Broadway Update

A scene from the London production of “The Kite Runner”. Credit: Irina Chira

B’way Update: Kite Runner, Strange Loop Set Dates; WSJ Critic Terry Teachout Dies

By: David Sheward

January 19,2022: Amid news of many shows closing or going into hibernation for the winter, Broadway got a boost with the announcement of a new production. A stage version of The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini’s international best-seller, will be coming to Broadway for a limited run this summer after two seasons in London’s West End. The novel tells the story of Amir, a young boy born in Afghanistan in the 1970s, and Hassan, the son of Amir’s father’s servant. As their country is pitched into political turmoil, the boys’ lives are changed forever. The play with music, adapted by Matthew Spangler and directed by Giles Croft will begin previews at the Hayes Theater on July 6 and open on July 21 for a limited run until Oct. 30. The Hayes is owned by Second Stage which will rent the theater out to the production. 

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June Kelly Gallery

Joan Giordano with In Gringolandia, 48 x 75 inches, mixed media triptych, 2021

Painting the Printing Word, a solo exhibition by Joan Giordano, on view through February 15, 2022, at June Kelly Gallery in Soho. 

January 12, 2022:  June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer Street in Soho, launched their 2022 season with a solo exhibition by Joan Giordano: Painting the Printed Word, which will be on view through February 15. The exhibition of mixed media wall constructions by painter Joan Giordano is reflective not only of her mastery with the brush and the art of printmaking and Japanese papermaking, but likewise her passion for newspaper’s printed text.

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Broadway Update: Mockingbird and Girl to Go on Hiatus

The cast of “To Kill a Mockingbird” Credit: Emilio Madrid

By: David Sheward

January 13, 2022: Two more Broadway shows are going on hiatus, joining Mrs. Doubtful as productions temporarily closing during these volatile COVID-tinged times in hopes of keeping open in a later, less chancy atmosphere. To Kill a Mockingbird, Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, will play its last performance at the Shubert Theater on Jan. 16. The play will re-open at the smaller Belasco Theater on June 1 with Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Greg Kinnear resuming the lead role of courageous lawyer and father Atticus Finch. Mockingbird opened on Dec. 13, 2018 with Jeff Daniels as Atticus and has been one of the most financially successful straight plays in Broadway history. The play re-opened on Oct. 5, 2021 with Daniels and Tony winner Celia Keenan Bolger returning to their original roles. Kennear took over on Jan. 5. It will have played 626 performances and 45 previews. 

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Broadway Update

Joaquina Kalukango, Nathaniel Stampley, Chilina Kennedy & the Chicago company of “Paradise Square.” Photo: Kevin Berne

B’way Update: Skeleton and Paradise Shift Dates, Joan Copeland Dies

By: David Sheward

January 5, 2022: COVID and Omicron are still necessitating changes on Broadway. Skeleton Crew, Dominique Morriseau’s drama presented by Manhattan Theater Club at the Samuel J. Friedman starring Phylicia Rashad, has suspended all performances through Jan. 9 due to breakthrough COVID cases in the company. The opening, originally scheduled for Jan. 19 will be postponed to a later date to be announced.

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BroadwayHD

Alfie Boe, Colm Wilkinson, Ramin Karimloo and Nick Jonas in Les Miserables 25 Anniversary Concert

Kick-Off the New Year with star-studded new additions on BroadwayHD, including the Les Miserables 25 Anniversary Concert with Nick Jonas.

January 1, 2022: BroadwayHD, the premiere streaming service for theater fans, is singing and dancing its way into the new year with a dazzling lineup of new theater productions, musical films and documentaries. Kicking off the month on January 1st is the 1945 musical comedy film Ziegfeld Follies, featuring Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Fanny Brice, Lena Horne and more. The How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying film, based on the musical of the same nam, is set to debut on January 4th, following a lowly window cleaner with dreams of making it big in the business world. Next up on January 6th is the Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert, featuring celebratory performances of the hit musical with Alfie Boe, Norm Lewis, Lea Salonga, Nick Jonas, Samantha Barks and more reprising their original roles. 

