships as they confront a heartless system. Grenville Vernon said Hiller displayed “an arresting talent. This young English girl has beauty, charm, pathos and tragedy. She ought to go far.” Hiller’s part was taken by Deborah Kerr in the 1945 film version. Here’s a clip of Kerr as Sally giving her parents what for. The play itself continued to appear on British stages for many years.

The drama was appreciated for its not being overtly propagandistic, but allowing the characters and situations to make their own point without excessive slanting, which was judged a far more powerful way to convey a message. Brooks Atkinson labeled Love on the Dole “one of the most honest social dramas of our time.”

And that’s what opened on this day in New York theater in the 1930s.


Click Here for #1 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: MAY 14 IN THE 1920’S

Click Here for #2 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: MAY 19 in the 1930’s

Click Here for #3 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: MAY 24 IN THE 1920’S AND 1930’S

Click Here for #4 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: MAY 29 in the 1920’S, 1930’S and 1940’S

Click Here for #5 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: JUNE 3 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #6 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: June 13 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #7 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: June 20 in the 1920’a, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #8 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: June 26 in the 1920’a, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #9 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: July 6 in the 1920’a, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #10 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: July 15 in the 1920’a, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #11 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: July 27 in the 1920’a, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #12 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: August 14 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #13 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: August 31 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #14 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: September 12 in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

Click Here for #15 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: October 11 in the 1920’s and 1930’s

Click Here for #16 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: October 29th in the 1940’s

Click Here for #17 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: November 13th in the 1930’s

Click Here for #18 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: November 29th in the 1920’s

Click Here for #19 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: December 19 in the 1940’s

Click Here for #20 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: New Year’s Eve from the 1920’s through the 1940’s

Click Here for #21 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: January 16, 1924 ( The Miracle) 

Click Here for #22 in the Series ON THIS DAY IN NEW YORK THEATER: February 12 in the 1940’s

Now Streaming

In Case You Hadn’t Heard:  A Conversation Between America’s Past and Its Promise, is now streaming until February 28 @ 11:59pm at baystreet.org

February 24, 2021: Following its online World Premiere this past Monday In Case You Hadn’t Heard, a provocative view of race in America, adapted and directed by Reggie D. White, is now streaming at baystreet.org, by demand, for five more days until February 28 @ 11:59 pm. For more information CLICK HERE

In Case You Hadn’t Heard:  A Conversation Between America’s Past and Its Promise, is now streaming until February 28 @ 11:59pm at baystreet.org

February 24, 2021: Following its online World Premiere this past Monday In Case You Hadn’t Heard, a provocative view of race in America, adapted and directed by Reggie D. White, is now streaming at baystreet.org, by demand, for five more days until February 28 @ 11:59 pm. For more information CLICK HERE

Presented in partnership with Eastville Community Historical Society and the Southampton African American Museum, In Case You Hadn’t Heard: A Conversation Between America’s Past and Its Promise is a provocative and unvarnished look at issues surrounding race in America. The world-premiere theatrical presentation is adapted and directed by Reggie D. White, and stars Darryl Gene Daughtry Jr, Crystal Dickinson, Jason Veasey, and Clarissa Vickerie. The evening will include a talkback between the director and the actors, led by Dr. Georgette Grier-Key of Eastville Community Historical Society.

The adaptation sources found text to draw on the words of twenty African American thought-leaders of the past and present. Their words are brought together to create a “conversation” between a group of four actors, as they candidly discuss what it means to be black in America. As words from the past and hopes for the future collide, a frank and forthright dialogue pours forth, sounding a call to action.

The content of In Case You Hadn’t Heard is drawn from speeches and writings of Houston Baker, James Baldwin, Mary McLeod Bethune, London Breed, Keiajah Brooks, Stokely Carmichael, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angela Davis, Dick Gregory, Fannie Lou Hamer, Lorraine Hansberry, Jemele Hill, Marley K., Tamika Mallory, Robert P. Moses, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, Barack Obama, Amber Ruffin, Jesse Williams, and Malcolm X.

This presentation includes language that may be upsetting to some viewers.

Reggie D. White is a New York-based multidisciplinary artist and educator who most recently appeared in the Vineyard Theatre’s virtual piece, Lessons in Survival, which he co-conceived. Before Broadway began its indefinite shutdown, he also appeared in the 11-time Tony-nominated two-part epic, The Inheritance. Other acting credits include NYTW, The Public Theater, 59E59, Arden Theatre, Berkeley Rep, and La Jolla Playhouse. As a director, his work has been featured at Bay Street Theater, The Public Theater, Atlantic Acting School, New York Winterfest, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, AlterTheatre Ensemble, and more. He is an alumnus of the Atlantic Acting School, where he now serves as School Artistic Director, a recipient of the TBA TITAN Award, the TCG Fox Fellowship, and is a company member of The Williams Project, a living wage theatre theatre company.reggiedwhite.com.

Jamie deRoy & friends Valentine

Jamie deRoy & friends Valentine’s Day Special: More From the Archives on Sunday, February 14 at 7:30 PM

February 14, 2021:  To celebrate Valentine Day Jamie deRoy & friends Valentine’s Day Special: More From the Archives will air on Sunday, February 14 at 7:30 PM an Spectrum channel 56,RCN Channel 83, and Verizon FIOS Channel 34, as well as on East Hampton LTV Channel 20 on multiple dates. (see below for complete shedule. Appearing on this episode are Jamie deRoy and Taffy (The Huber Marionettes),  LaLa Brooks (The Crystals), Haley Swindal (Chicago), E. Clayton Cornelius (Ain’t Too Proud),  Grammy Award Winner Melissa Manchester and Alison Blackwell (Pretty Woman).

Jamie deRoy & friends Valentine’s Day Special: More From the Archives on Sunday, February 14 at 7:30 PM

February 14, 2021:  To celebrate Valentine Day Jamie deRoy & friends Valentine’s Day Special: More From the Archives will air on Sunday, February 14 at 7:30 PM an Spectrum channel 56,RCN Channel 83, and Verizon FIOS Channel 34, as well as on East Hampton LTV Channel 20 on multiple dates. (see below for complete shedule. Appearing on this episode are Jamie deRoy and Taffy (The Huber Marionettes),  LaLa Brooks (The Crystals), Haley Swindal (Chicago), E. Clayton Cornelius (Ain’t Too Proud),  Grammy Award Winner Melissa Manchester and Alison Blackwell (Pretty Woman).

The episode was filmed at The Cinegrill in LA, The Metropolitan Room, Birdland and Birdland Theater. The show is directed by Barry Kleinbort and produced and edited by Russell Bouthiller.

Musicians performing on this episode include: Shelly Markham, Lanny Meyers, Ron Abel Tom Hubbard and Richie Goods.  

Jamie deRoy, E. Clayton Cornelius

Jamie deRoy & friends Valentine’s Day Special: More From the Archives airs on Sunday, February 14 at 7:30 PM on Spectrum Channel 56, RCN Channel 83, and Verizon FIOS Channel 34, as well as on East Hampton LTV Channel 20 on multiple dates. Valentine’s Day Feb. 14 at 7:30. In addition Tuesday, February 16 at 6 AM and 4:30 PM and again Friday, Feb.19 at 9:30 AM and again Sunday Feb. 21 at 7:30 PM.

Photography: Barry Gordin