Much Ado About Nothing 

Five Reasons Why Much Ado About Nothing is Worth Making an Ado About

By: Iris Wiener

June 24, 2024: In Thomas G. Waites’ reimagined, somewhat modernized version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, an acting troupe of stellar proportions excels with a piece that is rife with playful flirting, sexual innuendo, and epic antics. A comedic play filled with love, deception, and pun-tastic twists, the story takes place in 1940s Italy, and follows the courtship of Hero and Claudio; their incessant drama contrasts with the banter-filled sparring of Benedick and Beatrice. The action culminates in a double wedding filled with surprises and mishaps. Now open at the Gene Frankel Theater, here are five reasons why Much Ado is an airy, enjoyable start to the summer:

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Cats, “The Jellicle Ball”.

PAC NYC Debuts Cats, The Jellicle Ball – A Quasi Revival in Spectacular “Ballroom” Style 

By: Ellis Nassour 

June 21, 2024 — This Cats has no cats. This rip roaring, joyous transformation features unstoppable Broadway and screen veteran of 55 years, educator, activist, survivor, and Tony winner André De Shields alongside top-caliber singers, classical dancers, burlesque teasers, and members from various Ballroom platforms. 

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Broadway Update

Idina Menzel in “Redwood”. Photo:: Rich Soublet

The Last Five Years, Redwood

By: David Sheward

June 17, 2024: Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years will have its Broadway premiere in a new production starring Tony winner Adrienne Warren (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) and Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers, How to Succeed) directed by Tony and Drama Desk nominee Whitney White (Jaja’s African Hair Braiding, On Sugarland), set to open in spring 2025. The two-character musical premiered at the Northlight Theater in Skokie, Illinois. It opened Off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theater in 2002 with Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott, winning Drama Desk Awards for Brown’s Music and Lyrics. A 2013 revival at Second Stage starred Adam Kantor and Betsy Wolfe. The 2014 film version directed by Richard LaGravenese was headlined by Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick.

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Lina Koutrakos

Lina Koutrakos

The American Songbook Association/Cabaret Scenes Honors Lina Koutrakos

By: Alix Cohen

June 16, 2024: Lina Koutrakos is the perfect recipient for the Darrell Henline award due to her commitment to the art of cabaret as a performer, director, songwriter, and producer. Her forty-year career was launched with her own rock band in decades-long residencies at the legendary venues. Koutrakos garnered multiple pop songwriting awards while simultaneously presenting her cabaret shows at the Metropolitan Room, 54 Below, and the Waldorf Astoria.

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2024 Drama Desk Awards

Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange and Celia Keenan-Bolger. Photo: Barry Gordin


Stereophonic & Dead Outlaw win Best Play & Best Musical at the 68
th Drama Desk Awards.

June 11, 2024:  The 68th Annual Drama Desk Awards were presented yesterday at the NYU Skirball Center near Washington Square Park in lower Manhattan. Stereophonic, which originated at Playwrights Horizon, and is now playing on Broadway won Best Play, along with 7 additional awards including a special ensemble award.  Outstanding Musical was David Yazbeth’s Dead Outlaw directed by David Cromer, which had a short Off-Broadway run last year, and also won best book and lyrics. Water For Elephants nabbed 4 Awards including Outstanding Director of a Musical for Jessica Stone’s impressive work.
Here is a Complete List of Winners.

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Broadway Update

Dolly Parton – Photo: Jim Wright

LCT Season; Dolly Parton Musical

By: David Sheward

June 10, 2024: Lincoln Center Theater has announced its 2024-25 season for its Vivian Beaumont, Mitzi Newhouse and Clara Tow Theaters. LCT’s Broadway season at the Vivian Beaumont begins with the previously announced MCNEAL by Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar and starring Robert Downey Jr. in his Broadway debut. (previews Sept. 5 and opens Sept. 30). 

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Broadway Update

Aaron Tviet and Sutton Foster will host the 2024 Drama Desk Awards on June 10. Drawing by Justin “Squiggles” Robertson

Drama Desk, Pre-Tonys, Hills of California, Etc.

By: David Sheward

June 5, 2024: The 68th Drama Desk Awards, held on Mon. June 10 at 6:15 pm at NYU’s Skirball Hall and hosted by Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit of Sweeney Todd, have announced presenters: Brooke Shields, Laura Benanti, Matthew Brodereick, Andrew Rannells, Nikki M. James, Debra Messing, Brian d’Arcy James, Montego Glover, Lena Hall and Ruthie Ann Miles. Kelli O’Hara (nominated for Days of Wine and Roses) will perform a musical tribute to William Wolf Award recipient Andre Bishop. Nathan Lane will receive the Harold S. Prince Award for Lifetime Achievement. Lane has previously won six Drama Desk Awards, three Tonys, six Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Drama League Award, a Lortel and two Obies. 

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Let’s Put On A Show!

By: Alix Cohen

Let’s Put On A Show! 35 Years of Irish Rep Musicals – Comhghairdeachas!