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Broadway Update

A scene from Mrs. Doubtfire which will pause performances at the Stephen Sondheim. Photo: Joan Marcus

B’way Update: Doubtfire Pauses, Proud Closes, Jackman Sidelined

By: David Sheward

January 3, 2022: The omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to wreak havoc on the New York theater scene. In an unprecedented move, Mrs. Doubtfire will halt performances at the Stephen Sondheim Theater for nine weeks from Jan. 10 through March 14 when it is hoped the current surge of COVID cases will have died down. Producer Kevin McCollum states that raising costs for COVID testing, loss of revenue due to cancelled performances and the production’s high weekly running expenses would have forced the show to close permanently if not for this pause. All 115 cast and crew will be laid off with the promise of being rehired when the show re-opens.  

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BroadwayHD

Michaela DePrince

Dance into the Holidays with COPPELIA coming to BroadwayHD on December 25. The cutting-edge ballet combines animation & live action dance for a unique cinematic experience that delivers the message, Be True to Yourself.

December 24, 2021:  BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for live theater, is dancing into the holiday season as it brings the cutting-edge and critically acclaimed Coppelia to its platform on December 25.  Starring Boston Ballet soloist Michaela DePrince, also featured in Beyoncé’s Lemonade and First Position, Coppelia is a sumptuous cinematic experience combining animation and ballet.  Modern and fast paced, the dialogue-free film features a blend of musical influences from classical to electronic, bringing the story of Coppelia to life like never before and delivering the message to viewers that in the age of social media and an increasingly image conscious culture—it’s never been more important to be yourself.  Coppelia was brought to the platform in partnership with distributor Shout! Factory.

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Broadway Update

Lionel Zalachis and Charlotte Kah in The Little Prince at the Sydney Opera House. Credit: Prudence Upton

B’way Update: Little Prince, Cancellations, MacBeth and Strange Loop

By: David Sheward

December 20, 2021: While Broadway is in turmoil over multiple performance cancellations and uncertainty due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, a new production has been announced for the spring–The Little Prince, a stage version of the classic 1943 novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupery about the titular boy royal who seeks companionship on a journey to many different planets. Described as a theatrical experience with musical elements, the show combines elements of acrobatics, circus arts, dance, and video. It is the creation of director-choreographer Annie Tournie and has had runs in Paris, Sydney and Dubai. 

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BroadwayHD

Stephen Schwartz’s Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook comes to BroadwayHD on December 22.

December 20, 2021:  BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for live theater, announced last week that Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook from the legendary Broadway and film composer, Stephen Schwartz, and writer David Stern, is coming to the platform exclusively on December 22.  Stephen Schwartz’s Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook is an original musical which incorporates over two dozen of Stephen Schwartz’s songs from his hit and award-winning musicals including Wicked, Pippin, Godspell, The Baker’s Wife, Rags, Working, Children of Eden, and Enchanted.  Some of the well-known songs that fans will recognize include Popular, Meadowlark, Corner of The Sky, All for the Best, and Lion Tamer.  The show is a touching and authentic look into how we fall in love and the poignant power of trusting our hearts and memories. 

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BroadwayHD

Lewis Cornay, Rachel Tucker

World Premiere of John and Jen, staring Rachel Tucker, to stream exclusively on BroadwayHD.

December 18, 2021:  BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for live theater, brought a brand new digital capture of Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald’s musical John & Jen, an intimate look at the complexities of familial relationships in a changing Americaexclusively to the platform globally on December 15th. Filmed in the of summer 2021 at the Southwark Playhouse in London, the worldwide premier of the updated production stars Olivier Award nominee Rachel Tucker (Come From Away, Wicked, The Last Ship Broadway productions) and Lewis Cornay (The Book of Mormon West End production). Produced by Bray Productions with direction by Guy Retallack. The digital capture is directed by Austin Shaw (42nd Street: The Musical, Anything Goes, An American in Paris)with orchestrations by Jason Robert Brown (13, The Last 5 Years) and Andrew Lippa.