June 10, 2024: As well produced as anything on Broadway, Irish Repertory’s 35th Annual Gala reflected not only the theater’s history of recognizing and collaborating with extraordinary talent, but a feeling of family repeatedly expressed and filling the hall. The theater’s 200 productions, 800 readings and 30 Gala Concerts bring it to 2024 with bells on.

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Broadway Babe

Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison.

Gems form Broadway Babe include No Way to Treat a Lady, My Fair Lady, and Man of La Mancha.

June 9, 2024:  Broadway Babe Randie Levine-Miller has come up with some real gems, including Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison doing excerpts from “My Fair Lady”; from 1965, Richard Kiley star of “Man of La Mancha”, with the original cast performing showstopping excerpts on the Ed Sullivan Show ; Mary Rodgers in an up close and personal interview, courtesy of the Dramatists Guild; and Randie‘s personal favorite, excerpts from Douglas J. Cohen’s musical, “No Way To Treat A Lady”, performed by an All -Star cast at 54 Below six years ago.

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Broadway Update: Audra McDonald To Star in Gypsy

Audra McDonald Portraits. CREDIT: Allison Michael Orenstein

By: David Sheward

May 29, 2024: The rumors have been confirmed. Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald will tackle the King Lear of musical theater roles when she plays Mama Rose in the fifth Broadway revival of Gypsy, the musical suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The production will be directed by five-time Tony winner George C. Wolfe (Angels in America, Shuffle Along) and choreographed by four-time Tony nominee Camille A. Brown (Hell’s Kitchen, for colored girls) and begin previews at the re-opened Majestic Theatre on Nov. 21 prior to a Dec. 19 opening. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

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B’way/Off-B’way Update: Job, R&J, Marin Ireland

Peter Friedman and Sydney Lemmon in “Job”. Credit: Emilio Madrid

By: David Sheward

May 28, 2024: Job, the hit Off-Broadway two-character play by Max Wolf Friedlich, will make the leap to Broadway this summer. Performances begin July 15 at the Hayes Theater in advance of a July 30 opening for a limited run through Sept. 29. Sydney Lemmon and Peter Friedman will repeat their performances as a recently-fired big tech company employee and her crisis management therapist. 

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Moments from the 2024 NYDCC and OCC Awards

Guy Davis and Hasna Muhammad with their sister Nora Day on the phone accepting the NYDCC award for their father’s play “Purlie Victorious”..

By: David Sheward

May 28, 2024: Two major theater critics’ groups, the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Outer Critics Circle, handed out their annual awards last week. At both ceremonies, the winners were known in advance, so everyone could relax. The 88th NY Drama Critics Circle Awards ceremony was held at 54 Below on Tues. May 21 with Circle president Adam Feldman of Time Out New York presiding. Jim Walton of the original cast of Merrily We Roll Along presented the special award to Maria Friedman, director of the revival. Walton said he imagined when Stephen Sondheim got to heaven, God said to him, “Steve, I think I know how to fix Merrily.” This is because the show has gone through so many iterations and revivals since its infamous 1981 flop run on Broadway. 

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The Roger Rees Awards

Bonnie Milligan, Ashlee Fucarino, Isaiah Baston, and Rick Elice. Photo: Iris Wiener

By: Iris Wiener

May 20, 2024: Some of Broadway’s most talented artists came out to support the Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance on May 19 at The Gerald W. Lynch Theatre at John Jay College. It was because of the warm memories they have of Rees and the indelible impression he left on them that host Bonnie Milligan (Kimberly Akimbo) and judges including actor Erich Bergen (Waitress) and choreographer/educator Baayork Lee were on hand to celebrate the talent of young performers.

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Broadway Update: Mattress Transfers and Swept Away Sweeps In.

Sutton Foster in “Once Upon a Mattress” at Encores. Credit: Joan Marcus.

By: David Sheward

May 18, 2024: Tony winner Sutton Foster will headline a revival of Once Upon a Mattress this summer on Broadway. The production is a transfer of the Encores presentation of the 1959 satirical fairy-tale musical which launched the career of Carol Burnett when she took on the lead of role of Princess Winifred the Woebegone. Mattress will begin previews at the Hudson Theater on July 31 with an opening set for Aug. 12 for a limited run through Nov. 30. The beloved musical returns to Broadway in a new adaptation by Emmy Award winner Amy Sherman-Palladino (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, “Gilmore Girls”), directed by Tony Award nominee and Drama League Award winner Lear deBessonet (Into The Woods). 

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Theater World Award Winners

A.J. Shively and David McElwee in “Philadelphia, Here I Come”.Credit: Jeremy Daniel.

By: David Sheward

March 15, 2024: Theater award season is in full swing. The Lortels, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics Circle Award winners have been announced. Joining them are the 78th annual Theater World Award winners for outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway debuts. The awards will be presented on Mon. June 10 at 8:08pm at the Marquis Theater on the set of The Wiz. In addition to the honorees, A.J. Shively of Philadelphia, Here I Come will receive the 15th Annual Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater. As previously announced, Tony Award winner Len Cariou will receive the 11th Annual John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, and a 2024 TWA Special Award will be presented to theater journalist Peter Filichia, who has hosted the event for many years.

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