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Jamie deRoy & Friends

Jamie deRoy & Friends

Jamie deRoy & Friends returns to Birdland with Donna McKechnie, Stephen Flaherty and more.

December 7, 2021:  Jamie deRoy & Friends is back at Birdland, 344 West 44th Street, with her first show since the pandemic began. This past Monday Jamie took the stage at 7pm and life felt normal again, well almost. We are definitely getting there. Jamie brought her good friends, Donna McKechnie, Stephen Flaherty, Jelani Alladin, Ali Ewolt, Cory Kahaney, and Mauricio Martinez to the  Birdland Jazz Club  The show was directed by Jamie’s longtime collaborator, Barry Kleinbort, and musical direction was by another longtime collaborator, Ron Abel.  Ritt Henn was on the bass and Ray Marchica was on the drums. Proceeds from the evening benefitted The Actors Fund: Jamie deRoy & friends Cabaret Initiative. BRAVO Jamie

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BroadwayHD

Classic movie musicals including The Phantom of the Opera & The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and more come to BroadwayHD in December.

December 4, 2021:  Tis the season for great theater! BroadwayHD, the premiere streaming service for theater fans, is welcoming an exciting new lineup of classic movie musicals this month that every theater fan will love.  Starting December 1, the 2004 movie The Phantom of the Opera, starring Gerard Butler in the title role, and Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae will make its way to the library.  Cult classic The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which follows a group of drag queens as they journey across the Australian Outback, starring Terance Stamp and Guy Pearce, will join the platform on December 9.  Then on December 28, William Shatner Gonzo Ballet, a unique production by award winning choreographer Margo Sappington set to the music of William Shatner and Ben Folds from their album, Has Been, joins the platform.  Theater lovers can get their fix of Broadway royalty Liza Minnelli on New Year’s Eve, as two filmed concerts Liza with a Z and Liza in New Orleans make their debut on December 31.  

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Thoughts and Memories of Stephen Sondheim, 1930-2021

Stephen Sondheim Credit: Erika Kapin Photography

By: David Sheward

November 27, 2021: On the Friday after Thanksgiving, my husband and I were driving back from Philadelphia  after a visit to my mother. For some unknown reason, I got the urge to listen to Sondheim. We had not been listening to the radio news, so I didn’t know about his death. I punched his name into the Spotify search engine we heard “A Little Priest,” “Another Hundred People,” “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “The Miller’s Son,” “Hello, Little Girl,” and “Now You Know.” A loving and unexpected tribute to the greatest musical theater writer of the 20th century. Then we got home, I opened my computer and got the shocking news.

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ACA Galleries

GRACE HARITGAN & LARRY RIVERS: The Poetry of Painting on view through January 29, 2022.

November 27, 2021: ACA Galleries, 529 West 20th Street, in the Gallery District announced a two–person exhibition featuring artworks by Larry Rivers and Grace Hartigan. The exhibition, The Poetry of Painting, is on view at ACA Galleries through January 29, 2022. Widely regarded as two of the most important members of the New York School, the friendship and artistic parallels between Grace Hartigan and Larry Rivers are often overlooked.

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BroadwayHD

Black Matter, Giles Terera’s powerful song cycle, now available on BroadwayHD.

November 20, 2021:  Inspired by the unrest of 2020, Olivier Award winning star of the West End production of Hamilton, Giles Terera, created his exciting song cycle, Black Matter. Now the song cycle can be seen by audiences around the world on BroadwayHD, where it began streaming on November 12th.  Black Matter is a 60-minute song cycle featuring multiple styles of music – funk, jazz, ballad –  What’s on Stage said, “From the first song to the last, I was gripped. I couldn’t look away.

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